Let’s talk healthy fats today! We spent a little time a while ago talking about unnatural fats and how unhealthy they are. Today I want to spend some time on the 5 healthiest fats available to us.
Number one is the mighty avocado!! Avocados are number one because they are pretty much a super fruit! They are full of vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and protein!! It is a great one for pregnant women to eat!! Try it on toast or with your greens. Add it to a smoothie for more healthy benefits!!
Number two is butter!! For a long time we have been told how bad butter is for us, but guess what? It actually does have some health benefits. We are all familiar with all the fake butters out there (margarine, vegetable oil spreads, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”…). Those are far more hazardous to our health then real butter (raw and organic is best). So what benefits does butter have? Well it has the essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Butter also has vitamins and minerals, including selenium which is a powerful antioxidant. Ghee (an Indian version of clarified butter) is also on the rise as being a healthy choice!!
Number three is coconut oil!! Coconut oil is so versatile! You can use it on your skin, in your hair, and in food! It is easy for our bodies to digest and is not readily stored. It is transformed into energy almost immediately. It also has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties as well as increases healthy cholesterol. You can use coconut oil in cooking and baking. Try it on toast instead of butter or use it anywhere you would use any other oil. It can have a strong flavor so experiment with it and find out what you prefer. It is solid at room temperature so it isn’t the best option for salad dressings or things that require a healthy fat in liquid form.
Number four is extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)!! EVOO has so many health benefits! It is good for your heart, full of antioxidants, helps improve memory, and is also an anti-inflammatory. It is important to note that not all brands are healthy. Some use chemicals in the refining process. To spot real EVOO avoid brands that cost less than $10 a liter, look for the International Olive Oil Council seal, check harvesting dates, and avoid EVOO labeled as “light”, “pure”, or “blend”. Those fall short of virgin quality. Finally make sure you use the EVOO in a dark bottle. Dark bottles protect the oil from oxidation. It has a low smoke point, so it isn’t the best for cooking, but it is great for drizzling and using in dressings!
Number five are omega-3s!! There are three different types, but we won’t go into that. Omega-3 is found in seafood like salmon and sardines, some plant food like nuts and seeds, and high quality cuts of grass-fed beef. Many people prefer supplementing omega-3 because of debates over water pollution and contamination. Supplementing is fine as long as you find a good source.
So there you go!! Healthy fats! Look for ways to eliminate unhealthy fats and increase the healthy fats into your diet. Start small and work your way up!!