Fear of Fats?

Healthy Fats
I'm Hal! 

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The body needs abundant fat for energy, hormone function, and absorbing nutrients from food. Do you still have a lingering fear of eating fat? Long gone are the days of fearing fats will make us gain weight and the trends of a low fat diet packed with sugar and chemicals in their place. It is now well researched that healthy fats are crucial for wellbeing and reproductive function. In addition, fat is also required to help the body absorb nutrients, support brain function and healthy skin! 

For women, fats are especially important during the reproductive years. They boost fertility because they are critical for the production of necessary hormones. During pregnancy, fats help the baby’s brain develop. Postpartum, they enrich the breast milk and help mom fend off postpartum depression. 

You may have heard that not all fats are created equally and it’s my honor to help take the confusion away from fats so that you can get back to including these essential nutrients in your balanced diet! 

In any stage of life, adding healthy fats to snacks and meals helps in maintaining balanced blood sugar and helps keep us full for longer. So let’s dive into how we can accomplish this! 

Healthy fats to include in your diet are things like nuts, nut butters, and avocado! You may be rejoicing if you love a good avocado toast! Other great snacks to incorporate into your diet might be fruit and nuts for a snack, yogurt with chia, flax, and hemp seeds for breakfast, and nuts and seeds atop your lunch salad! 

Naturally saturated fats are also incredibly nourishing during our reproductive years. There can be a big fear around saturated fats, however the composition of saturated fat in breast milk is 50% in comparison. Thus reassuring us that healthy consumption of saturated fat by women in their reproductive years is key for both mom to be and baby.  Healthy foundations of saturated fat include coconut oil, ghee, and fat from grass-fed beef. You may enjoy sauteeing veggies in ghee, roasting potatoes in animal fat, or baking muffins with coconut oil. As applied to all nutritional principles, it’s all about balance here! If you notice a food fear creeping in around fats, I would love to support you through nutrition counseling! 

Cooking oils are a really important daily fat to be mindful of! Olive oil and avocado oil are amazing for daily low to medium heat cooking. My favorite cooking oils are this olive oil and this avocado oil and I often splurge on a nicer finishing olive oil for salad dressings and sauces. 

Healthy Fats to Enjoy

In the discussion about fat, it is important that we talk about fats in which it’s best to find a healthy replacement for. Not all fats are created equally and I want to be honest about which fats to enjoy and which may be great to find a replacement for. The fats mentioned above are all great to enjoy in moderation and the fats we are going to talk about below are best to find healthy replacements for. 

Hydrogenated and trans fats are any type of oil that is modified (taken from its natural state) to be solid at room temperature such as buttery spreads made from oil, vegan butter spreads, margarine, and shortening. These are damaging to overall health and are best to avoid. Even if you don’t cook with these in your kitchen, I would love to encourage you to take it one step farther and examine your packaged foods as they are found in virtually all processed foods. 

Industrial seed oils should also be avoided when possible. Nearly all restaurants cook with these oils which can pose a challenge. Fear not, cooking at home a healthy amount will limit your exposure so that you can happily enjoy evenings out to eat with those you love. This is not intended to be a source of food fear, simply a reminder to be mindful. The omega-6 in these seed oils is easily damaged by heat, light, and oxygen. These seed oils are difficult to process when they are made and often chemicals like Hexane are used which damage the oils before they ever reach our kitchens. Industrial seeds oils may be hiding in your foods under the oils: canola, corn, grapeseed, soybean, safflower, sunflower, and other vegetable oils. These oils can contribute to modern diseases, inflammatory conditions, and high ldl cholesterol. An extra step you can take is to check for these oils in your processed or packaged foods. That way you can make an informed decision on when to consume these, such as at a restaurant and an intentional choice to limit the amounts of these oils that are present in your home kitchen day to day. 

If you are ready to rid the fear of fats, I would love to work with you

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