Right off the bat, fats are very confusing. The choices and when to use what can be overwhelming. Not to worry, here are the best fat sources you should be using and why:
Coconut Oil is highly beneficial. Being a saturated fat, it withstands higher temperatures for baking, frying, or sauteing. Coconut oil contains Lauric Acid, which has many benefits including:
*Raising HDL (good) cholesterol levels, despite being a saturated fat.
*a Medium Chain Triglyceride that converts to use for energy faster than Long Chain Triglycerides. (Huge advantage for ketogenic dieters!)
*has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits to treat inflammation due to injury, diet, or conditions like psoriasis, arthritis, acne, or other inflammatory diseases.
Best use of coconut oil is when cooking requires high heat. You can add coconut oil to shakes, dressings as well.
Butter from Grass Fed cattle
Cattle that feed on corn and grains produce more omega 6. Typical American diets are jammed pack with too much omega 6s. Grass fed butter will provide six times more omega 3s than grain fed beef products
Grass Fed butter also contains CLA. CLA is a fatty acid that some research shows help us burn more fat and build more muscle over long periods of supplementation.
Grass fed butter also contains Butyric acid. Butyric acid is crucial for preventing colon cancer and helping treat any type of inflammatory gut disease such as Crohns, Leaky Gut, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Arthritis, Psoriasis, and more!
I'm sure you've already heard of some of the benefits of fish and fish oil. The biggest benefit to fish oil is that it helps provide DHA and EPA, two crucial fatty acids that help keep our brain functioning properly. Issues with depression, anxiety, and bi-polar disorder have been treated with fish oil. Children also require DHA and EPA for proper brain development. Studies have shown that children who don't receive proper amounts of these two fatty acids suffer lower IQ than those who get these acids regularly.
Fish Oil also contains ALA. ALA helps our body produce EPA and DHA. ALA is a master antioxidant, meaning it helps to repair or “recharge” other antioxidants like Vitamin A and C so they can be reused by the body. Finally, ALA has shown to help increase insulin sensitivity so insulin works more efficiently as well. (A must for diabetics!)
If you choose a fish oil supplement, make sure EPA and DHA are listed on the label telling you how many mgs of each are provided. Adequate Intake for adults is 500mg daily for total amount of EPA and DHA.
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You probably already use Olive Oil, but why? Well, first off, olive oil provides a bulk of monounsaturated fats that are heart healthy. Olive oil is shown to control bad cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Using Olive oil can help keep saturated fat levels under control. For most, extra virgin olive oil is best. It withstands heat somewhat so low temp cooking is ok with EVOO. Always store your oil in dark, cool place, away from the stove to ensure freshness.
Focus on these four sources to cover most, if not all of your fat needs. Don't fear fat either! Natural, healthy fat sources don't have the negative impact on cholesterol as we believed originally. Fat, as long as used in moderation, will provide essential nutrients that the body needs to function optimally. Stick with fat to stay healthier and happier.
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