By Be Well Health Coach Amanda Carney
The verdict is out – healthy fats are good for us! And we should try our best to get them in at every meal! Healthy fats lubricate our digestive system, are necessary for hormone production, support the health of our brain and help us to feel satiated! Make sure to check out this interview with Nina Teicholtz, author of The Big Fat Surprise, to learn more about why we need fat in our diet.
So, how do you know which healthy fats you should be eating? Here are some of our favorites.
Good Quality Oils
Oils can be a great source of healthy fat, but unfortunately not all oils are created equal. Many of them are over processed and toxic for the body, so it is important to consider which ones are being used in your food, especially when you are out to eat. When possible, avoid restaurants that use oils such as canola, soy and corn, and especially trans fats.
Some good quality oils include:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Unrefined organic coconut oil
- Raw flax seed oil
- Raw hemp seed oil
We love cooking with coconut oil as it has a higher heat index than most other oils, and we use flax oil and hemp seed oil on things like salads and smoothies.
One of our favorite sources of healthy fat is the avocado. It tastes great and is easy to add to just about anything! We love it in smoothies, in salads, with eggs, made into a tasty dip, or sliced up alongside any animal protein!
Good Quality Animal Protein
When it comes to animal protein, quality is the most important thing to consider. Ask yourself (or your farmer), where was this animal raised? How was it treated? What was it fed?
When possible, choose good quality proteins by asking your butcher, shopping at your local farmers market or health food store, and taking the time to read labels.
Some good quality animal proteins include:
- Pasture raised eggs
- Wild caught fish
- Grass fed beef
- Organic poultry
- Wild game
Nuts and Seeds
An all-star snack, nuts and seeds are delicious, satisfying and easy to travel with! We suggest choosing nuts that are raw and unsalted, and that don’t contain any added oils or preservatives. Making your own trail mix is a great option – visit the bulk section at your local health food store and choose your favorites! Then mix them all together when you get home.
And don’t forget about nut butters! A tablespoon of almond butter makes for a great addition to smoothies.
Whole Fat Dairy
Although dairy isn’t for everyone, it can be a good addition to the diets of those without dairy sensitivities. As with animal protein, you want to make sure that you are choosing good quality dairy, coming from animals that are grass-fed and free of hormones and antibiotics. Raw dairy can be a great option as it contains the naturally occurring beneficial bacteria and enzymes that can support a healthy gut.
Some good quality dairy options include:
- Grass fed butter
- Raw, local cheese
- Sheep’s milk yogurt
- Raw milk
Surprised to hear that full-fat dairy is better? Make sure to check out this post on why you should always choose full fat.
And remember, the best way to ensure that you are eating good quality fats (and a healthy diet in general) is by eliminating processed foods and choosing whole foods whenever possible.