“You are what you eat, so don’t be fast, cheap,
easy or fake.” – Unknown (best quote ever)
We know the fat in a Big Mac is not the same as the fat in a grass-fed steak, right? How many times have you heard, “Don’t eat too many nuts,” “Don’t eat whole fat dairy,” “Don’t eat the chicken skin,” “Red meat will give you a heart attack!” Yet at the same time we blindly consume copious amounts of french fries, fast food burgers, crackers, cookies, chips, and 999 types of snacks all manufactured with the wrong fats (not to mention sugar, but that’s another post!). These are the fats that do not nourish, but instead cause damage to our cells.
We’ve been confused on what to eat since the 1950’s and most likely further back than that. This is not our fault. We’ve been given misleading information and targeted with marketing that directs us away from our innate ability to feed ourselves properly. We intuitively know what makes us feel better and with a little guidance from your’s truly, you’ll make changes that will have profound effects on your health. Trust yourself. Here’s a guide to help.
First, The Role of Fats
I’ll be giving you a full guide on what to buy and what to avoid, but first it’s incredibly important to understand why fats (fatty acids) are needed:
- They provide an energy source.
- They serve as a protective lining for the organs.
- Help with the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K (they need fat to be absorbed).
- They are building blocks for hormones and cell membranes.
- They help regulate energy by slowing the absorption of food.
- They increase satiety and keep you feeling full longer.
- They allow for the proper use of proteins.
- And, they make food taste better.
Upgrade Your Cooking Oils
Cook with: coconut oil, ghee, beef or lamb tallow/suet, duck or chicken fat, and lard. Quick sautés or stir-frying are best with avocado oil, butter, olive oil, peanut oil, and sesame oil. Please use organic options whenever possible.
Do Not Consume: canola oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, soybean/vegetable oil, vegetable shortening, partially hydrogenated fats/oils of any kind. These oils are heated and extracted with toxic chemicals and often contain high levels of pesticides. We don’t need these. If you’ve been cooking and baking with vegetable oil your whole life, try replacing it with a neutral tasting oil like avocado. Coconut oil, ghee or butter are other good options.
Do Not Cook With: almond oil, walnut oil, pine nut oil, hazelnut oil, grapeseed oil, pumpkin seed oil, flax oil, safflower/sunflower oil (these are ok raw and unprocessed).
Upgrade Your Pantry
Add: organic walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, organic chia and flax seeds, a variety of olives, sardines or anchovies, seaweed, chili oil, ghee, avocado oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, and olive oil.
Remove: For the love of god, please read your labels. Go through your pantry and remove anything with canola oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, soybean/vegetable oil, vegetable shortening, partially hydrogenated fats/oils of any kind. Take it to work so you don’t feel guilty about throwing it away. I admit… I’ve done this.
Upgrade Your Fridge
Add: organic eggs, avocados, organic dark meat poultry, wild salmon, shrimp, organic sausage, cod liver oil, homemade mayo or brands that use avocado oil like Primal Kitchen and Chosen Foods Mayonnaise, homemade dressings, organic full fat goat cheese (if tolerated), and organic butter.
Little steps are the easiest to make and the most sustainable. I encourage you to experiment and see what you like. You don’t have to buy cod liver oil if that sounds gross. But if you only eat chicken breast as your protein, try a thigh once a week or maybe a duck breast. Add a hard-boiled egg, walnuts, and a sprinkle of chia seeds to a salad. If you hate salmon (like I do), add shrimp or wild cod to your weekly dinner menu. Make a spicy dip with clean mayo for homemade sweet potato fries. You body wants variety so mix it up!
Bottom line? Know your fats. Keep this post handy as you go through your pantry and fridge and finally make peace with fat. It’s not to be feared once you know what to avoid. You can have an avocado and some nuts! You can eat the chicken skin on that roasted leg if you want to! Embrace all the new options you have and have fun in the kitchen. Even if you don’t cook at home, you can make sure you’re only eating the highest quality fats your body needs.
Are you intimidated by your kitchen? Unsure how to cook or what to cook? You can learn how to make delicious, nourishing meals without a ton of experience, time or tools. I promise. Contact me to learn how!