It’s time to break down the facts on fats. For years people have thought that fat makes you fat and have basically deemed fat as the enemy. Thankfully, people are waking up to this craziness and facing their fears of fat head on. If you’re still weary about fats or even if you think you know the down low, read on! You just might learn something!
Fat is one of the three NECESSARY macronutrients in our diets. The macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates, and FATS! These are the three main components that foods can be categorized as…and then they also contain micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Micronutrients are also necessary to the body, but are needed in much smaller quantities.
Now, each of these 3 macronutrients is extremely important and necessary for life, but this post is all about fats and why they are completely necessary for the health of our bodies, so let’s get down to it!
Fat is used to store energy, make hormones, metabolize fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), transport nutrients directly to the nervous system, facilitate nerve impulses, build tissues, enhance fluid metabolism, among other important functions. For most people, a diet consisting of at least 30% fat is necessary for optimal health and many people thrive on even more- so get off that low fat shit!
Not to mention fats are extremely grounding and filling, keeping your belly and mind satiated and happy for longer. This actually helps with weight maintenance, not that low fat shit you’ve been thinking would keep you slim. And, if you live in a cold climate, trust me, you need those healthy fats to warm and energize you during the cold months…it will even keep your skin from getting dry and flaky, nobody wants that!
The important factor in consuming fats is to make sure that they are high quality fats, such as the ones I recommend on this page and in our pantry staples! Choosing the best fats and using them properly ensures that you are getting the most benefits from the fats and none of the shitty repercussions that come from damaged or fake fats.
Fats become damaged and unhealthy when they are oxidized by being exposed to light, heat, or oxygen. When fats are oxidized they actually become carcinogenic and put a toxic load on your liver…and let’s be honest, most of us want to save that extra toxic load for a few drinks every once in a while (Liver, we love you for all the bullshit you have to deal with- Find your guide to liver supportive herbs here!)!
High heat processing also damages fats by removing healthful nutrients like vitamin E and creating lipid compounds that our body does not recognize and thus cannot utilize for healthy cell building.
Some fats are also extracted with toxic solvents that create rancid and toxic fats.
Hydrogenation is another extremely damaging process that is used on fats that was created to make them more stable at higher temperatures and last longer, aka trans fats. They were basically created for use in fast food restaurants and processed foods to extend shelf life. Hydrogenated oils (trans fats) are unnatural and not recognizable by our body, so they cannot be properly utilized. Oddly enough, this oil resembles plastic more than oil…it is only one molecule away from being plastic, ew!
Quick guide to the worst fats:
Partially hydrogenated/hydrogenated fats (trans fats); margarine, vegetable shortening, and fats in most processed foods-even healthy dressings contain these nasty fats, so love your liver and make your own. Our dressings, dips, and sauces tab has tons of recipe options!
Fried foods (these fats are usually oxidized…if you want to fry your own foods, use ghee or another high heat oil that can withstand the temperatures of frying!
Refined vegetable oils
Unrefined vegetable oils in clear glass or plastic bottles (remember…light, heat, and oxygen destroy their beneficial properties)
Any fat in excess; always practice balance! Our bodies need a variety of different fats to maintain proper lipid/cholesterol balance
Healthy Fats are naturally occurring and haven’t been damaged by high heat, refining, or over processing. They can be found in foods and in cooking fats/oils.
Fish (especially salmon and sardines)
Olives and cold- pressed, extra virgin olive oil (Don’t cook with me, unless at very low temps!)
Coconut and coconut oil (unrefined)
Milk and milk products from grass-fed cows
Pasture Raised Eggs
High quality pork and meat products
***Fat Storage Tip: Add a capsule or two of Vitamin E oil (a powerful antioxidant) to a bottle of oil to increase shelf life and keep the oil from going rancid. Do this in conjunction with storing fats in a cool, dark, place!
So, now you know the down low, but if you want to know more about the different types…yes, fats are broken down into categories, then keep reading! If you don’t give a shit, then move on and just make sure to focus on healthy, high quality fats! Use the information in our pantry staples or since we made it easy for you, click on the fat links above to make sure you are using these healthy fats correctly and purchasing the best quality!
So, there are three main categories/ types of fats; saturated, unsaturated, and trans fats.
Saturated fats have gotten a bad rep over the years for causing high cholesterol and putting you at risk for heart disease, but this isn’t necessarily true. Many saturated fats have health benefits and are actually good for your heart. The type of saturated fat is what is important to look at- learn more about the truth about cholesterol and CVD here.
Saturated fats are an excellent fuel source for the body and can be an important part of weight regulation.
Saturated fats are found in animal products such as meat, dairy, poultry, fish, and eggs.
They are also found in vegan fats such as coconut oil and palm oil
Other foods also contain saturated fats, but they are categorized as unsaturated because they are categorized by what they are mostly made up of.
Unsaturated fats are the fats that are liquid at room temperature and are considered the healthy fats!
Unsaturated fats are broken down into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Monounsaturated fats are found in vegetable oils such as olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, etc. These fats are considered to increase your ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL) while decreasing your ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL).
Polyunsaturated fats are found in high amounts in seafood and your other vegetable oils; safflower, sunflower, corn, and soybean. Polyunsaturated fats are the fats you hear about all the time because they contain the EFA’s (essential fatty acids), Omega-3 and Omega-6, which are extremely important for all aspects of your health, especially omega-3’s since there tends to be a deficiency of this important fatty acid in our diet. Head here for more information on omega-3’s and why they are essential to optimal health!
Trans fats are fats that have been changed by a process called hydrogenation. This process is used to stabilize fats so that they can maintain shelf life for a longer period of time
These are found in processed foods and are used in fast food restaurants because they can be fried over and over again.
These fats are completely unnatural and chemically processed, so they are the only fats that have no place in our diet. These are the fats that are responsible for raising cholesterol and contributing to heart disease, not saturated fats from high quality sources.
So there you go! You’re basically an expert on fat and are ready to tell everyone to stop fearing the fucking fat! It’s your turn to share this information and get everyone consuming the high-quality, healthy fats that their body desperately needs. Or, if you just want to send them here, then go ahead. They will feel silly for doubting your knowledge and be jealous they haven’t been enjoying bacon, avocados, egg yolks, and all the glorious and delicious fats we mention here.