In my previous post I talked about healthy sources of protein and why it’s important to get adequate amounts of it in your daily diet. Today I wanted to talk about healthy fats and why the low fat diet days are long gone.
One of the things I’ve been hearing a lot lately from my doctors is how I need to increase my intake of healthy fats to assist in my healing from Lyme disease. I’ve seen evidence of what your blood looks like when you lack healthy fats during my live blood cell analysis. I didn’t realize how important they really are!
Fat is fuel for the brain, helps us to feel satisfied longer after meals, helps absorb certain vitamins and is great for our skin. It also keeps our blood sugar levels stable and curbs cravings. However, not all fats are created equal and no one needs a huge amount of it, a little goes a long way.
So what are some good sources of healthy fats? There’s a lot of choices but here are a few of the most common ones.
Coconut oil- it is a great source of medium chain fatty acids which get turned directly into energy instead of being stored as fat in the body. It is easy to digest and increases metabolism so it can assist in losing weight. Coconut oil is also high in lauric acid which has powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
Avocado- the fatty acid called oleic acid found in avocados has been shown to lower bad cholesterol. It also has high levels of vitamin E which is a fat-soluble vitamin and has been shown to reduce blood clots, and protects skin cells from damage.
Fish oil- this is probably the one most people are familiar with when trying to supplement healthy fats into their diet. It is derived from the tissues of oily fish and contains omega 3’s such as EPA and DHA. They support healthy cholesterol levels, stabilize mood and supports healthy bones. You can get fish oils in capsules or in liquid form. Just make sure they have been tested for heavy metal toxicity and other pesticides which would be stated on the bottle.
Chia seeds- these tiny poppy looking seeds pack a huge nutritional punch. They are the richest plant source of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3’s are needed for proper brain and nerve function but the standard american diet is severely lacking in these fatty acids. Chia is also packed full of fiber and keep you fuller longer.
Flax seeds- flax is another good source of omega 3’s and fiber. They contain lots of vitamin E so it’s beneficial for the skin. I recommend grinding the seeds before eating them so that the fats and nutrients are readily available to be absorbed by the body or you can buy pre-ground flax seeds at most grocery stores.
Hemp seeds- these are a great source of protein and fat. They also contain all the essential amino acids and omega 3 fatty acids, which is great for our heart and skin. They contain magnesium, zinc, iron, phosphorous and a fat called GLA which helps balance hormones.
Whether it’s from eating more oily fish, avocados, nuts and seeds or taking a supplement, we all can benefit from incorporating more healthy fats into our diets.
In another post, I will discuss the fats we should be avoiding in our diets and why.