“The Fats of Life”

Now that we’ve conquered all the protein questions a couple of weeks ago, lets move on to the wonderful world of fats.

So first, let’s get this out in the open…

  1. Fats DO NOT make you gain body fat (processed carbs actually do)
  2. Fats DO NOT put you on heart attack row
  3. Fats are NOT the enemy (processed carbs, added sugar, artificial sweeteners ARE)

We’ve been sold a bag of lies when it comes to fats.

Fats are ESSENTIAL for your body’s hormone production, skin health, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, regulating blood pressure, regulation of fat levels (lipids) and even burning body fat.

YES, you need fat to burn fat!

Fats are ESSENTIAL because the body cannot synthesize them from any other substance. Therefore we MUST ingest them from our food sources.

Most notably these types of fats:

Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s)

  • Again, fats that must be ingested because the body requires them for good health. The body cannot produce them on its own.
  • Found in wild caught fatty fish, whole eggs, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, leafy vegetables.
  • Increase HDL levels (good cholesterol), decrease LDL levels (bad cholesterol), increase heart health, prevention of blood clots & high blood pressure, decrease joint pain, improves mood, relief of PMS symptoms in women.
  • 2 Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) for humans:
    • Alpha-Linolenic Acid (Omega 3’s)
      • EPA
      • DHA
    • Linoleic Acid (Omega 6’s)

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s)

  • Found in coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut flour & palm oil
  • Made up of medium chain fatty acids
  • Resemble carbohydrates more than fats
  • Unlike carbohydrates, they DO NOT stimulate insulin and don’t have the problem of fat deposition, risk of diabetes, etc.
  • Easily broken down and taken directly to the liver, where they are used as an immediate source of energy
  • Stimulate thermogenesis – process where your body produces heat by increased fat burning

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA’s)

  • Found in unsalted grass fed butter, grass fed beef
  • Linked to superior heart health, suppression of tumors, reducing belly fat, cancer fighting properties

Other Healthy Fats

  • Avocados
  • Olive oil (extra virgin, unprocessed, unrefined, cold pressed not heated),
  • Macadamia nut oil (extra virgin, unprocessed, unrefined, cold pressed not heated)
  • Avocado oil (extra virgin, unprocessed, unrefined, cold pressed not heated)
  • Almond flour
  • Dark chocolate (NOT milk chocolate and at least 85% cacao content)

That being said, you need to AVOID any “fake fats” (margarine), trans fats and processed hydrogenated oils (vegetable and canola oils) of any kind. These are HIGHLY dangerous foods.

Here’s my simple guidelines when it comes to fat:

  1. Eat fats as they REALLY occur in nature. Meaning from the sources listed above
  2. When it comes to beef/bison, be wary of animals that were industrially farmed and grain fed. Stick with grass-fed animals.
  3. When it comes to fish, STAY AWAY from farm-raised. They are typically pumped full of hormones, antibiotics and fed an unnatural diet.

Simple.

Ok, do me a favor…

If you are on the “fats make you gain body fat and have heart attacks” bandwagon, jump off. We have consumed fat for thousands of years. Just eat it the way we always have – naturally, NOT stuffed with hormones and cooked up in a lab – and you’ll be fine.

Until next time,
Eat clean & be lean!

Ryan

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