Yes, we know, we’ve all heard it over and over… AVOID FAT…but what a lot of us don’t realize is that fat is a vital part of staying healthy with a balanced diet, it’s just the right kind of fat that’s important so here are my top 5 fats to include in your diet, starting today!
- Avocados are an excellent source of the heart healthy monounsaturated fat and protein. The protein in avocados is more easily digested as it contains fiber, which also aids in keeping you full longer.
- Oleic acid is the primary fatty acid in avocados and is shown to improve cardiovascular health.
- They boost HDL (good cholesterol) levels which protect against damage from free radicals and help in preventing diabetes.
- Phytosterols, one of the major fats in an avocado, aids in the reduction of inflammation, helping those with arthritis.
2. Coconut Oil seems to be the oil of the moment, but in fact, it’s been around for hundreds of years. It is produced from the ‘meat’ of the coconut, and has a neutral flavour when used for food preparation. The many benefits of coconut oil include:
- Coconut oil’s triglycerides (fatty acids) are shorter, and are metabolized differently, having positive effects on the brain, aiding in disorders such as Alzheimer’s or epilepsy.
- The MCFAs (medium chain fatty acids) are digested and utilized differently than most They go directly to the liver where they are converted into energy and they help control blood sugar and are not stored as fat and ultimately leads to a reduction in fatty deposits and weight reduction
- Lauric acid is a substance found only in breast milk and coconut oil. It’s a potent , anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral agent that can either kill or disrupt the growth of many viruses and Think of it as your #1 germ fighter. (Also great for combating yeast!)
- Coconut oil appears to double the body’s ability to use antioxidant omega-3 fatty
- Coconut oil is an effective moisturizer on all types of skins including dry There is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin with the application of coconut oil, making it a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections.
- Coconut oil has been shown to restore thyroid function, resulting in lean tissue and an increase in energy. This in turn has a positive effect on your metabolic rate.
3. Chia Seeds are from a plant in the mint family, and is native to Mexico and Guatemala. They come in a variety of colours…white, black or dark brown…and come either whole or milled to use in many different preparations. Check out my recipe at the end of this blog for my strawberry chia pudding.
- The tiny seeds are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, almost 5 grams in a 1 ounce serving, which aids in brain health.
- Chia seeds help fight belly fat by stabilizing blood sugar levels.
- Loaded with 27% of your daily required amount of phosphorus, these seeds help to keep your bones and teeth healthy, as well as aiding with tissue repair.
4. Olive oil is a staple that everyone has in their panty, and over the years has been proven to be one of the healthier oils you should use in your daily diet.
- The main type of fat found in olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids, which can help to lower your cholesterol as well as regulate blood sugar levels.
- Olive oil is packed with polyphenols, an antioxidant that helps in protecting your cells from damage, as well as aiding in the reduction of inflammation in the body.
- Consuming olive oil as a part of your balanced diet has been proven to help in preventing depression.
5. Hemp Oil is one of the newer oils to hit fame, but its health properties are proven. It is extracted from the hemp plant. Cold pressed oil has a nutty flavour, but when refined it becomes much milder in taste.
- Hemp seed oil contains the lowest amount of unsaturated fats of all the plant oils, which makes it a heart healthy fat.
- Omega-3 and omega-6 are perfectly balanced in this oil, making it a great source of essential fatty acids.
- Hemp oil is made up of 25% protein, and compared to other oils, it provides amino acids and the protein needed by your body without the addition of unwanted calories.
So remember, not all fats are created equal. Add some ‘healthy’ fat to your diet and you’ll reap the benefits. Stay tuned for my blog next week where I will give you my guide to buying and cooking with oils.
Strawberry Chia Pudding
2 cups fresh strawberries, washed and stems removed
1 ½ cups coconut milk
2-3 Tbsp raw honey or maple syrup.
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¾ tsp finely grated lime zest
1/2 cup chia seeds
- Put the strawberries, coconut milk, honey, vanilla and lime zest in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add more honey if needed.
- Put the chia seeds in a large bowl and pour the strawberry mix on top and whisk thoroughly. Let it stand for 10 minutes then whisk again.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 2-3 days. Stir the pudding before serving. The longer it sits, the thicker the pudding will become. If it is too thick, just add a little water.
- Spoon into bowls and top with fresh strawberry slices.