Guide to Healthy Fats

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Fats have gotten a bad rap over the years, but now it seems we’re finally mending our relationship with this long misunderstood macronutrient and realizing just how necessary it is for brain health, heart health, hormonal health and even weight loss. Of course, not all fats are created equal (bad fats can increase your risk for weight gain and chronic disease), and with high-fat diets like keto gaining popularity, it’s more important than ever to know which fats are healthy and which aren’t. Fats play a crucial role in our body and it is important to understand which types you should be eating, as well as their benefits.srg nuts

Fat is necessary for satiety. Ask anyone who’s switched from a fat-free salad dressing to one made with extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar. You will feel way fuller after eating the latter. Fat is the macronutrient that triggers the brain to recognize fullness when eating, which helps regulate internal fullness cues to prevent overeating. Fat is also necessary for vitamin and mineral absorption. Four vitamins necessary for bodily functions can only be absorbed in the presence of fat: vitamins A, D, E and K. Plus, antioxidants are better absorbed in the presence of fat, and research has linked saturated fat to improved calcium absorption and bone health. Lastly, fat keeps your brain functioning and nerves firing. Dietary fat plays an important role in providing your brain the building blocks it needs to function. Fat also coats, protects and insulates nerves, enabling them to send signals between brain and body.

So, what makes something a “healthy fat?” There is much debate surrounding this subject, but some emerging research is helping us come to a more scientific conclusion. The most important  fat factor is where it comes from. Experts seem to agree that a majority of your daily fat intake should come from organic, minimally processed, high-quality plant sources, while also leaving room for high-quality animal sources. Try to avoid the highly processed plant fats, such as those from vegetable, seed and bean oils. Some of my favorite high fat foods include avocados, nuts, seeds and grass-fed ghee, however, there are so many others to choose from! Take a look at the list below for some of the best healthy fat options that you should be adding into your daily meal plans.

olive oil

  • Fatty fish
  • Whole eggs
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Olives
  • Nuts (especially walnuts)
  • Flax, chia and hemp seeds
  • Dark chocolate
  • Coconut and MCT oil
  • Grass fed butter and ghee

Pick up these healthy fats at your local Lucky’s Market or Jackson Whole Grocer!

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About Author

Tory is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, working at the Meno Clinic in Wilson, WY. As a former Bostonian, she moved to Wyoming simply to ski some of the world's best terrain. Although the mountains brought her here, it was the people and aura of Jackson itself that has convinced her to stay. Tory takes full advantage of the outdoor access here in Jackson, spending most of her time trail running, mountain biking and skiing. Follow along for yummy recipes and healthy living ideas!

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