Healthy fats steady our metabolism, keep hormone levels even, nourish our skin, hair, and nails, as well as provide lubrication to keep the body functioning fluidly. Healthy fats are especially important during cold months to help insulate our bodies from the cold as well as provide energy.
Many people think that they key to losing weight is to eat a low-fat diet. Although it is important to include the right kinds of fat in our diet, often times a low-fat diet can make us gain weight.
Have you ever bought something at the grocery store that was labeled low-fat? If you check out the nutrition label, you’ll usually see that it is loaded with sugar! Fat adds flavor to foods so when companies remove the fat from products (e.g. low-fat granola, fat-free cookies, etc), they add in extra sugar to make it taste better. Excess sugar is one of the keys to gaining weight so what we really need to be watching is the sugar content in our diets, especially if we eat the Standard American Diet with lots of packaged food.
And, eating good fats is one of the keys to healthy weight loss because healthy fats help us feel satiated after a meal, which actually prevents over-eating.
- Whole foods such as avocados, olives, and coconuts. (I prefer to use whole-food sources of fat, as opposed to oils, as much as possible because they still contain the nutrients in the food.)
- Oils like flaxseed, sesame, olive, walnut and pumpkin seed. These are best used raw for salad dressings.
- Coconut oil, especially for medium to high-heat cooking, as it does not break down when used at higher temperatures.