Why Healthy Fats are Essential Part of Your Diet

Why Healthy Fats are Essential Part of Your Diet

For decades we've been told that eating fat makes you fat. Low-fat and no-fat everything invaded grocery stores in the 80s and 90s as the ultimate health food claims. Seems legit, right? Cut out dietary fat so your body can't store as much body fat.

But what actually happened is we all started eating way more sugar and refined carbs to make up for that lack of flavor. And obesity rates kept climbing.

We've been misled, folks! It turns out, healthy fats are essential for balancing hormones, fighting disease, fueling our bodies properly, and even helping us lose weight. Here's why we truly need these healthy fats on a regular basis.

Healthy Fats Help You Absorb Key Nutrients

Without adequate fat intake, we don't properly absorb some very important nutrients that keep us healthy.

Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K need to bind to fat molecules so our GI tracts can fully absorb them into the bloodstream. No fat, no absorption.

Same goes for potent antioxidant carotenoids found abundantly in colorful fruits and veggies. The lycopene that makes tomatoes red doesn't get adequately utilized without lipids. Such a bummer locking nutrients away from use!

Even for weight loss, fats help us better absorb beneficial, metabolism-charging compounds called flavonoids in foods like onions, garlic, olive oil, and many fruits. Winning!

Fats Transport Flavor to Your Tastebuds

One obvious benefit of high-quality fats? They make food freaking delicious!

That creamy avocado, nutty Parmesan, rich olive oil, fatty tuna...such depth of sensory pleasure. Fats effectively transport volatile flavor molecules in foods to our tastebuds, making them pop more intensely.

That flavor enhancement means you end up feeling more satisfied after eating fat-containing meals, too. They trigger the brain to release "I'm full" signals faster. No overeating urge.

Healthy Fats Provide Sustainable Energy

Healthy Fats Provide Sustainable Energy

Not all calories are created equal. Refined carbs and sugar spike blood sugar fast then cause it to crash hard. Recipe for mid-afternoon fatigue!

But when the body metabolizes healthier fats for fuel, they provide a slow yet steady source of caloric energy without the dramatic blood sugar spikes and drops.

Since fats don't trigger insulin release like carbohydrates do, that energy can be accessed as needed between meals without sending signals to store it as excess fat. Hello to sustained energy for life's demands!

Fats also remain longer in the stomach compared to quick-digesting carbs, again keeping us satiated longer. Winning again!

Fats Build Hormones and Cell Walls

Dietary fats provide the building blocks our bodies need to produce critical hormones that regulate blood sugar levels, metabolism, fertility, moods, and more.

The right fats even coat hormone receptors making them more responsive. When hormone levels are optimized so are energy levels. Makes perfect sense!

Certain fats also make up the lipid bilayer, AKA the exterior wall of every cell in the human body protecting your DNA. Strong barrier = healthy cells.

Without adequate healthy fats from food sources, hormone and cell wall production suffers big time. Our bodies truly need these on the regular to function properly!

Fill Up on Fabulous Fat Sources

You should be thoroughly convinced at this point - healthy fats deserve a regular spot on our plates! They check way too many benefit boxes not to.

Let's talk about which nature foods to emphasize and creative ways to eat more of them:

  • Avocados - rich, creamy, and versatile! Mash up some guac or slice onto salads, sandwiches, and burgers. Or try avocado oil for high heat cooking with neutral flavor.
  • Nuts and seeds - talk about nutrition all-stars! Try almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and nut butter. Sprinkle on yogurt, oatmeal, or salads.
  • Coconut products - creamy coconut milk and oil for curries, stir-fries, or baking. Shredded coconut to sprinkle. Or snack on coconut chips and flakes (unsweetened!)
  • Fatty fish - salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, tuna. Broil, bake, or grill with seasoning. Canned varieties work great too.
  • Extra virgin olive oil - the OG healthy oil! Saute meats and veggies then drizzle over hummus, bread, or finished dishes. Flavor pops!
  • Full fat Greek yogurt - max protein & gut probiotics. Eat plain or flavored as a snack or substitute for sour cream.
  • Cheese - feta, Parmesan, aged cheddar, Swiss, blue cheese crumbles. Because...cheese! Melted, crumbled, or smeared for all your needs.
  • Chia seeds - perfect for puddings, oatmeal toppings, and smoothies boosters.
  • Lean meats - beef, lamb, chicken, pork. Grill a variety, save marbling fat to add tons of moisture and richness back into meats.

See? So many ways to pump this daily fat quota up! Start making a few swaps, and you'll feel the difference in no time - effortlessly stable energy stores, balanced hormone levels, better nutrient absorption, reduced inflammation and cravings. Fats for the win!