I used to shop the grocery store for fat-free and low-fat. I thought if the label read “fat-free” it was ok to eat as much as I wanted. When fat is removed from a food, though, like in fat-free yogurt or low-fat cheese, an important part of the food is being lost.
The fat naturally found in food is there for a reason and is more than likely necessary for the digestion and assimilation of the food. The protein, minerals and fat soluble vitamins in skim milk cannot be assimilated properly as fat is required in this process. Also, fat makes food taste good, so in foods like fat-free yogurt or low-fat salad dressing, sugar or artificial sweetener is added to make the food palatable. Stick to the more natural version of the food for proper assumption.
Fats are a very misunderstood nutrient that is critical for our well-being. They are essential for cell membranes and cell fluidity, are insulators for body temperature, are shock absorbers for our organs, are the greatest source of energy, increase palatability of foods, promote digestion and carry the fat – soluble vitamins A, D, E, K and essential fatty acids (EFAs). Many of us have been restricting our fat intake for too long.
There are three general categories of naturally occurring fat molecules: saturated fats, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. When cooking, here are some guidelines on which fats to use and when:
- For high heat/stir fry: coconut oil, animal fats and ghee (clarified butter)
- For medium heat: butter, sesame oil and grape seed oil, in addition to the ones listed above
- For low heat: extra virgin olive oil, almond oil, pumpkin seed oil, in addition to the ones listed above
- For no heat: avocado oil, pumpkin seed oil, walnut oil, unrefined flaxseed oil, hemp seed oil, and hazelnut oil in addition to the ones listed above
There is a big difference between dietary fat and body fat. It’s the wrong type of dietary fats and refined carbs that create body fat. Eating the good fats often will let your body know it is getting a constant supply and will let go of body fat stores held for crisis situations.
Enjoy experimenting with these oils and I will share a photo with you of the class I am teaching with Nan Vuncannon from Core Studio this week at Extreme Ice Center in Indian Trail, NC. These hockey players are from Charlotte Checkers, Jr., some of them are national champs. I enjoyed working with them….quite different from working with figure skaters, ha!
Healthy Please XOXO,
Credits: The Complete MindBody FX Lifestyle Program, Melonie Dodaro