Not all oils and fats are created equal. Heavily processed, hydrogenated, "trans" fats and oils that are used in prepared, packaged foods can be extremely damaging to the body. However, fats and oils from whole foods and other high-quality sources can steady our metabolism, keep hormone levels even, nourish our skin, hair and nails and provide lubrication to keep the body functioning fluidly. Our bodies also need fat for insulation and to protect and hold our organs in place. A healthy percentage of high-quality fat in a meal satisfies and leaves feelings of energy, fulfillment and warmth.
There are many sources of healthy fats and oils:
- For sautéing and baking, try butter, ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil because they do not break down when used at high temperatures.
- When sautéing foods at moderate temperatures, use organic extra virgin olive oil.
- Oils like flaxseed, sesame, toasted sesame, walnut and pumpkin seed are best used unheated in sauces or dressings on top of salads, veggies or grains.
- Other healthy fats are found in whole nuts and seeds and in their butters like almond butter or tahini.
- Whole foods such as avocados, olives and coconuts are great sources of healthy fat, along with wild salmon and organic/pastured eggs.
- When selecting oils, buy the highest-quality organic products you can afford, since cooking oils are the backbone of so many dishes. Good words to look for on the label are organic, first-pressed, cold-pressed, extra- virgin and unrefined. Words to avoid are expeller-pressed, refined and solvent extracted.
Experiment with these healthy fat sources and see which work best for you and leaves you most satisfied.
Here's a recipe including our team’s favorite source of healthy fat -- the avocado!
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Yield: 1 cup
1 large peeled and pitted avocado
2/3 cup coconut yogurt or plain goat milk yogurt (if tolerated)
1 diced tomato
dash or two of cayenne pepper
sea salt and black pepper
1. Mash avocado with a fork until very smooth.
2. Add yogurt, tomato, cayenne. Blend until smooth. This may be done in a food processor, in a blender or with a fork.
3. Add sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste.
4. Serve chilled with mixed raw vegetables.
Note: Best made a maximum of 1 hour before serving.