What to Eat: Healthy fats

FAT IS ESSENTIAL!

 

The importance of fat cannot be overstated – particularly for neurological health. Please see elsewhere on this site for more information and in particular in the reviews for Brain Grain and The Wahls Protocol. This valuable macro nutrient can be in the form of animal fats, coconut oil, butter, lard, ghee, olive oil, avocados, nuts (particularly macadamias for their low Omega-6 content) and can make up the majority of daily consumption calorie-wise. The idea that we should avoid fat is becoming untenable to say the least. The tide is turning but it is rather like maneuvering an oil tanker. There are an awful lot of people that have made – and continue to make – a living by telling us to avoid fat, by selling us low-fat (high-sugar) foods, and by generally scaring us away from what should be a natural part of our diet. This ground-breaking early article What If It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie? (2002) by science writer Gary Taubes paved the way for a re-examination of the fat-hysteria of the last few decades. There are many other sources of information available in this website and also in the Resources pages.

 

DIFFERENT TYPES OF FAT

 

Saturated fats – meat, coconut oil, goose fat, dripping, lard, butter (if tolerated) eggs, chocolate

Kerrygold seems to be the only supermarket labelled grass-fed butter.

‘Kerrygold is the only branded product which is made from cows that are grass fed only as this brand is only produced in the summer months. The WR Essentials butter uses milk from cows which will graze in the warmer months but will be housed during the cold months.’  Waitrose Customer Service

Some people swear by raw milk – particularly that of goats as it seems to be easier on the digestion.

Monosaturated fats (MUFAs) – olive oil, nuts, avocado oil

Olive oil is excellent used at room temperature but saturated fat is more stable for use in cooking. Exposure to very high temperatures causes the oil to oxidise and healthy properties are reduced, so use only as a dressing.

Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) – these include the important Omega 3 (anti-inflammatory and found in wild fish and grass fed meat) and Omega 6 (pro-inflammatory and found in vegetable oil, flax seed oil, corn oils etc.). It is preferable to increase the Omega 6 ratio in proportion to Omega 3 as chronic long-term inflammation is associated with many major diseases. Wild fish (including tinned) is a great source for Omega 3s.

 

UPDATE May 2017: I began Paleo/Primal eating by having heavy cream in coffee and eating hard cheese and full-fat Greek yoghurt. I then went dairy-free (apart from butter) as I found it hard to control the amounts I was eating and it made me feel slightly bloated, with some GI issues. I waver now between having a small amount of cream in coffee or alternatively use coconut milk. I still eat butter occasionally, but mostly use grass-fed ghee and continue to avoid yoghurt, cheese and milk as it suits me. With dairy, it is a case of experimenting.

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