Think a fat-free diet is good for you? Fat chance!
All fats aren’t created equal – far from it! Including the right kinds in our diet is vital to provide us with energy, essential fatty acids and to help us absorb other key nutrients. We’re here to explain what is meant by the term ‘healthy fats’ and why you should be including these in your everyday diet – “Fat every day? Tell me more…!”
Healthy Fats – an Oxymoron?
No! You really can describe some fats as healthy, promise! Why is this so hard to believe though? Well, in the 1950’s some scientists started to research the link between diet and heart disease. They found that having a high intake of saturated fat was a risk factor.
These findings hit the headlines and soon after the panic-stricken public phased out fat in favour of sugar, processed foods and refined carbs. Hey presto, the inadvertent result was a plague of Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity which we’re still in the thick of!
Four Foods to Boost your Healthy Fat Intake
We now know that there are many different kinds of fats, and even many different kinds of saturated fats. Many of these are not only nutritious and delicious, but are also essential to our health. Read on to find out more about some healthy foods that we’re in-fat-uated with!
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has divided the opinions of health experts in recent years. Like any oil, it is full of fat – and yes, this is mostly saturated fat. Unlike the demonic sat fats of the 50s, the sat fats present in coconut oil are entirely natural. They’re completely different in composition to the ones you find in processed junk food or animal products.
Coconut oil is full of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) which your body breaks down for energy rather than storing it as fat. High intakes of MCTs have even been shown to increase muscle strength and stamina and promote weight loss through improved fat oxidation.
Compared with coconut oil which is around 60% MCTs, we have created an oil that is 100% MCTs. Our all natural 100% MCT oil is full of fabulous fats that provide fast and efficient energy, helping to fuel the body with ketones.
Add me to…
- Smoothies, Drinks and Shakes – Add 1tbsp MCT oil for a boost of energy
- Salads – Mix with apple cider vinegar and your favourite herbs for a delicious dressing
- Fat Bombs – For the perfect high fat, low carb energy bite add to nuts, seeds and your favourite nut butter
2. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is the natural product of pressed avocado pulp. Unlike many fruits which are mostly made up of carbohydrates, avocados are full of fat. The oil also contains all the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals you’d find in a fresh avocado.
Avocado oil is an extremely good source of monounsaturated fatty acids, namely oleic acid. Over 70% of calories in an avocado come from heart healthy oleic acid. This is the fatty acid also found in nuts and olive, which is responsible for their multiple health benefits. High intakes of oleic acid have been shown to reduce inflammation and prevent heart disease.
We cold press our extra virgin avocado oil to preserve the nutrients it contains, as they can be denatured and damaged by heat. Each bottle of Hunter and Gather avocado oil contains the goodness of 15 perfectly ripe avocados, using the finest ingredients for the best flavour. Try avo oil for a more subtle, buttery taste than olive or coconut oil.
Use me for…
- Drizzling – On your favourite meat, veggies, salads and soups for a healthy hit of avo
- Sizzling – Our Avo oil has a high smoke point of 255°c and so is perfect for cooking with
- Lathering – The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of avo oil help to moisturise, hydrate, replenish and protect skin and hair
That’s right, butter! Butter is full of healthy saturated fats – mainly short and medium chain fatty acids. These are readily metabolised in the liver, which means that your body will prioritise their use for energy rather than storing them as fat on the body – woohoo!
These fats have also been shown to increase levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, at the same time as lowering levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. This double-whammy effect reduces the risk of heart and cardiovascular disease.
Let’s take a closer look at two of butter’s finest fatty acids…
- Butyrate – Made in the gut when fibre is eaten, butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid. It works to protect the digestive system and prevent toxins from crossing the gut barrier.
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) – Often taken as a supplement, CLA in high doses can help to maintain lean muscle mass whilst promoting fat loss.
Butter has a healthy fatty acid composition and can benefit your health, but only in small doses. Always choose organic butter made using the milk of grass-fed cows, for the best taste and quality.
Add me to…
- Bulletproof Coffee – Add 2tbsps of butter and 2tbsps MCT oil to your morning freshly brewed coffee for an instant energy boost that will increase your focus and concentration
- Meat and Fish – Add a knob of butter to the pan and keep spooning over the melted juices to lock in flavour and moisture
4. Olive Oil
We couldn’t talk about healthy fats without giving the godfather of oils a mention. Olive oil is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats – and that familiar oleic acid! It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which protect cells from damage and prevent disease.
This is so much so that it is a main component of the Mediterranean diet, which promotes healthy fats to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Add me to…
- Salads – Pair with lemon juice, herbs and spices for a delicious dressing
- Vegetables – Olive oil has a high smoke point and can take the heat when roasting veg
- Marinades – Mix with herbs, spices, salt and pepper for a mouth-watering marinade
We hope we’ve explained why healthy fats should be part of any healthy, real food diet. Not only are they a powerhouse of nutrients but they’re also incredibly versatile and undoubtedly delicious! When it comes to adding healthy fats to your diet, make sure you choose natural, real food products and unprocessed ingredients.