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The Skinny On Fat

Feb 03, 2019


It got such a bad rap in the 80s and 90s. Luckily more and more people are catching onto the fact that fat is actually extremely important and has a significant role to play in everything from:::


Proper brain development

Hormone synthesis

Increased feelings of joy and happiness (read: less depression!)

Reduction in chronic disease

Slowing the aging process

Reducing inflammation

Optimal absorption of fat soluble vitamins and minerals


Healthier skin/complexion

Weight loss



Lets talk about the several different kinds of fats:


Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFAs)

Heart healthy and help to raise good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol.  Think of your vegetable oils, avocados, nuts, and seeds. 


Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs)

These are fatty acids that encompass your omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.  These are considered “essential” fatty acids, meaning we have to get them from outside sources because our bodies do not make these types of fats.  “Omega-3” is somewhat of a buzzword in the health and wellness world because they are insanely important for optimal health.  Omega-3s reduce inflammation body wide, support heart health, reduce cancer risk, and help alleviate symptoms of depression.  Get your omega-3 fatty acids from tuna, mackerel, salmon, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.  Go light on the Omega-6 fatty acids because too much Omega-6 to Omega-3 is pro-inflammatory.  And since the Standard American Diet is already very high in Omega-6 fatty acids, we really don’t need to go out of our way for more of these.  Omega-6 fatty acids come from corn oil, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, and safflower oil.


PUFAs are unstable, and they become easily oxidized in the presence of light, heat and oxygen. What is a being of light, full of oxygen, and lives at a temperature of 98.6? HUMANS. So yes, this means that PUFAs are very unstable when they are inside us living breathing humans. When PUFAs breakdown, they bust up into toxic fragments and create damage to surrounding cells. Think the shrapnel that flings about after a bomb goes off. 



Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and actually DO NOT contribute to obesity and cardiovascular disease like we have been led to believe. Saturated fats include butter, ghee, tallow, lard, coconut oil, duck fat, and suet. If you were to take a poll, most people are going to tell you to stay away from or limit your intake of saturated fat because they believe (read: they have been told) that saturated fats "contribute to heart disease and obesity". This could not be further from the truth. Saturated fats are much more stable than unsaturated fats because they contain more hydrogen atoms. This means they are less prone to oxidation. Saturated fats are actually quite protective, and have been shown to reverse inflammation, necrosis, and fibrosis in patients with alcoholic liver disease (Nanji, et al., 2001).




Trans Fats

And then we have the Trans Fats… (gasp)… yes, that dirty word that needs to pack it’s bag and go far far away.  Trans fats are artificial fats that were created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.  Sounds Frankenstein-ian right?  It is.  They raise your “bad” serum cholesterol while lowering your “good” serum cholesterol.  They contribute to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and likewise increase risk of cardiovascular disease.  These are the nasty, harmful fats that absolutely live up to their bad name.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  These are found in baked goods, fried foods, snack foods, and many processed/packaged foods.  When you read your food labels (and you should be reading them!), if you see the words “partially hydrogenated”, rest assured you are about to buy a food that has trans fats lurking there. 


Bottom line? 

Fat is an important part of a balanced, nutritious diet.  As you figure out what works for your beautifully unique body, just remember that it’s important to consider your physical activity and state of health when determining your body’s needs. 



  • Avocado toast
  • Avocado on my salad
  • EVOO based salad dressing
  • Flax seeds/chia seeds in my morning smoothie
  • Flax oil on my greens in the evening
  • Hemp seeds on my salad
  • Coconut oil in my smoothie
  • Kerry Gold butter
  • Ghee
  • Tallow to cook with
  • Handful of nuts 1-2x/day
  • Coconut yogurt with berries and flax seeds


What are your favorite ways to get good quality fat into your diet? 


Love to all on this Sunny Sunday!


Emily :) 

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