photo (3)There is so much conflicting info out there on the interwebs about what we should and shouldn’t eat, that it is impossible to know what’s healthy. And, to be perfectly honest, there probably isn’t a ‘healthy’. There are probably a couple versions of healthy. That word could describe a low fat, high carb diet and it’s polar opposite (which is what I follow). I am not a doctor. I am not a dietitian. I have though read a lot of books over the past year, and been my own guinea pig, and here are my thoughts on fat.

Transfats– AVOID. No exceptions.

Canola, vegetable, corn, soybean, peanut oils– Avoid mostly. You probably can’t avoid these 100% because anywhere you go in the world is probably using these oils to prepare your food. The short explanation is they are made often from GMO products, are hydrogenated (transfat), and have lousy Omega 6: Omega 3 ratios (you want lots of 3 and a little 6). An argument for making your own food…

Olive Oil- Great, but not for cooking at high temps and can get rancid quickly. Use it for cooking at low temps, or for a finishing oil and salad dressings. Good and good for you.

Butter– I love butter and am not afraid of it. Granted, I don’t put it on bread and waffles because I try not to eat those foods at all. But, I use it for cooking, or for putting on my steamed veggies, etc. Here is the kicker though, you should really be looking for ‘pastured’ butter. Cows that eat what they are supposed to eat- grass- make healthier butter. What I mean by that is the butter is cleaner and has a better ratio of the 6:3 fatty acid ratio. If you have a sensitivity to dairy, you can make ghee out of butter to remove the milk solids. Google it. 🙂

Coconut oil- This is a little controversial because coconut oil has a LOT of saturated fat and we have been told for the last 25 years that saturated fat is BAD. Well, what happened when we cut saturated fats and got fat-phobic? We all got fat, and heart disease, and diabetes. The latest research is actually showing that saturated fats are not our problem. Coconut oil is great for cooking because the saturated fats in it help it to not get rancid and it can be used at high temperatures. And, not to get too technical, coconut oil has a high lauric acid content which is a high virus and bacterial destroyer. Not to mention- it is actually natural. ‘Natural’ gets thrown around a lot, but a good quality coconut oil is as natural and healthy as it gets. (There’s much more to this, if you are interested, just ask. I don’t want to bore you though.)

Animal fat- This is a little tricky too. I am a firm believer that we should not be afraid of fat. There is a really big BUT to this statement. Fat from healthy animals is great! Fat from unhealthy animals is bad! Again, it goes back to whether the animals were raised the way they were intended to. If the animal is pasture raised, pasture finished, grass-fed, it is a better option. Be careful for buzz words like ‘vegetarian fed’. That makes you think healthy, right? Well, chickens are not vegetarians. They eat grass, clover, bugs, and whatever else they find in the pasture. So back to fat. I know that we all can’t get the best meat all the time and occasionally have to settle for regular grocery store meat. In this case, pick the leanest cuts of meat you can find. The fat is the place where animals store things that might be unhealthy (think anti-biotics or hormones). If you have high-quality, pasture animals, don’t be afraid of the fat. In fact, the ‘good’ fat is similar to the healthy fats from fish that you are always hearing about.

Dairy fat– Bring on the fat!!! We want fat in our dairy. The skim and low fat versions are more processed. And, really there is no reason for it. The research for low fat milk is lousy to say the least. In fact, it shows that switching to low fat milk does nothing for weight loss. In fact, since you don’t get the satiation from the fat, you tend to eat more. I could go a step further and talk about the dairy you find in the grocery store is all crap anyway. The pasteurization process destroys what makes milk good for you in the first place. I would say best option would be raw milk (which is hard to find but possible), next best option (if raw milk isn’t possible) would be to avoid dairy all together and get calcium from leafy greens, and third best (if you are unwilling to give up dairy, but can’t get the raw version) would be to limit dairy to 1-2 servings per day and have it always be full fat and organic. Yes, yogurt too.

Did I miss anything? I encourage you to do the research yourself, but I know a lot of you will not. That is why I wrote this post. I know a few of you will disagree, and that is fine. This is what I think is healthiest for my family and what I have learned over the past year. I can tell you that when I switched to a higher fat and protein diet and cut out all processed non-sense and diet food, I had a dramatic improvement in my health. And, yes, I had blood work done, my cholesterol is right on track, my blood pressure is perfect, and I lost weight.

For those of you interested in this topic, you can click my ‘food’ category to read some more from the past year. Also, I am utilizing my facebook page www.facebook.com/candysbrain for recipes and tips so “like” my page for more info. Cheers.