For years and years, fats have been given a bad rap. Starting around 1980, experts and the federal government advised replacing all dietary fats with healthy carbohydrates. This was a big mistake. Instead of replacing unhealthy fats with vegetables, Americans replaced healthy fats with grains and sugar, leading to the epidemic of obesity and metabolic disease that currently plagues our country. The fact is, many fats are extremely good for our health:
Fats to avoid include trans fats; whenever you see “partially hydrogenated oil” on a label, that is a food best left alone. Research indicates that for every 2% of calories of trans fat consumed daily, the risk of heart disease increases by 23%. Instead, increase your daily intake of the following types of fats:
Polyunsaturated fats such as those found in vegetable and canola oil are still praised by much of mainstream nutrition, but have been shown to contribute to a plethora of chronic diseases, in part because of their tendency to go rancid and in part due to their high omega-6, or inflammatory, content. It is best to leave polyunsaturated fats alone.
Whether you are trying to loose weight, increase energy or improve the function of each and every cell in your body, consuming more healthy fat is the way to go. For a delicious, healthy, anti-inflammatory sweet treat, sure to satiate any craving try my recipe for homemade Mustang Bars below:
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup crunchy almond butter
1/3 chopped raw walnuts
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
¼ cup raw macadamia nuts
¼ cup golden rasins
2 TBS vanilla
3 TBS honey
1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
Salt to taste
Mix the seeds, coconut flakes and raisins together along with the honey, almond butter, vanilla and salt. Using a muffin tin, pour a small amount of coconut oil into the bottom of each tin. Top the coconut oil with the mixture containing the rest of the ingredients. Place in the freezer to solidify. Makes 6 to 8 depending on thickness.
 Almendrala, A. (2016). The Truth About Fat In Your Diet. Huffington Post. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-truth-about-dietary-fat_us_56d4ac53e4b0bf0dab33083f.
 Fitness Magazine. (2009). The Big Fat Truth: Why Non-Fat Isn’t the Answer. Retrieved from: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/tips/why-non-fat-isnt-the-answer/.
 The Family Health Guide. (2015). Harvard Health Publications. Retrieved from: http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-fats-bad-and-good.
Dr. Elizabeth Winter practices integrative and functional medicine in San Diego, CA and sees patients from a distance via Skype. For more information about her and her practice philosophy visit About Dr. Winter.