Fat is a great and a life giving source, but not all fats are equal. The ability to distinguish the difference between good and bad fats will make all the difference in your health, wellness, and happiness!
A word about high fat, low carb diets.
I should add that not all high fat, low carb diets are all equal either! Popular in the late 90’s, the high fat, low carb Atkins diet, introduced the idea that avoiding carbs and ingesting fat, would lead to dramatic amounts of weight loss. Given a detailed food plan with tasty nutritionally packed shakes and snacks, followers of the Atkins diet have seen great results. Yet, while the Atkins products comprise of low or no sugar, they are highly processed and chalked full of additives for flavor.
More conscious high fat, low carb diets are the Paleo and Keto diet. These diets focus on the food sources themselves, emphasizing one only choosing grass-fed, organic meats and the highest quality of oils, butter, and vegetables. So, while fat is good for you, do not confuse it with eating any fat. Learning the difference between good and bad fats is important not only for your health, but also your physical body. Beauty is not only skin deep, it is rather the other way around. It starts from eating right, creating beauty from within, and will then come forth to the surface of the skin.
The short list: Good and Bad Fats
You will find lots of contradictory evidence out there over good and bad fats. But, here is a short list I have compiled from research and personal experience.
(Extra) Virgin Coconut Oil. It’s great for high heat cooking and is full of powerful health benefits. It’a rich in Lauric Acid, which will improve cholesterol, kill bacteria and other pathogens, as well as boost the metabolism. Don’t fear this saturated fat.
Real Butter. Another saturated fat that is rich in vitamins and potentially able to reduce inflammation, gut health issues, and potentially lead to resistance to obesity. Choose butter from grass-fed cows as this will contain more nutrients. Try putting it in your coffee for an extra special treat!
Olive Oil. Heart healthy, and key to the health and longevity of the people in the Mediterranean, Extra Virgin is full of antioxidants and flavor.
Fats from Grass-Fed Animals. If you are not vegetarian, animals that have been pasture raised, or grass-fed, will contain more healthy (saturated and mono saturated) fats as well as flavor.
Omega-3 Fats. Flax seed and fish oil are omega-3 fats with benefits that include regulating blood clotting, building cell membranes, supporting cell health, as well as curving the inflammation that can lead to cardiovascular disease and cancer. Do not cook these oils as high heat will destroy them. The yolks from organic eggs are also a great source of omega-3 fats!
The potentially bad.
Canola Oil. Derived from rapeseeds is a common oil all over the world. However, the processing methods for obtaining canola oil is very harsh. Choose cold or expeller pressed canola oil for a better quality choice.
Nut Oils. Almond, walnut and macadamia nut oils are all delicious and flavorful, but they are typically expensive. Some of these oils cooked at high heat will destroy them, actually making them toxic to the body. This is similar to other oils that do not have a high smoking point.
Vegetable fats. Avoid these bad vegetable fats whenever possible: soybean, corn, cottonseed, sunflower, safflower, rice bran oil, and margarine! The process to get to these oils involves a lot of production, overheating, oxidization and chemicals. Would you really want to put something in your body that has gone through so many processes to get into a bottle?
When in doubt, always choose organic, unrefined, expeller or cold pressed oils. Think: the more refined = the more processed. Never heat cold pressed oils as these are intended to be used as they are! Finally, to preserve the life and quality of an oil, keep it away from high heat and stored in cool, dry and dark places.
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