Fat’s Back: A Few Good Reasons It Belongs In Your Diet

Kerrygold_ButterRemember the Dark Ages? (No, not the ones from the days of yore.) I mean the ones you probably grew up in…the Low Fat everything craziness. Go ahead, make a face…I totally just did. But good news: They’re over! As it turns out, fat is good for you; necessary even. I’m not just talking about “healthy fats” like olive oil and avocados either. We’re talking butter, full fat dairy, coconut oil, animal fats…the good ol’ fashioned saturated ones we were told to avoid at all costs; the “artery cloggers.” Fat that your grandparents and great grandparents ate on a regular basis. Say what? Yep, they’re good for you.   So, a little history on this for you nay sayers:

A pathologist named Ancel Keys decided to do a little research on the cause of rising heart disease rates. He formed the “Lipid Hypothesis” in which he “showed” the positively correlated relationship between saturated fat and cholesterol and heart disease. The problem is he “cherry picked” these countries (picked countries that would prove his hypothesis) and convinced the AHA with his misleading data. So this is how we got the years of torture with low fat diets and had it not been for the rapidly growing number of researchers crying, “Foul,” we may still be in the dark ages. Low fat; high carbohydrate consumption. Isn’t it convenient that the US grows a ton of grain and needs to sell it….what better way than to recommend a high carbohydrate diet? And guess what came with the high carbohydrate consumption? Drumroll…..increased sugar consumption. Well, we had to replace the fat we took out of food with something! Of course sugar is the logical answer! You can’t make this stuff up, folks. Is it any wonder disease and obesity have skyrocketed? We also replaced saturated fats with refined vegetable oils, like canola oil, margarine, etc. which oxidize when heated, creating free radicals and causing inflammation in the body. Yes, even that extra virgin olive oil shouldn’t be used to cook with, but used in its natural, unheated state: think salads, pestos and such. So what do we cook with now, you ask? Lard (yep, seriously), butter, tallow, palm oil shortening, ghee, coconut oil; fats that are solid at room temperature essentially.   Although I do highly recommend getting the animal fats from a grass-fed source as the omega 6 and omega 3 ratios are balanced in those animals. There are links at the bottom for the coconut oil, palm shortening, butter and ghee that I recommend.

So back to those reasons fat belongs in your diet….here’s a few great ones:

  • Saturated fats are crucial for cell membrane structure and integrity
  • They are a valuable source for fat soluble vitamins, such as A, D and K, which are deficient in most North American Diets, and they are necessary for hormone regulation, reproduction, immunity, bone health and much more
  • Strong bone development requires saturated fat, which regulate calcium levels
  • Saturated fats make cells more resistant to oxidative damage
  • As well, saturated fats are far more stable at high temperatures than other fats, so they are unlikely to become oxidized and turn into cell damaging free radicals (as polyunsaturated fats frequently do)
  • More than half the brain consists of saturated fats and cholesterol, and these fats also compose a large part of the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve fibers and ensures proper message relaying between the brain and nervous system
  • Saturated fats contain fatty acids such as lauric acid, myristic acid and caprylic acid, which are anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-viral and all contribute towards a stronger immune system
  • Saturated fats are actually GOOD for heart health and lower a substance called Lp(a) while increasing good cholesterol (HDL). –Stephanie Langford, Keeper of the Home

So if you’re a nerd like me and want to read more about this, I’ve linked a few articles I found really interesting with some great information and charts and graphs and all the sciencey stuff. Happy Reading!

The Fats We Use:

Written by Amy Pino

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4 Things To Help You Stay Healthy This Winter 

IMG_1340Ok, truth be told, there’s more than 4, but I promised my husband I would write a shorter post this time, so I’m cutting it back! :) I did try to narrow it down to a few simple things that absolutely anyone can do. These have made such a BIG difference in our family and how often we get sick and I hope they do for you as well!

1. Diet – Come on, what did you expect me to say first?!? :) It’s so crazy important and an absolute first line of defense. Up your veggie intake (Bonus: buy local veggies from a farmer’s market for a nutrient boost), make your own Bone Broth, and seriously reduce or eliminate refined sugar (no, seriously…this one’s a big deal.)

2. Add a Vitamin D supplement to your world, especially during those winter months when you aren’t spending as much time outside in the sun. Even better, a Fermented Cod Liver and Butter Oil blend (best one ever), which is naturally high in vitamins A, D and K. Guess what those do? A whole lot, but enhancing the immune system is one of them. Side note: I would personally go with the pill form. It’s not as economical, but unless you truly enjoy the flavor of fermented fish, trust me on this! My kids take the pills, so I know you can!

3. Probiotics. They’re all the rage, but for a very good reason: Good bugs killing off bad bugs means happy digestion, less sickness and some… um, other perks as well. I especially recommend them if you have taken antibiotics (and who hasn’t) or have compromised digestion (IBS, food intolerances, allergies, etc). This is a really good one, but I also like to get mine from fermented or cultured foods, like yogurt and kefir, and my kids love this one. Try not to get the fruity, sugary kinds though. Opt for some plain and add some stevia or a little honey to it or put it in smoothies. (Bonus: Make your own yogurt and kefir. It’s phenomenal, economical and has more probiotics than the store bought. (Recipe) Fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickled vegetables, dill pickles, and my personal fave, Kombucha, also have incredible amounts of the good bugs also.

4. Sleep. Kids will argue this one; Adults will enthusiastically agree and this sleep deprived mom is reasonably sure this is the best one! Your body needs to repair itself after all of your crazy busy days. You can do all the other things right, but if you aren’t doing this one, you are running yourself down and increasing the odds that you will get sick. I say this and it is midnight here and my son will wake up at 4am for a feeding…how I covet sleep these days!

Like I said, there’s more to add to the list, but this is a great start. So talk to me! What are some of the things you do to stay healthy?

Written by Amy Pino

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