Healthy Habits to Help Make 2018 Your Healthiest Year Yet!
Does it seem like you are doing everything right – you eat healthy, sleep well, get in a decent amount of exercise – but yet still feel like something’s off? You’re body is dragging, your nails and hair are brittle and you just aren’t losing those extra pounds that you were sure would come off once you joined your local Fitness Studio?!
Well, the answer may be in the fat. And no, not the fat that’s hugging onto your love-handles, but the fat that you’re not eating enough of! Yes, I said it. You may need to eat more fat!
Gone are the days of thinking that fat makes us fat. In fact, fat is critical in keeping our bodies running optimally, and helps everything from the health of our skin to balancing out our hormones and mood. They can even help you lose weight!
Don’t you think there’s a reason why so many are swearing by the Ketogenic Diet these days?!
And while some fats are great when speaking in culinary terms – because they make food taste really good – there are certain fats that are physiologically essential! This is because our bodies cannot produce them, like linoleic acid and alpha linolenic acid, and is why you’ll often hear Doctor’s mentioning getting your Omega’s in and that you may need to supplement with fish or flaxseed oil.
Want to know if you need more fat in your diet? Here are 7 symptoms and/or issues that you may be experiencing that are sure-fire clues – and reasons to eat more fat.
7 REASONS TO EAT MORE FAT
1) You have dry skin.
While dry skin can signal a lot of things are “off” – from allergic reactions and imbalanced gut microbiota (aka, bacteria), to topical exposure to harsh chemicals – it often means that you simply need more fat in your diet.
How so? Sebum is the body’s natural moisturizer, and is produced by the fatty acids that are in our systems. And although some of the fats come from our own body stores, others come from diet. This is especially true if we’re not actively losing body fat or we don’t have much to spare. So, with this in mind, increasing fat intake can be an easy and effective way to improve your skin’s moisture levels.
2) You’ve reduced your carbs and have no energy.
While low-carb may be the “in thing”, what people often don’t realize is that if you reduce one of the main Macronutrients categories (ie, Fat, Carbohydrates, Protein), then you need to add more of another – and in this case, fats. In the Ketogenic Diet, for example, fats are burned to give you energy because your body doesn’t have enough carbs to use. However, if you aren’t eating enough fats your body will move on to burning protein and muscles – and you’ll feel super sluggish because of it!
3) Your dragging in your workouts.
Yes, carbs can play a role in helping with your physical performance, especially during specific type of exercise. However, sometimes it’s the fat – or lack thereof – that causes your workouts to suffer – especially saturated fats. Saturated fats (and the cholesterol that often comes along with them) are precursors to steroid hormones like testosterone. Without enough saturated fat in your diet, you can’t make enough testosterone. Without enough testosterone, you can’t build muscle, recover from your workouts, or enjoy a healthy libido – all of which are very important J.
4) You’re love for vegetables, well, isn’t…
There’s no denying that eating a plant-filled diet is essential for our well-being. Not to say that we need to eat 3 pounds of veggies everyday, but vegetables truly contain some of the greatest nutrients around and the more you eat, the better that you will feel overall. However, the problem isn’t admitting this fact. It’s actually wanting to eat vegetables that is the hard part.
Most people don’t like the way veggies taste – especially when they’ve been brought up to believe that “diets” should consist of plain, steamed veggies, albeit any sauces or salts. Fortunately, this isn’t the case! No, I’m not saying to drench them in tons of sugary sauces or loads of salt, but rather, with fats! Have you tried it?!
In my house, I saturate the majority of veggies with Coconut Oil, and my family has no issues scarfing them down. Avocado, Olive or Walnut Oils are all great choices too! Not only does this mask some of the bitter notes that aren’t universally loved, it also helps your body absorb some of those cherished nutrients – another win-win in my book!
5) You’re always hangry.
By definition, fats take over twice as long to digest as carbs and protein do (9 calories for fats and 4 for both carbs and protein). This is why you can eat a mountain of fruit and be hungry again in an hour, as opposed to when you eat a small handful of nuts that will tide you over until dinner. Although sugars will satisfy your body quickly and give you a sudden boost of energy, they will also give you a hard crash, and is why people who eat too many carbs will also show signs of depression. And while eating lots of protein can be a better choice, it still doesn’t tied you over like fats will – nor will it help to fuel your brain like fats can.
6) Your brain seems to be tripping you up.
On the topic of mental health: did you know that your brain is the fattest organ in your body and is made up of approximately 60% fat?! No wonder that your brain starts to feel a bit foggy when you cut down on your fat intake! Furthermore, your brain utilizes the cholesterol it receives from fats as an antioxidant! Our bodies make vitamin D from cholesterol and vitamin D is a crucial player in preserving brain function – and is another reason why eating a healthy amount of fats is so vital to your overall wellbeing!
7) You have achy joints.
Have achy joints that just don’t seem to let up? While this could be due to a number of things including an old injury, improper movement mechanics, poor mobility, or tight surrounding musculature and fascia, etc., it could also be due to your lack of fat. In particular, the Omega-fats that you find in fish oil and flaxseed oil supplements. Full of anti-inflammatory properties, Omega-3s have even been shown to improve symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and can even improve wound and joint repair following joint injury.
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Do any of these ailments sound familiar?! Why not try eating more fat and seeing if that can be your cure?! Food truly is the medicine and if you can feel better by adding a little bit of more fat into your diet, why not?! Especially when it can be in the form of something so tasty as a ripe, green Avocado or creamy Coconut Oil?!
Even the Time crew are with me on this one! Although they wrote an article all about butter, which you know isn’t exactly my thing (not to say I’m not totally against people eating the Organic, grass-fed kind…), it still goes to show you that fat really is in J!
[To be clear, the new study doesn’t say butter is a health food, but rather “it doesn’t seem to be hugely harmful or beneficial,” according to study author Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts in Boston. This is in line with the new thinking from a growing number of nutrition scientists who say that cutting back on fat, even the saturated kind, is doing more harm than good.]
I hope this list will help to give you a new perspective on fats and inspire you to eat more on a regular basis, because it’s those small steps that make healthy living a lifestyle – so why not take one today?!
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