How Much Fat is Healthy?

Believe it or not, a certain amount of fat is good for you. Despite the bad press it gets, fat is actually responsible for making your body leaner and healthier.

Sounds counterintuitive, but here are the facts:

  1. Your hormones are all stabilized in a lipid ring—a fancy way of saying “fat ring”—which means fat makes hormones work better.
  2. Key micronutrients, like vitamins D, E, A and K, are “fat soluble.” In other words, they need fat in order for your body to store and use them. Ironically, these are the same substances they keep your cells healthy and contribute to weight loss. Without them, the only things you’ll lose are hair and disease-fighting antioxidants.
  3. It’s chemistry 101: “like dissolves like.” So if you want to release fat, you need fat to dissolve it.

Good Fats Vs. Bad Fats  

Not all fats are created equal. Healthy fats — the kind responsible for reducing heart disease, lowering cholesterol, shedding fat, controlling blood sugar levels and delivering nutrients to your body — include monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids.

The kind to reduce or eliminate from your diet are saturated and trans fats, which you’ll find hidden throughout everyday foods, such as:

• canola, corn, soy and safflower oils. They create inflammation, cause a variety of diseases and typically contain GMOs. Not to mention, you’ll find them in just about everything you eat.

• packaged and processed foods. Chips, snacks, candy, low- and non-fat brands, and even so-called healthy foods, like granola bars, are loaded with saturated and trans fats.

• restaurant meals, whether they’re fast food or gourmet. Eating out increases your intake of omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids, creating an imbalance in your ratio of omega 3s, 6s and 9s, and causing inflammation, disease and weight gain.

Top 3 Healthy Fats

  1. Avocado — I recommend ½ avocado a day, eaten in the morning.
  2. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) — shoot for 2 tablespoons per day
  3. Coconut oil — 1 teaspoon a day

Supplement the above healthy fats with a few of these options on occasion:

  • Pumpkin seeds — 1 tablespoon sprinkled into salads
  • Flax seeds — 1 tablespoon blended in your smoothie or topped on oatmeal or chia seed pudding
  • Organic clarified butter (ghee) — no more than 1 teaspoon in a day