Healthy Fats: Are you getting enough on a Reboot?

By: Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist

A Reboot includes high amounts of many vital micronutrients like vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.  But for macronutrients, just like protein, many people wonder, “Will I get enough fat during my reboot?” Here is a brief breakdown of the most important facts you need to know.

Why are fats important to eat?

Including healthy fats in the diet is important for many reasons here are just a few key points:

  • Absorption of fat soluble vitamins and phytonutrients, like antioxidants, Vitamin E, carotenes like beta-carotene or lycopene, Vitamin D and Vitamin K.
  • Essential fats are very important for anti-inflammatory actions, healthy brain function and development, reduced risk for heart disease, and preservation of muscle mass during cancer treatment just to name a few.

Will I get enough fat during my Reboot?

During a shorter Reboot juice fast (up to 15 days) fatty acid deficiency is not likely to be an issue in this period of time for most people.  This is partly because our bodies store fat soluble vitamins and fatty acids easily in the body.  With weight loss and exercise, we also release stored fats into the bloodstream making these building blocks available to the body for important use, which is why staying active during your Reboot is important.

Even a juice-only Reboot isn’t 100% fat free.  Certain fruits and vegetables contain small amounts of fats:

  • Kale has just over half of a gram of fat per 1 cup of raw leaves.
  • Celery has a quarter of a gram for 2 stalks.
  • Apple has a quarter of a gram each.
  • Carrots offer a quarter of a gram each.

To put it in perspective, in one juice like the Mean Green, you could be consuming up to 2-3 grams of fat.

If you find you have very dry skin, eczema, dermatitis, brittle, cracked lips or are at risk for gallstones*, you may want to add a little bit more healthy fats to your juices.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Macadamia oil
  • For amounts, we suggest 1-2 teaspoons to a juice once a day
  • Another option is to blend your juice with an avocado.

A touch of oil even occasionally also adds a nice flavor to juice.  Check out these juices with oil included in the recipe:

Here are some juices where a touch of healthy oil would fit nicely:

For a longer juice fast (15-30 days) if you are concerned, you can add a small amount of healthy fats listed above. Fish oils/Omega-3 supplements or liquid may be tolerated well also. Including seeds such as flax, hemp and/or chia in your juice once daily is another way to include healthy fats on a Reboot. It is not advised to consume more than 2 teaspoons a day of oil during the fasting period.

Juice fasting has many benefits including allowing rest for many complex digestive processes, for a small period of time, and this can include fats. Fats require more steps in the digestive process compared to carbohydrates.

*For some rebooters or juice fasters, including small amounts of healthy fats right from the start is important, such as those persons predisposed to gall stones. While eating too many of the wrong types of fats puts you at a high risk for gallbladder problems, people who eat no fat at all are also at risk. No fat in the diet means that the gallbladder works less frequently, which could cause inactivity or stoppage of flow (stasis) and bile thickening (bile sludge). Eating moderate amounts of healthy fats is highly recommended for gallbladder health.

Here is more info about good fats versus bad fats.

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Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist

Stacy is a Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition and an Integrative Nutritionist. She consults for various companies, focusing on health, wellness and innovative strategies to help increase individual’s fruit and vegetable intake. Stacy is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Health Fitness Specialist; she holds a BS degree in Dietetics from Indiana University, completed her dietetic internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, and earned a Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Senior Clinical Nutritionist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School teaching affiliates, in Boston, MA, with more than 20 years of experience. Stacy created and now serves as project manager and lead writer for nutrition services content on the Dana Farber website and the affiliated, nationally recognized nutrition app. Stacy is regularly featured on TV, radio, print and social media on behalf of Dana Farber and other organizations. Together with her husband, Dr. Russell Kennedy PsyD, they have a private practice, Wellness Guides, LLC. Stacy is an adjunct professor in Wellness and Health Coaching at William James College, currently teaching a graduate course in Health Coaching. Stacy is featured in the award winning documentary films, “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” and “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2,” and serves on the Reboot with Joe Medical Advisory Board. Stacy lives in Wellesley with her husband, two sons and three dogs. She enjoys cooking, yoga, hiking and spending time with friends and family. Stacy is also one of the nutritionists who runs our Guided Reboot programs.

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