One of the most detrimental things that have come out of the last 20-30 years of dietary marketing has been the low-fat diet. Making the assumption that fat makes us fat is far too simplistic of a view point. More things such as sugar, stress, lack of sleep will cause our bodies to store fat far faster than a high fat diet. Obviously, we must decipher good fat from bad fat and when we do we will see that a diet high in good fats will actually burn away the bad fat that our bodies have stored and reduce harmful inflammation in our system. In addition to helping our bodies lean out, increasing our quality fat intake will boost our immune systems, metabolism, brain function and cardiovascular health.
When we talk about quality fat we are really talking about EFA’s, essential fatty acids. They are essential because our bodies can’t produce them. Therefore we need to find these EFA’s in our food. They are critical! The main essential fatty acid that we need is Omega 3 which is made of EPA and DHA. Without these two critical ingredients, our cells simply cannot communicate properly. In fact, 60% of our brain is composed of DHA from Omega 3 fat. If you don’t get the proper amounts, our brain just will not work properly. Lack of these nutrients will lead to brain fog, memory loss, depression, ADD and other mental disorders.
Besides these symptoms above, how do we know if we are deficient in EFA’s? If you have any of the following, then there’s a chance you are not consuming enough quality fat:
- I have soft, cracked or brittle nails
- I have dry, itchy, scaling, flaking skin
- I have hard ear wax
- I have chicken skin (tiny bumps on the back of my arms)
- I have dandruff
- I have aching and stiffness in my joints
- I am thirsty most of the time
- I am constipated (less then 2 movements a day)
- I have light colored, hard or foul smelling stool
- I have depression, ADD and/or memory loss
- I have brain fog
- I have high blood pressure
- I have fibrocystic breasts
- I have PMS
- I have high LDL cholesterol, low HDL levels or high triglycerides
If “yes” was answered to 5 or more of these questions above, there is a good possibility that you are deficient in these essential nutrients. To correct it, here are some tips:
1.) If you eat animal proteins, increase your intake of fatty fish such as wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies, and cod fish.
2.) Increase your intake of quality fat foods such as avocados, crushed flax seeds, raw nuts and coconuts.
3.) Use quality oils such as coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil.
4.) Add chia seeds, coconut oil or algae to shakes or smoothies.
5.) Supplement your food with quality fish oil, krill oil or cod liver oil.
6.) Switch from conventional eggs to organic vegetarian fed eggs.
7.) Eat organic lean meats and wild game instead of conventionally raised meat.
Omega 3 is essential, period. Without it, our brains, cells and bodies just will not be optimum. It will not make us fat, it will in fact, do the opposite.