Not all fats are created equal, but the ones on this healthy fats list pack a lot of punch. From lowering bad cholesterol and helping shed excess weight to giving you shiny hair and strong nails, your body will reap the benefits of these healthy fats.
Avocados / Avocado Oil – The health benefits of Avocado are so numerous they cold be considered the king of plant fats. Avocado is high in monounsaturated fats which are a powerful anti-inflammatory that have also been shown to raise HDL while simultaneously lowering LDL cholesterol. Avocados are high in vitamin E which boosts immunity and act as an anti-aging nutrient for your skin. Simply eat one avocado daily or begin cooking with its oil which handles high heat situations well (grilling/sautéing/frying)You can also use the oil directly as a dressing or a dip.
Coconut / Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is another versatile healing oil, able to be cooked with directly and also used as a topical oil for your skin / hair. Coconut oil is high in medium-chain fatty acids, which are converted into ketone bodies when metabolized, and they also are directly absorbed by your cells which convert them into energy! Coconut oil also has the ability to improve brain and memory function. Plus, the high amount of natural saturated fats in coconut oil means it increases good cholesterol and promotes heart health while the antioxidants found in coconut oil make it an effective anti-inflammatory. When choosing a coconut oil, extra virgin varieties are best, as refined or processed coconut oils can eliminate many of the health benefits.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – Olive oil is an exceptional healing oil – as long as you do one thing with it – NEVER COOK WITH IT. The moment olive oil is heated it becomes a toxic oil. So how can you maximize its health benefits – keep it raw. Extra virgin olive oil is great for heart health. Olive oil consumption has been linked to lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol levels and improved blood vessel function. Its also an extremely powerful anti-inflammatory which helps to reduce pain and prevent inflammatory diseases (diabetes, obesity, heart disease etc.) Simply consume 1-2tbsp directly each day or use it as a base for your dressings / dips.
MCT Oil – Also known as Medium-Chain Triglycerides, MCT oil is a type of plant saturated fat that is loaded with health benefits. MCTs are easily digested and shuttled to the liver where they not only assist in detoxification but also in energy production and fat burning. This is why most people add MCT oil to their coffee/tea and or smoothies in the morning to give them a boost that last until lunch. Try consuming MCT oil in homemade salad dressings, adding it to smoothies and shakes or replacing up to one-third of coconut oil in your recipes with MCT oil when you’re baking.
Butter – Butter is an exceptionally healthy fat – as long as you are using grass fed organ-ic butter. The omega-3 and 6 fatty acids contained in butter help your brain function properly and improve skin health. More importantly, these two fatty acids are considered essential, meaning the body needs them but can’t pro-duce them on its own so you must eat them. Butter is also rich in fat soluble vitamins and trace minerals, specifically selenium which helps thyroid and immune system function. Butter is an excellent fat bomb (consumed directly) a good cooking oil (keep it from browning) and an excellent milk/cream alternative for your morning coffee.
Dark Chocolate – Though not technically an oil, dark chocolate is extremely high in superfood fats and nutrients that place it into the healthy fat category. Raw dark chocolate is high in fat and rich in antioxidants, which help protect our bodies from disease-causing free radicals. The flavanols found in dark chocolate also improve heart health as they are known to lower blood pressure and increase blood flow to the heart, brain and organs. Some studies even suggest that dark chocolate can help your memory/focus! Be careful when shopping for chocolate as not all dark chocolate is good for you. It is best to locate dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cacao or higher. This decreases the amount of sugar and means you’ll be getting a strong antioxidant boost. Also check the label to see how many total carbohydrates are in each serving to ensure you are getting the lowest possible. My favorite is Evolved Midnight Primal Chocolate – its 100%cacao with no sugar added, 8grams total carbs, 5 grams of fiber which is a net carb of only 3g!