Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and often found in animal products such as chicken, beef, and cheese; however coconut and coconut oil also contain saturated fat. Butter and ghee (clarified butter) are other common sources. Saturated fat has gotten a bad rap as unhealthy, but more recent studies have shown that not all saturated fat is unhealthy, and that some (from the right sources) is actually necessary for proper hormone regulation and immune system function, and that it can lower inflammation and is a good source of some vitamins.
While saturated fat can generally be sufficiently obtained through food, the oil products are good options to cook with because they tend to have a high smoke point. (If cooking with oils that do not have a high smoke point, such as extra virgin olive oil, it becomes harmful if heated above that point).
Avoid them. This probably isn’t new to you, but how do you avoid them? If you are cooking good whole foods for yourself, then you generally do not need to worry. When buying packaged products, avoid anything with the word “hydrogenated.” This is the process that makes trans fats by taking vegetable oil and heating it in the presence of a hydrogen gas and a catalyst.
Incorporate a variety of healthy fats into your diet daily. Probably with every meal. As for amount, explore what works best for you. Some people do very well with a very high fat, low carbohydrate diet overall, others feel better and maintain weight better with a bit higher carbohydrate diet, with fewer overall calories from fat. But the bottom line is that we all need good, healthy fats to be our happiest, healthiest selves!
Good choices to choose from (this is not an exhaustive list, use this and the prior two posts to better help guide you, but here is a summary of the information presented):
- Oils: avocado oil, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, walnut oil, almond oil, macadamia nut oil, sesame seed oil, flax oil, hemp oil
- Butter & Grass-fed ghee
- Nuts & Seeds (and butters made from them)
- Fish, meat, and eggs
- Whole fat dairy as tolerated