Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Don't Fear the Fat
One thing I've been learning over the last several years is to get over my fear of fat. Fat gets a bad wrap since it also is what is often found in our spare tires and saddle bags. Fortunately, Time and other media outlets are finally getting the word out that fat is an important nutrient to our bodies, vital in fact. It helps create our hormones, line our myelin and serves as fuel. It also carries essential fat soluble nutrients - like vitamins A, D and K - that are especially important for our bodies to be able to build healthy ova, sperm and, of course, babies. In fact, both protein and fat are essential to human function. We can live completely without carbs. Not that I would, but I could and so could you! I now see the enemy to my health and fertility as refined carbs. Nutrient dense carbohydrate sources like fruit and especially vegetables are great. Added sugar, grains and their refined flours are not good for us. Yes, I still eat grains in small amounts (and always gluten free), but now when I add a cup of rice flour to a recipe I see it as adding a cup of sugar, because that's how it will react in my body.
The documentary Fat Head (embedded below) does a great job of explaining why sugar (and insulin resistance) is pro-inflammatory and the enemy of weight loss and maintenance, not fat.
One caveat on fats though, trans fats and rancid fats are good for no one. So avoid hydrogenated oils and cooking with vegetable and seed oils. Olive oil is great as a dressing, but when cooked the healthfulness of the oil breaks down due to oxidation. So keep that in mind when choosing which oils to cook with. My personal favorites include coconut oil, butter, ghee, tallow and lard.
For more information on the science behind this I would encourage anyone to check out the Weston A. Price Foundation. I would also recommend the book Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck. It was this book more than any other that started me down the path to whole foods and clean eating. It's a great resource for moms, moms-to-be, and single girls like me who want to maintain and protect our fertility until we are able to have families of our own.