For decades, we’ve all been told that in order to be healthy, we must follow a strict low-fat diet. After all, fat is what makes us fat and gives us heart attacks, right? Well, not exactly.
You see, not all fats are created equally. There are your healthy fats, and then there are your unhealthy fats. For years we’ve been told healthy fats are unhealthy for us. Who on Earth would perpetuate such a bold lie?
That would be greedy food manufacturers. Back in the 50s, when most people ate plenty of healthy animal fats, and were healthier for it, the makers of canola oil and other vegetable oils got together and paid to have some “unbiased” scientific studies conducted on healthy saturated fats from animals products such as butter, lard and eggs.
Well wouldn’t you know it, this very “unbiased” data concluded that healthy fats were unhealthy, and that to be REALLY healthy, we would have to give them all up and replace them with their unhealthy vegetable oils.
And guess what happened?
Incidences of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer skyrocketed. Not only were their unhealthy trans fats the culprits, but people began eating more carbs to replace the fat. It’s a perfect storm for weight gain and disease.
The TRUTH About Fat
The truth is, our bodies have been designed to burn fat for fuel, not carbs for fuel. This is why we gain fat. The human body can only store a small amount of glucose from carbohydrates in the muscles and liver, but it can store almost an endless supply of fat, because fat is the CHOSEN and most efficient fuel to burn.
But most humans are living backwards. We’ve all been brainwashed to believe that fats are bad and carbs are good, and so people are getting fatter (and yet not burning all of that fat) and sicker.
But more health experts are beginning to recognize that we’ve all been scammed. More and more nutritionists and doctors understand the role healthy fats play in our overall health.
So let’s quickly talk about the difference between healthy fats and unhealthy fats. In a nutshell, healthy fats are nature made, and unhealthy fats are manmade.
Saturated fats can be fantastic for you. Dairy, fatty meats and fish, eggs, these are all healthy saturated fats. And healthy unsaturated fats from coconut oil and nuts and seeds are also fantastic.
What you really want to stay away from are TRANS fats. These are highly-processed fats whose chemical structure has been altered (deformed) because of the processing. Refined vegetable oils are the real culprits, and these oils show up in so many pre-packaged foods like chips, crackers, cookies, muffins, pretty much all store-bought baked goods and all deep fried foods. These disease-causing, artery-clogging trans fats should be avoided at all costs.
If you fell for the propaganda that told you fat was bad, chances are you’ve been avoiding it and your body has been screaming at you. Here are some common ways your body is telling you you need to eat more healthy fats:
1. Dry Skin
Dry skin can result from a lot of things – exposure to abrasive chemicals, cold climate, allergic reactions, etc. – but the most common cause of dry skin is a lack of healthy fat in the diet. Sebum is your body’s natural moisturizer, and our bodies require fatty acids to produce it. Want softer, smoother skin? Your best option is to increase your intake of healthy fats.
2. Your Workouts are a Struggle
Have you found you don’t have the energy you used to to get through your workouts? Many people will try and up their carb intake, hoping this will give them energy. And in some instances, it does.
But fat is also vital to our bodies’ athletic performance. The cholesterol that comes with saturated fat are required by your body to create hormones like testosterone. Without enough saturated fat in the diet, you don’t have enough testosterone in the diet, and you have a harder time building muscle and recovering from workouts.
3. You’re Always Hungry
If you’ve been eating low-fat for a while, you know all-too well that you spend most of the time being incredibly hungry. Nothing satisfied your body like fat. When you eat a decent amount of healthy fats with each meal, you know what it’s like to actually feel satiated.
4. Your Mental Focus is Off
Did you know your brain is composed of 60% fat? It requires cholesterol to work optimally. When you eat low-fat, you are, quite literally, starving your brain. The result is you lack the ability to focus clearly. You may also experience your mood taking a hit. People who don’t get enough fat/cholesterol in their diet have been found to have higher incidences of depression.
5. Achy Joints
Achy joints happen for different reasons. You may have improper movements or alignments when working out, you may have tight musculature and fascia surrounding your joints, or you may have arthritis.
Whatever the cause, reducing inflammation through diet is one of the best ways to heal your joints and stop the pain and inflammation. Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which are some of the biggest anti-inflammatory powerhouses.
Top 10 Healthy Fats to Start Eating More Of
Now that you know you should be eating more healthy fats, here are the top 10 to incorporate into your diet:
- Butter & Ghee
- Coconut Oil
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Fatty Fish
- Nuts and Seeds
- Grass-fed, Organic Beef
- MCT Oil
- Full-Fat Dairy
Looking for Other Natural Ways to Beat Joint Pain?
While adding more healthy fats, especially fatty fish, to your diet can greatly improve joint health, there are other natural protocols that can get rid of joint pain for good.