Fat

Remember the fairy tale, Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean? That was me - the wife!

Of course, like all of us, I spent many decades avoiding fat like the plague. I had no concept that some types of fat were wholesome, good and essential to my health and that other kinds of fat were toxic and should be avoided. So I avoided all fat and yet I craved it like crazy.

Once I started studying nutrition and gave myself permission to eat fat, I ate an extraordinary amount of it for a few years until my body felt sufficiently fat nourished. I added lard, olive oil, coconut cream to everything in massive quantities! I would eat the entire skin of a roasted chicken in one meal. I cooked with duck fat and gobbled nuts and seeds.

Why was I so attracted to massive quantities of fat? Two reasons. One is that I was just severely deficient and my body was trying to make up for lost time. The other is that after so long on a lower fat diet, my body wasn't very good at digesting the fat I was eating. So I had to work on improving my fat digestion capacity by supporting my liver's bile flow function and my pancreatic digestive function. 

Once I started digesting my fat and got nourished, my insane cravings for fat subsided, I wasn't hungry all day long, and my out of control sugar cravings also went away. What a huge relief on all fronts! I slept better. My PMS symptoms all but disappeared. My skin improved and so did my memory. My anxiety became way more under control and my mood even stabilized. 

‚ÄčSymptoms of Fatty Acid Deficiency

Do you think you might benefit from exploring the wonderful world of healthy dietary fats? Here's how to know if you need more fat. These are just a few common symptoms of fatty acid deficiency.

  • Sunburn easily / sun poisoning

  • Tension headaches at base of skull

  • Headaches when out in hot sun

  • Fibromyalgia symptoms

  • Hormone imbalances

  • Dry skin, dandruff

  • Cracking heals, finger tips, elbows

  • Muscle fatigue / lack of stamina

  • Poor brain development

  • Skin break outs

  • Persistent hunger

  • Blood Sugar imbalances / Hypoglycemia / hyperglycemia

  • Cardiovascular disease

  • Fat soluble vitamin deficiency - A, D, K, E

  • Stiff, Painful joints

  • Crave fats

  • Menstrual cramps

  • Dry eyes, mouth, throat, vagina

  • Lackluster skin

  • Small bumps on back of arms

  • History of low fat diet

  • Liver and Gallbladder insufficiency / inability to digest fat

What's Fat Good For? 

Fat is needed in the body to provide a consistent, long burning source of fuel - so we aren't hungry all day. Fat is converted into phospholipids which make up cell membranes. Healthy cell membranes are necessary for every function in the body to operate successfully. Fats are necessary for healthy liver function and building healthy bile. Bile is vital in fat digestion and in elimination and detoxification.

Fats are also required for absorption of fat soluble vitamins: A, D, E, K. Vitamin A is critical for sexual reproduction, cell division, vision, immune system function, bone remodeling, tooth enamel formation, and skin health. Vitamin D is a vitamin and a hormone made in the skin from cholesterol. Vitamin E is required for reproduction, for cardiovascular health and as an antioxidant. Vitamin K is required for blood clotting and maintaining bone density.

Fats are required to metabolize proteins effectively. Fats serve as a protective lining for the organs of the body, protect joints, slow absorption of food for proper energy regulation and help us maintain stamina. Fats help with hydration and sugar balance. Fats are essential in protecting against metabolic syndrome, obesity and diabetes by reducing insulin surges and reducing cravings for sugar and carbs. Fats also help protect against cardiovascular disease.

Aside from all the health benefits, fats also make food taste great and they helps us stay full and satisfied for longer than any other food group.

What Kinds of Fat to Eat

Fats from animals should always be from healthy, humanely raised, or wild animals. Fats we should all enjoy abundantly for optimal health and wellness include:

  • ‚ÄčLard
  • Tallow
  • Smaltz
  • Fatty fish
  • Olives and olive oil (raw or cooked on low heat)
  • Avocado and avocado oil
  • Coconut, coconut milk and coconut oil
  • Nuts and seeds and their oils (esp. raw)
  • Egg yolks (if tolerated)
  • Raw dairy or fermented raw dairy, butter, Ghee (if tolerated)
Olive Oil

I know lots of you are concerned about all of the olive oil controversies and want to make sure you buy and consume only real olive oil. Here is a reliable list of olive oil companies Certified by the California Olive Oil Council (COOC)

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