In my last post I talked about how important it is not just for health but also for the appearance of the skin to have enough high quality, good fat in the diet.
1. Chia seeds: These tiny seeds are rich with essential fatty acids and are a great add in for salads, smoothies, and even kombucha! 4. Green smoothies: Did you know that dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collards are rich with Omega-3 fatty acids? Make Natural Skincare Using 4 Ingredients from Your Own Kitchen!Learn to make boutique skincare products that feel and work just as well–if not BETTER–than the generic products on store shelves. Enter your name and email below and I'll send you a free video class!Your information will *never* be shared or sold to a third party.
2 Oil Cleansing Method Myths DebunkedYou'd think that the act of washing your face is a simple thing, right? Rachael Pontillo is the bestselling author of the book Love Your Skin, Love Yourself and co-author of The Sauce Code. Is Bad Skin Ruining Your Life?You don't need good genetics or even good luck to have great skin--you just need a plan. You!Check your inbox for your confirmation email--once you click on the link in the email, you'll have instant access to your free skincare class! Sure, low-fat diets might cut calories, but cutting these sources of healthy fats out of your diet isn’t helping your health.
We all need fat in our diet—this nutrient is the most potent source of food energy and also helps in brain development, blood clotting, and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. But it doesn’t have to be if you eat a variety of real foods in moderation, and enjoy them while you’re at it. You will likely think “Holy Guacamole!” (sorry) when you hear that one medium avocado contains 30 grams of fat, but most of that fat is the heart-healthy monounsaturated kind. Eating little wild fish such as anchovies and sardines makes good nutritional sense—they are high in omega-3 fatty acids (which the human body can’t produce), protein, B vitamins, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and the compound DMAE, which may improve brain function—and it’s good for our oceans as well.
Time was, the Food Police thought the humble egg raised cholesterol, but that thinking proved to be incorrect for most people. When steers live their entire lives on pasture, they have more diverse diets (that means grass, not corn), thus their meat is much higher in omega-3s and lower in saturated fats.
Macronutirients include protein, carbohydrates and fats, and each has a place in a healthy diet.
There are “good” fats (monounsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids) and “not-so-good” fats (saturated, trans fats, and some polyunsaturated ones).
Monounsaturated fat – good sources include extra virgin olive oil, avocados, and cold-expeller-pressed organic canola oil. Omega-3 fatty acids – these are essential fatty acids, meaning they are important for health yet cannot be produced in the body, and so must be obtained through the diet. Saturated fat - found primarily in full fat dairy products and fatty sources of animal protein, regular intake of this type of fat appears to increase the risk of high cholesterol levels and perhaps some forms of cancer, including colon cancer. Polyunsaturated fat – some of the more popular polyunsaturated cooking oils (sunflower, safflower, cottonseed and corn, for example) are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which may actually increase inflammation in the body.
All in all, it’s not “fat” so much as it is the type of fat that can help determine whether a food is good for us or not. Avocados: Avocados contain monounsaturated fats (and antioxidants and beta-carotene too!), which is said to help enhance memory and prevent heart disease. Coconut oil: Coconut oil got a bad rap over the years, but previous studies were performed on partially hydrogenated coconut oil, rather than raw, virgin coconut oil. Walnuts: Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids with anti-inflammatory properties. Salmon: High in omega-3 acids and protein, salmon boasts fatty additions you can make to your regular diet. Olive oil: Add some healthy fats to your next salad by mixing up a homemade olive oil dressing. When it comes to dietary fat, there are essentially 3 main theories regarding their inclusion in a diet designed for weight loss. Fats are an important part of the diet, but they should be as natural as possible just like every other part of a healthy weight loss diet that focuses on whole food nutrition yet avoids processed foods.

Choose fats and foods that take the least amount of steps to get from the source to your mouth. Healthy fats are those that are as natural and unprocessed as possible and those with a good fatty acid profile that helps reduce inflammation within the body. As research has progressed over the last few decades, the once held-dear belief that saturated fat = heart disease has been questioned. The relationship between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol is nowhere as straight-forward as what we were told in the 80s and 90s.
In reality we all respond differently to dietary cholesterol, and in most of us, it doesn't affect our blood cholesterol (source).
The rush to eliminate saturated fats from our diet has lead to an increased consumption in processed carbohydrates. In light of this research, it has become clear that it is okay to consume saturated fat in the form of butter, eggs, and grass-fed beef. Processed vegetable oilslike soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil. If in doubt, choose foods that are unprocessed or minimally processed and that contain low levels of omega 6 (Linoleic acid).
Some links are affiliate links, so if you decide to purchase a book or plan listed, you will be helping us. They add a fun texture and zip of flavor, and are also a popular ingredient in vegan puddings and breakfast porridges. However, they are chock full of good fat so I add them to smoothies, homemade vegan ice creams, salad dressings, soups, and sauces.
I love using it in salad dressings, in my pesto, raw marinara, and Hapenade recipes (which are all in our upcoming book, The Sauce Code), and with sea salt to season organic, air-popped popcorn.
You know I love my green smoothies and it’s a perfect way to get my daily good fat, in addition to my daily greens. She’s a holistic skincare and nutrition entrepreneur, award-winning coach, product formulator, speaker, and educator. An easy way to work avocados into your diet doesn’t have to involve tortilla chips, which are processed and may contain nasty trans fats. A recent study by the USDA has shown that almonds, a rich source of vitamin E, have 20 percent fewer calories than previously thought. Read more about what I have to say on this matter in the October issue of Martha Stewart Living; there’s a handy buyers guide of best brands of canned sardines and anchovies as well.
The idea should be to eat plenty of the “good” fats while saving the “not-so-good” ones for that occasional splurge. Omega-3s are found primarily in coldwater fish (like Alaskan salmon, sardines and herring) and some nuts and seeds (walnuts, ground flax and hemp seeds). Initially used to increase the shelf life of various products, trans fats appear to be more harmful to or health than even saturated fats.
Just knowing that some of the fats available in foods (monounsaturated fats and omega-3s) are good for us can free us from giving “fat” a wholly bad reputation! The recommended daily intake (RDI) of fat is 65 grams, and one cup of avocado contains almost one third of your fat intake for a day, about 23 grams. While many hydrogenated saturated fats raise bad cholesterol levels, raw coconut oil has been shown to increase levels of good cholesterol. In addition to lowering LDL cholesterol, they are also a great source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, potassium, riboflavin, and selenium.
Chef Joe and our older daughter love eating them with a squeeze of lemon and pinch of sea salt.
Besides my greens, I love adding nut butters (love almond!), a variety of seeds (chia, help, flax, pumpkin), avocados, and sea vegetables to my smoothies. However, fatty fish like salmon, anchovies, and sardines are bursting with beneficial essential fatty acids.
Rachael combines different holistic modalities to help people with skin conditions and self-image issues heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually so they can live their lives with joy and confidence. According to the experts, including the ever-sensible (and former biochemist) Marion Nestle, not only are the proportions different, but some saturated fatty acids raise blood cholesterol levels more than others do.

Mash part of a ripe avocado and use it as a sandwich spread, in lieu of mayo, or on hot toast, instead of butter; a sprinkling of sea salt and maybe a little chopped cilantro takes breakfast over the top. What sets walnuts apart is the fact that they are the only nut that contains a significant amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids. Eggs are one of the easieset, and least inexpensive sources of healthy fats as well as protein. Read about how it stacks up with two far more controversial plant-based cooking oils, canola (click here) and coconut (click here). Regularly eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids may help lower triglyceride levels, decrease inflammation, enhance mood, and contribute to the prevention of heart disease. They appear to increase LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels while decreasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and may increase inflammation in the body. Unlike saturated fats, monounsaturated fats help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, while boosting your HDL (good) cholesterol. If you're not a fan of cooked salmon, try a piece of salmon sashimi or a sliced smoked salmon instead. But due to its high levels of monounsaturated fats, it can lower bad cholesterol levels and your risk of heart disease. Processed fats and oils are usually high in omega 6 fatty acid, which promotes inflammation and fat retention. Lucky for me, I’ve found a great, high quality Omega-3 supplement that contains the proper balance of EPA to DHA and also Vitamin D (also important for skin health!) called Promega-D from Nordic Naturals. They help soften and nourish the skin from the outside in, and also hydrate and prevent water loss. As a mentor, she helps professionals in the aesthetics and nutrition fields build their businesses and truly serve their clients in meaningful and sustainable ways. That said, there’s continued controversy over the connection between cholesterol and heart disease; what everyone agrees on is the fact that nutrition science is infernally complicated.
And according to a 2011 study published in the journal Food and Function, the antioxidants in walnuts rank higher in terms of quality and quantity than any other nut. No matter what cooking oil you prefer, though, be aware that every oil contains 120 calories per tablespoon. Fish oil supplements are a consideration for those of us who don’t enjoy or can’t eat fish and nuts, even for those who do (read labels carefully, and aim for a total daily dose of 2,000 mg of EPA + DHA combined), but speak with your doctor first. Trans fats have commonly been found in fried foods and many of our favorite packaged goods including bakery items, chips, vegetable shortening and margarines. Dietary fat is also good for us because it is one of three macronutrients that supports a number of our body's functions and provides us with energy. Rachael is the creator of the popular skincare and lifestyle blog Holistically Haute™, as well as the online course, Create Your Skincare™.
Most of the fat is contained in the yolk, but before you commit to a lifetime of scrambled egg whites, know that the yolk is also a very good source of choline, a B vitamin that helps keep your brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system in tip-top shape. Look for fish oil supplements that guarantee purity, like those from Nordic Naturals, available at Harris Teeter. Many companies have removed partially hydrogenated oils and trans fats from their ingredients, but not all of them, so be sure to read your food labels carefully.
If you have a choice, go for eggs from a local producer at your farmers market; if his or her hens are truly “pastured”—that is, allowed to hunt and peck on grass—the more flavorful the eggs will be, and the more omega-3s they’ll contain. Less than 100 calories worth—about 20 small black olives—contains iron, fiber, vitamin E, and copper. Whip up Alton Brown’s recipe for tapenade, and you’ll get three healthy fats—olives, olive oil, and anchovies (see above entry)—in one fell swoop.

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