The brain is more than two thirds fat, so when we do not take in enough healthy, good-for-us dietary fats, our body is out of balance, out of homeostasis. The imbalance can cause forgetfulness and depression. This cognitive decline is commonly called brain fog. Our body needs fats that will be readily absorbed into the bloodstream. This ability to be absorbed and used well by the body is called bioavailability. The fats that are well absorbed also aid in the absorption of the vitamins and minerals of the foods eaten alongside of them.
After losing the weight on the HCG Body for Life protocol, I added healthy fats back into my diet. The roundness in my cheeks, buttocks, and breasts quickly returned. After three weeks of coconut flakes, avocado, raw butter, raw nuts, ghee, and raw cheeses in small quantities, I had more energy and glowed. People began asking questions about my skincare regime. I was working on the skincare routine from the inside out, with water and fat.
Remembering my elementary school science, it made sense. Fat floats on top, so my skin appeared more full, soft , and fatty, but in a good way! Remember, fat does not make us fat, if it is the right kind of fat. I now eat fifty to seventy five percent of my daily caloric intake from fat. I track it on my computer or smart phone with My Fitness Pal. There are many free applications available to assist in the nutrient balance of your food intake.
We should eat fats from:
- RAW NUTS AND SEEDS
- RAW NUT AND SEED BUTTERS/OILS
- GRASS FED BUTTER AND GHEE
- GRASS FED RAW BUTTER
- GRASS FED RAW DAIRY PRODUCTS
- GRASS FED, GRASS FINISHED ANIMALS
- 100% PASTURED EGGS
Coconut oil was given a bad rap for so long in the mainstream medical communities because it is a saturated fat. Saturated fat used to be blamed for heart disease, and it is very difficult to rid the mind of old dogma. Saturated fat is a fat that gets solidified at room temperature or cooler. Coconut milk, oil, and flesh has recently been redeemed from the “bad” fat list. The fatty acids in coconut products help us absorb minerals like calcium, magnesium, and boron from other foods. This is important for maintaining strong bones.
Coconut oil is made up of medium chain fatty acids which get used immediately by the body as energy instead of being converted into fat molecules on our hips, thighs, and abdomens. Coconut oil also helps our body to balance the Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils. This assists the body in using the stored fat on our hips, thighs, and abdomens as energy for everyday living.
Coconut products reduce internal stress, kill bad bacteria, aid in curing inflammation, inflammatory diseases, and it is a natural anti-viral. Coconut has been used around the world for centuries as both food and medicine.
I use coconut oil daily on my hair, skin, and nails. I throw it in the bath. I swish with it for fifteen minutes three times a week as a teeth whitener and gum strengthener. I cook with it, bake with it, and oil the furniture with it. In the HCG Body for Life protocol, it was the only fat allowed during Phase 2, the low calorie phase. It did not cause fat loss stalls or plateaus. When I bake desserts, I use coconut flour and oil as a substitute for other oils and flours. The results are wonderful! I even make coconut based ice cream. I drink fresh coconut water when available. In fact, in certain parts of the Philippines, they use coconut water in an IV when blood for blood transfusions aren’t available. As soon as it hits the blood stream, the coconut water changes into blood molecules.
Avocado is used as a liver detoxification tool in many countries. It is a fatty fruit which has monounsaturated fats in it. They are helpful for reducing bad cholesterol, reducing cancer risk and diabetes risk. People who consume lots of avocados usually have lower fat percentages in their whole body ratio. Oh, did I mention it is delicious?
Olives are another source of healthy, monounsaturated fats. Like the avocado, it is considered a fruit because it comes from a tree. The olive and olive oils contain long chain fatty acids. When buying olive oil, a good idea is to purchase authentic extra virgin olive oil. Many labeled extra virgin olive oils in our stores are not the real thing, and are sometimes blended with a lower quality olive oil. Make sure to buy one that is certified organic, with a harvest date stamped on the back of the bottle or can. These are the least processed kinds of olive oil.
Olive oil is best utilized by the body at room temperature instead of cooking with it. When olive oil gets heated beyond its smoke point, the chemical components of the oil break down and the oil becomes toxic. Room temperature olive oil can lower the risk of heart disease by reducing the LDL cholesterol. The LDL cholesterol is the “bad” cholesterol. There are anti-oxidants in the olive oil which protect cells from the damage we incur when we don’t eat well (or drink well!). Olives and olive oil have vitamin K in it, second only to green leafy vegetables. Olives and olive oil are considered functional food. A functional food is easily absorbed by the body (bioavailable) and helps with multiple benefits beyond its basic nutrition.
Raw Nuts and Seeds, Their Butters and Oils
I consume loads of raw nuts and seeds. Why raw? When roasted, the oil in them becomes changed and the potential to harm health rather than enhance health is increased as the temperature increases in the nuts and seeds. Sticking to the raw form seems to avoid potential problems. For me, raw nuts and seeds are difficult to overeat. I feel fuller on raw versus roasted, and the fat content keeps me satisfied way longer than when I eat roasted nuts. I can speed-eat roasted nuts, and if they are salted, it is a danger zone for me. Raw nuts and seeds contain balances between Omega fats 3-6-9, and are a wonderful source of protein, fiber, and amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). They contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, are delicious, and very satisfying to the palate.
I use cold-pressed, organic oils from hemp seeds, grape seeds, sesame seeds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, and avocados. Surprising to me, hemp seed oil cured my acne when applied topically to my skin. Even old scars faded for me rather quickly. Hemp seeds are a plant source that have a complete protein profile. They contain all six essential amino acids and are bioavailable to the body. These oils mentioned here are freely available at Asian supermarkets and on the internet at health food discount companies.
I purchase MCT oil on the internet too. I use it to boost up my energy before a long night of serving food and drink at the restaurant where I work. MCT oil is the best part of the fat from the coconut mixed with the best part of the red palm and camphor trees. Together they form a kind of super food. They aid in the digestion of other food nutrients and absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. MCT oil helps us to naturally fast. Many hours pass before I get hungry again after using MCT oil. MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides, which I mentioned earlier in the coconut section of this chapter. MCT oil assists in the burning of body fat while maintaining lean muscle mass.
Raw nut and seed butters are my favorite sweet treat when I am craving dessert (PMS, anyone?). I add a few tablespoons to my nonfat Greek yogurt, toss in Lakanto, cinnamon, and shredded, dry, raw coconut. Sometimes I add a tablespoon of powdered bee pollen. Mmmmm, good. Raw nut and seed butters still have the fiber and protein in it, whereas the oils have just the fat. Read your labels! The lower number of ingredients a food product has, the better the nutritional values. If you see very scientific, hard to read words in the ingredients list, chances are that the company who made the nut and seed butters added things in that you do not want in your body.
A word about peanuts: Peanuts are not a nut at all. They are a bean, part of the legume family. They grow underground, like many beans, whereas nuts grow on trees. Unlike tree nuts, peanuts are better absorbed by the body when they are roasted instead of raw. They should be roasted on a low setting in the oven, a little below 200 degrees Fahrenheit, for about fifteen to twenty minutes, turning often. This helps them to be digested and kills any invisible molds on the peanuts’ surface. There is no need to add oil, as they contain oil which rises to the surface when baked. Peanuts are higher in Omega 6 oils than other nuts, which in excess can be considered a bad fat, so I eat them sparingly. It is also higher in carbohydrates than other nuts.
Butter, Raw Butter, and Ghee
Butter that is from cows who only eat grass is called pastured butter. It helps us absorb the nutrients in foods that we eat with it. If it is raw butter, that means it has not been heated at all or pasteurized. This is even healthier. Sometimes when I know that I am not going to be able to take a break from serving at the restaurant where I work, I will eat a few tablespoons of raw butter, mixed with raw nuts, Lakanto, and cinnamon just before my shift. It does keep me satiated and energized so I don’t reach for junk that won’t feed my nutritional needs. I used to reach for unhealthy snacks back in the day. I know that you know exactly what I mean. I feel you nodding through the pages, shaking your head in agreement.
Ghee is a type of clarified butter, golden yellow in color. It is made by cooking the grass fed butter and removing the thick bubbly residue that floats on the top. The good fat stays and the milk residue is removed. Ghee needs no refrigeration after this process and is another great source of healthy saturated fat. Ghee has a higher smoke point than butter too, so it is ideal for cooking even at high heats. Ghee originated in India. I remember being in India, and watching the women hand feed their dogs ghee and rice and chapati (flat, round, whole wheat breads). The dogs in India had the shiniest fur coats ever!
Raw milk and raw cheeses from unpasteurized milk and cream are beneficial and delicious. There are more and more stores selling unpasteurized dairy products than ever before. If someone is lactose intolerant, they still may be able to enjoy raw dairy because the lactase enzyme has not been changed into lactose through the pasteurization process. Raw milk products provided from grass fed animals provide protein, fat, and calcium to the body. Calcium is more easily metabolized by the bones when compared to pasteurized dairy. I think if humans were lactase intolerant, they could not easily nurse on their mothers’ milk. Humans lactate.
Grass Fed Animals
The skin and fat found on 100% grass fed and grass finished animals are extremely healthy for our skin and organs. Omega 3 fats, which are great for brain health are found in higher amounts in 100% grass fed and grass finished animals. The fatty organ meats are also very nutritious. Sometimes organ meats are difficult to get used to if one has not grown up with it in their family’s diet. People may be unsure of how to cook them. Personally, I usually don’t eat red meat, but I do love chicken livers and chicken skin from my pastured chickens. Pastured chicken means that the chicken was never fed any grains in its life. It roamed the farm or field and only consumed plants, bugs, berries, or other fruit that fell to the ground. The easiest way for me to enjoy organ meats is to sauté them with lots of garlic, onions, leeks, turmeric, and butter.
Likewise, the eggs in my refrigerator are from 100% pastured chickens. They sure are expensive, but worth it to me. If you eat an animal, you eat what the animal ate. So if you eat a grain fed animal, it has the potential to cause the same reaction in the body as if you ate grains. I’m not willing to back to square one with that. I have come so far and am so much healthier now.
Fats that I stay away from are trans-fats. Trans-fats are toxic to the body in large quantities. Examples of trans-fats are shortening, margarine, and any processed oil that has been made to stay hard at room temperature. This helps foods stay on the grocery store shelves longer without spoiling. Omega 6 oils in highly processed vegetable oils should be avoided as well. Examples of Omega 6 oils are soy, corn, cotton seed, canola, peanut, sunflower, and safflower oils. Trans-fats raise LDL, the bad cholesterol, and lower HDL, the good cholesterol. Omega 6 oils are inflammatory in nature. Omega 6 oils are often made into trans-fats by processing, and then strategically placed into highly refined, packaged foods. For me, it is reasonably easy to avoid trans-fats because they are usually found combined with processed grain products, which I avoid like the plague anyway. If one indulges in sources of Omega 6 fatty acid foods or trans-fats, be certain to have plenty of healthy Omega 3 oils as well, like in fatty fish, seafood, and the saturated good fats mentioned earlier. They will balance out the ratio of “good” to “bad” fats.