Cooking with Healthy Fats
by Laurie Richardone
Healing fats are required for optimal wellbeing. First, we need to discover what healthy fats are and why we need them. If you’re anything like myself, I like knowing the why.
Healing fats are necessary for human health, but the body cannot make them. So, we have to get them through food. Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids (both of which play a crucial role) if we are to thrive, have optimal growth and development, and good brain function.
I think we would agree that we all want to continue to feel good and have excellent cognitive abilities as we age to keep us fit to do the activities we love. To achieve this we must have healthy fats in our diet. Foods such as sardines, salmon, avocado, and walnuts; all of which provide a good amount of unsaturated fats.
What happens when a brain’s fed poorly? It functions poorly.
It wasn’t that long ago that many people were following the trendy Low Fat Diet. Science has debunked the “low-fat is best” line of thinking time and time again. In fact, research has shown that eating a low-fat diet actually increases your risk of dementia.
Now that we have accurate information from decades of studies, it enables us to make better choices in our quest to purchase products that support our health.
A great example of a beneficial way to eat is the hunter-gatherer diet, the way of life for early humans which focused on healthy fats. They consumed foods that can be caught, hunted, foraged, and gathered on land or at sea. It is characterized by wild meats, fish, berries, fruits, nuts and seeds, and vegetables. Sounds like the healthful Mediterranean diet that all of the centarnians feast on. Which contains, you guessed it, a plethora of healthy fats, and whole foods.
A true story… Asian refugees were rescued from boats, adrift for months on the open sea in search for a better life. When they were found, all they had were the clothes on their backs and small containers of rancid oil.
The extreme circumstances of months out at sea had destroyed the treasure they bore, but they knew the importance of fats to their health. They valued the fats, above all other worldly goods.
History tells us that past populations suffered less physical degeneration than we do in modern times. Furthermore, a smaller percentage of them died of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. In large, it was because of the whole food, healthy fat, cleaner way of eating.
The great news is reversal of degenerative conditions is possible. For example, try eating brain-healthy foods — especially the right kind of fats, like cold pressed oils, which include olive oil, avocado oil, nuts and seeds, to name a few. They can have a tremendous impact on our overall health and wellness and can be most enjoyable to eat.
Everywhere from brain function to metabolism to cardiovascular fitness, fat is an absolutely essential macronutrient for our entire body. And what’s amazing about healthy fats is they make food taste better. My recipe this month is an example. I would suggest staying away from refined vegetable oils, like canola, corn, grapeseed, and soybean oil.
They are processed oils and studies show they are inadequate for our health. Unrefined oils have the most benefit, and flavor.
Sounds good to me.
Please enjoy this month’s recipe. It is a warm comforting dish with loads of healthy fats like cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.
To your good health ~ Laurie
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If you would like to learn a bit more about cooking with healthy fats, Listen to the latest episode. Cooking with Healthy Fats ~ Get tips in the kitchen. All shows on LaurieRichardone.com ~ or wherever you listen to your podcasts.