The Beauty of Fat.

Via on Nov 4, 2011
healthy butter fat delicious nutrition
Me & Butter!

Kate Leinweber, B.Sc R.H.N

How I Rediscovered My Love for Butter.

I used to eat butter straight off the spoon. As a treat growing up my parents used to buy real butter for dinner parties. Usually we ate margarine, because of course butter at that time was perceived to be unhealthy. But for those special occasions we had butter. And as a child I loved butter so much I used to sneak whole chunks of butter! Oh it was so so good, and I got in so so much trouble for it. It was considered gross and unhealthy and over the years I came to be conditioned to believe what society told me and agreed that fat must indeed be bad.

Flash forward to my mid-twenties and I was living as a raw food vegan. High and mighty I was eating the healthiest food around; mostly vegetables and fruits, and some nuts and seeds. Sometimes I would go on an avocado kick and coconuts were pretty pricey so they were a rare. Needless to say I did not have a wide variety of fat in my diet. My diet was not very balanced and I was not very balanced. My food sensitivities were getting worse, my hormones were coming out of balance, my energy levels wildly fluctuated, and could not keep on muscle mass or fat. I was emaciated, tired, and deficient. One day I woke up and all of my joints ached. I was inflamed. I couldn’t make a fist. And the scary thing was nothing I did was helping. Not homeopathy, not hydro-therapy, not yoga, not avoiding gluten, dairy or even the nightshades.

This was a dire situation and it allowed me to finally wake up to the message my body was sending me. After avoiding this all-important nutrient for over 20 years my body had had enough. It was screaming please eat some fat! I went for the good stuff. I reconnected to my love for butter. And oh, it tasted so so good! Just as good as I remembered. It opened the floodgates of my body’s need for fats and I even drank some homemade organic chicken broth! And guess what? The pain started to go away. And freedom came to my joints like the freedom that had come into my diet.

Butter Curls
Butter!

Fat is what was regulating my inflammation, hormones, energy, protein absorption and immune system. I let go of what society had brainwashed me to believe and listened to my body’s inner wisdom.

What are Fats?

Let me be a Microbiologist for this paragraph. Fats, or Lipids, are organic substances that are not soluble in water. They are chains of Carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached. Three of these chains hook onto a glycerol molecule and create a triglyceride. This is the form of most fat in our body and food.

And enough of the boring sciency stuff.

What does fat actually do?

Fat has many crucial roles in the body. Primarily fats are our long distance running type of energy source. Fats give us the ability to sustain energy levels throughout the day without the dependence on sugar or caffeine boosts.

Fats make up the membrane of every single cell in our body and our brain is 60% fat.

Saturated fats protect the liver from alcohol and other toxins, insulate and protect our organs, regulate body temperature and enhance the immune system.

The polyunsaturated fatty acids are the building blocks to hormones and prostaglandins, which control inflammation.

Fat Sources.

Fats are found primarily in meats, dairy, nuts, and seeds, although most foods contain at least a small amount of fat.

Coconut Macaroons
Coconut Macaroons

Vegetarian Sources of fat: Coconut oil, Olives, Avocados and Nuts & seeds.

Hemp Seeds
Hemp Seeds

 

Animal Sources of fat:Fish and seafood, organic meat, whole dairy products and butter.

 

    The Essential Fats: Omega-3 & Omega-6 in Flax, Hemp and Fish.

 

Why do I need to eat fat?

Because they are essential! Essential fats are those that are required in our diet. That means our bodies cannot make them. The essential fats are the Polyunsaturated Omega 3’s and 6’s. The

re are other conditionally essential fats like lauric acid found in Coconut Oil. Conditionally essential means our body can make them from other molecules, but it can take a load off our processing requirements if we just eat coconuts!

Many of the nutrients in vegetables cannot be absorbed without fat and protein cannot be assimilated properly without fat. In fact saturated fats are even needed for the proper utilization of those brain boosting Omega 3’s. Calcium can only be absorbed efficiently into bones with the help of saturated fats.

Fats help us feel full faster so we eat less food. The less fat we eat the hungrier we are since we are eating food that is a lower energy source. For this reason a diet with an adequate amount of fat can reduce cravings for sweets (quick energy sources).

Quality of Fats.

Saturated fats are stable at high temperatures and in the presence of oxygen, or light. Fats such as butter, ghee or coconut oil are ideal for high temperature cooking. Mono-unsaturates like Olive oil and Grapeseed oil are good for low temperature cooking.

Unsaturated fats are very delicate and require minimal processing. Upon exposure to heat, light, or oxygen these fats can become oxidized and harmful in the body. When shopping for vegetable or nut/seed based oils ensure the label specifies, “COLD PRESSED, UNREFINED and UNFILTERED”. If these labels are missing, it can be assumed that the oil was processed and damaged. Stored these oils in the fridge.

And in case you are still stuck on thinking fat is bad:

Elevated triglyceride levels in the blood have been linked to heart disease. This is true. But to consume this excess amount of fat is very difficult due to its satiating effect. Fat makes you feel the “I’m full” signal! The secret culprit here is excess Sugar. I’m talking white flour, white sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and even agave! The body has a limit to how much sugar it can use. And when its limit is reached, the liver just converts the excess into fat.

Unfortunately this poor reputation of fat has led people to cut fat out of their diet, resulting in higher consumption of carbohydrates. And guess what. Heart disease rates are still rising…interesting.

Another fun piece of information: An evaluation of fats in clogged arteries found that only 26% are saturated, the rest are damaged unsaturated fats.

So eat and enjoy fats from their natural sources. Nuts, seeds, avocados, coconuts, organic dairy and meats in moderation are whole natural healthy sources of fat and deliciously scrumptious! Kick the packaged, boxed, bagged, refined, processed stuff to the curb.

About Kate Leinweber

I am a Microbiologist and Registered Holistic Nutritionist. I have been in the health industry for close to a decade, starting on the allopathic medical end of the spectrum and now in the holistic realm. I am obsessed with food and its healing abilities! I’ve been a vegetarian, vegan, and even a raw foodist…and I felt crappy and unhappy! I formally studied Holistic Nutrition and discovered individualized balanced nutrition. Currently I help plant-based foodies who have energy crashes and digestive distresses to feel amazing by re-programming their food choices. My practice as Holistic Nutritionist extends around the world and focuses on the ancient knowledge of Chinese Medicine, Medical Intuition and Traditional Food Practices. My holistic model empowers each client with knowledge of how whole foods can sustain a healthy and whole body. Visit me on Facebook.

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30 Responses to “The Beauty of Fat.”

  1. Donald says:

    i render the lard we get back from our pigs, use it rather liberally in my cooking, and feel pretty good about it. try making mayo with rendered lard. yer socks will be knocked off.

  2. warriorsaint says:

    Kate: I am so on the "good fat" team with you! Just wanted to add that the fat soluble vitamins are absorbed in the body with the fat in your food. That means if you eat a fat free diet you will not absorb vitamins A, D, and E. When I was doing weight loss consulting the first struggle with my client was to get them to eat any fat at all. Fat has been demonized in this society for the last 30 years-which correlates with the tsunami of obesity in N. America.

  3. Suri kate says:

    A healthy amount of fat in the body is necessary for regular ovulatory cycles and it may also influence reproductory ability as well….so , yeah being too skinny is definitelynot good.

  4. Helene Rose says:

    hmmm…. homemade chicken broth is delicious!
    Have you tried ghee?

  5. strawberryem says:

    I'm newly became a vegan after being a vegetarian for 4 years, I hear you on the good fat, but do you have any recommendations about how much is good? My diet is pretty balanced, do I need to be eating the equivalent of an avocado a day or is once a week enough? I live in Brazil & the avocados here are bigger than the mangoes! Maybe about 4 times the size of a regular Haas avocado! I definitely could never consider eating meat again, but I'm interested in your comments re. hormones & energy levels…

  6. drbinder says:

    Excellent info and great read on such a simple yet commonly misunderstood macro-molecule.

    One question- Lets talk about how "the brain is 60% fat." Do you have a source for that? Does this % include water?

    Thanks for this great article, Kate.

    Posting to Elephant Wellness on Facebook and Twitter

  7. Kate Bartolotta says:

    Mmmm….fat! I eat a whole avocado most days (plus other lovely fats from nuts, flax, coconut, etc) my skin is very happy about it!

  8. Kristen says:

    You should be coming to the Westin A. Price Foundation conference next weekend in Dallas! You would love it!

  9. Brandi says:

    Someone else used to just eat butter. I am finally not alone!

  10. Kate that it a fantastic post – thanks for sharing your love of fat. :) I wish more people knew about the truth of good fats instead of the misinformation that we grow up on today. I just read last night about making kefir butter and I'd love to give it a go. I need to try making kefir first though.

    ~Chris

  11. Judith egbuniwe says:

    The necessities of fat
    i.e The beauty of fat

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