When it comes to food, it’s almost never as simple as good vs bad. I’ve witnessed so many trends over the years. We can learn from some of them, but others that are fear-based and create unnecessary stress. I want to use my experience as an RD to demystify trends and provide education on diet fads + general nutrition-based topics. When it comes to dietary fat, there are some simple guidelines to follow to optimize high-quality fat intake. I’m going to break down the basics to make it as simple as possible!

Including high-quality fats in my diet is part of my food philosophy, so you’ll find lots of recipes across my blog and in my cookbook that include fatty-fish, avocado, nuts/seeds, extra-virgin olive oil, and more.

Dietary-Fat 101

Fat plays an essential role in helping your body absorb nutrients, build cell membranes, insulate the nervous system, and protect your organs. Not only that, but it’s critical for brain health (read more about that here). High-quality fat will help decrease risk of disease over your lifetime because of their anti-inflammatory benefits, blood-sugar stabilizing quality, and overall brain health.

While it’s important to be aware of how much fat we’re consuming and which type, it’s also a practice that becomes second nature over time. I don’t feel my best when I over-eat inflammatory-fat packed food, so I naturally tend to avoid it. I do, however, feel incredible when I include high-quality fats in my meals. Healthy-fats keep me so satiated, nourished, and as a cherry on top my skin thrives with healthy fats. Win, win!

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

High-quality fat is good for your body, and ideally you should aim to include some with every meal. You likely already know some high-quality fat sources, such as fatty fish like wild-caught salmon and tuna, nuts, seeds, and extra-virgin olive oil. What you might not know is that high-quality fats are rich in Omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids have incredible anti-inflammatory and health-boosting benefits, including playing a key role in maintaining the structure and function of brain cells

Nutrient Absorption

Dietary-fats are necessary for nutrient absorption for all soluble vitamins. For example, vitamins A, D, E, and K must be paired with a high-quality fat for absorption. This is why I always include a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, a few slices of avocado, or a handful of nuts/seeds with my meals.

Blood Sugar Stabilization

This goes hand in hand with my 7-Day Added Sugar Detox guide. Not only do we want to eliminate as much processed sugar from our diet as possible, but we want to make sure all snacks and meals are balanced with carbs, protein, and fats to maintain a stable blood sugar level. Avoid a glucose spike (usually caused by too many carbs (aka sugars)), simply by adding healthy fat. Fat takes longer to digest, which not only keeps your blood sugar stable, but will help keep you full and prevent hanger from striking too soon after a meal.

‘Good’ Fats Vs. ‘Bad’ Fats

Now, here is where we get into the not-so-good fats. Healthy fats come straight from the highest-quality sources of food straight from nature. Not-so-healthy fats come inside the packages of snacks and meals that are highly-palatable and jam-packed with inflammatory oils, hidden sugars, and stabilizers.

Most processed foods contain trans fats and saturated fats. While healthy fats prevent disease, inflammatory-fats can cause them. Trans and saturated fats can increase LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and decrease HDL cholesterol (the good kind). While it’s ok to consume in moderation (think: french fries, chips, candy, etc), you don’t want to eat too many inflammatory fats on a daily basis.

If you’re looking for more healthy recipes, check out these high-protein meals that I’ve been loving!

cookbook with high-quality fat

Welcome! I’m Rachael.

I enjoy sharing my love for food and fitness. I'm a registered dietitian, certified personal trainer, and a New York Times Bestselling author. Here you'll find all kinds of recipes and kitchen hacks, as well as workouts and fitness motivation. Enjoy! — xx Rachael

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