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Can Fats be Healthy? Yes!

Times Have Changed!

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

It wasn’t that long ago that fat was a dirty word. I recall attending a gym class where the teacher advised choosing all-sugar treats (such as Starburst or Skittles) over treats with any fat at all.  Many were excited to see no-fat products on the market — cookies and cakes made without fat. It was easy to get caught up in the no-fat craze.

But just a few days of unnaturally cutting fats completely out of your diet leaves you feeling hungry, tired, and grumpy and, frankly, unhealthy.  The fats in those products were generally replaced with a real dietary villain — sugar — as well as other refined carbohydrates. So you ended up with the spikes and dips in energy that come with a high sugar diet. Not a happy place to be.

And it’s true, there are unhealthy fats — Transfats (fats that have been hydrogenated) can increase the risk of several chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, among others.) We want to avoid those, such as refined fats and oils (think margarine and corn oil).

There are also very serious possible effects of eating no fat. This article from Dr. Axe mentions poor brain function, compromised heart health, hormone imbalances (including fertility issues), overeating and weight gain, among other problems. I knew a young woman who desperately wanted to get pregnant, but had stopped menstruating when she turned to a practically no-fat diet in order to control her weight. Yes, things went this extreme.

Fortunately, the pendulum has swung away from that craziness, and we are in a much healthier place as it relates to dietary fat. In 2015 the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee sent recommendations to the Government that advised against restricting dietary fat, and had no upper limit on total fat intake.

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

And that’s good news, because including healthy fats in your diet will help reduce hunger and cravings, help you feel satiated (satisfied), as well as help with energy and brain function. The supplements that you take will be better absorbed, as well as the nutrients in the food that you eat — all fat-soluble vitamin as well as calcium. Your liver will be protected from damage. Your “good” cholesterol will go up and your “bad” cholesterol will go down. You will even burn fat more efficiently! These reason and more are why the ketogenic diet has become so popular lately.

But we all have to careful about which fats to choose. The fats from raw dairy products, coconut oil, grass-fed beef, nuts, avocados, and much more are beneficial to our health. Here are some healthy fats to choose.

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Butter (especially raw, but from grass-fed cows as well), Ghee (clarified butter), and Coconut Oil. The Danes have been right all along. Butter and Ghee contain healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential, and our bodies don’t produce them; we have to get them from our diets. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, high in antioxidants, is great for brain and cognitive function, and even lowering blood pressure. Make sure you choose Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, since processing can eliminate many of the healthy benefits.

Avocados, Full-fat Dairy, and Eggs. One of my favorite lunch go-tos is a half of an avocado, chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, topped with a squeeze of lime and Mexican spices. If I’m extra hungry I’ll add some full-fat cottage cheese. If you prefer, add a hard-boiled free-range organic egg for even more protein! This lunch will keep me satisfied for the whole afternoon. An avocado has the advantage of being high in protein, as well as vitamin E, folate, and of course healthy monosaturated fat.

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

Nuts, Seeds, and Dark Chocolate. A handful of nuts is full of super nutrients, including healthy fats. Add a chunk of dark chocolate — at least 70% cacao (to reduce the amount of sugar) and you have an energy-boosting snack.

Omega-3s from Seafood, and Grass-fed Beef. Make sure you choose wild-caught, sustainable varieties, and Grass-fed, Organic beef for the best nutritional punch. Both are higher in Omega-3 fatty acids, and high in protein as well.

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

Lassen’s carries many healthy fats in many forms and varieties — including brands such as Bulletproof, which are formulated to take advantage of the nutritional strengths of these fats. This is not a new bandwagon for us — Lassen’s has carried these nutritious and healthy (as well as delicious!) products since day one in 1971!  Come see our selection!

Love,

Lassen’s

Should you get on the Paleo bandwagon?

Eatin’ Like a Caveman… or Woman…

There has been a lot of chatter about the Paleo Diet lately.  Have you wondered what it is all about?
 
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Well, it is basically eating what our cave ancestors in the Paleolithic Age ate.  

Meat

 
 
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Free-range or grass-fed beef, pork, lamb, poulty, fish and other seafood, eggs, and game meats.  According to the Paleo Diet, our diet should be comprised of between 20-35% of calories provided by protein, instead of the 15% that the Western Diet has now.  There are many vitamins and minerals in meats as well.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

 
 
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Non-starchy, low-glycemic fresh fruits and vegetables provide much more fiber than other (grain based) carbohydrates.  They are slowly digested and absorbed, unlike refined carbohydrates.  And of course we know that fresh fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamins and minerals essential for good health.
 
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Nuts and Seeds

 
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These provide healthy fats as well as protein and fiber.

Healthy Oils

 
 
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Olive, coconut, walnut, flaxseed, avocado, and macadamia.  These fats provide healthy monosaturated and Omega-3 fats.

A diet of the the above foods will provide a balance between acid-producing and alkaline-producing foods, which helps prevent conditions that thrive in an acid environoment.

This website says that a “lifetime of excessive dietary acid may promote bone and muscle loss, high blood pressure and increased risk for kidney stones and may aggravate asthma and excercise-induced asthma.”  This diet balances acid and alkaline.

The Paleo Diet also increases the dietary intake of potassium and lowers the intake of sodium.

Our hearts, kidneys and other organs depend on potassium to function properly.  When sodium intake is higher and potassium intake is lower, we are at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes.

 

What Should I Not Eat?

Dairy Products, Cereal Grains, Refined Sugars, Legumes (including peanuts), Starchy Vegetables such as Potatoes, Salt, Refined Oil, and Processed Foods.

There is a lot that makes sense in the Paleo Diet.  We do have a lot of diseases and conditions that are caused by our modern diet and lifestyle.  And eliminating refined foods certainly would help our overall health.  
 
Following the paleo diet is healthy and nutritious, and there are lots of ways that you can combine foods to make delicious breakfasts. They don’t all involve eggs, either! Here are just 10 paleo diet-friendly recipes to try out for your breakfasts.
 
Here is a fun chart to help you understand how to know if a food complies with the Paleo Plan.
 
 
I’m not sure I agree with the “That crap will kill you,” but this chart does help clarify what is Paleo and what isn’t!

Have You Tried the Paleo Diet?

Please comment if you have tried the Paleo Diet and let us know what you think.  Is it hard to eat the Paleo way?

Lassen’s carries everything you need to eat on the Paleo Diet!

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In upcoming posts I will share some recipes that comply with the Paleo Diet Plan!

 
Love,
 
Lassen’s