Let’s talk about fat for a bit, shall we? No I’m not talking about the jiggly kind that sits atop those favorite pair of jeans or swishes back and forth when we wave goodbye…eh hem, but I’m talking about the good kind…the kind of fat we actually neeeeed.
I know when we mention the word fat, we usually have bad thoughts and try to avoid it at all cost, but our body actually needs a good dose of healthy fat everyday. Healthy fat is essential for cellular health, nerve transmission, memory and cognitive, aka brain function and even promotes fat burn.
The problem is that instead we take in too much of the unhealthy fats which we all know leads to heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Have you had your cholesterol checked lately? Have you ever had your cholesterol checked? Did your doctor talk to you about your HDLs, LDLs, triglyerides and so on and so on..and at some point while he was throwing out all those long, medical terms you started thinking about your grocery list and just how quickly you wanted to get out of that office?
So what is all the talk about cholesterol and what do all those numbers and fancy words mean? In my simple, elementary mind I’ll explain my thoughts in a most simple, elementary way.
Your HDLs otherwise known as High Density Lipids is considered healthy cholesterol? Is there such a thing as ‘good’ or healthy cholesterol? Yes actually; cholesterol has many positive and beneficial purposes in the body including regulation of other hormones essential for different body functions, helps regulate blood sugar, as well as helps support the immune system. Cholesterol also aides in the absorption of other key nutrients our body needs.
The reason why it’s important to have a higher HDL number is because HDLs help rid the body of the ‘bad’ cholesterol or LDLs known as Low Density Lipids.
Take a look at this graphic I created to help explain it a little better–bear with me–I told you it was elementary. 🙂
I like to think about the HDLs as the school buses that help transport the LDLs out of the body. When we don’t have enough school buses (HDLs), then the LDLs will all start to back up at the bus stop waiting on the next bus—but the problem is–there’s not enough buses to transport them all!! Get it!!??
I know genetics play a key role in our cholesterol, etc, but our diet plays an even bigger role. We can help our body not work so hard by simply making changes in our diet by trying to provide more school buses, we’re improving our chances of living a longer, healthier life!
Good sources of HDLs or healthy fats include: avocados, olives and olive oil, walnuts and almonds, coconuts and coconut oil, salmon and other fatty fish, flax seeds and chia seeds.
Unhealthy fats that can raise your ‘bad’ cholesterol include saturated fats like bacon grease, pork, dairy, butter and margarine, the skin off of chicken, vegetable oil and empty calorie foods like donuts, sweets and other junk food.
Now I have a question for you? Do you know what percentage of healthy fat you actually need everyday? Leave your answer in the comments below!
Stay tuned and I’ll post some of my favorite recipes and ways to include healthy fats in your diet!
Now go eat fat!! Woop!