Eat your Healthy Fats!

January 7, 2011

One of the silliest trends to come out of the 1990’s was the low-fat, no-fat craze and I bought into it hook, line and sinker. I drank skimmed milk by the gallon and ate low-fat potato chips (together, I might add) and thought that anyone who didn’t was crazy. Although much has been written regarding the benefits of healthy fat in our diet, many people have become so accustomed to the low-fat way of eating that they don’t consider the possibility that it may be contributing to health problems, not eliminating them.

Certainly too much fat, especially the wrong kind, can wreak havoc on the body, but good fats are essential for a balanced diet. In fact, every meal should contain a healthy fat along with protein and carbohydrates to properly assimilate nutrients. For certain body types like Vata types, healthy fats are extremely important, internally and externally, especially in fall and winter when it’s cold, dry and windy. Fats such as ghee, sesame and olive oil help to lubricate dry joints (as well as the colon!) and provide satiety which will actually result in less hunger and less overeating.

The supermarket shelves are lined with hundreds of fat-free choices, albeit loaded with sugar and other additives. Whether or not dairy is healthy is another subject altogether, but if you do eat dairy you should consider opting for an organic full-fat version. When buying yogurt, the best choice is plain, full-fat without any added sweetener. You can add your own fresh or frozen fruit and a little bit of honey or maple syrup to sweeten, if necessary.

Annemarie Colbin, founder of The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts here in NYC is a great resource on the subject of whole foods.

Two of her books that you might like to check out are:  Food and Healing and The Whole Food Guide to Strong Bones.

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