In this neck of the woods we are fat-burners. Because we avoid grains, starches and sugars and because we focus on consuming a larger percentage of fat in our daily calories, we run off of fat rather than sugar. There are no highs or lows, the energy supply is constant. There are no cravings. Our brains, bodies and joints thrive with this lifestyle. Not all fats are your friends however. I steer clear of the recommended ‘heart healthy’ polyunsaturated vegetable oils and canola oils, which are overprocessed at tremendous heats, making them rancid before they make it to the store and before they enter your system. So which fats do I cycle into my routine (I like an assortment daily to get the individual differences)? There are three oils I consider to be the keys to a long and healthy life: pharmaceutical fish oil, first-pressed extra virgin olive oil, and virgin coconut oil. Besides these I also like the occasional grass-fed raw butter (this however can be a tricky find, especially with stringent state laws regarding raw dairy), grass-fed tallow, lard, duck fat, and egg yolks (love yolks I’d actually put these up there with the first three).
Pharmaceutical Fish Oil: I have emphasized the importance of pharmaceutical here because I am sick and tired of people buying cheap over the counter fish oil. Fish oil is a beautiful thing but if you don’t change your eating (if you’re eating lots of omega-6 and processed foods) or if you’re getting inexpensive knock-off brands you are not going to get the full benefit. Pharmaceutical means it has been tested for purity. Plus it delivers substantially more nutrient levels than over the counter products. Not to mention you could be looking at a toxic product, with dioxin and such. Pay it out, change your eating and you’ll change your life. Fish oil is a great source of omega-3 fats. You want an even amount of omega-3 to omega-6. However, today’s modern diet is heavy with the omega-6, which can through your body out of whack and lead to inflammation. Therefore decreasing intake of omega-6 and consciously getting more omega-3 through a trusted source like pharmaceutical fish oil, will level out percentages. Fish oil is also a tremendous supplier of EPA and DHA. DHA is a powerhouse fat for your brain. That is why some of the potential benefits of fish oil is: improved memory, improved cognition, mental clarity, improved creativity, along with decreased risk of cancers and heart disease, improved mood, increased weight loss, anti-aging potential, and increased sex drive. Wow, that’s pretty impressive. Really though the most importance stance I can give you is from personal experience and from client testimonies. I myself can tell most what fish oil is doing for me when I miss it for a couple of weeks (usually on vacation when my mother packs it at the bottom). I feel fuzzy. Like there is a haze over my brain function and thoughts. My mom swears it helped her get through menopause. And I can’t tell you how much it has helped clients with arthritic conditions (who usually take larger doses). How much it relieves their joints. I have clients with their children and grandchildren on it exclaim how their academics improve (fish oil is supposed to be great for kids with ADHD as well). I think for longevity and general health pharmaceutical fish oil is a must.
First-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil: you’ll notice here I have added first-pressed. Many, if not most of us, know about extra virgin olive oil. However, after reading a book titled Extra-Virginity, my eyes were opened to the fraud that often happens in the olive oil industry. Many that you purchase in stores are not the virgins they claim to be (nor are they even 100% Italian for that matter). Actually many Italians would consider American olive oils to be only useful in burning lamps and not consumption. First pressed guarantees less processing. Just like with the other vegetables oils, when overheated and highly processed, it can go bad. An indicator that you’ve got a quality olive oil in your hands, would be a harvest date on the back letting you know when the olives were sown. Also when tasting it should be smooth going down and slightly peppery or hot on the back of the throat as it slides down. A cough is a good sign. This means it is packed full of polyphenols. They estimate olive oil has over 100 polyphenols, in a unique cocktail that protects against inflammation. That’s right olive oil is my go to oil to fight inflammation, when I’ve done too many classes I get that oil in, otherwise I’m an achy mess. Plus just look at the Mediterranean people who consume this oil. They live long healthy lives and have some of the lowest rates of heart disease in the world. Note: olive oil is not an oil I cook with, as cooking tends to rob me of nutrients. I love to drizzle olive oil, it makes a bomb salad dressing. (Also I love it on my skin!)
Virgin Coconut Oil: Just like the Mediterranean and their olive oil, think of the tropics and their health history. Not to mention their breathtaking skin and shining hair. Coconut oil is great because it is a medium chain of fat (it is smaller in length than oils like olive). This means not only does it technically have less calories, but it can be used as a readily available source of energy. The starring role belongs to lauric acid. Breast milk is the only other significant source. It has been toted for being antimicrobial and antifungal. Think of it as being a superhero in fighting illnesses. Coconut oil is also a tremendous source of saturated fat. I know some believe saturated fat is the root of all evil to the cardiac system, but your body needs saturated fat (and cholesterol). It provides integrity to your cells. Your brain loves it as well, coconut oil has even been used in studies with Alzheimer’s patients. I personally love to cook with coconut oil (but then again coconut is one of my favorite foods-and scents- but I know for many coconut is hit and miss). It has a high smoke point and a great self life. It is a semi-solid at room temperature and is great to lather into your skin as well!
Grass-Fed Raw Butter: Weston A. Price organization raves about butter, and why wouldn’t they it’s like praising the yumminess of bacon, a complete no-brainer. Weston Price discovered that cows grazing in the spring and fall on rapidly growing grass, packed a nutritional punch to ancestral societies using them. After further research it makes complete sense. The butter was rich in fat-soluble vitamins like A an D. It contained what Weston called Activator X (today suspected to be vitamin K2), which help the body absorb and utilize the other nutrients. The Wulzen Factor is important to joint health. It provides CLA and healthy arachidonic acid. Plus remember how coconut oil is a medium chain? Well butter is a short chain (fewer calories and energy, exciting I know!?!). I really don’t think I need much more. Butter tastes good why would you want to use rancid imitation s***? I’ll note while we’re talking butter here that my favorite butter is actually goat’s milk butter. Did you know that goat’s milk is the most consumed milk in the world? Rich and creamy, I could nibble on it devoid of other foods. Oh and I love ghee. A semi-solid at room temp, it will keep freshness for over a year!
Egg Yolks: What about cholesterol? Again, foods with cholesterol do not correlate to cholesterol levels. Look at the other crap in your diet first. Egg whites only is such a load of BS. Yolks are one of the first foods the Weston Price recommends for babies. The whites cannot be given until after a year because they contain protein inhibitors. That is also why eating raw eggs all the time is maybe not the best way. Really you’re best off eating the yolks and ditching the whites. The best nutrients are found in the egg. Such nutrients include: amino acids (muscle plus), cholesterol, B vitamins, vitamin E, lutein and zeanaxanthin (great for eye health), omega-3, and choline (something in every cell of your body). It is important to point out that pasture-raised eggs have significantly higher levels of these nutrients than grocery store eggs.
Lard: I think anything associated with ‘old’ people, like old farmers is a plus here! Lard has nutrients beneficial to immunity, nourishment and which are antimicrobial. Lard provides vitamin D, stearic acid, cholesterol and saturated fat. It’s great to cook with it and store due to its high smoke point and stability.
Tallow: I don’t recommend or cover tallow as often as the other oils, which is probably due to my difficulties in procuring it. Although if you have a farmer ask them to get you some suet, which you can render down into tallow. Tallow comes from rendered beef fat. I specified grass-fed here because you will get the benefits of the cow. This means more CLA, omega-3, good sources of stearic acid and vitamins A and D. Not to mention tallow is great for cooking- like frying vegetable fries!
I know this post is lengthy, but I tried to condense the most I could. Search the site and you’ll find even more in-depth posts on these fats. But like I’ve said the biggest attribute I can make is my own personal experience. Becoming fat-burners cost us a lot of clients because they became confused with us changing. But I really feel like being a fat-burner is more significant than just weight loss. I feel for overall health and for future health, it is the only lifestyle for me. My energy is crazy, my immunity is rock solid (I haven’t been sick in over 4 years, maybe more, I honestly can’t remember the last time), and my food tastes good.