veg basket

The Glory of the Lowly Root

If you’ve been hanging around this newsletter for any time at all, you know I often advise people to “eat with the seasons” in order to get the most health benefits and flavor from their food.  With winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, we get to enjoy root vegetables … and there’s a huge variety of nutrient-rich roots out there to explore.

Unfortunately, this category of vegetables often gets whittled down to just potatoes, onions and carrots – but there are so many root vegetables with much to offer in terms of vitamins, minerals, and great taste.

Root veggies include tubers, corms, and rhizomes – strange words for a class of root veggies that includes potatoes and yams, water chestnut, turmeric and ginger.  Then there are bulbs … think onions, garlic, fennel, shallots and Jerusalem artichokes.  “True” roots include those that we automatically think of such as carrots, parsnips, beets, radishes, jicama, turnips and sweet potato.

What makes these vegetables truly unique is that root veggies evolved to store nutrients for the plants themselves, so they offer us a true powerhouse of energy, minerals, vitamins and more.

3 Healthy Reasons to Eat More Root Veggies

  1. Dietary fiber. Because root veggies tend to be rich in complex carbs, including dietary fiber, they promote glucose stability and improved digestive health.  Fiber is definitely one of those nutrients we could all use more of!
  2. Resistant starch. This type of complex carb doesn’t easily break down in the gut. It arrives intact in the colon and ferments there, feeding gut bacteria and producing beneficial short-chain fatty acids.
  3. Vitamins and minerals. Here’s where the list gets very impressive. Due to the close contact with the soil, root veggies are particularly rich in minerals like potassium, zinc, copper, phosphorus and magnesium.  However, mineral content is contingent upon the type of soil they’re grown in – another reason why organic is better.  Also, the high mineral content makes root crops alkalizing foods.  As for vitamins, many roots are loaded with vitamins A, C, and B6 and those with edible greens like beets and radishes are also a great source of vitamin K.

But what about carbs?

Limiting your carb intake because of concerns about weight gain or insulin resistance? You may be trying to avoid “starchy” root vegetables like potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips.

But “low carb” doesn’t mean no carb. If you’re “not eating carbs” it is better to focus on cutting out simple sugars like sucrose and fructose. Both are readily absorbed in the gut, unlike the resistant starch present in many of the root veggies we’re talking about.

Get all the health benefits of root crops

Many root veggies also have antioxidant properties. Some, like onions, ginger, beets and turmeric, have known anti-inflammatory capabilities.

A few, like garlic, contain natural antibacterial qualities that can help limit bacterial overgrowth in the gut. Radishes have long been known to have a mild hypoglycemic effect in diabetes. Ginger and turmeric both have widely been researched for their anti-inflammatory properties.

Food Tips for the Holidays

Food Tips for the Holidays

Along with the holiday season comes an abundance of food and drink, parties showcasing more food than we would normally include in our regular dinner menu. It’s clear why overeating is so easy to do this time of year.

While I am all about eating real, wholesome, delicious food (and being grateful for it!), this time of year calls for a very mindful approach to enjoying the offerings without feeling sick and bloated at the end of the day.

Here are a few tips worth including in your daily practice that can be of help as you navigate through the goodies:

  1. Start the day in a mindful way: Start your day off with healthy choices that get your body moving and your mind awake and aware. A walk or run, some yoga, a morning meditation … these things not only help you feel your best, they also help you deal with the frantic pace and massive selection of food in a calm and mindful manner.
  2. Hydrate! For whatever reason, when winter rolls around people stop drinking water. Proper hydration is essential for promoting good digestion, energy, and focus, transporting nutrients, encouraging circulation and metabolism, and many other aspects of what it takes to build a strong body. Water also plays a part in regulating your appetite, so be sure to drink up throughout the day.
  3. Check in with your hunger: Ask yourself where your hunger levels are before you start eating and continue to check in throughout the meal. This simple exercise can be the difference between the food-coma and a post-dinner family game.
  4. Choose wisely: High-quality protein and fats encourage satiation and reduce extra carb cravings. Of course, veggies should be the star of your dish; non-starchy varieties like leafy greens are rich in fiber and phyto-nutrients that will fill you up without the regret. Sweet potatoes and butternut squash are starchier options that can still be part of a well-balanced plate, just try to stick to ½ cup portions of these to aid in blood sugar balancing.
  5. Chew slowly: Paying closer attention to the pace at which you chew your food can make a huge impact on the total amount of food you consume. It’s also a great way to more mindfully enjoy it—for foods that took so much time, love, and energy to prepare, doesn’t it deserve that kind of appreciation? You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to eat less and feel completely satisfied when you pay attention to the tastes and textures of each bite.

I hope these tips will help you enjoy your holiday in a comfortable and healthy way.

Exercises for good posture

Helpful exercises to correct posture

We all know exercise is an important component to our daily health. The following exercises were developed by Dr. David Jockers, DC, MS, CSCS to help combat poor posture and to help restore health and proper posture.

Perform each of the following exercises twice a day for one minute. In 30 to 90 days you will notice improved posture and all its benefits.

a. The Eagle: To do this exercise, imagine opening your arms just like an eagle spreads its wings. Stretching your arms overhead will open the lungs and boost oxygen intake. The boost in oxygen stimulates tissue regeneration and increases blood flow.

Instructions for Exercise:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart
  2. Start with arms lowered and adjacent to sides
  3. Simultaneously lift both arms above your head
  4. Pause for a moment
  5. Lower arms back down to sides in a slow and controlled movement
  6. Repeat for 1 minute

b. The Hummingbird: This is a great exercise to remove the slouch from poor posture and to realign the head with the spine. The hummingbird strengthens the muscles between the shoulder blades, improves muscle fibers around the thoracic spinal column, opens pectoral muscles, and lifts the rib cage.

Instructions for Exercise:

  1. Lift arms so that they are parallel to the floor
  2. Bend elbows and facepalms forward to form a 90-degree angle between the bicep and forearm
  3. Rotate arms backward in a circular movement while squeezing shoulder blades together
  4. Repeat for 1 minute

c. The Trap Opener: The trapezius muscles stabilize the shoulder blades providing support for head and neck movement. Habitual forward head posture pulls and weakens the shoulder blades which consequently also relocates the ribcage. This exercise will release stress from the trapezius muscles and dispose of the so-called “monkey” on your back.

Instructions for Exercise:

  1. Relax your shoulders
  2. Drop your chin towards your chest
  3. Roll head slightly to the right side
  4. Use your right hand to massage trapezius muscles on the upper left side of the back
  5. Repeat exercise for opposite side
  6. Perform for 1 minute

d. The Butterfly: The butterfly is a great exercise to correct forward head posture.
Performing this exercise regularly targets muscles in the neck and shoulders that cause chronic neck pain.

Instructions for Exercise:

  1. Focus on lifting chest toward the ceiling
  2. Bring your hands back against your head so that thumbs point down. *Optional: If reduced flexibility hinders your ability to lift arms and hands behind head, perform exercise standing flat against a wall. You can also align back of head against a seat.
  3. Use about 10% of strength to push head backward while keeping head straight
  4. Hold for approximately 10 seconds
  5. Relax and repeat for 1 minute

e. The Chin Tuck: A contrasting exercise to the butterfly is the chin tuck. This exercise balances the opposite core muscles in the neck by strengthening the deep neck flexors. Performing the chin tuck helps balance your head and neck, reducing the occurrence of forward head shift.

Instructions for Exercise

  1. Focus on lifting chest toward the ceiling
  2. Maintain head position with ears over the neck
  3. Place 1 hand on your forehead
  4. Gently push forward with about 10% of strength (muscles in neck should contract and head should appear immobile)
  5. Relax and repeat for 1 minute
balance

Standing Tall: The Importance of Good Posture

Did your mother or teacher have to constantly tell you to stand tall or sit up straight? Well, as it turns out, their advice was right on the money. Posture is how your body is positioned when you are sitting, standing, or lying down. This article will discuss why good posture is important, the health consequences of poor posture, and steps you can take to improve posture.

All of us admire those with good posture, it is an attractive feature and those with good posture give a sense of command and control. Unfortunately, very few people are committed to practicing daily rituals to improve their posture. This postural neglect can have serious consequences on our overall health.

Why is Good Posture Important?

Posture is the window into your spine. Your spine has a powerful relationship with your brain, spinal cord, and overall organ function. The curve in the spine is there to provide support and balance to the musculoskeletal system. This natural curve is essential for preventing deformation to bones, joints, muscles, and tendons.
Correct posture reinforces the natural curve of the spine and not only influences how you look but helps you breathe, improves concentration, supports vital organ function, and stimulates overall well-being. Correct posture protects against disc degeneration that can lead to inflammatory conditions and disease. It is also critical for protecting the central nervous system.

What Is Subluxation?

In our modern society, we daily repeat activities that create stress on the supporting spinal column. Slouching, crossing legs, Smartphone use, and incorrect ergonomic practices at home, school, and work cause poor posture.

These daily activities lead to the abnormal curvature of the spine and abnormal stress on the nervous system, which is known as subluxation, or partial dislocation. Subluxation interferes with nerve impulses and can manifest in numerous physical symptoms.

Examples of physical symptoms from subluxation include:

  1. Neuropathy, a disease or disorder, generally degenerative, that affects the nervous system
  2. Back pain or neck pain
  3. Chronic pain common in the hips, joints, lower back, pelvis, and knees
  4. Irritation of a specific area such as arm pain
  5. Weakened immune system
  6. Organ dysfunction
  7. Inability to move or exercise normally
  8. Dizziness and loss of balance
  9. Loss of bladder or bowel control
  10. Autoimmune conditions
  11. Fatigue
  12. Headaches and migraines

The spine is susceptible to numerous traumas, including birth, regular physical activities from exercise and sports, as well as accidental injury from car accidents and falls. Depending on the type of injury and which nerve pathways of the spine become disrupted, spinal subluxations can increase the risk for weakened immunity and lowered quality of life.

Loss of the spine’s natural curve inhibits normal physiological and nervous system functions. The ability to protect the brain stem and support the communication of nerve impulses throughout the body becomes suppressed.
In addition, physical limitations of the body marked by poor posture accelerate the aging process and increase inflammation. This is a result of the body’s inability to manage stress and tissue trauma appropriately.

Forward Head Posture

Probably the most noticeable and common postural issue is forward head posture. It is an exaggeration of the natural curve of the neck. The natural curve, or arc, helps protect the brain stem and the spinal canal, where the spinal cord and nerves that travel to every region of the body are housed.

As the arc reduces it becomes unstable and results in a forward head posture. Causes of forward head posture include:

  1. Looking down while typing or reading (which has become excessive with the use of smartphones)
  2. Sitting improperly with shoulders rounded and back hunched
  3. Driving with your head more than 2 inches away from the head rest
  4. Carrying a backpack or heavy purse over one shoulder

Forward head posture causes major stress on the musculoskeletal system. It can lead to many health issues. For every inch your head extends forward, your neck must support an additional 10 pounds (nearly 5kg) of weight, and depending on the severity of the forward head posture, it can add up to 30 pounds (about 14kg) of additional weight on the spinal discs, ligaments, and tendons. This results in a cascade of injury to internal organs, like the lungs (which affects breathing), and affects blood flow and oxygenating the blood.

3 Ways to Improve Your Posture by Correcting & Preventing Sublaxation and Forward Head Posture

#1: Chiropractic Care – Chiropractic adjustments can help compensate for postural abnormalities leading to an improvement in the health of the spine and the whole body. Research found that chiropractic adjustments and rehabilitation exercises lead to the correction of forward head posture and cervical lordosis and restored pulmonary function.

#2: Lifestyle Practices – The first step to achieving good posture is being aware of your postural habits. Once you are aware of your poor postural habits, you can replace these habits with new healthy postural habits.

Four suggested lifestyle practices to reinforce good posture include:

  1. Make sure the top of your computer screen is level with your eyes, about two feet away from your face
  2. Carry a backpack squarely over both shoulders to balance the weight distribution
  3. When carrying a purse or duffle bag, carry it diagonally across the torso
  4. Have ample lower back support while sitting or lying for prolonged periods

#3: Exercises – Daily practice of posture correcting exercises will help create new postural habits.

How much is too much?

How much is too much?

How many times have you taken a bite of a food and said, “I’m so bad – this is so bad for me”?
News Flash: there’s no such thing as a good or bad food. No food is morally good or morally bad. If you have a food labeled as bad, then eating it makes you a bad person. What do you do to bad people? You punish them.

So, here’s the question: Are you punishing yourself because you’re “bad” for eating something that “is bad”. Can you begin to see food as neutral? Can you see the error in thinking?

What we need to realize is that it isn’t the food, it’s the quality and the dose. The true value of food is less about what food you’re eating and more about the quality and how much of it you eat.

Quality is everything. If you’re going to eat a slice of pizza, eat the best one you can find (or make it yourself using a vegetable crust rather than white flour).

Choose the highest quality version of the foods you’re going to eat anyway. When you elevate the quality of your food, you elevate your metabolism.

Quantity … ah, now there’s the rub. How much is enough? How much is too much? Do you know when you’ve had enough, or do you eat until your pants are so tight you can’t to breathe? Do you know when you’re hungry, or do you eat because the clock says it is noon?

Here’s the challenge:
Write a list of some foods that you can eat in moderation, but if you over-indulge it’s a problem.

You see – you do know what they are; now, all that is necessary for you to do is respect your body enough to allow quality food in, in moderation, and know when and where to draw the line. Having trouble completing this challenge? Hit the button and make an appointment because that’s one of the things I’m good at – helping you figure it all out.

bread-breakfast-coffee

What Am I Supposed to Eat?

Often, when I’m out at an event and happen to bump into someone who knows I’m a health and nutrition professional, usually the first thing that happens (after “Hi”) is either an apology for eating what they’re eating, or a question … WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO EAT? IS THIS OKAY?

As we all know, there’s a glut of information available on diets – most of it very confusing. It seems there’s a new incarnation of an old idea every year with all kinds of voices crying, “Eat vegan!”; “Eat like a caveman!”; “Eat soy!”; “Don’t eat soy!”; “Count calories!”; “Don’t count calories!” You get the picture. The fact of the matter is that all diet theories – and there are at least 100 of them – are simply shifting the balance, the source, or the timing of macronutrients. They change the ratio of how many carbs to fats to proteins are measured. High carb/low carb; high protein/low protein; high fat/low fat – these ratios are the balance of macronutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrates. We need to look at the basic macronutrients and a little bit of science to make sense of it all.

There are six main nutrients needed for energy, maintenance of tissues and regulation of bodily processes. Those are carbohydrates, fats, proteins, water, vitamins and minerals. The “macro” nutrients are fats, proteins and carbohydrates and for the sake of basic nutrition science, we’ll stick with these.

The Mighty Macronutrients – Carbohydrates

Macronutrients provide your body with energy, which is measured in calories.  We’ll start with carbohydrates.

Carbs are organic compounds that contain single, double, or multiple sugar units.  Our bodies look to carbs for quick energy because carbs are a very powerful, fast-acting, energy source.  There are three kinds of carbohydrates: complex, simple and fiber.

  • Simple carbs have a simple chemical structure and they’re broken down and metabolized very quickly by the digestive system – they’re also usually sweet. Think fruit for a healthy example and bread, cookies and chips for the “other” kind.
  • Complex carbs take more time to break down and digest; they’re savory or starchy – like potatoes, squash or lentils.
  • Fiber can’t be broken down. It’s the intestinal scrub brush.  There’s no caloric value in fiber, but without it the gut can be in serious difficulty.  That’s why it’s so important to eat some of your fruit and vegetables raw or only slightly cooked.

The Power of Protein

Proteins are large, complex molecules that are critical in the body at a cellular level and are needed for structure, function and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs.  They are made up of amino acids, of which there are 21 different types that can be combined to create a protein.

  • Proteins are used to produce new tissues for growth and repair and they regulate and maintain body functions.
  • They define what an organism is, what it looks like and how it behaves.
  • Enzymes, used for digestion, protection and immunity are made of proteins.
  • Proteins are used as a source of energy when carbohydrates aren’t available, usually as a last resort.
  • Proteins are found in meats, poultry, fish, cheese, milk, nuts and legumes.

Many people have had great success with weight loss using high protein diets, such as Atkins and the Paleo diet.  And, while these types of diets can be very effective, they’re not necessarily the right fit for everyone.  It’s important to honor your body and your own individual metabolism; we’re all different and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all diet.  Our metabolisms are all different.  What works for one may not work as well for another.

Some people handle animal protein quite well, others can’t manage it at all.  Knowing the type of protein that works best for you is important to your dietary health and success.

Fats are a big subject and I addressed it in my blog in August.

That’s where understanding nutrition theory comes in and, that’s where I come in.  In the meantime, you’re welcome to eat whatever you want to eat.  I am not the “eating police”.  However, if you really want to know what to eat and if what you’re eating is doing you good, then we need to meet and spend some time together.  I’m always happy to do that!  Just click on the button and make an appointment.

 

Alcohol - Empty Calories

Empty Calories – What is Your Food Filled With?

I was chatting with my daughter today and she expressed, once again, her dismay that so few people seem to consider how nutrient deficient their food choices can be. She likened a small croissant at more than 400 calories to a bowl of blueberries containing the same number of calories. If you haven’t seen the comparison 125 blueberries or 1-1/4 cups is worth 100 calories. Times that by four and that’s a lot of blueberries!

In terms of nutrition for us humans, the term “empty calories” applies to foods and beverages composed primarily or solely of sugar, fats or oils (the unhealthy variety widely and generously used by food manufacturers), or alcohol-containing drinks. For example, carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks and fruit juices; cakes, cookies, pastries, donuts; processed meats and processed cheeses are all sources of empty calories. All of these provide food energy but little or no other nutrition in the way of vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber or essential fatty acids.

A very small amount of empty calories is okay, but most people eat far more than is healthy since the proportion of nutrients relative to energy content is way out of balance.

Here’s a thought … when the urge for something sweet strikes again, why not try a juicy peach or half a banana? You’ll at least be getting some nutrition that will help your body as opposed to taking in something that could be causing you harm.

 

 

Salad - Good Nutrition

Building on Balance – What is Good Nutrition?

If I asked you today what you believe good nutrition and a balanced diet look like, what would you tell me? Would you say that we should be eating foods from all of the food groups – meat/fish/eggs; breads and cereals; fruit and vegetables and dairy? Would you point me to the food pyramid? How about calories – would that be part of the equation called “balanced nutrition”?

Our ideas around nutrition have morphed over the years as we’ve explored all types of diets, many of which have left us frustrated and fat. Part of that is due to the fact that (you’ve heard me say this over and over again) diets don’t work. And, creating a “balanced diet” is entirely dependent upon whether we’re vegan, vegetarian, paleo, keto or heaven knows what. It seems that balance is in the eye of the beholder … so let’s take a look at some of the basic facts about nutrition and go from there.

Why is nutrition important?

The short answer to this question is that a balanced diet (way of eating every single day all year long) is vital for good health and wellbeing. Food provides our bodies with everything we need to grow and function properly. We know we need a wide variety of different foods to provide the right amounts of nutrients for good health. Nutrients is the operative word here, it’s the foundation of “nutrition”. When we enjoy a healthy way of eating it not only keeps us full of energy and vitality, it is also one of the great cultural pleasures of life. The foods and dietary patterns that promote good nutrition are pretty simple and quite basic – yet in today’s world, the simple and basic have been replaced with refined and unhealthy.

Nutrition Risk Factors

An unhealthy diet increases the risk of many diet-related diseases. Many of the major causes of death, illness and disability can be traced back to the way people “nourish” their bodies, in other words, their nutrition. Some of the diseases in which diet and nutrition play an important role include coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, atherosclerosis, obesity, some forms of cancer, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, dental caries, gall bladder disease, dementia and nutritional anemias. And this isn’t the entire list!

So, What Constitutes Good Nutrition?

It’s a fact that many people in Western countries are eating like crazy but they’re malnourished. Malnutrition happens when a person does not eat the right amount of nutrients. There’s a very simple fix for this … eat foods that contain the necessary nutrients to make and keep you healthy.
There are six main types of nutrients: carbohydrates, fats, minerals, protein, vitamins and water. We need to eat a lot of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) and although we need lesser amounts, it’s important to ensure we’re getting enough micronutrients (vitamins and minerals and water).
It may come as a surprise to you, but carbohydrates are not needed by the body; however, most people eat a lot (often too many) of them. Complex carbohydrates are more nutritious than simple carbohydrates and they take longer to digest, staying in the stomach longer so the person has a full feeling for a longer period – think sweet potato, squash, peas and beans as well a whole grains. Protein, comprised of amino acids, is necessary for the building of cells and tissue. The most common sources for protein are milk, meat, fish, beans, and eggs as well as certain grains and vegetables.
Fat occurs naturally in some foods and saturated and trans-fat (the unhealthy kind) is found in abundance in processed foods (cake, chips, many breads, you get the idea). The combination of simple carbohydrates and bad fats is what makes and keeps people fat. The good news about healthy fats, like those found in certain oils, nuts, avocados and fish is that it is a magnificent source of energy. Our bodies need Omega 3 and 6 fats for good nutrition. As I’ve written in a previous blog, not all fats are bad.
To sum up, good nutrition is a balanced blend of macro and micro nutrients in portions that are moderate. That means you get to build your own diet based on your body’s nutritional needs. If you need help with that, book an appointment and let’s talk.

 

 

Fish is healthy

Go Fish

Fish is among the healthiest foods on the planet. It is loaded with important nutrients, such as protein, vitamin D, B2 (riboflavin), calcium and phosphorus, a great source of minerals such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium, and is also the world’s best source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are incredibly important for your body and brain.

Besides being a high protein, low-fat food that provides a range of health benefits, white-fleshed fish, in particular, is lower in fat than any other source of animal protein, and oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, or the “good” fats.

How often should I eat fish?

Government dietary guidelines recommend that people eat fish two to three times a week. And we know that fish are full of omega-3 fatty acids—which can benefit both heart and brain. While it might be safe to eat fish every day, it’s still not clear if there is any added health benefits to that level of consumption. Just make sure to choose a variety of fish lower in mercury, such as almon, tilapia, tuna and cod. Due to the high levels of mercury in white (albacore) tuna, you should not exceed 6 ounces per week.

Telling the Truth about Fish

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past several years, you’re pretty aware of the advisories against eating farmed fish. But, what about fresh fish vs. frozen fish? I often get questions about that from my clients and here’s a bit of info that could prove to be very helpful to you:
Unless you know for sure it’s high-quality fresh fish, go with frozen. A lot of fish is flash frozen on the boat right after it’s caught. After thawing, it should still be quite good.
On the other hand, “fresh” fish that was never frozen may have spent a few days sitting in a smelly ship’s hold by the time you buy it. And, some “fresh” fish may have been frozen and then thawed out behind the supermarket counter.

 

 

Healthy Fats

The Skinny on Fats

Eat fat – get fat. Right? Actually, no, not entirely.

Incorporating good fats in your diet help you with weight loss

The general line of thinking over several decades was that if we just eliminated fat from our diets all of our weight loss problems would be solved. But the truth is that we actually need fats – in fact, we can’t live without them. They’re an integral part of a healthy diet, providing essential fatty acids that help to keep our skin soft, deliver fat-soluble vitamins, provide energizing fuel and probably most importantly, they keep our brains functioning. Still, it’s very easy to get confused about good fats vs. bad fats, how much fat we should eat, how to avoid artery-clogging trans-fats, and the role omega-3 fatty acids play in heart health.
As most people these days know, fat has made it back into our diets, which is a really good thing. It’s recommended that 20%-35% of calories in an adult’s diet should come from fat and, at the very least, 10% of calories in the diet come from fat.

Here’s the problem: the typical North American diet is much higher in fat – roughly 34% to 40% of calories in the Standard American Diet (SAD) comes from fat. Why is that? Well, it’s because fat makes food taste good and it’s widely available (thanks to food manufacturers) in the food supply. Fats enhance the flavors of foods and give our mouths that wonderful feel that is so satisfying. The food industry has that figured out and it really has paid off for them. Using trans-fats (the worst of the worst) has contributed to the high level of inflammation in people that results in disease such as diabetes, obesity and many more.

Eat the Right Kind of Fats
In other parts of the world, fat has always been welcome at the table. In the U.S.? Only now is the truth being realized: Not all fats are created equally. Our bodies need fat — more specifically, they need healthy fats. As the ketogenic diet that emphasizes healthy fats gains in popularity, more and more people want to know what fats qualify. By upping our healthy fats we lower bad cholesterol, increase our satiety (so we avoid overeating), and boost our immune system.
Here are some suggestions for great fats that pack a lot of punch. From lowering bad cholesterol and helping shed excess weight to giving you shiny hair and healthy nails, your body will reap the benefits of these healthy fats.

Avocado

  • Rich in monounsaturated fats (raises levels of good cholesterol while lowering the bad)
  • Packed with Vitamin E to boost immunity
  • More protein than any other fruit
  • Full of folate (excellent for pregnant women)

Butter and Ghee

  • Full of Omega6 and Omage3 fatty acids – great for brain and skin health
  • Rich in fat-soluble vitamins and trace minerals
  • Ghee (clarified butter) is better for cooking at high temperatures

Coconut Oil

Rich in medium chain fatty acids which:

  • Are easy for your body to digest
  • Not readily stored by the body as fat
  • Small in size so they infuse the body with energy quickly
  • Improve brain and memory function

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • High levels of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants
  • Boosts heart health, memory and cognitive function
  • Not recommended for cooking at high temperatures

Omega 3s

  • Preferred sources are DHA and EPA, found in seafood sources like salmon and sardines
  • Supplement with fish oil
  • Get at least 1,000mg/day of EPA/DHA and 4,000mg of total omega3s ALA/DHA/EPA combined

Nuts & Seeds

  • Rich in ALA Omega3 fats (brain food)
  • Helps lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL)
  • Walnuts and almonds are the best nuts
  • Flax seeds and chia seeds are the top seeds

Eggs

  • Packed with protein and a full amino acid profile
  • Can lower cholesterol while improving heart health
  • Can reduce risk of metabolic syndrome

Full-Fat Dairy

  • Yogurt is full of omega3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins and probiotics (non-sweetened w/o fruit)
  • Raw milk keeps all vitamins, minerals and proteins intact
  • Goat milk is easily digestible and makes a great option for those with GI issues