Happy New Year! Please pass the butter.
Yes indeed. Many of you have heard me say this many times, but it’s worth saying again because I always love talking about butter, and also because I feel very strongly about this: If you change nothing else about the way you cook and eat, simply change out bad fats for good fats.
I mean, I am going to continue to encourage you to stop eating so many cookies, but at the very least, bake your cookies using real butter instead of margarine. Make your pie crusts using palm shortening instead of Crisco. Use olive oil instead of vegetable oil when you make salad dressing. And stir coconut oil into muffins instead of canola. These changes require pretty much no effort on your part, will only slightly effect your budget, and will absolutely change the flavor of your recipes for the better.
Have picky eaters at your house? While switching from white to whole wheat pasta might raise someone’s eyebrow at dinnertime, I can almost guarantee that switching from margarine to butter won’t even make anyone flinch. If anything, your family might notice that their cookies and muffins taste better than they used to. I’m telling you that back in my margarine days, my cookies always tasted a little off. They also looked funny, bless their little hearts. But when I started using real butter, my cookies became amazing. (Humbly speaking of course. The cookies speak for themselves.)
Healthy fats: the easiest healthy change…ever!
But wait, don’t we want to avoid eating too much fat??
Even though I believe many people are beginning to grasp the concept that eating fat is not altogether bad, I still can’t get over how often I hear someone talk about how fattening or naughty something is if it is full of butter or cream cheese. Au contraire. Butter is golden (literally) and offers many wonderful health qualities – because it is a full fat! The same is true for coconut oil and other healthy fats I’ve listed below.
Our culture has us brainwashed, but don’t think I’m faulting anyone. I was among those that stayed far away from fat (especially butter!) until just a few years ago. I read every label to check “how many grams of fat” were in each serving. If it had more than just a gram or two of fat, I stayed far, far away (and instead snacked on fat free stuff like Twizzlers – sheesh). After all, eating fat would make me fat, right?
No, no, no, no, no. I can attest to this. I have many friends who can attest to this. In fact, now I’m finding that if I’m not eating enough good, healthy fats – I don’t feel well. My skin isn’t as healthy. My hair isn’t as shiny. My appetite is not satisfied. Butter and cream have not made me gain weight – and trust me – I eat a lot of both. (“You want some potato with that butter, Mom?”)
Is this because of my metabolism or my body type? No, I don’t believe it is. Eating good fat can help everyone maintain a healthy weight. On the other hand, when I consume too much sugar or just plain overeat? That’s when my jeans get tight and I feel like junk. But that’s another real food reality post for another day.
Why don’t healthy fats make us fat?
Real food fats are absolutely pure and whole. When we eat them, our insides are like, “Yes! I know what this is. I know what to do with this!” Our bodies can easily digest real fats. Out bodies can utilize every last bit of what is in them. Healthy fats nourish us.
On the other hand, when we eat trans fats, hydrogenated oils, margarine, and vegetable oils that have been factory created – our bodies struggle to know exactly what to do with these unrecognizable fellas. Those fats have been significantly changed from their original form, and many of them were never intended to be consumed in the first place. We eat them and our bodies become sluggish while they try to figure out exactly…what…to…do. It’s as if our insides are then saying, “Whoa? Who are you? You confuse me. I’m not sure which part of you, if any, I can use to fuel this body. Off with you. Head to the hips. Or the gut. Or just fly around in here wreaking havoc on this weary body.”
So are you saying that I should eat a bowlful of coconut oil every morning for breakfast?
Yeah, um no. We don’t want to over eat fats any more than we want to over eat any food. I’m simply saying that we should not be afraid of healthy fats, and we should eat them without reservation to fuel our body’s needs. Foods like cream, cheese, meat, coconut oil, and eggs are naturally full of fat. On purpose. Our bodies need the nutrients they each provide.
On the other hand, most vegetables, fruits, and grains are completely fat free. On purpose. They also provide our bodies with needed nutrients. Isn’t it cool how all natural food comes to us in a perfect way to fulfill a purpose within us? When we eat a lovely balance of all varieties of food, we can then fuel our bodies in the way that will keep us going strong!
Let’s hear it for a healthy, well balanced diet of real food!
The best sources of fat to nourish our bodies are:
- Coconut Oil
- Real Butter
- Whole milk from animals or coconuts
- Olive Oil
- Palm Oil
Each of the animal fats listed above are most beneficial if from a grass fed or free range animal. But don’t sweat it if that’s not happening for you yet. Just focus on eating real food and do the best you can. Don’t forget that God is bigger than any of your worries.
Whew! That’s a lot of information. We’ll talk more about nourishment tomorrow. For today, share with us: How are you coming with switching to healthy fats? What are your favorite sources for healthy fats?