We want to share the knowledge of our inspiring Spoon Squad far and wide. Today’s guest post comes from certified Holistic Health and Lifestyle Coach, Stephanie Rapp.

Fat. That small word scares us. We don’t want to be associated with it. We try to avoid it. And yet, we need it.

Fat has become a vilified word in our society. Marketing, food lobbies, and our own government promote the false claim that eating fats leads to heart disease and obesity. We are trained to look for labels such as “fat-free,” “skinny,” “lite,” or “reduced fat.” But we have it all wrong. Or, rather, we only have half the story.

Processed, industrialized fats are bad. These fats are everywhere in the Standard American Diet (which predominantly consists of packaged, refined, and processed foods). However, real fats from whole foods are essential. They don’t make you fat: in fact, they help with weight loss, boost metabolism, keep you satisfied, fight inflammation, and make skin glow.

Recent research shows that high-fat and high-protein diets lead to increased fat loss and muscle gain. A review of 53 studies showed that high-fat diets resulted in more weight loss than low-fat diets (when the same number of calories are consumed). Furthermore, high-fat, low-carb diets help ward off diabetes, cancer, and dementia.

Remember, this only applies to healthy fats — the ones found in avocado, olive oil, coconut, nuts, seeds, wild fish, whole eggs, and grass-fed pastured meats and dairy — not the fats found in twinkies and Big Macs! These healthy fats work like gasoline for our cells; fuel your body with the energy it’s made to consume, and you’ll run at maximum efficiency.

Fat is also essential for vitamin and mineral absorption. Many important minerals and vitamins (specifically A, E, D and K) are fat-soluble, meaning they need to be consumed alongside fat so your body can make use of them. Stop dressing your salad with just balsamic vinegar and lemon juice! Add olive or flax oils, and throw in diced avocado or a handful of seeds. Your body will appreciate it!

Your skin also loves healthy fats. Omega-3s are super important fatty acids, but the Standard American Diet is high in omega-6s, not omega-3s. The average American’s omega-6:omega-3 consumption ratio is 10:1. The ideal is 1:1! A high omega-6:omega-3 ratio creates inflammation, which causes acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and other chronic illnesses caused by inflammation. Foods rich in omega-3s decrease this inflammation, and make skin look younger, smoother, and more even-toned. Salmon, sardines, anchovies and mackerel are the best sources of omega-3s, but nuts and seeds do the trick too!

Are you a healthy fat convert yet? Incorporate healthy fats into your diet today and see how you feel. Avoid vegetable oils like corn, soybean and canola, and add in the good stuff: whole, real fats from high quality foods. Michael Pollan’s words of wisdom are our rule to live by: “If it was grown on a plant, eat it, if it was made in a plant (factory), leave it.”

Stephanie Rapp, Co-founder of EMBODY Wellness Company.

EMBODY Wellness. EMBODY Change. EMBODY Your Best Self.

Stephanie Rapp is a certified Holistic Health and Lifestyle Coach, and co-founder of EMBODY Wellness Company. EMBODY Wellness Company is your wellness and lifestyle concierge, specializing in creating customizable, holistic wellness and nutrition programs targeted to accomplish your health goals in a lasting and sustainable way.

Download EMBODY Wellness Company’s FREE Guide: “10 Simple Swaps To Clean Up Your Diet” available on the EWC website.

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