I’m so unsure about how much fat in the diet is recommended. I have read that too much omega 6 isn’t good but I don’t know how to manage that. I eat a balanced whole food diet with nuts and seeds and raw chocolate and avocados and high quality oils. Is that OK? I feel well but I’d like some further guidance.Selena, Australia
Thank you for your question! Healthy fats are needed in order to help the body absorb certain vital nutrients into your cells such as vitamins A, D, E and K. Fat is an essential nutrient for maintaining healthy nervous system, brain function and helps to regulate hormones and body temperature. The main focus should be which fats are healthiest and which ones are less than ideal. Getting your fat from whole, plant based foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds is key. Keeping your fat between 10-15% is a good general idea of what your fat intake should be. If you are very active, you may perform better with a little more fat, say 20%. And hey, if you want to indulge in some fat one day over the mark, that is totally okay! Just try to be more conscious of your fat intake the following day. You may even want to try to go with no fat if you overdid it the day before. Fat can store in the blood stream for two to three days which gives you an idea of how to find balance.
If you are incorporating oils into your diet, I wouldn’t recommend using them every day. Try using them as sparingly as possible. If you are cooking with oils, keep in mind that adding heat can change the chemical properties of them to be carcinogenic. If you are using the oil for cooking, I would suggest coconut oil at a low/ medium heat. You can always replace cooking oil with water instead.
Some of the healthiest fats to stick with are coconut meat, avocado, durian and the best fats with an excellent omega 6-3 ratio are walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds and flaxseeds. When looking at what a good omega 6-3 ratio is, keep this in mind; for every two grams of omega 3 you consume, three grams of omega 6 can be eaten. Too much omega 6 can make the body stiff and rigid and act as a competitive inhibitor which means it will take away from your omega 3 intake. This can cause you to become deficient in DHA which is important for healthy electrical activity in brain functions, the nervous system and hormone regulation. I would suggest trying to stay within that omega 6-3 ratio I mentioned above as best you can and try to focus on the healthy fats I listed as well. You don’t have to do anything 100%. Don’t feel like you need to limit yourself. You can definitely add in whatever other nuts and seeds you like but the ones I suggested are just the fats that would be most beneficial for the body in maintaining a balanced omega 6-3 ratio. I hope this gives you some clarity.
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