Category Archives: Healthy Diet and Nutrition

Healthy Fats

I usually say this during every office visit: “Don’t be afraid to eat fat, at least the healthy fats!”

The fat-free era was probably one of the worst dietary interventions for us, as it increased our sugar consumption furthering obesity, hypercholesterolemia, insulin resistance, inflammation, and the list goes on.

Every single cell in our body is coated with fat. Fatty acids are the different kinds of fats we eat.  But we need the good kind of fatty acids for healthy cellular and tissue function. Some of the fats we use for cooking or that we eat at restaurants are damaged. The soybean oil, corn oil, canola, and vegetable oils should be avoided if exposed to medium-high heat.  Even extra virgin olive oil is damaged in heat.  Damaged fats can lead to damaged cells and tissues.

Coconut oil is probably the better oil to cook in medium heats that does not damage as easily. It also supplies you with healthy medium chain fatty acids that are much more readily absorbed and produce energy for the body than other long chain fatty acids.  However, we need a balance of healthy fats, so here are a few recommendations.

Ghee : provides short chain fatty acid called butyrate (healthy for your gut lining)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Healthy for nervous function and anti-inflammatory

Coconut Oil: Works great as an anti-microbial (swish with small amount after brushing teeth), and also helps provide energy for your little tiny organelles called mitochondria  (Here’s a fun little info site on mitochondria:  http://www.biology4kids.com/files/cell_mito.html)

Advertisements

A Nutritional Perspective

Navigating a healthy diet for kids can be confusing with the bombardment of advertisements for healthy foods and beverages containing vitamins or amino acids.  Simply put, the less processed the food is, the better for your child.  That includes pre-packaged foods and processed carbohydrates (i.e. flour, pastas, tortilla or potato chips).  One of the hot topics is the omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for kids.  A healthy balance of fatty acids is required for healthy brain and cognitive development, but our diet consists of an imbalance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids which promotes inflammation.  This is due to the fact that we use too much processed fats, vegetable oils like corn oil, soybean oil, canola oils that are commonly used in cooking.  We also get it in meat from cows and chickens that are mostly fed grains due to their high omega-6 content.

Kids need a diet containing mostly whole foods, so consider ditching the cereal, toast, or bagel in the morning and try protein smoothies or chocolate avocado pudding instead (see recipe menu). Start using coconut oil for cooking which provides an easy absorbable fat. Use olive oil for salad dressings, avoiding pre-packaged dressings.