Does this title sound redundant to you? Well I'm really talking about two different kinds of fat: dietary fat/EFAs, fats that are essential to a healthy body, and fat that we see as weight on our bodies. Same name, two different things.
Essential fatty acids (EFAs), like the terms says, are essential. They're essential for growth and functioning and since the body doesn't make EFAs, it depends on us to supply them.
Nowadays, we associate fat in our food with fat on our body, but in reality the two don't have much to do with each other. Unfortunately over the years dietary fat/EFAs have gotten a bad rap. This is for a number of reasons, none of which really have much, if anything, to do with facts. In her book The Big Fat Surprise, Nina Teicholz outlines and talks in-depth about how fat went from a natural component of our diet to taboo. It's a book worth reading.
Generally speaking, we all need much more fat in our diet than we are currently eating. If your skin and or hair is dry, if you experience brain fog, lack of energy, experience constipation or weight gain, these can be some of the outward indicators of a lack of dietary fat.
High quality olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, cheeses and butter made from grass-fed cow's milk, wild-caught salmon are all good choices when adding EFAs to your diet. Dr. Axe in his article Essential Fatty Acids: What Makes These Healthy Fats So Essential, discusses in more detail the benefits of fat in the diet and the foods that provide these benefits.
When I first learned that dietary fat was actually good for me, it took a while for that information to sink in. But because my body responded favorably - most noticeable for me was the lift of brain fog that had been with me for many years, healthier skin, reduced cravings and feeling satisfied after a meal - I became a convert.
Dietary fat is essential to the body's proper functioning. If you're someone who restricts fat intake, and especially if you restrict fat for the sake of being thin, I urge you to reconsider this important component of a healthy diet - your body deserves it.
In love and light,