#36alive 269: Eat Fat, Get Smart

Dietary fat has been on a roller coaster throughout the past 50 years, and in the last 30 years, we’ve seen a huge change in the way we view fat. From the Low Fat obsession of the 80s and 90s, to the High Fat obsession of the new millennium, it’s hard to know what what works and what doesn’t.

In all honesty – whether a lot or a little amount of fat is good for you is very much down to you. It’s linked to your genes, your gut bacteria, the type of exercise you do, and the radio of other food groups like carbohydrates and protein you eat. So, when it comes to eating fat for your body, you’ll have to experiment yourself. When it comes to fat for the mind however, most of us benefit a great deal from consuming good quality fats, as the brain is made up of roughly 70% fat! Here’s the who and why of fats:

Polyunsaturated Fat: With lot of essential fatty acids, omega 6 and omega 3s, this type of fat can help the brain work better, and it’s even been linked to effectively reducing symptoms of major depression. Our bodies can’t produce this type of fat, so it’s important to obtain it from sources such as walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax or flax oil, and oily fish.

DHA: Found in algae, oily fish, organ meats, fish oil and a small amount in poultry and eggs, this type of fat has been shown to help memory, and is essential for pregnant and nursing mothers to ensure proper development of the child’s brain. It’s also abundant in the eyes and heart, so getting enough can keep these healthy too. Now, where did I put those fish oil tablets?….

Saturated Fat: A main component of brain cells, this controversial fat is totally necessary for healthy brain function. Studies show that eating saturated fat can reduce the risk of dementia by 39%, and can help maintain proper hormone balance. Get yours from coconut oil, eggs, peanut butter, salmon, and even chia seeds!


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