Fats get a bad reputation with the low-fat diet that’s been pushed by mainstream medicine for the past decade. It all depends on the quality of the fat you are consuming. Sure, if you’re consuming high amounts of seed oils or trans fats then you will pack on the pounds and cause all sorts of detrimental health effects on your body. Consuming more healthy fats such as omega 3 fatty acids will have positive effect on your health.

Functions of Fat

Energy Storage

Fats can serve as the body’s primary form of energy storage. When you consume more calories than your body needs to function, the excess energy is stored in fat cells for later use. This energy reserve is critical during periods of fasting or strenuous activity.

Nutrient Absorption

Certain vitamins, known as fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), require fat for absorption. Without sufficient dietary fat, your body cannot efficiently absorb these essential nutrients.

Hormone Production

Fats are involved in the production of various hormones, including sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone. They also contribute to the production of hormones that regulate inflammation, blood clotting, and vasoconstriction.

Cell Membrane Structure

Fats, particularly phospholipids, are critical components of cell membranes. They help maintain the integrity of cells and facilitate communication between them.

Brain Function

The human brain is nearly 60% fat. Essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, are needed for brain development and function. They contribute to cognitive processes, mood regulation, and inflammatory responses.

Essential Fatty Acids

Certain fats, like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, are termed “essential” because our bodies can’t make them, so we must get them from our diet.

Quality of Fat

The quality of fats is largely determined by the type of fat and its source. Fats from whole, minimally processed foods such as grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, and unrefined oils are generally considered to be healthy. Processed foods, fried foods, and hydrogenated oils, on the other hand, should be avoided as they can be harmful to health. Let’s break down the three main types of fats: saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated.

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are commonly found in animal products such as meat, butter, and cheese, as well as in some plant-based foods such as coconut oil. Saturated fats are composed of fatty acids that contain no double bonds between carbon atoms, making them stable and resistant to oxidation. The stability of saturated fats makes them less prone to spoilage and less likely to contribute to inflammation in the body.

While some research has linked high intake of saturated fats to increased risk of heart disease, other studies have found no association or even a protective effect of saturated fats. Some naturopathic doctors believe that moderate intake of saturated fats can be part of a healthy diet, especially when they come from whole, minimally processed sources such as grass-fed meat and dairy products.

Monounsaturated Fats

These fats have one double bond in their molecular structure. This means there is one point on the fat molecule that is not saturated with hydrogen. Monounsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature but can solidify when chilled. Foods high in monounsaturated fats include olive oil, avocados, most nuts, and certain fish like halibut, mackerel, and sardines. These fats can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels, which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients that help develop and maintain your body’s cells.

Polyunsaturated Fats

These fats have two or more double bonds in their molecular structure, meaning there are multiple points on the fat molecule that are not saturated with hydrogen. Polyunsaturated fats are also typically liquid at room temperature. There are two main types of polyunsaturated fats: omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, as well as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Omega-6 fatty acids are found in many vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. 

Both omega-3 and omega-6 fats are essential for the body, but the ratio of these fats is important for optimal health. While omega-6 fats are important for inflammation and immune function, excessive intake of omega-6 fats can contribute to inflammation and increased risk of chronic diseases. In contrast, omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory and are associated with numerous health benefits, including improved heart health, reduced inflammation, and improved brain function.

Trans Fats

Trans fats are a type of unsaturated fat that are commonly found in processed foods, fried foods, and baked goods. Unlike other types of fats, trans fats are not naturally occurring and are created through the process of hydrogenation. Trans fats are known to have negative health effects and should be avoided whenever possible.

Trans fats play no essential role in the body and have no known health benefits. They are primarily used in food processing to increase the shelf life and stability of foods. Trans fats are created through the process of hydrogenation, in which unsaturated fats are converted into a more stable form by adding hydrogen atoms. This process creates a fat that is solid at room temperature and more resistant to oxidation than other types of unsaturated fats.

Trans fats are known to have negative health effects and should be avoided whenever possible. High intake of trans fats is associated with increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Trans fats have been shown to increase LDL cholesterol levels and decrease HDL cholesterol levels, leading to increased risk of heart disease.

Seed Oils

Seed oils are primarily used for cooking and food processing, providing a source of fat and contributing to the flavor and texture of foods. Seed oils are typically high in polyunsaturated fatty acids. While these fatty acids are essential for the body, they are also more prone to oxidation and can contribute to inflammation in the body. High intake of seed oils has been linked to increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Additionally, seed oils are often highly refined and processed, which can lead to the formation of harmful compounds and the loss of nutrients.

The most commonly used seed oils that should be avoided are Soybean, Canola, Corn, Sunflower, Safflower, Peanut, and Sesame oil.

How Much Fat?

Fat intake should range from 20-35% of diet depending on level of activity spent throughout the day and is unique for each individual. This range is determined once protein and carbohydrate intake is determined. If the proper fats are consumed, then a higher percentage of fats can be consumed. Again, it’s about the type of fat you are eating!

Recommended Intake

  • 1 gram of fat = 9 calories
  • Based off a 2000 calorie diet (base yours off your weight goals*) Healthy Fats: 2000 x 33% = 660 calories
  • To figure out how many grams daily: take total calories from fat and divide that number by 9 (number of calories per gram of fat).
  • 660/9= 73g daily

*See Carbohydrate page for calculations to determine your intake.


The best sources of omega-3s are fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring. These fish are high in EPA and DHA and are easily absorbed and utilized by the body. It is important to note that farm-raised fish may have lower levels of omega-3s than wild-caught fish due to differences in diet and environment.

Plant-based sources of omega-3s, such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts, contain ALA, which can be converted into EPA and DHA in the body.


  • Wild Alaskan salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Albacore tuna
  • Lake trout

Other Animal Based Nutrition

  • Grass feed meats
  • Organ meats
  • Eggs

Nuts & Seeds

  • Flax seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • chia seeds


  • Soybeans
  • Seaweed
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Marine algae

Cooking with Fats

I recommend cooking with animal-based fats that are high in saturated and monounsaturated fats. These fats are better to cook with than seed oils, as they are less prone to oxidation. Additionally, animal-based fats can provide important nutrients such as fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. Try using the following options when available.

  • Butter from grass-fed cows
  • Beef tallow
  • Coconut Oil
  • Lard
  • Duck fat
  • Ghee (clarified butter)
  • Bacon fat
  • Chicken fat (schmaltz)

Beef tallow, lard, duck fat, and bacon fat are all high in saturated fats. Ghee, butter from grass-fed cows, and chicken fat (schmaltz) are higher in monounsaturated fats. However, it is important to note that all of these animal-based fats contain a mixture of both saturated and monounsaturated fats.

Coconut Oil is a source of saturated fats and can provide a variety of health benefits. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are easily digested and can provide a quick source of energy for the body. Additionally, coconut oil has been shown to improve cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation in the body.

I use extra virgin olive oil in moderation when animal fats or coconut oil are not available. Olive oil is derived from the fruit of the olive tree and is considered a fruit oil. It is a source of monounsaturated fatty acids, including oleic acid, and is known for its numerous health benefits. Cook with low to medium heat to avoid reaching the smoke point.

The Benefits of Eating Wild-Caught Fish

Wild-caught fish is an important component of an anti-inflammatory diet, and there are numerous benefits associated with its consumption.

First, wild-caught fish is a great source of essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are important for maintaining a healthy heart, reducing inflammation, and improving cognitive function. Additionally, wild-caught fish is a great source of high-quality protein, which is important for muscle growth and repair.

Wild-caught fish is also a great source of vitamins and minerals. It is rich in vitamins A, D, and B12, as well as minerals such as selenium, zinc, and iodine. These vitamins and minerals are important for maintaining a healthy immune system, promoting healthy skin and hair, and supporting healthy vision. Wild-caught fish is also a great source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are important for protecting the body from free radical damage, which can lead to chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. It’s a great source of selenium, which is an important mineral for protecting the body from oxidative stress.

The Benefits of Grass-Fed Meats

Grass-fed meats are a healthier and better choice than conventionally raised meats. Grass-fed meats come from animals that are allowed to graze on natural grasses, rather than being fed a diet of grains and other processed feed.

Grass-fed meats are typically higher in key nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and antioxidants. They also are typically higher in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, selenium, and zinc, which are important for overall health and wellbeing. This is because grass contains a wider range of nutrients than grains, and the animals that graze on grass are able to absorb these nutrients and pass them on to the meat. Humans can’t digest grass so please don’t try.

They key benefit is that grass-fed meats tend to be higher in healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, and lower in unhealthy fats, such as omega-6 fatty acids. This is important because a diet high in omega-6 fatty acids can contribute to inflammation in the body, while a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation and improve overall health.

Grass-fed meats are also typically free from added hormones and antibiotics, which are commonly used in conventional animal farming practices. This means that grass-fed meats may be a healthier choice for those looking to avoid exposure to these potentially harmful substances.

The Benefits of Eggs

Eggs are a rich source of high-quality protein, healthy fats, and a wide range of important vitamins and minerals. Eggs are considered to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, and are rich in important nutrients such as vitamin D, choline, selenium, and B vitamins. They are also a good source of high-quality protein, and can help to support muscle growth and repair.

The best sources of eggs are typically from pasture-raised chickens, as these eggs are higher in healthy fats and nutrients than eggs from conventionally raised chickens. It is also recommended to choose eggs that are free from antibiotics and hormones.

The best methods of preparation for eggs depend on personal preference, but common methods include boiling, poaching, frying, or baking. It is important to avoid overcooking eggs, as this can destroy some of their nutrients.