The misconception that fat is bad for you and that fat will make you fat is well-established in our society. Both of these are common misconceptions because the truth is that your body needs fat to function. The essential fatty acids are important for your body to absorb certain nutrients, they play a crucial role in some of your body’s everyday functions, help keep you warm, and they’re your hormones ’BFFs. In this article, we want to talk a little bit about how healthy fat helps your hormones.
Scientific-based facts about fats
Now that we’ve established that fats are good and necessary for you, let’s clarify one thing, not all fats are created equally. You have to keep in mind that there are many types of fat: saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and combinations of these. Additionally, some fats are considered bad, since they can harm your health. The best example is trans fats, which are present in a lot of processed foods. These types of fats can raise your LDL levels (bad cholesterol), which can lead to many health issues.
Fats are one of the 3 macronutrients required for the body to function at an optimum level. That means a large percentage is needed to maintain good health. The main functions they have in our bodies are:
- Provide energy for your body
- Protect your organs
- Support cell growth
- Help stabilize cholesterol and blood pressure
- Help absorb vital nutrients
Why healthy fats are good for your hormones
Hormones travel through your blood and control all the metabolic processes in your body, from your weight to your bowel health, mood, skin condition, acne, bloating, PCOS, thyroid, ovulation, reproduction, pregnancy, fatigue, sleep disorders, etc. Endocrine glands are responsible for secreting hormones, which act like chemical messengers in the body. As they affect everything, it is crucial to have a good hormone balance in order for our metabolic processes to work properly.
Without an adequate amount of fat in your diet, your hormones are likely to suffer the consecuences. Healthy fats are especially important for women’s hormonal health. Fats and cholesterol (yes, there’s good and bad cholesterol) are essential building blocks for your hormones and fat stores, as well as fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K, and adequate nutrients are needed for hormone balance. In addition to all of that, fats also provide energy and help with satiety.
Hormones are formed from fat and cholesterol, so there’s no way your body makes them without fats. As we’ve seen, they also help your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins like D, A, E, and K. So if you have any deficiencies in these nutrients it can cause hormonal imbalances. If your fat intake is insufficient, it means that your body won’t be able to use these vitamins even if you’re eating plenty of them.
A diet that is too low in fat, reduces your body’s production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which leads to problems for women of any age, including insomnia, heart palpitations, and night sweats. However, by eating the right amount of good fats, your body’s production of serotonin will rise, which is needed to regulate mood and enhance well-being.
Hormone-balancing foods with healthy fats
To have a good hormone balance and stay healthy it’s important to consume the following foods that are great sources of healthy fats:
- Coconut Oil. Well, all coconut products to be fair. It contains lauric acid, which is incredibly healing to the skin and extremely beneficial for hormonal production. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties, provides a quick source of energy, is easy to digest, and speeds up metabolism.
- Avocados. They’re rich in healthy fat that helps your body absorb and use some nutrients. They are a great source of fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, B vitamins, and folic acid, which are all essential for maintaining hormonal balance in the body.
- Butter and Ghee. They provide a rich source of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2. These nutrients are key building blocks for hormonal production.
- Egg yolks. They’re rich in a huge amount of vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and choline, which all contribute to a healthy reproductive system, hormonal balance, and healthy skin.
- Nuts and seeds. Unsalted Brazilian nuts, Macadamia, hemp seeds, flax seed, and walnuts ( among others) are rich in Omega 3. The anti-inflammatory effects of Omega 3s contribute to hormone balance.
- Funky Fat Chocs. Made with cocoa mass, cocoa butter, MCT Oil (extracted from coconuts) and erythritol, our dark chocolate makes an amazing source of healthy fats that is also easy to consume. Cocoa has loads of benefits; it contains antioxidants that prevent cell damage and support blood flow. It also helps decrease inflammation and lower levels of LDL and increase levels of HDL. MCT Oil has all the benefits of Coconut Oil + improves focus and performance.
But this doesn’t end here. Let’s see some of the other benefits of eating fats.
Other benefits of eating Fats
1- Better cholesterol ratio and reduced heart disease risk
Healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids are great for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Consuming these fats might help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and improve your heart health.
A lot of foods that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, such as eggs and coconut oil, can decrease inflammation, lower circulating triglycerides, and reduce insulin levels due to the natural antioxidants they contain.
2- Optimize Brain Function
Good fats such as omega-3 fatty acids are very important for the brain to develop and function. The characteristics of the lipid layer of brain neurons influence electrical properties, which dictate everything, from mood to neuromuscular function to cognition. An adequate good fat intake can even help prevent depression.
3- Strengthen bones
You need more than just calcium for strong bones. Healthy fats, in the right ratio, are necessary for bone mineral density and the prevention of osteoporosis. Fats are involved in calcium metabolism and the vitamins K2 and D are both fat-soluble nutrients that take part in building bone.
4- Improve skin
Usually, dry skin and eyes are caused by a deficiency in fatty acids. Getting adequate omega-3 fats and a variety of saturated fats in your diet can help improve your body’s ability to lubricate effectively. Therefore, if you want healthy and glowy skin, you must eat your fats.
If science hasn’t backed it up enough, we don’t know what will. Fats are not just good for you, they’re necessary for good health and stabilizing hormones. The myth that fats are bad: out the window. In order to have a good hormonal balance, improve your mood, and boost your metabolism, it is vital to eat the right amount of healthy fats, and now you know a few of them.
Other articles you might like:
- Q&A with Danielle Hamilton: Blood Sugar Specialist
- How to Optimize Blood Glucose Levels
- Q&A with Dr. Stephanie Estima: Eat & Train for your Menstrual Cycle