In a recent video, "How to Lose Menopause Belly Fat," I introduced the 30-20-10 Fat Burning Meal formula. It's a simple yet effective approach to crafting meals that can boost your metabolism and support your weight loss goals. The key is to include a minimum of 30 grams of protein, up to 20 grams of healthy fats, and about 10 grams of fiber in each of your three meals. Today I'm focusing on the healthy fats portion.
Healthy Fats for Healthier Hormones
I cringe every time I hear someone recommend a low-fat lifestyle. Eat low fat foods is not the key to health or weight loss, especially for those over 40. Not knowing any better, I too fell into that trap through my late 30's, relying on low-calorie and low-fat processed snacks and drinks. What I didn't realize was that I was missing out on essential nutrients that were crucial for my hormonal balance, one of those being healthy fats.
Why Do We Need Healthy Fats?
They contribute to hormone production.
Support thyroid function.
Help stabilize blood sugar.
Reduce the likelihood of depression and mood issues.
Unhealthy Fats to Avoid
Before we dive into the sources of healthy fats, let's address the inflammatory fats that wreak havoc on our health.
Trans fats found in fried foods and doughnuts
Hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated oils found in margarine and shortening
Processed seed oils like canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, and cottonseed oil.
Excessive consumption of omega-6 fats in these oils can lead to chronic inflammation, contributing to various health issues. Always read labels and opt for quality brands like Primal Kitchen or Chosen Foods when choosing salad dressing and mayo.
Now, let's focus on the good fats – the ones your body craves for optimal function. For more details on how I incorporate all the sources of healthy fats discussed in this article, watch or listen to my YouTube video, "Best Sources of Healthy Fats for Women Over 40".
Despite the myths, saturated fats play a crucial role in cell structure and hormone production. Moderation is key, and some excellent sources include:
Coconut oil/C8 MCT oil
Dark chocolate (at least 70%, but I prefer 85%)
There are two types of unsaturated fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fats are heart-healthy and help improve cholesterol levels. They are found in:
Extra virgin olive oil
Nuts (almonds, pecans, pistachios, cashews, macadamia)
Polyunsaturated fats, specifically omega-3s and omega-6s, are essential for brain health and reducing inflammation. Really focus on omega-3s by including:
Low-mercury fish (two times per week): Anchovies, Mackerel, Salmon, Sardines, or Trout
Ground Flaxseeds/Flaxseed Meal
The Bottom Line
Incorporating a variety of healthy fats into your diet is essential for hormonal balance, supporting the production of vital hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Remember, it's not about avoiding fats but choosing the right kinds to fuel your fire.
Let's get FIRED UPP,