Nutrition Can be Confusing
This is especially true when it comes to which are the healthiest fats to cook with. The GREAT news is that learning which fats and oils to use every day can have a major impact on how your joints feel. Some oils, such as omega 3s from salmon, sardines, flax oil or supplements, work right away. Others will gradually decrease joint inflammation with consistent use over time.
The other good news is that this information is actually going to give you encouragement to use fats more generously, especially if you have gotten stuck in the (false) fat is harmful trap. Your cell membranes are made up of fats and oils (technically called fatty acids), and they need a daily mixture of fatty acids in order to support healing, decrease inflammation, and help your body to function at its best.
Healthiest Fats and Oils
Here’s a list of healthy fats and oils for you to choose from. Select three different options to keep in your pantry. This will provide your cells with a healthy dose of fatty acids. For starters, you may want to stock up on the first three items on the list. For an extra flavor boost, try one of my favorite products, a butter-flavored coconut oil.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Butter (from grass-fed cows)
- Avocado oil
- Flax oil (do not use with heat)
Everyone has different needs for calories, so I’m going to make a general recommendation which can be tweaked to fit your personal needs. Start with having approximately one tablespoon of oil with each meal.
One of my favorite ways to use coconut oil is for sauteing onions, garlic, and ginger – and then using that as a topping for a vegetable, such as broccoli. Yum!
Food Sources of Healthy Fats and Oils
Alternatively you can also get healthy healthy fats and oils from foods that contain large amounts of fatty acids.
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Nut and seed butters
- Coconut products
- Fatty fish such as salmon and sardines
Sardines are a favorite of mine. They are an inexpensive source of protein and healthy fats. Initially I really did not love them but trained myself to like them by combining the sardines with bold flavors. An easy way to do this is to purchase “Spanish style” canned sardines with chili peppers. They are not hot, but the spicy flavors balance out the fishy taste. Give it a try and let me know what worked for you.
In conclusion, remember, fat is your friend. In addition to providing a cushion for your joints, it calms inflammation. Calming inflammation, decreases your pain.