Fats aren’t the enemy. They never were.
Good fats prevent heart disease by keeping your blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels low. But best of all… Getting enough in your diet actually makes your body burn more stored fat. But they have to be the healthy kinds.
Of course you already know how olive oil is good for you. But there are other ones that are even better, that you’ve never heard about.
Here are 5 alternative fats that will add another dimension to your food and years to your life.
1. Ghee: It comes from the Hindi word for “fat,” and it’s a major player in Indian cooking. Ghee begins as unsalted butter. It is then melted until the milk fats and water have separated. This leaves only the pure butter oil behind. Ghee is different from clarified butter because it has a slightly nutty flavor and darker color.
Research shows that ghee safely increases blood lipids without raising LDL cholesterol.1 This means that it does more than simply lower total cholesterol. It raises the good kind (HDL) and lowers the bad (LDL). Ghee also reduces inflammation and prevents heart disease. One study found that men who consumed two tablespoons of ghee a day lowered their risk for heart disease by 23 percent.2 And although it isn’t exactly “mainstream,” ghee isn’t hard to find. Most health food stores have an international section where you can pick up grass-fed, organic ghee. But if you can’t find it nearby, you can always order it online.
2. Avocado Oil: Avocado oil is full of monounsaturated fats that lower inflammation. In fact, it contains more of these fats than olive oil. But it has fewer omega-6 fatty acids. This makes its ratio of fats better for your heart. It’s also rich in vitamin E, which reduces heart disease risk by up to 40 percent.3 But its benefits don’t end there…
Avocado oil is also a great source of phytosterols. One in particular, beta-sitosterol, has anti-cancer properties. One study found that it prevents the spread of cancerous tumors in mice. Even better, it strengthened their immune response to the cancer.4
Avocado oil has a high smoking point, which makes it good for cooking. But using it as the base for a dressing or sauce will better preserve its nutrients. You can find cold-pressed, organic, extra-virgin avocado oil online or in your local health food store.
3. MCT Oil: Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) are fats your body burns for energy. You can find them in coconut and palm kernel oils. But MCT oil is the most concentrated form. As strong as this stuff is, it won’t put your heart at risk.5
If you’re eating a lower carb diet (and we recommend you do) MCT oil helps put your body into a state of ketosis. This enables you to burn fat for energy instead of glucose from carbohydrates. The result? You lose weight quickly. More important, cancer cells—unlike all of the other cells in your body—cannot survive on ketones. They need glucose. Using MCT oil keeps you full of energy while starving cancer to death.
You won’t find MCT oil in most stores. You can get it in smaller amounts from coconut oil, but we suggest you go straight to the source and get pure MCT oil. You can easily find it online. Start with small amounts. Using too much has a laxative effect. Try blending half an ounce of it into a smoothie or adding it to a salad to start.
4. Macadamia Oil: This is one of our favorites. It has a delicate flavor that makes it fit in to just about any homemade dressing or sauce. It’s also resistant to oxidation from heat. This makes it a good choice for sautés and gentle cooking. But where this one really stands out is in its oleic acid content.
Oleic acid lowers blood pressure and inflammation.6 It’s what makes olive oil so effective at preventing heart disease. But macadamia oil has even more oleic acid. That’s because its monounsaturated fatty acid content is 15 percent higher.7 Olive oil is definitely more popular…but macadamia nut oil may be the better option for your health.
It’s more heat stable than olive oil, has more fatty acids, and has a more neutral taste. That makes it more versatile than other oils. You should be able to find it in just about any health food store.
5. Raw Cacao Butter: It’s the creamy product of pressed cacao nibs. It tastes nothing like the chocolate you’re thinking of. But it offers the kind of nutrition that puts its sweet relatives to shame.
Raw cacao butter boasts more antioxidants than any other food on the planet. You read that correctly—any other food on the planet! It has more than double the amount of antioxidants in goji berries, acai berries, and blueberries combined.8 It’s rich in omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids and has compounds like phenethylamine and anandamide that boost your mood.
You want to look for a minimally processed, non-GMO product. You can cook with it or eat it raw. We recommend gently melting and adding it to a smoothie or shake for an extra kick of antioxidant power.
Finding fats that keep your heart and taste buds happy isn’t always easy. But you definitely have more options than the mainstream would leave you to believe. Try adding any—or all—of these fats to your routine to shake up your diet and support your good health.
Do you have a favorite under-the-radar fat that didn’t make our list? Leave a comment and let us know!