The Link Between Healthy Fats and Balanced Hormones
If you want to have a steady and happy hormone level, then you’ll need to pay attention to how much healthy fat you are consuming regularly, because recent studies show that the two go hand in hand.
We now know that healthy fats are an extremely important part of a healthy diet for many reasons. Unfortunately, over the past few decades, as diet fads have come and gone, there has been some confusion surrounding the addition of fat to our diets. While most diets today encourage the addition of healthy fats, there are still many that take the low-fat approach. It can be hard to sift through all the information, but here’s the real truth. Not only is healthy fat essential for overall health, it is also almost imperative for good hormonal balance.
If you suffer from any type of hormonal imbalance, then looking closely at the foods you eat and how much healthy fat you include in your diet may help explain what’s going on.
Why Fats are So Important for Hormonal Balance
So, why are healthy fats so important for hormonal balance? First, it’s important to know that hormones are formed from fat and cholesterol; without fats, hormone production would suffer. Fats also help with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K. A nutrient deficiency can certainly cause a hormonal imbalance, and not getting enough fat could be the cause.
So don’t be afraid to enjoy healthy fats like olive oil and avocado oil with your steamed veggies. It will help your body better absorb all of those wonderful vitamins and minerals that are found in the fresh vegetables to help support better hormone balance.
It’s also important to talk about cholesterol, since it plays an important role when it comes to our sex hormones. The body is not able to produce certain sex hormones like progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone without cholesterol. One of the ways the body makes cholesterol is by consuming enough fat. While many people are afraid of high cholesterol, low cholesterol can also cause a hormone imbalance. It all comes down to eating the right types of fats to support healthy cholesterol (HDL) levels, and steering clear of the damaged fats that are going to increase the bad type of cholesterol (LDL). Keep reading to learn what fats you want in your diet and what fats to avoid.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for hormonal balance. We need to get enough omega-3 fatty acids to help balance omega-6 levels, but more often than not, people end up getting more omega-6 than omega-3. Here’s why:
Omega-6 fatty acids are found in foods like red meat, corn, and canola oil as well as fried and processed foods. When we aren’t getting enough omega-3’s from sources like wild-caught fish, walnuts, chia, and flax seeds to balance a high omega-6 intake, then we can suffer from metabolic issues and weight gain which in turn can cause a hormonal imbalance. The great news is that just getting enough omega-3’s in your diet will help your hormone synthesis and help fight inflammation as well. So, enjoy eating your fatty fish, flax and chia seeds, and choose a perfect afternoon snack like a handful of nuts.
Healthy Fats to Add to Your Diet
Now that we know how important healthy fats are for hormonal balance, what foods should you include in your diet? Remember, you always want to make sure you are enjoying healthy fats and staying away from bad fats, like trans and hydrogenated fats. You also want to avoid processed foods.
Here are six excellent sources of healthy fat to add to your diet to support overall health and hormone balance.
Avocados are a great addition to any diet as they are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats and they can easily be enjoyed with a salad or added to a smoothie for extra creaminess. You can even eat them with a spoon. They are also rich in important vitamins and minerals like magnesium.
Coconut oil is great for hormone balance, as it can help combat inflammation, support weight loss, and can even support hormone production. Try adding coconut oil to a smoothie and swap out damaged oils like corn or canola oil for coconut oil instead.
Olive oil is another excellent addition to a healthy diet. It can be used to help promote the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins when used as a salad dressing. You can also use olive oil as a marinade base when cooking fish or poultry.
Nuts & Seeds
If you are looking for a convenient and healthy snack, a handful of nuts and seeds would be a great option. Walnuts are an ideal snack option since they are rich in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, which as we now know are important for hormone production. You can also enjoy flax and chia seeds with a bowl of oatmeal or blended into a smoothie.
One of the best ways to get enough omega-3 fatty acids into your diet is by enjoying cold water wild-caught fatty fish like salmon or sardines. Try to enjoy these fish a couple of times per week, but be sure to steer clear of farm-raised fish to avoid possible added mercury and toxin exposure.
Believe it or not, eggs are an excellent source of healthy fat. However, the trick is to enjoy the whole egg and not just the egg white. Organic, pasture-raised eggs make a great addition to a healthy breakfast, and hard-boiled eggs serve as a great snack option.
The bottom line when it comes to balanced hormones and fat consumption is to focus on healthy fats and to eliminate damaged fats like vegetable oils, margarine, shortening, and other processed and packaged foods. The body needs fat to function and to make hormones. So, don’t be afraid to add healthy fats to your diet. With subtle, yet effective changes, your hormones and overall health can greatly benefit, and you may even notice your energy levels, mood, hair, and skin improve too!