Have you been struggling to shed those last stubborn pounds, only to see them return? It’s time to reevaluate your approach to nutrition. Rather than fearing all fats, it’s time to embrace the right kinds of fats for a leaner, more energetic you.
Join Ann Tsung today as she discusses the benefits of a balanced, fat-rich diet. This dietary approach focuses on the quality of fats consumed, steering clear of trans fats and excessive saturated fats while embracing the nourishing qualities of unsaturated and monounsaturated fats to promote a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. Ann will discuss the essential fats to include in your diet and provide valuable cooking tips to help you on your journey to a healthier you.
Key Points From This Episode:
- Why do we need to incorporate fat into our diet?
- When you consume enough healthy fat, it can actually reduce inflammation and help with weight loss.
- What are the various types of fats?
- Incorporate stable, saturated fats into your diet.
- Consume any form of monounsaturated fat.
- Avocados can be your go-to snack.
- Try to cook your food as whole as possible, with few additives.
- Pick one healthy fat that you want to incorporate into your diet and one unhealthy fat to get rid of.
“It’s like a balance, the best thing for your body is to remove the damage first.”
Listen to the previous episodes here
00:06 Announcer If you’re struggling with your vitality, energy, mood, focus or sleep, this podcast is for you. Your host Dr. Ann Tsung, ER doctor and aerospace flight surgeon, will help you reach for the stars and remove the barriers or blockades that have been holding you back from living your best life. If you’ve been challenged by your health, relationships or productivity, then it’s time for a breakthrough. So here’s your host Dr. Ann Tsung.
00:43 Dr. Ann Tsung Hello. Welcome to It’s Not Rocket Science Show. I am your host Dr. Ann Tsung. Have you thought about trying to lose weight by doing low-fat diet for a long time, or you’ve done it for many, many years? There’s just that little bit of fat that you just can’t seem to lose. Or, that you lose it but it comes back. You lose it again, and it comes back. Because maybe you restricted your calories a little bit. You try to do low fat, and it’s just not working. You’ve read a lot of places or people have told you that if you eat a lot of fat, you’ll actually get fat. I thought that way for a very long time since I was little, all the way actually up until residency, past college in my mid 20s. It was not until that I completely shifted my macros in my diet when I started incorporating my healthy fat into the diet where it’s actually 50% to 70% of the calorie intake I take in a day, that’s actually when I started noticing the fat loss. I became leaner. I have more energy all the time. That’s what I would like to share with you — my experience with transitioning completely to majority of healthy fat diet, and the types of fat that exists like monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, unsaturated, trans fat, and how to cook with them, the various differences. And you’ll see what I actually do to incorporate fats throughout the day.
02:20 Now, if you’re listening, I would suggest going to YouTube @AnneTsungMD. You can kind of see I have pulled out everything in my pantry, of all the fat I have that I incorporate throughout the day. We’ll go through them in a little bit of detail at the end of this. Okay. So, again, disclaimer, I do not have affiliations with any of these brands. They are only, in my opinion, what I eat. It doesn’t represent the government or the university. So let’s go ahead and dive in.
02:54 Why do we need to incorporate fat through our diet? Because our cell layers are actually made out of fat. There’s a fatty cell layer, a fatty membrane that surrounds your cell. It’s in every single cell, those fatty acids. If we don’t take in fat that’s essential to us, how are we going to make those cells? How are we going to make those walls? The fat can actually be converted. Your body can use fat and convert that to glucose. Now, also, you need protein as well, of course. But when you intake sugar, there’s really nothing that — I mean, we need sugar for energy. We need it for the brain. This is actually essential. That’s why they call it essential fatty acids, and we often don’t get enough of it. When you eat enough healthy fat full of antioxidants, it can actually decrease your inflammation and also keep you full for a very long time. That helps you with weight loss. So that’s the reason why I started incorporating fat and decreasing my carb intake.
04:01 When you increase your carb intake, increase your sugar intake — say, I used to eat white rice with every meal. It’s because I’m Asian, and that’s what I grew up with. That’s what I’m used to. I’d never knew anything different — you have that peak and trough, peak and trough of glucose response, that causes increased inflammation. That causes increased fat storage in your body actually. That’s what causes you not to be able to shed the last 5 pounds, 10 pounds, those love handles. That’s what causes inflammation in your vessels — those inflammatory sugar, processed food, and also damaged fats that I’ll talk about later.
04:45 Now, what are the different types of fats? There are so many. You hear the term. But why do they matter? The first type of fat I’m going to be talking about is saturated fat. They’re the most stable fat. You can think, okay, they’re stable. So a lot of times, at room temperature, they’re actually solid. Over here, I have coconut butter. So it’s stable fat. Coconut oil as well — when it’s cold enough, it’s stable as well. It’s a form of saturated fat. I’ve got grass-fed butter here as well. That’s a form of saturated fat. Usually, they are good to cook with because it’s the most stable. You don’t want your fat to be oxidized. What does that mean? That means that when you expose it to high heat of cooking, then oxygen attaches to that fat molecule. Anything that is oxidized typically can cause what they call damage or inflammation, the oxidation or free radicals that basically causes inflammation in your body. So if you eat damaged fat from high-heat cooking, you’re causing more inflammation in your body, and you’ve damaged the antioxidant properties in your fat. So I incorporate stable saturated fat in my diet and my cooking. I incorporate the butter into my matcha tea in the morning. The coconut butter, I cook with coconut oil and avocado oil. Those have high smoke points. Another thing I wanted to mention in terms of cooking: if your oil is smoking, that means it’s getting damaged. You don’t ever want your oil to smoke when you’re cooking. I don’t usually use high-heat cooking anyway. Yes, sometimes you just want to sear your steak, get that Maillard reaction. But just know what it’s doing to that animal fat that you’re searing. Sometimes, that’s okay. I accept it. I know what it does to it. I accept it because it’s yummy, and I’m going to do it. I don’t do it very often. So that is saturated fat.
06:58 Also, monounsaturated fat. So it has one double bond in the middle. It’s the second most stable, that oxygen can kind of attach that one double bond. But that’s it. Some of the examples is an amazing olive oil that I got from Italy. I love olive oil. I put it on everything. Again, I want to mention. When you look for olive oil, you would look in the back and look for the harvest date. You got to try to get it that same year, within one year of harvest date. Most olive oils you see commercially in the grocery stores are at least over a year old, and they’re usually mixed with other countries. It’s like Spain, Portugal. Usually, it’s not from a single estate or olive oil producer. You want to look for the purest olive oil as much as possible. I subscribe to an olive oil hunter, like an olive oil club. I actually get the olive oil mailed to me. They sourced fresh olive oil, and mail it to me in the last season. Olive oils are harvested from October to December each year. They’re stored in the cellar, stabilized with nitrogen in the bottle. After you open it, you got to finish it in one year. Or else, the antioxidant properties are gone. The anti-inflammatory properties are gone.
08:22 Please, after this, go to your pantry. Take a look at your olive oil. I want you to smell it to see if it smells grassy and herbaceous. I want you to put it on a spoon, take a sip in the tip of your tongue, and then swallow it slowly. See if there’s a peppery taste or a tickle, maybe spiciness. Because if you do not taste anything, that means your olive oil is not fresh anymore. You’re wasting your money. Again, go taste that spiciness, that tickle. If you have it, that means there are still some antioxidants, some polyphenols left. It’s still fresh. But if you taste zero, then you’re just — I mean, you could use it maybe for low-heat cooking, but you’re just kind of spending money without any of the benefits. What’s the point of that, really? I know we’re not educated on how to taste for fresh olive oil or even look at the labels. A lot of them are not even labeled for you when it was harvested. Most of the awesome olive oil that you see from Italy, they have won the most olive oil awards in the New York international competition. They will have the harvest date in the back. That’s in the form of monounsaturated fat. Also, macadamia nuts are amazing for that. Almonds are also amazing for that as well. These are my snacking nuts when I wake up in the morning or just in-between meals.
09:59 Now, there’s polyunsaturated fat. That’s your omega-3, omega-6. They’re very important as well. They’re the third most stable because they have multiple double bonds. I get my polyunsaturated fat omega-3. I take omega-3 fish oil. Also, in terms of fish, what I eat is wild fish, coldwater fish, salmon. There’s sardines. There’s anchovies. And if you want to get any sort of seafood, if you can source it from Alaska, that’s really your best bet of how clean it’s going to be and how fresh it’s going to be just because I trust their standards so much. I get Alaskan seafood sometimes shipped to me when I subscribe online, or I look for — sometimes they have at Costco, Alaskan seafood too.
10:53 Then the next is trans fat. Of course, avoid it at all costs. What are trans fats? Those are your pizza, muffin, commercial pizza, muffin, burgers, anything processed, artificially, man-made fat, margarine. All those fats are inflammatory. Inflammation makes you store fat. So if you want to lose weight, the best thing you can do, I think the best bang for your buck is when you take a look, examine what you’re eating right now and see what trans fats are actually in your diet, and remove those. Because you can incorporate all those healthy fats here as much as you want. But it’s like a balance. The best bang for your buck really is to remove the damage first, the damaging fats first, and then start incorporating these healthy fats little by little. If you’re incorporating healthy habits, but you’re eating something that is damaging your cell wall, your arteries, your vessels, what’s the point of that, really? Of course, you limit it to a point. I know people bring cookies. People bring muffins or donuts in the morning. You have to think to yourself the reason why you’re doing it. Maybe there are other substitutions for things that are yummy. You can make it yourself perhaps with real butter, real pastries, real cake with real butter instead of the fake butter or just artificially-produced fat, if that makes sense. Now, those are the types of fat that you can incorporate.
12:36 I want to share with you everything that I could find in my pantry at this moment, right now. Some of my snacks I love is the Dang Coconut Chip just because it’s just coconut and sea salt, and it fills me up. I do a lot of nuts as well. I got pecans over here. I got hazelnuts. I love the Italian nuts just because they taste different to me. They taste fresh. Nuts have to be fresh as well. I do raw on roasted nuts. Sometimes before I eat them, I will take a portion, and I would heat it up. Because who doesn’t like warm nuts? Then you can pour some olive oil on it and salt it yourself. So when I heat them, it’s very short time, and it’s very low heat. I don’t try not to cook anything above 320 degrees Fahrenheit because it damages the fat inside, and you lose all the benefits. It’s a very, very low heat for two minutes just to get it a little warm. Then I pour the olive oil. I pour some fine sea salt or spices, and it’s amazing.
13:49 I’ve also got raw cacao here, raw cacao powder, that I use in some of my Keto high-fat baked goods. Sometimes, I make what I call a muffin cupcake, a 90-second muffin cupcake. Or, you can bake it. Again, when you microwave things, that does damage things, all the fats, and degrade the nutrients of your food. So I usually don’t microwave. But if I’m in a pinch and I want a muffin or something or a salted keto bread, that’s what I use. I would make the muffin or cake with coconut flour or almond flour. I’d put the raw cacao, or I’d put it in the smoothie. Sometimes if I have some sort of keto pastry, I sprinkle raw cacao in there, and it tastes amazing. This is the grass-fed butter. I put this in my matcha. I cook with, again, low-to-medium heat. I do not let it smoke, and I put a medium chain triglyceride oil in my matcha every day as well. I got some peanut butter here. The peanut butter I get are Valencia peanuts, because this is made with 100% Valencia peanuts. Valencia peanuts have the least amount of contamination from aflatoxin. It’s not the majority of the peanuts, but it tastes amazing. Low aflatoxin. So this is what I use. My husband loves it as well.
15:24 I’ve got other form of animal fat. And just so you know, I cook with animal tallow or rendered fat from my cooking of steak or brisket. Those are leftover fat in the sauce. When it solidify, I save it. I actually use that to cook my vegetables. It’s amazing. I’ve got some yak ghee as well, the coconut butter I’ve showed you guys. Buffalo sauce with primal kitchen, we really love it. It’s made from avocados and cashews. There is no sugar added. Some of those have a lot of sugar added. So far, we got this from Costco. We love it. Avocado is my go-to snack. I eat it before I work out. I eat it in between. I eat it with a meal. I eat it all the time. This is my favorite fat source. It’s raw. It’s not damaged. It’s amazing. It keeps you full. I got these olives, Italian olives. I eat five with a meal perhaps. I’ve got some hazelnut butter from Italy, and also some pistachio butter from Italy.
16:34 When you take a look at your purchases of nut butters, take a look to see if there are any sugar added. A lot of them are mixed in with sugar, which will spike your glucose and cause more inflammation. But they taste better. Or, they’re mixed in with other types of damaged oil. Some of those oil like canola oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, really, a lot of them are extracted by soaking in a chemical solvent. Then they extract it. So I do not use those types of oil just because of the method of extraction. When you look for olive oil, you want cold extracted, extra virgin, no heat exposed to it, whatsoever. Look for the harvest date. If you have no tickle or peppery taste, you’re wasting your money. I think if you’re spending so much on a type of oil, you want it fresh.
17:35 I cook with coconut milk as well with Thai dishes, coconut flour. Essentially, everything I do, I try to make it as whole as possible, with as little additive as possible. Raw almond butter. It’s not damage. It’s not roasted. Let’s see what we got here. Well, these are roasted. I got these roasted with sea salt. They do taste amazing. Sometimes you just want a little salty roasted nut. That’s okay, too. Last but not the least, what I found, I usually do 100% cacao. It’s not for everyone. I worked it up from 60 to 70, to 80, to 85. After you don’t eat sugar for a long time — now I’ve cut it out for, gosh, close to 10 years — now any amount of sugar is really sweet to me. You can kind of taste the natural sweetness in food if you haven’t had sugar in a while. To me, 100%, I can taste the tartness, the fermented cacao. I love it. I know it’s not for everyone. You can go up to at least maybe 70%, 75%, 80% and just work your way up. Chocolate, raw chocolate, or dark chocolate is really amazing for its anti-inflammatory benefits.
18:59 I hope that was really helpful for you. Please do not be afraid to incorporate some healthy fat into your diet. Go to the last episode, in Episode 32, to hear about intermittent fasting or time-restricted eating. Because to do that, you want to incorporate healthy fat into your diet. Listen to that episode, and then come back to this. Just pick which one of these healthy fats you want to incorporate. You just have to pick one. What is one unhealthy fat, oxidized damaged fat, trans fat, that you’re going to remove from your diet? You don’t have to go cold turkey. You can just pick one. Micro step. It’s just one. One thing at a time. All right?
19:49 When you think that there are so many things you can incorporate or so many things you have to take out, oftentimes we then don’t take the step because it just seems too much. So after this episode, please remove one unhealthy fat. That could be trans-fat. Or, maybe you want to say, “I don’t want to cook with high heat anymore. I’m going to change to this cooking oil from your diet.” Pick one health fat, whatever you want, to incorporate into your diet into one meal a day. That’s all. Okay?
20:24 Please, go to itsnotrocketscienceshow.com for the show notes. I would love to also hear how you did with the incorporation. Please leave in the reviews to the podcast, either on Apple, on Spotify. I would really love to hear feedback just so I know if this is helpful for you. Or if there are other topics you want me to explore for you, or if you have any questions at all, I’m happy to answer it. You can also reach me at Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Send me messages there, and ask me those questions. I’m accessible that way as well.
20:58 Another thing I wanted to share with you guys is that, if you go to itsnotrocketscienceshow.com, go to the bottom. I have my seven-day video course masterclass on there on what I do to 2x, 3x my productivity in half the time. I share all my routines with you, including the Eisenhower Matrix, how I prioritized, what I used the VA for in the past, et cetera, et cetera. Because I want you to save time so that you have time and energy to eat well as well, to have the time and energy to do the things you love, and to spend time with the people you love for however long you want. And really, that’s what makes us content and happy, right? Then why are we doing all this? So thank you again for your kind attention. And remember, everything we need is within us now.
21:53 Announcer That’s it for today’s episode. Head on over to iTunes and subscribe to the show. One lucky listener every single week that posts a review in iTunes will win a chance in the grand prize drawing to win a private VIP Day for a health and life makeover with Dr. Ann Tsung herself. Then be sure to head on over to itsnotrocketscienceshow.com, and pick up your free gift from Dr. Tsung. Then join us on the next episode.