Over the past three years of going paleo and then on to the AIP diet I have become educated and confident about the health benefits that this type of lifestyle provides. I don’t shy away from conversations about it and hardly ever try and hide my dietary choices from anyone. I can confidently proclaim the downsides of grains, rebuke the poisonous nature of sugar, and scorn soy with the best of them, but there is one element of this lifestyle that I don’t like to talk about with non like-minded folks… fat.
I have found myself downplaying the amount of meat I eat in front of new people, when a dinner guest asks me how I cook my green beans I sometimes skip over the fact that they are covered in bacon fat and when someone asks me how I like my tea I leave out the dollop of coconut oil. I have been asked in mocking tones what my cholesterol level is, I have been told that my eating habits will “catch up to me” someday, and had people look at me questioningly when I throw out the term “healthy fats”.
The things is, fat is one of the single most important nutrients I have learned to consume. Its what brought the luster back to my skin, its what satiates me and gives me energy to run after small children, and keeps my blood sugar from crashing right after lunch like it did all throughout my earlier life. Fat is my friend. Unfortunately, we live in a fat phobic culture, terrified by outdated science that is no longer backed by evidence. Science no longer supports the claim that eating fat makes you fat, or that saturated fats lead to high cholesterol in fact the opposite is true. (1) Studies are now suggesting that the real culprit in health conditions such as heart disease and high cholesterol is inflammation. Inflammation caused by a diet high in grains and an imbalance between omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids.
For those of us with autoimmune diseases this imbalance between types of fats is especially important because limiting inflammation is a key to getting an autoimmune disease into remission. Ideally, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids need to be consumed in equal amounts. The actual quantity is not the primary issue, the ratio is. Unfortunately, the standard American diet usually leads to an imbalanced ratio of anywhere from 10:1 to 25: 1 of omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids. (2) That is a huge imbalance, leading to a massive increase in inflammation and related health issues.
In order to bring this ratio back to the ideal 1:1 level it is important for us to lessen our omega-6 consumption and increase our omega-3 consumption. Eliminating grains, processed vegetable oils, and grain fed meat will reduce your omega-6 consumption substantially and eating “healthy fats” (those high in omega 3s) such as fish, coconut, grass fed meat and avocado will help bring your fat consumption back into balance.
Avocados are one of my favorite forms of healthy fats, they are so versatile and satiating! They are a perfect AIP food. Obviously, one of the most popular ways to enjoy this super food is in the form of guacamole. However, if you are used to buying store bought guacamole you may have trouble finding a suitable AIP version, as most packaged brands contain peppers and tomatoes. I have found a few here and there that don’t contain any nightshades, but it is not always easy. Fortunately, guacamole is super easy to make and making your own gives you lots of opportunities to perfect your own special recipe. Here is a basic nightshade free guacamole recipe to get you started, enjoy!
Simple Nightshade-Free Guacamole:
(serves 1-2 People)
½ tsp of sea salt
½ tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of fresh lime juice
2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
Peel and pit your avocados and add all of your ingredients into your food processor. Blend for a few seconds, until combined and enjoy. If you do not have a food processor simple mash your avocado with a potato masher or a fork and stir the rest of your ingredients in.