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Natural Awakenings Northwest Florida

“Good” Fats Protect Long-Term Brain Health

For decades, we have been told that we should avoid fatty foods, but now we’re learning that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Foods that contain healthy dietary fats are crucial to our bodies and brains. And protecting our brains through nutrition, including “good” fats, is crucial for sustained memory and functionality as we age.

“Your brain is 60 percent fat, and much of it is made of omega-3 fat and cholesterol. When you eat a low-fat diet, you are starving your brain,” advises Dr. Mark Hyman in his book Eat Fat, Get Thin

Grass-fed meats, butter and ghee are nutrient-dense and have numerous health benefits, including plenty of omega-3 fats. Other foods with these good fats, which are critical for brain support, include avocado, blueberries, beets, bone broth, broccoli, egg yolks, coconut oil, green leafy vegetables, rosemary, turmeric, flax seeds and walnuts.

Eliminating cane sugar, sodas, high-fructose corn syrup, alcohol, trans fats, food additives and preservatives will help balance the biochemistry of the body and brain. It’s also wise to avoid gluten and dairy, two of the most common allergens and known intensifiers of inflammation. They have “been linked to conditions ranging from brain fog to depression and to even more severe conditions like autism and Alzheimer’s disease,” Hyman writes. Prolonged consumption of inflammation-inducing foods can lead to chronic systemic illnesses and other serious diseases. 

The solution? Eat close to the earth; buy clean, grass-fed meats; use oils such as coconut, avocado or ghee; and avoid highly processed packaged foods. Now go experiment in your kitchen with fresh produce!

Heather Del Castillo, owner of Constitution Nutrition, is a holistic health coach and CrossFit Level 2 trainer focused on living well through whole-life balance. For a health consultation, contact her at 831-244-0114 or via

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Health Brief