Uplevel your animal products to include more healthy fats!
When I was younger, I was focused on stretching my food dollars and I wasn’t so concerned about what food my food ate. Thankfully, times have changed. So my main “rule of thumb” as it pertains to purchasing animal products is:
THE HIGHER THE FAT CONTENT, AIM FOR HIGHER QUALITY. THE LOWER THE FAT CONTENT, GET AWAY WITH LOWER QUALITY.
When buying meat, fish and poultry (and products made from them) that’s higher in fat content, spend your money on the higher quality cuts or brands.
Let’s say you love chicken thighs more than breasts, or you’d prefer the 85/15 ground meat to 95/5, or you’re craving a juicy steak. Consider spending more of your food dollars on the higher quality products that are labeled “grass-fed”, “organic”, or “pasture-raised”. The opposite is also true: if you are making some basic, run-of-the-mill meals this week, you can get away with buying the budget friendly cuts. Consider buying cuts of meat that are lower in fat, or have a higher percent lean.
Here’s why: fat tissue is storage tissue. If the animal has a healthy diet, that means you get to reap benefits by getting rarer vitamins and minerals into your diet. If the animal has an unhealthy diet, that means you are exposed to a higher percent of environmental toxins and probably less of those vitamins and minerals.
If you’re in a position to “uplevel” in this area consider the following:
- Look for 100% grass fed and/or pasture raised meat cuts
- Look for “pasture raised” or “pastured” on the label for eggs
- Look for “pasture raised” pork. Pigs but don’t eat grass so it would be odd to look for a “grass fed” label
- Consider purchasing from a local farmer or local co-op who cares that their animals eat close to their natural diet
- Consider purchasing from a meat delivery service like ButcherBox
Remember, none of this is required to be healthy. But, since we’re on the topic of adding fat-rich foods to the diet you might be happy to know that making a couple of swaps can make the difference between getting a ton more anti-inflammatory fats and nutrients in your diet.