After destroying my body in endurance sports, I tried to get a handle on my hormones for the last several years.
I had heard from many people that the key to better health was a plant-based diet since it touted healing autoimmune diseases with its boost of antioxidants.
Well… I didn’t improve and actually got worse eating vegan! It wasn’t until I tried using animal foods that I made some serious progress. It turns out our ancestors were pretty wise about what types of fats (and proteins!) should be included in our diets for optimal health!
In this blog post, I’m going to share how animal foods, specifically animal fat, has become my secret weapon in healing my hormones and maintaining balance.
Get ready to discover all the power behind this ancient health remedy so you can start unlocking your best self too!
The Role of Hormones & Women’s Health
First, what are hormones?
Hormones are the conductors of our body’s orchestra, controlling reproduction, moods, and metabolism.
Let’s take a quick look at the popular female hormones:
Estrogen is a hormone that is primarily produced by the ovaries but is also produced in small amounts by the adrenal glands and fat tissues. Estrogen helps regulate the menstrual cycle, promotes bone health, and plays a role in the development of secondary sex characteristics like breast development and pubic hair growth
Progesterone is a hormone that is primarily produced by the ovaries after ovulation. Progesterone helps regulate the menstrual cycle, prepares the uterus for pregnancy, and supports early pregnancy by maintaining the uterine lining and preventing contractions.
Although testosterone is primarily considered a male hormone, women also produce small amounts of testosterone in their ovaries and adrenal glands. Testosterone plays a role in maintaining bone and muscle mass, sex drive, and overall well-being.
Other female hormones that may be worth noting include follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), which are produced by the pituitary gland and help regulate the menstrual cycle, as well as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is produced by the placenta during pregnancy and helps maintain the pregnancy.
All hormones listed (plus a few others like Cortisol) completely tanked in my body. I’m talking ‘not detectable’ range on all my labs! I started hormone replacement therapy, which helped… but my body still wasn’t optimized and making any hormones naturally.
So, understanding the roles of these various female hormones is important for maintaining reproductive and overall health.
Animal-Based Fat (and Protein) for Female Hormones
To keep your hormones balanced out–so you can feel your best!–a high-fat, low-carb diet with plenty of cholesterol (found mostly in animal products) can provide an ideal foundation for hormonal harmony.
The high protein content in this diet can also help support muscle growth, which is important for hormone balance.
Note: Avoiding plant-food sources of phytoestrogens and other hormone mimics will give these helpful molecules more room to do their work while keeping blood sugar stable by adding extra zinc & vitamin D into the mix.
Read more about plant toxins and if you should avoid them from Sally K. Norton – she’s AHHH-mazing!
Note: I’m personally not against all plants, but I still avoid most on my healing journey…
The power of animal fat and why it’s the secret to healing hormones
Now, let’s talk about animal fat, my friends! No, I’m not advocating for a greasy bacon party every day or giant sticks of butter in your morning coffee (although that doesn’t sound too bad).
I’m talking about the power of animal fat when it comes to healing our hormones. Whether it’s grass-fed beef or pastured chicken, animal fat is loaded with essential nutrients that our bodies need to balance hormones.
These nutrients include omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Yet, for some reason, animal fat still gets a bad reputation.
But fear not, my fellow meat lovers, because science is on our side. So go ahead, enjoy a juicy steak or some crispy chicken skin, and let the power of animal fat work its magic on your hormones as it did for mine.
Cutting out carbohydrates, like in the carnivore diet, is proving to have a positive effect on hormones for overweight and obese women: seven studies show that doing so reduces insulin levels which helps restore hormonal balance and even gets ovulation back up and running.
Who knew carbs could cause such dramatic effects?
What happens when your body is deprived of animal fat
When it comes to fats, we often think of oily burgers, fried chicken, and extra cheese pizzas. But amidst all the fat shaming, we tend to ignore the fact that our body needs a certain amount of animal fat to function properly.
Depriving yourself of this nutrient can cause some serious issues like dry and flaky skin, weakened bones and muscles, memory problems, and significant hormonal imbalances!!! I’m exhibit #1!
So, take my word for it… watch out for those crash diets that promise to make you skinny (or heal your body) in seven days. Because let’s face it, nobody wants to trade their health for a skinny waist. (you can have both!)
How to get enough animal fat in your diet
Alright folks, let’s talk about getting enough animal fat in your diet for hormone health. I know what you’re thinking, “Animal fat? Isn’t that the stuff we’ve been avoiding since the low-fat craze of the 90s?” (omg, do you remember snackwells?!) #flashback
Well, let me be the first to tell you that fat is not the enemy, in fact, it’s your friend when it comes to keeping those hormones in check. So, how do we get enough of the good stuff?
Easy, start embracing an animal-based carnivore diet with some fatty cuts of meat like grass-fed beef or lamb, as well as wild-caught fish, into your meals. Even egg yolks are also great sources of healthy fat that can help balance those hormones.
Go ahead and embrace the fat and keep those hormones in tip-top shape.
Alternatives to traditional animal fats, for my vegan friends
As much as we all love our animal fats, we can’t deny the growing popularity of veganism. But don’t worry, my vegan friends, there are alternatives to traditional animal fats that can satisfy your cravings without compromising your ethics.
Try coconut oil (this butter-flavored one is my favorite!) or avocado oil for a smooth and buttery flavor. If you’re feeling adventurous, give tahini a try – it’s not just for hummus anymore!
And for a truly unique option, check out vegan butter made from cashews.
Who said vegans can’t have their fats and eat them too? Now go forth and experiment, my plant-based pals!
The benefits of including more animal fat in your diet for overall wellness
Now, hold on to your carrots, friends! We’re about to talk about the benefits of including more animal fat in your diet. Yeah, you heard it right!
Research shows that dietary fats, including animal fats, are essential for overall wellness and maintaining good health, especially as we age. Animal fats provide energy to the body, protect organs, support cell growth, and keep hormones regulated
In fact, adding more animal fats to your diet can help eliminate the desire to snack on processed junk foods that can feed carb addictions.
Not all fats are created equal, and animal fat is loaded with crucial nutrients that your body needs to operate at its best.
It may sound like a scary addition to your meal plan, but animal fat is a great source of wholesome vitamins and minerals that boost your immune system, regulate your hormones, and improve overall wellness.
Foods to avoid or limit for optimal hormone health
Ok, ladies, listen up: if you’re trying to get those hormones in check and reap the benefits of a diet with more animal fat, there are some foods you should steer clear of.
First on the chopping block? That beloved bowl of sugary cereal. Sorry to break it to you, but those artificial flavorings and high amounts of sugar will only throw your hormones off balance. (Think yellow #5…eek!)
Next up, say goodbye to processed snacks like chips, cookies and crackers. These little devils are loaded with unhealthy fats (seed oils!), chemicals, and additives that won’t do your hormones any favors.
Next, steer clear of sweet treats like candy and cookies. Sure, indulging in a treat here and there can be harmless, but a steady diet of these sugary delights will only hamper your progress in achieving optimal hormone levels.
Finally, let’s not forget the phytoestrogens found in plant foods and how they can disrupt our hormones and cause dysregulation!
So, ditch the junk and reach for some high-quality animal fats for a healthy and happy female body!
The Wrap – My Experience Using Animal Fat for Female Hormone Optimization
All in all, using animal fat to heal my hormones has been a remarkable journey! I used to rely on traditional medications and treatments that never seemed to work. But something about the healing power of animal fat just clicked for me.
Sure, it took some time and effort to get the exact diet I needed—but it was worth it. Not only have I felt more energetic and alive since adopting this new lifestyle, but my hormone levels are back in balance and overall symptoms are reduced.
There are a lot of awesome animal-based advocates out there discussing hormone health – but check out my favorite, Dr. Kiltz.
Through decades of clinical practice, I discovered that infertility (and virtually all other diseases we humans suffer from) are caused primarily by the foods we eat and the frequency at which we consume them. Similarly, I found that the power of positive thinking can have radical outcomes for your health, wellness, and life goals.
- Dr. Kiltz, fertility practice, CNY Fertility
Thanks to animal fat, and resources provided by physiciansphysicans like Dr. Kiltz, I can rest assured that I am taking excellent care of my body!
So, if you’re also struggling with hormone-related issues, you may want to give this approach a try—you might be surprised by how well animal-based fats works :). Again, I’m sharing my experience and not saying this is the ONLY way to healthy hormone wellness…
What are animal fats?
Animal fats are the fats obtained from animal sources, such as meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products like cheese and butter. These fats are typically solid at room temperature and contain a variety of different types of fatty acids. Some animal fats, such as those found in fish and certain types of meat, are considered healthier than others because they contain higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and lower levels of saturated fats.
What are examples of animal fats?
Animal fats include milk fats, rendered fats, and fish oils (marine oils). Milk fats are generally defined as milk fats, which are made from milk fat (milk fat, butter fat, butter oil). It is very rare to find milk with fats in the diet.
What key fat-soluble vitamins are found in animal fat?
Animal fat is a rich source of fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K. These vitamins play essential roles in various physiological processes, such as vision, bone health, immune function, and blood clotting. Vitamin A is essential for maintaining healthy vision, skin, and mucous membranes. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, important minerals for bone health. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting, which is important in preventing excessive bleeding from injury or surgery. Eating animal fats in moderation can help ensure adequate intake of these essential vitamins.
Are animal fats better than vegetable oils? (seed oils?)
Some animal fats such as ghee and tallow have been shown to have health benefits, while some seed oils, such as canola oil, are considered unhealthy.
What are the best animal fats to cook with?
Tallow a type of fat that is obtained by ruminants such as cattle, bison or sheep. Tallow tastes amazing in baked pie, gives flavors to grains and stir-fry. These fats have good properties when cooked to high heat such offers great sources of saturated fat and high amounts of monounsaturated fat (the good fats) and has some Oomega3s too.
What are examples of animal fat?
Most edible fats include meat tallow, pork lard, goose fat and duck fat. Various beef producers subdivide production even more by subcutaneous tissue or adiposeadipos (like kidney tissue). These tallow contain different types of fatty acids, which are different from the rest.
Why Animal Fat for Cardiovascular Health
SThe studies show that eating animal fats is beneficial to the heart. The presence of less lipoprotein(a) – a low-dense variation of cholesterol – makes it more healthy as it is responsible for the breakdown of the oxidizing phospholipids from our plasma. Oxidation of the cellular matrix causes arterial artery sclerosis and atherosclerosis and can lead to angina and vascular sclerosis.