We all know that vitamins are important for our health, but even when we do consume enough are we sure we are absorbing them sufficiently? You can get your vitamins from foods like fruits and vegetables (always preferred, but not always attainable) and you can also get them from supplements. What may be more important however, is the type of vitamin it is and what you eat with it/how you cook it.
The Difference Between Fat-Soluble and Water-Soluble Vitamins
Fat-soluble vitamins dissolve in fats and oils (p.s. “soluble” means “dissolve”). What this means is in order for your body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins it requires the presence of fat. So when your planning your meals it makes sense to pair high fat foods with those foods that contain fat-soluble vitamins. Yes, that means you get to smother your vegetables in butter (grass fed though..)!
Water-Soluble vitamins on the other hand dissolve in water (as I’m sure you’ve figured out already). There aren’t any rules to eating these type of vitamins, so just get them in ya!
Fun Fact: fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in your body’s fatty tissues and used at a later time; whereas water-soluble vitamins are not stored and are used immediately, so they should be consumed daily.
What Foods Contain Fat-Soluble Vitamins
First of all, your fat-soluble vitamins are D, E, K, A – just think of a “deck’a cards”.. (I don’t know, it works for me).
- Vitamin D: Eggs and fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines. You also get Vitamin D from the sun 🙂
- Vitamin E: Spinach, almonds, sunflower seeds, avocados, shrimp, olive oil, broccoli, butternut squash
- Vitamin K: Dark leafy greens, scallions, brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage
- Vitamin A: Carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, apricots, cantaloupe, liver and egg yolks
Some of these foods already contain fat, so you’re all set there. But to improve absorption of the others (the vegetables), you’ll always want to pair them with a good healthy fat.
Delicious Ways to Add Fats To Your Vegetables
Here’s a few of my favourites:
- Melted butter (grass fed) with some spices over steamed carrots and broccoli
- Baked sweet potato cubes covered in avocado oil, spices and parmesan cheese
- The classic olive oil drizzled over a spinach and kale salad with pumpkin seeds
- Asparagus fried with coconut oil or butter and garlic, whichever you prefer
- A fresh Guacamole as a dip for your veggies. Check out this recipe below:
If you’re concerned that you don’t want to add more fat to your diet for health reasons or because you want to lose weight, I highly recommend checking out the podcast with Dr. Ken Berry titled “Why High-Fat Diets Are Superior For Human Health” or just read this blog about High-Fat Diets
Spoiler alert! Fat is good for you and can help you lose weight.
Consuming the right nutrients is important, but ensuring you are absorbing them sufficiently is what really matters. Remember this next time you cook dinner or pack a lunch. Sometimes pairing certain foods can make a big difference in your health!