The low- fat era is thankfully coming to an end as we learn more about the real health benefits of certain fats and separate out the harmful ones. Research now has shown that many chronic degenerative diseases like heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, many autoimmune diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are more directly connected to diets high in refined carbohydrates and sugar.
In reality, we need fat for a wide range of health promoting metabolic functions, including building cell membranes, absorbing vitamins, producing hormones, helping to moderate our glycemic load and supporting critical brain finctions.
Unfotunatetly, in spite of medical and scientific discoveries the 2 organizations that people rely on for nutritional advice ( USDA and AMA ) have been slow to respond and create new guidelines.
Get Your Fats Straight !
One must consider the source and impact on our bodies. For example, the saturated fat found in grass-fed beef or in coconut oil (which contain MCT’s, medium-chain triglycerides) are very different from the saturated fat found in processed meats or packaged foods. In fact, saturated fats have been unfairly disparaged because they are often grouped with processed trans fats. Healthy saturated fats can actually assist you in burning fat, improve and speed up brain function and optimize your cholesterol profiles. The real culprit in the staggering increase in obesity and insulin resistance is due to increased consumption of refined carbohydrates and unhealthy trans fats!
Not all fats are created equal:
1. Consume more anti-inflammatory fats – whole foods like wild salmon, sardines, walnuts and chia seeds are great sources of inflammation-busting omega 3’s, essential fatty acids (EFAs) that are essential to cell function and growth. Your body cannot make its own omega 3’s so they need to be added to your diet.
2. Eliminate refined oils – vegetable oils (often used in restaurants) such as corn, soybean, sunflower, safflower and canola are all heavily processed and high in inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids and prone to oxidation in the body. Omega 6’s both fuel the body’s inflammation pathways and reduce the the availability of anti-inflammatory omega 3’s leading to even greater inflammation.
3. Embrace animal derived fats – these include grass-fed butter, glee, beef and cage- free eggs.
4. Strive for variety – the healthy fats all deliver specific benefits: extra-virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, avocado can enhance the body’s absorption of beta-carotene and carotenoids. Grass-fed butter delivers an excellent supply of Vitamin K2 and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid with anti-cancer properties.
5. Be mindful of high-heat cooking – if you heat an oil past the point at which it begins to smoke, free radicals and other carcinogenic compounds can form.
– Ghee ( saturated and keep in cool, dark place)
– Coconut oil ( saturated and keep in cool, dark place)
– Grass fed butter ( saturated and refrigerate)
– Extra-virgin olive oil ( monounsaturated and keep in cool, dark place)
– Avocado oil ( monounsaturated and refrigerate)
– Sesame seed oil (Polyunsaturated and refrigerate)
– Walnut, Flaxseed and Hemp Seed oil (polyunsaturated and refrigerate).