The Skinny on Fats
With Spring just around the corner, people tend to give more thought to losing weight and getting healthy. What better time to separate FAT from FICTION? Forget everything you’ve been told about fat…not all fats, or calories, are created equal!
Science now shows that what you eat matters far more than how much you eat. In 2015, the United States Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee removed any recommendations to limit fat in the diet (after concluding that it doesn’t make us fat or sick!). Research indicates that sugar and carbs are the true cause of obesity and heart disease–not fats.
Eating more fat has been shown to improve brain function, help to prevent dementia, and reverse type 2 diabetes. Did you know that 60% of your brain is fat?
The fats you eat strongly influence your level of brain function. Some nutritional anthropologists believe the human brain would not have developed as it did without access to high levels of DHA (a type of fat) found in fish and wild game. Just two generations of high omega-6 and low omega-3 fats can lead to profound changes in brain size and function; the wrong type of fat in our bodies does make us sick, and 58 studies with over 68K people proves that eating more of the right kinds of fat makes you healthier, have more energy, and helps you to look and feel amazing! Dietary fat actually supports weight loss.
So just what are the right kind of fats?
SATURATED FATS: Contrary to popular belief high quality, (preferably sustainably raised and grass-fed) animal products such as butter, cheese, whole milk, cream and fatty meats are actually good for you, and are indeed necessary, according to some scientists. They are also found in some tropical plants and vegetable oils such as coconut (I’ll cover this in another article; I love, love, love this superfood!), palm and palm kernel, with coconut being the go-to for cooking since it has such a high smoke point. When eaten in a meal, these fats slow down absorption so that you feel full longer. In addition, they act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Dietary fats are also needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for a host of other biological processes.
MONO-UNSATURATED FATS: The best oil here is olive oil. Canola oil is also in this category, but I advise (big-time) avoiding it and using olive oil instead.
TRANS FATS: These fats form when vegetable oil hardens, a process called hydrogenation, and can raise LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, and lower HDL (good cholesterol) levels, which of course is the complete opposite of what you need in order to maintain good heart health. In fact, trans fats—as opposed to saturated fats—have been linked repeatedly to heart disease. These fatty acids can also cause major clogging of your arteries, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems.
In summary, clear your kitchen, and kill your consumption, of hydrogenated fats and oils, and eat more of the fats found in the table below.
To your health!