Fats are one of the three macronutrients you need to be healthy. For some reason, “fat” has become synonymous with “bad” and that is just not true if you possess a little basic nutritional education. We all need fats. They are essential. Just learn to love the ones that are most beneficial. Saying that, lets first discuss the “bad” fats.
Lowest Quality Fats
Trans fats: Raise LDL, which is your bad cholesterol. They lower your HDL, which is your good cholesterol. This causes accelerated aging, heart disease and cancer. Your body has a hard time processing trans fats. Labels will sometimes claim there are no trans fats, but it’s not true many times. When you read the label, make sure hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils are not listed as ingredients.
Saturated Fats: are known to be one of the more LDL raising substances around.
High Quality Fats
Coconut oil has a myriad of health benefits especially because lauric acid is anti microbial. It consists of medium chain fatty acids, which are immediately converted to energy in the liver. Coconut oil is easily digested.
Unsaturated Fats: Canola and olive oil are good examples. You have mono unsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.
Essential Fatty Acids: These keep blood sugar constant, which we have discussed before as being essential for health. They are also anti-inflammatory. There are two families of essential fatty acids including omega 3 and omega 6. Omega 3s include oily, wild caught, cold water fish like Alaska salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, and black cod. You can also take fish oil supplements, but make sure the maker has a good reputation. Flax seed and walnuts are excellent sources, but they aren’t as easily converted as the animal sources. Some people take the vegetarian lab-grown DHA and EPA supplements. Omega 6s include safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, sesame oil, soybean oil, peanut oil and others.
Both of these omega fatty acids are essential and the body cannot manufacture them. For most of human history, these fatty acids were equal in being consumed, but now Americans consume more omega 6 than omega 1 as a 26:1 ratio.
Numbers show that approximately 26% of calories now come from soybean oil and linoleic acid alone.
Evolutionarily speaking, we get 25 times the amount of omega 6. This is a huge imbalance of essential fats and it drives inflammation, which promotes several diseases. Concentrate on eating a lot more omega 3 to balance things out and decrease inflammation.
Beware of Labels
When you see low fat, no fat, or fat free foods, be weary because these foods make people want to eat more. Real fat makes people feel satisfied when eating so they don’t eat as much. This goes against much of the common thinking regarding fat and nutrition.
Remember, excess sugar gets turned into fat on your body. Fat free foods increase your level of sugar and this is the primary reason you should avoid them.
Signs of Clinical Fat Deficiency:
Brittle hair and nails
Really dry skin or dandruff
Excessive ear wax
Feeling spacey or fretful
Being really thirsty
When you want to lose weight or gain energy, add high quality fats to your diet and you will be stunned at the results. I know this seems counterintuitive to everything you have heard, but it’s true.
I personally make an omelet most mornings and I always cook with coconut oil. In addition, I try to eat lots of walnuts in my salads and alone if necessary. I love fish and enjoy it whenever I can. Fats provide balance to your body and power your brain. Enjoy the good fats. They are essential.