Despite a long campaign to rid fat from our diets, we are fatter and sicker than ever before. Why?
Natural fats are incredibly important; following are some of the ways in which our bodies utilize healthy fats:
- For brain development
- For the development of the nervous system
- It plays an important role in cushioning vital internal organs
- It is a vital source of energy
- It plays a role in insulating our bodies
- Healthy fats in a meal increase the feeling of satiety, reducing to quantity of food you need to feel full.
- In a meal it also helps to regulate blood sugar levels, as foods that contain fat, will slow down the rate in which glucose is released into the blood
- It is vital for the transportation of fat soluble vitamins – A, D, E, and, K.
- They are components of cell membranes
- Fats also play a role in the regulation of genes and hormones
To keep it simple let’s look at fats as natural or man-made and saturated or unsaturated.
Natural Saturated Fat is solid at room temperature and can be found in foods such as Butter, Coconut, Ghee and Meat. This type of fat is good for you, provided it is organically sourced; it is also the best to cook with as it is more stable. I say organically sourced because many toxins can be stored in the fat of animals that have been treated with chemicals.
Natural Unsaturated fat tends to be liquid at room temperature. These are either Mono-unsaturated or Poly-unsaturated.
Mono-unsaturated fats are found in foods like Olives, Avocados, Nuts, and Seeds. Also oils such as macadamia and olive oil. These are wonderfully nutrient dense foods.
Poly-unsaturated fats are most well known as Omega 3 and Omega 6. These unsaturated fats can be found in flaxseed, walnuts, fatty fish and sunflower seeds and are essential to our diet as they can not be made by the body.
Man Made Fats are found in items (I refuse to call it food) such as Margarine, and most processed foods such as breads, cakes and biscuits. Trans-fat, although it can be found naturally occurring in some milk and meats; the primary dietary source is from the partially hydrogenated oils found in most processed foods. Trans-fats have been implicated in cognitive dysfunction, mental health disorders, coronary heart disease, diabetes, abnormal foetal growth rates, and cancer, to name but a few. In June of this year the FDA took a step to remove artificial trans-fat from the food supply in America. This step is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year. Now we just need Australia to come to the party! It is also important for you to be aware of Vegetable Oils. I am not sure why they are called vegetable oils as they are actually seed oils. The most common are rapeseed (canola oil), soybean, corn, sunflower, safflower, and peanut. Unlike coconut oil or olive oil that can be extracted by pressing, these ‘vegetable’ oils have to be extracted in very unnatural ways, and have been shown to be very destructive to your health.
There is so much discussion to be had on this subject as for years we have been subjected to a fear campaign around the consumption of fat. There are many myths and much dogma that needs to be reversed. Please note: Fat does not make you fat. Natural Fat is not only good for you, it is essential to health. Low fat products are a marketing scam, avoid them. (When you take the fat out of a food, it tastes yuck, so they add in a load of cheap nasty processed sugar.)
Load up on nourishing fat from natural foods such as avocadoes, nuts, cold pressed oils, whole eggs, chia seeds, fatty fish (wild caught, not farmed), coconut, natural full fat yoghurt, and don’t forget dark chocolate!