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How much fat is included in your diet right now? If you would have asked me this question a year ago, my answer would have been: “A little bit of olive oil/canola oil to fry food in the pan, and some butter on my toast.”
Maybe my answer from the past is close to your answer today. If so, I want to challenge you to think differently about fats from now on. Let’s start by discussing the Lipid Hypothesis.
Ever Heard Of It?
It basically describes heart disease: We eat too much food containing cholesterol and saturated fat, and as a result our cholesterol levels skyrocket, which blocks the blood vessels leading into the heart, causing heart disease. You’ve heard of this, right? We try to not to eat alot of fat so we don’t fall victim to heart disease…but then there are those people, who eat a low-fat diet and yet they have heart disease. Do you know someone like this? I do. We make all kinds of excuses as to how this happened, but we never doubt the lipid hypothesis. Everyone knows that lots of fat in our diet causes heart disease; it’s common knowledge. I agree, BUT…does that make it true?
Think Back To High School Science Class…
What is a hypothesis? Merriam-webster.com says it is “a tentative assumption made in order to draw out and test its logical or empirical consequences.” Okay, but there were studies done to show that it is true, right? Yes, there were studies done, but none of them proved the lipid hypothesis as true. In fact most of the studies done prove the exact opposite:
- High-Fat Foods Do Not Cause Heart Disease
- High Cholesterol Does Not Cause Heart Disease
- High-Fat Foods Do Not Increase Blood Cholesterol
- Cholesterol Does Not Cause Plaque Buildup In Arteries
So, why do so many people believe it? Put simply, it is a money maker for pharma companies selling medication and for food manufacturers processing vegetable oils.
Our Bodies Need Fat
- Sixty percent of the brain is composed of fat! Your brain needs fat to be able to function properly.
- Ideally our cells are made up of 50% saturated fat. They cannot work properly if they do not get enough saturated fat.
- Fifty percent of fats in our diet need to be saturated fat so that we can effectively absorb calcium.
- Saturated fats protect the live from toxins.
- Saturated fats are the heart’s preferred food. They provide energy to the heart in times of stress.
- Normally the fluid that enables the lungs to work are 100% saturated fat.
- Saturated fat is needed to maintain normal kidney function
Our bodies need saturated fats to function properly. If you are not eating enough saturated fats, your body is most likely functioning under par. The same goes for eating the wrong fats. The ugly fats.
Different Types Of Fats
There is so much I could say on the different types of fats… basically, fats are saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated. Or you could classify them by their length… short-chain, medium-chain, long-chain, or very-long-chain. And then we also need to consider what type of processing the fat went through, such as, extraction, hydrogenation (trans fats), or homogenization. But for now let’s just look at the ugly fats.
The Ugly (Polyunsaturated)
Ugly fats have a high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Too much omega-6 in the diet creates an imbalance which can lead to inflammation, high blood pressure, and cancer. They also become oxidized or rancid when heated. Rancid oils contain free radicals which causes wrinkles, tumors, and plaque build-up in the blood vessels. So, what fats should you avoid?
- Canola Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Corn Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Soybean Oil
- Cottonseed Oil
The Bad (Monounsaturated)
Bad fats have a better omega-6 to omega-3 ration than the ugly fats, but it is still high. Bad fats can be used for cooking at moderate temperatures, not high! (Cooking with these oils at high heat will create free radicals.) The fats should only be used on occasion for cooking, and will likely contribute to the build-up of body fat if you use them often.
- Olive Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Almond Oil
- Pecan Oil
- Cashew Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Flax Seed Oil
The Good (Saturated)
The good fats are highly stable, which means they do not normally go rancid, even when used for cooking. They have a good ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, but that can vary according to the animal’s diet. Here are the best fats you can eat to nourish your body:
- Coconut Oil
- Palm Oil
- Beef and Mutton Tallow
- Chicken Fat
- Duck and Goose Fat
Let me just say, it is important to find good quality fats or fats that are as close to how nature intended them to be. Was the butter from a cow that was only fed grass? That also goes for the animal fats. Is the coconut oil made from fresh coconuts?
One Last Gold Nugget
I know it may be hard to wrap your mind around this… so I want to say it as clear as possible: Eating good fats (saturated) will NOT make you fat. In fact, eating good fats will cause you to lose weight. Our bodies put fat into storage when we do not eat enough fat. It is preparing for a food shortage. When we start eating more good fats, and keep eating good fats, our body realizes that it doesn’t need this storage anymore and starts burning it. What I’m trying to say is, eating good fats will help you lose fat! Isn’t this so exciting!!!! Eat fat. Enjoy it. Go, right now and smear lots of butter on a piece of bread and nourish your body!