fat: friend or foe?


The good, the bad and the down right ugly!

Discussed briefly in the previous entry, fats come in many shapes and forms. There are different types/ chemical constitutions of fats and its important to have a basic understanding of this to help you decide what type of fat to choose.

saturated fats:

These fats are named saturated due to the fact they are saturated by Hydrogen atoms which make this fat very stable. The stability of these fats allows high temperatures to be reached in cooking and no change in chemical structure such as Animal fats and coconut oil. Saturated fats are a safe and ideal cooking fat.

monounsaturated oils:Include- Avocado, Olive oils, canola oil and peanut oil. These oils are unstable and should not be heated. Olive oil is fragile and should not be used for cooking, a splash on foods before consuming is ideal. Avocardo is high in oleic acid which is beneficial in heart health and reduces oxidation stress overall. A few slices of avocado on top of your salad or in a smoothie will keep you full for longer. Fragile oils such as olive oil is prone to oxidation and can go rancid quickly, so store and consume correctly.

polyunsaturated fats:

Include safflower oil, flaxseed oil, walnut oil and sunflower oils. Essential fatty acids, omega 3, 6 and 9 found in flaxseeds, oily fish and raw nuts. EFA’s are the only essential fat inclusion in the diet as the body is unable to produce them. EFAs have a protective quality on the cardiovascular system and a diet with a high ratio of omega 3’s and lower omega 6 is considered beneficial. Important to note, overall nuts are very difficult to digest even if prepared correctly and are high in Omega 6 fatty acid meaning they can increase inflammation in the body and must be consumed sparingly (Rotella Pam. Good Fats, April 2006)

trans fats:

Include- fried foods, biscuits, cakes, pies, pastries, some animal fats, snack foods, cooked mono and polyunsaturated oils. Manufactured trans-fat are found in foods that use hydrogenated (denatured) or partially hydrogenated oils. These oils are toxic to the body, increasing inflammation and damaging the immune system (Eleanor Whitney, Sharon R Rolfes, Tim Crowe, David Cameron-Smith, Adam Walsh.2011 Understanding Nutrition 2nd Edition. P135-138)

To digest and use fats effectively we need "all our ducks in a row" so to speak. We need vitamins and minerals, effective liver function and good amounts of bile. Taking some bitters 10 minutes before meals, such as rocket, lettuce or apple cider vinegar will stimulate bile production and excretion, improving overall well-being.

If you can reduce/eliminate processed food consumption and increase vegetables and healthy fats you will be well on you way to improved health.

Mel

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