Another guest post from nutrition expert, Isabel Del Los Rios. Enjoy!
The answer is both YES and NO. The right answer to this question depends on what type of fat you are talking about.
Some fats are actually essential for so many important bodily functions, but the wrong kind of fat can lead us down an unhealthy path to weight gain and a long list of diseases.
Fat to Avoid:
1. Hydrogenated Oils:
You have probably already heard in the media that hydrogenated oils are extremely detrimental to your health and waistline so to avoid them at all costs. But what are they exactly?
Hydrogenation is a chemical process used to make fat more shelf stable. This hydrogenation method completely alters the liquid oil’s molecular structure so that it no longer resembles a natural fat.
Because your body does not recognize the transformed molecule as a natural fat, it cannot process it and treats it as a toxin. This “toxin” has been linked to cancer, birth defects, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and obesity.
We must read labels!
Hydrogenated oil and partially hydrogenated oil can be found in most packaged foods (margarine, crackers, chips, pretzels, cookies, cereal bars, sugar cereals, microwave popcorn, and low-fat and fat-free snacks).
There are even many packaged foods advertised as “health foods” that include this toxic ingredient.
Fats You Must Eat:
Your body cannot survive without fat – specifically essential fatty acids. Your brain, hormones, immune system, and digestion are all dependant on this healthy fat (which is why people who go on very extreme low fat diets often suffer many health problems).
1. Omega 3 Fats
Omega 3 Fats are essential to human health but cannot be produced by the body which is why it is essential that we get these great fats from food.
Foods high in Omega 3 fats are leafy green vegetables, flax seeds, salmon, sardines, raw walnuts, organic eggs and grass fed beef.
Extensive research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and help prevent risk factors associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
These essential fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be particularly important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems.
Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include extreme tiredness (fatigue), poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.
2. Cooking Oil
The only oil that is suitable for high heat cooking (and one of the healthiest oils you can consume) is raw, organic, unrefined coconut oil.
Coconut oil has been proven to be one of the healthiest oils available for the human body and increases the body’s metabolic rate (helping in weight loss)
2. Oils best Raw
Olive oil and flax seed oil are two wonderful oils to use for salad dressing or on cooked or raw veggies. These oils have a lower melting point and are more stable (and healthier) when kept raw.
All you need to know about fat and fat consumption:
1. Avoid all products that have hydrogenated oil and/or partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredients
2. Consume foods high in Omega 3′s such as wild caught salmon, flax seeds, walnuts and organic, free range eggs
3. Cook using Organic, Raw Coconut Oil
4. Use Olive Oil and Flaxseed oil raw for salads and veggies. Also eat plenty of avocados as a healthy source of fat into your meals.
Remember all fats are not created equal and proper use of the good fats can be a great way to keep you and your family at optimum health!
For more information on fat and what foods you should eat and avoid, grab a copy of Isabel’s downloadable ebook, The Diet Plan Solution, by CLICKING HERE.
Susan Campbell, MS, CSCS