There’s a lot of confusion and questions about fat, and while I’m addressing that in my talks, I want to put some facts on paper/screen so that you can stare at them and let them sink in. This won’t in anyway be a Primer on Fats, more like Fun Facts on Fats.
Fats are either Saturated, Monounsaturated, or Polyunsaturated. Cholesterol ISN’T a fat, it’s an alcohol sterol. (These are just going to be bullet point facts, not a chemistry lesson.)
* Saturated fats (SF) have incredibly stable structure, that’s why about 50% of EVERY CELL membrane in your body is made from SF. Cholesterol is another fatty substance that is incorporated into EVERY CELL membrane of your body; it’s also stable and allows nutrients in, and waste out PROPERLY.
* Eat a diet low in SF, or take cholesterol lowering medications so that less is made, and you COMPROMISE THE INTEGRITY OF YOUR CELL MEMBRANE. Nutrients WON’T get in and out properly. If this goes on for years, you’re in trouble.
* Fats don’t just go from mouth to stomach to butt / belly fat. That’s not how we work. The fats we eat are completely broken down to their barest molecular structure, and then sent by the liver to do thousands of different functions in the body: build hormones, “transport” fat soluble nutrients, become part of immune system, build brain matter (60% of the brain is fat), build bones; I could go on and on, but know that when you eat fat, isn’t not just stored, it’s used to build your body.
* Olive Oil isn’t an Omega 3, it’s an Omega 9. Olive oil and Avocado Oil are MONOUNSATURATES. They’re a little less stable than SF, but MUCH more stable than Polyunsaturated Fats. Keep them away from light or heat. Consider NOT cooking with olive oil (SF are best for cooking); if the heat’s too high, you’ll damage the fatty acids. The same happens if you leave you olive oil out on the counter, exposed to light, and not in a dark cabinet. OUR BODY USES DAMAGED FATTY ACIDS – AND THIS ISN’T A GOOD THING.
* Vegetable oils (corn/soy/canola), nuts and seeds, and Fish Oil, are POLYUNSATURATED FATS (PUFA). PUFAs are incredibly delicate and UNstable, very, very prone to damage from heat, air, and light. It’s a crime that Big Food and Big Medicine have been encouraging their use in cooking for the past several years. When we cook with these fragile oils, they become rancid and damaged and then our body incorporates them into our cell membranes. WHEN DAMAGED PUFAS ARE INCORPORATED INTO CELL MEMBRANES, THE LIVER PRODUCES MORE CHOLESTEROL TO STABILIZE THE MEMBRANE.
* Trans Fats are liquid vegetable oils that have been “hydrogenated” to make them solid. These things are a DISASTER for us. Experts argue over which has been worse for our health, Sugar or Trans Fats. Trans Fats raise LDL B(that’s the bad, small, dense LDL), raise the Insulin response to blood glucose (= more insulin in circulation), lower testosterone, raise abnormal sperm, lower the ability of enzymes to do their conversions and work, increase free radicals, and if they get incorporated into cell membranes (and they will if you eat them), completely disrupt the membranes functions (and there’s a bunch).
* If a Food Product, like crackers, says 0 Grams Trans Fat – don’t believe it. That cracker has to be held together by something, and it needs staying power on the shelf. The FDA allows any Food Product that has LESS than a Half Gram/Serving to say 0 Trans Fats. This is criminal, it seems small and inconsequential – it’s NOT. This really adds up dangerously.
Hope you can make Wednesday nights talk as I’ve got a whole lot more information on fats, plus I’m explaining how our body digests and uses them. The more you know, the more power you have to make healthy decisions for yourself and your family. For now, be smart and safe, Eat Real Whole Foods.