Here’s a post on Fat I did during a 30 Day Real Whole Food Challenge.
How’s everyone digesting my (possibly) radical information on fat so far? Maybe you’re kind of bucking and kicking, and backing up. Thinking, no way is there actually a good fat out there. Fat is bad. Fat is evil. Fat makes me fat and gives me high cholesterol.
Please, if you feel this way, just hold on and keep reading. Give me a chance to prove that healthy fats are healthy and necessary for your body.
I’ve got a few more days left in Fat Week, but there’s so much information I want to pass along, that today, I’m going to do bullet points.
- Your brain is composed of 60% fat. 60%! Almost half that fat is DHA (that’s one of the fish oils). Imagine what effect the past several decades of low fat/no fat/bad fats have had on our brains. Researchers are tying depression, anxiety, learning disorders, cognitive disorders, dementia, and Alzheimer’s to our low-fat / no-fat / bad fat diets.
- Your brain – if it’s healthy – is full of healthy cholesterol (as opposed to oxidized, damaged cholesterol). Cholesterol is used to build cell membranes, ALL our sex hormones (want your testosterone, men? ), and Vitamin D; our liver uses it to make bile (which emulsifies fats), and it’s a huge component of brain and nervous tissues. Just like low fat, low cholesterol is tied to depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, and mood disorders. One of the main effects of cholesterol-lowering meds is memory loss.
- Have I mentioned the amazing research on Coconut Oil and Alzheimer’s? There’s a lot of information on this, but if you’re interested, google : Dr. Mary Newport. She’s literally reversing her husbands Alzheimers disease. She has a book out called “Alzheimer’s Disease, What if there is a Cure ?”(Amazon), and she’s all over the net. You-tubes, podcasts, news shows. She’s just the tip of the iceberg in this field, but she’s compelling, and a great place to start if you’re interested.
- Olive oil. Olive oil’s a super fat, just make sure you’re buying the right kind, and then house it properly. Olive oil is a “mono-unsaturate”. Mono-unsaturate (MUFA) fats are more stable than PUFAs (poly-unsaturated fatty acids), and less stable than Saturated fats. That means they can take a little more heat, a little more light, and a little more air than PUFAs before they turn rancid. This takes me back to my first sentence. You want to buy “extra virgin, first cold pressed”(EV/FCP), that means No Heat was used to extract the oil from the olive. If heat is used, and it is with lesser qualities oils, then you’ve got a damaged fat in the bottle. (and your body uses damaged fats if you eat them) If you buy the EV/FCP varieties, make sure you keep them in a dark bottle, or a dark pantry. You DON’T want your olive oil sitting on the counter.
- Olive oil is rich in Vitamin E and other powerful antioxidants called polyphenols; both nutrients prevent heart disease and cancer. ( If you buy heat-extracted oil, the vitamin E and polyphenols are destroyed.) Olive oil also inhibits blood platelet stickiness, lowers blood pressure, and reduces inflammation. Monounsaturated fats lower LDL cholesterol. Studies show that the polyphenols also provide protection against colon, skin, and breast cancer, heart disease, and aging.
- Don’t buy “light” olive oil. That’s a joke. It’s a marketing gimmick to make you think it has fewer calories. Really, it’s just been refined to remove color, scent, and flavor, and in doing so, the vitamins and antioxidants are removed also. Then, it’s no longer a health food.
- Flaxseed oil and walnut oil are polyunsaturates, loaded with Omega 3s. As such, they should NEVER be heated, or exposed to light. Both should actually be stored in your refrigerator, not the pantry. They’re very good in salad dressings, pestos, and mayonaise.
- And one more bullet point: if you cook vegetables for your kids, and top them off with delicious butter or olive oil, S&P, and maybe some grated hard cheese, they’ll probably eat them, and like them. We’ve got a couple generations growing up with either steamed plain jane vegetables, or no vegetables at all. God made fat for vegetables!! Not only does it make them taste great, but the fat allows all the Fat Soluble Vitamins and all the minerals to be absorbed and used. We want those nutrients!