Ever since I was younger, I would literally start running from labels that had high amount of fat. Not really, but I would cringe at least. I get it, you hear “fat” and you think, “Is that going to my thighs, stomach, or arms?” Well, not all fats are going to necessarily hurt you. There’s a difference between saturated and unsaturated. There’s a difference between fat from seeds and fat from candy bars. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and very stable. Unsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature.
If you can, please understand that good fats are vital when it comes to our diet. It would be difficult to live without them. They provide essential fatty acids, deliver fat-soluble vitamins, and are a great source of energy. The good kind mainly come from unsaturated fats in your diet. Two main sources are monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These are found in seeds, nuts, oils, and fruits. Some of my favorites include avocado, flax-seeds, peanut butter, and grape-seed oil. If you can, replace these type of sources over the bad saturated fats, you will be one step closer to improving your health.
Now for the bad fats such as saturated fats, they resist oxidation and can often tolerate higher temperatures. Trans-fats you want to avoid as well. They have absolutely no benefits and are mainly for extending shelf life for products. Both of these fats are found in animal products that are harmful(meat, dairy, and eggs) There’s a difference between plant-based saturated fats and animal-based saturated fats though. Coconut Oil for instance has saturated fat that is not harmful. The difference is, Coconut Oil saturated fat is mostly made up of medium chain triglycerides which metabolize very quick and burn as energy. This is less of a chance for there to be stored fat in your body. While most saturated fats found in animal products are made up of long chain triglycerides that actually store fat.
Vegetable fats stored at room temperature is also a saturated fat. An example is known as hydrogenated oils. You see it in butter, frozen meals, popcorn, and cake boxes. These oils that are often healthy in their natural state are quickly turned into poisons through the processing they go through. They take these naturally healthy oils such as palm and kernel oil and they heat it to as much as one thousand degrees under pressure. The molecules in this new product are now closer to plastic than to oil! In the end, most saturated fats, trans-fats, and hydrogenated oils are harmful because they can increase your cholesterol and chances of developing heart disease.
Another note, oils that you are cooking with can be very harmful to your health despite how nutritious they are. An example is unrefined olive oil versus refined olive oil. It’s best to cook with refined because it can cook at a higher temperature before it becomes harmful. While the unrefined olive oil offers more nutrients when not cooked but it has a lower smoking point. If you cook any oil pass its smoke point, you’ll have harmful chemicals. If you see your oil turn to a brown color, you should automatically avoid it. I recommend cooking with coconut or avocado oil since they have a higher smoke point along with healthy saturated fats.
Whatever fats you do eat, it’s important to keep in mind that they still have similar amount of calories. I’ve stated in another post, that while I don’t count calories, it’s important to eat a variety of whole foods and eat intuitively to what makes you feel good. So, 10 avocados aren’t benefiting you just because they are healthy. While this sounds like common sense, we tend to eat extra portions of anything that seems nutritious when in the end it takes away from the benefits through over consumption.
Hope this helps! Please share and spread the health. xo