Did you say some fats ARE healthy?
Good news! Throw out the notion that you are supposed to eat a low-fat diet. The RIGHT fats are crucial in maintaining your health and serve both structural and metabolic functions in the body. Fats are also satiating and so help us eat less and eliminate cravings.
However, some fats can be harmful and inflammatory and those are prevalent in our standard American diet. So, which fats are important to eat, what fats should be avoided and why? Keep reading …
But first, how did the misguided thought that all fats are bad for us come about?
President Dwight Eisenhower had a heart attack. This was in 1955 and that caused a tailspin of the stock market and great concern about how this could happen to an American hero.
The next day, his physician gave a press conference citing smoking, fat and cholesterol as the primary sources of heart disease. Later, that physician introduced the research of a nutritionist, named Ancel Keys, who suggested the “diet-heart hypothesis.” Keys hypothesized from correlational research that saturated fat raises cholesterol by congealing within coronary arteries, stopping blood flow and causing the heart to seize up.
Eisenhower’s love of a good steak and hamburger became perpetuated as the cause of his heart attack – more so than his 4 pack a day cigarette habit, his infamous temper and his high stress job.
In actuality, Keys based his theories on correlations that have since been proven to have been derived from inaccurate methodologies and outright data manipulation.
Years later, the study’s lead researcher, Alessandro Menotti, looked at the data again and concluded that the food that correlated most closely with deaths from heart disease was sugar. Recently, it has also been discovered that the sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and to promote saturated fat as the culprit instead.
In the meantime based on the original flawed research, by 1980 the low-fat approach became the recommendation promoted by the media, physicians and the government’s dietary guidelines, encouraging consumers to reduce their intake of all saturated fats.
Thus began the biggest public health debacle in history. Over the next few decades, the government spent many millions of dollars in a campaign to convince Americans to cut back on fat, culminating in the creation of this Food Guide Pyramid of 1992.
They advised us to eat all types of fat sparingly, and instead load up on grain products – 6 to 11 servings a day of bread, cereal, rice & pasta.
If you are of a certain age as I am, I know you remember that food pyramid!
We all wanted to eat healthy and feed our families well so we used our will-power to eat as low-fat as possible, right?
I know I did. My own father died of a sudden heart attack in 1982 and this was personal to me. I ate very little fat for most of my adult years.
So what did we eat instead of fat as a result of those guidelines? Lots of grains processed into flours and then we added more sugar because without fat, things don’t taste as good.
This idea that foods like red meat, eggs and bacon raise our cholesterol levels is so deeply ingrained in our cultural psyche that few people even question it. But is it really true?
Instead of showing health improvements, the 1980s marked the beginning of America’s obesity and diabetes epidemic. The percent of people in the US who were termed obese and extremely obese sky-rocketed.
Turns out, it is the over-consumption of processed flours and sugars that play the biggest role in heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illness.
The medical community now finally recognizes that the original studies from which the low fat recommendations were based upon were manipulated to obtain the desired results. There was an article published in The American Journal of Medicine in September 2020 that states that the limitation on saturated fat is not justified.
Unfortunately, it takes time for corrected information to disseminate to the general public and even to some physicians.
Food tastes so good with lots of healthy fats and fat takes longer to digest, helping you feel satiated.
Wouldn’t it be nice to not feel hungry again an hour after you eat?
Not just that, you NEED to eat healthy fats in order to function properly. Healthy fats help transport nutrients through your body and improve your fat-soluble vitamin uptake. The ‘right fats’ also contain many important nutrients, from vitamins and minerals to free-radical fighting antioxidants.
So, what are the healthy fats?
First of all, here’s my disclaimer: The information on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Barb Wood’s intent is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics which have been carefully researched and provided by experts in the fields of functional medicine and nutrition. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen.
Healthy fats occur naturally in foods and don’t require a chemical process to extract. If an oil, they are cold pressed.
EAT THESE LIBERALLY:
- Coconut oil – is a very healthy saturated fat.
- Palm oil – look for ethically sourced
- Olive oil – use light olive oil for high heat and extra virgin for low heat or room temperature
- Ghee – which is butter with most of the lactose removed
- Butter – Especially butter from grass-fed cows milk
- Lard (pork fat)
- Tallow (beef and lamb fat)
- Duck fat
- Dairy fat – especially full fat dairy from grass fed cows
- Macadamia oil
- Eggs – especially from pasture raised
- Meats – especially from grass-fed pasture raised
- Seafood – Aim for 10 to 20 ounces of cold-water fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, anchovies, or sardines, each week. Choose wild-caught as much as possible.
- Chocolate – is very healthy as long as it doesn’t have a lot of added sugars – go for very dark chocolate and enjoy!
EAT THESE IN MODERATION: (due to their higher levels of Omega-6 fatty acids)
- Sesame oil
- Walnut, Pecan and Almond oils
- Flaxseed oil
- Avocado oil
- Nuts and seeds
- Nut butters
AVOID THESE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE:
- Soybean oil
- Peanut oil
- Corn oil
- Safflower oil
- Wheat-germ oil
- Canola oil
- Sunflower oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Rice bran oil
Could you use some help with making the changes that you want to make to live a healthier diet and lifestyle?
There is such a positive synergy with group coaching! Many say it is just knowing that you are not alone in your journey to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
During our meetings, I will be presenting information to help you with transitioning to a whole foods diet, reducing stress, increasing movement and enhancing sleep.
But if information is all you need to have a healthy lifestyle, you can have that with a click on your Internet browser, right?
I will guide you to focus in on WHAT you want to do and HOW you can go about doing it and most importantly, WHY it is important to make changes.
By the end of each group coaching meeting, you will walk away with a next step for yourself with a focus or goal for the next week. Sometimes this can be just thinking about something or reading more about it. Most likely it will be an action step that will move you closer and closer to your vision for your wellness.
Group coaching sessions are 90 minutes long and are held once a week for 12 weeks.
Why so long? It takes time to turn new actions into a habit that you can maintain. Know that you are not alone in this journey to wellness.
I have new groups beginning frequently.
Message me to arrange a free initial consultation to answer your questions and determine which group fits your schedule.