The fear of fat has led to an epidemic of poor health and disease because we have reversed the ratio of our food groups from high animal protein/animal fat and low carbohydrates to high carbs and little or no healthy animal protein and fats.
In fact, many Americans are consuming 60 to 70 percent of their meals as carbohydrates (mostly refined and processed), 20 to 30 percent unhealthy fats (omega-6’s from vegetable oils, shortening and margarine) and only 10 percent from animal protein.
The fact is, you need the right fats to build strong cells that repel viruses, strengthen artery walls, nourish hair and skin, help create necessary hormones, fuel the brain, shuttle nutrients and vitamins though the digestive system, and much more. If you’ve been misled into thinking fats are bad, think again. Here is a list of some of the best:
… and avocado oil richly deserve “superfood” status. Avocados—often thought of as a vegetable, but actually a fruit—provide high oleic acid and antioxidant content. A Mexican study found that avocado oil stops free radical damage in the mitochondria, the “engine” of the cells.
Homemade avocado spreads make a great replacement for mayonnaise on sandwiches or wraps. Avocado oil also has a smoke point of 500 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is perfect for high-temperature stir-frying. It won’t produce free radicals at high heat like oils with lower smoke points such as olive oil, which should not be used for cooking.
… from pasture-fed cows is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Conjugated linoleic acid is an especially beneficial nutrient found in organic grass-fed cows’ milk and butter.
It has been studied for its ability to help the body fight food allergies, boost metabolism and balance blood sugar. But the source is everything: according to the journal of Dairy Science, pasture-fed, cows had 500 percent more CLA in their milk fat than cows fed atypical grain-based diet.
… provides a very good source of pure fat and has an easy-to-use consistency. Unfortunately, hydrogenated vegetable oils have replaced true lard in many processed foods including cookies, crackers and even frozen pizza. When cooking and baking at home, opt for lard from pasture-fed cows or pigs whenever a recipe calls for vegetable shortening.
It contains healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats that improve your cholesterol levels and may help prevent type 2 diabetes. Those are benefits you won’t get from hydrogenated oils.
… is now being recommended in weight-loss regimens, in fact, a clinical study published in the journal L/p/ds found that coconut oil reduced waistline circumference and improved cholesterol ratio. In the study, women between the ages of 20 and 40 consumed 30 milliliters of either coconut oil or soybean oil for 12 weeks. They followed a low-calorie diet and walked for 50 minutes per day.
At the end of the study, the women consuming coconut oil had a lower body mass index (BMI), a smaller waist circumference and higher HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. The soybean oil group didn’t experience any of these outcomes. But these results are not really surprising. The fats in coconut are medium chain fatty acids, which are used directly by the body to produce energy.
… has benefits for your heart, skin, blood pressure and mental well-being. Olive oil is full of healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. Adding this tasty oil to your diet can reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering levels of bad LDL cholesterol and raising good HDL cholesterol levels. An Italian study published in the New England journal of Medicine showed that consuming olive oil daily reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by 30 percent. Look for extra virgin olive oil, as it has undergone the least amount of processing and has the highest levels of beneficial compounds.
… is healthy and tastes great. In a Greek study, men who cooked with sesame oil reduced their average blood pressure to within a normal range. Researchers in Iran, comparing sesame and olive oil’s effects on cholesterol, weight, and waist circumference suggest that sesame oil may also promote weight loss.
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