Confused about which fats are healthy? Or maybe you are one of those people who still believe a low fat diet is healthy. The truth is our bodies need fat. Fats are sources of essential fatty acids and are necessary in absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K, maintenance of skin and hair, and in proper cell function. However, eating the wrong kinds of fat can cause systemic inflammation that can lead to disease. Read on to learn more.
Stick with eating UNREFINED fats and oils. High heat refining can produce carcinogenic compounds and damage the fats so they become oxidized and unstable. These are the healthy fats you should incorporate in your diet:
Macadamia Nut Oil
When cooking with higher heat use more stable fats such as butter, ghee, tallow, or lard. Walnut oil and flax oil are also considered good fats, but should never be heated.
Avoid High PUFA Oils
Avoid high polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). PUFAs are unstable and break down when exposed to chemical stress. Refined high-PUFA seed oils are toxic because they promote free-radical reactions that damage our cellular machinery including mitochondria, enzymes, hormone receptors, and DNA. Avoid these fats:
Refined Palm Oil
The Right Balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are both necessary to our bodies, but most people have a very unhealthy balance of them. In an ideal world the ratio of omega-6s and omega-3s would be 1:1. In today’s world, a ratio of 3:1 is a more realistic goal. The American diet contains too much omega-6 as a result of industrial food making. The animals we eat are fed soy and corn which contains a lot of omega-6s. Soy and canola oils used commonly in processed foods and by restaurants because they are cheaper. Because of this, most Americans are closer to 35:1 ratio. Remember, our brains are made out of equal parts omega-6s and omega-3s, so we need them in equal parts. To get that ratio in balance you should focus on getting additional omega-3s in your diet. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, anchovies, and mackerel are great sources. You should aim to get 2-3 servings of these fatty fish per week. In addition, avoiding the bad fats will help lower that omega-6. If getting all your omega-3s from food sources is difficult for you, you should consider supplementing omega-3s. Eating the right fats can help with brain function, inflammation, chemical balance in the brain, and energy levels.