FAT- Why Fat Free is NOT a choice! Fat are carriers that help proteins do their job.
In the 80’s and 90’s the media and medical community gave the word ‘fat’ negative press and so many people turned to low/fat free diets. This led to horrendous health consequences! Thankfully, with more accurate information being spread, that is coming to an end because just like protein, fat is essential, your body requires fat to create three Essential Fatty Acids (EPA, DHA, ALA), which we must get from our foods. Here are some reasons to include quality fats in your diet:
- Fats are essential for the body’s energy and support of cell growth.
- Fats help the body absorb fat soluble nutrients (Vitamin A, D, E, K) and produce important hormones.
- Fats encourage satiety and the feeling of fullness.
- Eating fat doesn’t mean you are gaining fat…actually if you don’t eat enough fat your body will utilize other sources of energy (like sugars), which will elevate blood sugar levels, which in turn, can promote fat storage to fat cells (not a good thing!).
- When you eat ‘Fat Free’ foods you will be consuming more foods that are processed, have fillers, and added sugars, because fat gives flavor to foods. So companies add other ingredients to make it taste good.
- Fats are an important part of maintaining optimal metabolism and weight. Plus they contribute to hormonal function, organ insulation, and prevent fatty acid deficiency, like Omega-3’s!
What Kind of Fat Should You Choose?
Well, just like all our food choices, not all fats are created equal, and it’s important to understand how to choose, cook, and store your fats. Even healthy fats can be damaging to our bodies if you go over their “smoke point.” Meaning, each fat (or oil) has a heat tolerance, and if it goes over that smoke point the oil will be oxidized and can cause our bodies more harm than good.
Here is a breakdown of oils and their smoke point:
Oils Best at High Heat (up to 450F):
- Chicken or Duck Fat
- Coconut Oil
- Refined Avocado Oil
Oils to Keep at Low Heat (less than 325F in a sauté or 350-400F in oven)
- Olive oil
- Unrefined Avocado Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Grassfed Butter
Oils That You DO NOT Heat (use for salad dressings, drizzle, or eat)
- Walnut Oil
- Almond Oil
- Pumpkin Seed Oil
- Flaxseed Oil\
- Whole Nuts and Seeds, Nut Butters
Oils to AVOID (These are industrialized, processed, high in polyunsaturated fats and omega-6 fatty acids, making them super inflammatory to our body!)
- Vegetable Oil
- Canola Oil
- Corn Oil
- Soybean Oil
- Cottonseed Oil
- Rice Bran Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Margarine Spreads
What Brand of Oil Should You Buy?
Beware of the label marketing placed in the front of a food product…they can trick you with words like ‘Organic,’ ‘Made with Olive Oil,’ and other marketing jargon that might convince us this is the product to buy. But before you do buy it, take a look at the ingredient label.
Ingredients tell the whole story about a product! What are the first three ingredients in the product? For example, if I want to buy a quality refined Avocado Oil, I would like to see that the first and only ingredient should read “Cold pressed refined avocado oil.” That’s it! Go to the store one day when you have time, and start to look at the ingredient labels of products you thought were quality. You might find that the first ingredient in an “Organic Mayonnaise,” that claims to be made with extra virgin olive oil, is actually made with organic pressed SOY OIL!!
So YES, be picky. YES, take your time to read the ingredients. YES, ask all of the questions. Find the product that has the ingredient(s) it is actually supposed to have and is supportive to your body!
Nutrition is a part of our lives that is sometimes difficult to improve and master on our own. That is why we offer Nutritional Consulting that emphasizes unique approaches to help you holistically manage your health.
Contact us at (317) 344-9840 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Melanie in Indianapolis or via virtual consultation — and start your path to healing today.