What the Fat? Your Guide to Healthy Fats.
If you want to lose weight, you need to avoid fats in your diet, right? Wrong! Certain fats in your diet are vital for your health and weight loss. We’ll go into more detail with that later, but first, let’s look at how fats got such a bad reputation.
Why Avoid Fats?
Once upon a time, specialists believed that the only way to lose weight or be healthy was to cut out fatty foods from your diet. People around the world followed the advice but found that they struggled to maintain a healthy weight.
The millennium brought a lot of changes to our society, including the way we view fat. One of the most significant issues with low-fat diets, is people increased their sugar and processed carbohydrate intake to add flavour and calories to their diet. Guess what? Specialists noticed that sugar plays a huge part in weight gain.
Sugar is one of the most dangerous food groups around, but people often don’t realise the impact it has on their health. So, the fact is that fat isn’t the enemy, and it can be a useful ally in your fight to stay healthy. Most people believe there are good fats and bad fats, but it’s not black and white. In fact, there are lots of grey areas to fats that most people aren’t aware of.
What Are The Bad and Good Fats?
One of the fastest ways to cause inflammation in your body is by choosing bad fats. There are two main types of unhealthy fats: bad-saturated fats and trans fats.
Bad-saturated Fats & Polyunsaturated Fats - What’s The Deal?
Some outdated research states that saturated fats are bad, but it’s not so simple. Saturated fats are classed as stable fats, which means that in moderation, they’re good for you. So why does everyone tell you to avoid them?
Quality is the key element here. The saturated fat in a fast-food burger for example will have an entirely different effect on your health than saturated fat in coconut oil. There are more and more health specialists changing their view on saturated fats.
We can take for example organic grass-fed beef, according to a US review of fatty acid profiles in grass fed and conventional raised beef, grass fed beef contains more stearic acid, a saturated fat that doesn’t increase cholesterol.
Throughout history we have always consumed a higher portion of omega-3 fats, since wild foods are very rich in those fats. Wild meat and organic grass-fed beef contain about 7 times as much omega 3 fats as industrially raised animals, which have almost none. Practically all of the meat that our ancestors ate were organic pasture-raised and contained no hormones or antibiotics.
Introducing industrially produced refined oils into our diet, increased our omega 6 fat intake drastically. High levels of omega-6 can reduce the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids on our health. Studies have also associated a high intake of omega-6 fat to an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Polyunsaturated fats found in vegetable oils are receptive to oxidation. These fatty acids react with oxygen and start deteriorating. The fat you eat isn’t only stored or burned for energy, it’s also incorporated into your cell membranes. If you have a lot of polyunsaturated fatty acids in your body, your cell membranes are more sensitive to oxidation. In short, you have a very high level of fragile fatty acids that can easily form harmful compounds.
The most common sources of polyunsaturated fats are:
- soybean oil
- rapeseed oil (canola oil)
- sunflower seed oil
In many cases, consuming organic butter and other good quality saturated fats is better for your health. Some studies show how inflammation can affect your brain, so consuming high levels of omega-6 isn’t good for you. The most important thing to remember is it’s about balancing your fat intake and ensuring you don’t over-consume polyunsaturated or bad-saturated fats.
Trans fats are clearly divided into two groups, ones that occur naturally and are not damaging to our health. The second group however, is highly damaging and in many cases added to foods to increase their shelf life as hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Common food groups that contain trans fats include:
- Fast Food
The critical thing to remember about trans fats is they decrease your HDL Cholesterol, but increase your LDL Cholesterol, which means your risk of heart disease can double.
What Are Good Fats?
Here’s where it gets interesting because there are plenty of good fats that you should be consuming. Healthy fats contain some vital nutrients that will benefit your health.
Research shows that a carefully conducted high-fat diet can lead to a reduction in body weight and to a much faster metabolism. Low-fat, high-carb diets are spiking insulin, slowing metabolism and contributing to storing belly fat.
Omega-3 fatty acids are so crucial for your health, and they come in three forms: DHA, EPA, and ALA. All types have their benefits, and the vital thing to remember is consuming them can support your physical health and mental wellbeing.
What fats should you eat?
- Extra-virgin, cold-pressed, organic coconut oil – my favorite, is highly anti-inflammatory, but only as part of an overall healthy diet not as the main course
- Extra-virgin, cold-pressed, organic olive oil
- Organic grass-fed meats
- Organic grass-fed butter
- Organic eggs
- Nuts—walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia; not peanuts
- Fatty fish—sardines, mackerel, herring, and wild salmon—that are rich in omega 3 fats
Organic Eating for Improved Health
It’s challenging to eat right, but not impossible. Many people find that their busy lives mean it’s easier to grab some fast food instead of preparing a healthy meal. But, think about the number of bad fats your takeaway contains. Many restaurants also cook their foods in polyunsaturated vegetable oils, so each takeaway you consume can negatively impact your health.
When you eat organic and choose the right meals, you benefit from consuming foods with either minimal or no bad fats. Organic meat and butter or ghee contain higher levels of healthy fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, which means a decreased risk of cancer and heart disease.
Organic foods contain healthy fats because farmers raise the livestock on a grass diet, which means that animals have naturally higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Industrial farming methods don’t think about the animal’s health and nutrition, so eating organic is much more beneficial.
Get Your Fat in Every Meal
If you’re not a fan of cooking or simply don’t have the time, then Skim is here to help. Our expert chefs prepare a range of tasty organic meals, all of which contain the maximum amount of nutrients, minerals, and healthy fats. We also cater to a variety of dietary choices including vegan, paleo, gluten-free and wholistic diets.
Remember, healthy fats are your friend, and when you consume them, you can maintain a healthy lifestyle, lose weight, and decrease your carb intake. Check our menu today to pick your first meal and enjoy the convenience Skim offers.