coconut-oil-resizedOne of my biggest challenges as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner is dispelling the “fat makes you fat” and “fat causes heart disease” myth to my clients. There’s also significant evidence to indicate that in most people, dietary fat does not negatively affect serum cholesterol. If cholesterol does go up as a result of the consumption of healthy dietary fat, it’s typically not just the “bad” LDL but the good HDL as well. More importantly are the triglycerides as they are almost always a marker for the over consumption of the highly inflammatory refined carbohydrates. Triglycerides and the good HDL should always be taken into account when accessing cholesterol numbers, not just LDLc, which is a calculated number.

One of the quickest ways to lower triglycerides for most people is avoiding the over consumption of carbohydrates and increasing healthy fat intake such as butter, coconut oil, avocados, ghee, lard (yes, lard folks – our healthy ancestors ate tons of it), and high quality olive oils. Equally important is the avoidance of the toxic vegetable oils such as Canola oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil and safflower oil to name just a few. These oils are highly inflammatory and unstable due to the way they are manufactured and are the quickest way to send your cholesterol into a downward spiral.

The other key component of healthy fats is their satiety factor. They keep you feeling full while providing that long slow burn of energy to keep you going strong all day. We are ‘fat burning machines’ by design and have been for millions of years. We’ve simply never adapted to burning glucose for fuel. You could quite literally be on the brink of death from starvation and your body would still be generating adequate amounts of glucose. In other words, we can completely avoid it and be metabolically sound.

My fellow Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Colleen Dunseth, wrote a very informative article on the subject of fat called The Big Fat Lie. I had asked her if I could share it with my viewers and she graciously allowed me to post it here. The link to her site is included below as well.

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 THE BIG FAT LIE

Myth: Fat makes you fat

Fact: You need fat to burn fat

The human body NEEDS fat. Fat is one of 3 of the fuel components. Fat is imperative for:

  • Healthy cholesterol levels
  • Optimal liver and gallbladder function
  • Healthy hormone balance
  • Cell wall integrity {permeability}
  • Production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins
  • Main fuel for the muscles (this includes the heart muscle)

And remember, fat is the main slow burning, long acting fuel. Thus, fats are ABSOLUTELY necessary for blood sugar regulation, and gallbladder/liver function, and therefore optimal weight control. (Optimal Health)

Caveat: There is a difference in the QUALITY of the fats available.

GOOD FATS -vs.- BAD FATS

The difference between a Good fat and a Bad fat is in the way they are processed, not in the inherent nature of their source.

Exception: canola, soy, cottonseed oils

Bad fats are extracted from their sources using high heat and/or chemical solvents. The human body needs a balance of the various components of saturated and unsaturated fats i.e.: saturated fats are necessary to digest proteins

How do we know the difference??? When reading a label (READ LABELS, you will be amazed ) look for these terms:

GOOD FATS

Cold Pressed

  • Unrefined
  • Expeller Pressed
  • Organic
  • Extra Virgin

BAD FATS

Hydrogenated

  • Partially Hydrogenated
  • Most forms of vegetable oil

Cold PROCESSED is a dirty trick on words

THE HUMAN BODY CANNOT (does not have the capability to) DIGEST REFINED OILS

Our choice of fats and oils is one of extreme importance. Most people, especially infants and growing children, benefit from more fat in the diet rather than less. But the fats we eat must be chosen with care.

Avoid all processed foods containing newfangled hydrogenated fats and poly unsaturated oils. Instead, use traditional vegetable oils like extra virgin olive oil and small amounts of unrefined flaxseed oil (never heat flax oil or any other omega 3 oils.)

Acquaint yourself with the merits of coconut oil for baking and with animal fats for occasional frying. Eat egg yolks and other animal fats with the proteins to which they are attached. And finally, use as much good quality butter as you like, with the happy assurance that it is a wholesome, – and indeed and essential- food for you and your whole family.

Organic butter, extra virgin olive oil, and expeller pressed flax oil in opaque containers are available in health food stores and gourmet markets. Organic coconut oil can be found in health food stores.

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