Basic Facts About Good Fats

We all need some good fats and oils in our diet! Yay! That's good news for you, if you've been trying to avoid fats to lose weight. How much really depends on your body type They help with the absorption of Vitamins A, D, E, and K. It's important to choose foods high in Omega 3, which prevent blood clotting, reducing the risk of stroke. What are our best sources of Omega 3?

Best sources of Omega 3

  • fresh water salmon
  • fresh mackerel
  • sardines
  • walnuts
  • pecans
  • pine nuts
  • freshly ground flax seeds
good fats

Other good sources of fats include

  • avocados
  • almonds
  • sunflower and pumpkin seeds

It's also very important to stay away from trans fats and saturated fats. 

What About Oils?

Olives, nuts and seeds have been pressed to extract oils for thousands of years. 

What is important to know about the fats in oils, is how they are produced. Ideally oils have been pressed and retain all nutritional value.

The best oils are either extra virgin olive oil or oils that are first cold pressed, preferably certified organic. This means the oils are extracted by exerting pressure on the seeds, nuts, etc. and the oils are not heated above 40 degrees Celsius. This also results in a low acid content.

Oils should come in dark glass bottles and have a delicious fresh taste. These are good fats and they are good for us, provided they are not heated.

good fats

What about other fats? Regular oils sold in the super market in the plastic bottles? These are very detrimental to the body! These oils are refined, and here's how: 

First, seeds or nuts are ground into a meal which is heated to around 230 degrees Fahrenheit and pressed. The pulp is then treated with a toxic chemical solvent such as hexane, to further remove any oil.

The solvent is removed and the oil is again heated, refining it to be degummed and remove color, odor and bitterness. Then it is filtered, bleached, deodorized and often color is added back in! You can see why these oils are very unhealthy

Just remember, that as soon as you heat oil at high temperature, ie. from refining or cooking them at home, the fatty acids are damaged and changed into harmful substances that adhere to the arteries and clog them. You can easily saute onions and vegetables over low heat using water rather than oil. Oils are best eaten in their natural state, added to salads or dishes after cooking, not before. 

" Zero Trans Fat"

While at a friend’s house, she pulled out a box of crackers. “These are healthy.” She said, knowing my penchant for healthy eating. “Zero Trans Fat” it said across the front, hence her deduction that they were healthy and contained good fats. I checked the list of ingredients: 2nd ingredient was vegetable oil, 3rd, shortening (vegetable, modified palm, modified palm kernel). 

Vegetable oil is a generic term often used for a combination of palm, corn and soybean or sunflower oils. All oils found in any processed food ie, crackers, cookies, breads, mayonnaise, salad dressings, etc. are refined oils, unless indicated that they are first cold pressed, which is extremely rare. Of course healthy oils are more expensive so the food industry rarely uses them.

In June 2007, Health Canada called on the food industry to reduce trans fats in foods. So the food makers simply replaced trans fats with inexpensive palm oil, palm kernel oil and modified oil all high in saturated fat. Palm oil should actually be called palm fat as it is solid. Normally, oil is liquid, but in order to get the desired texture and prolong shelf life it is chemically modified for processed foods. 

A better choice for my friend would have been Kavli or Ryvita crackers, made without oil. Better butter can be made by mixing 1 part butter to 1 part extra virgin olive oil and keeping it in the refrigerator. 

Just as it is important to not heat fats or oils it is also important to not heat our sources of healthy oils. So choose... 

  • Raw organic nuts, rather than roasted. (and without any added salt!)
  • Raw seeds rather than roasted
  • Raw nut butters, almond butter such as Maranatha or Nuts to you. It must say raw on the jar, or it is roasted. 

It's easy to find good fats.

Start enjoying the delicious taste of

  • Extra virgin olive oil and
  • First cold pressed organic oils

found in the organic section of your supermarket, or the health food store. Eat the foods high in Omega 3 mentioned above, avoid packaged foods.

As it is very difficult to get enough Omega 3 from food sources, I recommend a high quality supplement taken daily. Those taking insulin or any medication, should consult a physician before taking any supplement.

good fats

It's challenging figuring out what to do with all the different information out there! One day you read something, the next day it changes. As a certified naturopath since 2008, I've been helping my clients learn exactly how to eat right for their body type, lose weight, and have non-stop energy, all day, every day!

One size fits all Never works. Contact me today to find out how you can maintain your ideal weight for the rest of your life!