The Skinny On Fat
By Gavin Gillibrand
The shocking truth about dietary and saturated fat.
I want to talk about the reputation that “fat” has as the bad guy of the western diet. Many so-called “health professionals” around the world still persist in advocating a “low-fat” diet for health, weight loss and prevention of degenerative diseases.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Firstly, fat is extremely important for a number of important functions in the body. Fat is needed for optimal hormone production so is absolutely essential in the muscle-building and fat burning processes. Fats play a role in vitamin & mineral utilization, enzyme regulation and are required by every major organ in the body, including the brain. What is a problem are man-made and chemically altered fats found in processed food. These fats are very harmful and can promote degenerative diseases.
Many societies across the globe have a diet consisting of high fat, including saturated fat.The Inuit or Eskimo diet consists of 75% fat, mostly saturated from a variety of sources like whale and seal blubber, organ meats and cold water fish like salmon, yet they have virtually no incidences of heart disease or obesity. Pacific islanders have a diet consisting of two-thirds saturated fat, mostly from coconut fat yet remain relatively disease free.
The problem lies in the fact that harmful fats are lumped in with good or essential fats when there is a massive difference. One will kill you, the other is absolutely essential for good health and longevity.
Lets look at some of the best sources of fat :-
Coconut oil. 92% Saturated fat yet extremely beneficial for you and the ONLY oil you should ever cook with.
Extra virgin olive oil.Excellent for drizzling on food and for making dips. Try it with balsamic vinegar for a healthy dressing. Extra virgin oil comes from the first pressing of the olives and is much higher in anti-oxidants.
Cold water, oily fish. Examples such as salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel. A fantastic source of omega 3 and essential for good health. I guess that’s why Omega 3 is called an EFA (essential fatty acid).
Avocado. The fat in avocado is 60% mono-saturated, 25% saturated and 15% polyunsaturated making it extremely beneficial providing many nutrients, fibre and healthy fats.
Nuts and seeds. All nuts, macadamias, pecan, walnut, cashews and the rest are all great sources of natural, healthy, unprocessed fats with essential vitamins and minerals. Almonds are a great source of mono-saturated fats whilst walnuts contain high amounts of polyunsaturated fats (Omega 3)Seeds such as pumpkin, sesame, flax and sunflower all contain natural unprocessed healthy fats. Flax seed is particularly high in Omega 3 but you must be careful not to cook with Flax oil and to also make sure it is sealed in a dark bottle and refrigerated as it can go rancid very quickly.
Grass fed animal fats. I think this is where the bad rap on fat has come from. Poorly fed animals, mass-produced for the lucrative meat industry produce poor meat that is filled with hormones and antibiotics unlike grass-fed animals which produce far superior meat and eggs, loaded with goodness essential for our health. Choose grass-fed and free range organic products every time.So these are the best sources of fat to have in your diet.
What about the fats to avoid?
Hydrogenated fats or trans fatty acids.These fats have no health benefit whatsoever. These are industrial produced, chemically altered oils that have no place in our diet but are somehow allowed to be used to produce food. They are linked to heart disease, obesity, cancer and much more. Please avoid them at all costs.
Refined oils. Most of the oils on the supermarket shelf are unhealthy. Look out for canola oil, cottonseed oil, vegetable oil, rapeseed oil and safflower oil. They are all processed, bleached and then packaged and provide us with absolute zero in terms of nutrition. The process to get them on the shelves damages the fat and antioxidants and creates free radicals which attack our bodies at the cellular level. Bad news.
Anything deep-fried. Doughnuts, fries, fried chicken and chicken nuggets etc. It’s all poison for our bodies.
Hopefully, this article has shown you the difference between good essential fats and fats to avoid. Do not be scared of having the right type of fat in your diet. It’s good for you and will help you maintain a lean, healthy body.
Gavin Gillibrand BSc. Fat loss and Body Transformation Expert in the City of London, UK Please visit our website http://ultimatecityfitness.com for more great articles like this and how you can get and stay in your best shape ever