The Daily Dose - Good Fats vs. Bad Fats

Good Fats vs. Bad Fats

Fats can be good and fats can be bad, depending upon the type of fat. Unfortunately the standard American diet is full of bad fats, primarily in the form of hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats. Bad fats such as these, act as trans fats in the body. Trans fats cause inflammation by increasing the amount of LDL cholesterol, the form of cholesterol we most want to avoid. One good piece of news is that they are now supposed to be listed on Nutrition facts panels.

A key factor in keeping fats healthy is to keep them away from heat as much as possible. This is important because excess heat damages fats and essentially converts good fats into transformed (trans fats) that increase inflammation.  When cooking with oils, they must be able to handle heat. Coconut oil is one of the few that can.

A very good way for us to know if fats are good or bad for us is to avoid all fats that are heavily processed and also foods that are heavily processed. You can find good fats in raw dairy products, truly free-range eggs, nuts, seeds, avocados and minimally processed coconuts.

We have been told for many years to avoid fat and to consume a low fat diet. The problem here is that most low fat foods that are still heavily pitched in the media actually contain transformed fats, which are hydrogenated or even genetically modified (GMO’s). GMO ingredients create inflammation in the body and most of the oils used in processed foods are either canola, cottonseed, soy or corn…all GM fats.

When it comes to fat intake and health we often begin to consider cholesterol. The body uses dietary fat to make cholesterol which in turn is used to synthesize vitamin D, repair cell membranes, create brain cells, mitigate inflammation and much more. Dietary fats are also used as precursors to the creation of hormones. When we consider the poor hormonal, nervous system and brain health today we should not ignore the role that a low fat diet has played in creating this havoc. In order to achieve good health on many of the levels mentioned above we cannot ignore the health role that fats play in our overall well being.  There truly are good fats and bad fats.  Stay away from the bad…seek out the good.