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FAT is our FRIEND

March 14, 2010

Let’s start off with a staggering stat.   More than half of Canadians are overweight and this is for a variety of reasons.  Consuming fat (that is, the ‘right’ fats) is not one of them. 

I used to be ‘that girl’.   The one that was terrified of fats;  I only cooked with broth, rarely oil, ordered egg white omelets and bought fat-free yogurt.  Since I’ve have done a complete 180, overcoming my fear of fats and embracing them; I now use oils and butter in almost all of my cooking, eat egg yolks (often 2 in one serving – crazy!) and buy full-fat yogurts (when I’m not on the Elimination Diet of course).

The episode by Dynamic by Nature reinforced that I am indeed doing the right things and you should too.

Why you NEED fat:

  • First off, every cell in our body is made up of fat
  • FAT provides essential nutrients that our body cannot make (Omega 3 &  Omega 6 fatty acids)
  • FAT metabolizes our cells (which integrate nutrients in our body and eliminate waste)
  • FAT provides thermal insulation and keeps us warm (much needed for our Canadian winters)
  • FAT keeps us full and slows the digestion process (we’re less likely to crave sweets afterwards)
  • FAT transports & aids the absorption of minerals and  vitamins A, D, E and K (this is why eating tomatoes with olive oil is recommended to facilitate the absorption of lycopene)
 

 

  Only USE fats that are:

  • Unprocessed, unrefined & cold-pressed  – approximately 90% of vegetable oils have been industrialized, heated to extremely high temperatures until they are charred, then bleached and deodorized with chemicals such as hexane (a gasoline).   Consuming these fats (which remember are absorbed in our cells) changes the functioning of our cells and hormones at the DNA level.
  • Heat stable — heating certain monounsaturated fats (i.e. olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds) and polyunsaturated fats (i.e. soybean/corn oil, fatty fish, walnuts, sunflower seeds) to a certain temperature alters their molecular structure.  These are better used for dressing salads or dishes after cooking.   Natural saturated fats such as butter, coconut oils and ghee are the most heat stable.   There’s lots of research to prove this. Watch this video.

 

A Few Tips:

  • Buy yourself some coconut oil to use for cooking at higher temperatures.
  • Toss your margarine (which contains high levels of PAH – a fat that is worse than trans fat).
  • Look for unprocessed, cold-pressed oils (typically more expensive and in darker bottles).  I will do my research and suggest a few trusted brands in the next few days.
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