Fats supply crucial nutrients into our body; they provide nourishment that supports optimal function of our brain, nervous system, immune system and metabolism. We need fat to maintain both optimal health and perfect body weight. Therefore, lets get our fats straight!
There are three kinds of fatty acids;
- Saturated fatty acids: found in animal fats like butter, tallow, meat, sour cream, lebneh, and tropical oils like coconut oil. This is the most stable fat, given that it doesn’t go rancid, even when heated for cooking purposes. Thus, they are excellent oils for cooking. Saturated fats from grain-fed animals are a second-generation carbohydrate or sugar that is converted into fat. Moreover, grain feeding drastically reduces omega-3 content of meat. Whereas, Grass-fed meat contains more antioxidants, omega-3’s, trace minerals, and vitamins than conventional meat.
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids are omega-3 fats that are found in fatty fish (salmon and mackerel), and omega-6 fats that are found in vegetable oils (corn, sesame, peanuts, sunflower and soy). These oils should be consumed in their natural state. As they tend to become oxidized or rancid when exposed to heat, oxygen and moisture as in cooking and processing. Thus, cooking or processing (hydrogenation) omega-6 oils turns them into hazardous trans-fat oils. Consuming these oils in their dangerous state, just to mention a few, causes many problems like wrinkles and premature aging, damage to the tissue and organs, damage to the blood vessels and initiates the build up of plaque.
- Monounsaturated fatty acids: found primarily in olive oil, avocado and nuts. They are relatively stable and can be warmed and added to food.
Among all these fats, saturated fats have been under scrutiny by the media and medical community for many years. Even though 50% of brain cells membranes contain saturated fats and 60% of the brain composed of fats. However, after decades of believing the myth that butter blocks arteries and causes heart attacks, people are now beginning to apprehend that hydrogenated vegetable oils, trans-fat, and margarine are the ones to blame for our modern ailments. What is called “heart healthy oils” is the suspect not saturated fats like butter and coconut oil that have been around for millennia. A Swedish study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2004 found that milk fat consumption is negatively associated with the risk factor of heart disease and also for actual heart attack. Hence, It’s time to bury the myth that butter is bad for you for good, read another study on lack of association of coronary risk and saturated fat here.
Therefore, nourish your brain with saturated fats, like coconut oil in combination with omega-3 and cod liver oil. They work in synergy to keep your brain young and sharp.
What about saturated fats and weight loss?
Saturated fats that composed of short and medium chain fatty acids found in butter and coconut oil, plays an imperative part in weight loss. The short and medium chain saturated fatty acids in butter and coconut oil are not stored in body tissues, since they do not need to be treated by the bile salts, but are directly absorbed for quick energy. Here is a study, which have shown that medium chain fatty acids results in less body fat-deposition, click this one to read it.
Another study in 1998 at McGill University showed that the energy needed to oxidize medium chain fatty acids of saturated fats is greater than the amount of energy they provide. For this reason, they are less likely to induce weight gain than olive oil or commercial oils. Coconut oil contains almost 50% of medium chain fatty acids, and butter contains almost 15% of them. Experts recommend taking 1-to 2-table spoons of coconut oil twenty minutes before mealtime in warm water or herb tea as it will significantly reduce appetite and help you to feel full more quickly, and be satisfied with smaller portions.
One more fact to know about fats is that you cannot gain weight from eating fats unless you simultaneously eat a lot of carbohydrates. Fats do not accumulate in the body in the absence of carbohydrate; on the contrary they get metabolized. Thus, the best food combination to stay in shape is eating fats with lots of vegetables without bread, rice or potatoes.
So what’s for breakfast? Pasture eggs, sunny side up runny yolks, fried in lots of butter, avocado, tabouleh, labneh, full fat yoghurt and grain-free waffles. This breakfast keeps me full until my lunch time and I might snack on some fruits too.
Traditional fats do not include store bought mayonnaise, for example, which is made of soybean oil, fructose corn syrup and artificial colors. Instead, you can substitute with homemade mayonnaise from pasture hen egg yolks, coconut oil/olive oil, vinegar and mustard.
Eat more traditional fats in their traditional form.
Check out my grain-free banana waffle recipe on the recipe section and down bellow.
Grain-free banana waffle
2-tablespoon melted coconut oil or butter
1-tablespoon unpasteurized raw honey
1 ripe banana
¼ cup coconut flour
A pinch of salt
Mix everything together with a whisk; let it set for 5 minutes so the coconut flour can absorb the liquid. Grease the Waffle maker with coconut oil or butter. Evenly distribute the batter on the iron and bake till golden brown.
Ellen is a Holistic nutritionist student
For Arabic article click here:
:للغة العربية اضغط هنا