Fats are an essential part of your diet. However not all fats are created equal.
Fats have been vilified for the past few decades, guidelines advocated high carb diets with low or no fats, packed instead with sugar to make up for the lack of taste, burning sugar as the primary source of fuel.
What you're aiming for is whole-food that is as close to its natural state as possible. Look back over 100 years ago and consider what food was back then, and how it was prepared?
- Omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) are unstable and easily damaged during processing and refining. When these oils are heated they degrade further, generating additional toxins
- Eating refined, high-PUFA vegetable oils is also harmful because the refining removes most of the antioxidants. The easiest way to bypass potential hazards is to eat the whole food rather than the oil from the food.
- When the PUFAs degrade inside your body, they form dangerous high-energy molecules called free radicals that damage everything they contact, including your enzymes, cell membranes and even DNA.
The Dietary Roots of Pain & Inflammation
Processed vegetable oils are pervasive in the average modern diet and make up between 30%-50% of the average persons daily calorie intake — not only because they cook with them, but because they're found in so many processed foods. If heated high enough, not only can they form dangerous trans fats but they can also form cyclic aldehydes, which are even more harmful.
Vegetable oils are polyunsaturated fats, they have two double bonds. That chemical structure has important consequences for how these oils change when we manipulate them for processing and cooking, exposing them to high temperatures.
Olive oil and coconut oil are the exceptions, as they are not processed oils.
Polyunsaturated fats consumed in excess affect your liver proteins to cause arteriosclerosis, this is why avoiding processed foods of all kinds is so important if you value your health.
A key principle and the importance of dietary fats for health is the understanding of how fats oxidise. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in vegetable oils) have highly perishable bonds that react with oxygen, creating free radicals that turns normal fatty acids in your body into dangerous high-energy molecules, wreaking havoc in a way similar to that of radiation.
It is an intrinsic byproduct of the refining and processing of the oil, as much as 5% of a quart of vegetable oil can be toxic types of trans fat. That equals 50 grams, almost 2 ounces of a highly toxic compound versus parts per million, which you can't even begin to measure.
Choosing organic vegetable oil is not the solution, as 4-HNE occurs even if the oil is obtained from organic crops.
4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) forms during the processing of most vegetable oils and is highly toxic, especially to your gut bacteria. Consumption of 4-HNE has been correlated with having an obesogenic balance of gut flora.
Saturated fats from whole-foods such as nuts, seeds, coconut butter, avocado, hemp seeds, flax and chia seeds (contain single bonds), they are packed with vitamins and antioxidants and also contain the fat enzyme lipase – which helps to break them down. The benefits of these healthy fats are most notable post exercise as they also help repair and reduce inflammation.
Healthy fats are a major source of energy, they are a structural components of our cells and your body absorb nutrients more effectively, lower bad cholesterol and help to shed excess weight. Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K cannot be absorbed by the body without the help of fats.
Consuming healthy fats trigger ghrelin and leptin the “hunger and satiety hormones” which reduces your appetite and cravings.
Omega-3 fatty acids = anti-inflammatory, Omega-6 fats = inflammatory are essential fats as the body cannot produce them. They can only be obtained through the diet.
Canola oil and processed vegetable oil undergo hydrogenation, increasing trans fats. Bad fats from trans fats, margarine, soybean oil, canola oil, vegetable oils and fried foods, potato chips can cause heart disease, chronic inflammation, stroke, diabetes, cancer and chronic fatigue.
Our brain consists of 50% fat by weight, 30% of that consists of essential fatty acids*.