Good Fat vs. Bad Fat – Know the Truth!

Do you know what really brings out my mama bear? False information being fed to you that is detrimental to your health and profitable for companies who only have their wallets in mind. To clear up any confusion, let’s talk about good fat vs. bad fat.

First of all, let’s address why we need fat in the first place.

Each and every single cell in your body has a lipid bi-layer (a double layer of fat around it). What is the purpose of this? To keep the cells strong and healthy. If the cell has a weak membrane, this allows toxins to get into the cell, and nutrients get out.

If you think back to biology class; each cell goes on to create tissue, the tissues create organs, and the organs create whole body systems. So say the cell membranes were weak, therefore everything that cell goes on to create will be weak, resulting in damaged or less than optimal function.

Now, taking a step back to what creates this lipid bi-layer: fat. GOOD QUALITY FAT. The quality of fat you are putting into your body will directly affect the quality and integrity of your cells (and overall, your entire body – why? Because the cells create everything!)

If you look at today’s health issues, most of them have a direct correlation to poor fat metabolism. Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, pain syndromes, emotional distress – all of these are affected by poor quality fat, and not enough good quality fat.

Disease is a result of poor cellular integrity, inflammation, and toxins. Where do these things come from? Our diet and environment; and unfortunately the average person’s diet is inundated with processed foods and poor quality fat.

Let’s take inflammation for example:

In our body, we have 3 different prostaglandin pathways (PG 1, PG 2, and PG 3). Prostaglandins are fat, tissue-like hormones that are necessary for critical life enhancing functions. PG1 takes away pain, makes blood cells less sticky, and vessel walls more pliable (heart healthy and pain relieving).

PG 2 creates pain and causes blood cells to stick, also very necessary functions, as we need pain to indicate when we are injured, and we need our blood to stick so we don’t bleed to death.

PG 3 is similar to PG 1 as it would be considered “anti-inflammatory”, pain relieving, and a non-sticking blood cell prostaglandin. (There is a lot more to it, but for the sake of this article we are going to leave it at that.)

Why do you need to know about PG 1, 2 and 3? PG 1 and 3 are considered anti-inflammatory, and PG 2 is inflammatory. However, bad quality fat and poor fat metabolism will convert PG 1 and 3 into inflammatory pathways, creating dysfunction and/or disease in the body.

I wish I had time today to get into all of the myths about fat, but the truth is if I added that to this post, I don’t think anyone would keep reading because it would be LONG! I’ll save that topic for another post. But I’ll tell you this: you’ve been lied to. A lot!

Now that we have learned about prostaglandins, let’s talk about bad quality fats – the ones you should be avoiding.

We have all heard that trans fats (hydrogenated fats) are bad for us. This is true. Trans fat refers to the process of hydrogenation. These fats are created by pumping hydrogen molecules into vegetable oils. This changes the chemical structure of the oil. This process involves high pressure, hydrogen gas, a metal catalyst. After they have been hydrogenated, the vegetable oils have a much longer shelf life, which is what they were designed for – processed foods. These fats are extremely inflammatory to our body, and tremendously detrimental to our health.

Did you know you can even create a trans fat in your own kitchen? Even when cooking with healthy oil like olive oil, you can turn it into a trans fat due to its unstable molecular structure. For this reason, you should only cook with stable fats (which we will talk about in a minute). Just to clarify – olive oil cold is excellent; olive oil heated to a high temperature is bad.

A Note About Cholesterol:
Sugar causes high cholesterol. Not saturated fat. When you consume sugar, in any form, the body uses what it can at that time, then stores the rest in the liver (glycogen), but if it can’t store it, due to excess amounts or an over burdened liver (toxicity and other liver issues…which by the way, saturated fat protects AGAINST) the sugar gets converted into triglycerides and cholesterol, therefore causing high triglycerides and cholesterol! And one more thing, high cholesterol doesn’t necessarily cause plaque in your arteries. If arteries become fragile and start to tear, your body sends cholesterol to REPAIR the artery. Cholesterol isn’t the problem. Fragility in the arteries is the problem. Processed vegetable oils such as corn and soy are equally as bad for you as trans fats. It’s basically the same thing! Not only that, they use chemical solvents to extract the oils. These oils are one of the very worst things you could do for your health. Not to mention corn and soy are the two most genetically modified crops. Do you think a built in pesticide is good for your health? Yes that’s right, GMO corn is a patented pesticide

So give you the goods right?!

Let me start by saying this – nature doesn’t make bad fat, or bad food for that matter! Humans do. Humans screw it up. We have altered our food supply so greatly; our bodies no longer recognize it as nourishing. If we want any chance at health, we must get back to the basics. Focus on REAL food. Foods that occur in nature! Yes, you can cook them! Yes, you can even buy them prepared. What I am trying to say is this: we have to get away from “food-like” products! They are not feeding our bodies, they are destroying it!

If I haven’t already made this clear (*wink*), the important thing to keep in mind is quality!

Would I recommend someone eat a tub of butter from a commercially raised cow fed GMO feed, pumped full of hormones and antibiotics? No.

Would I recommend using raw, grass-fed butter from a happy, healthy cow? Absolutely!

Fat doesn’t make us fat. Fat doesn’t give us high cholesterol. Fat doesn’t cause heart disease.

Processed, artificially sweetened, adulterated, refined, chemical-laded, genetically modified foods ARE TO BLAME!

 Stop blaming nature! Blame Monsanto. Blame Big Pharma. Blame all of those companies that don’t care about the health of you or your family. All they want is your money. I am begging you, as a healthcare provider, as a mother, as a lover of humanity; stop letting them win! Fight for your health. Fight for your children. Fight for this world.

Do not blindly follow any advice. Don’t even listen to me. When it comes to health, please, please, please do your OWN research – and look for credible sources. Do you honestly expect the company who is to profit billions of dollars from the product will give you the most accurate, truthful advice? I don’t think so.

It would be great to think that the “health” industry has our best interest at heart; however, have you looked at who is running this industry? I assure you it is not a group of doctors and researchers trying to make the world a better place.

One final note:

If you take a look around the world at other countries laws, health care systems, and what they do and do not allow in their food supply, you will find that countries with socialized healthcare (where the government is responsible for paying for each person’s healthcare), you will see that they do everything they possibly can to keep their citizens healthy. They do not allow pesticide use, GMOs, or other harmful toxins into their food supply or into their bodies.

Then you have the United States. Each citizen is responsible for PAYING for their own health insurance. You get FINED if you do not have health insurance. The U.S. is number one in prescription medications, and a 2012 study ranked the U.S. #6 for the highest cancer rates. Both of which, are multi-billion dollar industries. Not to mention the U.S. has over 80,000 chemicals approved by the FDA for use in our food supply.

Alright, alright! Back to the good stuff! Here’s a list of bad vs. good, and remember – quality!

Bad Fats to Avoid

Canola oil
Soy oil
Sunflower oil
Cottonseed oil
Grapeseed oil
Safflower oil
Margarine
Shortening
Processed foods
Deep fried foods

Good Quality Fats to Consume

Raw, unrefined, cold pressed oils:
olive, avocado, coconut
Grass-fed butter (raw is best)
Raw dairy products (if dairy is tolerated)
Avocados
Raw nuts and seeds
Organic egg yolks
Omega-3’s
Lard
Tallow

Best fats for cooking: saturated fats such as butter, coconut oil, lard and tallow.

*Olive oil is ok to use on very low heat. Personally, I only use it cold just to be safe.

Fat Facts:

  • 60% of your brain is composed of fat (50% of which is saturated fat). When you do not eat enough saturated fats, the chemistry of your brain could be compromised.
  • As we talked about earlier, fats manage inflammation in the body.
  • Every cell in your body is ideally made up of about 50% saturated fat. When we eat too many polyunsaturated fats, and not enough saturated fat, our cells don’t function correctly.
  • In order for calcium to be effectively incorporated into the skeletal structure, at least 50% of dietary fats should be saturated. (Think about the low-fat fad and an increase in osteoporosis….)
  • Saturated fats protect the liver from toxins. As people have started to avoid saturated fats, and increased polyunsaturated oils, liver problems have increased.
  • Saturated fats provide energy to the heart (the heart is a muscle; muscles need fat in order to function properly)!
  • From Eat Fat, Lose Fat, by Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon: “Studies have shown that saturated fats are the heart’s preferred food, which is why there is a concentration of saturated fat in the tissues surrounding the heart. Further, two studies have shown that saturated fatty acids in the diet lower a substance in the blood called Lp(a), which (unlike cholesterol) is a good predictor of heart disease. Furthermore, saturated fats help reduce levels of a substance called C-Reactive Protein (CRP), an indicator of inflammation. Current theories hold inflammation responsible for many cases of heart disease.”
  • The lungs cannot function properly without saturated fat. This is because the fatty acids in the lung surfactant (a fluid that enables the lungs to work) are normally 100% saturated.  The changes in fat consumption over the past 30 years have contributed to the rising incidence of asthma in children. I can fully attest to this, as my oldest son had asthma as a young child. Every single time he would have an attack I would give him coconut oil, and the attack would go away.
  • Omega-3’s, saturated fats, and cholesterol all work together to maintain normal kidney function, which is critical for managing blood pressure and filtering toxins from the body.
  • Sex and stress hormones cannot be produced without proper fat. This can lead to a variety or hormone imbalances as well as problems with glucose, mineral metabolism and reproduction.

Sources:

Eat Fat, Lose Fat
By: Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon

Deep nutrition –Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food
By: Catherine Shanahan, M.D. and Luke Shanahan

Dr. Bob’s Trans Fat Survival Guide – Why No Fat, Low Fat, Trans Fat is Killing You!
By: Dr. Robert DeMaria

Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils, and Cholesterol
By: Dr. Mary Enig

 

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