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The Truth About Fat – Good Fats, Bad Fats, Worst Fats

March 6, 2013 by admin in Health News with 36 Comments

If we could all count the times we’ve heard someone say they’re on a low-fat diet to lose weight, we’d all have enough money to own a small country. The idea that all fats make you fat has been engrained into so many minds, yet it’s simply untrue. In fact, not only can we be skinnier by eating fats, but our bodies absolutely need fat to stay healthy.

Knowing which fats are good, not-so-good, and downright bad will help you decipher even the most deceiving labels at the grocery store.

Friendly Fats

In general, unsaturated fats are the good guys. Studies suggest that these good fats can help lower your LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol), prevent heart disease, and help reduce inflammation. Furthermore, it can help you shed weight because eating a meal rich in good fats will help you feel full faster and for longer periods of time afterwards so you don’t get the urge to “snack” so often.

Unsaturated fats can be broken down to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, both of which you should incorporate into your diet on a regular basis. The most important polyunsaturated fats that your body needs but can’t make are the Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 fats.

The SAD (Standard American Diet) typically provides more than enough Omega 6’s, so it’s more important to balance this by consuming more Omega 3’s (or 9’s). Sources of these essential oils are flaxseed, walnuts, and fish (especially fatty fish like salmon or mackerel).

Equally important are the monounsaturated fats. Fill up on avocadoes, almonds, extra virgin olive oil (cold-pressed and organic whenever possible), and most nuts and seeds.

Nut oils like almond oil or macadamia nut oil, as well as nut butters, are also good sources of monounsaturated fats. The only catch is that polyunsaturated oils should be used for cold dishes.

Such oils become damaged quickly when exposed to heat, making them rancid and leading to free-radical oxidation in the body. This is the reason why you should never cook with olive oil. Free-radical oxidation is associated with heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s, and is a great player in the aging process.

The So-So Fats

Saturated fats are usually those that are solid at room temperature: butter, lard, ghee, etc. A general rule of thumb is that meat and meat-based products contain saturated fats. Excessive consumption of such food items has been shown to contribute to heart disease, chronic degenerative conditions, and raise levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol).

In addition to the butter, lard, and ghee, eggs and full-fat dairy are also examples of saturated fats that, though beneficial in other ways, should be consumed moderately or even minimally, with the exception of eggs, which—if free-range and organic– is chalk full of essential nutrients we can’t live without.

However, there is one saturated fat that is exceptionally healthy for us. Coconut oil is one of nature’s superfoods, for its amazing abilities to reduce inflammation, prevent a whole host of diseases from cancer to arthritis and diabetes, cure age-related dementia’s and so on.

Ideally, coconut oil should be unrefined. At room temperature, coconut oil should be solid. It’s an excellent choice for cooking oil, because it’s much more stable than conventional cooking oil, meaning you can cook at frying temperatures and still not damage the molecular structure of the fat. Another saturated oil that is healthy is palm oil. It’s a bit trickier to find, but great for cooking at moderate temps.

The So-Bad-They-Shouldn’t-Have-Been-Invented Fats

If fats had faces, trans-fats would be the ugliest, scariest faces of the bunch. Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats and oils are types of trans-fats, and you should steer clear of them at all costs. Trans- fats were lab created in order to make a cheaper alternative to vegetable oil– hence, the birth of margarine and shortening.

In the lab, scientists took polyunsaturated fats like vegetable oil and blasted it with hydrogen, which changed its molecular structure made the resulting compound solid at room temp rather than the characteristic liquid. As if that’s not enough, artificial dyes and flavors have to be added to these substances in order for them to produce that oh-so-familiar taste of margarine, shortening, and other “spread” that so many people have come to love. But it’s not just margarine and butter wanna-be’s that have trans-fats.

Other popular snacks, both sweet and salty, are laden with hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils. The most common ones include cookies, chips, packaged pastries (cakes/brownies), even some trail mix and granola bars. Be sure to read the ingredients label in the back– just because the front of the box says “Zero grams” trans-fat, does not mean it’s fat-free; it means there could be up to 0.99 grams of trans-fats per serving. Even small amounts of trans-fats have been shown to significantly increase the risk of heart disease, so no amount of trans-fat is safe.

Put the Magnifying Glass Away

Even though it seems like finding real food takes some detective work these days, it doesn’t have to be that complicated, as long as your follow a few simple rules:

    1. When you see the words fat-free, low fat, put it away. What you don’t get in healthy fat, you get in chemicals and other nasty additives which, as you can already guess, is much more dangerous to your body than just plain ol’ fat.

 

    1. The most truthful part of any packaged food is the ingredients list. Forget about that ambiguous chart with the calories. If you want to know how safe the food is, read what’s in it. As soon as you see the words hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated, put it down. Unless you want an express pass to the land of Fat-N-Sickville.

 

    1. Always consider the source of the products. If you choose to eat animal products, go as natural as possible. Ideally, the animals should be pasture-raised or grass-fed, organically raised, free-range (for chicken, turkey, duck, etc), and- unless you live in New York City or some other big city- grown locally. Raw, unpasteurized milk is the most nutritious form of milk, so grab it if you can find a trusted source. Yes, they can be quite pricey, but knowing that you’re not full of injected hormones and antibiotics should make it all worth it.

 

    1. Food first, then supplement. Those bottled pills you see at the health foods store aren’t called “replacement food”. They’re named “supplements” because you’re supposed to use them as a secondary source of nutrition. Remember, whole food is always the best choice for getting nutrition. The only exception to this is when you’re concerned about genetic engineering, the safety of the processing methods, the possibility of contamination, and so forth, but that’s another topic altogether. If you have access to pure, organically-grown produce, make it a point to choose them over pills, capsules, and tablets.

 

    1. No fried fat or oil is ever a good fat.  Frying causes oxidation, and oxidation causes havoc in your cells. Yes, coconut oil is safer to fry with than any most conventional oils, but it doesn’t mean you should consume the used oil once it’s been used.Besides, the frying process creates acrylamides, chemical byproducts that are highly toxic and carcinogenic.

 

Incorporating the right types of fats into your diet can have profound effects on your weight loss journey and in your overall lifestyle.

Simply switching out your morning bagel for an avocado, your mid-afternoon muffin for mixed nuts, or your chicken dinner for salmon can increase your good fat intake without giving you that greasy, heavy feeling normally associated with fats. As you continue refuel your body with the fats your body craves, you’ll begin to see the difference in  your weight, your skin, brainpower, and overall vitality.

If you find this article beneficial, you’ll find the following video extremely helpful to help you lose weight – 4 Foods to Never Eat For Breakfast.

About the Author:

Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice.

Which wonderful friends in your life are blindly avoiding the healthy fats and eating the worst fats and end up gaining weight?

Please help them achieve their fat loss goals and better health by sharing this eye-opening article with each of them using any of the social media and email buttons below.

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36 Comments

  1. naliniMar 9, 2013 at 2:18 amReply

    I cook with olive oil, which I was told is the best to use. If it should be consumed cold then what is the best cooking oil?

  2. VENKATESHAMURTHY T SJun 17, 2013 at 11:01 pmReply

    In India different regions use different veg oils, like peanut oil, seasomeoil, coconutoil, ricebranoil, sunfloweroil, butters, and other fats also. But for all these there are verities of processing like oil extraction by using hand extraction, machine extraction etc. these are further filtered by using various types of filters, manually, mechanically, automatically by machines. each one has different characteristics and effect on the HUMAN BODY SYSTEM< MAJORITY OF THESE are good. if they are filtered and are fresh.. there are many more details. but unfortunately they are not available to common public as is available in Europe or any other western countries etc.
    The article is well written. how far they are all supported by scientific tests is to be explored. VENKATESHAMURTHY T S

  3. beccadog10Jul 2, 2013 at 9:17 amReply

    I cook occasionally with a tad bit of olive oil at a very low temperature. I do not use other oils, because many are recombinant DNA to be herbicide resistant. But, I’m learning to cook without oil, by simply steaming food.

    I only eat could fats, but even at that, good fats can and have made me gain weight. Have to cut back on almonds. Too many days eating this fast food has produced bad results on my body.

  4. beccadog10Jul 2, 2013 at 9:30 amReply

    I cook occasionally with a tad bit of olive oil at a very low temperature when sauteeing onion and garlic for my vegan foods. I do not use other oils, because many are recombinant DNA to be herbicide resistant. But, I’m learning to cook without oil, simply steaming food.

    I only eat “good” fats, but even at that, cooking with oil is not good. I feel ill eating even certified organic meat, as I have not eaten meat or dairy in two years. All our food is becoming contaminated with Roundup and other weed killers used in huge quantity with recombinant DNA seeds. And, now EPA at Monsanto’s request, is allowing greater residue of Roundup/glyphosate in food.

    I need to cut back to only quality eating fruits, vegetables, a few seeds, beans (and lentils) and grains. I only eat organic, but because Roundup is even in the rainwater, all food is becoming contaminated in North America.

    In Europe, studies discovered glyphosate/Roundup in human urine with some countries worse than others. And, they are not planting Genetically modified seeds to resist Roundup there, unlike the USA. No doubt we have huge levels of Roundup and other pesticides in our urine. Maybe that’s why I feel ill often even when eating certified organic foods.

    I’m thankful I stock piled beans and rice a couple years ago. I plan to grow my own garden and if necessary use carbon filtered water on my raised beds to reduce the pesticides in my organic crops. I do not use chemical pesticides. Never have..

  5. beccadog10Jul 2, 2013 at 9:36 amReply

    It is not healthy to cook with any oil, but if you must and do not have a problem with cholesterol in your blood, use a small amount of coconut oil. But, even coconut oil, is NOT a healthy oil. It is healthier NOT to cook with oil.

    • Jac CuseJan 5, 2017 at 5:11 pmReply

      B.S.,

      Without cholesterol you would die. When your body has to repair arterial damage with LPa instead of collagen because of lack of vitamin c you will create cardiovascular problems. The duhh medical profession is taught cholesterol is the problem, and that’s why many doctors die young.

      Good fats aren’t the problem at all, and organic coconut oil is great for (hot) cooking and is omega neutral.

  6. ROSEANNJul 6, 2013 at 2:52 amReply

    its very helpful

  7. Dr DennisOct 7, 2013 at 2:47 amReply

    Great article. The only addition I would make is that LOW FAT=HI SUGAR. Fat tastes good and satiates the body since it is slow to digest. It also tastes good! Take fat away and you have to add sugar (or the other substitutes you allude to) to make it taste good.

    I have used chicken or vegetable stock to “sautee” food for years because every oil is bad when heated above 120, as you have stated. Great blog…thx!

  8. ronOct 22, 2013 at 3:45 amReply

    You may have made a mistake, under the section “friendly fats” you refer to olive oil in one paragraph as a monounsaturated fat, then two paragraphs latter you are referring to olive oil as a polyunsaturated fat…bad for frying?
    It is very confusing, as I thought that olive oil was always the best oil for frying with?
    Thanks, and please respond.

    • adminOct 22, 2013 at 10:48 amReplyAuthor

      @ron: Yes there is a typo in it. It should be monounsaturated fat should be used in cold dishes.

      According to whfoods.org,
      “All types of olive oil (including extra virgin) contain a large amount of monounsaturated fat. In fact, 70-80% of the total fat found in olive oil is monounsaturated. This monounsaturated fat comes from the monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) called oleic acid. In comparison to all commonly used vegetable oils, olive oil is fairly unique in its high MUFA content. Canola oil comes close (60-70% MUFA), but many of the other commonly used vegetable oils, including sunflower, safflower, corn, and soybean oils naturally contain less than half as much MUFA as olive oil. It’s worth noting here that cooking oil manufacturers sometimes create high-oleic version of these other oils, so that it is now possible to purchase high-oleic sunflower or safflower oil in many food stores.

      In general, monounsaturated fat increases the stability of a vegetable oil in comparison to polyunsaturated fat. This increased stability is related to the chemical structure of monounsaturated fat. MUFAs have fewer “reactive spots” than PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and it is more difficult for oxygen radicals to interact with these kinds of fat. However, despite this lower reactivity, olive oil and other vegetable oils containing a high amount of MUFAs (like canola oil) still have relatively low smoke points and cannot withstand a large amount of heat.”

      Mike
      Customer Relations

  9. Peggy RiesNov 1, 2013 at 11:33 pmReply

    How does a person use coconut oil?

  10. AmoreJan 22, 2014 at 4:31 amReply

    Emma; your are awesome! I have been reading your informative e-mails and following your healthy tips on what foods we should consume! Presently I’m alkalizing my body and eating more super foods and still hitting the gym in the morning; this combination works for me and I lost five pounds in three weeks! For years I’ve worked out (weights & cardio) but always had a nice fat layer in my mid section even after hundreds of sit-ups, lol! Thanks to you I found out I was eating the wrong food and using the wrong fat intake! Keep this information coming 🙂

  11. Marilyn schillerJul 24, 2014 at 7:31 pmReply

    Cocoanut oil?i

    • Denise TerryJan 17, 2016 at 2:32 pmReply

      Absolutely. You will notice the house house does not stink when you cook with coconut oil as opposed to the other vegetable oils. You will think, good it’s expensive, but you just need to grease the pan with a brush of oil to stop it sticking, then the meat lets out it own oils. I suggest you invest in a good pan also.

  12. Rick ParshallOct 12, 2014 at 12:23 pmReply

    Emma,
    Thank you for your help, I got the Alkaline diet program and another program from Truth about abs, by Mike Greary and you both have made a huge impact on my life!! 53 lbs lost and I feel like a new man!! I have added many many highly alkaline foods from your list that was included in the program, eliminated HFCS and added sugars… Also seriously limited the wheat consumption and all processed foods from the diet. I use olive oil cold and coconut(unrefined virgin organic) for cooking, pulling,skin care( it is an amazing moisturizer) and has a great flavor to many foods!! Organic apple cider vinegar, fresh squeezed organic lemon,1/2 tsp baking soda,a fresh squeezed orange and 8 oz of room temp water mixed together for the pre breakfast routine( every day) and a glass of water with a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a light drizzle of organic local maple syrup( or local organic honey) for taste a couple times a day for a quick energy drink!! I lead a energenic work day in my own construction business and now I wake up ready to go and am energized for the whole day!! Thanks again and I have shared my sucess story and your program many many times and will continue to help inform more people about nutrition not medications first to a healthier lifestyle.. Keep up the great work and keep the informative posts coming!!
    Rick P from Finger Lakes region NY.

    • AnnNov 27, 2014 at 11:34 amReply

      Hi Rick,
      I read your comment dated 10/12/14 and thought it was informative! I was wondering if you could tell me the reason for baking soda in your pre-breakfast cocktail. Also, how much A C vinegar do you put in each cocktail? How much A C vinegar do you consume everyday? Finally, could you explain how I could ingest coconut oil on a daily basis. How much would benefit me for weight loss and arthritis? And wouldn’t putting coconut oil on my face be so greasy that it would get all over my hair and pillow or does it soak into the skin?
      Thank you for your help. You really seem to know what your talking about. Congrats on your weight loss and healthy lifestyle. I am just starting (again) as sugar always throws a wrench in my healthy eating and then I crave it like an addiction. I am only 49 and have gained 30# since summer. Since then I’ve been eating sugar like crazy and X-rays show I have arthritis in my joints. The pain is terrible and no pain med seems to help. I’m sure sugar is making my pain worse and hoping the coconut oil will relieve my pain. Thank you in advance for replying. I really appreciate your knowledgable info. 🙂

  13. Tamara isakovaNov 14, 2014 at 9:46 pmReply

    Thank you for all information you sent. It is very interesting and helpful. Keep this information coming.

  14. sarahniJan 21, 2015 at 12:29 pmReply

    what is it about coconut oil that makes it so much safer than other oils for cooking with? how can we be sure this is not just a myth?

  15. dodieJan 30, 2015 at 4:22 amReply

    Good to know…….Thank you.

  16. Dennis KramerFeb 7, 2015 at 11:33 amReply

    avocado oil is superb for high heat cooking with minimal smoke. A bit more expensive but good and healthy fat.

  17. ameliaFeb 28, 2015 at 7:08 amReply

    don’t like the taste of coconut oil. Is it available odor-free?

  18. carl carlsonMay 14, 2015 at 8:02 pmReply

    Thank You

  19. kathyMay 19, 2015 at 9:22 pmReply

    i found interesting. But it is contrdictory to what I have learned in school and on a utube that is being put out everywhere. What eating high fat does to your cholesterol. It is by Jimmy more.

  20. Bob PenningtonSep 27, 2015 at 8:42 pmReply

    Great info…thanks.
    EVERYONE should read “Fats that kill,Fats that heal”
    By Udo Erasmus.

  21. jessOct 9, 2015 at 3:38 amReply

    Thanks Ms.Emma for this wonderful informations.With regards to your Acid-Alkaline Diet Program helps me a lot,in just 7 days of practising this I am now no longer using of deodorant in my armpit and i feel comfortable.My sweats now is also not irritates in my eyes when it passing through. I am now recommends your Program to my family,relatives and friends.Keep up the good work and God bless you

  22. Debbie CaldwellJan 29, 2016 at 7:55 amReply

    Dear Emma I’m so glad I received your e-mails. I have a weight problem and not eating the right food. I also have diabetes, arthiritis, high blood pressure. Your book will be very helpful but can’t get till next week as Ihave no funds in my master card as yet, but will do next week.

  23. mohsenJan 29, 2016 at 4:58 pmReply

    Hi everyone
    I’m going to my doctor’s orders and master action
    But the mistake of trying to eat some fat – it has

  24. zeny cabangbangFeb 24, 2016 at 11:43 pmReply

    Thank you very much Emma, for great education, emailed you also.

  25. PeggyFeb 25, 2016 at 10:12 amReply

    In the first paragraph under “So So Fats”, did you mean to say excessive saturated fats may increase LDL (the “bad” cholesterol)? I was confused when instead it read saturated fats may increases HDL (the “good” cholesterol)

  26. EileenMar 19, 2016 at 3:31 amReply

    Hi,
    No one has mentioned Candida or leaky gut syndrome.
    I think these things are related to: not enough good fats and fiber in my diet as well a not being able to tolerate gluten, and grains of any kind. I have tried for years to get rid of my very protruding waist and abdomen and am convinced that if I eat these important foods plus lots of veggies and fruits, I’ll have mort\e success in losing my excess weight. and attain the smaller waist and abdomen I want.

    • AlexApr 29, 2016 at 11:58 pmReply

      Eileen
      I am in the same boat. Have seen some improvement in 2 weeks by having Apple Cider Vinegar and water first thing in morning, followed an hour later by a breakfast shake (any combination is good- things like Hemp milk/blueberries/goji).
      I then snack all day – have a small meal at night- followed by a shake/juice at late night…
      Good luck

      Al

  27. Charmaine AlexisApr 13, 2016 at 8:14 pmReply

    What would you recommend for your nerves.

  28. UmbertoApr 29, 2016 at 8:24 pmReply

    Hi you wrote that palm oil is healthy.are you serious?

  29. John LacconeMay 1, 2016 at 10:46 pmReply

    Not to receive any more of these junk reports
    PLEASE GO AWAY

  30. MikeMay 31, 2016 at 12:23 pmReply

    Canola oil is associated with lung cancer.

    Google canola oil lung cancer.

    I use good quality extra virgin olive oil once or twice per week to lightly cook a vegetarian stir fry and occasionally free range eggs.

  31. Brian Joseph LarterDec 3, 2016 at 11:08 amReply

    Thanks you sincerely Emma for a most informative forum, and good nutritional advice.Ya know, as far as I am aware NOTHING that is deep fried is any good for you, because of the oil. I received a reputable brand large volume deep fryer for home cooking 27 years ago as a gift. It sat in the kitchen cupboard still in it’s box, for about 23 years, after which I gave it away to some young people who were setting-up their first home.
    I actually NEVER used it, as I was too frightened, and I warned these young people about the need to use the best quality oil, if they ever used the deep fryer. Almost all of my steak is cooked in a vertical griller, and fish is always cooked in the oven.

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