Fats and Oils are often seen as villains, but they are in fact essential to a healthy immune system, hormonal balance, strong cell membranes, brain
function and optimal health.
We are doing our health - and especially the health of developing children - a huge disservice by limiting our intake of the health-giving fats
(the 'fat-free' fad), often replacing essential fats and oils with sugar and other non-essential, weight and tooth-decay producing carbohydrates.
Completely eliminating fats & oils from your diet is the
worst thing you can do - every cell in your body requires
essential fatty acids to function - particularly your brain, which
is 60% fat.
A diet that contains 15–20% of calories as fat (with one third
to one half of that as essential fatty acids) and a balanced 1:1 omega3:omega6 ratio is more likely to ensure health over the long
Most Western diets have an excess of saturated fats and too few
omega 3 oils. A symptom of too little Omega 3 in your diet is very
dry, papery skin. 1-6 tablespoons of ground linseed added to
your food per day is a very good, fresh source of omega 3 oil. It
should be freshly ground to release the oils in something
like a coffee grinder rather than brought pre-ground. Alternatively
fish oil supplements can be taken and in their more refined forms DHA can be used to target cognitive (brain fog) disorders and EPA is used for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis &
cardiovascular disease. Omega 3’s can also help to reduce 'high
cholesterol' and high triglyceride levels.
The body requires
- omega3 oils from cold-water fish and seeds (eg flaxseed,
- omega 6 oils from warm climate seeds & nuts (eg almonds,
- and a small amount of saturated fats (solid at room
temperature - such as butter, coconut oils and animal fats) to
balance anti-inflammation, inflammation and a healthy immune system.
The inflammatory effects of the saturated fats can be reduced by
using garlic, onions, chilli, ginger, turmeric and other spices in your cooking. Also necessary are zinc, magnesium, selenium and bioflavanoids.
Whole seeds & nuts are an excellent way to obtain omega 6 oils
and provide additional nutrients & fibre. Bottled oils are very
susceptible to damage by heat & light. They should be cold
pressed,unrefined and stored in a cool place in dark
bottles - and used unheated, added to foods after cooking and
Avoid fried foods - the only 'safe' oils at high
temperatures are the saturated fats like coconut oil, butter or
ghee. Olive oil and sesame oil are OK for low temperature frying and
baking. If you add a little water to the pan first it keeps the
temperature to 100 degrees and prevents the oil from burning.
Fats are a very efficient source of energy for the body with
little residue and require CoQ10, carnitine and chromium for energy production. To mobilise and burn fat you
should work aerobically at 70% maximum heart rate rather than
anaerobically (90%). Aerobic training heart rate is approximately
185 – your age
'Killer fats' include processed and refined
vegetable oils, heated oils, trans-fatty acids as in margarine and
excessive amounts of animal fats. For 99.8% of people with “high
cholesterol” it only needs nutritional changes to change it. (More
about this coming up).
An excellent resource for more in depth information on fats &
oils, diet, weight loss, and cholesterol is Udo Erasmus’s book: Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill. Doctor Erasmus has also produced 'Udo’s Oil', a blended oil providing all the
essential fatty acids in a balanced ratio which can be found at most health
More about Udo Erasmus’s book:
Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill
book explains almost everything about what fat is, how it is metabolized in
our body, all the different kinds of fats, how fats are related with our
health, and etc.
Udo's book is an answer to health and nutrition issues
present in developed countries today. His comprehensive presentation of what
exactly happens at the molecular level with foods that we (inhabitants of
developed countries) typically consume puts a unique perspective on what our
bodies need. His detailed treatment of trans-fats, essential fatty acids,
and other fats and oils makes perfect sense from when it comes to analysing
the claims of the thousands of diet proposals one finds in print and on
line. His is a common sense approach, with the premise we are what we "eat,
drink, and breathe."