Fats and Oils
The Scoop on Fats and Oils
First let me give you some good references for what’s been called “politically incorrect” information on fats, because the mainstream view is driven by industry propaganda, plain and simple. So for independent research on fats, the best sources are:
- Weston Price Foundation
- Eat Fat, Lose Fat website and book by Sally Fallon
- Nourishing Traditions, book by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig
- Uffe Ravnskov, M.D., author of The Cholesterol Myths
- THINCS (The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics)
- Know Your Fats, book by Mary Enig, PhD
As far as saturated vs. unsaturated goes, we need both in the diet, but it’s important to distinguish between various types of each.
Saturated fats are necessary for the body to be able to metabolize the Omega-3 fatty acids which we know are so important. (The whole low-fat view was promoted largely for political reasons, one being to benefit the food industry with all the low-fat products it could market)
So now that we know that we need healthy fats, not low-fat, which types to use… Saturated fats: all animal fats from healthy animals fed their natural diet, and virgin coconut oil.
Modern feedlot animals are fed low-quality grain, at best!– and we know that high-grain diets cause people to become obese and insulin resistant, same with animals. Those animals are plumped up for the sake of profits, and their fat profile is skewed because of their poor diet.
Let’s take the opposite extreme, animals in the wild. Wild game, for example, has a fatty acid profile that is ideal for humans to eat. High in Omega-3, adequate saturated fat, and an ideal ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 (3 to 1 as opposed to something like 20 to 1 in commercial meats).
Feedlot animals contain practically no Omega-3, which skews the whole fat profile. Most of us don’t have access to wild game, but we can usually find “grass-fed” meats from small local farms, in the health food store or by mail order. They have a similar beneficial fatty acid profile.
Saturated fats are very stable at high temperatures, so cooking doesn’t produce toxic substances like with vegetable oils. You don’t want to deep fry, though, but the usual cooking methods are fine. Even though the Omega-3 component of the meat is fragile and temperature-sensitive (as all Omega-3 oils are whether it’s from fish or flax), the saturated fat of the meat protects them from free radical damage.
So the grass-fed meat is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Same with dairy products that are raw and from grass-fed cows and goats. If you’re interested in finding more of these products, I have listings of mail order sources.
Now about olive oil, it’s an excellent oil, one of the only vegetable oils fit for consumption. A good rule of thumb is, don’t use any industrially-produced oils, because the processing damages them. And do use only those oils that you could conceivably extract yourself in your own kitchen. So if you think of where the oil comes from, whether it’s olives, corn, safflower, peanut, sesame, etc., picture whether you could easily extract the oil yourself. Olives–sure you could press some oil out. Corn–nope!
Olive oil (extra-virgin) is good especially for cooking, because it’s almost as heat-stable as saturated fat. Butter and cream (from grass-fed animals of course) both contain about equal proportions of omega-6 to omega-3, so although it’s not high in omega-3, it won’t mess up your ratio. And it contains good saturated fat. I use olive oil or butter for cooking, ghee (clarified butter) is even better for cooking than butter.
Coconut oil is another terrific oil, but it has to be “virgin” grade. It has excellent health-building properties.. see Tropical Traditions.
The thing is to know which fats and oils are good, and have liberal amounts of a variety of them. That way you’re bound to get enough Omega-3 (you might need to take cod liver oil or fish oil supplement in addition) and you naturally won’t overdo on vegetable oils if you’re getting plenty of delicious saturated fats!
I know it’s hard for a lot of people to switch their mind over to the idea that saturated fats are healthy. That’s why a little reading can help.
By the way, raw eggs are also a great source of fats and other easily assimmilable nutrients. I make great blender drinks with them, with raw cream, fruit, raw honey, vanilla and ginger. Delicious!