One of the most misunderstood nutrients that we should be consuming on a daily basis is “fats.” For years Americans have been brainwashed that a low-fat diet is healthy, and that fats make you fat. This is not the case, and there is no need to continue with fat phobia.
The fact is, fats are essential nutrients, though some are by far better than others. An essential nutrient is one that is required to sustain life, that we must get from our diet, since we are unable to create within our own body. (There are also essential amino acids, or proteins, that we must get from our diet. Carbohydrates are non-essential, since our body can convert both fat and proteins into energy producing molecules, similar to carbohydrates.) Our brain and nervous system is comprised of nearly 65% fat, and every cell in our body uses fat to maintain the cellular integrity. This cellular integrity helps protect against premature cell death and autoimmune disease. Additionally, fats are also required to produce hormones, maintain health hair, nails, and skin, support the immune system, balance our blood sugar, transport vitamins and minerals, and protect our cardiovascular system. Fats truly are essential nutrients.
With fats being involved in so many biological processes, a common question is, “How did fats get such a bad reputation?” and, “Why are we told fats cause disease?” We are only told half the story regarding dietary fats. Some fats are incredibly bad for our bodies, and can be a big contributing factor to the inflammatory conditions that run rampant in our society. Unnatural, artificially processed fats can create the opposite reaction to the same bodily tissues as their healthy, natural counterparts. Unnatural and trans-fats have been linked with heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic metabolic issues. These adulterated fats disrupt our body’s natural metabolism, and often lead to weight gain as well.
Imagine you were to drive your car into a mechanic and he tells you that the oil in your car is rotten, it is full of junk and that it will not protect your car anymore. Would you tell him, “I don’t want any oil then, drain the oil out if it is bad for my car, I don’t want any oil in my car at all!” That is very similar to what we are doing today. We eat bad fats – get sick, the “mechanics” tell us to avoid fats! This is ridiculous!!! We need fat – it is essential to life, it is essential to health.
Out with the “bad” and in with the “good” fats. But which is which? Like other whole foods, fats and oils that come to us in a fresh, unrefined state have a greater chance of being healthy. The proper extraction of the oils from these whole foods is an important step in the process maintaining the integrity of the oil, and health of the person consuming it. Extraction processes that use heat, oxygen and chemical solvents can alter the protective benefits of the oils (fats), and even the best sources for oils can be ruined with careless processing.
Potential good fats come from properly prepared olives, coconut, uncooked nuts, from free range, grass-fed animals, wild, cold- water fish and even from green leafy vegetables! Examples of bad oils are safflower, sunflower, cottonseed and canola oils, hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated oils, and the absolute worst of them all are trans-fats.
Why would food scientists ruin the oils with processing? The answer is to produce cheap oil and to prolong shelf-life. Some oils are damaged as they are extracted. Hydrogenated fats and oils were once natural, but they have been processed using heat and chemicals in order to prolong their shelf-life for profits. The worst part about this processing is that it changes the structure of the fat to become a trans-fat. “Trans-fat is made when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil — a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation increases the shelf life and flavor stability of foods containing these fats.”* *U.S. FDA website
A trans-fat is an unnatural fat that our body has no way to process, so it stays in the body, blocking healthy processes for a very long time – 255 days! Trans-fats are like bad oil in your car that you cannot quickly drain out. Bad oil in your car will cause it to overheat, get low mileage and ultimately breakdown. These trans-fats are the saturated fats that have been associated with heart disease, cancer and immune dysfunction. These unhealthy fats are found in margarine, shortening, commercial cookies, crackers and chips—and in most packaged “foods.” In order to get inflammation under control, we must avoid trans-fats.
Healthy Fats are a Nutritional Essential
Things to do when it comes to fats:
- Eliminate all hydrogenated, partially-hydrogenated and trans-fats from your foods. These are the unhealthy type of saturated fats. Read labels and avoid or discard any that you find.
- Avoid all corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed and canola oils in your cooking and in prepared foods. These are heat and chemically extracted oils and have been damaged or contaminated in processing.
- Eat foods containing healthy fats including butter, olive oil, grass-fed meats, free-range eggs and wild, cold-water fish.
- Use healthy fats in your meals,including healthy extra-virgin olive oil, organic butter, and unrefined organic coconut oil.
- Take high quality essential oil supplements from a quality supplement company to increase your healthy fats.
We use 4 different nutritional companies in our office in order to support a variety of physiological imbalances, and we carry healthy fats from every one of them. These supplement companies provide unadulterated, non-toxic oils that are processed as safely as possible in order to prevent the oil from spoiling. These technical processes ensure that you receive the essential oils your body sorely needs.
Some of the supplements that we carry include:
- Cataplex F Tablets & Perles — Used by doctors since 1934. These essential oils support metabolism of fats and calcium. Helps muscles, skin, hair and prostate.
- Linum-B6— Used by doctors since 1962. This Omega- 3 oil from flax seed supports hormone production and helps maintain healthy skin and nervous, cardiovascular and immune systems. This is a Nutritional Essential.
- Wheat Germ Oil— Used by doctors since 1939. This Omega- 6 oil, is a rich source of Vitamin E complex and octacosanol – Good for muscles, spinal discs, skin, heart and fertility.
- Sesame Seed Oil— Used by doctors since 1962. This Omega-6 oil builds the health of the blood, good for anemia and immune functions. Enhances Vitamin E activity and supports proper liver functions.
- Black Currant Seed Oil— This Omega-6 oil supports inflammatory states, immune system, fat metabolism and PMS and menopause.
- Super EFF — Available since 1949 (only from Standard Process). This polyunsaturated fatty acid is easily assimilated and enhances nervous system health, promotes energy production, and supports degenerative conditions of the body.
- Tuna Omega-3 Oil – This life-sustaining omega-3 essential fatty acid promotes healthy cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems health.
- Ultra D 5000 – This oil includes cod liver oil, and is fortified with vitamin D in order to support individuals that need a high quality fat, and vitamin D.
- Coconut Oil Supreme and MCT Nutri-Oil Supreme – Healthy coconut oil, that is cold pressed, and sustainable. These products are frequently used in our weight loss programs, and for patients with neurological symptoms.