You Don’t Know Fats!

Let’s talk about Fats! First, we’ll need to go back to high school chemistry.

Saturated Fat is made up of carbon atoms that are connected to hydrogen atoms with a single bond.

Unsaturated fats have a least one double bond between carbon atoms (monounsaturated fats) and sometimes more than one double bond (polyunsaturated fats).

THIS matters because at the site of the double bond is where damage aka oxidation occurs. More double bonds? More opportunities for oxidation. Oxidation is the normal wear and tear aka “rusting” that occurs normally in our bodies BUT when we have oxidation coming from every angle (as we do in our modern world), we get cellular damage and premature aging in the body.

Oxidation of fats occurs when we heat them and expose them to light. The processing of “vegetable oils” (vegetable is a misnomer, they are actually grain/seed oils) exposes them to light and heat. Also, when you head to the grocery store, all those oils are stored in, wait for it, clear containers [face palm]. Then we take them home and HEAT them. So these oils are damaged upon damage. This is why I 100% do not recommend unsaturated cooking fats.

I say No to:

🔴CaNOla oil

🔴 vegetable oil

🔴 Corn oil

🔴 soybean oil

🔴 Margarine 

So, which fats do I recommend?

🟢Grass-fed Butter

🟢Grass-fed Ghee

🟢Coconut oil

🟢 Pastured/Grass-fed Animal fats: lard, tallow, duck fat, bacon fat, etc.

🟡 Olive oil for low-no heat cooking.

🟡 Avocado oil – caution here! There is recent data to suggest that much of the avocado oil on the market is rancid!

But Katie!?! I though saturated fat is going to kill us all????

First, let’s stop the #fearoffats.

  • Low fat diets lead to a deficiency in fat solvable vitamins – A, D, E, & K.
    • This can lead to damaging effects in the body – especially the IMMUNE SYSTEM.
  • Even foods like lemon contain tiny amounts of fat, so going fat free is nearly impossible.
  • Low-fat processed foods have additional sugars and salts added to make them palatable (aka irresistible).
  • Your heart gets 60% of its energy from fat
  • The dry weight of your brain is ~60% fat.
  • Hormones and neurotransmitters are made of fats and amino acids.
  • Fats are in the cell membrane of EVERY CELL in your body (phosolipid bilayer)
  • A good source of energy at 9 cal/gram
  • Provides nerve insulation
  • Helps to regulate body temperature.
  • Carries fat-soluble vitamins
  • Fat has been the preferred source of energy for humans throughout history.

So why I am a fan of saturated fats?:

  • Minimal processing required
  • The fats that have been eaten by humans since the beginning of life
  • The science touting saturated fats is deeply flawed.
    • Ansel Keys was an epidemiologist making cause and effect claims based on his seven-countries, in which he cherry-picked which countries data to use. Epidemiological studies can show correlation but not causation.
    • Nikolai Anichkov fed rabbits cholesterol and try developed damage and blocked arteries and he concluded that cholesterol (saturated fat because they go hand in hand in foods) causes blocked arteries in humans. Rabbits are herbivores, cholesterol is not inherent in their diet, while humans are omnivores.
    • These two researchers heavily influenced dietary policy in the middle of the 20th century and still to this day.
  • Saturated fats are less likely to oxidize and cause damage in our bodies.

There you have it my friends. The choice is yours. I encourage you to dig into the research yourself – a great place to start is Sacred Cow by Robb Wolf and Diana Rogers.

Want to dig a little bit deeper? Here’s a video on Fats on my Youtube channel.

What is your favorite cooking oil? Mine is butter!

Ten Food Swaps

As I read more, listen to my lectures, and talk to friends and clients, I have come to the belief that there are about 10 recommendations that I often suggest to people. These same 10 suggestions apply for most people and for most health concerns. If you were trying to make healthier choices in your diet, this is a basic list that can be your jumping off point. Here are my recommendations for 10 things to add to or replace in your diet. But not until Friday. 😉 After all, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and life is for living and enjoying. You have to live your life and holiday foods most definitely qualify.

 

Eat This 🙂 Instead of That 🙁
Grass-fed Butter

Butter is great to cook with because unlike most vegetable oils, it does not oxidize at low temperatures. It reduces inflammation and is rich in conjugated-linoleic acid and vitamins A, D & K2.

Margarine

Margarine is made of crop oils that are partially hydrogenated, turning them from liquid into a solid. This turns the fats into trans fats, substances that our bodies have trouble recognizing and processing.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a great source of medium chain triglycerides, which are antiviral and antibacterial. These medium chain fatty acids are easily absorbed by the body and protect against heart disease and promote weight loss. It is a great high heat cooking oil, as it doesn’t oxidize at low temperatures.

All other Vegetable Oils

Vegetable oils oxidize at lower temperatures, meaning they become damaged and inflammatory when used in cooking. They are also highly processed using high heat, so they are likely damaged even before used in cooking. When exposed to light (through the clear bottles the are packaged in) further oxidation occurs.

Honey, Maple Syrup, Date Sugar, or Coconut Sugar

Coconut sugar is a low-glycemic sweetener. Both coconut sugar and date sugar are not as heavily processed as other sugars. Raw honey and maple syrup are not processed either. These all make great sugar alternatives when used in moderation.

Sugar, Agave, Artificial Sweeteners

High blood sugar is a problem with many health concerns. Artificial sweeteners are linked to declines in kidney function, brain tumors, autoimmune conditions, and are potential neurotoxins. Agave, while a low-glycemic sweetener, is heavily processed, making it similar to high-fructose corn syrup.

Raw Nuts and Seeds

Seeds contain all the nutrients for that the plant needs to start life, making them nutrient dense. They are often rich in omega-3s, great sources of protein, fats, and vitamins and minerals. Nuts and seeds have a “season” like all other produce, and can go bad like all other produce, so they should be eaten raw.

Roasted Nuts and Seeds

Similarly to crop oils, nuts and seeds oxidize when exposed to high heats, therefore roasted nuts and seeds are likely to cause oxidative damage and inflammation in the body. Nuts and seeds are also often roasted to preserve them, but also to hide the rancidity of the nuts or seeds.

Sparkling Water

For a treat, sparkling water is a nice alternative to regular filtered water. Adding fruit, a squeeze of lime juice, or some grapefruit essential oil to the sparkling water can also help to break up the repetition.

Soda

Sugary drinks actually cause the taste buds to crave more sugar. To process sugars, vitamins and minerals must be taken from the tissues, therefore repeated exposure can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

Sea Salt

The best salt choices are not white – either grey, pink, or other colors. These salts contain trace minerals that we need and can be hard to find.

Iodized Salt

Iodized salt often has added sugar and aluminum. It is also processed to remove all other trace minerals.

Spaghetti Squash, Zoodles, or Kelp Noodles

These are nutrient dense substitutions for pasta and are low in calories. Zoodles are zucchini that have been spiralized into spaghetti-like noodles.

Pasta

Pasta is a refined food that is rich in calories, but low in nutrients. While it may be tasty, it’s a modern convenience food that isn’t needed.

Tea

Herbals teas are a great alternative to coffee. Teas do not create the stress response that coffee does and are often filled with nutritional benefits.

Coffee

Coffee stimulates the adrenal glands to produce more cortisol and adrenaline, keeping the adrenals on overload. It also raises blood sugar and depletes vitamins and minerals.

Full-fat Dairy

Dairy is a good source of protein, healthy fats, calcium and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and K2.

Nonfat Dairy

When you remove the fat from dairy, you are left with a lot of dairy sugar, lactose. Nature would not package something “bad” with something good just for us to wait thousands of years for scientists to learn how to separate the fat out of dairy.

Pasture-raised Eggs

Eggs do contain cholesterol and fat, and the reality is that we need both. Both are in every cell of the human body. Cholesterol supports brain function, serotonin production, and it acts as an antioxidant. Your heart gets 60% of its energy from fat and you brain is mostly fat.

Egg Whites/ Egg Substitutes/ Non-Pasture-raised Eggs

Nature did not package something good for us with something bad for us just to wait thousands of years for humans to invent egg-beaters. You are what you eat, so if you’re eating poorly raised eggs, you are not getting the nutrients that you need.

Health & Hugs <3,

Katie

References:

Axe, J. (2015). Step away from the diet coke. Retrieved from http://draxe.com/step-away-from-the-diet-coke/

Bauman, E. (2014) Foundations of Nutrition. Penngrove, CA: Bauman Press.

Bowden, J. & Sinatra, S. (2012). The Great Cholesterol Myth. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press.

Knoff, L (2014) Personal Communication.

Murray, M., Pizzorno, J., & Pizzorno, L. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.

Wolfe, L. (2013). Eat the Yolks. Las Vegas, NV: Victory Belt Publishing.