Do you remember the time when we used to avoid fats at all cost? I surely do. I would bake my meats dry, usually adding only some water to the pan. Sometimes I would add some I can’t believe it’s not butter. But even that sounded too fatty and too bad.
In the late seventies, the medical establishment taught us how bad fats are. They will cause heart attacks, stroke and eventually kill us.
Since then we are facing an alarmingly increased rate of obesity and diabetes and studies have proved the direct correlation between fat-free/low fat craze and metabolic diseases epidemic.
Hmm…something to think about.
We need fats. Healthy fats. Wondering which one? We will get there in a minute.
Especially our brain is very sensitive to low amounts of fat in our diet. Could be the epidemics of cognitive declines (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia) be influenced by the fat-free/low fat craze? It is something to think about.
One of the big problems with our modern SAD (Standard American Diet) is we are ingesting a large amount of highly processed carbohydrates, sugar and vegetable oils. Vegetable oils are in everything including cookies, cakes, muffins, salad dressings, prepackaged meals, etc. Restaurants use them largely because they are cheap. What is exactly the problem with vegetable oils? They are rich in trans fats and unstable when heated and create harmful oxidation byproducts. More than 100 dangerous oxidation products have been found in a single piece of chicken fried in vegetable oils. This is scary. Besides the harmful oxidation byproducts, there is glyphosate contamination and GMO.
While trans fats were recognized as dangerous for health and being eliminated from the food industry and replaced with not much better vegetable oils. There are more harmful compounds in vegetable oils and all together they have inflammatory effects on the body.
I am assuming by now you are getting frustrated and asking what oils of fats you can use for cooking without harming your health.
Here is the list
It is gaining popularity lately and for a good reason. It doesn’t change at high temperatures and has so many health benefits.
- Cardiovascular health (it helps to improve HDL (good)cholesterol levels and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- Increased energy (MCFA; medium chain fatty acids are rapidly digested and converted by the liver into energy for immediate use)
- Weight management (stimulates metabolism)
- Antimicrobial properties
- Olive oil is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats.
- Contains large amounts of antioxidants,
- has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
- It is protective against heart disease. Just think of the Mediterranean diet, where people use a large amount of olive oil.
It has so many health benefits.
- It is rich in Oleic Acid a very healthy fat.
- Improves skin
- Enhances absorption of important nutrients,
- May reduce symptoms of arthritis,
- It’s high in lutein, an antioxidant important for eyes, etc.
GRASS FED BUTTER
Once a “bad guy”, butter is back. It has so many health benefits.
- Contains CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which helps reduce belly fat and supports muscle growth.
- Great source of butyrate (short-chain fatty acid) that reduces inflammation
- Contains Vitamin A, D, and K2
- Rich in Omega 3 Fatty acids
- Other nutrients: lecithin, selenium, magnesium, zinc, copper,
Once used mostly in Indian cuisine ghee is gaining popularity in the States. Ghee is clarified butter, one of the most powerful healing foods out there.
- Packed with fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, K)
- Contains CLA (conjugated linoleic acid); a fatty acid with a ton of health benefits (reducing belly fat, reducing inflammation, preventing cancer
- Loaded with butyrate (short-chain fatty acid that has an important role in gut health)
- It may support insulin levels
- Fight off inflammation
Let me answer the question in the beginning. Fat or oils for cooking? BOTH. But the healthy ones.
BASIL AVOCADO OIL PESTO
2 cups fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup pine nuts
Add all the ingredients except the avocado oil to the food processor. Pulse it a couple of times and add the avocado oil. Turn the food processor on low speed and add slowly the avocado oil.
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To your radiant health, with love