Good Fats and Oils
Why We Need Them and How to Use Them In The Kitchen
In recent years scientists and dietitians have focused on fats to find nutritional answers for the rampant increase of degenerative diseases and the rising tide of obesity. We have been told over and over again that fats are bad for us and we ought to cut down. What we have not been told, however, is that there are many good fats and oils.
Her is the irony: The good fats are not only healthy for us but actually help to regulate the entire fat metabolism so that the oils that give us healthy skin, keep our brain and nervous system functioning, preven cardiovascular disease and even help with weight loss. On the other hand, it's true that bad fats cause or contribute to high cholesterol, clogged arteries, obesity and other diseases including cancer. Many people share the misconception that fat is bad. This is not so. In fact, fat is healthy and essential to many life functions. It is one of the three main building blocks of human nutrition (the others are carbohydrates and proteins).
Fat Confusion Today
They tell us to avoid saturated fats, which are fats that normally hardened at room temperature (including coconut butter, palm oil and animal fats like suet, lard, and butter). And they tell us that mono- and ploy- unsaturated fats (oils that remain liquid at room temperatures) are food for us. This is extremely misleading. The truth is that neither saturated nor unsaturated fats are bad in their natural states. They are safe and healthy as long as they are unrefined and neither hydrogenated (artificially hardened) nor exposed to high temperatures.
Further complicating the issue, orthodox nutrition schools (past and present) typically have classified all foods, including carbohydrates, proteins, fibers and fats, by calories. Calories measure available energy; they cannot, however, measure bioactive substances in food, or secondary nutrients htat are essential to the metabolic process and consequently to our well being. In short, calories really don't count in preserving our health
It's the nutrients that strengthen our immune systems and prevent the formation of free radicals, which cause many degenerative diseases. Sadly, most mainstream nutrition writers ignore such information when presenting nutritional profiles of food. Instead, they focus on caloric values, apparently unaware that oils derived from castor and jojoba beans have no calories at all, and oils from flaxseeds and the evening primrose can atually help with weight loss. Good fats don't make you fat.
By Siegried Gurshe