The Yummy World of Fat
Is there good fat? YES! And they are listed below
2 kinds of good fats
1. Mono-unsaturated fats (OMEGA 6 and 9)
· Linked to better cardiovascular health and longer life spans
· Remains liquid at room temperature but it may harden in fridge
· In Avocado, nuts, macadamia, olive, canola, and peanut oil
2. Poly-unsaturated fats (OMEGA 3) Needed for nearly every bodily function
· Remains liquid in fridge and at room temp
· In flaxseed, walnuts, and fish
· In safflower, corn, cottonseed, and soy oils
A pretty comprehensive list of the benefits of EFAs (Essential fatty acids) – OMEGA 3, 6, and 9:
· Decreases cholesterol, heart disease (by decreasing high blood pressure and decreasing clots forming) and risk of cancer
· Decreases LDL (which leads to plaque – bad cholesterol) and increases HDL – actually binds to cholesterol and excretes it from body which is why we want the HDLs
· Helps maintain normal hormonal balance
· Lack of EFAs during pregnancy decreases IQ scores in the child
· Lack of EFAs increases depression, bipolar, and ADD
Specific OMEGA 3 benefits above and beyond Omega 6 and Omega 9 – OMEGA-3 is the KING of EFA’s!:
· Increases immune system
· Increases your absorption of nutrients from foods and supports the health of your bones, brain, breasts, eyes, heart, immune system, joints, nerves, muscles, prostate, and skin.
· Reduces most major cardiovascular risk factors, including high triglycerides, high blood pressure, the tendency to form clots in the arteries, and irregular heart rhythm,
· Guards against digestive problem
· Maintains healthy weight and aid in weight loss
· Decreases risk for insulin resistance and helps skin problems
· Decreases PMS issues
· Fights inflammation in the body to include reduction in arthritic inflammation
· Improves bones strength
· Increases energy and stamina
· Increases wound healing
The 2 kinds of bad fats
Increases blood cholesterol and LDL (the bad cholesterol), heart disease, cancer, and many other diseases including weight gain, lethargy, depression, etc.
1. Saturated fats –
· in animal products
· Solid or wax at room temp
· In cheese, cream, butter, whole milk, coconut, palm, and tropical oils
2. Trans Fat, hydrogenated, partially-hydrogenated, mono-diglycerides, or anything hydroilzed – Hydrogen added to liquid oil to make it into a solid
· Crisco and shortening, most margarines
· In most commercially baked foods, crackers, candy bars, bread, and processed foods
· Increases free radicals in body, very toxic
· Researchers at Harvard have shown trans fat to cause coronary heart disease, diabetes type II, cancer, impaired immune system, auto-immune problems and other health problems.
· Body stores this as fat
· Raises LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and lowers HDL – the good cholesterol
· As of Jan 1, 2006, food manufacturers are required to provide the amount of trans fat in foods.
Let’s Focus on Flaxseed for a second
Fiber : 2 T (tablespoons) of Flax contains 4 grams of fiber, as much fiber as 1 ½ C of cooked oatmeal! It helps harmful LDL cholesterol to drop while maintaining HDL cholesterol levels. Also aids in regularity!
Lignan Levels High: here’s where the flaxseed story gets major points. Flaxseed contains high levels of lignans, a natural antioxidant and a member of the family of plant estrogens (phytoestrogens). The lignans in flaxseed can maintain breast and colon health by binding circulating estrogens and other substances that might promote unchecked cell growth. Many plant foods have some lignans, but flaxseed has at least 75 times more than any other. To get the lignans that are in just two T of flaxseed meal, you’d need to eat about 30 cups of fresh broccoli.
Alpha-Linolenic Acid – Modern diets – even healthy ones – are routinely deficient in omega-3s. Flaxseed is a mega-source for the plant version of omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid. The oil in flaxseed is about 50% alpha-linolenic acid. Canola and walnut oils, the next highest sources, have about 10%. But most foods have far less. One serving of flaxseed meal contains 2400 milligrams of omega-3.
COOKING TIP: Ground flaxseed can be substituted for shortening or cooking oil at a ratio of 3 to 1 in baked goods. For example, 1 ½ cups of flaxseed meal can replace ½ cup butter, margarine, or cooking oil in a recipe. They do tend to brown more rapidly when you do this substitution.