Fats are essential to health at every level beginning at a cellular level; however, decades of misinformation regarding health benefits of saturated fat has meant that many people go out of their way to avoid fatty foods. Unfortunately, low-fat diets are still popular today with many people believing they are eating healthy. Many main steam health care professionals, government guidelines and official nutrition authorities also believe the idea that low-fat diets are healthier.
Fats are essential for the very structure of our cells. Within the plasma membrane cholesterol molecules help the cell maintain its shape and structure and without this cholesterol the membrane fluid would not remain smooth and consistent. Our bodies have the capacity to produce some cholesterol via the liver, and some fatty acids, however, to support healthy cell structure and metabolism it is important we consume plenty of fat from healthy sources.
In addition to fat being essential for cellular structure and health, certain fatty acids and structures play other critical roles in the body. Fat also helps regulate blood sugar and appetite as it has a satiating effect and can lower insulin and blood sugar responses to certain foods.
There have been many misleading studies along with powerful food manufacturers who together have convinced so many people that saturated fat is evil and to be avoided at all costs. Polyunsaturated fats are unstable and prone to oxidative damage due to the release of free radicals. These fats are particularly problematic when heated because heat makes them even more unstable.
Unfortunately, polyunsaturated fats (oils) are more commonly used in commercial kitchens because they are cheaper and more convenient. Many people also choose to cook with these fats because they have been convinced that they are a healthier choice that will actively lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Instead of polyunsaturated fats, we should be choosing saturated fats, such as bacon fat, for cooking as they are the most stable and taste delicious!
Also detrimental to human health are hydrogenated fats. Hydrogenated fats, also known as trans-fats, were developed in response to demand for an unsaturated fat that would remain solid at room temperature. This plays havoc with our cell metabolism, because trans-fats prevent our cells from performing certain critical functions.
In summary, polyunsaturated and hydrogenated fats should be avoided for good health. What would you rather eat, butter, bacon, or plastic? I’ll let you decide.
Pat Garner holds certifications in Professional, Addiction & Recovery Coaching, is a Sedona Method Facilitator and a Certified Canfield Success Principles Trainer. Most recently, a number of her articles on addiction and wellness have been featured by the World Coaching Institute. She has earned the reputation as a dedicated leader and advocate of change.
During her own journey from addiction fifteen years ago, Pat discovered the world of holistic health and wellness that led to her adopt and promote a ketogenic lifestyle that has become an integral part of her mission to awaken people to their infinite potential so they can achieve lasting personal success in all areas of life. Pat invites reader comments and questions.