Saturated fats, found mostly in animal products like butter, cheese and fatty meats, are not as dangerous as you may believe. Saturated fats offer a number of health benefits and play many important roles in the body. Some vegetable oils (coconut and palm) also contain saturated fat. Coconut oil is a particularly healthy choice.
Trans-fatty acids, formed through a process called "hydrogenation", are found in processed foods and fried foods. Trans-fatty acids are much worse for you than saturated fats. Not only can they raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and lower HDL (good) cholesterol, but they have also been linked to heart disease. Olive oil in particular offers many benefits in terms of cholesterol and heart health.
Much of the information found on this web page comes from Udo Erasmus' book, " Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill ".
I learned a lot from that book. Mr. Erasmus is largely responsible for North America's increased awareness of Essential Fatty Acids and is one of the recognized authorities on the subject.
Healing fats are oils that contain Essential Fatty Acids.
What Are Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)?
The word 'Essential" is used because they are something our body can not produce, we must get these Essential Fatty Acids from outside (from food or supplements).
The essential fatty acids are two of the most important of all the essential elements, ranking right up there with protein, as protein and the EFAs work hand-in-hand with each other. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) - are the building bricks of our health.
What does EFA accomplish in the body?
EFA Functions: "EFAs are involved with producing life energy in our bodies from food substances, and moving that energy throughout our systems. They govern growth, vitality, and mental state. They hook up oxygen, electron transport, and energy in the process of oxidation. Oxidation, the central and most important moment-to-moment living process in our body, is the `burning' of food to produce the energy required for life processes." EFAs are also important in oxygen transfer, hemoglobin production, and control of nutrients through cell membranes. They markedly shorten recovery time from fatigue. And EFAs are also key in preventing damage from hard fats. EFAs are anti-sticky and tend to disperse them. EFAs play a part in almost every function of our body, far too many to list here.
What is hydrogenated fat?
Hydrogenation is a way of making vegetable oil harden at room temperature. Small particles of nickel or copper are added and the mix is heated to very high temperatures under pressure for up to eight hours while hydrogen gas is injected. This process destroys the essential fatty acids in the oil and replaces them with deformed trans fatty acids. These trans fats formed by hydrogenation are unnatural and as a result the human body is not well-equipped to deal with them. They also compete with essential fatty acids for absorption in the body. This blocks or delays the work of the essential fatty acids, creating deficiencies and imbalance throughout the metabolism, including fatty deposits in the arteries.
No Hydrogenated Fat ( HF ) (HF is made from trans fatty acids).
Use no oils from supermarkets , they are heated and refined (EFA are removed) (transparent bottle means that oil will not be harmed by light, and that mean that oil does not have EFA ); If oil is kept in the usual shelves (out of refrigerator) it means that the oil does not contain any EFA.
The most dangerous fats are typically found in margarine, shortenings, and heated oils.
The important omega-3/Omega-6 ratio
These two types of fat, omega-3 and omega-6, are both essential for human health. However, the typical American consumes far too many omega-6 fats in their diet while consuming very low levels of omega-3. The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is 1:1. Our ancestors evolved over millions of years on this ratio. Today, though, our ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 averages from 20:1 to 50:1! That spells danger for you.
By far, the best type of omega-3 fats are those found in that last category, fish. That's because the omega-3 in fish is high in two fatty acids crucial to human health, DHA and EPA. These two fatty acids are pivotal in preventing heart disease, cancer, and many other diseases. The human brain is also highly dependent on DHA - low DHA levels have been linked to depression, schizophrenia, memory loss, and a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's. Researchers are now also linking inadequate intake of these omega-3 fats in pregnant women to premature birth and low birth weight, and to hyperactivity in children.
Sadly, though, eating fresh fish, whether from the ocean, lakes and streams, or farm-raised, is no longer recommended. Mercury levels in all fish have now hit dangerously high levels across the world, and the risk of this mercury to your health now outweighs the fish's omega-3 benefits.
Routine consumption of fish oil, however, is highly encouraged as a key ingredient in improving your health. Fish oil contains the highest levels of the best omega-3 fats - those with the EPA and DHA fatty acids - and, as it is in pure form, does not pose the mercury risk of fresh fish.
Grass-fed beef (not the common corn-fed beef in most grocery stores) is another outstanding option for increasing your omega-3 intake.
You can currently find the best price on the internet for high quality Omega 3 supplements here.
© 2009 Healing Daily