One of the biggest changes as we go through the Undiet Adventure with our patients is likely learning that fats and oils are good for you! Not only good; but a tremendously necessary element of healthy eating. The tricky part is, good fats offer tremendous health benefits and bad fats are quite destructive. For eating, the best fats are found in pastured/organic animal products, oily, cold water fish, macadamia nuts, avocados, coconut products and extra virgin olive oil (if consumed at room temperature).
With olive oil, look for the “first cold-press only” distinction and stay away from lower quality brands that are often over-processed, mixed with objectionable agents like canola oil. The use of the phrase “extra-virgin” is loosely regulated and there is tremendous difference between brands and harvesting methods. It is important to note that according to Canadian food labeling laws, “extra-virgin” does not always mean what you think. Just like the term, “organic”, it does not mean anything unless accompanied by a stamp of certification or a reputable description of the ingredients. It is not against the law to label something “extra-virgin” if it isn’t! So do your research. One fabulous local resource is “Emulsify” in Westboro. This small shop chooses their products after extensive research and their staff are very knowledgeable about their oils.
The good oils found in oily, cold water fish are called omega-3s. If you are not a big fish eater and wish to supplement your omega-3 intake, you can find omega-3 oil capsules or oils in most reputable health food stores. Or in our reception area! Dr. Emilie and Martin have chosen to incorporate “Innate Choice” omega 3 supplements into their diet and have also made them available to those who wish to do the same! If you are pondering the omega 3 options available to you in your local natural foods store, look for something other than flax oil. While flax is the most common offering, the predominant type of omega 3 found in flax oil alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) is difficult to assimilate in the body. Look for EPA and DHA in the form of borage, cod liver, krill, salmon and hemp seed oil.
For cooking, saturated fats are the most temperature stable. This means that you can heat them to high temperatures without the risk of oxidization and damage to the cell membranes. Most importantly, don’t heat your olive oil! Coconut oil is great for cooking as are butter, ghee, lard and tallow. Isn’t it crazy how many things that we have been told are bad for us are ACTUALLY very healthy?
Eliminating trans, partially-hydrogenated and PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) like canola oil, soybean and safflower oil and margarine is one of the biggest things you can do to help heal your body.
You will be thrilled to discover that there is one fruit that is high in monosaturated fats and that we encourage you to eat every day! Yep, that’s right – avocadoes! You can increase your consumption of monosaturated fats by making guacamole! Eating avocadoes will help lower the levels of “bad” cholesterol in your body. Plus they are delicious!
As you might have noticed, we are big fans of coconut oil. It is amazing for cooking, adding to smoothies or just eating off a spoon! Almost 90% of the fats in coconut oil are saturated fats. Don’t panic! As we have learned, your body needs lots of saturated fat! The saturated fats in coconut oil are mostly medium chain triglycerides (MCT) which are fatty acids that assimilate well into your body and your liver loves them. Coconut oil also contains high levels of lauric acid which promotes increased immunity by helping your body to deal with viruses and problematic bacteria.
So eat those olives! Devour those avocadoes! Put coconut oil in everything! Your body will thank you.
*All post content originally posted by and adapted from mindfulmomma.com
Sisson, Mark. The Primal Blueprint – more information to be found at Mark’s Daily Apple!