YES and NO. The right answer to this question is dependent on what type of fat we are talking about. Certain fats are actually essential for so many important bodily functions, but the wrong kind of fat can lead us down an unhealthy path to weight gain and a long list of diseases.
Fat to Avoid
Hydrogenated Oils: You have probably already heard in the media or just about anywhere that hydrogenated oils are detrimental to your health so to avoid them at all costs. But what exactly are they?
Hydrogenation is a chemical process used to make fat more shelf stable. This hydrogenation method completely alters the liquid oil's molecular structure so that it no longer resembles a natural fat. Because your body does not recognize the transformed molecule as a natural fat, it cannot process and treats it as a toxin. This "toxin" has been linked to cancer, birth defects, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and obesity.
We must read labels! Hydrogenated oil and partially hydrogenated oil can be found in most packaged foods (margarine, crackers, chips, pretzels, cookies, cereal bars, sugar cereals, microwave popcorn, and low-fat and fat-free snacks). There are even many packaged foods advertised as "health foods" that include this toxic ingredient.
Fats You Must Eat: Your body cannot survive without fat specifically essential fatty acids. Your brain, hormones, immune system and digestion are all dependent on this healthy fat (which is why people who go on very extreme low fat diets often suffer many health problems).
Omega 3 Fats: Omega 3 Fats are essential to human health but cannot be produced by the body which is why it is essential that we get these great fats from food. Foods high in Omega 3 fats are leafy green vegetables, flax seeds, salmon, sardines, raw walnuts, organic eggs and grass fed beef.
Extensive research indicates that omega 3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and help prevent risk factors associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis. These essential fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be particularly important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega 3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems. Symptoms of omega 3 fatty acid deficiency include extreme tiredness (fatigue), poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression and poor circulation.
Cooking Oil: The only oil that is suitable for high heat cooking (and one of the healthiest oils you can consume) is raw, organic, unrefined coconut oil. Coconut oil has been proven to be one of the healthiest oils available for the human body and increases the body's metabolic rate (helping in weight loss)
Oils best Raw: Olive oil and flax seed oil are two wonderful oils to use for salad dressing or on cooked or raw veggies. These oils have a lower melting point and are more stable (and healthier) when kept raw.
All you need to know about fat and fat consumption:
1. Avoid all products containing hydrogenated oil and partially hydrogenated oil
2. Consume foods which are high in Omega 3's such as salmon, flax seeds, walnuts and organic eggs
3. Cook with Organic, Unrefined Coconut Oil
4. Use Olive Oil and Flaxseed oil raw for salads and veggies. Also include avocados as a healthy source of fat into your meal plans.
Remember all fats are not created equal and proper use of the good fats can be a great way to keep you and your family at optimum health!