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  Home  > Personal Wellness  > We Eat Too Much "Bad" Fat

We Eat Too Much "Bad" Fat

Most of us have too many of the wrong kind of fats and oils in our diet - the heavy salad dressings, the fatty hamburgers, the cheese sauces. A diet of natural whole foods would ideally contain sufficient natural fats to meet the nutritional needs of healthy individuals (from fruits and vegetables, like the oil-rich avocados and olives; grains, nuts, and seeds; and for some, fish from unpolluted waters). Even so, most of us will profit from supplemental use of the right kinds of fats and oils that are necessary for proper brain chemistry and hundreds of other essential metabolic functions.

It is therefore important to choose organic nuts, seeds, oils, and butter whenever possible because most toxins are fat-soluble and find their way into your body via dietary fats and oils. Likewise, it is important to avoid hydrogenated fats in commercial shortenings and packaged foods, which are high in trans fatty acids, as much as possible. Rancid fats and oils, including nuts and seeds - alone or mixed in cereal products, trail mixes, and treat bars - can also pose problems. Rancidity in commercially sold products like these is quite common. When extreme, rancidity produces a bitter taste, but it is often undetectable by taste.

A good source of the essential fatty acids is fresh, organic, unprocessed vegetable oils (such as flax, olive, sesame, canola and safflower oil) when used in salads and other room-temperature (or lower) recipes. But beware that these oils are fragile, go rancid quickly, and are rapidly oxidized at cooking temperatures. Despite the food industry's large marketing campaign to the contrary, at cooking temperatures the more heat-stable saturated fats - butter, coconut oil, and palm oil - produce fewer free radicals than do the vegetable oils.




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