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There's so much information out there about which oils are "good" and "bad." Many people think that saturated fats are unhealthy and should be avoided. I think it’s all about the balance: you need a mix of everything!
As a general rule of thumb: stay away from fried foods, hydrogenated and other processed vegetable oils that are packaged in plastic bottles or containers (margarine or other solid vegetable fats - those are the worst!!!).
When you consume these fats, your cell walls become stiff and rigid. The more rigid the walls, the slower your cell will function and the more vulnerable it becomes to inflammation. Inflammatory and processed fats, like these hydrogenated oils and trans fats can raise LDL, decrease HDL, suppress immune health, affect insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, and even disrupt ovulation.
Why are these fats unhealthy?
Throughout the extraction process the seeds are heated to high temperatures, exposed to intense pressure, and treated with a variety of chemicals in order to extract as much oil as possible. The problem is that these polyunsaturated fatty acids are very sensitive and oxidize very easily. That’s because the configuration of the fatty acid allows for two or more spots (two or more double bonds) where oxygen can react. So you don’t even need to eat sunflower-fried potatoes or chicken, just using the sunflower oil from the plastic bottle in your salad dressing will be sufficient….⠀
Healthy fats, especially Omega 3 fatty acids, help fight inflammation, regulate hormones, increase circulation to the uterus, promote cervical mucus, and balance our menstrual cycle.
I recommend sticking to these healthy oils:
For cooking at high heat: avocado oil, unrefined coconut oil, ghee & fat from pasture-raised animals
For medium heat or cold: extra virgin olive oil & grass-fed butter
Why are Omega 3s and especially EPA so important to fight inflammation?
You want to ensure your body has the fats it needs to construct high-quality cell walls. That means eating more omega-3 fats. Cell walls made from omega-3 fats are more flexible, which allows cells to communicate well.
These “good” fats also help our body produce prostaglandins or you could also call them the hormones that help our body anti-inflame.
Optimal sources of omega-3 fats include small cold-water fish like wild-caught salmon, sardines and herring, organic flax, chia and hemp seeds, walnuts, and sea vegetables.
Now you're probably thinking: but aren't other nuts, avocado etc. healthy fats too? Yes they are, however, the problem is that in our diet today, we're mostly consuming Omega-6 fatty acids and almost no Omega 3 fatty acids or rather almost no EPA, which is what we mainly want and that's only found in wild caught fatty fish, grass-fed meat and also in algae. I don't know many people who are consuming much of these foods, how about you?
The more omega-3 fats we eat, the easier your body can cool off, which means less inflammation that forms the root of nearly every chronic disease, especially those impacting the brain and the heart.
I designed a Nutrition 101 course taking you through all the basics of a healthy diet. Healthy fats is one of the chapters in this course. If you are interested in pimping up your diet or health routine, check out the course here.