For years fat has been made out to be horrible for your health, a cause for obesity and heart problems. More and more studies are showing that there are actually many health benefits to eating good fats on a regular basis. This post will share with you which fats are beneficial for your health and which should be avoided. I will also share with you which fats are my favorite to cook with! Here are the healthiest fats to have in your kitchen!
Benefits of fats
In our society we have been conditioned to think that fat is bad and leads to obesity and health problems. The truth is that saturated fat is essential for brain health, to boost our immune system and to promote healthy hair and skin. This fat is actually a high source of antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for overall health and well-being. Saturated fats contain Vitamins A, D, E, and K which are fat soluble. Meaning the fat is needed in order for the body to absorb those necessary vitamins. If you’re drinking skim or non-fat milk, you don’t have the fat you need to absorb the vitamins in milk. Without absorbing the vitamins, you can’t absorb the minerals. Animal fats are uniquely nutrient-dense foods. Vitamin B6 and B12, are not available in plant foods. Tallow, Lark and Fats are really nutrient-dense foods that come packaged in the fat that you need to absorb them, along with protein. They’re kind of a perfect package of nutrient-dense food and can add a lot of benefit to overall health and well-being. These fats are also an important source of Omega-3 which is essential for reducing inflammation and helps to lower the risk of chronic disease and is important for cognitive health and behavioral function.
The body requires saturated fat for the proper function of our:
- Cell Membranes
- Genetic Regulation
Clinical trials over the past decade have clearly showed that a diet higher in fat and restricted in carbohydrate results in health improvements such as weight loss and a reduction in risk factors for diabetes, and heart disease. A high-fat diet typically means eating animal foods. Of course, there are very healthy saturated plant fats such as coconut oil and palm oil.
These good fats also have a higher smoking point when you cook with them, so they do not oxidize when heated. This means that the molecules of fat do not break down into harmful toxins from the heat, which has been associated with many health problems. Here is a list of my favorite fats that I keep in my kitchen for cooking.
Healthiest Fats to Have in Your Kitchen:
- Duck Fat – (where to buy)
- Pork Lard – (where to buy)
- Beef Tallow – (where to buy)
- Avocado Oil – (where to buy)
- Coconut Oil – (where to buy)
- Ghee – (where to buy)
- Grass Fed Butter – (where to buy)
Dangers of processed vegetable oils:
These vegetable oils are highly processed and unnatural. Here is a great description of the unnatural process of making vegetable oil. Processed vegetable oils have been shown to release cancer causing chemicals when cooked and linked to cancer and other health problems. These oils are high in polyunsaturated fats which are unstable and oxidize quickly when heated. Oxidized fats cause inflammation and mutilation in our cells which has been associated with many problems such as Cancer, Endometriosis and Heart Disease. These fats are also high in Omega-6, which pushes out Omega-3, which is necessary for normal growth and development.
Here is a list of oils I avoid using at home:
- Canola Oil
- Olive Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Vegetable Oil
- Soybean Oils
- Sunflower Oil
- Corn Oil.
Unfortunately, when dining out it is most likely they are using processed vegetable oils. It’s best to reduce eating out or choose more health conscious restaurants to reduce your exposure to these harmful oils. I avoid them in my house to try to eliminate my exposure to them as much as possible. Most processed foods contain these oils in the ingredients.