Diet culture has influenced us to think fats are bad, fat is fuel that is essential for the proper function of the brain, digestive system, and the connective tissue. Both fats and oils provide a good number of calories which the body uses for energy. The body will use the calories needed and store what is not used as fat for later use when adequate calories have not been met for your energy needs. However not all fat is the same.
Trans fat is the fat you should avoid as much as possible. Trans fats are artificially made by food manufacturers to transform liquids into a solid to further extend the shelf life of an edible product, but it does occur naturally in some red meat and dairy. The FDA has banned many of the artificial trans fats used in the food supply because of its harmful effects on the heart. Unfortunately, there are many exceptions they allow it. Just look for the partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient list, it’s in many of the items many people use daily (coffee creamers, ice cream, fried foods, and microwave popcorn!). Saturated fats should be limited to no more than 10% of your calorie intake of the day. Typically, saturated fats are solid when at room temperature often founds in animal proteins and some plant based oils (coconut oil and palm oil for example.) When Trans fats were banned by the FDA many food manufactures replaced it with saturated fats.
Unsaturated fats are “Good” or healthy fats and are liquid at room temperature. This type of fat is heart healthy and has been shown to help reduce inflammation within the body. These types of fats are plant based, for example plant, nut, and seed oils. Monounsaturated fats improve the blood cholesterol and keep the cells healthy. These are found in avocados, olives, nuts, and seeds. Polyunsaturated fats come in two types of Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids. Both types of polyunsaturated fats are not produced naturally and are introduced to our bodies by diet.
Watch this brief video and discover how the sugar industry used fat as the scapegoat for cardiovascular disease despite evidence to the contrary. This political and economic decision drove science for five decades to promote an entire movement in the direction of low fat and fat free diets in America. With the food industry’s financial greed and reckless disregard for the welfare of the public, cardiovascular disease increased during this 50-year period.
Approximately 20-35% of your daily calories should be from fat, and slightly higher for infants and young children for proper brain development. Contact our office to schedule a function medicine consultation. Discover how a personalized diet and lifestyle can optimize your health!