Fats - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Fats – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
I’m fat, you’re fat, we’re all made of fat… at a fundamental level that is. Contrary to popular belief, we actually need fat to survive, we literally couldn’t live without it.
Every living cell in your body has a membrane that is made out of the fat that you eat. Your brain is 60 per cent fat. Fat is a great source of energising fuel, it keeps you full for longer. Fat keeps your skin supple and soft instead of leathery and sallow. It plays a huge part in wound healing and vitamin absorption. Basically, fat is necessary for many biological functions and without it, your health (and appearance!) would seriously suffer. It’s time to bring back the fat!
For years fat has been demonised by doctors, nutritionists, big food and the media who advocated for low-fat diets as the best way to reduce obesity and cardiovascular disease. It’s one of the biggest nutrition lies that the public’s been told throughout history.
Luckily, thanks to science we’ve moved on from this rhetoric and it’s now widely accepted that fats are essential to our bodies’ optimal functioning. In fact, several studies have demonstrated that a fat-based diet can prevent cardiovascular disease and aid in fat loss.
Good vs Bad – Understand The Difference
While eating fat is an essential part of a healthy diet, it’s important to eat the right kind (and in the right state) because some fats will contribute to your health while others will detract from it. Knowing the difference is crucial to preventing disease and living a healthy lifestyle.
Here’s a quick guide to the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to dietary fats. Make sure to bookmark this page so you can refer to it later.
Healthy fats can be broken down into two categories: unsaturated & saturated fats. Although saturated fats were once considered unhealthy and artery-clogging, lots of recent research has shown that they too can be beneficial as part of a healthy diet, in moderation.
Good fats are high in omega 3, can lower cholesterol levels and inflammation, improve heart health, help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, boost cognitive function, improve the appearance of your skin, support satiety and promote weight loss. Look for ingredients that are unprocessed and naturally high in fats. For example: avocados, full-fat dairy, olive oil and fatty fish.
For medium and high-heat cooking, stable fats are your best bet:
- Duck & goose fat
- Chicken fat
- Pork lard
- Beef tallow
- Coconut Oil
Monounsaturated oils are best used cold, as dressings or on a very low heat.:
- Avocado oil
- Olive oil
- Hazelnut oil
- Macadamia oil
- Almond oil
Polyunsaturated fats are the most unstable oils that can be easily destroyed by heat; they should only be consumed in cold-pressed form and should never be used for cooking.
- Sesame oil
- Walnut oil
- Flax-seed oil
- Rice bran oil
The fats listed below are typically industrialised and highly refined oils that go through high-heat and chemical processing resulting in a high omega-6 content which can lead to chronic inflammation, disease and weight gain. They are often found in processed, fried foods and restaurant food. Avoid these as much as possible and pay attention to the ingredients list on packaged foods.
- Soybean oil
- Canola oil
- Corn oil
- Vegetable oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Safflower oil
- Sunflower oil
- Sesame oil
- Peanut oil
- Palm kernel oil
- Vegetable oil spreads
- Cottonseed oil
Trans fats, the worst fats of all should be avoided at all cost. These fats are often added to foods through a process of hydrogenation and are so chemical-laden that they can barely pass as food, in my opinion. Trans fats are typically found in highly-processed fatty foods such as crackers, cakes, donuts, pastries and nut butters. Trans fats are detrimental to your health and a study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that each 2 percent increase in calories consumed from trans fats nearly doubled the risk of coronary heart disease.
- Vegetable shortening
- Partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oil
- High stearic acid or stearic-rich fat
A healthy diet should include a good mix of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with moderate amounts of saturated fats from healthy sources. At least 20–30 percent of your total calories should come from fat, mostly unsaturated fats, such as nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil. When it comes to saturated fat, stick to grass-fed beef, coconut oil and MCT oil rather than fried foods or processed meats that are laden with additives and harmful ingredients.
I love using my MCT Keto Powder mixed into my morning coffee for a boost of stable energy without the midday slump. It’s fantastic at keeping me feeling full for longer and keeping the pesky cravings at bay. The WillPowders MCT Keto Powder is made from premium grade Indonesian coconuts and grass-fed butter. I would never use seed or vegetable oils in my products and now you understand why.