Friday, May 29, 2015


Lets get the SKINNY on FATS !
Not all fats are created equal, and there are distinct advantages to including some while excluding others based on myriad factors: biochemistry, nutrient-density, sustainability / ethical sourcing and more. I am going to explain some basic fat chemistry and give you the skinny on picking out high-quality, nourishing fats and oils for your recipes.
Let's take a little chemistry lesson to look at fats at a different angle. Fats are part of molecules also known as lipids. Fats are composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms in various patterns and lengths. Lipids solid at room temperature are called fats and and lipids that are liquid at room temp are called oils. Different fatty acids attach to the gylcerol and when three attach this is called a triglyceride. The triglyceride blood levels are the indicators for heart disease.
So What Makes a Healthy Fat or Unhealthy Fat?
A few criteria make a fat a good choice for consumption:
-Fats with higher percentages of saturated fatty acids (they’re more stable)
-Fats from animal sources that are grass-fed, pasture-raised and / or organic
-Fats from plant sources that are organic, sustainable and / or minimally processed
Examples: grass-fed butter, clarified butter or ghee, pastured lard (pork fat), pastured tallow (beef fat), duck fat, coconut oil, palm oil (only sustainable sources are acceptable), extra virgin olive oil (recommended for cold applications because it is a high percentage of MUFA), avocado oil, cold-pressed plant oils, virgin or extra virgin oils
Now here is what makes some fats less desirable to use:
-Fats that are a high percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids
-Fats from “vegetable” oils (these are highly processed, industrial oils)
-Fats that are hydrogenated (these are liquid oils chemically processed to be solid)
-Trans-fatty acids
-Supposedly “good” fats such as coconut oil that are chemically treated or deodorized (sometimes marked as refined)
Examples: canola, cottonseed, soybean, rapeseed (canola), grapeseed, corn, vegetable, sunflower, safflower, sesame, margarine, buttery spread, other refined oils.
Dietary fat plays an important role in your health. While YOU DO need some fat in our diet, too much saturated fat and cholesterol may increase your blood cholesterol, as well as your risk for heart disease and certain types of cancer. Fat has also been linked to weight gain and obesity if eaten in excess.
So how much fat should you eat each day? The American Heart Association recommends that you get less than 30% of your total calories from fat. BUT, because everyone's daily caloric needs differ, the recommended amount of dietary fat varies from person to person. To make it simple, the more calories you need to maintain your weight, the more fat permitted in your diet.
For example, if you require 2000 calories each day, you should eat about 65 grams of fat each day. It's easy to keep track of your fat intake by reading food labels and adding up the grams of fat or keeping track on MyFitnessPal.

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