Errol Street Chiropractic Centre Family Wellness care


The BIG FAT story

A lot of people are getting the wrong end of the ‘fat’ story! Let me simplify things for you.

Fats are essential for life - as well as health.

Is Fat Good for You? Should I Include Fat in my Diet if I’m Normalising my Weight?
Eating too much fat can be a problem and not eating enough of the good fats can be a bigger problem. The question we will address is which fats are important for our bodies to express wonderful  health, and how much fat should we be eating in a day. 

Sources of Good Fats
Here are the life enhancing properties of good fats:
  • form the basis of hormones, including sex hormones for general health and fertility
  • vital for brain and nerve system health helping with movement, memory and concentration
  • form fat soluble vitamins Vitamins A, D, K and Co-enzyme Q10
  • helps absorption of many vitamins and minerals
  • keeps us fuller for longer
  • reduce inflammation and help maintain immunity
  • keep our cell walls strong so protecting our 100 trillion cells
  • provide long term energy 37kj/g
  • promote growth. Mothers breast milk is full of fats and a fats are easier for babies to digest as solids are introduced - foods such as organic sheep brain and avocado are a great first solid food to start with
  • give foods a wonderful aroma

So What Oils and Fats Should We Avoid?
Bad Fats
Highly processed and refined vegetable oils.

These oils are chemically unstable (polyunsaturated) and will go through a hydrogenation process (heating oil to nearly 1000 degrees and passing through a metal catalyst) to change the chemical nature of the oil in order to make it more stable - increasing its shelf life. Examples of these oils are canola, rapeseed oil, safflower and sunflower oil. Cooking with these oils increases their trans-fatty acids with will create inflammation in the body, contributing to weight gain, increase LDL, insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease.

Margarine generally will have trans-fats, and even those that don’t will start with a rancid vegetable oil that gets deodorised and colored (but it spreads so easily I hear you say!).

Watch out for foods in the supermarket and food stores that contain these processed oils and margarines:

  • crackers and biscuits (check labels!)
  • condiments
  • pastries
  • take away foods eg hot chips
  • potato chips (crisps)

So What Fats and Oils Should I Eat? Is Butter Better?
Definitely, butter is better, especially if it’s organic and you are not lactose intolerant! It helps with the absorption of many nutrients. It is a saturated fat so it’s very stable.

Vegetable oils are fine to use if they are not processed or refined. Melrose do a unrefined safflower oil that is organic.

Olive oil needs to be cold pressed and extra virgin. Many claim they are, so try and buy local oils - there are some great quality ones around. My favourite is the award winning Rose Creek Estate Oil that is made here in East Keilor using ancient methods. Check out there website:

So What Fats or Oils do I Cook With?
Saturated fats are the most stable fats to cook with. Do not use olive oil for frying or vegetable oils as they burn. You can use:

  • ghee which is clarified butter. The process takes out the protein so most people who avoid dairy can use ghee without a problem.
  • duck fat. My husband does amazing baked potatoes with duck fat, rosemary and pepper! I’m getting hungry!
  • coconut butter (a saturated fat!) . You can find unscented coconut butter if you don’t want the coconut taste. The lauric acid in coconut has many health benefits. Breast milk is full of lauric acid. (adult males, please don’t ask me where you can get breast milk from)
  • lard. Small amounts of  good quality lard can be used and is safer than processed vegetable oils. Yes, I hear the gasps, however, remember...

Anything made by nature is better for your health than anything made in a laboratory!

How Much Fat Should I have in a Meal?
Fat is necessary in each and every meal to absorb vital vitamins and minerals.
A general rule of thumb is - make a fist with one hand and put your index finger of your other hand into your fist. Take out your finger and that space left in your fist is the amount you should have in a meal. Now that can be present in a meal as oil over your salad, or salmon, or fat on your meat, or butter on your vegetables, or nuts and seed on your porridge. 

Posted on: 15th May, 2014
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