Q: Which are the best fats to eat? Gail H.
A: Gail this is one of the most important aspects of nutrition!
The simple answer is Raw/Living fats. Cooked fats are mostly trans fatty acids. Simply put, trans fatty acids are cancer causing! Cooked fats are VERY harmful! They are of NO use in a human body! Unfortunately they are only consumed because of ignorance. They reduce blood oxygen levels by up to 30% for 4 hours. Can reduce hormone levels by up to 30% for 6 hours! Clog our blood system up because a cooked fat molecule is so much larger and harder to digest and absorb through our small capillaries and membranes.
In fact it was observed that cooked fats were so large they almost stopped normal blood flow in eye and ear veins for up to 6 hours after consumption! If you want a better sex life, more energy and great health, do not consume cooked fats. Instead of listing what not to eat I will just recommend what to eat.
The healthiest and best fats are olives (no salt or sea salt), raw nuts and seeds, avocado and coconut. The second best fats 1-2x a week are oils! Hemp (consumed within 6 weeks of pressing date), Olive, Pumpkin, Grape Seed and Coconut oils are all good. Flax oil is fine if consumed within 3 weeks of pressing date as it is very susceptible to rancidity. Women, please note, I would not recommend consuming a lot of flax oil as it can disturb hormonal balance.
Now, lets define the different types of fats:
Two main fats are:
1. SATURATED – Not Recommended!
Good News! The body can manufacture its own saturated fat so we DO NOT require ANY saturated fat in our diet. Mainly animal meats, dairy products and pastries, chocolate. Only two vegetable fats are saturated: refined (not raw) palm and coconut oils, NOT recommended.
Linked to higher levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, heart disease, stroke and breast cancer.
Solid at room temperature.
Although much healthier than saturated fat, poly-unsaturated fat is considered to be less healthy than mono-unsaturated fat. This is because research indicates it may reduce the protective high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) as well as the harmful low-density lipoproteins (LDLs).
Polyunsaturated fats have two very important essential fatty acids (EFAs): OMEGA 3 & 6. Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids are best consumed in a 1:3 ratio. Most SAD (Standard Amercian Diet) eaters eat 1:20! This is one important reason why heart disease is so high! Excess intake of omega 6 can cause increased water retention, raised blood pressure and raised blood clotting.
OMEGA 3 Essential Fatty Acid, aka Alpha-Linolenic Acid (LNA)
Helps regulate blood sugar levels, greatly reducing cravings and overeating! Helps to increase our metabolic rate thus burning more calories. Sources:
• Hemp oil (best balance of omega 6:3)
• Pumpkin seeds
• Flax oil (linseed oil) – the richest natural source
• Flax seeds
• Walnuts and Walnut oil (richer in omega 6)
• Oily fish contains EPA and DHA. Can be made by the body from the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (LNA) in flax and hemp seeds and oils. So eating fish is NOT necessary to be healthy or obtain healthy fatty acids!
OMEGA 6 Essential Fatty Acid, Linoleic Acid (LA)
• Hemp oil (best balance of omega 6 & 3)
• Pumpkin oil
• Safflower oil – the richest natural source
• Sunflower oil
• Sesame oil
• Walnut oil
• Evening Primrose oil
OMEGA 9 A non-essential fatty acid, Oleic Acid
Oleic Acid is the primary Mono-unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) found in olive oil.
Oleic acid is associated with reduces atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), reduced insulin resistance and, thus, improved glucose (blood sugar) maintenance, improved immune system function, and for possible protective effects from some cancers.
• Olives, Olive Oil
None of the adverse effects associated with saturated fats, trans-fats or omega-6 polyunsaturated vegetable oils. May help to lower cholesterol.
• Olive oil (73 per cent)
• Hazelnuts (50 per cent)
• Almonds (35 per cent)
• Brazil nuts (26 per cent)
• Cashews (28 per cent)
• Avocado (12 per cent)
• Sesame seeds (20 per cent)
• Pumpkin seeds (16 per cent
Monounsaturated fat is believed to lower cholesterol and may assist in reducing heart disease. Like polyunsaturated fat, it provides essential fatty acids for healthy skin and the development of body cells. Monounsaturated fat is also believed to offer protection against certain cancers, such as breast cancer and colon cancer. Monounsaturated fats are typically high in Vitamin E, the anti-oxidant vitamin which is usually in short supply in most Western diets.
TRANS FATS – Never Recommended!
Margarines, lards, heated oils in stir fries, baked goods, fried foods, etc.
Symptoms of Fatty Acid EXCESS or DEFICIENCY
(please note that the same symptoms can be for lack or excess of fats!)
• Liver & Kidney Damage!
• Increased blood Pressure
• Dry skin/Eczema
• Frequent urination
• Attention deficit
• Soft nails
• Alligator skin
• Lowered immunity
• Fatigued dry, unmanageable hair
• Excessive thirst
• Brittle, easily frayed nails
• “Chicken skin” (loose, wrinkly) on backs of arms
• Dry eyes
• Learning problems
• Poor wound healing
• Frequent infections
• Patches of pale skin on cheeks
• Cracked skin on heels or fingertips
• Decreased memory/mental abilities
• Poor vision
• Increased tendency to form blood clots
• High cholesterol/triglycerides
• Hair loss
• Possible growth retardation, particularly in infants, children and pregnant women
The American Cardiology Association found that eating olive oil made the blood thicker than normal unless plenty of raw vegetables were eaten at the same time.
HOW MUCH FAT TO EAT?
Ideally 15-20% of total calories. Certain authorities say as high as 40%. But you will find that you don’t need so much fat as your diet improves. And eating that much even raw healthy fats can cause problems!
I will explain more on fat amounts in the next (December 15, 2003) Forever Healthy’s Vibrant Health Now E-letter.
When purchasing nuts and seeds I recommend chosing a store that has high volume and therefore will likely have fresh seeds. Ideally tell your health store to store their seeds in the refrigerator! If not you can tell reasonably if the seeds are fresh by opening the bin just a small amount and smelling to see if it smells fresh or rancid.
Best nuts and seeds are organic almond, pumpkin, flax, sunflower, white sesame and black sesame. Secondary best are hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans. They are secondary mainly because they are shelled and are less stable than other nuts/seeds and therefore have a shorter shelf life. Light, air and heat destroy EFAs, so processing and packaging methods are extremely important. When purchasing oils, chose un-refined, mechanically processed, opaque glass containers.
I do NOT recommend purchasing oils, seeds or nuts in large quontities, unless you can share the bulk purchase with friends. You should buy small amounts as fresh as possible. It’s a small part of the diet and therefore large amounts will likely go bad before you could eat
them all. Wasting food is no bargain!
Some things to be aware about oils:
1. Best oils are FRESH MECHANICALLY COLD PRESSED and ORGANIC. Pesticides tend to store in fats and oils, so it is important to get organic as much as you can.
2. Temperature of processing should always be below 99F/37C
3. Ideally in dark glass or opaque bottles.
4. Expiry and or pressing date should be listed on the label.
5. The Best Oils are Hemp – consume within 6 weeks of pressing date, refrigerate. Olive – consume within 12 months of pressing date or before expire Date. Store at 55f – 75f. Please note Flax Oil is best consumed 1-2x a week or for occasional use only and within 3 weeks of
pressing date. Refrigerate.
6. All other oils are fine for occasional or therapeutic use only.
1. For someone eating SAD (Standard American Diet) of refined carbs, cooked animal foods, pasteurized dairy, refined sugar and cooked fats I recommend beginning with oils for simplicity. Ideally whole fats should be consumed regularly, and oils as a treat 2x a week.
Best and only oil to cook with is Garden of Life’s ‘raw’ Coconut Oil! It does not turn to a trans fatty acid when heated!
Oils are refined and do not contain the fiber, and therefore not a whole food such as nuts, seeds or avocado. Oils consist of larger molecules than the WHOLE Food fats, and are therefore much harder for the body and liver to assimilate! However they are much better than trans fatty acids, and are fine for therapeutic temporary use.
While I do find eating a healthy fresh oil 2x a week for a treat fine, eating them daily is not something I would recommend for long term or someone who is more advanced on a raw food diet of 1 year or more! For people eating healthier than SAD diet and for athletes eating whole fats of avocado, olives, coconuts, raw nuts and seeds and durian fruit are the best and healthiest fats! You NEVER have to be concerned with how to balance when eating WHOLE FATS! Avocados, olives, coconuts, nuts and seeds… are all perfectly balanced! And unless you eat no fats, or have an illness of some sort preventing assimilation of fats, it would be virtually impossible to get a deficiency! Most people eat an excess of fats!
HEALTHY FATS vs Cooked Fats
Please do not use raw fats on hot foods, use on room temperature foods only! Eating/cooking fats destroys the lipase enzyme! Raw fats have plenty of lipase enzymes! Eating cooked fats can increase fat stores in the body. Eating healthy raw fats can actually burn off the stored fat in the body because lipase enzyme is abandant in RAW Fats! In fact when I first started eating raw foods back in 1985, I ate as much as 3-6 avocados a day for 2 years and always maintained my normal weight!
I DO NOT RECOMMEND EVER EATING THIS MUCH FAT! IT ALMOST COST ME MY LIFE! I SEVERLY BACKED UP MY LIVER AND COLON! Lesson learned!
1. AVOCADO = 1/3 – 1 per meal
2. OILS = 1-2 tablespoons of raw;
Manitoba Hemp (within 6 weeks of pressing), Omega Pumpkin Oil, Olive Oil by
Silver Leaf, Garden of Life Coconut Oil or occasionally Omega brand Flax oil (within 3 weeks
3. NUTS/SEEDS = 2-3 Tbls of one kind, Raw only! * Grind in coffee grinder or food processor
3-4x a week = sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, flax, almonds
1-2x a week = hazelnuts, pecan, walnuts, macadamia
4. OLIVES a. Silver Leaf or ‘new’ Olivico Olives (salt free)
Rinse all olives with water to reduce salt or excess oil before eating.
5. COCONUT OIL and Ghee (clarified butter) are the only fats you can occasionally cook with!
6. FRUITS: Young and Green Coconuts and Durian – delicious fatty fruits!
I find the following book on healthy fats the best to date! Mary Enig Phd, Know Your Fats
The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils and Cholesterol (334 pages; $29.95 U.S.)
* Healthy Fats to be Continued in the December 15, 2003 Forever Healthy’s Vibrant Health Now E-letter. More on amounts and Forever Healthy’s 1 Minute Healthy DIPS/DRESSING Recipe System!
Please Live Forever Healthy!