Interesting facts about fat
February 21, 2012 | In: Food facts
It is well known that if your diet consists only in cheeseburgers and hot dogs, you’ll probably end up fat in just a few weeks. We know that being fat isn’t a pleasant thing.
But in fact, the human body needs fat to survive. A diet fat free will probably kill us in a matter of weeks. With that out of the picture, let’s talk about good and bad things about fat. I have to tell you that I’ve been fascinated by all the good things fat brings with it.
Fats transport oxygen to every cell in our body, and they are the basis for every hormone, brain, and nervous system function.
Fats are the chemically active part of our cell membranes. Without them, nothing works.
All fats are a mixture. The good fats contain small amounts of bad fat, and the bad fats contain small amounts of good fat.
With the wrong fats, you eat up to 6 times more in order to get the right fats.
The right fats protect you from cancer. The wrong fats allow it, in part because they compromise the integrity of the cell membrane.
Saturated fat is not all that good, but its not particularly bad, either. At least your body knows how to burn it for energy.
The bad fats result from high-heat commercial processing. They include trans fats, cross-linked fatty acids, double-bond shifted fatty acids, and dozens of other compounds that do not occur in nature.
Bad cell membrane function underlies insulin resistance and diabetes.
The cholesterol molecule is too big to be absorbed. Your body manufactures its own supply. It does so to shore up the structural integrity of weakened cell membranes.
Sources of bad fats include refined oils, partially hydrogenated oils, shortening, and commercially deep-fried foods.
Millions of years of evolution have left us unprepared to deal with these fats. Our body is unable to recognize them and deal with them. So they take the place of good fats in our cell membranes.
Because vegetable oil is chemically active, it is harmed the most by heat. Saturated fat is not much harmed by heating!
Sources of good fats come from fish, egg yolks, nuts, seeds, olives, durians, and unrefined oils from the health food store.
Even “cold pressed” oil can be heated before pressing, pumped full of caustic soda to remove the chemically active compounds, boiled to remove the caustic soda, and then steam distilled to remove the smell. Make sure your oils are unrefined. Extra-Virgin oils are also good. They escape the worst of it.
Here’s a small list of tips and tricks that will probably make your life a little healthier:
- Bottled unrefined oils spoil more quickly. But they’re good for you.
- Olive oil and sesame oil keep at room temperature.
- High omega-3 oils stay liquid in the freezer.
- Dip bread in unrefined oil. Use with vinegar for a salad dressing. Add to soup just before serving. Mix 1Tbs in a glass of water for “milk”.
You don’t want to cook with unrefined oils because they smoke really quickly.
For cooking, use butter, coconut oil, and other naturally saturated oils that aren’t harmed by heat. Butter, in particular, is a short-chain saturated fat that your body burns easily.