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Fats, We Know They’re Bad

Fats In Our Diet

Everyone knows that fats aren’t healthy.  The previous chapter discussed different types of fats, and diet and nutrition for cutting down on fats.  You should also know now that there are actually fats that are good for you: saturated and unsaturated fats.

Trans fatty acids are also known as hydrogenated vegetable oils.  These are ‘man made’ (altered) oils that are solid at room temperature, just like saturated fats – this is how margarine is made.  Studies have shown that trans fatty oils are directly linked to skin cancer.

Hydrogenated oils can be found in many types of foods such as cookies, crackers, margarine, baked foods, breads, mayonnaise, and most junk foods.  To avoid hydrogenated oils, you’ll need to read the labels on the packaging.

Did you know that trans fatty oils have a structure very similar structure to that of cholesterol?  These hydrogenated oils are artificially saturated oils.  So even when a package label says no cholesterol, it contains ‘artificial cholesterol’ if it has hydrogenated oils.  This is a great way to make foods seem healthier than they really are.

The best oils to use in your cooking are olive oil and canola oil.  Olive oil is especially healthy, since it helps lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol, and increase HDL (good) cholesterol.  When I cook and stir-fry, I always use olive oil.  You should also try to always use fresh oil, and never keep oil for over two months. 

Excess fat in your diet or in your body can impair your immune system.  Foods containing essential fatty acids (the good fats), such as fish, nuts, and seeds should be taken only in moderate amounts.

Studies have also shown that a low-fat diet helps healing quicker when you’re sick or ill.  Stress caused by sickness lowers your body’s metabolism for fat, and studies have also shown that your liver’s energy reserves is low when a lot of fat is consumed.  So your body has less energy to heal itself.

Here are some tips for using and storing your oil:

  • Buy cold-pressed oils.
  • Store your oil in a dark, cool place.
  • Use only fresh oil for cooking, and don’t keep oil for longer than 2 or 3 months.
  • If you deep-fry often, don’t reuse the oil too many times.  Try to use it only twice, and always seal the oil, and refrigerate until next use.

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