What are Healthy Fats?

by | Feb 12, 2013 | Blog, Fats | 2 comments

Many of us are starting to get the message that sugar is the bad guy, not fats, but are still struggling with which fats are healthy fats and how fats benefit us.


Deficiency in Healthy Fats can lead to:

  • Endocrine Issues (Hormonal Imbalances)
  • Depression and Mood Disorders
  • Cardiovascular Issues
  • Musculoskeletal Issues
  • Immune Issues
  • Allergies
  • Skin Problems

Healthy Fats are Necessary:

  • Every single cell in our body has a cell membrane composed of fat or fatty acids. Healthy fats help maintain the proper permeability of our cell membranes.
  • Healthy fats are essential for building healthy cholesterol and bile, necessary for proper liver function.
  • Fats are required for the absorption of the fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and minerals.
  • Food absorption is slowed down when fats are consumed, helping with energy regulation and avoiding spikes in blood sugar levels.
  • We need the correct balance of fats for both the anti-inflammatory and inflammatory cascades in our body to work properly so we can heal effectively.

Eat Fat to Lose Fat:
Fats satisfy our appetite by triggering the satiation hormone to send a message to our brain. If we eat a diet high in carbohydrates and low in fats we will not feel satiated and, therefore, consume more. Eating healthy fats can help you lose weight by making you feel satisfied so you will not have the urge to eat as much. 

What are Healthy Fats:

It is important to have a balance of all fats, including saturated fats ( in the form of animal fats, too!), as they are all necessary and have different functions in the body. Animals store toxins in their fat, therefore, healthy animal fat comes from anti-biotic free, hormone free, grass-fed/pasture raised animals. 

The way fats are processed is what is important! When oils are processed in high heat they become rancid. High heat denatures proteins, changes chemical bonds, and therefore changes the chemical structure of molecules. Exposure to light and oxygen also lead to rancidity of fats, especially oils. It is best to only consume cold pressed oils. Just one tablespoon of rancid oil is like smoking a pack of cigarettes in free radicals!

Healthy Oils can be found at health food stores.  Examples include:

  1. Cold Pressed (Beware: not “cold processed”)
    1. “It’s important to note that, while Europe has rigorous standards in place for the terminology of cold pressing (fully unrefined oil extracted at temperatures below 122 degrees F), the phrase ‘cold pressed’ has been used erroneously in the U.S. for a number of years, often employed as a marketing technique for oils which have been expeller pressed or even refined (which exposes the oil to temperatures of up to 470 degrees F).” Source: http://www.spectrumorganics.com/?id=32
    2. Expeller pressed is the same as cold pressed but not under controlled temperatures.
  2. Unrefined
  3. Organic
  4. Extra Virgin

Healthy fat consumption is essential, as fats have many important functions in our body and a deficiency can lead to many health issues. All fats are healthy fats No fat is inherently bad; it’s all about the way they are either processed or how the animals are raised. Bad fats are hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, refined oils, highly processed oils, trans-fats, and animal fat from conventionally raised animals.  

Remember: healthy oils are cold pressed, unrefined, organic and extra virgin. Healthy animal fats are anti-biotic free, hormone free and grass-fed/pasture raised.

Want to learn more about fats? Check out these books below! Also, the olive oil below is good quality, it is cold pressed and extra virgin. 



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