Make no mistake: the low fat diet advice we’ve received from our government for the last 40 years has been a total disaster. Ever since this message pervaded the mainstream health media, Americans became unhealthy in every way, shape, and form. The government and major health corporations have not reneged on this message, so SUMUS is here to set the record straight on fats and why you should incorporate them into your diet!
Most people are confused about fats… and it’s no wonder – “medical professionals” have been changing their minds about fats for years. The truth is that our bodies need fat to function. We need to eat fats to absorb the essential fatty acids which come in the form of Omega 3s and Omegas 6s, and we also need all of the fat soluble vitamins – Vitamin A, E, D, and K.
As mentioned in our blog from last week, there are healthy fats, and there are fats that are unhealthy that we should avoid. Generally, there are 4 different types of dietary fats in the food that we eat: saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and trans fats.
Saturated fats are found in butter, ghee, and fatty meats. Polyunsaturated fats include fish, flax seeds, and walnuts. This type of fat can be divided into two categories, Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s (here’s a link to our blog on Omega 3’s), and helps reduce LDL levels which decreases the total cholesterol to HDL level. Monounsaturated fats include avocados, olive oil, and salmon. This type of fat reduces levels of LDL in the bloodstream thereby decreasing the total cholesterol to HDL level.
Saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats are all healthy for us in the proper amounts. Eating these types of fat helps give your body energy, protects your organs, and supports cell growth. Contrary to the message we’ve received from doctors for the last 40+ years, fat also keeps cholesterol and blood pressure under control. The fat that we should avoid at all costs, however, is trans fat.
Trans fats are absolutely terrible for our health because our body does not know how to break them down; they raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Eating trans fats also increases your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. So how did trans fat come about? Back in the 80’s, the medical field believed that saturated fats were the sole cause of heart disease. These medical professionals worked side by side with the food industry to create an alternative to butter (a saturated fat). They created an artificial form of butter by adding hydrogen to cheap oils which resulted in what we know today as trans fats. The fast food industry adopted the trans fats method because it was cheap and effective, and now trans fats are a major part of the standard American diet!