Healthy Fats

Dr. Michael Wald (Board Certified Nutritionist), The Blood Detective

Director of Nutrition at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco, P.C.

914-242-8844  / www.intmedny.com  /www.blooddetective.com

 A fat free diet is not healthy. Fat should constitute 20-30% of your total diet generally speaking, with the majority of fats coming from the mono and polyunsaturated group of fats.

Limit saturated fats (fat found in animal products) to less than 10% of your daily diet.  Saturated fats are known to promote weight gain, heart disease, several forms of cancer and other degenerative diseases.

Coconut oil, a saturated fat, is a healthy exception to the saturated fat-elimination rule, because it actually lowers cancer and heart disease risk and speeds metabolic rate.

Monounsaturated fats found in raw nuts and seeds, shellfish, poultry products, cooking oils and legumes are excellent monounsaturated fat foods.

Polyunsaturated fats can be found in products such as fish (Omega 3 fats) and flaxseed oil (Omega 3 fats). The well-known Omega 3 fats are the anti-inflammatory healthy fats that lower cancer and heart disease risk and can benefit many health conditions.  The Omega 6 group of polyunsaturated fats such as those found in poultry, eggs, nuts and evening primrose oil are pro-inflammatory fats and, when consumed in excessive amounts, can promote and cause disease.

Avoid fried foods (contains the unhealthy saturated and trans fats), hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils and cottonseed oil.

In summary, healthy oils to consume include:  unsaturated essential Omega 3 and Omega 9 fatty acids found in flax seed oil and seeds (Omega 3) and olive oil from cold pressed, virgin, imported and in a tin to protect from light. Omega 9 fats include, avocado, canola oil, salmon, cod, tuna, mackerel, currants, raw nuts and seeds.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Roasting of nuts and seeds saturates the oils in them, converting these initially healthy foods into unhealthy fats that promote disease. Store oils and nuts/seeds in the refrigerator, protected from light and air. Light, heat and air cause rancidity (that most often you cannot smell or detect). Keep oils in the refrigerator to slow down the degeneration of the oils and close as soon as you finish using and cap up to limit their exposure to air that further promotes rancidity.

Posted on August 29, 2013 and filed under General Health.