Which fats are most beneficial for health? (Part2)
Many polyunsaturated oils are in the form of vegetable oils that contain mostly omega-6 and very little omega-3. Also, modern practices have reduces the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in commercially available vegetables, eggs, fish and meat. For example, organic eggs from hens fed on green plants can contain omega-3 and -6 in the beneficial ratio of one-to-one, but supermarket eggs from hens fed mostly on grain can contain as much as nineteen times more omega-6 than omega-3. This excess of omega-6 in ratio to omega-3 can cause imbalances in important processes in the body, leading to increased risk of inflammation, high blood pressure, and a compromised immune system.
To correct this omega-6/omega-3 imbalance, eat foods and oils high in omega-3 like free range farm eggs and fish oil. Flax seed oil is an excellent source of omega-3 - it is composed of over 50 percent of this beneficial fatty acid.
Out of all the substances ingested by the body, it is polyunsaturated oils that become most dangerous by food processing. These processes include hydrogenation, which turns polyunsaturates that are liquid at room temperature into solids, such as margarine. This process causes chemical changes in the fat, making it toxic. The body, instead of eliminating them, stores these trans fats in cell membranes, which wreak havoc on cell metabolism, and research has found a strong correlation between the consumption of hydrogenated fats and cancer and heart disease. Homogenization is another process used on fats, whereby fat particles of cream are strained through tiny pores under great pressure to make them stay in suspension rather than rise to the top of milk. This makes the fat more susceptible to rancidity and research indicates that homogenized fat is linked to heart disease.
Saturated fats, on the other hand are not the cause of modern diseases, in fact they play many important roles in the body.
Saturated fatty acids consist of at least 50 percent of cell membranes, giving them stiffness and integrity so that they can function properly. They play a vital role in bone health and calcium absorption, enhance the immune system, protect the heart, and are needed for the proper utilization of essential fatty acids throughout the body, just to name a few uses. Check out the articles below for more information about saturated fats.
In summary, we all need fat in our diet but not all fats are beneficial for health. Avoid all processed foods containing hydrogenated and polyunsaturated oils. Instead use natural fats and oils like high quality butter and coconut oil for cooking, and unrefined oils like extra virgin olive oil and flax seed oil eaten raw.
Share this article