Hello My Friends
Welcome to The Vitality Project!
Today, I would like to address a new topic that many people have asked me about over the last number of years.
That is….what types or kinds of fat should I eat as part of a healthy diet?
As I have previously indicated, there is a great deal of confusion surrounding the issue of fat in the human diet as many previous reports have been written which are somewhat contradictory and confusing to say the very least.
I am going to try and inject some clarity in this discussion by suggesting that not only should every person eat fat, but that it is an absolute essential part of the human diet for many reasons. The first being that humans cannot manufacture some of the fatty acids necessary for the many important functions they serve. You need to acquire them from food. In addition, the right types of fats in the right amounts can prevent many types of disease including diabetes, stroke, heart attack, peripheral artery disease, reduce inflammation and improve brain functionality.
That being said, let me continue with this discussion.
Here are some tips on choosing the right fats for your diet which will lead to better health outcomes.
- Try and use more oils in your diet. Extra-virgin olive oil, canola oil and avocado oils are good choices. Try to consume most oils at room temperature as heating them can damage them and destroy their inherent benefits. Hemp oil and flax seed oils that are cold-pressed are also good to use in salads or with grilled vegetables.
- If you need to heat an oil for cooking, I recommend coconut oil. Although it is considered saturated, the fatty acids are shorter molecules and these are considered a better alternative to other saturated fats like lard.
- Avoid Trans Fat: any fat that is processed by the hydrogenation of plant oils is a trans fat. The best advice I can give you is to avoid fast foods, snack foods and anything like packaged baked goods and crackers which can all contain trans fat. If you make a habit of reading nutritional content labels, this information will be indicated.
- Consume more omega-3 fats contained within fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, cod, tuna, omega eggs and nuts. Omega-3 fats contain essential fatty acids which humans cannot manufacture. These fats are deficient in most people’s diet because they simply don’t ingest the right foods in correct amounts to get the benefits.
- Try and avoid saturated fats typically consumed in fast foods, frozen entrees and prepared snacks. If you want to eat meat, try free-range beef, game, pork and lamb. Free-range meat has fat, but it’s much higher in mono/polyunsaturated fatty acids including the omega-3 class. Commercially-raised meat and poultry is particularly high in unhealthy fats and anti-biotic residues.
In my opinion, you should eat some type of healthy fat at every meal…yes every one!
My advice is to study Mediterranean cooking if you would like to incorporate more healthy fats into your diet. It’s delicious, fulfilling and highly nutritious. Consuming this type of diet will lead to improved health and longevity!
Dr. Kevin J. McLaughlin
The Vitality Project