Friday, November 11, 2011

Nourishing Fats

If you've followed my blog for any length of time, and especially if you've tried any of my recipes, you've probably noticed that I use real Butter and Coconut Oil in all of my recipes rather than unhealthy manufactured fats, such as vegetable oil, corn oil, canola oil, margarine or  shortening (gag!).  

One of the keys to nourishing our bodies is consuming plenty of healthy fats.  

This statement may seem shocking to some, because we have been so thoroughly brainwashed by the mainstream media's promotion of low-fat diets and the misguided USDA guidelines, that most of us find it impossible to believe that fat can actually be good for us!  But, actually it is!  

I found the following statement by Michael Aziz, MD in his book, The Perfect Ten Diet: 10 Key Hormones that Hold the Secret to Losing Weight and Feeling Great Fast, to be very interesting:

Naturally, and in good faith, I relied on nutritional guidelines put forth by the mainstream medical community and government guidelines (such as those by the USDA) to help me treat my patients.  I believed whole-heartedly in the low-fat dogma because it was advocated by respectable organizations like the American Heart Association.  But I found that something curious and quite discouraging was happening.  Instead of losing weight or experiencing an improvement in their disease state and overall health, my patients continued to gain weight, and they became less healthy.  It began to dawn on me that food is, in fact, medicine, and that my patients, who were following one low-fat diet or another, were being poisoned by their diets.  

Dr. Aziz claims that, "Probably the greatest dietary disaster that took our health downhill in this country has been the general recommendation to follow a low-fat diet."  (The Perfect Ten Diet, p.5) 

For those of us who have been reading about the benefits of low-fat diets for decades, this may be hard to swallow.  However, contrary to what we've been told for the last thirty years, fats (yes, even saturated fats) are actually necessary and nourishing to the body!  

"Did you know that the last time you drank skim instead of whole milk, you shortchanged yourself of valuable vitamins?  Did you know that the fatty portion of eggs is where you find the highest concentrations of fat-soluble vitamins, such as D, E and beta-carotene?"  (The Perfect Ten Diet, p. 5)

Dr. Aziz also explains that the problem with our modern diet is not too much fat, but too much sugar from our high carb consumption.  Low-fat and fat-free products actually contain more sugars, so that "despite your best intentions, when following a low-fat diet you will end up consuming more empty calories from sugar, making more insulin and gaining more weight."  (p. 8)

Furthermore, he concludes, "The results of the research are clear: eating fat does not make you fat.  Rather, it's a lack of natural fats in your diet that makes you gain weight. . . .  Natural fats are essential for your cells to work properly.  Fats slow down the absorption of food, stabilize blood sugar levels, decrease cravings, and make you feel full.  Don't wait for the medical establishment to change its views about low-fat diets, because it's your health I'm talking about.  Take action now and put natural fats back into your diet."  (p. 7)

So, what are natural fats?  What fats should we be including in our daily diets that will nourish, not harm, our bodies??  The fantastic five fats are:
  1. butter
  2. coconut oil
  3. extra virgin olive oil
  4. animal fats
  5. cod liver oil

Does this list surprise you???  The Healthy Home Economist has an outstanding article on The Five Fats that We MUST Have in Our Kitchens that explains why each of these fats is not only good for you, but  essential to your health and vitality!  I encourage you to take the time to read this article and learn how to include nourishing fats in your menus.  As The Healthy Home Economist explains, this is the most important dietary change you can make!

If you are hungry for more, you can get the whole scoop on fats by reading this article, The Skinny on Fats, from the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Are you up for a challenge?  As you cook for your family this November, begin to be aware of the fats that are in the products you buy and begin to make wiser choices about the fats you include in the foods you prepare.  In order for this to be a Nourishing November, we need to replace damaging trans fats and manufactured fats with plenty of healthy natural (God-made) fats.  I'd love to hear back from you concerning this challenge!


BJ said...

Perhaps I should have know this information already, but I did not! Thank you. I have always "felt" that real butter made more sense - it's from nature. And I once heard that margarine is just one molecule away from plastic. Yikes! Definitely will be looking into this more! Do you use butter instead of shortening when a recipe calls for it?

busymomof10 said...

When baking and a recipe calls for vegetable oil or shortening, I use either coconut oil or butter, or a combination of the two. The only negative is the healthier fats are more expensive . . . at least in the short run.

Jules said...

You're right when you suggest that we have been brainwashed to believe these fats are bad for us. My subscription to a healthy food magazine arrived the other day and there it was in print: avoid coconut oil and butter because they are high in saturated fats. Usually the advice in this magazine is good, so I just disregard these statements but I do wonder how long it will take before the media and the medical establishment catch on?

Although some are there. My BIL has a rare liver disease and he was told to eat butter rather than margarine because it would be easier and healthier for his body to digest. But it's taking a long time for the establishment to change its views.

However it's not that long ago that I can remember people were being told not to eat avocado because it was high in fat (not that I can understand why anyone would want to eat something that essentially tastes like soap!) yet now avocado is being touted as a miracle health food. So there's hope!

Off to read now one of the links you provided. Thanks, Jules

Anonymous said...

Also Avocado is a good fat as well as raw nuts & seeds....just have to limit intake but they are good & essential for good health. GOD made such a wide variety of foods for us to enjoy. I have used Coconut oil & EVOO for some time now & love the results. Thank you for sharing these Nourishing Fats on your blog, Dear Elizabeth. .I think this subject, nourishing foods could also be something that most of us Americans lack knowledge! I am enjoying your post on Nourishing November so very much! Looking forward to your next segment. Keep up the good work. The LORD tells us that HIS people perish for lack of thank you again for sharing this good knowledge!

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