We are all raised to think fat is bad and that it makes us fat... what a lot of people don'tnt know is that if we eliminate all fat from our diet then our body will manufacture fats for it's survival. Fat is critical for our hormones, cell structures and vitamin absorption amongst other things. In fact vitamin A, D E and K are all fat soluble vitamins. So don't shy away from fats.
There are a few different kinds of fats. Saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Today we are going to talk about the UNsaturated fats. There is much contention about polyunsaturated fats. People think that they are all good for you because they are UNsaturated, but it all depends of whether they are an Omega 3, 6 or 9 polyunsaturated fat and how they are processed. Omega 6 polyunsaturated fats are everywhere in our diet.They are found in cooking oils such as canola, sunflower and safflower oil (which I don't recommend using, but that is a whole other blog). Other Omega 6 polyunsaturated fats we consume regularly are peanut butter, mayonnaise and salad dressings. Omega 3 polyunsaturated fats are found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna or sardines. These polyunsaturated fats affect our hormones and our inflammatory levels. Generally speaking Omega 6 polyunsaturated fats increase inflammation and Omega 3's decrease inflammation.
Most of us have diets that are way too high in Omega 6 fatty acids which is why we suffer from the myriad of inflammatory based disorders such as asthma, eczema, arthritis, high blood pressure, depression, and the list goes on. In order to lower our levels of inflammation we need to consume more Omega 3 fatty acids such as fish, sardines and salmon. If you can't handle all the fish, then take fish oils - but high quality oils, in small jars, found in the refrigerator.
Monounsaturated fats on the other hand (which are also a liquid at room temperature) are considered hormonally neutral in that they don't affect your inflammatory levels. Fats found in avocados, almonds and olive oil are ideal.
So next time you freak out about fats, remember that they aren't all bad, but also remember that the ones you thought were good may not be so good for you. Stay away from the canola oils, mayo and salad dressings even though they may be unsaturated and opt for fish, avocado and olive instead. Replace peanut butter for almond butter. Your joints, skin, heart and just about everything will thank you!