Fats of Life
The Fats of Life
Confused or undecided about fat free diets and types of
fat? Join the club.
Evidence shows that lower fat diets are healthier than diets higher
in fat. (The American Heart Association recommends that a diet include no more that
30 percent of calories from fat.) But that's not the bottom line.
Actually, there is so much disagreement and speculation out there that it's obvious the
whole story isn't in yet on fats in the diets. Here's some facts and theories for
- The type of fat you consume has an effect on your health.
Animal fats are the worst kind. Dr.
Pritikin and others recommend you trim meats of all visible fat and limit
meat in the diet.
- Egg yolks contain fat and
cholesterol. They also contain many essential nutrients.
Should you eat them? Probably in moderation if your bad cholesterol
isn't too high. In Canada, consumers can buy eggs
especially high in Omega 3, possibly the most valuable of the nutrients egg
yolks contain, and in the USA, from
- Vegetable fats from nuts, soy, flax seed and
others are probably the healthiest of all and a vital source of fat-soluble vitamins,
omega 3 and other nutrients.
- There are those, however, who claim that fat free diets are
very healthy and can actually reverse plaque deposits and blockages in the blood vessels.
- Total fat free diets, such as those proposed by some diet drink
companies and using their product, have been linked to increased gall bladder attacks.
- People that diet by cutting almost all fat out of their diet and
buying fat-free snacks often consume more calories that as if they ate the fat (it's hard
to fool Mother Nature, isn't it?) and fail to lose weight.
- Most pediatric experts and dieticians agree that children need some
fat in their diet for healthy development.
- There is mounting evidence that hydrogenated fats, present in most
processed foods, may be very harmful.
- For a technical discussion of good fats and bad fats, try "The
Fats of Life" by Elizabeth Austin. (This is an expired link
which may become inactive.)
- The highly advertised "fake fats" or fat substitutes may
taste and feel like real fat, but are they healthy? The final word isn't in, but
they can cause bloating and diarrhea, and certainly most will remove some
oil-soluble vitamins from your body. Check "Brave
New Fats" (This is an expired link which may become inactive.) for
descriptions of such items. So far, it seems the public hasn't latched onto them in
the numbers that the manufacturers had hoped.
- Almost every year a different oil is suggested as the
healthiest one. Latest idea is that one should use olive oil in place
of most others, including the popular canola oil
to emulate the Mediterranean diet.
Are you confused yet?
Consensus: eat very little fat, mostly olive oil and fats from
fish and seeds. Don't overdo on meat, poultry or eggs. Hope for the
best. And if you love sour cream like I do, or some other fatty treat, try
to use it in moderation and make up for it elsewhere in your diet.