Where's the Fat? - by Fred S. Emmite, R.Ph., CDM
A popular commercial aired in 1984 as a slogan for a national fast food hamburger chain, “Where’s the Beef?”
Today, a better question for Americans wanting to eat healthily is “Where’s the Fat?” Does that sound too good to be true? How can that be? I thought we were supposed to avoid fat to be healthy?
Well, not all fats are the same! There are four types of fats commonly found in the American diet and we should really only avoid one of them.
The fat that should be avoided at all cost is the TRANS-FATS. Trans-Fats are partially hydrogenated omega-6 vegetable oils. They include soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, corn, safflower, canola, sesame and peanut oils that have been heated in the presence of oxygen. This is the process that makes margarine, shortening, non-dairy coffee creamers, cooking oils and salad dressings. These fats are deadly and they increase your appetite!
The second types of fats are the omega-6 fats. The include vegetable oils that have not been heated in the presence of oxygen (but if you fry with them you partially hydrogenate these oils), butter, lard and cream. These fats promote inflammation and also increase your appetite. They should be consumed only in moderation.
The third types of fats are the omega-9 fats. They include olive oil, avocadoes, macadamia nuts and almonds. They are neutral fats and have an appetite reducing effect.
Finally, the fourth types of fat are the omega-3 fats. They include flax and fish oils. They reduce inflammation and can greatly decrease your appetite. Humans can only utilize the fish oils for the purpose of reducing inflammation. If you take fish oil supplements make sure that you ONLY take the purified concentrated form and make sure that the company that sells it tests for contaminants and purity.
So there you have it! Our bodies need healthy fats to make healthy cell membranes it is just that simple. We need fat!
Do not forget that fats are a dense source of calories, so don’t get too carried away with them, but we need about 30% of our calories to come from healthy fats.
So the next time you have a meal or snack the question you should ask is “Where’s the Fat?”
Fred S. Emmite, R.Ph., CDM
7900 Fannin St, Suite 1650
Houston, TX 77054