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Fats are good for you

Monday, 30 May 2016  |  Editor

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Fats are good for you

In 2015, the United States Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee removed any recommendations to limit fat in the diet after concluding that it doesn’t make us fat or sick!.

Research indicates that sugar and carbs are the true cause of obesity and heart disease – not fats.

Consuming fats helps us go longer without feeling hungry and help carry important fat-soluble vitamins A,  D,  E and K. Dietary fats that are needed for a host of important processes like keeping our hormones in balance, controlling circulation and blood pressure, feeding our brains , stabilizing blood sugar levels, and controlling inflammation. Importantly, as chronic inflammation is now recognized as being involved in virtually all major diseases, these fatty acids are crucial to our health.

But they have to be the right kind of fats, something known to many respected doctors for a very long time.

Fats are divided broadly into saturated, monounsaturated and various levels of polyunsaturated fats. All are healthy if we choose the right ones. 

The right fats

Saturated fats are the most stable, and virgin coconut oil and butter from grass fed animals (such as Kerrygold) provide energy and antimicrobial properties, among many other benefits.

Monounsaturated fats include olive oil which has such a healthful reputation in the Mediterranean diet, as well as sea buckthorn oil.

And then there are the Polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (PUFAs), the various omega oils. But we must carefully avoid the hydrogenated vegetable oils, and cheap cooking oils.

We can’t make the essential omegas 3 and 6, so we need to get them from our diet.  The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has confirmed that clear health benefits have been established for the dietary intake of the polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in contributing to:

  • maintaining of normal blood pressure;
  • maintaining normal blood triglyceride levels;
  • the normal function of the heart.
     

They also say that DHA contributes to: 

  • maintaining normal blood triglyceride levels;
  • maintaining normal brain function;
  • maintaining normal vision.

In 2014 the World Health Organisation recommended that adults should receive omega 3 at an amount of 1-2% of energy/day.