Fats are an integral part of a healthy body and healthy diet. Yet in America, fat has been maligned. The truth about ‘no fat’ foods, ‘low fat’ diets and cholesterol lowering drugs are all part of the “Big Fat Lie.”
Here is the truth about fats:
Good fats take the longest to break down, making us feel full longer.
Good fats are also necessary to generate body heat, make hormones, soothe nerves and help make a protective coating for them. Fats are critical to proper brain function and the body uses them to protect the organs from being damaged by toxins. The right kind of fat is essential for good health.
Good fats come from sources like nuts, seeds, avocados, meat, seafood, eggs, coconuts and olives. Bad fats come from hydrogenated oils, palm oils and processed foods. Processed foods cause inflammation and convert to sugar in the body, which then turns to fat, which can clog blood vessels and arteries. We need the good fats to reduce the inflammation from the sugar and to break down the bad fat accumulations and flush them from our bodies.
Cholesterol is also a very important fat needed for health. It is so important that it is found in every cell in the body as well as in the bloodstream. Cholesterol helps to produce vitamin D, make cell membranes, formulate hormones, and produce bile acids that help us digest other fats. Cholesterol is also vital for your brain and memory functions.
All this hype in North America about the dangers of cholesterol are just that: HYPE. What constitutes “good” blood levels of cholesterol has changed substantially in the last few decades. A total count of 300 was considered normal up until the late 1970’s when a new compound was discovered by Japanese scientists, Mevastatin. This newly discovered molecule acquired from an enzyme produced by a strain of penicillin was found to block the liver from producing cholesterol as well as the function of Coenzyme Q10.
Of course, an American pharmaceutical company was immediately interested in this Japanese research. By 1976 they had created a new drug, lovastatin, the first commercially marketed statin drug most commonly known as Lipitor®.
Suddenly, everyone was being tested for cholesterol and the recommended blood levels have been dropping ever since.
Today, many doctors are taking the attitude of “the lower, the better.” However, the human body cannot make hormones when the cholesterol gets under 160, leading to a number of health problems from erectile dysfunction to depression to osteoporosis to a dangerous condition called rabdomylosis.
The problem is NOT cholesterol.
The problem is inflammation. The arteries and veins are constantly moving blood through them. If inflammation is low, the walls of the arteries and veins are smooth. If the inflammation goes up, it scars the walls, making it possible for cholesterol and other materials to collect on the walls. If the inflammation is low, your cholesterol could be 800 and it still would never find a place to attach and clog the passageway. If the inflammation is high, even if your cholesterol is 32, you are still in danger of blockages. In sum: if inflammation is low the risk for heart disease is lower. So enjoy those good fats!
The best food sources of “good fat” that can help reduce inflammation are: butter, flaxseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds (or pepitas), avocados, eggs, meat and fish or fish oil.