Healthy fats, what are these?

Lipids

Lipid definition: Greek: Lipos = fat

  • Lipids are an important component of living cells
  • Lipids include fats, oils, waxes, steroids and fatty acids
  • Eating too much fat, the wrong type of fat as we know can lead to weight gain
  • However, including lipids in the diet is essential to health

What are the function of lipids?

  1. Energy production and storage
  2. Insulation and protection
  3. Digestion and absorption
  4. Hormone production
  1. Energy production and storage – the primary role of lipids is to provide energy for muscles.

Fat is energy dense, containing 9 calories per gram and fuels about half the daily energy needs.

2. Insulation and protection – Lipids insulate and protect the body.

Did you know? Tattoos: Injected ink damages the
protective layers allowing ink poisons to enter the body

3. Digestion and absorption – Lipids are required for bile production in the liver. Bile is necessary for digestion of dietary fats and fat-soluble vitamins.

4. Hormone production – Cholesterol is a type of lipid needed to produce important hormones in the body.

Oestrogen, testosterone, progesterone and the active form of vitamin D are all formed from cholesterol.

Hydrogenation

  • Hydrogenation describes the chemical saturation of unsaturated fats.
  • Involves reacting the oil with hydrogen gas using a catalyst such as nickel.
  • This creates trans-fats.

Effects on health

• Increased risk of heart disease
• Increased risk of blood clots forming

Sources include:
• Refined vegetable oils, fried, processed, fast food, frozen dinners, margarines, peanut butter, ice-cream, cakes, biscuits, pastries, crisps.

Healthy fats:

  • Fruit – avocado, olives.
  • Seeds – chia, flax, sunflower,
  • pumpkin, hemp, seed butters.
  • Seed oils: flax oil, chia oil,
  • hemp oil, sunflower oil, olive oil.
  • Ensure oils are cold pressed.
  • Nuts – almonds, cashews,
  • brazil nuts, walnuts, nut butter.
  • Other – organic raw dairy, coconut.
  • Oily fish – salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies.

Fats- cooking oils

Saturated fats (the most stable):

  • Coconut oil, ghee/butter

Monounsaturated:

  • Olive oil, avocado oil, rapeseed oil
  • (canola), peanut oil.

Note: Heating oils produces volatile aldehydes. They are associated with cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

References: College of Naturopathic Medicine


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