Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Good Fats - Bad Fats


I am trying to force myself to focus only on good fats/bad fats this morning.  I have been reading the wonderful book by Ramiel Nagel, with a foreword by Sally Fallon, Healing Our Children.  You can read portions of it on line here:  Healing Our Children.  I highly recommend it.  The bad thing today for me is that I personally want to implement it ALL..... but that is not what we are doing.  Step by step, one thing at a time, understand one thing thoroughly, make a good decision for YOUR family based on your own research.....  OK, note to self done...  focus on FATS:

If you want a web site that has already broken this down (and they actually know what they are doing) head over to the Weston Price Foundation.  You can access their "fats" page here:  Weston A Price Foundation - Fats  They also have a comprehensive list of articles there.  Spend some time at this wonderful place if you can.  They have done such a great job.  Weston A. Price is the dentist who gave us so much of this research.  His book "Nutrition and Degenerative Disease" is the backbone of much of our knowledge in this area.

There is a wide array of fats available.  Your choice of which fats you should use and which fats you should treat like toxic waste is vital.  How you treat and use these fats is also really, really important.  Lets break those two components down to their simplest forms.

Which fats are good?

My first rule of thumb is.... Is this a food that Jesus COULD have eaten?  Or, COULD you have eaten it at the turn of the century if it was available?  This works out about 99% of the fats issue for me.  We are blessed to live in a time where we have access to fats from all over the world.  We can make really, really great choices no matter where we live.  We are not limited by region.

My second consideration is cost..... The biggest problem in this economic environment is cost (sometimes).  I would just paraphrase Ben Franklin.... Don't be penny wise and pound foolish.  Especially on fats.

A great quote someone gave me (I forgot where I got it - maybe from Nicole's summary of Michael Pollen on Oprah show) is "you can either spend it on food now or spend it on the doctor later".  His book seems really good - she ordered it and will get back to me.  You can see some of his work here:  In Defense of Food.  Although it looks like he is a vegetarian and I have some real issues with that in general, that does not mean that you can't glean some really good information from him.

So, you need good fats... Pick one and work it into your life, then pick another one.  You don't need tons of it and good, high quality fat will give you a full, satisfied feeling.  You need less of it, get the highest quality you can.  Make it a priority.  Healthy fats are like making a big deposit in the bank - it gives your body vital nutrients, enzymes, hormones and energy.  We have been sold a load of garbage for the whole "low fat" thing.

EXAMPLES OF GOOD FATS:  Organic nuts that have been soaked to remove phytates and enzyme inhibitors, organic coconut and coconut oil, Cod Liver Oil, expeller pressed sesame oil and flax oil, avacados, cold pressed olive oil, organic butter, cream, yogurt and cheese (preferably raw and cultured - update coming on this), organic bone broth with the fat-made from grass fed animals, lard, suet, tallow and other animal fat from grass-fed animals.

There are others.... just spend some time researching and making good decisions for your family.

Which fats are bad?

Again, I have a rule of thumb... If I cannot pronounce it, if it is a chemical concoction made in a laboratory, if it never degrades, if it is industrially processed..... These are treated like toxic waste in our house.  Here are some, but not all of the words to watch out for:  margarine, hydrogenated fats, intersterified fats, partially hydrogenated fats, trans fats and magnesium sterates.

In my opinion, the biggest problem with these fats is the enormous resource your body needs to deal with them.  Your body either has to eliminate or store them.  Both are like overdrawing your bank account.  You have now eaten something that takes more energy than it gives you to deal with it.  You have less energy for healing, repair and energy, along with all of the other functions that your body needs to do.

What about Cholesterol?  If you are dealing with cholesterol issues, I would suggest you do some research.  Here is a page that could be a good starting point for you:
It is an interesting site.  I make no suggestions to you, but please know that we have dealt with this issue personally and very successfully using a diet rich in fats, enzymes, fresh vegetables, eggs, whole grain sourdough breads and lacto fermented drinks.... pretty much what we are trying here.

Just for fun:  One of our favorite new snacks is sourdough bread with raw butter and sauerkraut - It is intense, but good.  

My final thoughts:  Don't be afraid of healthy fats - go after them with enthusiasm, avoid unhealthy ones like toxic poison, avoid fats that have been heated too much - this can ruin much of the good available in the fat.  Good fats can bring comfort, pleasure and a satisfaction and enjoyment of food that nothing else can. 

Be Blessed and Healthy