Six Fat Mistakes You Need To Avoid

Along with carbohydrates, fats are an important source of fuel for the body, particularly for active people.  Yet, it is the one nutrient we all fear as it is often linked to the main causes of death, including heart attacks, cancer, and stroke.  However, dietary fat is an essential nutrient, required to form our body’s cell membranes, regulate metabolism, and provide the energy we need.

For example, the Healthy Eating Pyramid, developed by Harvard’s School of Public Health, puts fats near the base of the pyramid, indicating they are important for proper nutrition and okay to eat. Such a recommendation seems to go against conventional wisdom, but is based on research and scientific evidence. The average American consumes one-third or more of his or her daily calories from fats, so placing them near the foundation of the pyramid makes sense. Note, however, that it specifically mentions healthy unsaturated fats , not all types of fat. These healthy fats not only improve cholesterol levels (when eaten in place of highly processed carbohydrates), but can also prevent potentially deadly heart rhythm problems.

While we all need dietary fat, there are six significant "fat mistakes" in the typical western diet that we all should try to avoid:

Excessive Omega-6-fatty acids
Omega-6-fatty acids are essential for the human body. However, too much of them has been discovered to cause or aggravate many inflammatory conditions. Inflammation in the body is not always obvious to our senses. Nonetheless, it weakens the immune system and can cause cardiovascular diseases and contribute to many cancers.

Omega-6 fatty acids are naturally found in many seeds and plant foods. To avoid getting too much, one should avoid adding more to your diet in form of cooking oils. Typical offenders are oils used in cooking and the ones that can be found in almost all manufactured / processed foods, such as Soybean Oil (often labeled as "vegetable oil"), Corn Oil, Sunflower Oil & Safflower Oil. Instead eating crackers and chips with added oils, just stick to nuts and seeds to met your omega-6-needs.

Insufficient intake of Omega-3-fatty acids
One reason for the lack of Omega-3 fatty acids in the modern diet is that people eat less fish, especially fatty cold-water fish, and too much unnaturally raised meat. Fish is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids that will keep you slim, active and mentally fit.

Eggs from organically fed free-range chickens (Organically raised chickens whose diet consists of green grass, insects and worms produce eggs with TWENTY times the level of Omega-3 fats than barn-raised, grain fed chickens.)

Wild game meats or other organically raised red meats are another good way to obtain this precious nutrient. Grain fed animals have a significantly reduced almost diminished Omega-3 content. Instead, they contain high levels of saturated fat.

“Omnipresence” of Hydrogenated Oils and Trans Fats
Hydrogenation is the process of taking an unsaturated, typically a po-lyunsaturated oil and processing it with a nickel catalyst. The result is that it is artificially "saturated" with additional hydrogen molecules - therefore the term "hydrogenated".

This artificial process turns liquid oils solid (margarines, for example), while partial hydrogenation makes (thin, runny) oils thicker. Another "benefit" of hydrogenation is that the oil becomes more stable and has a longer shelf life.

Artificial trans-fats are foreign to our cell system. Our body does not know what to do with them and uses them like saturated fats. As a result of frequent consumption, the cells of the body may get confused and start to mutate. Hydrogenated oils further displace REAL and essential oils from human body cells and are now well known as major causers of many diseases.

Hydrogenated fats are stored away in the arteries where they may become a major hazard to our circulatory health, often resulting in high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol and high triglyceride levels, which pose a significant stroke or heart attack risk.

It is strongly believed that cellular malfunction is caused by hydroge-nated fats, which is a major contributing factor to the present obesity epidemic.

In short, hydrogenated oils or trans fats are poisonous, dangerous and should be avoided at all times by all means. So, do yourself a favor: DO READ LABELS !

Oxidized fats
Oxidized fats are just as dangerous. Oxidized fats in the human body release free radicals that can cause cell mutations. There are two common ways for fats or oils to become oxidized:

Prolonged exposure to air
Oils have a limited shelf life once the bottle has been opened before they get rancid. Rancid oils may change color and begin to emit a stench, but the process will have long started before you can see or smell a change it. You may have had some chocolate that tasted old and unpleasant. Guess what that was?

Despite being labeled as "cooking oils", most oils used in cooking today are not suitable for high heats, such as frying.

The most stable oils for cooking are coconut, and butter. These oils handle cooking and high temperatures without oxidation better than any of the more common or conventional cooking oils. Coconut oil s a saturated fat, and despite its poor reputation from some health critics, it has many wonderful benefits.

Oils that are not ideal but acceptable include avocado and olive oil. Avocado oil is a monounsaturated oil, consisting to 75% of monounsaturated fatty acids and to 14% of saturated fatty acids). Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat as well, consisting to 15% of saturated, 82% monounsaturated, 3% polyunsaturated fatty acids. That proves the fact that Mediterranean cultures have used olive oil for almost every possible purpose, and they are among the people with the longest life expectancy.

By the way, fast food outlets and most restaurants, even good ones, use the same vat of oil all day long and even longer. They contain plenty of carcinogenic oxidized substances besides hydrogenised fat.

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