Fats are essential for good health. They aid in energy production, cell building, oxygen transport, blood clotting, and the production of extremely active hormone-like substances called prostaglandins.

Fats can be saturated, polyunsaturated, or monounsaturated. Our bodies can produce both monounsaturated and saturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats, or essential fatty acids, cannot be produced in the body and must come from the diet.

Coconut oil is the best oil available:

Nearly 50% of the fatty acid in natural coconut oil is lauric acid, which converts to the fatty acid monolaurin in the body. Monolaurin has adverse effects on a variety of microorganisms including bacteria, yeast, fungi, and enveloped viruses. It [monolaurin] destroys the lipid membrane of such enveloped viruses as HIV, measles, Herpes simplex virus (HSV-1), influenza and cytomegalovirus (CMV). The usefulness lauric acid/monolaurin in treating AIDS is currently under investigation. Lauric acid is a main component of human breast milk and helps protect children from illness during infancy.

Capric acid, which comprises another 7% of coconut oil fat content, also stimulates anti-microbial activity.

In other words: not only does coconut oil not cause heart problems, it is good for you. To quote Dr. Mary Enig: “The research over four decades concerning coconut oil in the diet and heart disease is quite clear: coconut oil has been shown to be beneficial.

Coconut oil is a “functional food,” defined as a food that “provides a health benefit over and beyond the basic nutrients. It is an immune-system enhancer.

Key Functions of good fats:

  • Fat is mostly stored in the body’s adipose (fat) cells but is also found in blood plasma and other body cells.
  • Fat insulates your body, cushions vital organs, and can be converted into energy.
  • Fat is used to build new cells and is critical for normal brain development and nerve function.
  • Fat is also needed to carry and help absorb fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, and carotenoids.

Food Sources:

Fat is twice as calorie-dense (1 gram = 9 calories) as carbohydrates or protein (1 gram = 4 calories). Although there are health benefits associated with olive oils, they are still high in calories (1 tbsp = 120 calories). In addition, many processed foods and fast foods are high in fat, especially saturated fat.

  • Mono-unsaturated fats are found in olive and coconut oils.
  • Saturated fats are found in animal products such as butter, cheese, whole milk, ice cream, cream, and fatty meats, as well as some vegetable oils – coconut, palm, and palm kernel oils.
  • Polyunsaturated fats are found in safflower, sunflower, corn, and soybean oils.

The first, extra-virgin olive oil is the best monounsaturated fat and works great as a salad dressing. However,olive oil should not be used for cooking. Due to its chemical structure, heat makes olive oil susceptible to oxidative damage. So for cooking, I use coconut oil exclusively.

And polyunsaturated fats, which include common vegetable oils such as corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola, are absolutely the worst oil to cook with.

Why?

Three primary reasons:

1) Cooking your food in omega-6 vegetable oils produces a variety of very toxic chemicals, as well as forming trans-fats. Frying destroys the antioxidants in oil, actually oxidizing the oil, which causes even worse problems for your body than trans-fats.

2) Most vegetable oils are GM Genetically Modified;including more than 90 percent of soy, corn and canola oils.

3) Vegetable oils contribute to the overabundance of damaged omega-6 fats in your diet, throwing off youromega 6 to omega 3 ratios.  Nearly everyone in Western society consumes far too many omega-6 fats — about 100 times more than a century ago — and insufficient omega 3 fats, this improper balance contributes to numerous chronic degenerative diseases.

There is only one oil that is stable enough to withstand the heat of cooking, and that’s coconut oil. So, do yourself a favor and ditch all those “healthy oil wannabes,” and replace them with a large jar of fresh, organic, heart-supporting coconut oil.

 

Health coach and fat in the diet