There are a few families of Fat, and not all of them are friendly. Dietary fats are essential for our health, but we need to know which fats are good, which fats are bad and which are downright ugly.
- Saturated Fats are an excellent source of fat, especially for cooking.
- Monounsaturated Fats are a great source of fat.
- Polyunsaturated Fats are tricky.
- Trans Fats, or ‘partially hydrogenated fats’, are poison.
Just arrived and new to Paleo? Read the previous post, What’s So Good About Fat? And Why You Want to be a Fat Burner, as well as the posts under the Paleo FAQ tab on the menu bar. Many of those posts also come with Free Printables.
- Saturated Fatty Acids (SFA’s) are excellent sources of fat.
- They’re very stable whien exposed to air, heat and light, which makes them the healthiest choice for cooking.
- Saturated Fats are essential for cell membranes, are an optimal source of fuel and contain large amounts of essental fat-soluble vitamins including K2, A and D.
- Saturated Fats are found mostly in animal fats.
Good Sources of Saturated Fat include Butter, Clarified Butter or Ghee, Duck fat, Lard (pig fat) Tallow (beef fat). Animal products like tallow, lard and butter also contain good amounts of Monounsaturated Fats.
Tip: To avoid residues of pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, toxic metals etc, source your Saturated Fat from pasture raised, organic livestock whenever possible.
- Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA’s) are good sources of fat.
- They’re not as stable as the Saturated Fats so shouldn’t be the first choice when cooking, but when used fresh as a condiment they provide numerous health benefits.
- They improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. They may also benefit insulin and blood sugar levels, and have an anti-inflammatory effect.
- MUFA’s are found in a variety of plant foods, oils and animal products.
Good sources of Monounsaturated Fat include Avocado and Avocado Oil, Hazelnuts, Macadamia nuts, Olives and Olive Oil.
Tip: Only buy your Monosaturated Fat in dark bottles or containers, and store them in a dark place.
- Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFA’s) are tricky. Sourced well and consumed in just the right proportions, they are good and healthy. But when exposed to heat, air and light they are very unstable. They oxidise and turn rancid quickly, predisposing us to inflammation and being invaded by free radicals.
- The two important PUFA’s are Omega 3 and Omega 6. These are known as Essential Fatty Acids because the body can’t produce them. We must received them through the diet.
- When Omega 3 and Omega 6 are assimilated in the right proportions, the effect is Anti Inflammatory. The optimum ratio is 1:1, but through a Standard Western Diet, Omega 6 is being consumed in anywhere from 10 to 25 times more.
Good Sources of PUFA include animals and fish raised in their natural environment, green leaves and algae, cold pressed olive oil.
Bad sources of PUFA include all refined seed and legume oils as they are undoubtedly already rancid when you buy them. Canola, corn, peanut, sunflower, soy and safflower oils should be eliminated from the diet.
OK in Moderation sources of PUFA include cold pressed seed and nut oils, such as linseed and walnut, and the nuts and seeds themselves. Use in a limited way, and avoid cooking with them.
Tip: Counterbalance your PUFA intake with foods high in antioxidants which fight free radicals.
Trans Fats or Partially Hydrogenated Fats
- Trans Fats – also known as ‘partially hydrogenated’ fat are chemical nasties and should be banned for life. They are not natural. They are not food.They raise unhealthy cholesterol levels whilst depleting the beneficial ones, thus significantly increasing the risk of heart disease.
Sources of Trans Fats include margerine, other fake forms of butter, and most processed foods such as cookies, cakes, crackers, ready-made meals and potato chips.
Tip: Read the labels on every food packaged food product. Don’t buy it if it contains trans fat, and don’t buy it if there are any ingredients whatsoever that you don’t recognise or fully understand.
The basic advice from the Paleo perspective is: Eat more avocado and olive oil. Don’t be afraid of bacon, butter and coconut cream. Eat nuts and seeds in moderation. Say no to refined vegetable and legume oils. Avoid trans fats like the plague. All in the context of a low-carb diet, of course.
Read the previous post, What’s So Good About Fat? And Why You Want to be a Fat Burner. (Also with a Free Printable.)
Big thanks for all your Shares and for your Pins – every share helps spread the message about our Paleo Diet and Lifestyle.
And thanks for purchasing through the Affiliate Links here, whereby you, of course, never pay more, and the small commissions help keep the blog sustainable, and keeps the information freely circulating for all.
Best Wishes, Good Health and Happiness.