Fat is something that has been vilified over the past 30 years or so with the thought that it is the cause of heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity and many other health problems. There has been recent published medical research stating that this is not the case, which is easily found online. Go to http://www.thincs.org for articles by doctors, scientists and other qualified professionals regarding fat and cholesterol. A reasoning behind the suggestion to eat more healthy fat is that it will mean you eat less carbohydrate, hopefully! Too much carbohydrate and sugar causes too much blood sugar, which in turn, causes too much insulin. Too much insulin is the enemy! This causes inflammation and the inability to use fat for energy. Sorry carb-lovers, but this is what will harm you.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying to go and eat all the bacon you want, and to eat spoonfuls of butter! However, pork belly (bacon) that is not treated with preservatives and from a smaller farm (not Oscar Mayer) is a better alternative. The same goes for butter. I will spend a little more money on better quality butter because I don’t burn through it! These slightly more expensive choices should be looked at as an investment in your health. At this point you may be wondering how butter from a small, local, organic farm is healthier for you than a generic brand from Wal-Mart or Stop & Shop. I’m going to use butter as a representation of all animal fat or meat, so feel free to look at the word butter as beef, pork, bacon, chicken or whatever meat or animal fat you think of.
Butter contains saturated fat and a balance of omega 6 to omega 3 fat. For health purposes, I want to focus on the O-6 to O-3 ratio. It is widely known that grass-fed, free range meat is more healthy for you than it’s factory farm likeness because of the O-3 fat content. The same goes for the products coming from those animals. The ratio of O-6 to O-3 fats is in a much better balance and that’s the key! O-6 fats are easily oxidized within our bodies and it is the O-3’s that help to clean up those oxidized O-6’s. In your reading on http://www.thincs.org you will find that the cause of major health problems like heart disease is oxidation and inflammation! This more balanced ratio of O-6 to O-3 is very important to heart health. Sources like these are our healthy choices, not the vegetable oils and margarines!
Below is a list of oils and fats that are healthy for you despite what conventional wisdom and grain marketing schemes tell us. Note that the sources of animal fats should be free-range, organic if possible.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil