"It's a scientific fact your body will not absorb cholesterol if you take it from another person's plate"
Hey hey, today I'm also guesting over at the fantabulous, the funtastic, the free thinking, MizFit Online. Check it out here.
Nevertheless, onward I go, Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was the perfect diet.
So, the whole cholesterol and fat thing. Not so simple. As many of you know there's fat and then there's fat and then there's transfat just to make things interesting. Some people say avoid all fats, some say it's just saturated fat that is bad, then there's those that believe that saturated fat isn't the culprit at all.
Mary Enig PhD is a big advocate for the conscious inclusion of saturated fats in our diets and has written extensively on the topic. If you're interested, her article, written with Sally Fallon, The Skinny on Fats, is well worth the read.
Another great read is from Harvard School of Public Health and talks more about eating the right kinds of fats.
Enough of that, on to practicalities.
Saturated FatSaturated fats are found in a variety of foods, and the general consensus is that these fats contribute to elevated cholesterol levels and should be enjoyed occasionally. These foods include:
- Chicken with the skin on
- Processed Meats
- Ice cream
- Pastries, biscuits and cakes
- Fried foods
- Full fat dairy products-milk, cheese, yogurt
- Coconut oil
Trans fatTrans fat or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, was once considered the bees knees. Not so any more. This oil is used in many processed foods and should be avoided at all costs. Denmark is leading the way in banning the use of these oils in Danish food. Hopefully other countries will follow suit. Darya at the wonderful Summertomato directed me to this recent study that further indicates the role of trans fat in cardiovascular disease. Read your labels and ditch the trans.
Foods likely to contain trans fat include:
- Biscuits, cakes and pastries
- Fast food
- Fried food
- Margarines and spreads
- Check your labels, it can be hiding anywhere
Dietary CholesterolTo eat eggs or not to eat eggs? That is the question. While the concept that foods that contain cholesterol will raise blood cholesterol makes some sense, this idea is no longer considered the rule. It appears that the effect dietary cholesterol has on blood levels is not as great as once speculated.
The folks over at Harvard recommend enjoying eggs as part of a heart healthy diet, while of course exercising that wonderful notion, moderation. Although eggs and other cholesterol containing foods are now considered off the "bad" list it seems that there are some of us who need to continue being vigilant. It appears some individuals blood cholesterol levels do increase when they consume cholesterol containing foods, which include:
- Organ meat-liver, heart, brain, kidney
Just as fat can be bad, fat can also be good. Monopolyomegapaloooza so many goodies to be had.
Omega 3 fat, a type of polyunsaturated fat, is considered a goody, found commonly in:
- For those not interest in the fishes, try flax seed, chia seed and walnuts for your omega 3
- Canola oil
- Sunflower oil
- Safflower oil
- Soybean oil
- Sesame oil
- Nuts and seeds
- Olive oil
- Nuts and seeds
Final WordThere is much talk about fat and while there are all sorts of lists, guidelines and recommendations, I tend to stick to the principles of whole foods. For me this means, I do eat chicken skin, I do eat full fat dairy and the occasional serve of golden butter from grass fed cows, and I also value the many health benefits of the humble coconut and the misunderstood egg. I make a pretty serious attempt at moderation most of the time, and I also include plenty of foods that help to lower cholesterol.
The verdict seems to be that we need fat in our diets, it's about making the right choices and not over doing it.
What do you think? Are you a fat free devotee? Or, like me, is fat something you feel you need?