We have grown up being told that fat is bad. In fact it is not all bad, some fat is very good and very necessary. A good simple test for your diet in general is to apply the processing rule – the closer the product is to its natural state, the better. The further away and more processed it is, most likely it will be not very good for you.
My light bulb moment was reading Homer’s Iliad many years ago. The soldiers on either side would breakfast on porridge made of oats and water, with salt, olive oil and honey added at the end. I tried it and it is fantastic. They had a lot of wisdom back then and I’m guessing plenty of cold pressed olive oil too.
Spin on ten years and I discovered the wonders of cold pressed cacao butter. Add that to your porridge and you’ll never look back – it raises it up to a level of pure silky luxuriance.
Just as you shouldn’t look at the calories in food when making a decision on eating it, you also should not look at the fat content. Look at this graphic – avocado has more fat than ice cream, but we all know which is tops on the health stakes.
How come? It’s all about the mono and poly-unsaturated fats. Mono-unsaturated fats actually help decrease cholesterol levels and are easily used as fuel. Poly-unsaturated fats are found in oily fish and plant foods, are crucial to health, but our bodies can’t create them. In short, removing fat from your diet or eating the wrong fats can be very bad indeed. Eating the right fats can be very good for you.
Trans-fat (aka hydrogenated fats) – found in chips, pasties, doughnuts, biscuits, muffins, cake, margarine
Saturated fats – found in meat and dairy products, easily stored, not easily used
Mono-unsaturated – olive oil, peanut oil, avocado, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts
Poly-unsaturated – cereals, seeds, walnuts, salmon, mackerel
What’s your favourite fat and how do you use it? How do we categorise coconut oil?