Did you know that you need to eat good fats in order to lose fat?
Healthy fats fill us up and keep us satisfied for a long time so we don’t reach for unhealthy snacks in between meals. However… and this is a big caveat: good fats and oils must be in their raw, natural state. What happens if they’re not…and how do we ensure that they are?
A natural, raw fat has what is called a cis configuration; cis is from the Latin meaning “on this side.” This means that the molecules are on the same side creating a slight electrical charge which gives it a natural bend in its shape. This is important because when it enters your body the natural bend is like the right puzzle piece that fits exactly into the puzzle.
When the oil is modified, it no longer has this healthy cis configuration. It now has a trans configuration, trans means on opposite sides, and the body treats it as a foreign substance. In effect, it becomes a trans fat. Trans fats clog arteries.
How is the structure of oil modified?
Oil is modified through heating, refining and hydrogenation. So yes, every time you heat oil on high in a frying pan, you are turning it into a trans fat. Oils bought in the grocery store are highly refined. Oils or fats in all packaged or processed foods, baked goods, condiments, and restaurant foods are refined, modified, or hydrogenated. How ironic that margarine, created as a healthy alternative to butter, promotes itself as “heart healthy”. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It is best to use the lowest possible temperature when cooking. Try sautéing your onions or vegetables on low heat with water instead of oil. Make more food from scratch to avoid the unhealthy fats in packaged foods. For baking use first pressed cold oils, or “better butter,” see recipe below.
The healthiest oils and natural fats
Perhaps the best way to fix your relationship with fat is not to focus on the “Thou shall nots” and instead seek out healthy sources. The best oils are extra virgin olive oil and oils that are first pressed cold. These are oils that have not been refined or heated above 40 C or 140 F. You can find them in the natural health food store. Healthy natural fats can be found in raw, organic seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and raw nuts, such as almonds. When roasted at high temperatures the cis configuration is transformed which is why they are best raw.
Better Butter Recipe
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
2 cups unsalted butter
Blend in a blender, keep refrigerated. This can be used as a spread for toast or wherever you would use butter.
With healthy fats in a meal or snack, the stomach stays fuller longer and blood sugar rises more slowly. The more you choose foods and fats in their natural state the healthier you will be.