Fats more specifically, healthy fats, are important for the optimal functioning of our bodies and even play an essential role in a healthy figure. They can actually lower cholesterol levels, optimise brain function and keep you satiated. Unfortunately, all fats aren't created equal. The recent awareness in popular fat focused diets have brought attention to what are the types of fats we consume and what each type does to the body. Unhealthy fats, for example, are a large contributor to chronic disease, weight gain, high cholesterol and inflammation.
Inflammation is a cause for concern because many symptoms and diseases are rooted in it. Medical research identifies inflammation as the root cause of acute and chronic disorders as diverse as heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
The fat breakdown: all fats have a similar chemical structure, chains of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms in varying lengths, shapes, and orders. Healthy fats can be broken down into two main categories: unsaturated fats and saturated fatty acids.
Saturated fats: type of fat in which the fatty acid chains have all or predominantly single bonds. Includes butter, coconut oil and dairy products, they are solid at room temperature.
Unsaturated fats: there is one or more double bond in the fatty acid chain are liquid at room temperature.
Monounsaturated fats (unsaturated fat): one (mono) double bond in their fatty acid chain. Found in many oils and avocados and nuts. They can help with weight loss, reduce the risk of heart disease and decrease inflammation.
Polyunsaturated fats (unsaturated fat): have more than one unsaturated carbon bond in the molecule, this is also called a double bond, help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Essential fatty acids: polyunsaturated fats that are called essential because they have to be obtained from food and aren't made in the body. They are categorised by omega-3s and omega-6s. These fats must be in proper proportion, though omega-6s are healthy for brain function, the ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s should be about 1:1 or 4:1. Typical Western diets look more like 10:1 or 25:1, most likely due to the over consumption of omega-6 fatty acids in the forms of processed seed oils, grains, and meat and dairy from grain-fed animals.
Trans Fats: they are categorised as either natural or artificial and are a form of unsaturated fat. Natural trans fats occur in meat and dairy and in moderation is okay if organic, unpasture-raised, etc. The artificial trans fats are harmful and should be avoided. They raise your LDL ("bad") cholesterol and lower your HDL ("good") cholesterol. They are found in processed and artificial foods and are also known as hydrogenated oils, fried foods, baked goods, etc, contain them.
Tips for healthy cholesterol:
Acupuncture and herbal medicine.
Reduce processed carbohydrates intake, eat plenty of healthy fats, fibre, moderate proteins and lots of vegetables.
Reduce weight, when you lose weight more healthy cholesterol stays and bad cholesterol leaves.
Quit smoking, tobacco is associated with bad cholesterol levels.
Exercise, moderate moving leads to better circulation and lower cholesterol levels.
Cleansing through hot epsom salt baths, lymphatic drainage, enemas and colonics.
Nuts and seeds
Grass fed meat
Extra virgin, cold pressed organic olive oil
Fatty fish that contain omega 3-s such as sardines, mackerel, herring, wild salmon