Are You Eating Too Little Fat?

By Deirdre Parkinson

Many of my patients proudly describe their diet as being fat free. When I check their blood test levels of basic adrenal hormones, I see that they are very low. This is why they are suffering from fatigue, memory loss, and even menopausal symptoms.

Fats are also needed for the absorption of vitamin D. This vitamin is essential for maintaining good strong bones and also to protect the body against infections and cancers. Fats are also needed for the absorption of 3 other major vitamins, these being vitamin K (blood clotting), vitamin E (the sex vitamin) and vitamin A (for night vision and prevention of lung infections).

And this is only touching on the importance of natural fats in the diet.

The picture of the iris below shows a lady with memory loss due to poor peripheral circulation to her brain. It was not due to having too much cholesterol, but due to eating foods that cause the fats she was eating to oxidise in her blood and therefore cause the cholesterol to thicken and narrow the arteries.

Myth 1. All saturated fat is bad
Sat fat is needed by the body for many synergistic and necessary physiological “jobs.”
It is only “bad” when it becomes oxidized, i.e. damaged as a result of high heat, lengthy air exposure, or food processing.
Eskimos who have a diet high in sat fat (whale blubber) have lowest incidence of heart disease on the planet!

Saturated fat means all the available spaces along the long carbon chain of the garden variety fat molecule is filled with 2 hydrogen atoms. This makes the fat solid at room temperature. It also makes this fat resistant to oxidation. Oxidated fats cause cell destruction, aging and illness. This is why the body prefers saturated fat.

There is always a percentage of sat fat in every oil (from about 6 to 18%) and it is naturally pure & undamaged, unless cooked at high temperatures or been exposed to air for a long period.

Myth 2. Unsaturated vegetable oil is good
“Unsaturated” means one or more pairs of electrons are missing. Mono-unsaturated fats are missing one double bond. Poly-unsaturated oils are missing 2 or more double bonds. The missing bonds create a liquid oil at room temp.

Mono-unsaturated oil (Omega-9) are a liquid at room temperature but start to solidify in the fridge. Nature grows these oils in the warmer climates so that they don’t solidify, eg Olive oil from the Mediterranean & Macadamia Nut oil from Hawaii.

Poly-unsaturated oils (Omega-6) will not solidify in the fridge only in the freezer. Nature grows these oils in the colder climates, e.g. with Soy & Canola from Canada & Russia.

Due to the misconception that saturated fats are bad, the myth is that all unsaturated fats are good for us. However it needs to understood that it is the oxidation (i.e. rancidity) of the oil that causes disease, not the oil itself. Processing of oils during their heat extraction also causes them to become oxidized. Processing involves refining the oil, bleaching it & then deodorizing it. By then the oil is extremely oxidised, creating a danger to health and increasing the risk of cancer.

Mono-unsaturated oils have only one pair (mono) of missing hydrogen atoms (one DB) therefore they are more able to resist oxidation if cooked or exposed to air. The polyunsaturated oils e.g. canola, sunflower, peanut, will oxidise faster and therefore need to be refrigerated to prevent rancidity. Olive oil, which is mono-unsaturated is more resistant to oxidation and therefore the preferred oil for cooking.

Fish oil & krill oil (Omega-3) are poly oils. Arctic fish have more omega 3s than tropical fish due to Nature choosing the more poly-unsaturated oils to suit the colder climate.

Due to the processing of the food oils, they becomes rancid and oxidised, causing increased cancer risk and aging of the body’s cells. The medicinal food oils are not processed and therefore not oxidised and therefore safe. Common poly food-oils are Corn, Soy, Grape seed, Safflower, Sunflower, and Cottonseed. Even though Canola has 54% Mono-oil, it is the processing (bleaching and deodorizing) of its 35% poly-oil that makes it as dangerous as the other poly oils.

The research for the for the above 2 myths about fats is credited to Alan Graham