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Sunday, February 3, 2013

EAT MORE FAT : Part 4 – How to Avoid Unhealthy BAD Fats


By Peter Wright, NTP

This post is part of a six part series on fat.  Please be sure to check out the other posts in this series.  Click to return to Part 1 with links to the other posts in the series.
Part 2: Heart Disease is NOT the Result of Fat Consumption
Part 3: What are SFA, MUFA, PUFA, and Omega 3 & 6 Fats?
Part 4: How to Avoid Unhealthy BAD Fats
Part 5: How to Balance Your Fat Intake for Optimum Health
Part 6: The Buyer’s Guide for Fat including Cooking Safely with Fats

It’s vital to eat good quality fats to support your health but it’s critical to understand what “good quality” means in the world of fats and oils.  All fats are not created equal.  Not only are poor quality fats devoid of the nutrients you need, they actually cause toxic damage to your health.
Improper processing, storage, and handling alter the chemical structure of fats making them unsafe for consumption.  Unfortunately these damaged fats can look and smell perfectly fine, so it’s imperative you understand what fats are bad and why they’re bad.


Vegetable Oil



Do NOT Eat These BAD Fats      
  • Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Fats
  • Highly Processed and Refined Vegetable oils
  • Fried Fats and Heat Damaged Fats
  • Canola Oil
  • Soybean Oil
  • Safflower, Corn, Sunflower, Soybean and Cottonseed Oils


Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Fats
Hydrogenated fats are created by forcing hydrogen atoms into liquid vegetable oil using high pressure, heat, and a metal catalyst.  This chemically alters the structure of the oil so it will solidify at room temperature and effectively lengthens its shelf life.  The process of hydrogenation creates a new type of fatty acid called a trans fatty acid.

Trans fats interrupt the normal biological function of the body and studies have shown them to Increases insulin levels increasing the risk of diabetes,  lower HDL while raising LDL,  lower testosterone levels,  lower immune response,  increase risk for breast cancer, inhibit enzyme function, and cause an increase in allergies and asthma.

As much as 40% of all the food found at your local grocery store contains hydrogenated oil.  You’ll find it in crackers, chips, bread, coffee creamer, non-dairy whipped topping, candies, frozen meals, peanut butter, popcorn, nuts, breakfast cereal, soups, salad dressing, and almost every prepared food you can imagine including most restaurant foods.

Highly Processed and Refined Vegetable oils
Most processed fat is made of vegetable oils extracted from seeds or vegetables (corn, soy, sunflower seeds, rapeseeds(Canola), etc).  These fats, primarily polyunsaturated, are highly unstable.  When exposed to heat, light, or air they spontaneously oxidize creating free radical compounds which are dangerous to our health.  The more heat, light, and oxygen the oil is exposed to the greater the level of oxidation.  By the time it is processed it has already begun to oxidize.  The oil on the supermarket shelf has already gone rancid to some degree. 

This is why you should never cook with polyunsaturated oils including vegetable oils and canola oil.  Cooking adds heat which further damages these fragile oils.  Olive oil has a high monounsaturated fat content relative to its polyunsaturated content, but it too is susceptible to oxidative damage.   Saturated fat is the safest choice for cooking and baking.

Fried Fats and Heat Damaged Fats
When polyunsaturated oils are heated they create a variety of toxic substances.  One particularly toxic substance created is 4-hydroxy-trans-2-nonenal(4-HNE) which has been linked to heart disease, stroke, neurological disorders, liver disease, arthritis, and cancer.1  Saturated fats are very heat stable and can withstand the most heat without degradation.

Canola Oil
Canola oil is made from rape seed plants.  Rape seed is toxic to humans due to its erucic acid content.  The plant was hybridized to lower the erucic acid and increase the omega-3 content.  In most applications it is highly refined using heat, pressure, and solvents.  Modern production of Canola oil often uses GMO plant sources.  “One problem with Canola oil is that it has to be partially hydrogenated or refined before it is used commercially and consequently is a source of trans fatty acids; sometimes at very high levels.”2 

Soybean Oil
More than 90% of all soybean production is from GMO crops.

Safflower, Corn, Sunflower, Soybean and Cottonseed Oils
These oils are all over 50% omega-6.  The balance in our diet of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is very important.  The typical diet is dangerously high in omega-6’s.  Safflower is over 80% omega-6.  These should never be used after heating.  You’ll often find these as ingredients in many commercial chips, crackers, and baked goods.

Now that you know which fats not to eat, we can move on to an explanation of how to balance your fat intake for optimum health in Part 5 of the series.


1 Bruce Fife, ND, Stop Alzheimer’s Now, Picacadilly Books, Ltd., 2011
4 Mary G. Enig, Ph.D., Director Nutritional Sciences Division Enig Associates, Inc., http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/01/16/dangers-canola-oil.aspx



The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely our own and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always consult your doctor before making any dietary or exercise changes. We are not medical professionals.


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