Fats are one of the three main classes of macronutrients vital for human nutrition, along with carbohydrates and proteins. Over the years there has been much misinformation regarding this essential nutrient. Traditional fat products such as butter and saturated tropical oils were given a bad rap, and North Americans started avoiding fats or using highly processed oil alternatives. The result was detrimental to our long term health. After years of research by healthy-fat champions such as Udo Erasmus, Sally Fallon and others, we now know that quality fats are not only healthy, but essential. It is now suggested that, for optimal health, we should consume 25% of our daily calories from quality fats.
Function of Fats
Fats are made of chains of fatty acids. The different fatty acids occur in unique structures that the body recognizes and that are required for a wide range of metabolic functions. Fat soluble nutrients such as Vitamins A, D, E and K require fat for their digestion. There are three main categories of fats: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated (EFAs) and saturated. Essential Fatty Acids such as Omegas 3 and 6, are used to construct the cell walls for every living cell in the human body. Both the monounsaturated (for example olive oil) and polyunsaturated oils play a vital role in maintaining healthy hormones, skin and hair, nervous system and brain function and cholesterol levels.
Certain saturated fats such as butter, ghee, palm and coconut oil are finding their way into the ‘do consume daily’ category as well, despite years of negative press. Saturated fats contain a wide range of nutrients that help support immune and cardiovascular health, weight management and healthy blood sugar regulation.Saturated fats also are ideal cooking oils as they are very shelf and heat stable.
What is the difference between fats?
The quality of fats makes all the difference to human health. Whole, unrefined oils are optimal as they provide the complete spectrum of nutrients necessary to fill our fat requirement for good health. Heavily refined oils or processed oils (found in most processed foods) have proven to compromise optimum health. Their molecular structures have been damaged in processing and are thus unusable by the human body.
What is MCT oil?
MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) is a fat naturally found in coconut and palm oils. MCT oil is instantly absorbed in the body, bypassing the digestive tract and providing instant fuel for the muscles and brain.
A groundbreaking 2004 study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging found that the administration of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), the primary fat type found in coconut oil, almost immediately improved cognitive function in older adults with memory disorders.
Nutiva Coconut Oil
For cooking, baking, sautéing, in smoothies and raw food recipes, Nutiva coconut oil is my oil of choice for everyday use in the kitchen. It is certified organic and delicious! Melt it right into your hands and use on dry skin after a bath or shower. Luxurious!