It’s OK to eat healthy fats. That was the topic of a recent Health Central article that covered a conversation with board-certified nutritionist and author Jonny Bowden. This article states that not all healthy fats are the same. Some contain toxins. And, Bowden suggests we watch the balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids we consume. Most people are consuming too many inflammatory omega-6s. A better alternative is including Malaysian sustainable palm oil in your diet.
Animals raised in feedlots often receive hormones, antibodies, steroids and pesticides. These are all stored in their fat. This is in no way recommended. While the saturated fat isn’t going to lead to heart disease, the toxins contained in that fat are a big negative for your health.
Inflammation promotes degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and multiple sclerosis. It may be tied to the balance of omega-6s and omega-3s fatty acids in your diet. Omega-6s are inflammatory, while omega-3s are anti-inflammatory. You can’t just eliminate the omega-6s from your diet, since your body requires them; but you can balance your intake. The World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics reports that most Americans consume an omega-6/omega-3 ratio of 16:1. A healthy ratio is between 1:1 and 4:1.
Recommendations for healthy fats:
1. Grass-fed beef: “Grass-fed beef contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and less inflammatory omega-6s. It’s also free of hormones, a very big plus indeed,” said Bowden.
2. Malaysian sustainable palm oil: “We should substitute Malaysian palm oil which is environmentally sustainable, for some of that inflammatory omega-6 to help right the balance,” explained Bowden. “Malaysian sustainable palm oil won’t cause inflammation. It also won’t break down into toxic substances when you cook with it.” This healthy oil is also non-GMO and free of trans fats.
Bowden is not a supporter of canola oil, which is frequently mentioned as a heart-healthy oil. He states that canola is an example of the triumph of marketing over science. During production, it has to be degummed and deodorized under high temperature with solvents. It’s a poor oil choice, with the exception of organic cold-pressed canola oil which could be used for salad dressings.