Fats have been made into a villain when it comes to health and cholestero, but here you get to see how to lower cholesterol naturally with fats.
Ironically, nothing will raise the fat content (and triglyceride level) in your blood stream faster than eating a “high glycemic” meal with a lot of refined carbohydrates and sugars. (Here, glycemic index refers to the speed at which food is converted to blood sugar.) Blood sugar shoots up to dangerous levels in the first few minutes after a meal. In a panic, the pancreas is signaled to release insulin, which converts this sugar to fat for storage and later use. This will raise not only triglycerides but cholesterol levels, especially ldl or “bad” cholesterol.
Prudent uses of fat, and the right kinds of fat, will help slow down digestion of food, promote satiety, give your body essential nutrients to carry out health giving processes, rather than health destroying processes. There are some “heart healthy” diet plans that call for drastic cut back of all fats, lumping in the good with the bad. However, I know some people that function well, have great cholesterol levels and weights, and ingest at least 40% of their calories as fat. The difference between them and the average American is that their calories are within maintenance range and they eat the right kinds of fats.
Ther are several different kinds of fats, just as with carbohydrates and proteins. There are essential fats, good fats, not so good fats and ones that are just downright so terrible you should avoid them all together.
The fats to be avoided at all costs are transfats. If there are transfats in a food, it is required that these are labeled. You will see them as hydrogenated fats, partially hydrogenated, or something like that. However, if there is less than 1/2 of 1% of transfat in a food, they can legally claim it is transfat free. BUT you will see it on the label.
So where are all these sneaky fats hidden? In virtually all packaged/processed foods. Soups, crackers, margerines, frozen pizza, cookies, chips, frozen french fries, top ramen noodle packages. Really, they’re there. You usually have to pay more to get these sorts of foods free of transfats, and they won’t be all your familiar brands.
What harm is a little? You know anyone with a bad allergy? Even a few molecules of the offending food will set the inflammation process in motion and start the process of revving up the liver to dump out a lot of LDL into your body to protect you from the inflammation. It’s like taking in a little cyanide or strychnine. It will kill you just as easily as a large amount.
Trans fats increase total cholesterol level and LDL (“bad cholesterol”) while lowering HDL (“good cholesterol”). And maybe even more important, trans fats contribute to a state of inflammation in the body that can negatively impact heart health and . from the Seattle Post Intelligencer
The next fats to be leery of are, believe or not, vegetable oils that are not stable in the bottles. They will oxidize and go rancid quickly. They also have the wrong ratio of omega-3 to omega-6. Some research has shown them to also cause weight gain, especially around the midsection.
And last, the fats where prudence is required but not abstinence are saturated fats. But not all saturated fats are created equal. Fats are these long chained molecules of different length. Medium length chains are actually healthy. You’ll find these in coconut fat and palm oil (which were thought to be bad for you but new research has shown otherwise).
Good fats are also found in grass feed organic livestock. The omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is improved because of the ingestion of grass instead of grain, which causes the cow distress. See my previous article how beef lowered cholesterol. In addtion, prudent use of butter and dairy fats (organic) delivers a host of other fatty acids not found in other foods. Ayervedic medicine uses clarified butter to heal, called ghee.
The best fats to take in are monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fats. They both are heart healthy, especially omega-3’s because they supply an essential fat that is used to help cool inflammation. Old arthritis remedies included drinking cod liver oil every day. Not only that, it provides a hefty dose of vitamin D, which would help alleviate the epidemic deficiencies now in the US.
Omega-3’s are found in salmon, tuna, and certain nuts, including almonds and walnuts. Monounsaturated fats are in olive oil, macadamia nuts, and avocados. Research has shown again and again, eating foods with these oils and nuts improves heart health parameters.
In summary, it isn’t just fat that’s bad to eat, it is the kind of fat. Some fats will cause problems and shoot your cholesterol through the roof, while others will promote health. But as research shows, you can lower cholesterol naturally with fats. Enjoy your fats but keep your calories in check, or there will be another problem to contend with.