All About Oils
By: Natalie Baugh
Fat often gets a bad rep. When in reality, it is one of the best things you can feed your body. Healthy fats have the ability to increase your metabolism, decrease your chances of developing chronic diseases like high cholesterol and heart disease, and actually take away those sweet sugary cravings. However the big question is, what is a healthy fat? Many are unaware that there is an array of fats you can choose from, some much better for your body than others.
So let's get down to it. As I said prior, fat is a wonderful tool to use in your diet. Yet, it can cause your body much harm if not eaten in the correct manner. Many have associated trans fat and saturated fat as the "bad" types of fat. While trans fat has been proven to increase adipose storage, the arguments against saturated fat are weak and thin (1). In contrast, research indicates intake of organic, unprocessed saturated fat can have a positive correlation with weight loss. To exemplify, subjects who began drinking whole milk instead of fat free milk began loosing more weight than before (2). Problems occur with saturated fats when the fats have been chemically tainted. Saturated fats are at their worst when they have been hydrogenately processed. Examples of beneficial saturated fats include grass fed organic butter, ghee, coconut oil and vocado0 Apart from saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats (MUFAS and PUFAS) are commonly used. Unsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature, distinguishing them from saturated fats, which are solid at room temperature. These multi-unsaturated carbon compounds typically include oils such as corn oil, soybean oil and fish oil from fish such as trout, salmon and herring.
Another strand of fat that has recently risen in popularity is coconut oil. Coconut oil is actually a medium chain triglyceride that has been proven to reduce adipose tissue in the waist. A recent study took 31 participants and randomly separated them into two groups. One group received coconut oil to use as a part of their everyday diet. The other group received olive oil to use. Results showed that the subjects which consumed coconut oil had higher rates of weight loss in a shorter period of time. The participants that consumed coconut oil also showed greater positive lab values when concerning cholesterol values. In the end, researchers recommended coconut oil to have greater health benefits over olive oil. The study did not distinguish if the participants were given olive oil or extra virgin olive oil.