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Eating FAT can be AWESOME too…Coconut Oil is a healthy fat!
“Health is a constant journey to balance.”, says Hong Kong based Chiropractor, Dr. Michelle Zhou. She sees health beyond being disease-free or pain-free; it’s all about the bigger picture. “In many instances of my patient care, we deal beyond the pure aspect of someone’s health.” Getting to be a healthier you can be an overwhelming task – with so much information out there, it can sometimes be hard to separate fact from fiction. We invited Michelle to bust an age old myth – because eating fat is delicious, and good for you too!
The “low-fat fad” started sometime in the last decade; all of a sudden everything was available in low-fat or non-fat at the supermarket. Yet, obesity is still a worldwide epidemic, a risk factor related with many lifestyle diseases and a major contributor to early death. So what went wrong there? How can we, as a population, be eating all these “fabulous” low-fat food and still somehow be getting fatter and unhealthier?
Maybe Fat isn’t the culprit after all…
This is certainly not a scientific breakthrough – our body needs fat! Fat is an important part of our biology that is involved in many essential body functions. Our cell membrane is made up of fat. Many hormones produced are made of fat. Without fat we can’t absorb Vitamin A, E and K. Our nervous system is coated entirely of fat. Fat is also essential because our body can’t produce it, so the only way of getting them is through our diet. Our body is made to eat fat; and our body needs fat in order to work properly.
But which one is good for us? The saturated? Unsaturated? Monosaturated? What is hydrogenated oil? Or Trans fat? Is plant fat better? Or animal fat?
Confused? Let me make it simple for you…
Basically there are only two types of fat – Natural fat and Fake fat. Natural ones are the good guys, and fake/man-made ones are the bad guys.
Good fats include both animal fat and plant fat, as long as they are naturally occurring and used in a form closest to their natural state (without being processed or enhanced).
Good plant oil is cold-pressed from naturally oily foods such as Coconut, Olive, Sesame, and Flax Seed. As certain oils can oxidise and release harmful free radicals when heated to a high temperature, it is important to choose the right oil for the right job. For high temperature cooking, suitable oils to use are: Butter, Coconut Oil and Peanut Oil. Less stable oils such as Olive, Flax Seed and Macadamia are better suited for salads and dips. Where possible, opt for the organic variety.
Contrary to popular belief, butter is also a good fat. It is natural, wholesome and delicious!
Due to the damage modern farming has done to our eco-system and the quality of our food, most animal fat (even though a naturally derived fat) is harmful to our health. Farmed animals are often pumped full of synthetic hormones, steroids and antibiotics, restricted to small amounts of living space and have an altered diet in order to “fatten up” quickly. These unfortunate factors significantly affect the quality of meat in supermarket today and chemicals tend to get trapped within the fat of the animal. So before cooking meat, try to trim off any access fat and avoid eating poor quality processed meat like bacon or ham. Again, always opt for free-range, hormone-free and organic when you can.
Bad fats are the man-made fat and oil. Things like hydrogenated oils, trans-fat, margarine, and vegetable oil. When you consume bad fat, they replace the good fat in your body, and are detrimental to your health and wellness. It is crucial to eliminate any bad fat in your diet. The best way to avoid bad fats is to read the label. Instead of looking at the kilojoules, have a look at the ingredient list! Most products will give you a breakdown of different types of fat contained. Any product containing trans-fat should be avoided. Mono or poly-saturated fat have also being tampered with, so give those a miss too.
For more information on cooking oils, here is another interesting article on some popular cooking oil available 8 Cooking Oil Facts Everyone Must Know.
Dr. Michelle Zhou is a Registered Chiropractor from Up!Health; a multi-disciplinary health clinic, offering customers a brand new health concept. Michelle believes in a holistic approach to health and loves to use organic WILD Virgin Coconut Oil because of it’s versatility and health benefits. Michelle is a graduate of Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia and currently practises in Central, Hong Kong.