Are Oils and Fats Really Healthy?

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By Staff Reports

(DGIwire)– Oils and fats are a common health topic today.  Many people are consuming tablespoons of olive, macadamia, walnut, avocado, flax seed and coconut oils or perhaps fish and krill oils on a daily basis in an effort to improve their health.  There is an ongoing debate about which ones are the most beneficial.  Our question today is:  Are any of them really “healthy” and should they be included in your diet?

First, it is important to recognize that all oils and fats fall into the category refined foods.  They all go through a manual process to extract the oil or fat from the original source.  This process usually results in a very un-natural product.  Over our long period of evolution, there were no refined and processed oils or fats in our diets.  Any fat in our diets came in combination with the foods we were eating.  So, from an evolutionary viewpoint, all refined oils are a very recent addition to our diets, with some much more recent than others.

Every time a new food or compound is identified as being potentially beneficial to our health, an effort begins to isolate and extract it.  The thought is always:  If a little is good for us, a lot will be even better!  This is part of the reasoning behind all these oils along with all the various supplements, vitamins and minerals so commonly consumed today.  These oils have become health supplements which are now somehow considered to be essential components of a balanced diet.  However, we really need to stop and ask ourselves if this is really true or necessary.

You do not find isolated, edible forms of oil or fat in nature.  Therefore it cannot be considered a natural food or an essential dietary component.  If it was, we would have all died off a very long time ago.

From a calorie or energy perspective, fat is the most concentrated macronutrient.  If you are not at your ideal weight and body composition, adding additional fats to your diet obviously makes no sense and will be counter-productive to any weight management strategy.

“When we focus on building our diets around the most nutrient dense foods, foods that contain the most essential nutrients per calorie, all refined fats fall short.  They are missing most of the components present in the original food item from whence they came. Why not just eat fish instead of fish oil?  Why not eat the olives, avocados, walnuts, flaxseed and coconut just as Mother Nature delivered it in the first place and reap all the beneficial nutrients, both known and as yet unknown that they contain?” say Dian Griesel, Ph.D. and Tom Griesel, co-authors of Turbocharged: Accelerate your Fat Burning metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (BSH 2011).

Tom Griesel adds, “The healthiest diet is built around the natural foods we are best adapted to eat based on our evolutionary history.  It avoids the processed, man-made, disease causing creations and sticks with the same kinds of nutrient dense foods that have allowed us to survive and thrive for a very long time.”

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