The good news about fats is that they are not all bad…in fact we need them. We just need the right kind. Two things to remember are that saturated fats, mostly animal fats that are hard at room temperature, are not good for you, nor are trans fats which are artificially produced and show up in fried and packaged foods.
The good fats, however are so good that they are ESSENTIAL, meaning we must eat them for best health because they provide ingredients we need to help absorb vitamins and minerals, build cell membranes including the protective sheath around nerve cells, blood clotting, muscle movement, and to fight inflammation.
Last week we mentioned polyunsaturated fats as a good dietary choice, and our last category of “good fat” is what’s called monounsaturated fat. Again the name comes from the structure of the molecules in that particular kind of fat that leaves it liquid at room temperature and more healthful to your body.
The most famous of these is olive oil (sometimes categorized as either a mono or poly unsaturated fat.)
Olive oil became quite popular when word got out that people in Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean region experienced a low rate of heart disease even though they ate a high-fat diet. The main fat in their diet, though, was not saturated animal fat, it was olive oil, which contains mostly monounsaturated fat.
Other Foods rich in monounsaturated fats include nuts, oils, fish avocados and olives.
Enjoy and stay tuned for next week’s surprise issue!