Let’s talk fat. We have been led to believe that fat is bad, that we should adhere to a low fat diet. Then why do Americans keep getting fatter?

Truth is …. Fat is good, or at least some fats. In depth studies in dozens of countries have shown no link between saturated fat and heart disease. The studies even show a lower risk of heart disease when people eat saturated fat.

Unrefined oils—the healthy ones being avocado, coconut, olive, for example—are awesome. Some, like coconut and avocado oil, are great for cooking, while some, like olive and sesame, we need to be careful not too heat them too much as it damages the fats.

The key is healthy fats. Let’s start with the unhealthy ones: fast food, most dairy, and oils that are rich in Omega 6 rather than Omega 3s. We need both 6 and 3, but modern day humans get way too much Omega 6 and not enough 3. Omega 6s in whole food form are not as problematic as refined oils, and the oils that have the most Omega 6s that we are wise to avoid are Canola Oil, and vegetable oils such as corn oil, soybean oil, Safflower Oil, and Sunflower oil, which are all generally heavily processed and high in inflammatory Omega 6s. Bad fats along with high carb sugar diet is disastrous.

I would suggest getting as much of our healthy fats from whole foods such as avocados, olives, nuts, seeds and wild caught fish like salmon, and grass-fed beef if you eat meat. But some oils are good and helpful and anti-inflammatory, and the best oils with the most Omega 3s are coconut oil, avocado oil, sesame oil, olive oil and perhaps ghee and palm oil, although there are environmental concerns with palm oil. Try to find unrefined oils and heat them as little as possible, especially flax oil, hemp oil, and olive oil which are affected greatly by heat. Some of these need to be kept refrigerated. Oh, and a quality, clean sourced fish oil can be essential for your health.

We need fats for a wide range of health concerns: protecting nerves, building cell membranes, brain function, and simply satisfying ourselves so we do not overeat. Fat tastes good for a reason. But again, you might need to wean yourself off the addictive type of unhealthy fat flavors and learn to recognize the pure taste of healthy, unrefined fats. Happy eating to you!