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  Good & Bad Fats

Bad Oils/Fats

  • hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
    (Check the labels! Some will say they have “0 trans fats,” but that only means trans fats* are below a certain threshold per serving. If the ingredient list includes hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, leave it on the shelf.)
  • canola oil (rapeseed)
    (Do you know what a rapeseed is? Neither do I. It isn’t a food. Does it make sense to eat the oil from something you wouldn’t eat?)
  • oils from other inedibles, like cottonseed
    (I don’t know about you, but I don’t – and wouldn’t – eat cotton seeds.)

*A “trans” fat is a fat whose molecules are a mirror image of the natural, healthful fats. The body takes them up the same way as “good” fats, but then isn’t able to use them the same way. “Good” fats can become trans fats through damage (as from excessive heat, for instance), but hydrogenated oils are always trans fats.

Okay Oils/Fats

  • polyunsaturated oil: safflower, sunflower, and other nut/seed oils
    (These oils – from edible nuts & seeds – are not bad, but they typically comprise too much of our diets. Most are high in Omega-6 fatty acids. As most of us have too many Omega-6’s in our diets already, we can benefit from minimizing these.)

Good Oils/Fats

  • butter
  • animal fats from grassfed animals (tallow, lard)
  • coconut oil
  • olive oil
  • avocado oil
  • flax & hemp seed oil
    (These seed oils are unusually high in Omega-3’s for seed oils, making them a helpful addition to the diet. Note, though, that they are particularly delicate and best used cold – in salad dressings, for instance – rather than heated for cooking.)