After writing the last nutrition blog I decided to elaborate on Omega-3 fatty acids by examining and explaining the various types. What started out as “a few more details” turned into a much more complicated picture on the subject of FATS. We need to have a general discussion about oil so we can understand why omega-3 oil is so important for our health.
While studying various sources on basic lipid (fat) chemistry and research findings on how various fats affect our tissues and organs, I now understand why so many people are confused about what to eat and what to avoid. There are a lot of different words used interchangeably that describe or label fat. Most people have made a decision to avoid fat altogether or ignore the subject and eat whatever they choose since “everything is bad for us.”
We don’t always know what kind of fat is good or bad. However, identifying words that tell us how the fat is processed and modified will be very useful in the fat-identifying process.
We cannot avoid fat. We also need fat (saturated fat) for nerve, immune, brain, heart, and lung function. Every part of our body needs various types of fat.
However, our bodies do not need and cannot use trans fat. Trans fat is destructive in every way. Unfortunately, saturated fats (beef, butter, and cheese) have become almost synonymous with trans fat in the minds of most people.
The entire subject of fat horror stories started with the development of hydrogenated oils (trans fats). A lot of our diseases can be attributed to the excess consumption of processed and inexpensive fast foods, which contain hydrogenated oils almost exclusively.
Trans fats are also linked to an increased incidence of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. As a matter of fact, since trans fats are so destructive, Congress has passed a law forcing food manufacturers to include trans fats on the labels of their products. In 2008 California took it one step further and passed a law that restaurant foods must be free of artificial trans fat.