Nutritionist, Herbalist, Ayurvedic practitioner, Closed Colonic Hydrotherapist, Lecturer, Speaker, Author, Registered Nurse - helping the community for over 30 years.

FATTY ACID FACTS

Growing new research has found concerns in our understanding of fat and why fat is important
in nutrition. Good fat is very important for the lining of the intestine. Commonly, fat is
associated with the heart which is a relatively new disease and now kills 1 in 3 adults.
It has been linked to obesity which alarmingly kills 2 out of 3 Americans. Medical experts
have said this is due to over-eating fat but it’s the carbohydrates that actually do it. Obesity
puts pressure on all the digestive organs, stomach, bowel, pancreas and liver as well as the
heart.
It is very important to understand what fats are good for you and your digestion and what fats
are bad. Drugs for lowering lipids (blood fats) and cholesterol are the largest selling drugs with
sales reaching over 24 billion dollars. These drugs have side effects and in some people too
much fat and cholesterol is being taken out of the body, affecting digestion and memory.
Fats we eat
The fats we eat are made up of a variety of fatty acids each containing a chain of carbon atoms
with two hydrogen atoms attached to each carbon.
Saturated
Now when all the carbon bonds that are available are occupied by a hydrogen atom the fatty
acid is called saturated. These fats are very positive to the body and as they are so stable they
can withstand high temperatures. The atoms are squashed together tightly which means the fat
is solid or thick. Most saturated fats come from animals or tropical plants like coconut oil and
palm oil. They are important for taking fat soluble toxins out of the body.
Unsaturated
I’ll just use a little more basic chemistry to explain the difference with liquid oils. When a
hydrogen atom is missing in the carbon chain the fatty acid is unsaturated.
These oils are unstable and do not withstand high temperatures.
Why?
Well, what happens is that a double bond is formed when two carbon atoms, even lacking one of
their hydrogen partners, join together. There are destructive things called free radicals (unpaired
electrons) that destroy your cells and these bonds attract free radicals making unsaturated fat
prone to damage. Double bonds form a bend in the chain and so they don’t pack together so
well and they stay liquid rather than solid.
Michèle Wolff
Polyunsaturated
Later I will talk about omega 3 oils as they are polyunsaturated fats. These are very unstable
and should not be heated but kept in the fridge. As you will see however, they are essential for
the health of your body which includes the cells of your digestive system. They are great for
inflammation in the digestive system.
Monounsaturated fats
They have only one double bond so they are more stable than polyunsaturated fats but not
as stable as saturated fats. They can be heated but it’s not advisable as you have to keep the
temperature very low. Oleic acid is the most common monounsaturated fat and is found in
almonds, avocados, olive oil, and pecans.
So how did confusion arise?
In 1957 a nutritionist, Aneel Keys, researched heart disease and diet across six countries. His
research stated that coronary artery disease was related to saturated fat. Some time later he
realised that if he had four times the number of countries in his research his conclusions were
no longer valid. He attempted to dispute his original research but was ignored and the food
industry was on its way to making big changes. Gone was healthy animal fat and lard and in its
place came unsaturated fat which is not stable and was used more in packet food and cooking.
Unfortunately, Aneel’s original findings were backed by cardiologists and the cholesterol,
arteriosclerosis and heart disease theory around fat was founded on faulty research. This has led
to digestive problems from cutting out fat and over consuming carbohydrates and sugar.

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