Friday, October 30, 2009

G-G-Giveaway @ Kitchen Kop

Alright, it did not take much convincing for me to believe that saturated fat is better for you than unsaturated fat. All it took was some simple chemistry, and a little biology, too.

First the chemistry. Saturated fats have the strongest molecular bonds. Next on the list are monounsaturated fats, and then last (with the weakest bonds) are polyunsaturated fats.

When polyunsaturated fats like soy oil and corn oil are exposed to oxygen and heat, they are oxidized (amazing!), and many free radicals are created. Free radicals, rather than supporting health of the body, cause damage to cells. This is why vitamin and health care companies get excited about antioxidants (antioxidants repair and prevent damage caused by free radicals). Now, you may think, "OK, well I'll keep them in a dark cupboard and not heat them up beyond a certain temperature." Well, nice try.

Just to extract the oils, they have already been submitted to substantial amounts of heat and oxidative stress. When they become rancid (which is what this process inevitably results in), they are deodorized, and the American consumer is none the wiser.

Monounsaturated fats like olive oil are a better, but they cannot be used at extremely high temperatures and cannot be used for things like frying.

Saturated fats do not break down and become unstable with heat. Instead, their stronger molecular bonds keep them intact. That makes saturated fats like Beef Tallow, Lard, and Coconut Oil much healthier for cooking with than polyunsaturated oils.

OK, now onto the biology. There is a certain something at work here that I like to refer to as the "starvation principle." Women's health has a perfect example in the direct relationship between estrogen and body fat. Balanced hormones and balanced body fat go hand in hand, an imbalance of estrogen on the upside (too much), and your body starts collecting fat like bicentennial quarters. At the same time...too little estrogen and your body clings to fat. This is the instinct, in case of "starvation." The same thing happens with consuming fats. We, like other living creatures, have saturated fats in our bodies. Our bodies need saturated fats to survive. If we stop eating fat, our body works harder to hang on to fat, making fat harder to get rid of on the way to whole body health.

The best answer is to eat fats in moderation. Not to eat fats all day long, and not to cut them out. But where our foods have fat, they need to contain healthful fats.

Due to dh's coconut allergy, we pretty much use butter for cooking, and olive oil where we cannot use butter. I have been wanting to try beef tallow or pork lard, but ordering online is really expensive, and I do not have enough connections in local farming yet. There are not a lot of earthy crunchy Georgians on the world wide web, it seems. Some, for sure, but not a lot.

This is where one of my fav bloggers comes in. Kelly the Kitchen Kop is hosting a giveaway! A 5-gallon bucket of beef tallow is up for grabs, and I would love to win it. I love homemade doughnuts, sweet potatoe fries, fried bananas...and no one can convince me that the oils currently readily available for frying them in are better for me than tallow or lard.

So, rethink fats and oils this week. What are you putting into your body? What is good for you?

This post is a part of Fight Back Friday. Find more great posts at Food Renegade.

Further Reading:

Fats Cholesterols, Lipids

Weston A. Price Foundation

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