Fat Is Bad, Right?By Nonna Joann • May 6th, 2008 • Category: Nonna's Nutrition News & Views
You do, you know. Fat makes up over 60 percent of your brain, so you have a fat head.
Despite what you may have heard, fat is good. Every body needs fat; although we need the right kinds of fat. In fact, Omega-3 oils are vital for good health.
Toddlers need approximately 35 percent of their daily calories from good fats. That’s Omega-3 and -6 Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) found in unrefined oils (freshly pressed oil which is protected from light, oxygen, and heat) such as extra virgin olive oil and flax seed oil, as well as avocados and nuts. Unrefined oils provide Omega-3 and -6 EFAs needed for cell growth and integrity.
You’ll find extra virgin olive oil recommended in the kid-friendly recipes in my book, Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater. It’s best to use low to medium heat when using olive oil, as high heat will destroy some of its nutrients. Italians not only cook with olive oil, but they drizzle it on top of soups, sprinkle it on top of meats, and dip bread in it, as well as the traditional oil and vinegar salad dressing.
Extra virgin olive oil is good for your heart! It has a high content of anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory substances. Olive oil has been found to promote strong bones and helps to prevent cancers. It’s also good for your brain as it improves brain maturation and function and has been found to help prevent Alzheimer’s and other aging diseases.
When olive oil is labeled as “extra virgin” it indicates the oil is from the first pressing and has the most beneficial nutrients in it. “Extra virgin” olive oil means it’s unrefined and it’s made from ripe olives immediately after harvest. This preserves the olives’ omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, as well as vitamins A, D, E, and K and polyphenols, which are antioxidants.
Contrary to popular opinion, extra virgin coconut oil has been proven to be a healthful saturated fat. Coconut oil is easily digested and is quickly absorbed for energy. It has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties which boost immunity. Coconut oil is perfect for use in cooking and baking, without becoming toxic at higher temperatures, as liquid oils do.
Butter is another good fat. It contains lecithin, vitamins A, E, D, K, omega -6 and -3 essential fatty acids. In addition, butter has antifungal properties.