Oils: It’s the Processing!
Animal Products: It’s What They Ate!
In honor of Heart Health Month, Harvest Market presents some alternative views on the much-misaligned role of saturated fat in a healthy diet. Healthy fat is in fact a crucial nutrient for most parts of the body, down to our cell membranes. Coupled with plenty of vegetables and fruits, and a highly judicious use of starches and grains, properly raised or minimally processed fats form a cornerstone of longevity.
Much of the trouble with modern fat has to do with industrial farming and processing, and consumers are wise to consider the effects of modern factory farming on our health. When it comes to animal products, it really makes a difference whether the livestock is pastured and grass-fed as much as the seasons allow. Only in the last one hundred years or so have livestock animals been exclusively fed grain and corn in place of grazing. Nowadays, much of the feed is also Genetically Modified. The resulting changes in the nutrient content of the meat are, of course, passed on to us (not to mention the energetic consequences of taking in another being whose life was marked by anguish.) As the Paleo folks have expressed, our digestive and immune systems have not grown accustomed to the sudden, drastic nutritional changes of industrial agriculture. We can see that much in the rise of degenerative disease. In the kick-off installment of our 2012 Transform Our Health series, together we consider that vilifying fat may be looking at the epidemic of disease from a narrow, deflectory angle.
When it comes to oils, most shoppers know the value of extra-virgin olive oil. There are many other beneficial oils for cooking and supplementation with a wide variety of fats profiles. Again, industrial processing is the “X” factor. By now most of us understand that hydrogenation, which leads to “trans fats,” is highly dangerous. Unfortunately, there are more questions to ask of that bottle of canola oil or fish oil capsules: What solvents are used in the extraction? Does heat oxidize the delicate fats, turning something beneficial into something full of free radicals? A reputable company should be able to answer these questions. There are products on the market made with integrity. Our goal as a health resource is to help you cut through the greenwashing to the real story.
If you are interested in the deeper story of healthy fats, take a look at these resources:
Choosing the right cooking oil, from another friendly natural foods market blog: http://www.pccnaturalmarkets.com/guides/tips_cooking_oils.html
Benefits of saturated fats: http://www.stop-trans-fat.com/benefits-of-saturated_fats.html
Dr. Mercola’s statements on health benefits from saturated fats: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/22/coconut-oil-and-saturated-fats-can-make-you-healthy.aspx and http://www.mercola.com/beef/health_benefits.htm
A well-cited piece with information from mainstream medical media: http://www.healthy-eating-politics.com/saturated-fats.html
Thank goodness for the Weston A. Price Foundation, a sound voice for nutrition amid a sea of rhetoric: http://www.westonaprice.org/basics/whats-wrong-with-pc-nutrition
There will be an opportunity to learn more in-store Monday, February 20, 2012, 7 – 9 pm. Join us to learn why quality fat is crucial in every diet. What is quality fat and why has fat been villified? Bob and Rick will lead an informative discussion about the importance to your brain and body of pasturing animals, the role of this key ingredient in total health, the dangers of processing fats industrially, and how to make the best fats choices for your deep, lasting health. Taste coconut oil, ghee, bitters, and flax oil. Free. Please stop by Customer Service, call (302) 234-6779, or email your name with telephone number to email@example.com to sign up.
No discussion of fats would be complete without addressing digestion. One of the simplest things you can do to improve digestion of fats in particular is to bring bitters into your diet. Bitter greens and herbs have been used for ages to stimulate digestion from the very first taste. Fortunately, we have plenty of choices in this area: fresh, organic dandelion greens from the produce aisle, a tincture blend in the supplement aisle, or dried gentian root brewed as a strong tea in the bulk herbs aisle will all do the trick. Before or after meals, bitters start with our taste receptors and get the digestive system “juiced up” to efficiently gather the nutrients and thoroughly eliminate waste products. For more information about bitters, enjoy what our friends at Urban Moonshine and Weston A. Price have put together.
To join our Transform Our Health discussion, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know if you will attend the lecture (if so, we need your phone number) and send your input on the topic to be shared here on our blog, first names only. Consider the following questions: What are your notions about fat in the diet? Do you avoid it, or seek out plentiful, healthy sources of it? Looking at your regular food choices, are there any fats you rely on most? Anything you would like to share about your dietary choices will be beneficial. Then after the lecture we can talk about how the new information is serving us on a daily basis. Just keep in touch via email, a few thoughts or ideas is all. We look forward to meeting you!
The legal stuff:
These statements have no been evaluated by the FDA, whose interests lie in the hands of agribusiness and pharmaceutical profiteering. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent “disease.” Disease, in our opinion, is the result of years of toxic overload combined with lacking nutrition.
We at Harvest Market cannot decide what is healthy for you. We merely desire to point the way to research and opinions outside of the pharmacological status quo and encourage you to look beyond the rhetoric to the corporate interests, so you can decide for yourself. We also strongly encourage considering the source and integrity of all the food and supplement choices here in our store when creating your own personal dietary guidelines. Not all manufacturing processes are created equal.