There are good and bad fats.  The FDA had proclaimed, back in the ’70’s that people should avoid all fats.  The pendulum swung one way, and prudent consumers avoided fat.  Now the pendulum is swinging the other way.  We are learning that we just need to discriminate between good and bad ones.  The ‘good’ fats are very necessary for healthy cell and organ function.

Essentially, we need oils in our cells in order that they may use oxygen.  When we don’t use oxygen, our cells create free radicals (the things that contribute to cancer and arterial damage).  When we get the good kinds of oils (those containing Omega 3), our cells are actually protected from free radical damage. 

Of all the oils that I’ve read about, the only ones that I’ve found to be truly helpful are: flax, sesame (untoasted), and olive (only extra virgin, unrefined).

All of these oils, in order to get the maximum health benefits, should be taken absolutely raw, meaning they should not be heated.  Once heated, they lose their health benefits.  This means oils should not be used in frying, grilling, or baking. When using oils to cook or saute, water sauteing is the best, in which, water is first added to the pan and olive oil is added so that the oil doesn’t make direct contact with the pan. 

Flax oil should not be heated at all. 

When these oils are used in the correct dosage, they can actually aid in the repair of cells and tissues.  Extensive research has been done on these oils and have been found to reverse diseases like arthritis, diabetes, skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, depression, menstrual irregularities, heart disease and cancer.

The recommended daily dose of any combination of the above-mentioned oils is 3-4 tablespoons per day.

When purchasing oils, make sure that they are labeled ‘unrefined’.  When oils are refined, they are heated to very high temperatures and treated with chemicals like deodorizers, bleach, and solvents.  This destroys the oils’ ability to fight cancer cells.  Also, when an oil says ‘expeller pressed’, avoid it.  This is also treated oil.  You want to buy unrefined and extra virgin oil products.  This is very important. 

My Challenge to you:

  1. Go through the bottles of oils that you have and read the labels. Are they ‘good’ or ‘bad’ oils? Meaning, will they actually be health beneficial or harmful for you?
  2. Find ways to incorporate extra ‘good’ oil into your daily diet. Aim for 3-4 tbsp per day.
Here are some ideas: drizzle onto your meal, make a salad and add more olive oil and/or flax oil, add flax oil into your morning shake.

Reference text: Total Breast Health by Robin Keuneke
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