LiveWell Louisiana

Dietary Fat

Is it Good or Bad?
October 1st, 2015 by: Julie Fortenberry

The Skinny on Fats
Hydrogenated “trans” fats can compromise the cardiovascular system and immune system, and contribute to behavior problems. They can also lead to weight gain, skin breakouts, high blood pressure, and liver strain.

Our bodies need fat for insulation, vitamin and mineral absorption, and to protect our organs. High-quality fats can steady our metabolism; keep hormone levels even; nourish our skin, hair and nails; and provide lubrication to keep the body functioning fluidly.

Where to Find Healthy Fats

  • Avocados, olives and coconuts are great sources of healthy fat, along with wild salmon and omega-3 rich eggs.
  • Whole nuts and seeds, and their butters like almond butter or tahini.
  • Look for the highest-quality organic oils when shopping. Words to look for: organic, first pressed, cold-pressed, extra virgin and unrefined. Avoid expeller-pressed, refined and solvent extracted.

How to Use Healthy Fats

  • For cooking at high temperatures (stir frying and baking), try butter, ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil
  • When sautéing foods, try organic extra virgin olive oil.
  • Oils like flaxseed, sesame, toasted sesame, walnut and pumpkin seed are best used unheated in sauces or dressings.