What type of fat is best?
Whole fat, lowfat, or non fat??? That depends. I am a big proponent of lowfat when its a recipe that has ingredients that are naturally lowfat. Make sense? For example, when I throw a party I make a lowfat pasta salad (easy to do gluten free as well), and I don’t throw in extra foods that would make it higher in fat then it naturally needs to be. Lets just leave it to veggies and pasta with a small amount of olive oil. That is what I mean by lowfat, if God intended the food to be lowfat then just leave it that way.
Let’s take milk for example. The two things done to processed milk is homogenization (reduce and disperse the fat particles) and pasteurization (heating to a specific temperature to kill microorganisms) . (Vitamin D and A is also added to milk but we are not discussing that here.)
When you take a food and change it from its naturally designed state always take a pause and do your research. And know this –you can research all you want, but there generally is nothing conclusive in research unless its based on the design of nature—what was recommended one day changes in the next day in my experience. What may be the hype today is not the hype tomorrow. I have seen a trend in research such as this. Research always points back that the healthiest foods are: foods designed and left unchanged as you found it in nature. And the traditional ways to prepare the fresh whole foods are the best ways for your body to utilize the nutrients. Not a vitamin pulled out here or milk changed there.
Okay back to the milk discussion. Unless you have access to non-homogenized whole milk, nonfat may be the way to go due to the way the fat particles are processed in the commercial whole milk. But its not a win win situation. Does that mean nonfat milk is better for you? No, there is a 2013 study published in JAMA Pediatrics that suggests that drinking nonfat milk could actually cause you to gain weight compared to those who drink 2% or whole milk. This could possibly be due to the skim milk being less filling so one may compensate by eating more refined carbohydrates. And refined carbohydrates have a high glycemic index which raises blood sugar levels and triglyceride levels. Also, nonfat milk may have milk powder added to it. The process in which the skim milk powder is made causes the formation of a ton of nitrates and particles of left over cholesterol to oxide and oxidized cholesterol hardens your arteries. Here is an article in the Atlantic Times called The Controversial Life of Skim Milk that highlights some of history of skim (trim milk as the New Zealanders call it).
So raw whole milk is best but you must do your research on that and make your own decision if that is the right choice for your family. (Note: Jimbos in California carries raw milk if you are looking to get it from a grocery store). If you opt out of dairy all together, its important to learn how to make a good bone broth and incorporate that into your meals and recipes. Or see my post about milk alternatives.
What about meats? Grass fed, free range is best because the animal’s muscles (what you eat as meat) are not sedentary so the fat ratio and make up in the muscle is that of a active muscle not a sedentary one, making the meat healthier. If you are not able to get grass fed, free range, then probably the leaner choice is best, and you can add your own heat stable oil in the cooking process.
I am all for whole fat fruits such as avocado, olives, and coconut and whole fat milk if it is raw or non-homogenized. And give me a piece of free range/grass fed or game meat raised like nature intended. And eggs? One of the best breakfast foods out there, full of cholesterol and 5 grams of fat in the yolk. Enjoy!! More information on saturated fats click here. Check out my post on A1 vs A2 milk.