“A low fat diet is important for heart health and to maintain a healthy weight.”
This statement is not necessarily true. The body can’t make all the fats it requires, so we need to eat essential fats for functions including: controlling inflammation, assisting in blood clotting, brain development and function, helping the body absorb fat soluble vitamins, and maintaining healthy skin and hair. Furthermore, we need fat in order to experience satiety, so we can stop eating.
Not all fats are created equal. It is important to get healthy fats which include: omega 3 fats from cold water fish, pastured animals, and dairy products from pastured animals; monounsaturated fats from olives and avocados; fats from nuts and seeds; coconut oil; olive oil and sesame oil.
What fats should you avoid? Avoid trans fat which is made by adding hydrogen to vegetable through hydrogenation. Your body doesn’t recognize this processed fat as food, causing it to increase your LDL (the kind of cholesterol you don’t want) while decreasing your HDL (the kind of cholesterol you do want). Avoid any foods with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil on the label. The FDA allows the label of 0 trans fats on any item that contains up to .5 grams of trans fat per serving, and several servings of .5 grams of trans fat quickly add up.
Butter v. Margarine: Butter is a natural food that is very high in vitamin A. It is a saturated fat, so moderate use of butter is recommended. On the other hand, margarine is a processed food, high in trans fat. In addition to the cholesterol problem already mentioned, research shows that margarine reduces the immune response, reduces insulin response and reduces the quality of breast milk.