Jewish Nutrition

The Jewish site for Kosher Food and Healthy Eating

Facts about Fats

Detailed research -much of it done at Harvard - shows that the total amount of fat in the diet, whether high or low, isn't really linked with disease. What really matters is the type of fat in the diet.’

                        Harvard School of Public Health


It is truly a myth that fat makes you fat.  Fats, especially saturated fat, have been made the scapegoat for a plethora of health problems, from heart disease to cancer.  However fats are essential for our health.  Here’s why…


Every single cell in our body contains fat, making up an essential component of each cell membrane.  Fats help our immune system and phospholipids are the fats which promote a smooth run for all of the brain’s signals, making up the myelin which sheaths all our nerves.  With fats so basic to our everyday moods, mental reactions and physical functioning, we cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to the quality of fats that we consume.


Although your amazing body can make some of its own fatty acids, others can only be derived from the food we eat.  Some saturated fat is vital along with foods containing omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids.  If we consume fat from quality sources we will also benefit from the fat-soluable vitamins and trace minerals they contain.


So which fats should we eat?


Because our choice of fats and oils is one of extreme importance, they must be chosen with appropriate care.  It cannot be stressed enough to avoid all refined ‘supermarket’ oils, even though these vegetable oils are touted as healthy.


Instead acquaint yourself with traditional fats such as olive oil and butter (preferably organic).  Chicken schmaltz is good for occasional frying and unrefined flax seed oil is also of benefit when fresh and uncooked.  Fats should also be obtained from food sources such as avocado, coconut, fish, nuts, seeds, eggs and a small amount from meat.  Fish in particular is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and should be eaten at least 3 times a week.  If you would like to learn more about this topic, I recommend the book 'Know Your Fats' by Mary Enig.


Enjoy good health and feeling great.


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