Lipids, Fats and Oils

Understanding LIPIDS Fats and Oils

I. Fats and oils are terms that are erroneously used interchangeably

  A. fats are lipids that are solid at room temperature

  B. oils are lipids that are liquid at room temperature

  C. fats and oils both are made of building blocks called fatty acids

     1. a fatty acid is made of a chain of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached and an acid group at the end- able to combine with glycerol

     a. when three fatty acids attach to one molecule of glycerol it makes a simple fat called a triglyceride

     b. a chain of carbon atoms can be short (2-6 atoms), medium (8-10 atoms) or long (12-30)

     c. Butyric acid is a short-chain fatty acid found in milk fat, butter and cream Saturated fatty acids are those that have their full quota of hydrogen atoms

        1) include animal fats, butter and coconut oil

     d. A fatty acid with less than its full allotment of hydrogen atoms is an unsaturated fatty acid

        1) Unsaturated oils come from seeds, nuts, beans and fish. Included in this group is soybean, safflower, sesame, canola, flaxseed, corn, salmon, cod liver, borage and evening primrose to name some of the more well-known varieties

  D. Monounsaturated fatty acids lack only two hydrogen atoms. Included here, extra virgin olive oil

  E. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are lacking four or more hydrogen atoms. Linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid found in corn, beans, some nuts and seeds.

II. The controversy

  A. Many are aware of the detrimental effects to health of hydrogenated oils but few know of the toxic effects of a diet high in unsaturated oils (does not include extra virgin olive oil)

  B. In fact, Americans have been led to believe that unsaturated oils are superior to saturated fats.

    1. It is very difficult to become deficient in these oils since they are found in all plants, seeds, nuts, beans, corn, grains and cold water fish.

     2. The following is a brief summary of the toxic effects of excess unsaturated oils, including polyunsaturated fatty acids

        a. Unsaturated oils can impair all body systems by inhibiting enzymes which are essential to digestive and metabolic processes required for health and immune protection; unsaturated oils can directly kill white blood cells.

        b. Unsaturated oils inhibit protease enzymes and this interferes with many important enzyme processes, including the digestion of dietary protein, the elimination of clots and the healthy function of the thyroid gland.

        c. Circulating unsaturated oils can lead to insulin resistance and a diet high in safflower oil may cause diabetes

        d. Unsaturated oils inhibit thyroid function and vitamin E metabolism, promote age spots and clot formation, and aggravate seizures.

        e. Unsaturated oils are so immunosuppressive that they are now advocated as a way to prevent graft rejection.

        f. Excess unsaturated fats are cardio toxic. (Especially when coupled with low thyroid function

        g. unsaturated oils are essential for the growth of tumors and are present in high concentrations in cancer cells. In addition, tumor cells secrete a chemical that allows unsaturated fats to be released from the tissues, thus guaranteeing their supply until the fat tissues are depleted.

        h. Unsaturated fats cause both skin aging and an increased sensitivity to ultraviolet damage. Unsaturated fats and their oxidized products are involved in the process that causes ultraviolet light-induced skin cancer.

        i. The USDA has issued a recommendation against the use of soy oil in infant formulas because of studies showing that unsaturated oils interfere with learning and behavior. Yet, soybean oil is still present in soymilk formulas. I

II. Good fats

  A. Extra virgin olive oil

  B. organic (preferably raw) Butter

  C. Coconut oil

     1. has antiseptic properties (consists of 40% lauric acid which is a potent antibacterial also present in human breast milk)

     2. Has properties which stimulate thyroid function naturally a. has properties that stimulate weight loss

     3. Coconut oil may help ward off cancer due to its protective properties

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