Part one of three: Out with the bad fats and in with the good
It surprises me how many families are still cooking with vegetable oil, aka corn, soybean or canola oil. I cringe when I see this in their kitchens. All of these oils are filled with pro inflammatory Omega 6 fats, are highly processed and filled with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). They increase your risk for heart attacks, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer's, etc., and does not nourish our brains, which thrives on the good fats, Omega 3. More on that to come.
The body needs a healthy balance of Omega 6 and Omega 3, but the problem is we are not getting that healthy balance thanks to processed, junk and fast foods. Back in the caveman days (no I'm not preaching paleo) their balance of Omega 6:Omega 3 ratio was 2:1 or 1:1. Our Standard American Diet is more like 20:1. Yikes!
While the push in the 1950s-60s was to eat more "vegetable" oils and less lard and coconut oil, we have seen a dramatic increase in heart disease. Now we are seeing the push again to use more coconut oil. How do you know what oils you should use in your cooking and baking? You want to use oils that have a high heat content such as coconut oil, avocado rice bran oil (rice bran oils helps to burn sugar and reduce absorption of cholesterol) and even sunflower oil is not a bad choice. They have a heat content of over 450 degrees and that means its molecular structure will not break down below this heating point. Why is that good? It means your body will absorb it in its original form.
But what about olive oil? Olive oil has a heat index of about 300 degrees. This means those who bake, roast or even fry in olive oil, it will destroy the molecular structure and your body will process it like trans fat. Not good. (The FDA has stated they is removing all transfats out of our food supply)
Instead, I encourage moms and dads to use olive oil only for drizzling and salad dressings to maintain its good heart health fat. When buying a good olive oil, you want it to be cold-pressed, extra virgin, it needs to be unadulterated and bought in a dark glass bottle or stainless steal container. Light will eventually destroy the structure as well causing the oil to go rancid quickly. (Check out Oh Olive olive oil shop in Chicago some high quality oils.)
Other healthy oils to use for drizzling or dipping are walnut, almond, macadamia and unfiltered flax oil. Flax oil is great for those kiddos (and adults) who are constipated. (see my homemade Miralax Smoothie). We love to drizzle olive oil on our dinners after it has been cooked.
Why are fats so important for you and your child? Your child's brain is rapidly growing the first six years of life. In fact 75 percent of it grows the first two years. Our brains are made up of 90 percent of Omega 3 fatty acids and when we feed it a lot of Omega 6's, it can cause imbalances in the brain and effect the way eyes develop, cognitive learning, cause emotional highs and lows, depression, anxiety, headaches, ADHD, anything to do with the brain physically, mentally and emotionally.
This is why supplementation with krill, cod liver or fish oil is SO important for our kids. Our grandparents were given a tablespoon of cod liver oil every day, their parents knew the . of this for their health and wellbeing. Carlson's, which is local, is a nice Omega 3 supplement. Liquid form is best and most absorbable. I am not a fan of chewy vitamins and encourage parents to not start their young ones on those gummy/chewables.
Other forms of Omega 3 are found in plants called AHA (Alpha-Linolenic-Acid). Our bodies will convert ALA to EPA and then to DHA but how much it converts to DHA varies. If our bodies lack magnesium and zinc, a diet rich in Omega 6 can inhibit this process. Good sources of ALA are flax oil, avocados and walnuts. Barlean's makes a tasty Omega Swirl, which has many flavors your child will definitely like. It is made using proprietary technology that increases the bioavailability of the Omega 3's in your body.
My challenge to you is to look at your labels and if any of your products have any of the bad fats mentioned above (canola, corn, soybean, vegetable, partially hydrogenated, safflower oils), throw it out and start clean. If you are worried about getting fat from eating good fats, don't worry, sugar, processed foods is what causes that waistline to expand, not good fats. Good fats melt fat
Jasmine blogs to inspire you to make positive, healthy changes.
See more of Jasmine's stories here.