Loving the BITE: The Wrong Kind of Fat

Condiments:  Most all commercial salad dressings are primarily composed of soybean oil.  You’ll have to be picky, and spend a little more to find those made with olive oil (most Amy’s and Braggs, for example, are made without soybean oil).  Or, of course, you can make your own using a delicious recipe like the one above.

Cooking: There are really only a handful of oils I recommend for cooking.  These all have 2 grams of omega-6s fats or less per Tablespoon, and are (grams/Tbsp listed): organic coconut oil, avocado oil (1.8), high-oleic sunflower (0.5) or safflower oils (2.0) (these are specifically “bred” and grown to produce more omega-9s and less omega-6s - they will be labeled as high-oleic), and at lower temperature, extra virgin olive oil (1.3).  And the ones I don’t recommend for cooking in order from worst to less worse, with grams of omega-6 linoleic acids per one Tablespoon (15 gm): safflower oil (10.1 gm), grapeseed oil (9.5), vegetable (7.9), wheat germ (7.5), corn oil (7.3), walnut (7.3), cottonseed (7.0), soybean (7.0), and sunflower (5.4), canola oil (3.0).

Supplements:  Again, we don’t need to go looking for omega-6s which compete with omega-3s, so why there are supplements sold, by highly reputable companies, that combine the two I simply don’t know.  Supplement omega-3s, not omega-6s!

A word on whole food vs. isolated nutrients:  If you’ve heard or read my recommendations for including nuts and seeds like sunflower seeds in your die,t you ought to be plenty confused by now.  It’s important to remember that once we isolate and/or concentrate a nutrient from a whole food, it’s a whole new ballgame and we have to be very careful.  Walnut oil, in which the fat has been pressed from the whole food walnut, becomes a different food than the walnut, which also contains protein, fiber, and other nutrients.  When packaged as a whole food, the other nutrients affect the absorption and metabolism of individual nutrients, you get less each specific nutrient, and you don’t often get the same degree of effect of each individual nutrient.  Yes, some people go as far as restricting omega-6 whole foods such as nuts, but I think a better step is to simply minimize the isolated and concentrated omega-6 fats.

Omega-9 fats: And where do monounsaturated fats, omega-9s, fit into all of this?  These are neutral in the inflammation vs. anti-inflammatory system.  They are often combined with other fats, and are found in significant amounts in olive oil and olives, many nuts, avocados, and high oleic oils.

A LOT of info today, I know.  And, I’ll be honest, this went against most of what I learned back in school.  This is not on the Food Guide Pyramid nor on the American Heart Association’s website.  But, in my opinion, it should be.  This week, don’t get bogged down in too much nutrition information.  Instead, just hear the take-home message loud and clear: Keep your foods simple and real.   As much as possible, stick to whole, slow foods and make most of it at home.  The more convenient, the more commercial, the more fast-food, the more omega-6s and the more issues.  If you choose to buy your condiments, be picky and identify the fat used.  Fight chronic inflammation and give your body fuel that it can use to stay healthy.  These small everyday choices have a big impact, both on and off the bike.

Fuel your Ride.  Nourish your Body.

Photo c/o allrecipes.com

Page 2 of 2 | Previous page

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riaan-Coetzee/1205638496 Riaan Coetzee

    How about a post on LCHF? Low Carb high Fat, ala Prof Tim Noakes et al?

    • http://twitter.com/fuelright Kelli Jennings

      I’ll definitely take a look, Riann. My philosophy is overall low to moderate carbs, adequte proteins, and and adequate fats for daily nutrition. Most of my clients cut way down on grains, and use fruits and whole foods like yams and quinoa for carbs (the amount of carbs generally depends on individual goals for fat loss and individual metabolism). For trianing, we add carbs b/c I believe they are necessary for optimal performance (both for fat and carb burn, and recovery) and b/c they are metabolized differently when we are intensely active vs. sedentary (little to no insulin needed). This is just to give you an overview of my philosophy. Thanks for your comment!