Oils equal fat and fat makes you fat, right? Well, nowadays we’re learning that couldn’t be further from the truth. Turns out healthy fats derived from certain oils not only do not make you fat, but can actually make you fit. So how the heck did fats from oils get on the naughty list? Well, it was after World War II and some tests seemed to indicate that meats, eggs, and other saturated fats seemed to lead to coronary heart disease.
So the American Heart Association recommended that we all watch our fat intake and the rest is history. So anything with fat in it was relegated to the don’t eat list. But that was obviously not the entire picture because it turns out that oils and the fat derived from them are some of the healthiest foods that you can consume according to health expert Naomi Whittel.
We start our list of healthy fats with coconut oil. The benefits are rich and plentiful. Coconut oil is not stored by the body as fat but burned up as fuel for your day. It contains short and medium chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight and abdominal obesity on women. Coconut oil also improves your immune system because it contains lauric acid, which it converts into monolaurin which the body uses as an effective way to deal with viruses and bacteria. It improves brain and memory function and it’s delicious.
Coconut oil can also be used on the outside of your body as well as the inside. Many people use coconut oil to keep their skin silky smooth and moisturized. Others use the benefits of coconut oil in their hair to keep it healthy and strong.
Next on the list is the antioxidant powerhouse olive oil. Olive oil is the natural oil extracted from pressing olives, the fatty fruit of the olive tree. Olive oil can reduce inflammation and may have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer. A large review study of olive oils that included over half a million subjects found that olive oil was the only source of monounsaturated fat associated with a reduced risk of stroke and heart disease.
Additionally olive oils not only decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, but also improve bone mineralization and calcification. Meaning olive oil is actually a key player in preventing osteoporosis.
A much lesser known but equally important essential oil is called Bergamot. A citrus fruit with a delicious smell the bergamot oil is derived from the citrus fruit with a cold compression as opposed to the steam distillation removal process of many other essential oils. It is used heavily in black tea or better-known Earl Grey tea for its delicious taste. This powerhouse oil not only improves blood circulation but also prevents infections due to its natural antibacterial properties.
Another less known benefit of Bergamot is that it is actually known to build confidence and enhance your mood! Although Bergamot use can be traced back the southeast Asia region this essential oil really began getting popular in the southern part of Italy where is was used widespread for health benefits like helping the digestive system work properly. Also naturally helping soothe indigestion and gas.
And last but not least is the mighty fish oil, which is basically fat or oil that is extracted from mostly herring, tuna, anchovies and mackerel tissue. It may sound unappetizing, but the benefits are a plenty. Our western diets no longer consist of Omega 3 oils that are found in fish. Mostly our diets consist of Omega 6’s which simply are not as healthy as Omega 3’s and may be contributing to some of our Western lifestyle diseases. For example heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and studies have shown that people that have a diet consisting of a lot of fish have much lower rates of heart disease.
While fish oils increase cholesterol it only increases the “good” HDL levels, no the “bad” LDL levels. Fish oil also lowers triglycerides and even in small doses lowers blood pressure. Additionally consuming Omega 3’s prevents plaques that form in arteries. So while there’s no clear evidence it can completely prevent strokes or heart attacks it makes your heart much healthier and staves off the diseases that lead to strokes and heart attacks.
So in short, whether you’re adding one of the above oils to your intake or all four of them make sure you are getting this amazing nutritional powerhouse somewhere in your daily diet or supplementation routine.