By Sheri-Lynn DeMaris

We oftentimes forget what is in the food we choose to eat daily. Much of the modern-day American diet has high fat and cholesterol. But what are good fats, and what are bad fats?  Here are some fun facts about fats everyone should know. 

When teaching school children, I line up glasses of different dairy products: butter, cream, whole milk, half and half, skim milk and 1 percent, and then soy milk. I ask students to insert a drinking straw in each glass and then try and pour water through the straw.  The straw represents our arteries, and the water represents the blood flowing through them. What surprises kids most is that the heavier dairy products leave a very greasy sticky film on the inside of the straws, and butter and cream begin to block the passage of water.

It’s been known that a high-fat diet contributes to heart disease. This is a no-brainer; it builds up unhealthy plaque inside our arteries. But books like The China Study by Colin Campbell are now showing scientific studies that eating many high fatty foods contributes directly to cancer.

Another interesting Fun Facts about FATS is vegetables, grains, and fruits contain no fat and lots of fiber, which acts like scrubbing agents in the digestive tract and arteries for reducing excess fats, cholesterol, and hormones relating to these diseases. The fiber in these foods directly cleans the liver of excess Estrogen.

Lipodor is a very popular medication now given to patients with high cholesterol levels. The only problem is this has many side effects. So, why not opt for grains and veggies? They have none!

There are different kinds of fats. Saturated and Trans fats increase your cholesterol, while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help to lower your cholesterol. An easy way to remember this is with a fun quote I once heard “Avoid the fat brother’s Sat and Trans and make friends with the fat sister’s Mono and Poly.”  

Saturated fats are found in red meat, dairy foods, and tropical oils such as palm and coconut oil. Tran’s fats are manufactured in food plants and found in French fries and many commercialized processed foods, usually labeled as “partially hydrogenated oils.” These tend to harden the arteries very quickly in the body.  

Olestra is one popular ingredient that is very harsh on the arteries. Our friendly fat sisters,  Mono and Poly, are found in such foods as nuts and seeds, vegetable oils, and peanut butter.

So when choosing your foods, remember the healthiest choices for lowering your cholesterol are plant-based foods: grains, vegetables, beans, and fruits…they have no fats!  Complimented by a little deep-fried and sautéed vegetable oil, they provide a healthy balance of fats without the bad cholesterol.

Want to know more about healthy eating? Join the Future Food Right Now Conference on October 20-21, 2023, to hear a unique blend of speakers, sponsors, and activities exploring the future of food through the lens of global health and sustainability. 

Contact Sheri-Lynn DeMaris of MGI at teawithsheri@aol.com for more information or visit https://futurefoodrightnow.com/.