The latest scientific studies suggest that there are good reasons for living off the fat of the land – literally.
All oils are not created equal, and to reap the health-giving benefits of the variety of oils out there, you will do well to use an alternative to sunflower and olive oil now and again.
The Victorians started it. They gorged on meats and milk and cheeses and attained walrus-sized proportions.
Understandably, there was a backlash. People started to avoid fats like the plague.
If you’re one of those people with a fat-free kitchen, read on.
According to dietician Mariza van Zyl, our society’s obsessive fear of becoming fat – and our subsequent avoidance of foods which contain fats and their beneficial fatty acids – could turn us into arthritic wrinklies by the time we reach 50.
“By avoiding fat we lose out on the building materials that are essential for our bodies,” says Mariza.
Each and every cell in our bodies is dependent on fat, on how much and what type of fat we eat. Getting the required amount of fat and fatty acids helps the cells’ walls remain soft and pliable.
Eating enough foods that contain something as simple as omega 3 fatty acids may help combat big baddies like arthritis, obesity, diabetes and insulin resistance.
And of course, it lessens the chance of skin getting that wrinkly paper bag effect.
As Mariza points out: “The broader the spectrum of food you eat, the bigger your chance of getting everything your body needs.”
Translated into everyday living, this means that we shouldn’t use only olive oil but also sunflower oil, in order to get the benefits of both.
We should also take a page out of the Victorians’ book, and adapt it for our own use.
Put some of those so-called “bad fats” like milk and butter back on the table.
Plus those cholesterol-free plant oils the Victorians knew nothing about. There are literally thousands of these plant oils, but here are just a few currently appearing on health-conscious tables: olive oil, canola oil, sesame oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.
Cooking with sesame oil could help to reduce high blood pressure and lower the amount of medication needed to control hypertension.
USE IT IN: Asian-style seared beef with sesame-onion noodles
Avocado oil contains high levels of a natural plant compound called beta sitosterol, which provides relief to men suffering from prostate problems. It is also said to have a higher smoking point than most other plant oils, so it's health properties remain in tact for longer.
USE IT IN: Sweet pea, fresh plum and feta salad with organic avocado oil
Diets high in peanuts, peanut butter and peanut oil help combat heart disease. It also has a really high smoking point.
USE IT IN: Griddled tuna with braised shiitake mushrooms
Grapeseed oil raises good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol.
USE IT IN: Shizo Ponzu-dressed carrot salad
Drizzle and enjoy!
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