Fat gets a bad rap even though it is a nutrient that we need in our diet, just not too much. Know your Fats. Know your Numbers. Eat Optimally.
The American Heart Association advisory committee released a statement about coconut oil in June that seems to have added to the confusion about diet in particular the role of fats in a healthy anti-inflammatory diet. Unfortunately, most of the press was focused around the aspect of the statement that commented on coconut oil and the message was lost about how to understand the fats that you eat and what fats are best used in your diet.
Know your Fats. Know your Numbers.
Fats are a very important to the body. They are very important for neurological health. Just like everything else. They are best taken in balance with the other macronutrients: carbohydrates and protein.
Ideally fats should compose 30% of the calories in your diet.
- 20% of those calories should be from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats
- 10% from saturated fat.
For women, this means 15 grams a day of saturated fat.
For men, this means 20-25 grams a day of saturated fat.
Fats often are not found in isolation. It is difficulty to find fats that contain only saturated fat and one that contain only polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat. However, there are fats that that contain a higher percentage of saturated fat that others. Coconut oil and avocado oil are one of those fats that are mostly saturated in nature. In fact 1 tablespoon of Coconut oil contains, 13 grams of saturated fat.
The healthiest diets that reduce inflammation in the body and reduce heart disease contain this small 10% amount of saturated fat, but contain a higher amount of polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat. Olive oil and canola oil contain the highest amounts of monounsaturated fat which seems to be the best. Below is a great resource for knowing your fats and what to use in your diet.
Coconut oil is a great saturated fat and defiantly a great choice when cooking at high heat. It may healthier as it is derived from plant sources, but best used in moderation along with other oils as a part of your "Balanced" diet.
Optimize Your Health, Simplify Your Life,
Dr Sharyl Truty MD
If you feel like you need more information on diet or how an Integrative Medicine Consultation can be beneficial to your mind, body, & soul, then you owe it to yourself to contact us at Balanced Physician Care today (904 930-4774). Dr Sharyl Truty has the time to truly analysis your symptoms, find the root cause of your issues, and get you back on the path wellness.
* Chart reprinted from: Common Oils and Fats. VA Nutrition August 2017