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The Facts On Healthy Fats

By Michelle Newport Published 11/5/2006 | Nutrition

With all the conflicting information out there today about what is healthy and what is not, I always turn to the Bible and search for the answers I'm seeking in God's Word.

There are so many products available on the market today that boast being heart healthy which is low in fat. It is important to know that the Bible teaches there are healthy fats as well as unhealthy ones.

We can find 5 different kinds of fats mentioned in the Scripture, which are:

  1. Butter. In the book of Genesis when the Lord appeared to Abraham in Mamre to tell Abraham and Sarah they would have a son, Abraham prepared a meal, which included butter.

    And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat. Genesis 18:8 (KJV) Butter which was made from cattle, goats or sheep was eaten freely. Of course due to farming practices today is it wise to choose butter that is organic to avoid antibiotics and hormones.

  2. Fish Oils. Considering that our Lord Jesus gave fish to His disciples (John 21:13) we can be sure that the fat from the fish oils which occurs naturally in fish is allowed.
  3. Olive Oil. II Kings 18:32 (KJV) says, Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive and of honey, that ye may live, and not die: and hearken not unto Hezekiah, when he persuadeth you, saying, The LORD will deliver us. Fats that occur naturally in plant food, such as olives are always in the liquid state and can be eaten of freely.
  4. Poultry. Poultry is considered a lean and clean meat (Leviticus 11:13-23) and contains fat that occurs naturally and is also permitted. Again due to farming practices it is best to choose poultry meat that is from organic, free-range animals.
  5. Red Meat. In Leviticus 7:23 God spoke to Moses saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Ye shall eat no matter of the fat, of ox, or of sheep, or of goat. Fat from domesticated red-meat animals such as cows is forbidden.

Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are good fats that fall into two groups: Omega-3 and Omega-6 and are vital to proper hormone function and tissue development as well as good health. EFAs are also vital for cell membranes and are used to produce and store energy and are beneficial to the Nervous, Circulatory, Glandular and Immune systems.

An important fact to know about EFAs is they are not naturally produced within the body and must be obtained through foods that contain EFAs or through supplementation. Good sources of EFAs can be found in Omega-3 Fish Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil and Black Currant Oil.

Due to the typical American diet, EFA deficiency is a common problem and is linked to serious health problems such as heart disease, cancer, depression, diabetes, stroke, ADHD, and Alzheimer's to name a few. By supplementing your diet with a high quality Essential Fatty Acids supplement, you gain the healthy benefits.

According to Dr. Michael Jacobson in The Word on Health, Moody Press, p. 130, a number of studies have been shown that fish oils, which are related to omega-3 oils, have multiple beneficial effects, including:

  • prevention of heart dysrhythmias, especially ventricular fibrillation (the cause of death in approximately one-third of those who die from heart disease)
  • opposition of clotting, reducing the risk of heart attack
  • slowing down the growth of plaque in the arteries
  • promotion of the manufacture of natural nitroglycerin to keep the heart vessels open
  • lowering of plasma triglyceride fat levels
  • slowing down the production of bad cholesterol
  • lowering blood pressure
  • protection against colon cancer

How can you be sure you are getting enough healthy fats in your diet?

  1. When choosing between butter or margarine choose butter. Margarine contains trans fatty acids which are very detrimental to good health.
  2. Adding raw seeds and nuts to your diet, which are a good source of essential fatty acids.
  3. Make fish a regular part of your diet.
  4. Choose lean meats like chicken and turkey. Be sure the meat you purchase is free of hormones and antibiotics.
  5. Prepare foods using a healthy fat such as olive oil. It is important to note there is some disagreement on whether olive oil retains its healthy benefits once cooked at high temperatures.
  6. Eat red meat, that is clean and lean, in moderation. It is typically recommended to only eat red meat once a week.
  7. Take a high quality EFA supplement daily.