Today is a power episode all about one simple health tip that can help you avoid many complications that may arise from eating this one type of fat. This is a non-negotiable for everyone in my humble opinion ;)
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Sometimes you come across something so simple, so powerful that you have to share it. I have been wanting to talk about this ever since I started Broad New World but hadn’t had the space, until now.
Now I know that I get into some pretty deep and raw topics at times, but today is all about one simple health tip that can help you avoid many complications that can arise from eating this one type of fat…
Melissa and I don’t eat out all that often because to be honest it’s pretty hard to find restaurants and cafes that don’t use certain types of oils in their cooking. We are non apologetic about requesting that the chef uses only approved oils in their cooking, because it’s just not worth having this in our bodies.
I often find that when I am art directing a menu and getting strange looks from people, the common question is… “are you really sensitive or something”. And you know what, yep, I am damn sensitive… sensitive to protecting my family and I from things that should just not be allowed in food. But seriously, I don’t feel it’s about being sensitive, it’s about being finely tuned.
Remember your body is a messenger, always whispering to you, sometimes screaming, when something is out of balance. As you start to refine your approach to food and find what works for you, and go for longer and longer stretches without the things that no longer serve you, you do start to hear your messengers whispers before they become screams.
One thing my body screams at me if I ever mistakenly eat it, is trans fats. This commonly used fat in processed foods has a very dark history. It goes way back to the days of cholesterol being being demonised by false science and corrupt industry involvement. As a result, hydrogenated fats like that in margarine starting to replace wholefoods and wreaking havoc on people’s health around the world.
But as you will see, it’s not just trans fats we need to avoid… there are some very common fats used in just about every restaurant that are equally damaging, if not worse…
Let’s jump in to a quick definition of trans fats and then look at more types of oils that we do not want to be eating…
Trans fats, also known as hydrogenated oils, are formed when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil during food processing in order to make it solidify. This process, known as hydrogenation, makes fats less likely to spoil, so foods appear to remain fresh longer, have a longer shelf life and also have a less greasy feel.
Where do you find trans fats? French fries, fried chicken, packed chips, doughnuts, cookies, pastries and crackers. To be honest, just about any packed food in the supermarket is likely to have form of trans fat. Food manufacturers love them because they’re cheap and they significantly reduce perishability and remain stable even at room temperature.
What do they do to your body?
Can cause obesity, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, interfere with your bodies ability to fight cancer, cause diabetes by making a mess of insulin receptors, lower your bodies immune system, wreak havoc on your reproductive system and sex hormones, clog your arteries…. And way way more.
Ok… do I have your attention now?
But I hear you saying… hang on BROADHURST, I don’t eat processed foods? I hear you… so here is another fat that is just as bad… and that is when you take polyunsaturated fats in vegetable oils like soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower, canola, peanut, cottonseed and rice bran oil. In a nutshell, when you heat these oils you create oxidised cholesterol which causes increased thromboxane formation… sounds super sciency, but just means they can contribute to clots forming in your blood,
There are two more big concerns with polyunsaturated fats that are heated… Cyclic Aldehydes and Acrylamide which have been shown to cause toxic shock in animals through gastric damage. You will have noticed the huge focus on gut health… and it’s no wonder the human population struggles so much with this when so many are consuming industrial nut and seed oils that have been used in cooking.
So what is the solution? When Melissa and I eat out we make sure before booking that they can accommodate our food boundaries…. That is, no sugar, no dairy, no gluten and no nut and seed oils. We simply ask them to cook with olive oil, coconut oil, ghee or butter.
But even then, cooking with any oils is not ideal for your health… so at home we steam just about everything. In our new home we are building we are installing a steam oven because we do so much steaming and it is such a clean and healthy way to cook food.
If you heard my episode #1, Living By The Code, you will remember that one of my Conditional rules was, I only cook with oils when making something special for guests or as a treat. And I am only talking about oils like coconut and ghee. That is all we use at home if we do cook with oils.
Try steaming a piece of wild salmon until you can put a spoon through it…it’s like creamy butter. Or steamed carrot, chard, fennel, asparagus, zucchini, or any of your favourite veggies… You can use oil but use it as a dressing, like a drizzle of olive oil on your steamed veg with a squeeze of lemon juice, sea salt and pepper. Simple. If you keep things simple, your body, your messenger, will thank you.
Here is a quick low down on the good oils which are safe for cooking…
Olive, avocado, butter, ghee, tallow, lard, cacao butter, coconut… but again, I will reiterate that it’s still not ideal to cook with oils or fats. But if you do, use ones from that list.
Here are some oils you can use but really should be used raw and refrigerated.
Macadamia, walnut, flax, and hemp.
Remember we can get healthy fats into our diet from so many whole food sources. Avocados are an amazing source, as is coconut oil, raw dairy if you can tolerate it (but few people can, so be mindful of this) egg yolks are just about the perfect food if you don’t have any sensitivity to them, fully pastured poultry, grass fed and finished land animals and of course fatty fish. This all depends on your own preference for whether or not you eat animal products, but either way, is is very easy to get healthy fats into our diet.
A small handful of activated nuts for example…. Notice I say ‘small’ handful… not the whole packet in one sitting. And a quick note on nut butters…. Yep, they taste freakin epic… but most are non activated which means they are full of enzyme inhibitors and phytates which can lead to zinc and iron deficiency… but if you must go for a nut butter, the safest would be Macadamia. But all nut butters will have their oils exposed to oxygen, and as we just learned, oxidised fats are not a good thing. View them as a rare treat, not a staple.
So just a quick recap of the oils to avoid…. soybean oil, corn oil, safflower, rapeseed, grapeseed, sunflower, canola, peanut, cottonseed and rice bran oil.