Updated: Sep 16
Fats are a vital nutrient they are important for many functions in the body. The advice on fat consumption has changed drastically over the last few decades and this is how I incorporate fats in the diet based on my current knowledge and research. Everyone is different so these are not blanket recommendations.
1) I use animal based fats for cooking; for instance ghee (which I make myself from butter), butter, beef dripping and lard. I rarely use vegetable oils for cooking because they are unstable at high heats, the composition of them changes. In other words they oxidise and there is no conclusive evidence on the effect that this has on the body
2) If I do have to use a plant based oil for cooking, I will use olive oil (not extra virgin), this is slightly more stable at high temperateness, but still not recommended for frying or cooking on a high heat. I use extra virgin olive oil for dressing salads - I always buy oil that is stored in glass jars and not plastic
3) I avoid all nut, seed, soy, vegetable, corn and sunflower oils, these oils are very very unstable, they are extremely sensitive to heat and light, a supermarket shelf provides the perfect place for the oil to become oxidised before you get it home
4) I never eat any product that contains hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated or trans fats. These have mostly been removed from food but it is always worth checking the labels
6) I don't limit the amount of eggs I consume each week (although I don't eat many) and I eat full fat dairy
7) I have reduced using coconut oil for cooking as I am not convinced that it is as good as we are led to believe - however coconut oil is more stable at high temperatures than other plant based oils, so if you are vegan stick to using this for cooking. I use coconut oil for cleaning my skin, using as a base for my toothpaste and as an overnight hair mask
8) I have recently stopped eating fish and shellfish - unless I can source organic versions from cleaner waters - I now prefer to get my omega 3's from grass fed beef and lamb
9) I do like plant based fats but I consume them as whole foods, so whole nuts, whole seeds, I like the odd avocado too!
The message here is to not be scared of having fat in your diet. However the types of fats along side the way you use them in cooking and how they appear in processed food and takeaways matters.