From coconut oil to avocado, we love incorporating fats into our lifestyles here at KNOW Foods. But there are some fats that we love more than others, and some that we generally try to avoid, whether we're making KNOW Better toast or adding pan-seared salmon to our KNOW Better pasta.
Fats can be divided into two main categories with a few different subcategories:
In general, we like to focus on consuming saturated and monounsaturated fats often, polyunsaturated fats sometimes, and avoid processed trans-fats like the plague!
Yes, you read that correctly — we love our saturated fat at KNOW Foods! For years we have been taught that saturated fats are bad for our health and cause heart disease. Some recent studies have been starting to find evidence that there may not actually be a significant link between saturated fats and cardiovascular disease.
One of the main differences between saturated and unsaturated fats comes down to how easily they can break down and become oxidized. The more saturated a fat is, the more stable it is, both on the counter and in your body.
Saturated fats, such as butter, ghee, coconut oil, MCT oil, and many animal fats, are some of the most stable fats, meaning they are less likely to oxidize. We like to choose pasture-raised, organic sources of saturated fats when possible.
Monounsaturated fats, which come from sources like avocados, olives, nuts, and seeds, are moderately stable fats that are best consumed in their whole food state. When buying avocado and olive oil, look for dark bottles that are labeled “expeller-pressed,” “cold-pressed,” or “centrifuge-extracted” to minimize the risk of oxidation.
Polyunsaturated fats, such as soybean, sunflower, safflower, canola, corn, and grapeseed oil, should be avoided as often as possible. These oils are highly processed and prone to oxidation, leading to increased inflammation in the body. Instead, we like to choose whole food sources of omega-3 polyunsaturated fat from things like sardines, salmon, walnuts, hemp seeds, and chia seeds.
Trans fats — aka hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, margarine, and vegetable shortening — are our least favorite. They're chemically processed and have been linked to several health issues.