EFA's or essential fatty acids are the polyunsaturated forms called omega 3's & 6's. They are essential because the body can't manufacture them. Life itself is not possible without adequate amounts of EFA's. The 3's & 6's are very sensitive to heat & modern food processing. Hydrogenation or high heat processing not only removes all of the nutrients, but also makes the oils toxic to our bodies. So the omega 3's should never be heated & should only be added after cooking has been completed. It is important to have a properly balances intake of healthy essential fats including omega 3 & 6 fats. Research has shown an approximate ratio of 4:1 of healthy omega 6's to omega 3 fats which provides the body with a proper balance of EFA's.
Healthy supplemental oils: cod liver, flaxseed, high vitamin butter oil.
Healthy cooking oils: butter (preferably from grass-fed cattle), coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, ghee or clarified butter, palm oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, safflower & sunflower oils.
Healthy oils should be in colored containers & should be avoided if in a clear one. Light can damage the oils. There should also be an expiration date on the container as nutrients have a shelf life. Look for expeller or cold pressed oils.
Organic butter is one of the healthiest foods. It contains fat-soluble vitamins, trace minerals, short & medium chain fats as well as other key nutrients. One of the most interesting items in butter (from cows grazing on grass) is the "X factor", as described by Dr. Weston Price, one of the pioneers of using natural foods. It refers to a substance that helps the body absorb & utilize minerals!
Margarine contains neither vitamins or minerals. It contains many substances harmful to the body. They should be avoided at all costs.
Information taken from: Guide To Healthy Eating. Written by David Brownstein, M.D. & Sheryl Shenefelt, C.N.
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