Healthy Fats

simplesteps

“Don’t eat saturated fats…Saturated fats are fine…Margarine is much better than butter…Margarine is made of plastic…Eat low-fat….Eat lots of fat…Don’t eat fat at all…. Avocados are a good source of fat…Fat causes heart disease…Fat keeps your cells healthy…Stay away from real butter….Eat all the butter you want…Cream is for when you want to eat naughty….Never deep fat fry anything…Drink skim milk…Raw cream has many healing factors…You can’t eat fat and stay thin…Be sure to feed your kids low fat yogurt and cheeses…”

In honor of all the big fat contradictory fatty information out there, I’d like to ask us all to pause and have a moment of simultaneous screaming.

{aaahahhhahahaaahhhhhahahhahahhhhaaaaahahhhahhhhhhhaaaaahhahhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!} 

{ahahhaahah.}

{ahh.}

Thank you.

I get very weary of hearing fat information that contradicts.  I used to think fat was bad. I used to feel terrible guilt anytime I ate anything with cheese or butter and heaven forbid if I ever indulged in french fries.

So, what’s the truth?  IS fat bad?

Well, that depends on who you ask…and it depends on which fats you’re talking about…and it depends on which research was done to prove that the fat was good or bad…and it depends on who’s trying to make money by telling you the information and it depends on…

{aaahahhhhaaah!!}

I’m just going to share where I’ve landed on the matter and of course I am of the opinion that I am right.  :)  But as we all know, I am a normal (and often scatterbrained) mom who often carries her own light saber around for protection.  I’m not a fat research specialist…so you can take this information or leave it.

From what I’ve read, heart disease and obesity did NOT begin to be a big problem in the US until right about the time we began to switch out butter with margarine and our whole fat with low fat.  The less saturated fat we have eaten as a nation, the unhealthier (and heavier) we have become, even though saturated fat is blamed for bad health.  Most vegetable oils (those low in saturated fat) sold in the store are rancid before they even make it to our kitchens and rancid oils tend to freak out our insides.  These are the  oils that most restaurants use.

Oh and also, most low fat products have quite a few artificial flavors and lots of sugar added to make up for the taste that is pulled out along with the fat.  Hmm.

So are fats bad for us?  Yes, some of them most certainly are.  But does that mean we should all “go low fat”?  Choosing the right fats for our health is important.  In fact, my research often tells me that eating a nice amount of fat (the good ones) is actually necessary for good health.

So which fats are the good fats?  Here are my favorites and the fats I feel best about eating and cooking with:

Butter -  I’m talking about real butter, not margarine.  People interchange the names of the two, but margarine isn’t butter, it’s nasty, so just make sure you know that I’m talking about BUTTER here.

I love that butter is pure with only one or maybe two ingredients:  Cream and Salt.  I’d recommend that you buy the “Unsalted Butter” but watch out because unsalted varieties usually have other additives labeled as “flavorings”.  Grr, don’t add flavorings (aka MSG) to my butter!!!  Give me the pure stuff!!  So, if I can find an unsalted butter that is ONLY cream, I go for it, otherwise I go with salted.  Butter made from raw, pastured cream is THE BEST EVER for your health if you can get your hands on some.

Butter is great for baking items such as cookies and biscuits.  Plus of course, butter is also great spread on bread or waffles or pancakes or muffins…

Coconut Oil – When it comes to healthy oils, it doesn’t get much better than coconut oil.  Find out here how to receive a free book about the benefits of coconut oil.  There are two main varieties of coconut oil:  Unrefined and Virgin.  Both are good for you, especially when you buy them from a good source like Tropical Traditions or  Mountain Rose Herbs.  Unrefined Coconut Oil has a very mild taste and does not taste like coconut, which makes it good for frying (when you don’t want your chicken nuggets to taste like coconuts).  Virgin Coconut oil has a fabulous coconut flavor and is great for baking!

Coconut oil does not go rancid when heated to high temps, so all that stuff you hear about “never deep fat frying anything”?  It’s true…except for when you fry foods in Coconut Oil!!  Or when you fry it in…

Palm Oil or Palm Shortening – I am so excited to find that Palm Shortening can be used to make a fabulous and healthy pie crust!!!  I often melt some palm shortening into my electric skillet to fry donuts or french fries.  There is no flavor in this shortening so your french fries taste like french fries…only better!   Yeah, who doesn’t love a french fry that tastes better than a french fry!!

Olive Oil - Of all the controversial fats, Olive Oil stands up to the test on both sides of the fence.  I use olive oil to stir fry my veggies, to cook chicken and to make salad dressings.  I prefer organic, and always try to find it in a dark colored bottle as the sunlight does compromise it’s quality.

Full Fat Dairy – Oh yes, bring on the whole milk and rich cream.  More about dairy another time, because wow, this post is getting long isn’t it?

What are your thoughts on fat?  What have you learned and what has your research taught you?  Do you find yourself screaming about the controversial fat information out there like I do? {aaahahha!}

Comments

  1. Tracey says

    My mind still thinks like your first paragraph about this. I have low HDL and the doctor told me to stay away from Fat, especially saturated fat. They said that makes it lower. I have been reading alot about the oils that you mentioned and the hydrogenated forms of these seem to be the trouble makers. Not the pure forms. Its just scary when you are talking about your heart (and I am too young to worry about that, I think)!! Thanks for sharing!!!

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  2. says

    Absolutely agree! I have been reading Dr. Mercola’s book called, Take Contol of Your Health” and he recommends only Coconut Oil and Olive Oil. I am a believer in BUTTER and no margarine. I also use coconut oil on my face and it feels awesome and helps with these close to fifty wrinkles. Thank you for sharing! Appreciate it!

    [Reply]

    Erin Reply:

    I use coconut oil on my 1 year old’s face when it gets chapped. It
    works great and is a healthy fat when she decides to go for a lick. :)

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    Andrea Reply:

    Amy, I read your post and though, “She counts her wrinkles?” Haha! I get it now. :)

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  3. Hailey peck says

    Our brains our made up of 90% cholesterol. I have always scoffed at the “low fat, low cholesterol., here take this drug to lower your cholesterol mentality”
    I eat avocados and butter by the pound and still barely weigh 120 ( well right now Im 110 because my beastly 7 month old sucks the life out of me while nursing ;)

    So back to my first sentence, and the point Im trying to make.. if our brains are 90% cholesterol, and most of America is on a cholesterol lowering med.. is it any wonder that America has the highest (and pretty much ONLY) population of Alzheimer’s disease? Hmmmm….. Food for thought… (Healthy High-Fat-Food for thought of course)

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    Stephanie Reply:

    The point of the “Cholesterol-lowering” meds are NOT to lower HDLs,
    which is the healthy cholesterol, but to decrease LDLs which cause all
    kind of health problems. They also aim to raise the HDLs.
    I am certainly not of the state of mind to decrease ALL fats, but
    there are good and healthy fats (i.e. the avocados that you (And I!)
    love!).

    One thing to remember is just because you are thin, doesn’t mean that
    your cholesterol/heart is healthy. I am also about 110 pounds (and 5’7″),
    and used to eat ANYTHING I wanted (full fat everything, not much junk
    food, though), and had a cholesterol nearing 200 at 20 years old.

    With a family who has a strong history of stroke (due to high BP and
    cholesterol) on BOTH sides of my family, I knew I had to change my own
    risk factors.

    As long as you are aware, that is all that matters!
    family, I know it is im

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  4. Esther L says

    Two questions–first can Palm Shortening be used instead of crisco shortening? If the answer is yes, then Whoo Hoo! Second, we avoid coconut oil simply b/c my youngest was diagnosed with a peanut and tree nut allergy. Since the FDA has classified the coconut as a tree nut (of which I think this might be debatable), I don’t want to run the risk of an allergic reaction to any food I prepare for my family. So, what would be a healthy substitute for coconut oil? We currently use olive oil, butter and canola oil. Thanks so much Laura…and yeah butter!

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    Laura Reply:

    YES, you can use palm shortening in place of crisco…SO EXCITING!!!

    I’d say you can use palm shortening in place of coconut oil too if you’re afraid of using it. I interchange the two depending on what I have on hand and it works just fine!

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    Megan D. Reply:

    I was also going to ask about a sub for coconut oil because I am allergic to just about every single nut out there, coconut included. In fact, it was one of the worst ones on my allergy test! Where can you get palm oil and palm shortening? I’d never heard of it before reading your post today.

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    Laura Reply:

    Tropical Traditions! :)

  5. says

    I’m with you – coconut oil, avacados, whole raw milk, olive oil…. I haven’t tried palm oil or shortening, but I’ll go look at that in a sec. (thanks!) I did try red palm oil after it was raved about in Above Rubies magazine – but the stuff was NASTY!! and RED! I figured if we couldn’t eat it, I could use it on my skin. wrong!

    I usually go by Dr Rex Russell’s advice – Eat foods as close to their original form as possible. Bring on the fat, Baby :-)

    [Reply]

    bakingmama Reply:

    Yes, the red palm oil has such a distinct flavor … it may be good for
    you, but not many uses. The palm oil shortening on the other hand is
    SO GREAT to use in place of crisco. I LOVE Rex Russell’s book and
    recommend it to everyone (What the Bible Says About Healthy Living).
    It really makes a lot of things clear (like why oils like canola,
    safflower, etc. are marketed as SO GOOD for you, when they are really
    not – it’s the refining process!)

    Follow his basic rule of thumb (as you mentioned), eating the foods
    God gave us in AS CLOSE TO THEIR ORIGINAL FORM as possible, and you
    can’t go wrong!

    By the way, our bodies need cholesterol, but we also need the foods
    that help them to metabolize that cholesterol (whole grains!) which
    is why cholesterol-filled foods cause so much problem for many
    people and they need cholesterol-lowering drugs. That empty white
    refined food is really to blame!

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    Nikki Reply:

    We use coconut oil mainly- It is actually what most of the carnival
    style popcorn poppers use…

    But when we want a little excitement we’ve been known to toss in a little
    bacon fat. You can’t use all bacon fat, that doesn’t work well but a
    tablespoon of it and all the popcorn has an awesome bacony taste and then
    we just salt it and go! It’s yummy! And a nice treat from regular popcorn.

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  6. says

    I love this article and it hits the nail on the head. I use real butter and coconut oil and olive oil. I have noticed that my skin is less dry and I am actually losing weight. I am staying away from overly processed foods and anything with sweetner added, which is really hard to do. I shop at a local health food store for the more natural products. I grow herbs including Stevia (a natural sweetner) in my Florida Room year round.

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  7. Amanda says

    I’ve landed about where you did on the fat issue. I threw out the last of my canola oil, and now just use butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and the occasional sesame oil. :)

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  8. says

    I would recommend Nourishing Traditions. It’s a cookbook with a chapter at the beginning on this subject. I think you would find it very useful and interesting. It covers some of that you talked about here. That’s what I thought of as soon as I started reading this post. Thanks for sharing–this is definitely a hot topic.

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  9. says

    I agree on all counts, but I do have a question…I have been reading a lot about how most canola oil we have access to is GMO. I really don’t use a lot of canola oil, but it is what I use to pop popcorn in. Popcorn is one of my family’s favorite snacks and it is so cheap to make! Does anyone have a suggestion for a good oil to pop popcorn in besides canola? I don’t think olive oil can be heated enough to pop popcorn in.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’ve read all kinds of bad things about canola oil (not that I can quote the facts now…) but I avoid it if at all possible. At the very least, it’s rancid.

    We pop our popcorn in coconut oil and it is the BEST popcorn EVER!!

    [Reply]

    Sarah Reply:

    I second Laura – Coconut oil is 100% the way to go.

    [Reply]

    Baking Mama Reply:

    We love air popped with melted butter drizzled over it!

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    Donna J Reply:

    We always do our popcorn in coconut oil. It tastes great!

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    Sa'ada Reply:

    we use palm oil and the popcorn comes out with the yellow coloring like
    at the movie theaters or from microwave popcorn. it’s great.

    [Reply]

    Michelle Reply:

    The instructions that came with our oil popper tell you never to do this but we mix butter with olive oil to pop our popcorn. I use medium heat and our oil popper is stainless steel, so I figure I would saute some veg over medium heat in a oil/butter mixture so why not our popcorn? I also put the salt right in the popper too. Comes out buttery and slightly salty and delicious!

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    Beth Reply:

    I agree, coconut oil…it’s amazing! :)

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Reply:

    What about grapeseed oil? Is it ok?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I think that it is…I’ve not done much research on it, but from looking into it briefly, it sounds like it’s on the healthy side of things.

    Kristi Reply:

    According to Mary Enig, PhD, “Grapeseed oil contains phenols that raise the smoke point. However it is very high in omega-6 fatty acids, so it not a good choice for our diets–we need to avoid excess omega-6 fatty acids as much as possible. Also, grapeseed oil is industrially processed with hexane and other carcinogenic solvents, and traces will remain in the oil.”

    Crystal Reply:

    Why not just melt butter and pop the kernals in butter, then you may not need to add as much butter at the end. (Not that you can have too much butter – real butter.)

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    Stephanie Reply:

    We use olive oil to pop our popcorn on the stove :)

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    Becky@BoysRuleMyLife Reply:

    If you get the butter too hot it will smoke and make the popcorn taste awful. Our favorite is coconut oil. :)

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  10. says

    I Love fat! We use real butter, coconut oil and raw milk here and I would never go back now. And the funny thing is…the further you get away from processed food and poor quality ingredients the more you see a difference in how you feel when you do have to eat it somewhere else. Plus, I notice a huge difference in how my kids act and feel as well. This was a great post Laura and I am right there with you!

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  11. Dana says

    I’m slowly making my way to healthier oils (already switched over to good, real butter!), but I’m still a little fuzzy on how to replace my old oils. Can coconut oil replace both vegetable and canola oil? Since coconut oil is solid at room temp, do you need to melt it before you use it? I just got my first jar of coconut oil and had success with my granola (yum!) but not with the sugar cookies (were really crumbly). I think this was because I refrigerated the dough. Any ideas?

    Also, can you order a smaller container of shortening? I’m not sure I could use a gallon before it goes bad…

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I just melt the coconut oil to use in recipes that normally call for vegetable oil. For cookies, I usually use melted butter. But hmm…I have a sugar cookie recipe that calls for a cup of oil…I’m not sure which oil would work with that recipe. That’s a bit different. I wonder if my palm shortning would work.

    Regarding palm shortening…I just got a gallon of it and it doesn’t expire until 2012! I have seen it in smaller quantities at Whole Foods, but I never have a hard time using my gallon bucket in time because it has such a long shelf life.

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    Natalie Reply:

    You can get Spectrum Organic all vegetable shortening from either Azure Standard or Amazon.com. I’m sure you can find it other places too. The main thing is that it is actually 100% mechanically pressed palm oil. Not “vegetable” like crisco! It comes in 24oz tubs, and like Laura says, it has an impressive shelf life!

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    Michelle Reply:

    For breads and pancakes, if I don’t feel like dirtying another pot to melt butter or coconut oil I just use olive oil :)

    [Reply]

  12. Amanda says

    Thank you for your perspective, I love your posts! My daughter’s allergic to dairy, so we use Earth Balance which I think is a little better than regular margarine. We also use coconut and the other oils you mentioned.

    The only thing I wanted to say is that there are some serious environmental issues with palm oil. Palm oil plantations are destroying habitat in Borneo and Sumatra. You can find sustainable palm oil, but it is rare. I used to work in a zoo and this was one of the issues that our teen volunteer group was very involved in.

    They have some credible information at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo here: http://www.cmzoo.org/conservation/palmOilCrisis/.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Thanks for the info. I just looked on the Tropical Traditions site about their palm oil and it seems that they are forest friendly which was good to know: http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/organic_palm_shortening.htm

    What are your thoughts about what they say there?

    [Reply]

    Amanda Reply:

    It sounds like a good source to me. The palm oil that is used for most cosmetics, candies, processed foods, etc. is almost always not sustainable. It’s just one of those things to check the source on whenever you buy it.

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  13. April says

    Thanks for sharing about the unsalted butter possibly having added flavorings. I buy unsalted butter, but will check the label before I buy more of the same brand. Thanks!

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    Betsy Reply:

    I appreciate this distinction too! I was just in the grocery store wondering whicch was better. Thanks!

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  14. Erin says

    Yes it makes me want to scream. I remember when I first started eating in the same/similar eating style as your family (based on learnings from this blog and 2 others). I had lost a good amount of weight and I was eating your honey whole wheat bread with butter and my mom saw and commented on how much butter I put on my bread. She was thinking I would gain the weight by eating that much bread (carbs) and butter, but I smiled and was like “yea its good for me”…hahaha now she is turned over to this side too :-)

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  15. Rachel says

    After my husband was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease a couple years ago, we switched to using only real butter, coconut oil and olive oil (as well as switching to whole foods in general) in order to lower his inflammation. He is now feeling better than ever and has been able to lower his dosage of anti-inflammatories as well. We have found that REAL FOOD works better than medicine in many instances.

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  16. says

    I just wanted to say that I completely agree with what you have said and that I had no idea that there were better options out there than olive oil and canola oil! I also didn’t know that it went rancid! :(

    I am definitely going to be making the switch.

    I also wanted to add that we had a long chat with a dairy farmer friend of ours a while back because we are considering a dairy cow next year and he told us that whole milk is the best to buy because it is full of natural energy. It is a much better option than gatorade or any of the other energy drinks out there. He also said that children will perform better in school if they have whole milk in the mornings before they leave because they won’t crash in the middle of the school day. Here is an interesting link that I found all about milk: http://www.lifescript.com/Body/Food/Cook/The_Whole_Milk_Truth.aspx?gclid=CNa5m_Khq6UCFY64Kgod9zrIYg&trans=1&du=1&ef_id=TCz6dAqoEGQAAF@PylUAAEHf:20101118210314:s

    Thank you for a great post!

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  17. says

    Hi everyone! I started eating like this a few weeks ago but am concerned I am gaining a few pounds! Any one go through anything similar when making the switch?

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  18. says

    Our family is right there with you! Except we have never tried palm oil or shortning, but I will now! We have been taking this approach to fat and eating this way for the last year and we are all very healthy and my husband and I are at the healthiest weights that we’ve been at probably since high school! It is SO freeing to feel good about eating real butter, whole milk, and CREAM! These have always been some of my very favorite things and to feel guilty about eating them was always so disheartening. I’m glad to hear about Rex Russell’s books because I have never read him, but I definitely will!

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  19. says

    grr. just looked at my unsalted butter and saw, “natural flavorings”. :(
    I still use canola oil b/c of the expense, but otherwise we’re an all butter, olive oil family. I’ve been making changes slowly b/c the sticker shock is hard to get over sometimes. I’ll go for it w/ the “good stuff” and then feel guilty at times for the $ I spent. It’s so hard in that regard for me b/c the prices are so drastically different. To “do it all” so to speak in regards to healthy eating, one can end up spending 4 to 5 times as much $ as they would buying on the cheap. I know health costs must factor into my equations, but that’s harder to project. Any encouragement in regards to this dilemna?

    [Reply]

    Danielle B Reply:

    Mine did too! Stupid natural flavorings!

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    Esther L Reply:

    Briana, I agree with the cost issue. Slowly, as our existing
    ingredients/food are used up, I purchase the higher quality items.
    It seems to make it a little easier on the wallet that way. Also, I
    found that doing a monthly menu plan really helped with our budget. I
    used to do a weekly menu plan, but always ended up spending way more
    than necessary. By seeing the whole month, I can plan accordingly and
    stock up on various ingredients that will show up throughout the month.
    Just by doing this, we’ve freed up a little money which can then be put
    towards buying those high quality items for stocking the pantry. Good luck!

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  20. says

    I absolutely agree. While, yes, there are some fats (like refined sugar, corn syrup, and such) that should be enjoyed sparingly, natural fats like real butter and cream, olive oil, avocados, buttermilk, etc are good for you! The way I see it, the more natural I can get our food, the healthier we are. And that includes our fats. We used to drink whole milk, but my husband just can’t get over how thick and rich it is. He grew up drinking skim and 1% (blech!) and we settled on 2% for the family so I don’t have to buy different kinds for each person. Just like all food, eating fats in moderation and keeping portion sizes in mind is the key to good health.

    [Reply]

    Dana Reply:

    My husband is the same way! I don’t drink milk, just use it in cooking,so I let him get 2%.

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  21. DorthyM says

    I tend to agree that real stuff is a lot better than the fakey fakey stuff even doctors are happy to tell you to eat. When I tried low fat stuff, I gained weight instead of losing it. Plus I think with the full fat you get the full flavor and thus need less of it.

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  22. Danielle B says

    I mainly use butter, olive oil and canola oil. I NEVER used vegetable oil. That’s worse than canola oil… horrible for your heart.

    Of course, now I’m off to find butter without “natural flavorings”.

    Laura, will organic butter still have natural flavorings to it? (do you know?)

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Organic butter usually does not have the added flavorings, but it’s always good to check. I trust most organic products to be good, but sometimes they still have funky stuff in there!

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  23. Ann says

    I’ve never used palm oil, but I do get lard with the pastured half a hog I get each year from local farmers. I’m loving lard, esp. for pie crusts and tortillas! I’m frying some chicken in coconut oil at this very moment!

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  24. says

    You must have read my mind! I was just thinking about emailing to ask you about fats. I grew up with a mom who was terrified of fat, so to me, all the low-fat and fat-free stuff tastes normal and I can’t abide the taste of full-fat food. Not to mention, it does a number on my digestive system when I eat it. I was curious if, when you swtiched over from the low-fat stuff, you had trouble getting your body and taste buds to adjust. I also have this fear that if I stop eating low-fat, I’ll, well, get FAT. I echo your screams, as you can see =)

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    It’s a common fear to feel like if you start eating fat, you’ll get fat. I was concerned about that too back when I switched over because the low fat thing had been so crammed into my brain. It makes sense that your digestive system is having a hard time with the change…your system is not used to it. Maybe go a little easier on the fats at first so your body can adjust (and your taste buds too). When I switched over many foods (not just fats) my body seemed to go through a bit of detox, kind of a “feel worse before you feel better” kind of thing. Not fun, but worth it!

    Ooh, and I didn’t get fat. I am a butter, cream and beef kind of girl and have not gained weight. Actually, the only time I start to feel heavier is when I eat too much SUGAR.

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  25. Steph says

    While I completely agree with almost everything you have written and we are a whole milk and butter kind of family :) , I feel like I have to play devil’s advocate and mention that although it may seem like heart disease and such went up when we switched to margarine, etc, we have to remember that our medical advances that allowed us to SEE why people were sick or dying also went up. And our exercise went DOWN. I am still an advocate of the pure and natural (100%!!) =though. :)

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Oh yeah…I did mean to mention that about the lack of exercise! That has been a huge factor, you’re right!

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  26. Kellie says

    I made the switch, and I’ve certainly gained weight. In my case, I don’t believe it is WHAT I’m eating, I think it is because everything tastes so much better that I’m eating MORE, and thus, the weight gain!

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  27. says

    I made the switch just this past week from skim milk (that me and my four year old drank like crazy!) to whole milk. I also made the switch to pure butter and olive oil as well!

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    Melissa Reply:

    I have a question as well. I seen up in a previous comment that you felt bad before you felt better. Do you really, truly feel better? I drink Dr. Pepper like you did your Pepsi, but I feel so blah when I don’t have it. Your thoughts? (I don’t mean to get off the fat topic, just a question that popped in my head when I seen that comment!) Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Oh yes, I feel TONS better! Pepsi (or DP in your case!) only makes us think we feel better when we have it. Now that I’m off of it and my body is used to not having it, I feel energized like Pepsi NEVER could do for me. Plus, I’m sleeping much better and without all that sugar, I’m not nearly as sluggish like I felt when I “needed a pepsi”.

    [Reply]

    Melissa Reply:

    Well, I guess I am going to give up my DP! Lol! Thanks for all your insight and willingness to share!

    McKinsey Reply:

    I have to chime in and second Laura on feeling better! She inspired me
    to give up Pepsi about 2 months ago when I started eating more real foods.
    When I was drinking pepsi, I was having huge sugar crashes EVERY day. It
    was starting to scare me, my sister has diabetes, I was beginning to think
    I was becoming diabetic. I would wake up hurting, in pain every day if I
    had pepsi or sugary stuff before bed. When I gave it up it was a rough
    week or two and now I can tell a huge difference. I don’t wake up in pain
    unless I eat sugar before bed. I don’t have huge mood swings, and I
    haven’t had any episodes of sugar crashing. My eyes have been opened to
    the horrible things I was doing to my body by drinking that stuff.
    My husband has even given it up and he is feeling tons better. We drank
    a 2 liter a day between us! I thank God for finding this sight and opening
    my eyes to my health. I am overweight, but I am turning my life around
    eating wise and I know the weight will follow!

    Laura Reply:

    This comment is so encouraging to me! I’m so glad that you also gave up Pepsi!! Way to go, both you and your husband!!!! :)

  28. Amy Sirk says

    Thanks for this post. I sometimes feel like I’m the only crazy person chowing down on whole milk and real butter. I find that as I eliminate processed foods from my diet I am becoming healthier. Since I switched to whole fat dairy 7 months ago I’ve lost over 20 lbs.
    I firmly believe that fake food is making us sick.

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  29. Holly in Virginia says

    Oh I love fat! Real fat! Butter and coconut oil are my favorites. And full fat dairy. When I went in for my first prenatal checkup they told me to drink 1% milk, eat lowfat, NO BUTTER, just margarine and “healthy vegetable oils” because I “don’t need all that extra fat” (their words). HA! They haven’t questioned me about my diet, and I haven’t stopped eating the good stuff and I only gained a pound in 8 weeks!

    [Reply]

    Sara B Reply:

    That is sooooo great! How are you doing now?

    [Reply]

    Holly in Virginia Reply:

    Well I am almost done with my pregnancy, I have 6 weeks left and I’ve
    gained 24 lbs, which is within their target goal of 25-35lbs. I did
    gain 6lbs one month during my second trimester and they were worried
    and lectured me about my full fat milk. But I have just kept going and
    I have had great energy and mood, especially compared to my last pregnancy!
    I think if you want to have a healthy, energized pregnancy, eat fats,
    avoid sugar, and make sure you get lots and lots of protein!

    Thanks for asking!

    [Reply]

  30. says

    The palm shortening can be used to make icing for cupcakes & cakes and tastes really good.

    Also, if you look at who recommends you eat certain things or avoid certain things..you will see where their allegiances lie, the commercials on tv advocating high fructose corn syrup were paid for by the Corn Growers Assoc. Alot of the “diets” recommended by dr.’s of organizations are sponsored by a “healthy” fat company. They aren’t going to tell you not to buy their products, their paychecks depend on it.

    A couple of years ago, we switched to butter, whole milk, whole grains, etc. It is a switch to your body, but you get used to it. A really good incentive is to “google” search a product you have questions about, but only read the articles by independent researchers ~ they are honest! Then its not to hard to switch. When I read how margarine was made, I threw it all away! Nasty stuff.

    [Reply]

  31. Jenifer Parker says

    I follow Mercola.com blog he agrees with you and you will find this and MORE there. Deep frying with olive oil is addressed and high heat is bad for olive oil apparently. Coconut oil has designations on the kind I can find for low to med and med to high heat also. I use coconut oil and butter too.

    [Reply]

  32. says

    Hmmm…thanks for the suggestions…I don’t have a popcorn popper. I just cook mine in a sauce pan on top of the stove the way my mom did when I was a kid. She liked to use bacon grease to pop it in. As far as the coconut oil goes, do you use the unrefined? I don’t have any of that, just the extra virgin. I just may need to get some!

    [Reply]

  33. Erin says

    Laura you are a BRAVE women. I am with you on the fat thing but people look at me like I am craaaaaaazy town when I talk about saturated fats being healthy for them.

    [Reply]

  34. Laurell says

    Love this post ;) What are your thoughts on casein and goats milk vs. cow milk? I read a book a while ago called the China Study and I haven’t looked at cow’s milk the same, but we still drink it because we don’t drink a lot of milk anyway. I totally agree that the closer to the way God made it the better for you :)

    [Reply]

    Laura@HeavenlyHomemakers Reply:

    I think that the China Study was done on cows milk that is from cows that are corn fed and live on feed lots…not on cows that are grass fed and have wide pastures to eat from and breathe in and walk around in. I think that milk is not milk is not milk, and there’s a big difference between store bought milk and raw milk from farmers who raise their cows on grass. I’ll try to address this further in a post I’ll write about dairy. I will admit that I haven’t studied too much about goats milk, but I truly do feel like the raw pastured milk we get from our local farmer is FANTASTIC for our health!! Such a good question you ask…it’s on my list of subjects to address in this series!

    [Reply]

  35. julie says

    Okay, what about Olive Oil?

    [Reply]

    Laura@HeavenlyHomemakers Reply:

    What’s your question exactly? I had listed Olive Oil as a good fat in my post, so I’m not sure if you’re asking some specifics about it or what exactly? Let me know and I’ll try to address it!

    [Reply]

    Katie Brock Reply:

    I wanted to know about this as well. When cooking could you switch olive oil for butter or it to be a bit more weight loss helpful?? I found a recipe almost identical to your whole wheat bread Recipe but it had olive oil instead of Butter. What are your thoughts.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    You can definitely switch out olive oil for butter in making bread. It won’t make a difference in weight loss. But it will work in the recipe. Butter or olive oil or coconut oil…these fats don’t cause weight gain…they are natural and digest naturally in our bodies. Fats that cause weight gain are the new, unsaturated fats (vegetable oils) which our bodies don’t recognize as readily…therefore they tend to turn to fat in our systems.

    Hope that made sense a little bit. :)

    Katie Reply:

    thanks. It has been fun trying to eat better. Love this whole wheat recipe. I also bought the white whole wheat and like it so much better than store whole wheat.

    [Reply]

  36. Lorie says

    I recommend that everyone read “Real Food” by Nina Planck. I learn alot about real food from her, including the kinds of fat that’s good for us.

    [Reply]

  37. Jennifer says

    I really like using lard in baking. It makes delicious tortillas, and I use half lard and half butter to make pie crusts, which provides the perfect balance of flakiness and buttery flavor.

    [Reply]

  38. Crystal says

    At my house we buy real organic butter by the case! We also use pastured beef tallow and lard. My favorite fat in the world has got to be bacon grease though! Oh, my mouth waters just thinking about the yummy aroma! :OP I’m trying to get into this coconut oil thing, but I hate the taste and smell of anything coconut (I know – I’m a freak!). We do NOT use vegetable oil, shortening, margarine, or canola oil. We consume raw full-fat milk and when not making our own dairy products, try to buy them as fatty as we can get them. :O) “Skim/part-skim cheese” – it’s absurd!

    OT ? Laura, can I use my home-made kefir in place of buttermilk in your recipes, particularly with regards to soaking my grains?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, you definitely can!

    [Reply]

  39. GoneWithTheWind says

    This is a complicated issue if no other reason then that people are all different. Fats are an essential part of our diet but some people have health problems that can be helped by cutting fat consumption. That does not mean that healthy people will avoid those same problems by cutting fat consumption.

    At the turn of the 19th century people generally didn’t live long enough to die from the big three (heart disease, cancer and stroke) and even when they did die from one of these the doctor didn’t always know it or annotate the death certificate correctly. It is exactly because we are so much healthier today and live so much loger that most of us die from the big three. It is easy to jump to the conclusion that this represents some kind of epidemic and must be caused by something. Some claim it is consumption of: fats, sugars, refined carbs, meat, HFCS, rock and roll, etc. Take your pick. But “real” studies have determined that for most people none of these foods either in excess or moderation is harmful. Of course there are plenty of non-studies that claim otherwise and if you google your favorite culprit there will be plenty of official sounding non-studies and outright quacks to support your bias. Bit it comes down to this: Eat a varied and balanced diet, avoid fad diets and if you have a health problem follow your doctors advice.

    [Reply]

  40. Shannon says

    Great post. I love coconut oil, butter and olive oil. BUT, gasp, I still use that spray “oil” in a can. Even my husband tells me how unhealthy it is. I know I can spread olive oil on a pan myself to grease it. But, is it possible to make my own oil spray? It’s just so convenient. Yes, I’m spoiled. Thanks for any ideas. Shannon

    [Reply]

    Michelle Reply:

    I have a can that I have used for a long time called a Misto. I just put the oil in and pump it up and it makes it into a spray just like those nasty silicone based non-stick sprays. I have always used olive oil in mine. Hope this helps!

    [Reply]

  41. Teresa says

    Agree completely with your post on natural fats…. hubby and I were having a discussion just the other night regarding “new healthy foods” and the rise in medical care and new medical issues. For those of you wanting REAL butter…. buy organic creme (ingredients: raw creme) and throw in into your food processor. Turn it to high and watch your butter being made. first it turns to whipped creme…. after a bit longer, it separates into yellow butter and whey. take the butter out, put in cheesecloth or unbleached coffee filters
    (a little bit at a time ) and rinse with water squeezing the butter until water runs clear. put into a glass tub, pack it down, and you have butter! if you don’t use it fast enough, add some purified water to tub to protect it from going rancid….. no preservatives, no hidden chemicals :)

    [Reply]

  42. Carol Barrilleaux says

    Laura it never ceases to amaze me what I learn from you. I didn’t know there was such a thing as palm shortening. Thank You!

    [Reply]

  43. Betsy says

    Hi Laura! Your thoughts on Grapeseed oil? I really like it, but haven’t seen much about it.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I really have no idea…I need to look into it. How’s that for an answer that’s not helpful at all? :)

    [Reply]

    Kristi Reply:

    This is what I have found…..According to Mary Enig, PhD, “Grapeseed oil contains phenols that raise the smoke point. However it is very high in omega-6 fatty acids, so it not a good choice for our diets–we need to avoid excess omega-6 fatty acids as much as possible. Also, grapeseed oil is industrially processed with hexane and other carcinogenic solvents, and traces will remain in the oil.”

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Thanks for looking into that for us! I guess that helps answer the question!

  44. says

    Hey I just wanted to ask about something. When you were talking about butter you said it’s best made from RAW, PASTEURIZED cream but I was under the impression that if dairy was RAW that it was NOT pasteurized. Am I mistaken?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Ah, that is very confusing. The word I wrote was PASTURED…not pasteurized. Pastured, as in, grass fed. I should have written than more clearly!

    [Reply]

    Kayla Reply:

    I think I figured it out after I had already commented. But if I
    could misread it the first time others might too. So does that mean
    that all raw milk doesn’t come from pasture fed cows? I guess I just
    assumed it did.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Right…I’d say most raw milk does come from grass fed or “pastured” cows…but some still feed their cows corn or other grains.

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