THE WELLNESS CHOICE: Don’t be fooled by Fat Fallacies – Fats can be Good!

Special to the Parade

Dr. Susan Duve

Dr. Susan Duve

Essential Fats (are found in) all seed and cereal oils but only if fresh and unprocessed. If stale, the rancidity destroys both the E and F complex content. The rancid oils in commercial products seem to be the main cause of E and F deficiency. The “bad” oils take goodness from the body.

The fact is fats are essential nutrients.

That means they are essential to health. The brain and nervous system are 65 percent fat. The surface of every cell in our body is fat. Fats keep our skin healthy, support immune function and lower the risk of diabetes. Our hormones are made from fat, and fats are carriers for vitamins and minerals. Good fats improve and normalize cholesterol levels, support a healthy heart and are known to enhance the prevention of cancer. Fats are nutritional essentials.

Yet we are told to avoid fats – that they cause disease.

How did fats get such a bad reputation? Because some fats are remarkably bad for our health. Unnatural fats are very unhealthy, leading to heart disease, cancer, immune dysfunction, pain and obesity. Our bodies have no means to deal with unnatural “bad fats,” so they get stored in our bodies and block healthy processes. That is where the trouble begins. Imagine if you were to drive your car into a mechanic and he tells you that the oil in your car is rotten, it is full of pollution and will not protect your car anymore. Would you tell him, “I don’t want any oil then, drain the oil out if it is bad for my car, I don’t want any oil in my car at all!” That is very similar to what we are doing today. We eat bad fats – get sick, the “mechanics” tell us to avoid fats! This is ridiculous! We need fat – it is essential to life, it is essential to health.

Out with the “bad” and in with the “good” fats.

But which is which? Like other whole foods, fats and oils that come to us in a fresh, unrefined state are healthy. The proper extraction of the oils from these whole foods is an important step in the process of health. That’s because heat, oxygen and chemical solvents can change the natural goodness of the oils (fats) and even the best sources for oils can be ruined in processing. Good fats come from properly prepared olives, seeds and nuts from pasture-fed animals, wild, coldwater fish and even from green leafy vegetables!

Examples of bad fats are corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed and canola oils, hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated oils, and the absolute worst of them all are transfats.

Why would food scientists ruin the oils with processing?

The answer is to produce cheap oil and to prolong shelf-life. Some oils are damaged as they are extracted. Hydrogenated fats and oils were once natural but they have been processed using heat and chemicals in order to prolong their shelf-life for profits. The worse part about this processing is that it changes the structure of the fat to become a transfat. “Transfat is made when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil — a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation increases the shelf life and flavor stability of foods containing these fats,” according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website.

A transfat is an unnatural fat that our body has no way to process, so it stays in the body, blocking healthy processes for a very long time – 255 days! Transfats are like bad oil in your car that you cannot quickly drain out. Bad oil in your car will cause it to overheat, get low mileage and ultimately breakdown. These transfats are the saturated fats that have been associated with heart disease, cancer and immune dysfunction. These unhealthy fats are found in margarine, shortening, commercial cookies, crackers and chips – and in most packaged “foods.” You must avoid them!

Fats: A matter of God-made (natural) vs. man-made (de-natured). Finding the best high quality fats is easy but you have to be careful and use common sense.

• Oils (fats) that are found in natural foods – GOOD

• Oils (fats) that are heated, chemically processed or rancid (spoiled) – BAD

Things to do when it comes to fats:

• Eliminate all hydrogenated, partially-hydrogenated and transfats from your foods. These are the unhealthy type of saturated fats. Read labels and avoid or discard any that you find.

• Avoid all corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed and canola oils in your cooking and in prepared foods. These are heat and chemically extracted oils and have been damaged or contaminated in processing.

• Eat foods containing healthy fats including butter, olive oil, grass-fed meats, free-range eggs and wild, cold-water fish.

• Use healthy fats in your meals, including healthy extra-virgin olive oil, organic butter, and unrefined organic coconut oil.

• Take high quality essential oil supplements.

• Consider consuming fish or cod liver oil supplements and high vitamin butter concentrate.

Healthy fats: What may benefit you? Ask me!

As always, speak to your MD, DC, DO, dentist or holistic practitioner about what you can do to add healthy fats to your diet. If you would like more information or would like to have a complete nutritional consult with Dr. Duve to address your specific needs, email or call the office at (956) 943-2300.

Wellness is a choice, not a chance … Be well in 2013!

Editor’s Note: Contact Dr. Susan Duve at the Duve Wellness Center & Natural Living Shoppe, located on 201 W. Queen Isabella in Port Isabel, by calling (956) 943-2300 or visit

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