“Our bodies need fat, so it’s OK to eat plenty of “healthy” oils, such as those from fish.”

We do need to have a certain amount of fat in our diet, but not the 30 to 40% of our diets that most North Americans consume every day!

And you actually don’t need fish oil to get Omega-3 fatty acids. Excellent vegetarian sources include flax (ground seeds or oil), hemp (seeds, oil or butter), walnuts, soybeans and canola (preferably non-GMO).

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about the different types of fats lately, and about “good” versus “bad” cholesterol. For optimal health, saturated fats – mainly found in animal sources – and trans fats should be avoided altogether. Excess fat clogs up your arteries, raises your cholesterol level and, at nine calories per gram, can pack on the pounds.

Some doctors recommend that even unsaturated fats such as olive oil and flaxseed oil should be consumed sparingly. Dr. Neal Barnard, MD of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine advises us to use oils in moderation. He says that, calorie-wise, a fat is a fat, regardless if it is saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated.

Regarding cholesterol, your liver already produces all that your body needs for cell repair, production of hormones, and other functions, so decreasing the amount you eat is a really good idea.

– Written by Beverley Edwards-Miller, BASc, RD

More information

Fish oil & omega-3s

Vegetable Fat as Medicine – John McDougall MD

Cholesterol and Heart Disease – Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

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