It has become clearer and clearer that diets high in saturated fat and trans fats are associated with health problems. There are hundreds of studies that link diets high in these types of fats with heart disease and stroke. What about dementia? There is a very well designed study that does a connection between Alzheimer's disease and an increased intake of saturated and trans fat.
Certainly in the last few years it has become easier for consumers to know exactly what to do about their diets. Back when I started eating healthy and changing my style of cooking all fats were bad. We now know that there is more to it than this simple statement and this research on Alzheimer's is a good example of how the type of fat and not the amount is the key factor in eating for good health.
Martha Morris and her colleagues studied 815 senior citizens to evaluate the role fats might play in Alzheimer's disease. They found a clear correlation between diets high in saturated fat and trans fats and the risk of Alzheimer's disease. The results showed almost double the risk of Alzheimer's dementia in those eating the most of these types of fats. They looked at other factors to see if these might change the results and there was no difference based on cholesterol intake or the use of vitamin E, vitamin C or beta carotene. Interestingly, total fat didn't matter nor did whether the saturated fat was of animal origin.
Eating more fats from vegetable sources was protective against people in the study having Alzheimer's as was eating a higher proportion of polyunsaturated to saturated fats. Eating more polyunsaturated fats also appeared blunt the risks of eating a higher percentage of trans fats.
Over the course of the last few years the picture has become clearer and clearer about how important your diet is to your health. Heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's, some types of cancers and diabetes are all associated with consumption of a diet high in calories, saturated fats and trans fats.
This does not mean that you can't have fat. You have to. We know that fat is an essential part of a healthy diet. It's also part of eating great food. Red meat is OK once a week or so. Use unsalted butter in recipes but in measured, sparing amounts to add a buttery flavor. You will find richer cheeses along side lower fat ones. And oils like olive and grapeseed oil are great choices.
You can eat well, eat healthy, lose weight and live better by making simple choices in your recipes and ingredients. This week's featured recipe is a great example. The halibut with seven spices has 23 grams of fat but of that only 4 grams is saturated fat. Halibut is very high in good quality fats. Served with the lentil rice pilaf and you'll find that it's hard to remember that it's good for you. This is the perfect dish for your next dinner party and your guests don't even have to know that you're helping keep them healthy.
Eat well, eat healthy, enjoy life!
For more information visit: