Saturday, 25 February 2017

Banting Friendly Fats: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Find out which oils are safe for you to use, here.

Saturated fats have had a bad rap for the last, say, 50 years. Recent studies confirm this to be untrue.

A blanket statement like "all vegetable oil is bad for you" or even one of "all seed oils are bad for you" is, well, a bad idea. 

Oils are classified according to their source - ie - if it is of a plant source, it is noted as a vegetable oil - think olive oil, coconut oil, etc. 

Labelling all seed oils being bad is also not a great idea as not all seed oils ARE bad if they're high oleic and cold pressed and not prone to oxidation - plus - there are some non-seed oils which are bad too (soya oil).

Below are the Good and Bad fats - and let's be honest - the Bad ones generally fall under the Ugly category too!


Coconut oil - smoking point of 170°C

Coconut oil is high in natural saturated fats. Saturated fats not only increase the healthy cholesterol in your body, but also help to convert the “bad” cholesterol into good cholesterols. By Increasing the HDL's (good cholesterol) in the body, it helps promote heart health, and lower the risk of heart disease.

Almost 50% of the fatty acids in coconut oil is Lauric Acid. When lauric acid is digested, it forms a substance called monolaurin. Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi.

the best coconut oil to buy for its many benefits would be cols pressed, organic, virgin coconut oil, but due to its coconut scent and high price tag, many don't want to/can't afford to buy it.

Coconut oil uses:
- cooking
- hair, skin
- oil pulling (swishing and discarding of oil in mouth) - proven to remineralise, freshen breath and whiten teeth.

High Oleic Sunflower Oil

Normal sunflower is highly processed - with heat and chemicals etc, but it also has 66% PUFA's which is very very high, and very very bad. High oleic is cold pressed - and only has 5% PUFA's. In fact, if you look at the fatty acid profile, olive oil has 9.9% PUFA's and 73% MUFA's...whereas high oleic sunflower has 82% MUFA's.

Olive oil, extra virgin - smoking point of 207°C

Let's get this out the way from the get go. Olive oil is perfectly safe for cooking.

This is what Authority Nutrition has to say:

"During cooking, fatty acids can oxidize. That is, they react with oxygen and become damaged.

It is mostly the double bonds in the fatty acid molecules that are responsible for this.

For this reason, saturated fats (no double bonds) are resistant to high heat, while polyunsaturated fats (many double bonds) are sensitive and become damaged.

It turns out that olive oil, which contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acids (only one double bond), is actually fairly resistant to high heat.

In one study, researchers heated extra virgin olive oil to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit) for 36 hours. The oil was highly resistant to damage.

Another study used olive oil for deep frying, and it took 24-27 hours for it to reach damage levels that were deemed harmfu.

Overall, olive oil seems to be very safe… even for cooking at a fairly high heat."

Olive oil also contains modest amounts of vitamin A, vitamin E and Vitamin K2  but the true star of the Olive Oil show is the amazing antioxidants it provides.

Olive oil uses:

- cooking
- salad dressing
- hair, skin, nails
- constipation relief

Butter - smoking point of 177°C

Butter is primarily a saturated fat. it contains good amounts of fat soluble vitamins A, Vitamin E and Vitamin K2, but it also contains butyrate which is an anti-inflammatory and has powerful protective effects on the digestive system. 

And let's be honest...butter is just delicious!

Ghee - smoking point of 250°C

Dr Axe says:
"Ghee has a unique nutrition profile without any lactose or casein, but rich in short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids and butyrate. For people who are lactose or casein-sensitive, they can use ghee because the process has removed these allergens. If you’ve been told to stay away from dairy and butter, experiment with ghee made from grass-fed beef!

Butter contains 12-15 percent medium and short-chain fatty acids, while ghee contains 25 percent or greater. The body actually metabolizes these fats in a different manner than long-chain fatty acids."

Animal Fats (Beef tallow, Duck fat, Lard) - smoking point anything from 200°C and lower

Rendered animal fats are high in saturated fat, are tasty, and many are cheap to make yourself.

Avocado oil - smoking point of 271°C

The fats aren't only healthy in and of themselves but make other nutrients, particularly carotenoids, in the avocado much more bioavailable.

Avocado oil uses:

- great for akin, hair and nails
- very heat stable so great for cooking
- nice for making homemade mayo
- good for salad dressings

Macadamia nut oil - smoking point of 199°C

Macadamia nuts contain the following: magnesium, manganese, thiamine, copper, and iron.

Macadamias have a low omega-6 fatty acid content.

Macadamia oil uses:

- imparts a nutty taste on foods you cook
- great for making mayo
- great for hair and skin

Palm Oil - smoking point of 232°C

A great source of saturated fat, Palm oil also has good amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin E and Vitamin D. The issue with palm oil however is that it needs to not be hydrogenated, and from an ethical point of view, it needs to be RSPO certified if its derived from anywhere outside of Africa due to rainforest devestation in other parts of the world.

Holsum - smoking point of 230°C

Holsum is palm oil, which makes it a good source of saturated fats - that has come from RSPO plantations. (Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil) - it is a really affordable fat and is great for deep frying. The ingredients say vegetable oil, but as explained - it comes from a plant source as coconut oil does - but is healthy.
The following is a list of oils to avoid while banting.

The BAD. (OK, and the UGLY too!)

There are several reasons an oil or fat can be excluded from the lifestyle. These reasons include:

- highly processed (heated to oxidation temperatures, solvents added to extract oils, acid added to remove any wax, chemicals to improve colour and deodorize to mask chemicals used)
- high in omega 6
- they contain very high levels of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs)which causes inflammation 
- many are derived from GMO crops (think soya oil)
- artificial antioxidants to keep it from spoiling - linked to a myriad of health problems


Canola oil
Soybean oil
Corn oil
Grapeseed oil
Peanut oil
Cottonseed oil
Sunflower oils
Hydrogenated oils
Any type of Margarine
Trans-fats (not naturally occuring)

Using any of the above could be detrimental to your health.

Sources:, authority

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