You are, at a fundamental level, comprised of fat. Your body actually uses fat from your diet to form and protect the most well-known aspect of your body: cells.
Every living cell in your body has a membrane around it that’s responsible for allowing compounds in and out of the cell so it can function properly, like a well-oiled car engine.
Although there are other components to a cell membrane, these membranes are comprised primarily of the fats that you get from food. This means that the state your cells are in, how flexible the membranes are and how permeable they are to nutrients is dependent on the amount and, even more importantly, the quality of the fats you get from your diet. For example, if your diet is high in damaged fatty acids like those found in vegetable oils, or if the fish oil you’re taking is rancid and exposed to too much light and warmth, or if the steak you’re eating is a slab from a corn and grain-fed cow, then those damaged fats are what get incorporated into the building blocks of your precious cell membranes, and your brain and nervous system become comprised of the foods that you eat.
No other organ demonstrates this better than the brain. There are copious amounts of fat in brain cell membranes and neurons. These fats insulate your brain, protect it from shock and help your nervous system to maintain a healthy temperature. The transmission of electrical signals across neuron synapses is also dependent on fatty acids, as are neurotransmitter levels, which control mood and sleep. These fats, like all other cellular lipids in your body, are also – you guessed it – comprised of the fats from your diet.
You can’t negate the damage done with bad fats: they’re going to get incorporated into your cell membranes whether you exercise or not, and there is no way to undo the damage.
But the fact that your body and brain are built from the fats that you eat is not the only reason to be careful with damaged fats. There’s another reason that a diet that includes these type of fats isn’t doing you any favours: Inflammation. Inflammation is part of the body’s natural response to infection and tissue damage and is even important for muscle growth after exercise, but chronic inflammation can lead to a number of issues diseases, from obesity and muscle loss to atherosclerosis and arthritis. According to many nutritionists and scientific studies, sugar is the most inflammatory aspect of any diet. But sugar, although inflammatory, isn’t as terrible as processed oils are.
Below are the top four cooking oils we understand are the healthiest and why:
Number 1: Avocado Oil - Avocado oil is great because it’s high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and has one of the highest smoke points of all cooking oils, making it one of the most versatile and easy to use.
Number 2: Ghee - The milk solids and water in this form of clarified butter have been removed, creating a final product that contains a higher concentration of fat than regular butter. It’s high in saturated fat, has a high smoke point and can be used in a variety of dishes and recipes.
Number 3: Coconut Oil - Coconut oil is a great source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are a type of saturated fatty acid that are jam-packed with health benefits and medicinal properties.
Number 4: Grapeseed Oil - Grapeseed oil doubles as a good source of both polyunsaturated fats and vitamin E.