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What Is Good Fat?




The American food industry tends to tout non-fat or low-fat as healthy options.

But contrary to public opinion, not all fat is bad fat.  Good fat is actually vital for proper body function.  Our cells need good fat to protect nerve fibers, utilize vitamins, and produce hormones.

So what is good fat?  Good fats are generally the kind of fat that is found in its natural form, one that hasn’t been processed to improve shelf life or the stability of other ingredients.  Monunsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the good kinds of fat found in avocados, walnuts, olive oil, and salmon.

A study published last year in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that people who ate a  high “good fat” diet had a 30% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease than people who ate just a “low fat” diet.

Other studies have shown that high good fat diets (Mediterranean diet) also had lower risks of prostate cancer and diabetes.
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So what does this mean in terms of dementia?  We all know that a healthier cardiovascular system yields a healthier brain.   Additionally, low carbohydrate and high fiber diets also help control blood sugar levels, which minimizes cell inflammation and oxidative stress.

So go make yourself a salmon and avocado salad, smother it in olive oil, and pair it with a glass of pinot noir.

Hooray for good fat!

Photo Courtesy The Associated Press

Photo Courtesy The Associated Press



Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet   Ramón Estruch, M.D., Ph.D., et al, N Engl J Med 2013; 368:1279-1290  April 4, 2013  DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1200303
Fat Intake After Diagnosis and Risk of Lethal Prostate Cancer and All-Cause Mortality   Erin L. Richman, ScD1; Stacey A. Kenfield, ScD2,3,5; Jorge E. Chavarro, MD, ScD4,5; Meir J. Stampfer, MD, DrPH3,4,5; Edward L. Giovannucci, MD, ScD3,4,5; Walter C. Willett, MD, DrPH3,4,5; June M. Chan, ScD1,2
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