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What Are Raw Fats and Why Do We Need Them?

Avocado is a raw fat

Avocado is a raw fat

Raw fats are fats that are uncooked and in their most natural state. Most people are not including enough of these raw fats in their daily diet. Instead the fats are usually cooked or added to a food that is being cooked. An example of a raw fat is the avocado.

What happens when fats are cooked?

When fats are cooked - as when you fry with an oil, the fat molecules expand. By comparison a raw fat molecule would be the size of a golf ball, while a cooked fat molecule would be the size of a basketball. The large cooked fat molecule will not be broken down as easily, allowing it to slowly circulate through your bloodstream. It is then stored as fat that clogs the arteries.

How does eating raw fat compare to eating cooked fat?

By comparison, eating raw fats, you have the benefit of a food that is rich in enzyme lipase which helps to break down stored LDL (or bad) fats. It is believed this can contribute to weight loss.

What are some raw fats that should be in the diet?

- Avocado - avocado is a super fruit with a multitude of health benefits (see link below)

- Raw Seeds - pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame, etc.

- Raw Nuts - Brazil nuts, walnuts, etc.

- Olives - olives are of course where we get nutritious olive oil

- Coconut - coconut water also has many benefits (see link below)

- Uncooked oils - too often we only know uncooked oils when we reach for them to fry thus destroying the health benefits and increasing the size of the molecules. Instead they can be used for salad dressing, drizzled over foods, added to sauces, etc.

How much raw fat should be eaten?

For a person consuming about 2,000 calories per day, 15-20 percent can be raw fats. This would be 300 to 400 calories. Raw fats are dense and offer satiety - making you feel much less hungry.

How would raw oils be added to the diet?

Cold-pressed organic oils can be added to the diet by drizzling them over your food, adding them to a prepared food, a sauce, or making salad dressings with these oils.

Aren't these oils high in calories?

There are about 120 calories in a tablespoon of oil. About two tablespoons of oil at lunch and two tablespoons at dinner would be the limit for daily raw fat. Fats are twice as calorie dense as protein and carbohydrates. One gram of fat has nine calories.

What oils?

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Many healthy oils are available: olive oil, avocado, walnut, apricot kernel, peanut oil, coconut oil, palm oil etc. (see link below for healthy oils). Be aware that many oils are super-refined and lack the nutritional benefits. An example is the next oil.

Is palm oil healthy?

Palm oil in its unrefined state is a rich red-orange oil and is very healthy. It comes from the oil palm tree of West Africa. In its natural state it provides vitamins and very healthy carotenoids - an antioxidant. Unfortunately, in the US it is heavily refined and is nearly a clear oil - lacking the nutritional benefits. It is most often used in commercial snack foods, and to mix with other oils. It should not be confused with palm kernel oil.

Palm kernel oil comes from the nut of the oil palm tree while palm oil comes from the fruit.

How can I tell if I have enough raw fat in my diet?

A diet of at least 10 to 20 percent is recommended. If your diet has less than 10 percent raw fat your skin tone will lack luster. If it is more than 30 percent it can put a strain on your liver.

I can now walk into the supermarket and pick up the oil of my choice, yes?

Unfortunately no, unless you read the labels. You have to be careful. When I lived in S. Korea and purchased their most commonly used oil - sesame - it smelled like sesame. Only a little was needed or the aroma would be overpowering - it was real sesame oil. Same thing when I buy a peanut oil in a Chinese supermarket - it smells like peanuts. American manufacturers have processed our oils to the point of little or no nutritional benefit. They are advertised as cooking oils. It becomes just fat with no purpose in our body. Most Americans buy oils for the sole purpose of frying - further destroying any possible nutritional benefit.

For this reason cold-pressed oils are recommended when you shop in an American market.

What is cold-pressing?

This is when oil is obtained through pressing and grinding the fruit, seeds, or nuts using granite millstones or stainless steel presses, creating very little heat (120F or less) allowing the oil to retain all their flavor, aroma, and most importantly - the nutritional value.

You may see oils listed as expeller-pressed. This will be oil pressed at a higher temperature but still a better choice than unlabeled. Without these labels in the American market you will most likely be buying a highly refined oil. This is not what you want to use in its raw state to make a salad dressing, or to add to a sauce or to drizzle over your food. You would just be adding artery clogging fat to your diet.

For more information about the benefits of healthy fruit, nut and seed oils, coconuts, and the avocado see the links below.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on December 06, 2009:

That sounds excellent habee! Just enough for an 'oh so satisfying meal.' I'm so glad we are rediscovering the health and happiness that food can provide.

Holle Abee from Georgia on December 05, 2009:

I try to eat avocado frequently. I like to top a half with crabmeat and lime juice. Thanks for the info!

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on November 23, 2009:

Thank you Jake Brown. Your comment is appreciated!

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on November 07, 2009:

Thanks for your comment bestcellphones!

bestcellphones on November 07, 2009:

great information here, thank you

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 28, 2009:

The salad dressing sounds great! I'll try it. Thanks for sharing!

Suzie Parker on October 28, 2009:

My favorite oil is Avocado oil. I use it to make my own salad dressing together with a bit of vinegar, lemon juice and salt and pepper.

Cool hub, thanks BKcreative!

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 26, 2009:

Thanks Antoine Allen - now we know what other cultures knew all along - the value of coconuts!

AntoineAllen from New York City on October 26, 2009:

This is real good info especially "coconut water and milk"

thank you

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 20, 2009:

You're welcome amar-rehal!

amar_rehal on October 20, 2009:

the food stores near me have limited choices, but i can get organic sesame or virgin olive oil. thank you for your insight.

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 19, 2009:

Hello amar_rehal. In my oil book it states that canola oil is a genetically modified oil that is derived from rapeseed oil and sold only in the US and Canada - it's from Canada - thus the name - CAN(ola) for Canada. It's not recommended. It is better to use the actual oil - rapeseed.

Oils with a high smoke point and good for cooking are many: apricot kernel oil, avocado, cottonseed, grapeseed, hazelnut, macadamia nut, palm oil, peanut, pecan, if you prefer to use olive oil it should be only virgin for frying, safflower, sunflower and sesame (good for stirfrying). Unfortunately oils sold in the US are usually highly refined so you probably always have to look for an organic or cold-pressed.

amar_rehal on October 19, 2009:

Thank you for the great article, great insight. I have a concern. I cook with a wok and have been using canola oil which is expeller pressed. the labeling doesn't recommend high heat, which means, i shouldn't be using it for cooking but just salads, etc. So, what is the best/recommended oil for cooking at high temperatures, without taking in the "bad" fat? regular olive oil? Please let me know, thanks.


BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 18, 2009:

So true tim-tim - we have been taught when we hear the word FAT to think the worst. So glad this is now being clarified. Now I know I can eat avocado and other good fats without weight gain - it's all the refined and partially hydrogenated garbage that is harmful.

Thanks for commenting!

Priscilla Chan from Normal, Illinois on October 18, 2009:

Thanks for the info. I hear FAT! That is what I don't need. Glad that there is Raw Fat that I need. Working on getting rid of my other FAT, LOL.

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 16, 2009:

Hello hypnosis4u2!

I'm so glad to see Americans finally demanding quality for their money. It's about saving our health so we must speak with out dollars.

Thanks for commenting!

hypnosis4u2 from Massachusetts on October 16, 2009:

Thanks so much for the tip about oils - it makes perfect sense now why it is so difficult to get real oils and that most times you're buying something processed for the American palette and devoid of goodness.

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 15, 2009:

Ah, some food for thought jacobkuttyta! Most of us can improve our diets. Thanks for writing!

Jacob from Delhi, India on October 15, 2009:

Useful info. Thanks for sharing it with us.

I think I need to add some raw fats in to my diet.

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 14, 2009:

You're welcome Lgali! Thanks for visiting my hubs!

Lgali on October 14, 2009:

thnaks for sharing lot of useful info

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 12, 2009:

You're welcome Big Brother! And Alexander!

Alex Valis from Earth on October 12, 2009:

Great hub, thanks for all this info. Alexander

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 10, 2009:

Nice to meet you and thank you so much for the compliment. Writing about nutrition is becoming my passion. I'd like to see Americans healthy once again!

Godslittlechild on October 09, 2009:

This is an excellent, well researched hub! I enjoyed reading it!

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 06, 2009:

Thanks edguider. Avocados seem to finally be gaining in popularity!

edguider on October 06, 2009:

Once again BkCreative great hub. Love avocados as well :)

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 06, 2009:

You're welcome Philipo! Thanks for commenting!

Philipo from Nigeria on October 06, 2009:

Very informative. Thanks for educating.

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 05, 2009:

Yes indeed!

One good thing about writing at home is that I am more inclined to cook. It's when I am out all day that I tend to grab stuff or am too tired when I get home. Let's keep it simple sister and fellow writers! - and we'll do okay. I've actually lost a few pounds. I even drink more water.

Thanks for commenting.

Charm Baker from Los Angeles, California on October 05, 2009:

Greetings - great information for anyone concerned about eating right (which should be all of us). I wrote a recent response to a question about staying healthy, and I decided to answer with regard to writers and those who work online. We are in a high risk group all our own, given the kind of unhealthy routines writers have. Your information can at least help us make the right choices in diet, even if we are killing ourselves in so many other ways LOL!

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 05, 2009:

Ah ha jo! - yes the thought of raw fat is that of grease and lard etc. Because that is what we have been told - and fat has such a bad rap - because we were given misinformation - natural raw fat - well - what's that? Now we know. Oh, Yay!

Glad you read it!

jo on October 05, 2009:

I started not to read this article, because the thought of RAW FAT, is enough to turned me off, I am think cold grease on food, but I did find it very interesting, since I do eat a lot of nuts, raw and cooked.

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 05, 2009:

You're welcome Kulsum Mehmood! Thanks for commenting!

Dr Kulsum Mehmood from Nagpur, India on October 05, 2009:

Lots of good info. here. Thanks for sharing.

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 05, 2009:

Hello anglnwu - so glad you listened to your mom!

- overdoing anything is not good - even though it tastes great. I grew up too on wonderful coconut - my father would bring it home and after taking out the water he would crack it open with a machete (so cool) - yes - we NYC people enjoyed good (almost) fresh food at one time. Thank goodness for our moms and grandmoms back then - they were the true nutritionists!

A friend just picked up avocados and someone observing her told her to watch out they were a danger because of fat - she gently reminded the person that all fat is not the same - and the avocado is a super fruit with raw fat and many other healthy benefits - we need this kind of fat.

Thanks so much for commenting!

anglnwu on October 05, 2009:

I used to drink coconut water as a kid. We had coconut trees in our backyard and anytime, we feel like a refreshing drink, we just have to heck a hole in the coconut and drink out of it. Glad you pointed out that it's very good for health. However, my mom used to caution us against drinking too much of the good drink--it actually weaken you--your knees can feel weak. I don't know if it's true, maybe a good research topic for another hub.

Great information and YES to my favorite snack fruit--avocado.

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 05, 2009:

So true justmesuzanne! I remember that craze - even I cut down on natural fats - which explains why I had so little energy - and your skin loses its glow. Then there were the low fat cookies that hit the market - filled with sugar and on and on.

Yes, we are finally getting it together. Real food is everything we can ever need!

Thanks for your observations and comment!

justmesuzanne from Texas on October 04, 2009:

Great article! Thanks! I have been watching some old series and movies from the 1980's recently - back when low-fat and no-fat diets were all the rage. It is surprising how noticeable the dry hair and skin of the women in these programs is! It's good that we are finally realizing that natural, unprocessed food is what our bodies need!

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 04, 2009:

Thank you magdielqr!

Enjoy your avocado Catherine R!

Thanks for the comments!

Catherine R from Melbourne, Australia on October 04, 2009:

great info. Thanks. I am going to buy some avocados now!

magdielqr on October 04, 2009:

Great hub. Thanks for sharing.

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 04, 2009:

Thanks itakins. Your comment is appreciated!

itakins from Irl on October 04, 2009:

Great hub and great advice.

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 03, 2009:

Thank elisabethkcmo - it's all beginning to make so much sense to me. I remember when Americans went for this fat-free diet craze - and so many people were walking around with parched skin. How can avocado, coconut, nuts, seeds, good oil - be bad for you?

Thanks for writing.

elisabethkcmo from Just East of Oz on October 03, 2009:

this is great info, I''m trying to lose some weight, but don't want to cut out too much fat, I like the concept of the raw fats in the diet

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 03, 2009:

Thanks for expanding on this Veronica Allen. I read that 80% of the American diet is devoid of nutrients - no wonder our children are suffering. We have to research everything, as you are doing for the health of your child.

So for sure the raw unadulterated virgin olive oil is what we should buy. No substitutions.

So glad to hear from you creativeone59. I seem to be developing a passion for researching nutritional information. There was a time when most of our food still had nutrition in it - that is no longer the case - but we are still paying good money for it and getting poor health in return. We deserve better!

Benny Faye Ashton Douglass from Gold Canyon, Arizona on October 03, 2009:

Hey BK, thank for the head ups on Raw fats, thanks for sharing. creativeone59

Veronica Allen from Georgia on October 03, 2009:

Love this hub BkCreative. Ever since my toddler was diagnosed with ezcema, through research has helped me to appreciate that it is these essential raw fats that are essential in skin healing. Thanks for providing a list of foods that provide this essential nutrient. I'm going to have to add some of these to my grocery list. It's no wonder that raw unadulterated virgin olive oil is so good for my toddlers skin. I apply it to her skin everyday and it works very well.

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 03, 2009:

You're welcome Hello, hello, glad you found the hub interesting!

I'm sure the olives make a difference ethel smith. I've never been a fan - but I had some in a real brick oven pizza shop and they were outstanding! While in Greece I enjoyed them too - so it depends on the variety.

Thanks for commenting!

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on October 03, 2009:

Love olives and eat them all the time. Hope that's enough to help. Informative hub thanks

Hello, hello, from London, UK on October 03, 2009:

A very interesting hub, tahnk you.

BkCreative (author) from Brooklyn, New York City on October 03, 2009:

You're welcome Robert Ballard. Glad you found the hub informative!

I've learned so much about avocado, sandwichmom, since I became a self-appointed nutrition researcher. Good to know every healthy thing we need is already out there.

sandwichmom from Arkansas on October 03, 2009:

Great information- especially about the Avocado-

Robert Ballard on October 03, 2009:

Super, very informative. Thanks!

Robert Elias Ballard

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