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- The consumption of fats can help weight loss
In 2014, when Linda Van Horn said “we no longer think low-fat diets are the answer”, the myth which has demonized fats for over 50 years began to fall to pieces. This was not just because the statement was made by one of the best-known international experts in the field of nutrition, professor at the Preventive Medicine Department of Northwestern University and member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), but because it gave definitive support to countless scientific studies which have demonstrated that fats help weight loss and improve cardiovascular health.
The trial which has attracted most attention was published in the prestigious American journal Annals of Internal Medicine last September and revealed some surprising results: people who consumed fats not only lost more weight but were also at less risk of suffering cardiovascular disease.
The study, which was financed by the NIH, involved 148 volunteers divided into two groups: the first group followed a high-carbohydrate low-fat diet (30% less) whilst the second group consumed more proteins and fats (preferably unsaturated fats*). After one year, the people who followed the low-carbohydrate high-fat diet had lost almost 4 kg more than those who had cut down on fats.
What is more, blood tests showed that the participants who followed the diet which was high in unsaturated fats* achieved reduced triglyceride levels and increased HDL cholesterol density (which removes “bad” LDL cholesterol from cells and takes it to the liver to be eliminated). This revealed an improvement in the group’s cardiovascular indicators as measured by the Framingham formula, which calculates the likelihood of suffering a heart attack in the next ten years.
- How to consume fats in a healthy way
Fats transport nutrients, are involved in cholesterol metabolism, are precursor hormones and play a role in skin regeneration. How can they be consumed in a healthy way? One way of doing so, whilst also ensuring gastronomic quality, is by means of traditional fried dishes such as those prepared using the FAST CHEF ELITE ventless deep fryer.
Our ability to prepare healthy fried foods depends on the frying technique and the kind of oil that we use. Investing in a quality fryer is fundamental if we wish to successfully incorporate fats into our diet. The healthy deep frying technique that is used by our ventless deep fryer allows only a minimal amount of oil to penetrate the food whilst giving it a crispy outer coating. The product’s pores are quickly “sealed” during the frying process, which also prevents the flavour of different foods from mixing together even when they are fried at the same time and in the same oil.
The ideal oils for frying are those which are heat-stable. The recommended oils for deep frying are those which have a high amount of monounsaturated fatty acids such as olive oil or certain sunflower oils. What is more, olive oil is a source of antioxidants, polyphenols and carotenoids, which delay ageing.
Scientists, chefs and consumers are now beginning to agree about the relationship between health and fats. Fats play an important role in preventing cardiovascular disease and allow us to enjoy and conserve, in the form of fried dishes, our most beloved intangible heritage: the Mediterranean diet and cuisine.
* Unsaturated fats may be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, both types are considered “healthy for the heart” and can help to improve cholesterol levels when used instead of unhealthy fats.