Monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, though still damaged by high temperatures, are a safer option, as they contain only one ‘double bond’ on each molecule that may become ‘trans’. Trans fats (and hydrogenated fats – also proinflammatory) are typically found in many processed foods, fries, and bakery products, pies and confectionery. Try also to avoid pro-inflammatory saturated fats in cheap and processed meats.
Medium chain triglycerides (which occur in high amounts in coconut oil) are also, of course, another very important group of health-promoting fats. They are valuable as an easily digested and absorbed, and metabolically stimulating energy source. Coconut oil is great for cooking.
Finally, phospholipids are another type of fat compound, and a major component of cell membranes and myelin sheaths surrounding nerve cells. Soy lecithin is a useful source of the phospholipids, phosphatidylcholine and phosphotidylserine, although these differ slightly from those found in animal sources. Despite this, lecithin has various health benefits, including those of memory and brain function. Lecithin can be usefully sprinkled on various foods such as salads.
Fat soluble vitamins may be obtained from fish and fish oils, eggs, and to a certain extent from the fat traces in lean meat.
Scientists have linked toxic chemicals, known as aldehydes, to Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, and some cancers. Heating certain oils — such as sunflower oil — to a certain temperature, and then using them again can cause aldehydes to occur in those oils.