This is a complex topic but important to understand since the brain is made from 60% fat. This fact alone tells us how important fats are for a healthy functioning brain and nervous system. Fatty acids from fats are what help build the brain. There are many kinds of fats but the ones that seem to be significantly benefit the brain are saturated fats, which are most commonly found in animal protein, butter and coconut oil. Ideally one would consume all fats raw. Heating and pasteurization changes the nature of fats and the way our body uses them. This may not always be possible to get these foods raw. Research still shows they can have beneficial effects even if they are not raw. Evidence of this can be seen through people who follow a ketogentic diet, which is very high in fats. This kind of diet is often suggested to people who have difficult to control epilepsy. It has been found effective in about 50% of cases. I have always wondered if the success rate of this would have been higher had raw fats been incorporated.
The worst way fats are prepared is through frying and high heat. Almost ALL oils when fried create very toxic bi-products called aldehydes which if consumed over time lead to neurological degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Heat damages the natural chemical structure of fats. Fortunately coconut oil is one of the few oils that can sustain higher temperatures if you are using for cooking but it is still best not to use it for frying. And contrary to popular belief eating saturated fats does not make one susceptible to cardiovascular problems, as most people have been lead to believe. There is a great deal of research showing this now. In fact, it was right after World War II that we witnessed cardiovascular disease rising which was because animal fats such as butter, tallow and lard were replaced by hydrogenated fats such as margarine.
There are some fats that are best to be avoided. Fried fats and hydrogenated oils are some of the most toxic to the body. In addition to this most all oils except raw cold pressed olive oil, raw coconut oil and raw flax seed oil are best to be avoided. Common oils for cooking such as canola, safflower and sunflower oil are quite toxic to the body due to their processing and heating. These are used in most all forms of processed foods. One would be better off preparing their food with some form of animal fat than to use most oils unless it was coconut oil.
Much of the research out there only talks about cooked fats and their negative effects upon health. There is rarely ever a differentiation made between whether fats are cooked or raw and unprocessed. It is true cooked fats are not the best for us. Heating fats changes their chemical structures and produces bi-products that are carcinogenic. This is one of the main reasons why it is always best to consume your fats in a raw state as much as possible. One of the best fats you can get is through eggs, especially raw eggs. They have a prefect balance of proteins and fats. They are also rich in B Vitamins and choline, which both assist with enhancing memory and minimize fatigue. One way many people have found to consume their raw eggs is in the form of a milk shake. Mix together a 2-3 raw eggs, 8-12 oz of raw milk and a teaspoon or tablespoon of raw honey and presto! You have your own homemade protein shake. A great source of vegetable fat is in any form of coconut. The young coconut meat as perfect ratio of Omega-3,6 and 9. Coconut cream will act to both sooth tissues and detoxify the body. And then of course there is coconut oil which is high is medium chain fatty acids and is a great source of saturated fat for the brain.
Most people are lead to believe that they need to cut down on fats. This statement is partially true. This idea of low-fat or no-fat can lead one into serious problems. In fact more and more research shows that if we were to consume a diet of at least 50 % healthy fat we would find that our waste lines would decrease, our energy would rise and your health would improve. What people need to cut down on is processed, heated fats and oils such as hydrogenated fats, which creates trans-fatty acids and to increase healthy raw fats and or animal fats. Also people often consume too may fats with Omega 6, many of which are pro-inflammatory by nature. These can be found in most vegetable oils such as cottonseed oil, canola, sunflower, grapeseed oil as well as in nuts and seeds.