Like many, I was brought up back in the day to think fat made you fat, even the healthy ones. As time went on, the medical and health industry have taken notice of the importance of good fats in our diet especially now, as we age. Fat, like protein and carbohydrates, is a major macronutrient not to be forgotten and here is why...
Each of us on average is made up of trillions of cells, 650 muscles, hundreds of bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and 6-10 lbs. (21 Sq. feet) of skin. Fat is one of our body's most basic building blocks and without it we wouldn't be able to utilize all these components of our body, we also would cease to exist. Fat also balances and saturates our mitochondria, the power boosters to our cells that convert into ATP, the energy we need for our mind and body to function, the molecule that fuels life.
We have all heard that fat contributes to heart disease, that vegetable oils are good, all saturated fat is bad, fat causes obesity, diabetes and plain and simple... fat makes us fat. Right? WRONG! Let's learn the facts about fat (what is the real culprit) and how the right fats can keeps us lean, boost our brain power, protect from dementia, depression, bring down our cholesterol, help our hormones, speed up recovery, and keep us lean, healthy and happy.
Here are some facts that you need to about fat
1.The fat culprit? SUGAR
The average American eats 150lbs of sugar and 145lbs of flour (that simple carb that converts to sugar) each year. That is approximately 1 lb combined every day. Since you can't burn all that sugar you are eating (and becoming insulin resistant) you store that excess sugar as fat. Sugar is sugar no matter how you slice it, cook, pick or pour it!
2. Low fat isn't the heart healthy way.
Remember when everything was (or still is) low fat or fat free? Well I am here to tell you that this is when diabetes in America started to soar. Why? Because everything that is made (processed and packaged) low/ non fat is usually high in sugar and starch, therefore
raising your insulin levels and accumulating fat storage. When you eat
a very low fat diet you will find yourself hungrier, craving sugar and/
or simple carb foods that will turn around and bite you back time and time again. Actually 75% of ER patients with heart attacks have normal cholesterol but are pre or type 2 diabetic from following their "non fat" diet. Why? Sugar and foods that turn into sugar.
By eating healthy fats, this helps to regulate your blood sugar , helps you to be fuller longer, metabolizes insulin (not to store fat for a rainy day) increases fat burning and helps to make and regenerate healthy cell walls so you can utilize your food, fats and energy more efficiently. Good fats are satiating and paired with protein and a complex carb (such as a veg or a low sugar fruit) really completes the healthy package snack or meal.
Healing with more Omega 3's
About 99% of Americans are deficient in Omega 3's .These good fats, keep our cells healthy, help raise our HDL (our good cholesterol) and lower the LDL (the bad) It also helps keep our over all inflammation down, which is the major cause of disease.
What happens when we don't get enough fat and Omega 3's in our diet?
Some signs are:
Scaly, dry, flakey, and itchy skin
Bumps on the back of your arms or torso
Achy stiff joints
Cracked and/or brittle nails
Depression / Mood shifts
Loss of energy
Here are some good sources of healthy fats:
(Anti-Inflammatory, raises HDL, Lowers LDL, heart healthy)
Naturally fatty fish like wild Salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and albacore tuna are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Avocado is good for your heart and may help with osteoarthritis symptoms An extra benefit? When you eat avocado with other foods, it helps your body better absorb their nutrients. Half a medium avocado is one serving and about 115-160 calories.
Pumpkin seeds, chia, hemp, sunflower seeds, flax and sesame seeds, have "good" fats that can lower cholesterol. Easy to add on salads, soups, or even blended into a smoothie.
Walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, cashews, and pecans have heart-healthy fats. Some studies have shown a handful of nuts daily have reduced deaths by 20%.
Note : just because the fats are healthy doesn't mean you can over do it. A serving is 1 ounce. That's about 14 walnut halves, 24 almonds, 18 cashews, or 15 pecan halves.
The darker green the better! Spinach, kale, chard and Brussels sprouts offer some omega 3s. Add in as many veggies as you can every day. Make your plate ¾ veggies, greens, and salads, then add on the rest.
Grass fed Meat
If you are going to eat meat, make sure to buy Grass-fed. Grass-fed animals have 2-4 more times the Omega 3's ( the good fats) than grain-fed animals. Why? Because
Omega-3s are formed in the chloroplasts of green leaves and algae. Sixty percent of the fatty acids in grass are omega-3s. When cattle are taken off their grass fed Omega 3 diet and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on grain, they begin losing this beneficial fat very fast. Actually in 6 months their percentage of Omega 3's have dropped to almost 0.
Eggs are a great source of protein, and a large egg has less than 5 grams of fat, most from healthy fats. Some eggs are also enriched with extra omega-3s.
As part of a healthy diet, good-for-you fats can help make your skin glow and look plumper and younger. Plus, they add fiber and can help ease inflammation.
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Good heart healthy oil fat that has proven to benefit our body and mind, even reduce heart attacks.
Coconut Oil and /or
Extra virgin coconut butter
These medium-chain, fatty acids, are easy for your body to digest, not readily stored by the body as fat and small in size, so allows the cells to infuse with energy almost immediately. It also improves brain and memory function, fuels your mitochondria, helps increases good cholesterol and promotes heart health, while the antioxidants found in coconut oil make it an effective anti-inflammatory food. I suggest using this as well as other healthy oils.
are very high in healthy fats, especially the omega-3 fatty acid called ALA. They are also loaded with fiber and minerals, and have numerous health benefits. Add it to water, smoothies or make a Chia Seed pudding.
You can also take a top quality Pure Omega 3 supplement in addition to your healthy foods. If you have any questions about this contact me and I will let you know my recommendations and how you can incorporate these into your diet)
Understanding the differences between good fats and bad fats are important to making better food choices that can benefit your weight, heart and health, while reducing chronic disease.
Read food labels, eat a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables, add in those healthy fats daily at each meal,
add in a supplement if needed, and get rid of any processed and trans fat that is sneaking into your diet!
Remember, Don't be fat phobic.
Sending lots health your way,