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The Truth About Fat



Facts About Fats

Fats often get a bad rap as most people associate fats with weight gain, and see it as the enemy, while is true over consumption of fat can cause weight gain we would like to share with you the many fabulous truth about fats.

If cholesterol congers up images of heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases then it perhaps it is time to rethink what you have learned. Cholesterol is necessary for the production of several hormones that are used to maintain homeostasis within your body.

Cholesterol is an important molecule in the body, but did you know that most of the cholesterol needed by our bodies is made by our own liver? The remaining cholesterol is obtained through the foods we consume. Persistently high cholesterol levels can be detrimental to our heart and blood vessels, but cholesterol also serves some very important functions in our body, including:

  • serving as a precursor for many hormones, including testosterone and estrogen

  • keeping cell membranes fluid

  • contributing to the formation of bile acids

Identifying fats

Low density fats "Bad fats" LDL

LDL Cholesterol (Bad)

When too much LDL (bad) cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain. Together with other substances, it can form plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can narrow the arteries and make them less flexible. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. If a clot occurs and blocks a narrowed artery, heart attack or stroke can result.

High Density fat

High Cholesterol "Good fats" HDL (Good)

About one fourth to one third of blood cholesterol is carried by high-density lipoprotein

(HDL). HDL cholesterol is known as "good" cholesterol, because high levels of HDL seem to protect against heart attack.

Low levels of HDL (less than 40 mg/dL) also increase the risk of heart disease. Medical experts think that HDL tends to carry cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it's passed from the body. Some experts believe that HDL removes excess cholesterol from arterial plaque, slowing its build up.

Triglyceride is a form of fat made in the body. Elevated triglycerides can be due to overweight/obesity, physical inactivity, cigarette smoking, excess alcohol consumption and a diet very high in carbohydrates (60 percent of total calories or more). People with high triglycerides often have a high total cholesterol level, including a high LDL (bad) level and a low HDL (good) level. Many people with heart disease and/or diabetes also have high triglyceride levels.

Where we get these fats

Omega 6 (O-6) fatty acids are mostly in "land" foods, animal products, e.g. beef, pork, poultry, eggs, dairy (other than non fat- skim milk etc.), beans (e.g. soy), grains (e.g corn, wheat, etc), nuts (walnuts have some O-3). Omega 3 are mostly in sea foods (especially fatty fish, although they have O-6 too. Wild fish get O-3 from krill.

Land O-3 (walnuts, purslaine, flax not as well used)The fatty acid most commonly found in flax-seed oil is α-linolenic acid (ALA, 18 carbons and 3 double bonds). In fish oil, they are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20 carbons and 5 double bonds), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22 carbons and 6 double bonds). ALA converts to EPA and DHA, but in limited amounts. Best to get your EPA and DHA from actual wild salmon and your ALA from flax.

Some foods that contain omega 3 fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to life Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids because they're necessary for our health, but our bodies can't make them. We get them in our diets in foods such as salmon, tuna, and halibut. Other seafood including algae, krill some plants; and nut oils. They're crucial in brain development, and are anti-inflammatory. Helpful in the prevention of heart disease, depression, and bipolar disorder.

Where are the most common places to find omega 6 fats?

omega 6 diet sources Omega 6 (O-6) fatty acids are mostly in "land" foods, animal products, e.g. beef, pork, poultry, eggs, dairy (other than non fat- skim milk etc.), beans (e.g. soy), grains (e.g corn, wheat, etc), nuts (walnuts have some O-3). Omega 3 are mostly in sea foods (especially fatty fish, although they have O-6 too. Wild fish get O-3 from krill. Land O-3 (walnuts, purslaine, flax not as well used)

Try to get most of your fat intake to come from whole food, unheated, unsaturated sources.

These fats are the ones that consistently show up as cardio protective because they either lower cholesterol or they come with other benefits such as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Just remember that they are best for you in their natural, unheated, unsalted state, particularly hemp seeds, the only commonly used seed that contains GLA, a crucial, hormone regulating fat that is rare in other foods.

OILS (extra virgin olive oil for salads and grape seed are great for higher temperature cooking) Grape seed oil’s temperature can be raised quite high before it begins to smoke so it is less damaged by the heat. It also may help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. This oxidation is what does the damage to the cardiovascular system, and there is some evidence that the antioxidants in grape seeds help protect blood vessel damage that occurs with high blood pressure.

To Keep your oils healthy want to heat your pan first to medium or high heat without any oil in it. Have your ingredients ready to go in before you add the oil and add the food as quickly as you can after you add the oil.

This will prevent sticking, preserve the oil, and give a better colour and texture to your food. Extra virgin olive oil is an excellent source of unsaturated fats. However, you only get the benefit if it is cold pressed and served raw and unheated.

AVOCADOS:

loaded with good (monounsaturated) fat. Again, people were scared off avocados by the fact that they have loads of calories, but with these you get lots of nutrients and an impressive amino acid profile. Avocados are normally eaten raw so you are getting the good fat at its peak as heating denatures the fruit.

They also contain potassium to regulate blood pressure and the nutrient foliate for heart health, add avocado to your salad to makes the fat soluble vitamins more available to your body.

Healthy Digestion

Chew your food properly, eat slowly and take time to chew your food properly it takes around 20 min for your brain to realise you are full, slower eating also aids digestion and can help with weight management.

Eat whole foods and avoid processed and refined food, include healthy fats (omega 3,6,9), which you can always use a supplement, minimize refined sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and cooked starches.

Healthy digestive system is essential for absorbing nutrients, excreting waste, keeping unwanted substances/pathogens out of the body, and maintaining a healthy immune system and nervous system.

Elimination ridding the body of its normal metabolic waste will ensure a healthy colon and help flatter stomach as well reduce the risk of other diseases. Ground flax seeds, fruit and vegetables fibre and of course regular exercise support help support healthy elimination.

Exercise is important for many reasons, stress reduction, circulation as well as cardiovascular health, weight control, mood, sleep, blood sugar, bowel function, and respiratory health are all affected.

Getting outside and moving daily is a great goal, exercise is especially important for your brain's ability to produce certain "happy" hormones.

Sleep will improve your memory and immune system, and is essential to balancing your hormonal systems, which rely on a circadian rhythm. Get between 7-8 hours of sleep every night for optimal wellness. Individuals differ regarding the duration of sleep required per night, and with age the time we need to sleep gradually reduces.

Tips To Support A Healthy Body And Mind

Get outside in the sun daily for optimal brain function, immune function, cancer prevention, mood, bone health, You will find no Vitamin D supplement on the market that is a better substitute then sunlight, be careful not to go into direct sunlight, try to go out between 9:00-11:00 am. or 2 hours before sunset, apply sunscreen factor 30 or above 20 min before going exposing yourself to strong sunlight.

Carbs and the crash diet

For a long time people have used fats as a scapegoat for the obesity epidemic that is rapidly overtaking the U.K and neighbouring countries. Major food companies encourage us to mass consume their products.

They have an inescapable influence on our day to day lives, from tv, to posters, advertising boards telling us to buy and consume more products that are often high energy.

Thankfully our government is trying to make amends for the damage some of theses products have had on a large number of the population, measures such as providing food information relating to the nutritional content of supermarket products and their contents are now readily available and some super markets even colour code products to help consumers make more educated choices, however I should mention that some products still use unfair labeling such as REDUCED fat NO added sugar ect. This does not indicate anything useful and is a clever marketing ploy.

For example you are presented with two identical products both contain exactly the same ingredients, one that says no added sugar, reduced fat, the other has basic information on it, you could be forgiven for believing that one is healthier that the other, marketing companies exploit this loop hole and it’s easy to see how we can be mislead into the belief that we have made a healthier choice.

My advice is to ignore the large labels on the front of the package, check out the information on the back and compare the two, you don’t have to be a nutritionist to decode the ingredients, just choose the one with less sugar, fat and carbohydrates.

“Depending on your individual goals”.

Other steps the government have taken to help reduce harm include regulating how advertisements can be aired, avoiding exposing children to certain food adverts at times when children are more likely to watch broad casts.

Are Carbs or Carbohydrates Bad?

When people describe crabs in a negative way we are referring to the sugar and refined process that strips the foods of its nutritional value, carbs are not bad, in fact most are good it's all about the choices you make.

Good Choices

Choose whole grain

Eat as much unrefined food as possible

Brown rice / Brown Pasta/ Brown Bread /instead of white

Fruit of all descriptions try to get your five a day

Vegetables as much as you like try to get your five a day

Stick to white lean meats, eggs, and fish

Chocolate 70% cocoa or above

Bad Choices

Sweeteners

Biscuits

Crisps

Sugar

Fizzy drinks / carbonated

Too much alcohol

Sweets

Take away

What Are Essential Fatty Acids?

Our bodies desperately need fats they are essential for life helping maintain healthy blood pressure, blood sugar levels, sleep cycles, skin, kidney, liver, lung and heart function and brain function.

They also help with the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K

Sources of Omega 3

Flaxseed oil (organically grown, cold pressed oil) Dark green leafy vegetables specifically raw grape leaves, kale, spinach, mustard greens, endive and dandelion greens.

Nuts and Seeds – hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, brazil nuts, wheat germ, wheat germ and canola oil.

Cold water fish – cooked Salmon and raw salmon in sushi are my favourites, but also consider sardines, smelt, shad, anchovies.

Omega 6 [Linoleic Acid]

The good news is that this essential fat is so abundant in most foods we eat on a daily basis that it is very difficult to develop a deficiency in it. It is, however, only healthy in moderation. It aids in brain and muscle growth and also plays a role in the manufacture of important hormones in the body. Particularly relevant to MS, it is of vital importance in the nervous system, as a transmitter of nerve impulses. Possible symptoms of a deficiency include:

  • Loss of Hair

  • Liver and kidney degeneration

  • Failure to heal wounds (indicating a run down immune system)

  • Miscarriage

  • Arthritis

Sources of Omega 6

It is found, in abundance in the following plants and their cold pressed oils:

Nuts – Walnuts, pecan nuts, cashew nuts, pine nuts and pistachio nuts are all great sources of Omega 6 – eat liberally!

Seeds – Sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds will provide Omega 6, but avoid sunflower oil which is not healthy.

Avocados – are rich in fibre, as well as other vitamins.

Olive oil and olives – easily added to your diet, this natural source will provide both Omega 3 and Omega 6.

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