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Healthy Fats

Healthy Fats

Facts About Fats

Fats often get a bad press as most people associate fats with weight gain and see it as the enemy.

While it is true overconsumption of fat can cause weight gain, fat is actually incredibly beneficial for every cell function in your body and essential for life.

GM Fitness would like to share with you the many fabulous facts about fats, that we hope will help demystify some common misconceptions regarding fat.

If the mear mention of the word Cholesterol conger up images of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease in your mind, then 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

Maintaining cell membrane integrity and 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, this is a thick, hard deposit that can narrow the arteries and make them less flexible. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. If a clot forms and blocks a narrowed artery, heart attack or stroke can result.

An easy way to remember your HDL from your LDL cholesterol is to think of a hoes pipe.

Imagine that you have two hoes pipes, the first pipe contains LDL low density lipo proteins, this hoes is running slowly because of its low pressure and contains a gravy like liquid and is dribbling out of the pipe.

The second pipe contains HDL high density lipo protein this is a lovely clear fluid that is under high pressure and is spewing out like a fireman`s or firewoman`s hoes.

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 based foods”, such as animal products, for example, beef, pork, poultry, eggs, dairy (other than non fat- skim milk etc.), beans 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 from foods such as (walnuts, purslaine, flax seed.

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, 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 found within and foods, examples of these are animal products, 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 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 maintain the beneficial properties of your oil and ensure it is as healthy as possible.

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

AVOCADOS: Avocados are loaded with good (monounsaturated) fat. Some people are put off the idea of eating avocados, due to the fact that they are high in calories, consuming Avocado will ensure you benefit from a beautiful natural source of fat, not to mention high in nutrients and an impressive amino acid profile. Avocados are normally eaten raw so to ensure you obtain the good fat at its optimum 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 20min 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, minimise 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 healthy elimination.

Exercise is important for many reasons, stress reduction, circulation/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 "happy" hormones. Such as dopamine and serotonin.

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.

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 9-11am, or 2 hours before sunset, and when using sunscreen.

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 product.

They have an inescapable influence on our day to day lives, from television , to poster and advertising boards telling us to buy and consume more products.

Thankfully our government is trying to make amends for the damage theses products have had on a large number of the population, measures such as providing food information relating to the nutritional content