The Fat Truth About Fat PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 April 2011 14:01

By Ahmed Serag

Monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats. Saturated fats. Omega 3s. Omega 6s. Trans Fat. Interestified fat. Stubborn fat. Belly fat.

There are so many different types of fat out there, and I can understand why so many people are so confused. One day this fat cures heart disease, the next day that fat causes it. Lets clarify...

Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA): A little biochemistry is always good for the brain, and it is always important to keep learning new things as you will learn later in the guide. A monounsaturated fat is a fatty acid that only has one double bond in its' fatty acid chain. The rest of the carbon-atoms are single bonded. These fats have been in our diets since the old days, and provide many benefits.

Benefits:

Lowers LDL, Raises HDL: Study after study shows that consumptions of MUFA leads to lower LDL cholesterol levels, and higher HDL cholesterol levels. That means a healthier heart, and a healthier body. With every bite, make sure to wave goodbye to atherosclerosis.

Fights cancer: Fats are necessary for healthy cell, tissue, and organ function. This helps your body maintain a healthy state. It also packs the antioxidants to fight free radical damage. Hello longer life, goodbye free radicals.

Improved immune function:. Remember how everyone gets the flu and its totally normal? Wrong. Say bye to the days of the flu and hello to the times where you're sick days are used for fun, instead of in a medicinal coma. Fats are an integrated part of all your bodily systems, and because of that help maintain them.

Helps with fat loss: Ironically, fat does not necessarily make you fat. Fat packs the benefit of filling you up. While it does pack 9 calories a gram, if kept in moderation, it adds tons of flavor, tons of benefits, and actually satisfies you unlike that processed junk. This means less overeating, meaning lessbody fat! Fat like this provides many nutrients and calories, meaning more for your muscle to soak up after those workouts you will find out about later in the guide. More nutrients=more muscle!

Naturally good sources of MUFA (go certified organic when possible): nuts, nut butters, avocados, olive oil, olives

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA): Mono stands for one, and poly stands for many. Can you guess the difference between a polyunsaturated fat and a monounsaturated? These fatty acids have more than one double bond in their fatty acid chain. This fat is famous for its possession of the omega-3 fats. Does the name omega not signify its importance enough?

Naturally good sources of PUFA (go certified organic when possible): Fish, fish oil (not exactly a natural food, but definitely a worthwhile supplement), nuts/nut butters, flaxseed

Benefits:

Improved Blood Circulation: The omega-3s in PUFA naturally thin the blood, allowing for better blood flow to the entire body, meaning healthier organs, tissues, and cells.

Fights inflammation: Omega-3s are known for being inflammation scavengers. This means less joint and muscle pain. This means a longer life. This means better overall body health. Anyone who has looked into a disease or disorder knows inflammation plays a key role in each one.

Promotes a sense of well-being: Studies consistently show that omega-3s fight against feelings of depression and anxiety. Hello happiness.

Supports Brain Function: Some of our body's cells are made of 50 percent or more fat. More good fat means healthy cell function, meaning a healthier brain. Fat is also helps maintain hormones and neurotransmitters necessary for a healthy life. Specifically, cholesterol, is the precursor to many hormones and is key for healthy brain function. But Omega 3s will most definitely support brain/memory function and maintenance.

Once again, helps with fat loss: Ironically, fat does not make you fat. Fat packs the benefit of filling you up. While it does pack 9 calories a gram, if kept in moderation, it adds tons of flavor, tons of benefits, and actually satisfies you unlike that processed junk. This means less overeating, meaning less body fat! Fat like this provides many nutrients and calories, meaning more for your muscle to soak up after those workouts you will find out about later in the guide. More nutrients=more muscle!

Fights pain and inflammation (Purposefully put here a 2nd time): Omega-3s have been known to seek out and destroy inflammation resulting in less pain and a healthier you.

Fights ADD/ADHD: Recent studies and treatment with fish oil show improved focus in patients with these disorders, along with a greater quality of life. Over 20 percent of American 5th graders are currently on an attention deficit assistance drug. I think it is very scary when the future leaders of the world can't pay attention and I hope you do too.

Better Cardiovascular Health: Lowers LDL, VLDL, triglycerides, raises HDL... enough said? Your veins and arteries will be asking for more. Also Fish Oil has been shown to break down clots before complete formation, meaning less chance of heart disease and strokes.

Fights breast, colon, and prostate Cancer: Recent research has shown that fish oil not only stops excessive cell growth, but causes cell death in cancerous cells. Whoever though death could be a good thing?

Note: I personally believe all the benefits of a healthy omega 3/6 ratio are yet to be discovered. And even what has been discovered is too much to list! Not taking a supplemental omega 3 would be a poor choice; if you're still on the fence, try one out for yourself!

Fish/Cod liver/Krill Oil supplementation:

Some people say it's good for you, other say it's not. What's agreed upon is that taking it does have benefits for some people, and the best thing to do here would be to determine if you are one of those people. Additionally, we can state that the standard American diet has an overabundance of omega 6s, and avoiding them would be a healthy choice.

If you're going to take omegas, aim for at-least 2 grams of omega 3s (mg EPA+DHA) a day. Many supplements will say it contains X number of omegas a day, but what we are aiming is for is the added amount of EPA+DHA in the supplement. You want at-least 2 grams of EPA+DHA. The benefits are listed below, but quick tip on storage: Store in the refrigerator which will allow for a longer supplement life and will heighten the chance the oil does not oxidize. Oxidation of the oil can lead to negative effects and reduced effects, so make sure to always store in a cool dry place.

Continuing on with polyunsaturated fats...

Note: PUFA are sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. For this reason, when consuming a source higher in omega-6s it is wise to supplement with fish oil or cod liver oil to balance the omega-3/6 ratio. A ratio of 4:1 or lower omega 6 to 3 is highly recommended for a reduction of chance of inflammation, chronic disease, depression, and obesity. Currently, the average Americans stands at around a ratio of 30:1 omega 6 to 3. Starting to see why our health is declining? With that said, always go for natural sources of food, and stick to cooking with coconut oil and adding oils like olive/macadamia post-cooking if need be. As long as you stick to the healthy fats outlined here and in other places, you will not have to micromanage things such as your omega 6/3 ratio besides supplementing with an omega 3 source. I know as you read this it sounds like it might be too hard to do, but it will all balance out if your diet (Read: eating pattern) is in line.

Ex of Omega-6 sources to avoid or minimize: soybean oil, sunflower seed oil, corn oil, safflower oil, hemp oil, vegetable oils in general, most grains (excluding certified organic ancient/sprouted grains), most vegetable oils, processed foods in general

Lets do a quick summary before we move on again:

Monounsaturated fats = good

Polyunsaturated fats (Omega 3s) = good

Other polyunsaturated fats (like vegetable oils) = bad

Why? They contain too many omega 6s (throws o3/6 ratio out of whack), oxidize way too quickly (free radical damage), and really don't provide much benefit nutritionally that you can't get from a better source.

So my opinion of polyunsaturated fats is that most of the sources are complete crap. Other than omega 3s, I can't think of any reason to really like them. But you won't here that on your local news station. Let's move on to what everyones been waiting for:

Saturated Fats (SFA): This fat's carbon-atom bonds are all paired hence saturated. This is the most misunderstood fat out there. Saturated fat is not bad for you in normal amounts (not a doctor, just have an opinion). What is normal amounts? It's what's right for you. As I say in my previous posts, everyone is different. The reason there is so much misinformation and so many diets out there is because some people should be eating more protein/fat, and others should be eating more carbohydrate. Most, should be eating way less carbohydrate and more fat/protein.

Naturally good sources of SFA (go certified organic when possible): Whole eggs, raw dairy, various meats and animal products, unrefined coconut oil, ghee, also see list of good fats mentioned earlier in guide as many foods contain saturated fat because of its' importance!

Have to mention this one again: COCONUT OIL!

Benefits:

Healthy Cell membrane: Saturated fats make up 50 percent of cell membrane; that should highlight their importance in our diet and how natural they really are for us. It makes up 100 percent of the lung surfactant phospholipids, meaning healthy lung function. It also makes up 80 percent of brain phospholipids. It is clear how important saturated fats really are.

Healthy Bones: Saturated fats help with the incorporation of calcium into our bones, leading to strong bones and healthy growth.

Healthy Immune Function: Short and medium chain saturated fatty acids have antimicrobial properties and protect our stomach and digestive tract. They fight off infection and harmful substances leading to improved immune function.

Energy: Short/medium chain saturated fats can provide long-lasting energy that will power you through the day. Want proof? Take down a tbsp of coconut oil in the morning on an empty stomach and see for yourself!

OK! So that is fat. Kind of. There's a part 3 coming dedicated to the manmade fats. But here's a quick summary of what we went over today:

Monounsaturated fats: GOOD

Omega 3s: GOOD

Omega 6s: bad, necessary for life, but most people get way too much

Most Polyunsaturated fat sources: bad, see explanation above

Saturated fat: GOOD

I kind of generalized each section of fats, but I believe that's the most efficient way to get the point across. If you want to get more specific, I would say pursue the topic and look up each individual oil's composition, especially if it's of interest to you.

To summarize some side points I also made:

Everyone is different! Interested? Look up metabolic typing. Some people do better on higher fat/protein lower carb diets, while others do better on moderate carb lower fat/protein diets. The KEY? LISTEN TO YOUR BODIES. Your mind and body are sending you signals all the time, if you would just slow down, you would hear and understand.

Many unsaturated fats (poly/mono) are relatively unstable and oxidize quickly, which totally negates their benefits, so if you're going to continue using those oils, at-least keep it to low-medium heat or better yet, apply after cooking. In my opinion coconut oil is the best one out there, on and off the pan.

Interested in more detailed nutrition and fitness tips? Come check out http://livingnotsurviving.com. We have many popular articles on fat loss for women and fat loss for men.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ahmed_Serag


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