Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Fats. The Good, The Bad, and Your Health!
Unlike the Declaration of Independence stating that 'all men are created equal', all Fats are not on par with each other. No, not by a long shot.
You may have recalled the "Low-Fat" craze of the 90's, which was basically a gimmick for multi-national food manufacturers to create new lines of "Fat-Free" or "Low-Fat" junk products filled with unnecessary sugars and starches.
Well after that fad came and went the "Low-Carb" band wagon geared up for their 15 minutes in the food spotlight, and it was Low-Fat" 90's all over again, only with carbs.
Well, there is no need to fear fats or carbs, just as long as you know which are the ones that will be helpful TO you and are beneficial FOR you, and which are detrimental to your health and should be avoided at ALL costs.
There's been talk as of late about "Trans-Fats" in the media. And it went as far to the FDA requiring food labels to now show the amount of trans fat in a given item.
This was good, because trans fats have been creeping their way into so many products for years without consumers awareness on the subject.
Trans Fats are evil fats that are basically TOXIC to you. Most trans fats consumed today, are industrially created as a side effect of hydrogenation of plant oils—a process developed in the early 1900s and first commercialized as Crisco in 1911.
The goal of hydrogenation is to add hydrogen atoms to unsaturated fats, making them more saturated. These more saturated fats have a higher melting point making them attractive for baking. Their reduced tendency for oxidation results in a longer shelf-life.
Unlike other dietary fats, trans fats are neither required nor beneficial for health. Eating trans fats increases the risk of coronary heart disease. Yeah, they aren't something you should be messing around with, even on a small scale.
Here's a list of some high-trans-fat edibles: crackers, cookies, doughnuts, and other snack foods (commercially produced baked goods in general are suspect), fried foods including fried chicken and French fries — are we seeing a theme here? Yeah, avoid these like the plague!!
Whne looking at labels you want trans fat to be zero and saturated as close to that as you can get.
Saturated Fats are another fat to keep at bay. With the exception of a couple of natural sources of it, such at organic coconut oil, which is actually good for you, numerous studies have suggested that diets high in saturated fat increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The World Health Organization has concluded that saturated fats negatively affect cholesterol profiles, predisposing individuals to heart disease, and recommends avoiding saturated fats in order to reduce the risk of a cardiovascular disease.
Finally, a decent fat for your body! Examples of unsaturated fats are palmitoleic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, and arachidonic acid. Foods containing unsaturated fats include avocado, nuts, seeds, and soybean, canola, and olive oils.
These are heart healthy fats that your body does indeed need to function and should be consumed moderately everyday. Remember "Un" is a good one!
The MIGHTY Omega's!
We come now to my FAVORITE fatty acid. The Omega. I have blogged about these wonder fats before, and you can check my archive for that, but essentially these are fats REQUIRED by the body to function properly. They are NOT created by the body, so you MUST get these through your diet.
They are responsible from allowing your eyes to function normally so you can see, to making sure your sexual libido stays in tact. You might need to toss the Viagra and pick up some flax oil instead, as that is a substance high in these acids.
Try to get 1,000mgs a day into your diet through fish oil supplements, oily fish like salmon, and vegetarian sources like flax, grape seed and evening primrose oils.
Once you start getting the Old nasty fats out of your diet, and start consuming a diet rich in the fats your body needs, you will actually begin to lose body fat and feel a whole lot better. Omega's especially are known for helping people lose weight.
So like the old saying goes, fight fire with fire...you can use Fat to battle the bulge, you just need to know the right amount and the right ones to use!
Here's a to a FAT revOlution!!