Roller Coaster Article 1 explains blood sugar spiking. In week one we add more water to our diets. Next Roller Coaster Article 2 tells how protein keeps us full. And now...Fat. Thought you shouldn't have it? Think again.
Over the last 2 weeks we added water and proteins to our diet in a way that has crowded out our old way of eating that supported a lifestyle where blood sugar spiked and fell over and over. This week, we are adding nutritional superstar for balance ~ fats.
Fats (or lipids) are used for energy in the body as a slow burn. Unlike the quick burst of energy from a carbohydrate, fats provide a long term source of energy. Fats are additionally beneficial as they absorb fat soluble vitamins, aid in the maintenance of a steady metabolism, and nourish the skin, hair, and nails. Fats, like proteins, are macronutrients; they need to be broken down to be effective. Fatty acids and glycerol are the components of fats and their structural arrangement determines whether they are deemed “healthy” or “unhealthy” due, in part, to their level of saturation. Trans fats, saturated fats, unsaturated fats, and essential fatty acids (Omega-3) are the different types of fats, and some are healthier than others!
Stay Away From Trans Fats
Trans fats are chemically altered fats. The body has a difficult time processing them since they are man-made. These fats are the culprits in raising LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, accelerating heart disease and aging. They are designed to increase shelf life and give flavor to processed foods, commercially prepared baked goods and margarines. Most people know that trans fats aren’t good for them and that they should be eliminated from a healthy diet.
Minimize Saturated Fats
Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and with one notable exception, their consumption should be minimized. The exception is coconut oil as it contains beneficial medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that have been shown to promote heart health, stimulate metabolism, and keep the skin youthful looking.
Healthy Alternative Unsaturated Fats
Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature, like canola and olive oil. These are fats that can be added to the diet as a healthier alternative to the synthetic trans fats and the saturated fats like butter.
What Are Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are “essential” because the body cannot make them and they must be obtained through the diet. They are the most healthy for us to consume, but also the least common in a typical American diet. Notably, they are anti-inflammatory, and keep the blood sugar level consistent which promotes memory, energy, mood, and decreases stress. EFAs are divided into the Omega-3 and Omega-6. The standard American diet overloads the 6s and skimps on the 3s, which are found in oily fish, fish oil supplements, walnuts, and flax seed. In some individual diets the ratio is skewed 20:1 in favor of Omega-6, which limits the anti-inflammatory punch of the Omega-3.
Watch Out For No or Low Fat Foods
When diets are labeled “No fat”, “Fat free” and “Low fat”, the mindset is to remove fat, as though its mere presence in the diet created havoc. Fat is not the enemy! It is an essential macronutrient, and its removal from the diet is what is detrimental. When one nutrient is removed from a balanced diet, another takes its place. In the case of removing fats, the alternative is often sugar. Therefore, a seemingly healthy version of a “No fat”, “Fat free” or “Low fat” diet becomes a “High sugar” diet and back on the roller coaster you go…
Have You Tried Coconut Oil
This week, take on adding a healthy fat to your diet … try using coconut oil instead of butter on your toast, or add it to your coffee and reap the additional benefits of smooth, soft lips. Sprinkle some walnuts on your salad, add flax to a smoothie … there are endless possibilities! Comment below with a favorite of your own…
Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By: Elizabeth Viszt