FATS: a friend not a foe.


We seem to have this common misconception of FATS.
For some reason we think consuming fats will make us fat and lead to poor health. This idea could not be more wrong! Fats are in fat (he he) just as important as the other two macronutrients, carbohydrates and protein. There are “good” fats and there are “bad” fatsGood fats, such as peanut butter, seafood, nuts, avocado (yum!), fish, coconut oil, etc, all work at keeping us satiated for longer;  allowing our brain to be alert and better focused; helps regulates our blood sugar; aiding in the reproduction of cells; detoxifying the body; provisioning our immune system;balancing insulin levels; protecting organs; improving metabolism; giving us healthy glowing skin & hair; and also enhancing  the body’s ability to absorb vitamins (A, D, E, & K) better by functioning as a carrier for carotenoids and vitamins. As a rule of thumb, 20-35% of our total daily caloric intake should come from GOOD FATS. You will notice how consuming sufficient amounts of good fats will actually discourage sugar/carb cravings and aid in weight loss/maintenance because fats prevent insulin spikes and in fact stabilize blood sugar. So when the body is not getting the required amount of fats, it will start converting carbs into fats, and this is essentially one of the reasons we have those annoying carb cravings!

Now since you know so much about good fats, allow me to introduce you to the culprit of bad fats: PALMITIC ACID. Palmitic Acid is a type of saturated fat which tricks the brain into thinking it is not yet full. The brain gets bombarded with a swarm of fatty acids which resist our appetite-suppressing hormones: leptin and insulin. You may even notice when you consume foods rich in palmitic acid; such as beef, butter, full-fat cheese, and milk, for dinner, you don’t seem to get that full sated feeling the next day at lunch time. This is because palmitic acid has the ability to impair our judgment for up to 3 days. So, moral of the story: consume these fats in moderation and limit them to rare occasions.
Now I am going to twaddle about fats in OILS and then I will introduce you to my favorite of all FATS – Coconut oil! A miracle fat!

I am sure you have heard people talk about “good fats” and “healthy oils,” well, healthy oils are the ones which our body will actually use for fuel rather than storing away as fat.They are the ones that do not clog arteries as cholesterol like “bad” fats do. These fats are rich in EFA’s or Essential Fatty Acids, particularly Omega-3s. EFAs stimulate and rev up our metabolism thus allowing the body to burn more body fat. They play a vital role in the upkeep of our cardiovascular, reproductive, nervous, and immune systems. EFA’s are important to our body because they make and repair cell membranes, are easily digested, and do not put any pressure on our organs (i.e. pancreas and liver) or our digestive system. Their permeability allows our cells to receive the required nutrition while getting rid of unwanted destructive waste. The two EFA’s I will discuss are Omega-3 and Omega-6. They are both essential fatty acids, meaning they are not produced naturally by the body and have to be consumed through diet. Omega-3’s have anti-inflammatory properties while omega-6 does the opposite and increases inflammation, as well as blood clotting and cell proliferation. These two polyunsaturated fatty acids are both required for optimal wellness but their ratios need to be balanced. So when we consume “bad” fats and processed foods we cause an increase of omega-6 in our body which can lead to heart attacks, coronary heart disease, cancer, insulin resistance, lupus, depression, asthma, schizophrenia, stroke, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and obesity. Some “bad” oils include vegetable oils such as, canola, corn, safflower, soybeans, and sunflower. These fats are extremely high in omega-6 fatty acids. When consumed they imbalance the body’s essential fatty acids ratio – known as Essential Fatty Acid Deficiency. Furthermore, these oils are unstable at high temperaturesand should NOT be used for cooking. When I say “unstable” I mean these oils oxidize at high temperatures; thus, destroying their molecular structure. Once the molecular arrangement has been sabotaged and extirpated it creates compounds which are toxic and harmful for our health. Instead, oils which remain stable and are able to withstand high temperatures are IDEAL for cooking; such as avocado, peanut, and coconut oil. Butter and lard are also fats which stay stable at high temperatures, but their use should be limited since they are animal fats and have an unfortunate tendency to be stored as body fat rather than being used as energy. The “good” fats I mentioned are all surprisingly saturated fats, probably the only saturated fats which I will encourage you to consume.

I have been cooking with olive oil forever- a huge mistake. I have been utterly misinformed about how good of a fat it is. I mean don’t get me wrong, olive oil is a WONDERFUL fat, just not when it comes in contact with heat. You can still reap all of olive oil’s benefits by keeping it away from heat. Instead, use it on salads or splashed in stir fries after they have been removed from the stove.

Now you know that vegetable oils should be avoided all together. And you also now know that nut oils such as, coconut, peanut, avocado, and butter should be your primary cooking oils. AND lastly you know that aromatic nut oils such as, olive, flaxseed, sesame, and walnut are IN FACT healthy oils BUT SHOULD NOT be heated. Wow! You got a fat brain now!  Okayyyy, soooo… now since you got this new fat brain from all this fat knowledge, I would like to tell you about COCONUT OIL!

FACTS ON COCONUT OIL:

Gosh, the health benefits from this miracle oil are endless…where do I start…. it is used for hair & skin care, dental care, stress relief, better immune system, superior digestive system, improved metabolism, maintaining cholesterol levels, prevention of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, & HIV, relief from kidney problems, and also in strengthening bones. It is also used to aid weight loss; so if leaning out is one of your goals then I HIGHLYrecommend buying a tub of extra virgin coconut oil! This collection of health benefits can be credited to the lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid which are present in coconut oil. These three acids have antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant, and soothing properties. It is actually comprised of 50% lauric acid – the substance found in human breast milk. It helps fight off viruses; such as, hepatitis C, HIV, herpes, influenza and bacteria; such as, pneumonia, UTIs, meningitis, sore throats, dental cavities, and food poisoning. It also fights against yeast and fungus infections that cause candida, ringworm, and athlete’s foot. Coconut oil is made up of medium chained triglycerides (MCT). It is a natural thermogenic which has been proven to burn fat. Also when digested it functions different to any other fat; the body absorbs MCT’s rapidly, then straightaway metabolizes it in the liver for instant energy. Any excess coconut oil triglycerides are turned to body heat rather than stored away as fat! It also facilitates in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins, amino acids, and minerals – particularly calcium & magnesium which helps in the strengthening and development of bones. Coconut oil also DOES NOT oxidize at high temperatures; it has the mystical power of withstanding high heat, so you don’t have to worry about health risks caused by toxins from upset molecular structures. It also lowers cholesterol, provides more energy, prevents disease, and BURNS THROUGH FAT!

Try adding a tablespoon to your protein shake and watch the fat melt off your waist. For real though. There have been numerous studies in which they put two groups on the same exact diet and exercise plan. They gave the control group a daily dose of coconut oil and the coconut oil-consuming-group actually lost fat compared to the non-consuming-coconut-oil group. Try it out! What’s there to lose when there is SO MUCH to gain?!

HOPE YOU AIN’T AFRAID OF FAT STILL!

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2 thoughts on “FATS: a friend not a foe.

    • Thanks for reading PaleoWorks! Interesting, I suppose everyone has their own take on macronutrient intakes. The reason I say 25-30%, is because since carbohydrates are our main source of fuel, we should really be taking 50-60% carbs, thus leaving us with 40-50% for fats and proteins.

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