Good versus Bad – Why we all need it in our diet
We know that diet plays a big role in the health of the body, but an essential nutrient that has been demonized for the past 50 years or so is fat. Low-fat foods have been recommended to be healthy, yet long term chronic health issues are on the rise which are much nastier than the acute health issues from the past.
By eliminating it from the diet and replacing it with sugar and artificial sweeteners has not made us healthier; yet society in general relies on sugar and carbohydrates for energy and continue to struggle without essential nutrients.
It is needed to build cell membranes, the vital exterior of each cell, and the sheaths surrounding nerves. It is essential for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation. For long-term health, some fats are better than others. Good fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Bad ones include industrial-made trans fats. Saturated ones fall somewhere in the middle.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are known as the “good fats” because they are good for your heart, your cholesterol, and your overall health. These can help to:
- Lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Lower bad LDL cholesterol levels, while increasing good HDL.
- Prevent abnormal heart rhythms.
- Lower triglycerides associated with heart disease and fight inflammation.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Prevent atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries).
Adding more of these healthy fats to your diet may also help to make you feel more satisfied after a meal, reducing hunger and thus promoting weight loss.
- Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
- Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
- Fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines)
The worst type of dietary fat is the kind known as trans fat. It is a byproduct of a process called hydrogenation that is used to turn healthy oils into solids and to prevent them from becoming rancid. When vegetable oil is heated in the presence of hydrogen and a heavy-metal catalyst such as palladium, hydrogen atoms are added to the carbon chain. This turns oils into solids. It also makes healthy vegetable oils more like not-so-healthy saturated fats. On food label ingredient lists, this manufactured substance is typically listed as “partially hydrogenated oil.” (www.health.harvard.edu)
Examples of bad ones – (Trans fat )
- Cookies, cakes, pizza dough, chips
- Stick margarine, vegetable shortening
- Fried foods – fried chicken, chicken nuggets, breaded fish
- Anything containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, even if it claims to be “trans fat-free”
Saturated fat. While not as harmful as trans fat, saturated fat can raise bad LDL cholesterol and too much can negatively impact heart health, so it’s best consumed in moderation. Experts recommend limiting it to 10% of your daily calories.
Saturated fat – primary sources include:
- Red meat (beef, lamb, pork)
- Whole dairy products (milk, cream, cheese)
- Butter, Ice cream
- Tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil
If you eat carbohydrates, you body floods your bloodstream with insulin. So eating more carbohydrates means less time in fat burning mode. Which means more fat accumulation in the fat cells. Then this means feeling hungrier and weight gain. Eating more fat and fewer carbohydrates means fat will burn quicker, you are less hungry, and more likely to lose weight.
Your diet determines how much insulin your body will produce over time. From the documentary “Fat Head.”
We think by simply eating healthy carbs, (in small amounts) lean protein, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed foods that contain trans and saturated fats.
Remember not all ones are bad, and there are healthy ones that are essential to a balanced diet. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends healthy Americans, over age 2, eat between 25 and 35 percent of your total daily calories as fats from healthy sources like nuts, fish and oils.
To get more help visit a Systematic Kinesiologist who can help with food intolerances, sensitivities and emotional triggers. https://kinesiology.ie/practitioners/