Well here we go, I’m taking my chances with this one today team!
Fat! Aahhhhhh, (i hear you scream), keep those nasty little critters away from me Craig, they are evil, are they not? Team rest assured not all fats are created equal, and I’ll do my very best to expose you to the truth here today!
Much of the community has become fat phobic, and with good reason, in some cases. Scientists have pointed to fat as a possible cause for diseases ranging from coronary artery disease, obesity, and right through to some cancers for decades now.
In response to these claims and the research (in some cases) supermarket shelves are now filled with fat free potato chips, luncheon meats, biscuits, cakes and other HI (human interfered with) so called foods (I use the word “food” very loosely in these cases), all concocted so people can literally “have their cake & eat it too”, so to speak.
However, this is a huge health and metabolic disaster! Why you ask? Because we need certain fats to perform at our very best, feel our very best, and therefore look our very best, thats the facts!
So lets go a little deeper.
So why do some health experts recommend eating some fats?
There are certain fats that we must obtain from food sources, as our body is unable to synthesis (make them for us), or manufacture them. These fats are called the essential fats. These fats are required to manufacture hormones, a critical part of our trillions of cell membranes, myelin sheath (a special waxy substance that lines our nerves), and to transport fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E, and K through our body, just to name a few.
These fats include:
- Omega 3 (Linolenic Acids), such as the high fat fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout and alike)
- Omega 6 (Alpha – Linolenic Acids), such as (avocado, olive oil, macadamia and alike)
- Gamma – Linolenic Acids (GLA), from vegetable oils such as evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) oil (EPO), blackcurrant seed oil, borage seed oil, and hemp seed oil. GLA is also found in varying amounts in edible hemp seeds, oats, barley and spirulina.
- According to Ashton (1999), the body can manufacture all fatty acids from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in the diet except for these 3 essential groups. As these fatty acids are used for structural & metabolic functions, as opposed to an energy source, they are far less likely to create an increase in body fat.
- Essential fats are generally naturally occurring, traditional fats that haven’t been damaged by high heat, refining, processing or other man – made tampering such as partial hydrogenation, nasty TRANS fats).
So why should you include essential fats in your eating plans instead of following a low fat diet?
- A fat is a functional source of energy. It is stored as adipose tissue (yes these are the fat storage houses we can grab hold of often have a (hate – hate relationship with) in times of plenty & metabolised or broken down when we need the energy. Insulin is the hormone, known as the storage hormone responsible for most of this storage. Insulin is responsible for transporting excess carbohydrates (blood sugar) out of the blood & stores it either in muscle cells, liver cells or adipose cells (fat cells). Did you know: These dietary fats are required to make your hormones! Yes the hormones such as insulin, testosterone, oestrogen, are all formed from the backbones of cholesterol and fats. So yes, dietary fats are critical.
- Low fat diets are usually loaded with calorie dense (nutrient poor), refined carbohydrates, such as cereals,sauces, spreads, muesli bars, sports drinks, energy drinks (you get the picture). For those people with a fat loss goal, refined carbohydrates send Insulin levels through the roof, which ultimately leads to increased body fat stores, rather than fat burning, and I am assuming this is NOT what your looking for team, correct?
Therefore it is suggested you consume essential fats in your diet for several reasons including:
- To transport the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, And K through out your body for optimal performance.
- To assist in the manufacture of your (critical for survival) hormones.
- Protect your nerves with a coating called – Myelin.
- To build your cell walls and allow them to be fluid and flexible for allowing friends into the cells, and keeping nasties out of your cells.
- Aid in your body temperature regulation/insulation.
- Used as an energy source. Fat has more than twice the energy content of Carbohydrates, and Proteins per gram.
- Protect vital organs.
- Aid in cholesterol level control
- Assist in dietary satiety (keeping you feeling satisified after a meal)
- Most of the essential fats we mention above are anti inflammatory agents, assisting your body to function at its very best
- Hello, (i nearly forgot to mention) they taste great. The texture, and flavours that can add to your daily eating regimes is amazing. Why not try adding a teaspoon of premium grade Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) that is infused with lemon, garlic, chilli, or my favourite parmesan cheese, to your favourite foods, yummy!
So team the morale of this story is this: You need to be consuming fats to be feeling, performing and looking your very best. However, its not about if you eat fats, its about choosing wisely and being educated to know which ones to align your health and wellbeing too. The answer: The essential fats, more often than not.
Below is a table that will give you a look at some example of essential and saturated fats!
|Essential Fats||Saturated Fats.|
|Nuts – Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios,Walnuts||Fried Foods|
|Seeds – Sesame, Linseed, Sunflower.||Refined Vegetable oils.|
|Avocado.||Animal fats – Beef, Lamb, Pork, etc.|
|Fish oil – Salmon, Mackerel, Herring, sardines.||Egg yolk|
|Oils – Chia, Flaxseed, Olive, Macadamia, Avocado||Dairy fats – Cream, Milk, Margarine, Cheeses.|
|Coconut, Palm oil etc.|
So I do hope this list above gives you a little education of what and where dietary fats are found.
I am not saying for one moment team that the foods on the right hand side of the table should not be eaten. I am just showing you the differences in locations of the various fats we consume.
Until next we cross paths, stay safe team and eat well, drink wisely and laugh long, loud and often.