FATS

Lowdown on FAT

Fat has gotten a bad rap. Especially in the last 30 years when we saw an explosion in products that were “fat free” or “low fat” alternatives to traditional fats. These changes in the fats we eat have not been based on research. Healthy fats are a necessary part of a well-balanced and healthy diet. Research is telling us that it’s the kind of fats that leads to our body’s state of health, or disease. Here are some important things to know about fats.

  • Recent dietary guidelines don’t put a limit on the total amount of fat that we should have in our diets. Fats should make up approximately 20-35% of your daily percentage of calories.
  • Proper ratio of omega-3’s to omega-6’s are said to be somewhere around 1:1 to 1:5. The Standard American diet (SAD) can have as much as a 1:25 ratio, which shifts the body towards a state of inflammation.
  • Servings of seafood per week should be from 2-5. Remember that smaller fish tend to have less toxicity.
  • Choose grass-fed meat, free-range chicken, and organic whenever possible. These tend to have better healthy fat ratios and contain less hormones, pesticides, and chemicals.
  • Cooking oils: choose Extra Virgin Olive Oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and sesame oil when possible. Do not heat above 350 degrees because it can damage their benefits.
  • Avoid: vegetable oils, corn oils, and safflower oil.

Trans fats: These are bad and should be avoided. They are being removed in most foods. Look out for hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils because these are trans fats.

Saturated fats: These are now considered neutral fats. It is still important to not get too much of your dietary calories from these types of fat.

Monounsaturated fats: These fats can help lower cholesterol in the blood. Use these in your diet.

Polyunsaturated fats: These are omega-3’s and omerga-6’s. Try to get a 1:1 ratio of these.

Omega-3’s: These are the Anti-Inflammatory fats. Eat more of them!

Omega-6’s: These are the PRO- inflammatory fats. Eat less of them!

Fat- free: This usually means highly processed food. They may be full of sugar and starch to make them taste better. They are pro-inflammatory.

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More posts on Health:

Seafood Watch: Part 2

Omega Fatty Acids

Food Labels To Know

Keep Hustling!

Mediterranean Diet

Healthy Eating Tips

Gut Feeling

Fighting Inflammation

 

Remember that this information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.

 

REF:

The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids. Simopoulos AP.

Biomed Pharmacother. 2002 Oct;56(8):365-79. Review.

LA Times “The Skinny On Fat” – Paula Spencer Scott

Fight Inflammation

Inflammation

Inflammation is a double-edged sword that can be either good or bad for you and your body. In small doses it helps start the healing process when an acute injury occurs. Long-term inflammation lingering in the body is a chronic systemic condition that needs to be taken care of properly. Chronic, long-term inflammation can happen when there is continued stress on the body and you do not recover properly. These stressors can be a bad diet, lack of exercise, minor repetitive injuries, and even toxins in the environment. These stressors add up over time, and although they may not be noticed at first, they can lead to problems over time.

Over time, chronic inflammation can lead to a decreased immune system and damage to our cells. It is linked to heart disease, some cancers, gout, and Alzheimer’s. The good news is that by living a healthy lifestyle you can avoid, or at the very least decrease, damage.

Tips to decrease chronic inflammation:

  • Eat a healthy balanced diet such as the Mediterranean diet (anti-inflammatory). This diet is high in veggies and fruits, healthy fats (olive oil), and has less sugar and processed foods than the standard American diet.
  • Have fun! This can decrease build up of stress hormones that are pro-inflammatory.
  • Sleep: Be sure you are getting regular, quality sleep.
  • Exercise: Excess fat can lead to a state of inflammation. Obesity is a risk factor for many diseases. Try to get exercise daily and obtain a healthier weight (body fat %).
  • Quit Smoking!

Anti-inflammatories:

  • Fish oil: highly concentrated supplements containing omega-3s (anti-inflammatory) may be able to help decrease a pro-inflammatory state in the body. Also try to eat fish 2-5 times per week. Look for salmon, pacific cod, sardines, and smaller fish that are wild caught.
  • Whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, barley, and other “ancient grains” can be more anti-inflammatory than even whole wheat. Stay away from pro-inflammatory grains like refined flour, rice, and pasta.
  • Spices: Give your food a kick with some anti-inflammatory spice. Turmeric, cinnamon, garlic, and ginger have many health benefits and taste great!
  • Fruits & Veggies: Get a wide variety of seasonal, local, and organic food whenever possible.
  • Proteins: Be smart about where you are getting your proteins. Beans, lentils, soy, nuts, seeds, and even quinoa are full of quality protein and contain less fat then traditional protein sources (beef, pork, chicken).
  • Proper Movement: Be sure your body is humming along and everything is getting proper movement and motion. A decrease in motion can lead to a buildup of inflammation in a local area that may eventually lead to pain. See your chiropractor & acupuncturist to be sure you are working in top form!

 inflame

Other Health Topics:

Mediterranean Diet

Diet Fads

Supplement Q & A

Back to school health tips

Daily Supplements

Stretches

Remember that this information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.

REF:

LA Times “Inflammaging”- Paula Spencer Scott