Poor Digestion = Poor Health (part v)
Eating Healthy Fats for Digestion and Weight Loss
To date you have learned about 4 of the 6 necessary ingredients : daily elimination, balanced pH & minerals, enzymes, and hydrochloric acid. This month will touch base on the 5th ingredient, undamaged oils/fats. Did you know having healthy (undamaged) fats in your daily diet not only is necessary for a healthy digestion system but is also essential to weight loss. Yes, you read this correctly, weight loss and not weight gain! How can that be? Keep reading, the information is below along with which fats/oils are healthy or damaged, why undamaged fats are needed for a healthy body and how damaged fats are health damaging.
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Back to the topic – Healthy Fats for Healthy Digestion
Our brains have been engrained with messages of low fat, no fat, high cholesterol, and so the phrase “healthy fats” sounds like a misnomer. So let’s take a look at why natural fats, undamaged by industrialization, are truly necessary for the body.
Classification of Fatty Acids
Saturated fatty acids have all available carbon bonds occupied by a hydrogen atom. They are highly stable, meaning that they do not normally go rancid, even when heated during cooking. They are solid or semisolid at room temperature. Your body makes saturated fatty acids and they are found in animal fats and tropical oils. Examples are Coconut oil, Lard, Duck fat, Butter, Palm Oil, Fish oil, Sesame oil
Monounsaturated fatty acids lack two hydrogen atoms. Your body makes these fatty acids from saturated fatty acids. Due to its chemical structure, it tends to be liquid at room temperature and does not have as high of a heat-labile point as saturated fats meaning it creates free radicals when cooked at too high of temperature and therefore is best consumed unheated. Common food sources are oleic acid (the main component of olive oil, almonds, pecans, macadamia and avocados).
Polyunsaturated fatty acids lack four or more hydrogen atoms. The two polyunsaturated fatty acids found most frequently in our foods are omega-6; and omega-3. Your body cannot make these fatty acids and are called “essential.” and must obtain our essential fatty acids (EFA’s) from the foods we eat at a ratio of Omega 3:6 at 2:1. Unfortunately, today’s average American Omega 3:6 ratio is 1:20. This is primarily due to the excessive consumption of industrialized seed oils (soy canola safflower) and grains all of which contain Omega 6 fats. This imbalance has been linked to a number of health problems (see below example). What happens in the conventional processing of these seeds and grains is that they are subjected to heat, oxygen, and moisture all of which causes these unstable fats to become oxidized or rancid. In correct balance, Omega 6 is a natural player of inflammation but when the body gets more then what it needs, the natural function of inflammation becomes dysfunctional creating chronic states of inflammation. Omega 6 fats should come from natural sources legumes, traditionally prepared grains and nuts, dark green vegetables, olive oil and animal fats all in controlled amounts. Omega 3 sources include dark leafy greens, sardines, wild salmon, tuna, seaweed, olive oil, eggs and walnuts.
Why do I need Healthy Fats?
Saturated fats are vital for your body as it….
–is needed for hormone production and function
–it is food for brain, nerve, and heart function
–fat comprises 60% of the brain, , 50% of your cell membranes, 60% of fat in retina
–needed to take-up minerals(including Calcium)
–protects the liver from toxins
–provides energy for heart in times of stress
–needed for lung and kidney function
– healthy hearts
– healthy cholesterol levels
– reduces join pain
– weight loss, specifically around mid-section
– control blood sugar levels
– healthy inflammation
– intake of polyunsaturates should not be much greater than 4% of the caloric total,
– metabolize amino acids
– prostaglandin production
Healthy (Undamaged) Fats vs. Damaged Fats
I’d like to take the phrase “healthy fats” up one notch and interchange with the term “undamaged fats.” Why is this? The primary reason is that unfortunately that even what was once a healthy fat may be now toxic once they hit the shelves of the grocery and nutrition stores. This can result from the raw materials were harvested from unhealthy soils, or various forms of industrial processing packaging or shipping that have altered a whole food into more of a chemical substance with an end result of delivering inefficient nutrients and/or toxins rather then a healthy fat.
How Fats Can Become Damaged:
For this answer, lets look at an example of how conventional Canola Oil is made.
* First Canola is one of the highest GE (genetically engineered) crops. GE partially meaning it’s natural seed has been altered to be able to endure a significant amount of pesticides. So right from the get go the raw material is already laden with toxic chemicals.
* To obtain the oil from the seed it goes through a high temperature solvent extracting process which adds more chemicals and turns the oil rancid and creates free radicals, as its heated past its heat-labile point
* Then canola oil goes through bleaching refining and degumming processes all of which require high temperatures and chemicals.
* Because the oil is now rancid due to the high temperature extraction process its now deodorized to cover up rancidity. The deodorizing process converts the omega 3 fatty acids into trans-fats.
* Canola oil has been shown to be so toxic that it is an effective insecticide or pesticide
How do you think damaged oils like the above can affect your body?
Here is a short list of side effects…
– Neurological: Tremors, shaking, memory problems, slurred speech, lack of coordination, numbness/tingling
– Premature aging: hearing and hair loss, blurred vision, blindness
– Problems with urination
– Respiratory distress: heart arrhythmias, emphysema
Many of these clear up after discontinuance of damaged/toxic oils.
What about cholesterol?
This will be discussed in more depth in a separate blog but for now know
– Many clinical research studies on “good” fats since 1950’s has shown “good” fats do NOT support the assumption that “high- fat foods cause heart attacks.
– Many of government studies supporting reduced fat are based upon hydrogenated and trans fats (aka damaged and denatured fats).
– healthy cholesterol levels is a good guy and plays vital roles within our body such make stress handling hormones, sex hormones, vitamin D, acts as an antioxidant against free radicals, repaired damaged blood vessels, and is a major player in the development and growth of infants.
The Damaged, the Undamaged and the Effective Use for Weight Loss
Here is a primary list of damaged fats that everyone should steer away from (look at your food ingredient lists when grocery shopping, ask the servers in the restaurants as well as “fresh pre-made foods” in the grocery stores.
– trans fats (comes in all forms of cookies, crackers, chips, breads, muffins bagels etc)
– most seed oils: canola, cotton, safflower, corn, soy
Undamaged fats (when in their natural unheated state)
avocado, duck fat, butter, palm oil, fish oil, sesame oil, olive oil (virgin, cold extracted preferably unfiltered and in dark bottle), coconut oil (cold extracted preferably unfiltered and in dark bottle), olives, tallow, lard, nuts, eggs, grass fed beef
Finally a little tip on how fats support weight loss
– For starters, eating daily undamaged fats like a condiment with your meals satisfies your body so it satisfies the appetite.
– Because undamaged fats are converted into sugars a lot slower then your simple carbohydrates your blood sugar levels are more controlled and brain does not feel like it is starving and therefore it reduces your cravings for sweets.
– Coconut oil specifically has had a number of studies showing its positive effects of reducing fat around the midsection.
How to eat healthy fats to promote weight loss?
– Have undamaged fats during the breakfast a plate of poached eggs and avocado or stick them both in your smoothie with some coconut oil (believe me it tastes a lot better then it sounds), or eat some soaked irish oats with butter! This will eliminate you from having those mid-day energy crashes and binges on the soda or snack machines.
– Always eat fats with your grains (preferably soaked and sprouted) this will help your body digest the carbs more effectively
– If you are on a weight loss plan please eat undamaged fats!
– To facilitate weight loss for non-Kapha body types, first and foremost one must be eating a healthy nourishing diet. To facilitate your fat metabolism, add daily Coconut Tea to your program. Simply warm up 4oz of purified water, stir in 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil and drink approximately 20 minutes before each meal. Follow this routine for 30 days to see the beginning results.
In summary, most people, especially infants and growing children, benefit from more fat in the diet rather than less. Our choice of fats and oils must be chosen with care. Avoid all processed foods containing hydrogenated fats and polyunsaturated oils. For baking cooking use stable fats such as butter, coconut oil, lard tallow, animal fats. For non-cooking fats use extra virgin olive oil, EFA oils. Eat foods that contain fat in their natural state: egg yolks butter, coconut oil, avocado, nuts/seeds (soaked and sprouted), olives, fatty fish (sardines, salmon black cod, herring) and occasional grass fed beef. This wholesome food will be satisfying in taste, appetite, as well as body appeal for you and your family.
As a QRA & Wellness Practitioner, a primary focus with my clients is providing a step by step process in building a nutrient dense daily diet along with supplying recipes and teaching how to be in the kitchen efficiently and effectively. If you are seeking additional assistance to best vamp your diet for you and your family’s health, weight loss, and/or body type, to inquire or schedule an appointment please click here or call 310.798.7600.
To Great Health & Wellness
Tracy PMA-CPT, certified QRA & Wellness Practitioner
– http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/why-we-crave/ Posted on July 6, 2011 by Janice Curtin, MA
– Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, Second Edition by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, PhD. © 1999 New Trends Publishing, Inc.
Awad AB. Effect of dietary lipids on composition and glucose utilization by rat adipose tissue. Journal of Nutrition111:34-39, 1981
– Gut and Psychology Syndrome Dr. Natasha Cambell-McBride MD
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In both one-on-one consultations and community educational programs,Tracy’s coaching emphasizes a nutritionally dense diet and clearing the pathways of the body and mind to have a LIFE of vitality.
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