Get an Oil Change
Jun 13th, 2011 | By Sue Ann | Category: Nutrition
Are you living a fat-phobic life style? The idea that fat in your food = fat on your body is an outdated nutritional belief system. When this belief system was firmly in place we all jumped on the Low-Fat-No-Fat Battleship. We waged war on fat and removed it from the premises.
When fat became the enemy, we got very good at reading food labels. Yet, the only thing we looked at was the number of fat grams in the product, totally ignoring the gazillion chemicals, food colorings, and “natural” flavors it contained. (If the ingredients are “natural” why not name them?)
When fat became the enemy our refrigerators became stocked with:
Low fat or no fat yogurt
Fat free salad dressing, or worse yet—no salad dressing
And our favorite sweet snack became Snackwell’s cookies.
So what happens when we don’t get enough healthy fat in our diets?
The quality of our skin diminishes.
We got a little grouchy.
We can’t find our keys.
We have trouble absorbing vitamins A, D, E, & K (all of our fat soluble vitamins)
Our bones suffer.
Our kids start acting out in school.
We fall asleep at our desks at 3:00pm.
When food scientists took the fat out of our food they replaced it with more sugar and all of the latest research is pointing to fructose, not fat, as the real culprit in diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Dietary fat is very slow burning in the body. When you replace the fat with faster burning carbs you tend to feel less energetic, you risk burning muscle tissue, and you wreak havoc on your metabolism, your hormones, your blood sugar, and your energy.
Essential fatty acids are just that—essential. They cannot be synthesized in the body and must come from dietary sources. Dietary fats supply some of the best, and most stable sources of energy. Some fatty acids, in particular the omega-3s, lower triglycerides and soothe inflammation. If you want to feel good all day long, you need to make sure you are getting enough healthy fat in your diet.
Remember, the human body needs fat to function properly and for proper hormone production. If hormone production is off, your metabolism will follow. Hormones regulate all kinds of things in your body including your ability to build and maintain muscle tissue, which is responsible for a large portion of your energy expenditure. In simple terms, muscle burns calories 24 hours a day and if you eat a low fat or no fat diet you will have a hard time building, restoring and maintaining muscle.
When choosing fats, pick unsaturated fats from plant sources and limit saturated fats. Leave out trans fats, artificially hydrogenated oils used mainly to extend the shelf life of food. Margarine, butter substitutes, and any foods containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils have trans fats in them, even if it’s not listed on the label. As a general guideline, women need about a third of their calories coming from healthy sources of fat.
To boost your consumption of healthy fats, try adding some of these items to your grocery list:
• Brazil nuts (great source of selenium)
• seeds (hemp, flax, pumpkin, sunflower)
• wild cold-water fish (preferably line caught)
• coconut oil (also linked to brain health)
And while you’re upgrading the items in your pantry, check the label on your peanut butter jar. If it says hydrogenated vegetable oil, throw it away and upgrade that as well!
Sue Ann’s recipes, radiant life tips and reflections embody the concept: Dancing with Delicious. Her mission is to show people that a radiantly healthy lifestyle can be easy to achieve AND delicious. When not working with private clients, Sue Ann can be found sampling exotic chocolates or building broccoli forests in her mashed potatoes. Visit her website to schedule a Radiant Life Breakthrough Session on the phone or in person, or to inquire about speaking engagements.