Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Everything You Need To Know About Fat

Merry Tuesday My Wonderful Followers!

So I was sitting here this morning, thinking of what to share with you all today, when I thought about fat. I think that fat in your diet confuses a lot of people; how much fat? What's good fat? What's bad fat? What, I need fat?

There are a million myth's, a million ideas, but who has the time to look all that up? Well fear not my friends, today I am going to share with you everything you need to know about fat. So read on to find out why some fats are essential to your health.


Everything You Need To Know About Fat

We've all read the bad press about fat that that links this dietary substance, including  high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. What many people don't realize, however, is that some fats are actually good for you and others are essential.

Mono - and polyunsaturated fats act to lower "bad" cholesterol ( which increases blood pressure ) and raise "good" cholesterol ( which lowers blood pressure ) in the bloodstream.

These "good fats" also contain essential fatty acids ( EFAs ), which help prevent illnesses such as arthritis, cancers, heart disease and immune deficiencies. EFAs are also vital for protecting the body's organs and for "carrying" the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Beneficial And Harmful Fats

Some fats have beneficial properties, while others can harm your health.

Glycerols~This is the main fatty acid that makes up fat. It can be broken down by the body for energy and is vital in the transport of fatty acids through the tissues.

Saturated~Found mainly in animal products, a diet high in saturated fats raises levels of "bad" low-density lipoprotein ( LDL) cholesterol in the blood.

Trans Fats~These are formed during the process that solidifies liquid fat for processed foods. Like saturated fats, research suggests that trans fats raise levels of LDL cholesterol, while lowering levels of  "good" lipoprotein HDL cholesterol.

"Good" Fats

Mono - and polyunsaturated fatty acids are importantfor our health and well-being, helping to maintain healthy levels of blood cholesterol,

Monounsaturated Fats~These fats work to lower "bad" LDL cholesterol and to raise "good" HDL cholesterol, which helps to prevent the narrowing of blood arteries and stave off heart disease. Monounsaturates are found in olive oil, grapeseed oil, nuts, dairy products, fish and meat.

Polyunsaturated Fats~These also lower levels of LDL cholesterol, and the most prized polyunsaturates are the essential fatty acids which cannot be manufactured in the body. EFAs are obtained from dietary sources such as safflower, corn, sunflower, walnut and soy bean oils.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids~Among EFAs are the omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce the risk of strokes and linoleic and alpha-linoleic acids, which maintain cell membranes and make the hormone prostaglandin that controls many of the body's processes. Polyunsaturated fats are also rich in caner-fighting antioxidant vitamin A.

"Bad" Fats

In the past, the label of "bad" fats has fallen on saturated fatty acids, but a recent addition to the fold are the trans-fatty acids.

Western Diet~Saturated fats can be found in many of the foods enjoyed by the Western palate such as butter, cheese, cream, meat and eggs. There is no need to cut these out o your diet completely, but they should only be included in limited amounts.

Plant Sources~Significant levels of saturated fats can also be found in some plant sources, including avocados and coconut oils. Again you need not  exclude, just moderate.

Manufactured Foods~Trans-fatty acids are largely a result of modern, industrialized production methods and are found in cakes, pastries and margarine. Trans fats are unsaturated vegetable oils that are hydrogenated to make them solid for food processing. Saturated fats are also found in manufactured foods.

Health Risks~When eaten in amounts greater than the recommended government guidelines, saturated fats and trans fats stimulate the liver to produce more LDL cholesterol. This results in higher levels of this harmful cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease, cancer and obesity.

False Appetite~Consuming high levels of saturated fats and trans fats can also predispose you to nutritional imbalances. The consumption of high-fat foods may satisfy the appetite while not actually providing the body with essential nutrients. You will fill up on fat while neglecting to eat healthier foods.

When you eat candy, anything with a lot of sugar, your body not only starts craving more sugar, but also keeps you eating more because it is still looking for the nutrition you need.

In January of 2009, after having 3 neck surgeries within 2 years and developing fibromyalgia, along with osteo-arthritis, degenerative disk disease and chronic nerve pain, I was put on a lot of medications and was unable to do a lot of activity; I gained 50 pounds, putting me at 190 pounds ( I am only 5'2 ) . My blood pressure also skyrocketed. I was on 15 medications.

 Having had enough, I stopped all pharmaceutical medications. I started exercising, this was extremely painful at first, but I thought I am going to hurt anyway, so I either be fat and in pain, or healthy and in pain. I stopped eating processed foods, stopped eating candy; now I loved candy and thought it would be hard, come to find out, the less I ate of sugar, the less my body craved it. I was not an over-eater, I found out I was an under-eater, not eating more than 600-900 calories a day, which is worse as you are starving your body and making it go into ketosis, meaning it grabs all fat and hangs on for dear life. I started eating 6 times a day; 3 meals, 3 snacks (healthy snacks)

Not only did I lose 30 pounds in 3 1/2 months, but I also had less fibro pain. All together I lost 50 pounds.

Please be careful when reading labels! A can of soup (small like Campbell's) seems like one serving, but if you look closer, you will see that it counts as at least 2 servings, this is a trick the manufacturers use to trick you into buying what you think is healthy food. Also, the labels are for a 2000 a day calorie diet. For someone like me, at 5'2, 1200 calories is the norm.

All in all, I wish for you to walk about from this post with a bit of new knowledge and since of control over your life and body.

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