Did you know that 60% of your brain is fat?
THE FUNCTIONS OF FAT:
– Source of energy
– Building blocks for cell membranes
– Building blocks for homones
– Help vitamin and mineral bsorption
– Control blood pressure
– Regulate body temperature
– Boost immune system
– Optimum brain development & performance
GOOD FATS V BAD FATS:
– Monounsaturated fats:
Nuts (not peanuts!) pecans, almonds, seeds, avocado, virgin olive oil,
– Polyunsaturated fats (omega-6 & omega-3):
walnuts, hazelnuts, salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel, sunflower seeds, flaxeed, kiwis
– Saturated fats:
Dairy*, poultry, meats, coconut oil, palm oil, butter
– Trans-fats (hydrogenated fats):
Fried foods, commercially baked foods, processed foods, take aways, margarine
Your brain needs fat for optimum function. Not just any fat, though. Some fats will make you cleverer, healthier and slimmer, while other fats will make you dumb, fat and can even kill you.
A study published in the journal Diabetes Care in July 2007 found that diets rich in monounsaturated fats prevented the accumulation of belly fat, without even any additional exercise! Rich sources of monounsaturated fats are raw nuts such as almonds, avocado, virgin olive oil.
OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS
Your brain cells crave omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. We typically get enough omega-6 acids, but most people need to consume more omega-3 fatty acids. The body cannot make these fats on its own so omega-3s must be obtained from food. These strengthen the brain’s synapses, which provide the pathways for neural communication. They also help molecules on the synapses directly related to learning and memory.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in raw nuts, such as pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts, flaxseed, dark green leafy vegetables, kiwi and most importantly, fish. The consequences of a deficiency in humans include brain disorders such as dyslexia and schizophrenia. Physiologists have speculated that fish consumption by early man is what spurred the human brain to get so big in the first place!
The positive effects of Omega-3 consumption include anti inflammatory and anti blood clotting actions, lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and reducing blood pressure. These also reduce the risks and symptoms for other disorders including diabetes, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, some cancers, and mental decline.
Keeping your brain running smoothly by fuelling it with the right energy is one step to increasing your smarts.
Saturated fat is naturally occurring fat found predominantly in animal products such as meats and dairy products, and have been associated with harmful cholesterol. Palm oil and coconut oil are high in saturated fats and are really good for you!
Coconut oil has antiviral, antifungal, antibiotic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It also boosts the immune system, increases metabolism, provides rapid energy, and helps normalise cholesterol levels.
A false myth is the belief that saturated fat increases your risk of heart attack. The truth is, saturated fat from animal and vegetable sources provides a concentrated source of energy in your diet, and they provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone like substances.
New research shows there is no clear link between people’s intake of saturated fat and their risk of developing heart disease or stroke
Take a steak and a piece of cake. Which one do you think is going to make you fat? Which one do you think is going to negatively affect your health?
When you eat saturated fat with your meals, it slows down absorption so that you can go longer without feeling hungry. It also acts as carrier for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Fat is also needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for a host of other biological processes.
As we get older we often consume more fat than we burn, and we get fat. When we are overweight, getting into last year’s jeans should be the least of our worries! Excess fat contributes to coronary heart disease, which can result in heart attack or stroke. Storing too much fat also increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease and even cancer.
Trans- fatty acids such as those found in fast food and junk food, can decrease cognitive ability, increase the risk of diabetes, and cancer. Trans-fats are manufactured fats created during a process called hydrogenation, which is aimed at stabilizing polyunsaturated oils to prevent them from becoming rancid and to keep them solid at room temperature. They are particularly dangerous for the heart and pose a risk for certain cancers. These fats, sometimes called hydrogenated fats are used in margarine, fast foods, commercial baked goods (donuts, cookies, candy bars, crackers, pizza dough — ), processed foods, and fried foods.
Trans-fats raise cholesterol (low density lipoproteins) to harmful levels, to the point where your arteries get hardened and clogged. That type of fat builds up as plaque on the inside of your artery, and it’s not very stable. One day, a little piece of that plaque breaks off, your body tries to clot up the nick in the artery, and you have successfully produced a heart attack!
The US Food and Drug Administration recommend that you eat less than 2 grams of trans fats per day. To put things into perspective, one donut can have as much as 5 grams of trans fat!
If the ingredients of the foods you buy contain shortening, partially hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated soybean oil, put them back on the shelf!
If you really want to improve your mental and physical health, it’s vital you start to scan the labels of the foods you purchase. As you scan the ingredients and dietary information you might realise that some of the products you thought were harmless are actually not.
We’re all going to die sometime. We could get hit by a bus tomorrow or be shot by a lunatic. I hear this excuse all the time. Life is for living indeed. But, what is the point living it in a hospital bed? What is the point in popping pills full of chemicals every day to treat body and mind ailments we can easily prevent? What is the point in spending your hard earned money on diet pills, or slimming treatments when all you have to do is eat right? What is the point in getting through life feeling tired, confused or depressed when you can be full of energy and zest for life, and live your life to the fullest?
Understanding Fat can be the difference between you leading a mediocre life or a great life!