September 14, 2015

Healthy Fats for Well-Being

Did you know that fat doesn't make you fat?

Weight gain occurs when we eat hydrogenated fats or consume carbohydrates without fat.

Fats are crucial nutrients that provide up to 10 kilocalories per gram of energy, compared with four kilocalories per gram from carbohydrates and proteins. Fats are not taken up directly by any tissue, but must be hydrolyzed outside the cell first.

When metabolizing fats, the body must use energy, primarily from carbohydrates, to produce energy.

One of our essential digestive enzymes, lipase, breaks down fat and helps us use it as energy. Lipases are produced in the pancreas and help digest and transport fats throughout the systems of most living organisms.

Fats come from food, adipocytes (fat cells), and some amino acids. Lipolysis, or fat breakdown, occurs in the mitochondria. Next, lipogenesis, or fat synthesis, takes place the liver, adipose tissue, and intestinal mucosa. The fatty acids derived from this process are essential for metabolizing carbohydrates and using them as energy.

When we support our pacreatic enzyme production by eating whole grains instead of processed ones (bread, chips, baked goods) and consuming high quality fats, we also help our bodies use fat for energy and neuro-endocrine balance.

Fat maintains cell regulatory signals (essential to combating auto-immune conditions), supple skin, balanced hormonal function, and healthy nervous system response. Without the presence of fat in the system, the body stores carbohydrates as fat because it does not know when it will next gain this essential nutrient.

As the days move towards fall equinox and we prepare for winter, healthy fats are essential to our mental, immune, and digestive health. They are also anti-inflammatory and aid in soft tissue recovery.

Here are some of the health benefits of high quality, cold-pressed organic fats:

Olive oil: monounsaturated and liquid at room temperature, first cold press olive oil is high in anti-inflammatory  polyphenols, which reduce risk of heart disease, maintain a balanced cholesterol profile, and reduce the overgrowth of ulcer-inducing helicobacter pylori bacteria in the intestines. It improves calcium levels in the blood and enhances memory function by oxygenating blood.

Sunflower oil: this polyunsaturated oil is rich in vitamin E, which stimulates the liver rejuvenation and aids in nutrient absorption; its high magnesium content soothes nerves and muscles, acts as a diuretic to counter-act water retention, and lubricates the digestive system to aid elimination.

Coconut oil: saturated fat, solid at room temperature, is a plant-based alternative to saturated animal fats. It stimulates brain function and promotes intestinal motility; its anti-bacterial benefits make it an important fat to choose during times of illness or infection and is specifically indicated for combating intestinal parasites. Try these recipes using coconut oil.

Most of all, take time out this coming weekend to appreciate the balance point of fall equinox and rest easy in the knowledge that you are preparing your body, mind and spirit for winter with food as medicine.

No comments:

Healthy Eating Program

Need to detox, uncover food allergies, feel nourished & satisfied?


I will tailor your Program to your dietary needs and health goals. Programs include shopping lists, prep/menu plans, recipes, mindfulness, & nutritional recommendations.


Click here to try a FREE sample of the Healthy Eating Program.

Real Time Web Analytics