Dietary-Fat; You MUST Have it!
Good Fat—Bad Fat
80% of the U.S. population is deficient in necessary dietary fat. A major reason for this is all fats being lumped into the “bad” category by advertisements, weight loss programs, and the media in general.
The average person, looking at fats, has no idea of what is good and what is bad, except for what they have heard about the types of oils used in fast food restaurants.
A Mini-Course in Fats
Dietary fat and fatlike substances are called lipids. They are unique in that they are not soluble in water.Three of the main types of lipids are: triglycerides, phospholipids, and cholesterol. Lipids are found in every cell, and are involved in essential basic functions such as:
• Cell membrane structure;
• Blood and Tissue Structure;
• Enzyme reactions;
• Synthesis and use of certain hormones;
• Supportive of cell to cell electrical communication.
Triglycerides make up the substance we commonly call fat.
• Fat comprises 95% of the lipids in foods;
• Fats support and cushion the internal organs;
• Fats serve as insulation against body heat loss.
Their main function as a dietary fat, however, is as an energy source for metabolism.
Any excess calories we eat, from any foods, are converted to triglycerides and stored as body fat. This dietary fat provides “reserve fuel”, which you can tap into during intense exercise.
Too much of this dietary fat in reserve (triglycerides over 200 mg) indicates high blood fat and is considered a heart disease risk factor.
These are the second class of lipids. Many kinds exist in the body especially in the brain. Lecithin is a phospholipid that most people have heard of.
Found in cells, it is an important part of the fat digestion process. It is an emulsifying agent (helps in mixing), making it possible for fats and water/blood mix.Cholesterol: Being a “Fat Head” is a Good Thing!
This is the third major lipid, and one of the most misunderstood from a personal health standpoint.Bottom line with cholesterol is that it is essential to life. As with triglycerides, it is too much that creates health problems. Cholesterol is found in all body tissues, and is particularly concentrated in the liver, blood and brain. For example: 3oz of muscle contains about 75mg of cholesterol, while 3oz of brain tissue contains 35 times that amount.
Cholesterol helps to make up:
• Cell membranes;
• Nerve fibers;
• Bile (for digestion);
• Sex hormones;
• Adrenal hormones;
• Vitamin D.
Where Does The Cholesterol Come From?
The liver normally produces between 500 and 1000mg of cholesterol every day whether or not we eat dietary fat in cholesterol laden foods.Statin drugs like Lipitor™, basically keep your liver from producing this critical cholesterol.
Getting a Little Scientific!
Triglycerides, phospholipids, and cholesterol interact with protein to form lipoproteins.Lipoproteins are the “L” in HDL; LDL; and VLDL. These acronyms represent tiny packages of fat wrapped in protein. This cleverly allows the lipids (remember, they are fat, and normally not water soluble), to travel in the water based bloodstream. These terms are universally recognized as parts of cholesterol measures. HDL refers to “the good” High Density lipoprotein; LDL, to “the bad” Low Density protein; and VLDL, Very Low Density to “the ugly”. Actually, it’s unfortunate that these acronyms have become labeled as good and bad. In truth, ALL of these are imperative to healthy body functioning. Again, it’s imbalance of dietary fat that causes problems.
LDL—The “Bad” Cholesterol
Regarding LDL’s: Once they are broken down in the liver, the resulting protein and cholesterol particles are absorbed and used to make bile, sex hormones, and other compounds.Diets high in saturated dietary fat impede this process, leaving some LDL’s in the bloodstream. These “loose” LDL’s, (and VLDL’s) can be oxidized in the blood vessels. The resulting rancid gunk builds up as plaque. Ultimately, plaque narrows the arteries, and may cause an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. The key is finding the balance between what you eat, and what dietary fat is in the food, what your body needs and what your liver produces.
A healthy diet is essential to finding this balance.It is a known fact that a change to eating healthier foods, can, and will prevent heart disease. There are also natural products that can help you find this balance without compromising your liver function, or removing critical oxygen from your system, as statin drugs do. Contact us for more information about some of these products. More Science
Fats, and dietary fat consist of molecules called fatty acids.They are made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The configuration (shape) of the molecule determines whether a fat is saturated, monosaturated, or polyunsaturated. This also determines the melting temperature and the stability of the fat. All fats are a mixture of these fatty acids.
Saturated dietary fat includes:
• Coconut oil;
• Palm oil;
Unsaturated fats, like fish and flax seed oils remain liquid even at freezing temperatures which makes them available for our bodies to use.Olive, canola and macadamia nut oils are all omega 9 mono-unsaturated fatty acids.
Why Eat Dietary Fat?
Since our bodies make fat out of any excess calories we consume, why do we need to eat any fat at all?There are some fatty acids that our bodies need but can’t make. Instead we must supply this fat through our diets. These are called essential fatty acids or EFAs. All essential fatty acids are polyunsaturated.
It is known that EFAs have a regulatory effect on the body’s fatty acid metabolism.Directly connected with this is their role in the synthesis of eicosanoids. These hormone like substances are produced at the cellular level and include prostaglandins and leukotrienes. I told you things were going to get technical!
In general, they participate in immune processes and vision, help form cell membranes, and are important in the regulation of multiple bodily functions, including:
• Inflammation, pain and swelling;
• Pressure in the eye, joints, or blood vessels;
• Secretion and viscosity of mucus;
• Nerve transmission;
• Steroid production and hormone synthesis;
• Smooth muscle and autonomic reflexes;
• Water retention;
• Blood clotting ability;
• Allergic response;
• Rheumatoid arthritis.
Failure to grow, severe dermatitis, inability to heal wounds, and inappropriate loss of water through the skin are all classic symptoms of EFA deficiency.Multiple sclerosis is also associated with fatty acid impairment. Furthermore, the major degenerative diseases such as:
• Cancer and;
All demonstrate a major disruption in fat metabolism, and the major problem is the food we eat and the dietary fat contained in it.
Not Enough Fat?
As a nation, we are not eating enough healthy dietary fat. It is estimated that as many as 80 percent of us are deficient in the essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3.
This fat comes from:
• Oily deep water fish;
• Wild game;
• Flax seed and oil;
• Hemp oil;
• Perilla seed oil.
We have the lowest consumption of omega-3s in the world, and the highest consumption of omega-6.Omega-6 is in all vegetable oil, grains, and even beans. Again, we are talking about balance in your diet.
What’s Wrong With Too Much Omega-6?
An over abundance of the omega-6 dietary fat has an inflammatory effect on the body, plus it interferes with the body’s ability to use omega-3.This potentially serious situation is thought to account for the growing prevalence of:
• Heart attacks;
• Accelerated aging;
• ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder);
• Alzheimer’s disease;
• Metabolic syndrome;
Important information to know about omega-3 oils is that the body needs the conversion of ALA into EPA and DHA to reap all its benefits.EPA and DHA are the beneficial fatty acids from fish, wild game, and microalgae. The body’s conversion of ALA from flax, perilla, and hemp seed oils is not as efficient as it is with fish, wild game, and microalgae. DHA is especially important to brain and eye development and to good health throughout life.
One of the properties of omega 3s is the ability to help prevent depression.The relationship to DHA and EPA to depression has been revealed in several studies worldwide. Again, the U.S., with the lowest consumption of omega3s in the world, and the highest consumption of harmful dietary fat, also has one of the highest depression rates. And, the highest use of anti-depressant drugs in the world. Depression among adults has tripled in the last 10 years. Estimates are that 5-10 percent of adults have major depression episodes each year. Diagnosed depression occurs in about 2% of children and 4% to 8% of adolescents.
In a recent study of depressed children and adults given fish oils, researchers found that seven out of 10 showed that depression ratings had been reduced by 50 percent or more within 8 weeks.
What Should I Do?
Well, for starters, look at your diet.Remember: “It all starts with nutrition”. If you find that you are not getting enough omega3s through fish, wild game meats and other food sources, you will need to take a supplement to balance the lack in your diet. There are a good number of sources, good and bad, in the market place. The quality of the oil can vary greatly, so it is best to go with a company known for quality ingredients. Click here for more information. You can also increase the amount of cold water fish in your diet, as well as wild game. Cut down on the junk food that has harmful dietary fat. For vegetarians, take flax oil, hemp oil or perilla seed oil, about a tablespoon a day, or 12 grams.
I know that it all seems a little complicated, but it really isn’t if you are eating a good, healthy diet.Our bodies need multiple nutrients from multiple sources, including the right dietary fat, for optimum health and wellness, especially since we are ALL aging, and, we want that process to be one that will let us look forward to a long, healthy life! There are no short cuts, no magic pills, nothing other than taking care of yourself, your health, and your family health. I will be adding more information, including some easy recipes, as time moves along. I encourage you to browse through our website, and I think you will find information that will help you. We are always open for your feedback and questions. -------Vitamins and minerals------- -------Your amazing heart------- -------Grapeseed & proanthocyanins------- --------Nutrition from a kid's perspective------- -------Just nuke it------- -------Return to home page-------