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The Role of Fats in Losing Weight & Improving Health

We have long been told that fats are bad for our health and we have to eat less of them if we are to lose weight and remain healthy. Yes, there are certain fats to avoid if you want to optimize your health and maintain a healthy weight. But conversely there are fats you have to eat to maintain good health.


From a weight gaining perspective, it is important to understand that eating fat in general, does not make you fat. What makes you fat is eating unhealthy fats.


The fats that make you fat and are best avoided are the processed, refined and manufactured fats:


1. TRANSFATS and MARGARINES are manufactured fats which result from the process of hydrogenation–by which manufacturers look to extend their shelf life and stability.


This process changes the nature of these fats, making them toxic to the body and of no nutrient value.


These fats and not cholesterol as is the common belief, are the main contributors to obesity, weight gain and numerous medical problems like heart disease and diabetes.


Research done at the University Of Maryland found that transfats not only alter enzymes that fight carcinogens but also increase enzymes that promote cancer.


Transfats also contribute to osteoporosis and inhibit the body’s use of essential Omega 3 Fatty Acids.


Transfats are also listed on food packaging as hydrogenated vegetable oils, partially hydrogenated oils and shortening.


They are common ingredients in biscuits, cookies, cakes, doughnuts, packaged foods and TV dinners.


You may think, damn! These are tasty foods.


Like most of us, I am not adverse to the odd splurge. I love cheesecake and a rich chocolate cake can have me drooling like Pavlov’s dog.


However, if you want to optimize your health and lose weight, it is advisable to avoid these foods or at the very least, eat less of them.


There are some healthier alternatives out there-the transfats substituted with palm oil, a naturally occurring fat-but you may have to seek these out in specialist health food outlets.


You should also stay clear of margarines or any other so called low cholesterol, low fat spreads or butter substitutes.


2. POLYUNSATURATED VEGETABLE OILS have been heavily hyped as healthy oils over the last 40 yrs or so.


These include oils such as corn oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, soybean oil and canola oil


The vast majority of fats consumed in the western diet comes from these Omega 6 Fatty Acids.


Omega 6 Fatty Acids are essential to the diet,but their best source is certainly not these highly processed ultra heated oils.


They have little nutrient value and excess consumption of these oils, leads to weight gain, inflammatory cardio vascular and heart disease and cancer.


Scientists like Dr William Connor of the American Heart Association have warned against too much polyunsaturated fats in the diet for years and as far back as 1969, researchers discovered that corn oil caused an increase in atherosclerosis.


FATS TO EAT


1. OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS are found in oily fish such as mackerel, sardines and salmonavoid the farmed variety Grass fed beef, wild game, leafy vegetables, hemp seed oil, flax seed oil and pumpkin seeds.


These oils are best if they are cold pressed and unrefined. The seeds can also be sprinkled on food, used in salads or added to drinks like smoothies.


Omega 3 fats are essential for:


* Proper brain function


* Reducing the stickiness of the blood


* Controlling blood cholesterol and fat levels


* Improving immune function


* Improving metabolism


* Reducing Inflammation


* Maintaining water/fluid balance in the body.


2. OMEGA 6 FATTY ACIDS are also found in some of the same sources as Omega 3–hemp seed oil and pumpkin seed oil. Other sources are sunflower seed oil, borage oil, sesame seed oil, and evening primrose oil.


It is essential that these oils are of the cold pressed variety and they are not subject to high heat if used in cooking. They are best used as condiments on salads, etc.


Nutritionists and scientists believe that the healthy ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 in the diet should be around 3:1


Unfortunately, the unhealthy ratio prevalent today tends to be around 20:1 with a very large intake of unhealthy refined polyunsaturated vegetable oils.


3. OLIVE OIL is very popular in Mediterranean countries like Italy and Greece.


These countries have a low rate of cardiovascular heart disease.


Whilst this may be due to other elements in their diet, like large amounts of fruit and vegetables and oily fish,IT is undeniable that Olive Oil is much healthier than polyunsaturated vegetable oils.


Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil makes an excellent condiment to salads and steamed vegetables


Some people may argue that because fats are higher in calories than either carbohydrates or protein, you have to reduce or largely eliminate fats from your diet in order to lose weight.


But, losing weight involves much more than simply reducing calories.


Unless there is a serious underlying medical problem, a healthy diet, consisting of foods in their natural state including fats will see the body function optimally and attain a healthy weight


The fats I have labeled as “Fats to eat” are absolutely essential to the body functioning optimally.


Cutting down on your consumption of them will in no way assist any weight loss.


On the contrary, it will actually contribute to weight and fat gain


Source by Ollie Lawson




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