Every good story needs a villain doesn’t it? Someone or something with wicked intent. Remember scary Cruella De Vil’s distain for Dalmatian puppies and her love of fur? The steely-eyes and insatiable ah…appetite of Hannibal Lecter? Or how about the chilling presence of the ultimate villain, Darth Vader, “You don’t know the power of the dark side.” When confronted with evil, our heros always rise to the challenge, rally the troops and resolve to be victorious no matter the odds. In real life, we create villains to excuse our less than heroic behavior. There must be some dastardly demon bent on destroying our wellness and our waistlines. Several years ago, fat became the ultimate foe. We thought the fat free force was with us, but it may have driven us to our ultimate demise. So, hold onto your light sabers, it’s time to bring back the fat.
Fast Fat Facts
Yes, believe it or not, I am endorsing fat! Not Jabba the Hut fat, mind you. I’m talking about appreciating that your body needs fat as a basic component for life. According to the National Institute of Health (and your basic chemistry class in high school), fats are “organic compounds made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.” Your body’s basic caloric intake requires three nutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fat. That means that your body must have fat to function.
For whatever reason, we turned fat into the enemy a few decades ago. By the early 1990’s the low fat rage was in full force. Shockingly, ever since that low fat trend, obesity rates have skyrocketed. From 1990 to 2000, adult obesity rates increase by more that 60%. By 2010, the CDC found that every single state now has obesity rates reported in over 20–30% or more of their populations. While several factors have contributed to this trend, including an increase in sedentary lifestyles, poor nutritional choices, and lack of regular exercise, the low fat mantra may be making us mushy.
A Force for Good…Fats
There are basically two types of fat found in our diets: saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats are the bad guys you want to limit to 10% of your caloric intake. They are found in animal products including all dairy products like milk, butter, cream and cheese as well as coconut, palm and palm kernel oils.
Unsaturated fats are the good guys and can make up the other 15–20% of your fat intake. Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, and grape seed oil. Polyunsaturated fats are found in fish, and in safflower, sunflower, corn and soybean oils. Trans and hydrogenated fats should be avoided altogether. These are usually found in prepared baked goods, fried food, and margarine. A general guideline is to keep your fat intake to an upper limit of 30% of your diet. According to the American Heart Association, too little fat can be just as dangerous to your health as too much fat. If your fat intake remains consistently below 10%-20%, you may be risking your health.
Too Much (over 30% of your caloric intake and heavy in bad fats)
- Fat storage (adipose tissue)
- High LDL levels (bad cholesterol)
- Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes and Stroke risk increases
Too Little (under 20% of your caloric intake and not enough essential fats)
- Poor absorption of vitamins
- Increased Cancer Risk
- High Cholesterol & Heart Disease
- Overeating and Obesity
Just Right (20–30% of caloric intake — a balance of healthy natural fats)
- Healthier skin and hair
- Proper absorption and distribution of vitamins A, D, E and K through the bloodstream
- Essential fatty acids found in healthy fats control inflammation, improve blood clotting and are critical for brain development and functioning.
Nature’s Best Weapons
While the controversy over fat vs sugar rages on in many circles, I make it a point never to buy low fat or fat free products. My theory is that any time you take something out, you mess with its natural state. Usually, when the fat comes out, the sugar, chemicals, thickeners and preservatives go it to replace it. The best way to make friends with fat is to do it nature’s way. By enjoying healthy fats in their natural state your body will be function optimally, you will feel more satisfied faster which will prevent overeating, and you’ll likely reduce cravings. Here are a few suggestions:
- Reduce or eliminate processed and manufactured foods — stick to the perimeter of the grocery store and you’ll be on the right track.
- Use full fat products, like dairy in moderation (fat still has more than double the calories of protein and carbs so make sure it counts).
- Enjoy healthy fats like nuts, avocado, eggs.
Quick Tip: want to enjoy butter but stuck in a saturated fat phobia? Put one stick of softened, unsalted butter in a food processor or blender with 1/2 cup of olive or grape seed oil. Blend until smooth. Store in the refrigerator. You’ve just cut saturated fat in half and have created a healthier alternative to trans-fat laden margarines.
Just as our hero, Luke Skywalker, faced his ultimate foe, “Search your feelings…I feel the conflict within you. Let go of your hate…” It’s time to let go and deliver yourself from the dark side of fat.
The force is with you: Enjoy great holiday discounts on 24KTM (healthy energy/focus shot). Create your own shopping lounge for advanced performance nutrition loaded with essential nutrients like breakthrough Lunasin found in our exclusive line of LunaRich® products. www.My24kVIP.com vip code: gold
Copyright © 2012 by Christine A.Toriello, all rights reserved.