The fat-free craze of the 90’s was initially directed at controlling weight. People misguidedly understood it as “fat create fatness”. This is not true, however, and avoiding fats has no place in an athlete’s kitchen. Understanding the great value and health benefits provided by fats should not only help you make good food choices but hopefully also keeps your meals delicious.
Fat in the body is not inert. It is used as a consistent, slow burning energy source. It is used to build, develop, maintain and repair the nervous system. Yes, that is right! The brain, spinal cord and every extension of nerve tissue in the body are dependent upon fats! All body hormones are created from a fat base. Mucous membranes are maintained using fats. Human breastmilk is high in fat and no wonder- baby has high fat needs for all of the rapid growth to occur properly. Choosing a fat-free lifestyle is choosing away from an essential body ingredient.
Not all fats are created equal. Trans fats are created under very high heat exposure. They do occur during some normal cooking but were created in large amounts purposely by food processing companies to help extend the shelf life of foods. These fats ARE harmful to health and should be avoided. Many are afraid of the fats from red meat, having learned from vague sources that it harms the heart. Here too, details matter. Organic, pasture raised, grass fed and finished beef is a completely different fat profile than that of commercially raised, corn fed cattle. The former even contains naturally occurring Omega 3 fatty acids which is wonderful! The latter does contain higher amounts of saturated fats with a more inflammation causing profile. Choose red meats than are grass fed and enjoy. Wonderful fats are provided by nuts, olives, avocados, coconuts and don’t forget the Omega 3 powerhouse, fish!
To the body, fat is satiating. It does help food taste good but also has a receptor in our digestive system that cues the brain when enough fat has been sensed. This signaling pathway shuts off the appetite and people feel good about what they have eaten. Choosing large amounts of fat-free items skips this step and instead people eat far larger amounts of food, stopping only when the stretch receptors in the lining of the stomach cue the brain that “too much” has been consumed. This results in the uncomfortably full, over-stuffed feeling. For those avoiding fats to shed weight, it is often surprising to them that they have difficulty losing weight and in many cases even gain.
Give a heavy drizzle of oil to those veggies, toss some nuts in that salad and break out the grill. Remember to include ALL of the building blocks onto your plate and enjoy your health.
Have you tried this and you continue to run into roadblocks and difficulty? This is where Dr. Gina Sirchio of The LG Institute of Health can help.
Autor: Dr. Gina Sirchio, a physician that specializes in functional medicine and orthomolecular nutrition, she can help you get to the root of any health issue and help you reach your health and fitness goals. Go to www.lgihealth.com today to schedule your appointment and get moving in the right direction!