The Skinny on Fat in Our Foods
The food industry has taken the fat out of our foods and we should be grateful. Fat has become public enemy # 1 but has fat been falsely accused? Have you seen Americans getting slim and healthy since we have become a fat conscious society? Maybe the premise is wrong (and by “maybe” I mean “definitely”).
Here’s a question to ponder, if they have removed the fat from our food, what did they replace it with?
The rate of obesity rose by 30 percent in the past ten years. One third of all Americans are obese, meaning that they have accumulated so much extra fat that their health is at serious risk. The incidence of type 2 diabetes (a disease that goes hand in hand with obesity) has tripled in the past 30 years and that rate is still rising. If present trends continue, that number will soar to 40 million Americans afflicted with this disease by 2050. One in three American children born today is expected to become diabetic.
In the attempt to sell food as “low fat”, the food industry has taken the fat out of food. When fat is removed, food doesn’t taste very good; so it is replaced with sugar and salt. This additional sugar and salt adds to the problems of obesity, diabetes and hypertension. Having an overabundance of sugar in our diet has a negative effect on insulin (which is the hormone that allows us to burn sugar). The constant high level of sugar in our diets is “overloading” our body’s ability to burn the sugar efficiently to energy. This excess sugar is stored in the body as saturated fat and even triglycerides and is resistant to burning. This can eventually lead to diabetes.
Why are we resistant to burning our fat stores for energy? By taking the fat out of our food, we are training our body to burn sugar over fat even when we’re not in exercise or extreme stress mode. Burning fat for energy is much more efficient and healthy however the body prefers to burn sugar before fat if it is possible because it is easier to do so. If you are eating sugar (or foods that turn into sugar) and fat together, the body will burn the sugar and store the fat. It will do so in a way that makes the sugar last a bit longer and this is the way that we all should be taking-in sugar…..with a some fat and, protein to balance our energy producing processes out.
There are many different types of fats-there are fats that are “good for you” and fats that are “bad for you”. Polyunsaturated fats are generally good for you and are liquid at room temperature. Examples of polyunsaturated fats include vegetable oil which contains omega 6 fatty acids. Other examples of polyunsaturated fats are fish oils which contain omega 3 fatty acids. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and are generally unhealthy if eaten in large quantities or there is an imbalance between the saturated and unsaturated fats in your diet. Saturated fats are found in grain fed animals (their fat is a second generation carbohydrate, essentially, it’s made from the corn they eat) and in dairy products. Saturated fats may promote heart disease and insulin resistance. Most of the fat stored in your body is saturated fats.
Monounsaturated fats are the omega 9. Examples of these are olive oil and avocado and nuts. These are a big part of the Mediterranean diet and they are considered to decrease the risk of heart disease and some cancers. Using olive oil or avocado or canola oil is a great way to add these healthy fats into your diet.
Fats make food taste great and fats make you feel satiated! If you want to efficiently burn fats for energy consider l-carnitine as a supplement to your diet. Do not take l-carnitine at night since you will be burning fats for energy and may have trouble sleeping. Eat healthy polyunsaturated fats. Avoid an abundance of saturated fats and stay clear of hydrogenated and trans fats. Decreased the amount of simple carbohydrates in your diet. Eating healthy fats in the right combination will make you feel good and keep you healthy. The best way to do this is to avoid foods that come in boxes or are heavily “packaged”.
For more healthy eating tips, click here Portland, Oregon Healthy Eating Tips for 2009 and beyond.
To find out more about my whole-foods based, healthy eating program, click here: Portland, Oregon Precision Nutrition Program with Dr. Tim Irving, chiropractor.
Yours in Health
Tim Irving DC, LMT, MScan. CKTP, CHt, Nutritionist
Optimum Function: Portland, Oregon, 97214
Optimum Function = Optimum Health
Chiropractic, Nutrition, Functional Medicine, Clinical Hypnosis, Body Fat Testing, Graston, Kinesiotape, Body Composition transformation
Yours in Health,Tim Irving DC, MS, LMTOptimum Function: 819 SE Morrison St. ste. 215, Portland, OR, 97215Optimum Function = Optimum Health