Fats

Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal!  My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.

Natural Weight Loss

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Fats

Although a lot of attention has been focused on the need to reduce dietary fat, your body does need fat.

During infancy and childhood, fat is necessary for normal brain development.

Throughout life, it’s essential to provide energy and support growth.

Fat is the most concentrated source of energy available to your body.

However, after about 2 years of age, your body needs only small amounts of fat – much less than is provided by the average American diet.

If you’re an adult, about 1/3 of your calories should come from fat.

Of that total, 1/3 should be saturated, 1/3 polyunsaturated (corn oil and fish oil), and 1/3 monounsaturated (olive oil).

Too much fat intake is a major factor in obesity, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and colon cancer, and has been linked to a number of other disorders as well.

To understand how fat intake is related to these health problems, it’s necessary to understand the different types of fats available and the ways in which these fats act in your body.

Fats are made up of building blocks called fatty acids.

There are 3 major categories of fatty acids – saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated.

Saturated fatty acids are found mainly in animal products, including dairy items like whole milk, cream, butter, and cheese, and fatty meats like beef, veal, lamb, pork, and ham.

The fat marbling you see in beef and pork is made up of saturated fat.

Your liver uses saturated fats to make cholesterol.

It’s recommended your daily intake of saturated fats be kept below 10% of your total caloric intake.

However, for people who have severe problems with high blood cholesterol, this level may be too high.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids are found mostly in corn, soybean, safflower, and sunflower oils.

Unlike the saturated fats, polyunsaturates may actually lower your total blood cholesterol level.

In doing so, however, large amounts of polyunsaturates also have a tendency to reduce levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs), or “good cholesterol.”

For this reason – and because polyunsaturates are high in calories for their weight and volume – It’s recommended your intake of polyunsaturated fats shouldn’t exceed 10% of total caloric intake.

Good fats are polyunsaturated and include those listed above.

Newly added to this list are the omega-3 fats, which don’t affect cholesterol levels, but may reduce your risk of heat disease by keeping blood flowing freely.

Omega-3 fats are essential for life, but since the 1900s people have been eating fewer of the foods containing them.

Although polyunsaturated fats are essential, you only need a teaspoon a day of these oils to meet your total omega-6 needs.

Over time, the intake of omega-6s has dwarfed that of omega-3s; our ancestors used to eat these fats in a one-to-one ratio.

Many scientists believe this shift in dietary intake of fats has led to many of the chronic diseases of aging seen today like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and depression.

The best way to balance your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is to eat fish at least twice a week, and use canola oil rather than omega-6-rich vegetable oils.

Most people have a 10-year store of omega-6 fats in their bodies.

So, it doesn’t make sense to worry about getting enough every day.

Olive oil contains hardly any essential fatty acids.

Flax oil is rich in omega-3 fats, but only about 5-10% of the omega-3s in flax is usable by your body.

Another caveat concerning polyunsaturated fats:  vegetable shortening and stick margarine are made of liquid polyunsaturated fats, which means they should be healthful, but they’re so highly processed they’re not.

Monounsaturated fatty acids are found mostly in vegetable and nut oils like olive, peanut, and canola.

These fats appear to reduce blood levels of LDLs without affecting HDLs in any way.

However, this positive impact on LDL cholesterol is relatively modest.

It’s recommended your intake of monounsaturated fats be kept between 10-15% of total caloric intake.

Although most foods contain a combination of all 3 types of fatty acids, one of the types usually predominates.

So, a fat or oil is considered “saturated” or “high in saturates” when it’s made mainly of saturated fatty acids.

These saturated fats are usually solid at room temperature.

One other element, trans-fatty acids, which used to be in many food products, is thought to play a role in blood cholesterol levels and other factors increasing your risk of heart disease.

These occur when polyunsaturated oils are changed through hydrogenation, a process used to harden liquid vegetable oils into solid foods like margarine and shortening.

As of January, 2006, the FDA required all food manufacturers to list the trans-fat content on nutrition labels.

Almost immediately products free of trans fats emerged on the market.

Today you won’t find many products containing trans fats.

If you do see trans fats on the label, you should avoid products where there’s more than 0.5 grams per serving.

Your total intake should be less than 1% of total caloric intake or about 2 grams per 1,800-calorie diet.

If your goal is to lower blood cholesterol, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are more desirable than saturated fats or products with trans-fatty acids.

Just as important, your total calories from fat should range between 20-35% of daily calories.

Come join me on my weight loss journey!  I’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

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Dick and Lenay

email: lenay@dickandlenay.com – 715-431-0657

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join me on my weight loss journey here – http://bit.ly/13lxgzD


 

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