5 Ways Fats can Change Your Body Shape
Healthy fats have had a lot of bad press for the best part of a century now. Science has long since recognised the flaw in their arguments. However, how come the rest of the Dr’s, media and so called weight loss programs (weight-watcher, slimfast, herbilife and so on and so on) are still allowed to contribute to the resulting chronic obesity in most developed nations by recommending fat restriction in the diet? It is not new information that sugar has more to do with weight gain then fat- however why do fats still have such a pitiful place on the so called ‘food pyramid’ (I dislike the food pyramid for a number of resons but that s another post!)
So fats can change your body shape, size, enhance cell strength and shape and create energy, health and balance.
1. Healthy Fats are essential for energy production. Within the Mitochondria, the hub, of every single cell in your body fats create more energy than anyother macro-nutirent (carbs and protein are the other 2). Fats not only help to create energy, they also allow the body to burn fat for energy. The result of this is an increase in your metabolic rate.
When healthy fats are eradicated from the diet and replaced with more inflammatory fats (man-made fats like vegetable shortening, refined and man made vegetable oils like canola oil and margarine), the body lays down fat for storage for a ‘rainy day’. This is because the body always needs a store of fats to survive. The old saying “fats burn fat” is very true. Healthy fats in the diet allow the body to release it’s ‘rainy day’ stores since it has a constant supply from the diet. Flax oil, for example, also has a direct affect hormonal (oestrogen) balance which is necessary for healthy body shape (i.e. excess weight around the middle (apple shape) or man boobs!
2. They keep our hunger at bay for longer. Consuming fat at every meal and snack can help balance blood sugar levels. It is really difficult to overeat healthy fats, the body uses fat to indicate satiety. Hence why fat free yoghut contains fillers to recreate a creamy consistency.
For example chocolate made from vegetable oils (most commercially made chocolate contains vegetable oil) can be over-consumed very easily. However chocolate made from cocoa butter or coconut oil is very difficult to overeat when combined with a nutrient rich sugar like coconut sugar. This is because your body can signal that it has received the nutrients that it needs. Those nutrients are not present in vegetable oil chocolate so the body keeps eating trying to find enough nutrients to stop.
By eating healthy fats you will also feel fuller for longer, so less chance you will want to grab those biscuits. As another bonus animal fats provide vitamins A, D, E and K necessary for protein and mineral assimilation.
3. Fats are very important for digestive system health. Not only is every single cell surrounded with a cell wall consisting of fat, but fats actually also increase adhesion of probiotic bacteria to your intestinal wall. This is really important because it then improves digestion and uptake of key nutrients. This is especially true of butyric acid found in ghee/cultured or raw butter. This makes your body more efficient and makes the most of the food you do eat and gets the best out of your co-existing bacteria.
Fats are also essential for mood, memory, brain development and health. All nerve cells are covered with a substance called myelin (fat!) which helps the nerves transmit messages to other nerves throughout the brain and body. It also serves as a protective layer to prevent any damage being made. To develop high-quality myelin, the body needs certain types of fatty acids–linoleic and linolenic–which are found in large amounts in human milk and other animal fats including eggs, butter and age-ripened cheeses. DNA and telomeres are also reliant on fat for protection (see here). This keeps you looking younger!!
4. All hormones are made from fats. The body is controlled by hormones. The glands in the brain (pituitary, hypothalamus and thyroid) drive the body by monitoring which hormones are needed for every action in the body. Hormones target the organs in the body and tell them what to do and when. Hormone balance is essential to good health and function. Hormones need a good store of healthy fats to be produced and ready to do their jobs.
5. As mentioned before- every single cell needs fats to protect and give structure. By maintaining strong cell walls and promoting a one way electrical pull, essential fatty acids help to prevent fluid retention by sucking in and keeping water in the cells. This means that there is less water retention. This means less bloat and cankles!
its also not just for the ladies!!
How to include healthy fats in the diet;
Black sesame seed paste/ Tahini
Clarified butter (ghee)
Coconut (meat, milk, oil)
Duck fat/ chicken fat
Macadamia, pecans, almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts
Homemade Mayonnaise/hollandaise (properly made with olive oil and raw egg yolks)
Palm kernel oil
Lard/ Tallow / Suet
Fish (salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and black cod)
Fish oils/ Fermented cod liver oil