Fats: Your Waist, Your Heart & Your Shopping Cart.
Listen up! Your “fat free” salad dressing is not the answer.
First of all, let’s be real…: it’s not salad dressing that is causing you to gain wait. Salads aren’t making people fat.
Functional Medicine is dedicated to the ‘root cause’ of malfunction as well as ‘optimizing’ the body’s function. Fats area A HUGE part of the ‘bad’ which lead to malfunction and the’good’ that support us 4 Better Health.
Food coming out of a bag with “snack-o-sphere” (the puff of air you get when you open the chip bag) and food coming through car windows: that is making us fat. Well, that and the monstrosity of portions, eating more fake foods than real foods and guts that have no idea how to digest it… but let’s talk FATS!
The Good, the bad & the ugly.
Fats are a major source of energy in the body and responsible for utilization of ‘fat-soluble’ vitamins (A, D, E, & K) and essential fatty acids (fish oils). So if you are taking these supplements on an empty stomach (or right before bed), you aren’t absorbing them. Some are ‘bad’, some are ‘good. Some have a bad rap for no reason, and some are put in your food without knowing it.
Mono-unsaturated & Poly-unsaturated fats. These help lower total cholesterol, the “bad” LDL cholesterol and glucose (diabetes) levels while increasing the “good” HDL cholesterol. Unsaturated fats have at least one double bond in the fatty acid chain. A fat molecule is monounsaturated if it contains one double bond, and poly-unsaturated if it contains more than one double bond.
Examples of Mono-unsaturated fats: Olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds
Examples of Poly-unsaturated fats: Fatty fish, eggs (Blasphemy! Eggs are not evil), seeds, nuts and flax seeds
By definition these fats are ‘saturated’ with hydrogen. Sounds bad therefore many are still dissin’ these fats. These help to improve the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol and serve to improve the ‘size’ of the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. Size you ask?? Yes, the fatter and fluffier, the less possibility for the LDL to ‘stick’ in the vessels. In fact the smaller denser LDL appear to have a 300% increase in cardiac risk.(By the way, if you are being told you need a Statin for your cholesterol- ask for the Cardio-IQ orVAP lipid panel from your provider to get data on the size of your LDL and therefore true stratification of risk. You may need to take the article with you and ‘beg’ them to appease you but most insurance companies pay for this). Saturated fats also support improved liver and brain health.
Examples of Saturated fats:
Coconut & coconut oil, Butter (double blasphemy!), beef, poultry skin, full fat dairy, nuts, seeds.
Get the yellow oils out of the house. Yes even the ‘omega heart healthy’ ones! We realize they belong in the ‘poly-unsaturated’ club but the ‘good’ they could offer from the seed/plants is highly compensated by the chemicals (“solvents”) used to pull the oils from the plants. And they tend to be high in the ‘poly’ level which means they have many double bonds. The more double bonds thequicker the rancidity (rotting). Pretty sure you don’t want to sign up for rotting organs (cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia and autoimmune). No need to ‘use up’ what you have. Think heal-not Rot.
Trans fats, or hydrogenated oils.
“Partially hydrogenated” oils are snuck into most processed foods. These fats increase the risk of heart disease because the fat molecules on their bond structures line up in a line which leads to plaque formation. Most people know these fats are ‘bad’. It’s been on the news and the FDA is finally clued in stating partially hydrogenated oils are not “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS). Psst… Yes you… we have a little secret for you. Food manufacturers can claim “No trans fat!” and still include them as long as the product has less than 0.5g per serving size (refer back to my monstrous portion size issue… no one is following them!). PLEASE read ingredients and PLEASE stop eating them. We did not say decrease. We said stop.
Where do Trans Fats hide?
Many peanut butters, margarine and ‘spreads’ (even the ‘heart healthy’ ones), fake and flavored coffee creamers, packaged foods, (Cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, pie crusts, pizza dough, cake and pancake mixes, donuts, French fries, taco shells, chips, microwave popcorn, frozen dinners), spice packets and breads/buns. And most foods that come through a car window.
Eat the Fat! 80% of health or disease status comes from what’s in your grocery cart, what’s in your kitchen and what’s on the end of your fork. Fats should be a part of your diet. Eat the fat. But don’t eat the crap that contains Trans or poorly processed polyunsaturated fat and don’t eat too much. Sure, some salad dressings have the ‘bad’ fat, so shop wisely, read ingredients and put the good stuff in your grocery cart.