New Years Resolution

Weight loss 1O1 – FAT

There are so many views on fats out there, from eating lots of fat to eating no fat.  But here is the skinny on fat.  Good fats as in Monosaturated fatty acids or MUFA’s or Polyunsaturated fatty acids as PUFA’s, should be majority of your fat intake, whereas Saturated fats should be limited to about 10% and Trans fats avoided.  Here are how fats work.

MUFA’s are omega 9 Fatty acids and have a number of health benefits: Aids in weight loss, reduces the risk of heart disease, decrease inflammation, reduces “bad” LDL cholesterol and also increases “good” HDL cholesterol.  Oleic acid a type of MUFA shows much encouragement in many benefits from lowering breast cancer risks to cardiovascular inflammation.  An encouraging study in regards to breast cancer, consisted of 642 women.  The women with the highest amounts of oleic acid in their fat tissue had the lowest rates of breast cancer.   Foods high in MUFA’s are avocados, olive & canola oils, a variety of nuts, dark chocolate (72% or higher) …. 

PUFA’s are omega 3 & 6 Fatty acids.  The 3 main omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is found mainly in plant oils such as flaxseed, soybean, and canola oils. DHA and EPA are found in fish and other seafood ALA is an essential fatty acid, meaning that your body can’t make it, so you must get it from the foods and beverages you consume.

Observational studies have shown that each gram of ALA you eat per day lowers your risk of dying from heart disease by 10%.  Several studies have also found that ALA can improve insulin resistance. DHA shows lower risk of cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, depression, schizophrenia, psychosis, and other behavioral disorders. DHA also plays a crucial role in fetal and childhood brain development (affecting visual acuity, intelligence, problem solving)

Foods high in PUFA’s are flax seeds, a variety of fish, walnuts, and vegetable oils as corn, soy, safflower….

Saturated fat is needed, but only limitedly, as it does make up 50% of our cell membranes, helps with immune system, helps guard liver from toxins and even has antimicrobial properties. But it can be linked to weight gain and high cholesterol.  Eating foods that have too much saturated fat, and too little unsaturated fat, changes the way the liver handles cholesterol.  Cholesterol is made and broken down in the liver.  Our liver cells have LDL receptors on them. When LDL cholesterol passes by in the blood, the receptor takes the cholesterol out of the blood and into the liver to be broken down. So, we need LDL receptors to keep our cholesterol levels under control.  But eating too much saturated fat stops the receptors from working optimally, so cholesterol builds up in the blood. 

To break it down even more think of it as LDL as the dump truck that carries and dumps most of the cholesterol that is delivered to cells – too much collects and bounds together

HDL is the sweeper/recycling truck, that reduces, reuses and recycles LDL to liver where it can be processed.  Sweeper, sweeps excess cholesterol away – if too much is bound stuck together can’t sweep away.  This is the collection of plaque in our arteries.

Foods high in saturated fats are, fatty meats, butter, lard, coconuts oil… Note many pastries or packaged goods contain saturated fat and often contain trans fats as well.  Make sure to look for 0 trans fats on the labels.

*If this article or any past articles leaves you with questions, the want to be a better you, the courage to take the first step to a happier you, than please contact me at: 

Mikkie Nettles, Certified Personal Trainer/Holistic & Sports Nutritionist
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