Did you know your brain is comprised almost entirely of essential fatty acids? Cutting out fats from your diet is a sure fire way to reduce brain performance, development, overall health and even hormone function.
The truth of the matter is your body needs fat to function properly and remain healthy. However, the word fat has developed a negative connotation in society despite the fact of mounting evidence to prove otherwise. This belief that all fat is unhealthy stems from soft science studies in the 1960's - 1980's that were run poorly or only considered a limited portion of their studies findings, and the use of these assumed findings to mass market health standards to the population. Interestingly enough as the non-fat products began to riddle the shelves of grocery stores, the obesity and mental illness rates began to grow in tandem.
So, if you want to lose weight, ward off disease, and or enhance your brain's performance, you need to consume healthy fats.
You may be wondering how fats can offer such health benefits. Well, they impact metabolic enzymes, improve the synthesis of beneficial prostaglandins, and reduce inflammation. This adds up to improved blood flow and tissue oxygenation, which means a higher metabolic rate, improved insulin sensitivity, immune enhancement, and better brain function. Exactly the results you would desire if trying to lose weight or maintain health.
The function of fat in our bodies explains why many people who attempt to cut it from their diet feel fatigued, can not lose weight, and struggle mental function and health. If this diet goes on long enough diseases such Alzheimer's , diabetes, cancer, autoimmune, and degenerative disorders can occur.
There are several options of healthy fat sources to choose from. These include walnuts, almonds, fish, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil in a dark glass bottle, flax seeds, avocados, peanut and almond butter. If you do not currently consume fish 2-3 times a week, taking an essential omega 3 fatty acid supplement from a fish source is highly beneficial. To ensure you are selecting a quality product, check to be sure a total of 75% of omega 3s are coming from a combination of DHA and EPA.
With that being said, there are some fat sources that should indeed be avoided. Specifically, hydrogenated fats which are highly unstable. These fats are made to mimic healthier counterparts, such as coconut oil, that are solid at room temperature. The main difference occurs in bonding. Hydrogenated fats have a double bond that oxidizes easily through exposure to light and heat. Oxidized fats wreak havoc on the body when ingested. Such fats include soybean oil, vegetable oil, margarine, crisco, and canola oil. These oils should not be consumed and most importantly, should not be heated or used for cooking.