Fats and Carbs

Most people are so hung up on fats that they stay away from them altogether. That's not good as some fats are essential to good health. Two of those essential fatty acids are Omega-3 and Omega-6. If you have a deficiency in Omega-3 symptoms may include hypertension, high triglycerides, inflammation, impaired vision, tingling in the arms and legs, learning disabilities, edema, and dry skin. A deficiency in Omega-6 includes loss of hair, liver and kidney degeneration, eczema, excessive thirst, miscarriage in females, sterility in males, arthritic pain, and cardiovascular problems.

Omega-3 fatty acids promote heart health and lower cholesterol levels. They attract oxygen and provide energy for your cells, muscles, and nerves. Unsaturated fats are unstable however and will require antioxidants to help regulate their oxidation rate. These essential fatty acids, Omega-3 and Omega-6, can be found in flax seed, walnuts, soy oil, canola oil, leafy green vegetables, and of course, cold water fish for instance mackerel and salmon. Aside from the Omega fats which are good fats, here is the skinny on unsaturated and saturated fats. Saturated fats come from animals and have an effect on all of our known systems to include metabolic, neurological, and immunological systems. Saturated fats include butter, coconut, palm, cocoa butter, peanuts, and animal fats.

Here are the killer fats which are basically any oils and fats that have been processed or hydrogenated, or partially hydrogenated like corn oil, soy oil, margarine, and shortening. These are all high trans-fatty acids, they are considered unhealthy, and should be avoided. You will find these bad fats in all processed foods to include cookies, donuts, chips and salad dressings. You should also avoid fried and deep fried foods. Hydrogenation is the process of taking liquid fats and artificially converting them into solid fats which are then used in a vast array of processed foods. The main reason for using hydrogenated fats in processed foods is to extend the shelf life of those foods and partially hydrogenated fat is just as bad if not worse than fully hydrogenated fat. Whenever vegetable oils are hydrogenated, either fully or partially, it basically destroys any nutritional value the vegetable oil once had. Consuming trans fatty acids made from hydrogenated vegetable oils can create health problems to include diabetes, cancer, immune deficiency, and heart disease to name a few.

Fats are absolutely necessary in a healthy diet. It is true that your daily consumption of fats and oils should be limited but they are still very important to a healthy diet. To that end you should insure that you are consuming unsaturated fat as opposed to saturated fat and cooking with a lighter and healthier oil. A lot of people think that having a fat free diet is the healthy way to go. In reality, some fats are important in your diet because they give your body energy and supply essential fatty acids that are good for your body. They also aid in the assimilation of fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E, and K throughout your body. Fats also help regulate various bodily functions.

Not all is doom and gloom, some fatty foods are good for you, and can help you lose weight. Here are some examples to consider. Grass fed beef has higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and it is a leaner cut of meat and has less calories than its commercial counterpart. For example, a seven ounce strip steak that you would buy at your local grocery store will have approximately 385 calories and 15 grams of fat, and that’s after you’ve trimmed off any fat before cooking. A seven ounce grass fed strip steak has roughly 230 calories and five grams of fat, and it actually tastes better too. It is true that grass fed beef will cost you a little more, but if you want to have your steak and eat it too, this is the way to go. Besides, how can you put a price on your health?

A diet rich in olive oil provides monounsaturated fats to make your heart strong and contain polyphenols to fight cancer. Olive oil can also help you look leaner because it contains high levels of adiponectin. It’s a hormone that breaks down fat in the body and the more you consume it the lower your body mass index should be. If you are salad eater and wanting to lose weight, use olive oil and vinegar instead of all those other processed salad dressings containing high amounts of sodium and unnatural ingredients.

Coconut contain a unique property, well actually it’s a lipid, called lauric acid that helps improve cholesterol numbers. If you like coconut, sprinkle it daily over anything that could enhance the flavor of whatever you eat, or you could use coconut oil in place of other oils you may be using. Maybe your cholesterol levels are fine, but if you’re looking to lose weight, consuming coconut or coconut oil will help trim your waistline.

Here’s a little something extra for your sweet tooth. Eat a little dark chocolate, especially a couple of hours before dinner. Dark chocolate takes more time to digest so you’ll eat less and lose weight. It also has less calories than its milk chocolate counterpart and it also has antioxidants.

Almonds are one of the healthiest snacks you can eat. Almonds may be high in fat content but they can actually help you lose weight because they contain a compound that limits the amount of fat absorbed by your body. This limiting effect basically means that some fat will pass through your system without being digested. You will actually lose more weight by consuming almonds than you will by eating a low fat diet. Don’t forget almond butter, it has the same effect, and it’s great in oatmeal or spread some on your toast.

Carbohydrates play a significant role in a healthy diet and they are absolutely necessary in providing nutrients as well as energy. You’ll find carbohydrates in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products. However, choose your carbohydrates carefully, because they are not all equal. Read the labels very closely when deciding on what breads and cereals you buy. As I mentioned before, go with whole grains, and stay away from those grains that are highly refined. Obviously whole grains are more nutritious than any grains that are refined. Don’t be fooled by their advertising claims either, read the labels and ingredients, if it says ‘enriched’ pass it up. Even some wheat breads will be made from enriched flour. Look at the sugar content when choosing baked goods as some will contain a lot more than others.

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Do you know what the number one addiction around the world is? I thought about this, but really couldn’t come up with a solid answer. At first I thought drugs, but globally? I don’t know. Then I thought alcohol, it is legal, but again worldwide? I just wasn’t sure. I also thought the same thing about prescription pain killers, so I decided to research it. I was amazed to find that it was something that never entered my mind. In fact, it surpasses drugs and alcohol combined. Sugar, most processed sugar is pure empty calories. Now check this out; in the 1700’s sugar was quite rare and only people  with big bucks could afford it. The average consumption was roughly four pounds a year. In the 1900’s there was a huge increase to ninety pounds a year. Hold on, it gets worse, as of 2008 that amount has doubled, ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY POUNDS a year. As much as we all love sweet things it is important that we get sugar out of our diet as much as possible and I’ll be the first one to admit that it’s tough to do and we need all the help we can get. This program will show you how to lose weight forever, stop stress eating, and get off sugar for good.

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