Archive for the ‘Saturated Fat’ Category

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Saturated Fat Not Implicated in Heart Disease

November 4, 2010

(Article first published as Fats Are Good For Heart Health, Weight Loss Efforts on Technorati.)

Saturated Fats are Necessary For Optimal Health

Saturated Fats are Necessary For Optimal Health

New information may fly against the conventional wisdom that has condemned fat for the past half century. As difficult as it may be to believe, eating the right type of fat not only promotes a healthy heart, but can help you to drop those extra pounds. Most people are surprised to find out that a low fat diet prescribed to so many people to promote heart health and cut body fat has been shown to do just the opposite. Fortunately you can make small dietary changes that will help you to lower your risk of a heart attack and burn excess belly fat.

Saturated Fat Doesn’t Cause Heart Disease

Study Shows That Saturated Fat Doesn't Cause Heart Disease

Study Shows That Saturated Fat Doesn't Cause Heart Disease

We’ve been told to avoid saturated fat because it is the cause of most heart attacks. Alternative health practitioners have known this is false for years. In reality, some saturated fat is essential to health, as it provides the necessary base components required for cellular development. Information published in the journal Lipids explains that it is important to understand the relationship between saturated fats and other foods typically eaten along with the maligned fat.

Because saturated fats are stable at room temperature, they are most commonly used in baked goods, chips and other junk foods that are packed with refined carbs and sugar. The problem is guilt by association. The carbs quickly convert to sugar and lead to heart disease and weight gain. Saturated fat is just along for the ride.

Monounsaturated Fats Lower Incidence of Diabetes

Monounsaturated Fats Help Prevent Diabetes

Monounsaturated Fats Help Prevent Diabetes

People following a Mediterranean style diet have lower levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol and reduced risk of a heart attack. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that has been shown to demonstrate powerful antioxidant properties and is known to boost immune system function.

The results of a study published in the journal Diabetes Care followed 418 volunteers for a period of 4 years. Participants were split into two groups, one eating a diet consisting of olive oil and nuts and the other following a standard low fat diet. The results showed that the group eating a diet high in monounsaturated fats was able to reduce the incidence of diabetes by 52%. Since a diagnosis of diabetes doubles the risk of heart disease, switching away from a low fat diet in favor of monounsaturated fats could just save your life.

Cut Carbs and Boost Fat to Lose Weight

We have become a fat-phobic society as we try to avoid every morsel of processed food that may have any amount of fat. We do this with the misguided notion that the fat in our cookies or ice cream will result in stored fat on our body. In reality, it’s the carbs in those foods that result in fat on our belly. Our body quickly breaks down calories from carbs into glucose which circulates in the blood to provide energy to our cells. When too much sugar is present, it’s converted to triglycerides that is easily stored as fat. By contrast, dietary fat is slowly broken down and used for energy and cellular repair.

We need to rethink how we view dietary fats. Extensive evidence exists to show that saturated fat by itself is not a cause of heart disease and is actually necessary for optimal health. A diet that excludes refined carbohydrates and includes healthy uncooked monounsaturated fats from olive oil and nuts will promote cardiovascular health and contribute to your natural weight loss goal.

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Saturated Fats Don’t Cause Heart Disease!

November 4, 2010
(Article first published as Fats Are Good For Heart Health, Weight Loss Efforts on Technorati.)

New information may fly against the conventional wisdom that has condemned fat for the past half century. As difficult as it may be to believe, eating the right type of fat not only promotes a healthy heart, but can help you to drop those extra pounds. Most people are surprised to find out that a low fat diet prescribed to so many people to promote heart health and cut body fat has been shown to do just the opposite. Fortunately you can make small dietary changes that will help you to lower your risk of a heart attack and burn excess belly fat.

Saturated Fat Doesn’t Cause Heart Disease

We’ve been told to avoid saturated fat because it is the cause of most heart attacks. Alternative health practitioners have known this is false for years. In reality, some saturated fat is essential to health, as it provides the necessary base components required for cellular development. Information published in the journal Lipids explains that it is important to understand the relationship between saturated fats and other foods typically eaten along with the maligned fat.

Because saturated fats are stable at room temperature, they are most commonly used in baked goods, chips and other junk foods that are packed with refined carbs and sugar. The problem is guilt by association. The carbs quickly convert to sugar and lead to heart disease and weight gain. Saturated fat is just along for the ride.

Monounsaturated Fats Lower Incidence of Diabetes

People following a Mediterranean style diet have lower levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol and reduced risk of a heart attack. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that has been shown to demonstrate powerful antioxidant properties and is known to boost immune system function.

The results of a study published in the journal Diabetes Care followed 418 volunteers for a period of 4 years. Participants were split into two groups, one eating a diet consisting of olive oil and nuts and the other following a standard low fat diet.

The results showed that the group eating a diet high in monounsaturated fats was able to reduce the incidence of diabetes by 52%. Since a diagnosis of diabetes doubles the risk of heart disease, switching away from a low fat diet in favor of monounsaturated fats could just save your life.

Cut Carbs and Boost Fat to Lose Weight
We have become a fat-phobic society as we try to avoid every morsel of processed food that may have any amount of fat. We do this with the misguided notion that the fat in our cookies or ice cream will result in stored fat on our body. In reality, it’s the carbs in those foods that result in fat on our belly.

Our body quickly breaks down calories from carbs into glucose which circulates in the blood to provide energy to our cells. When too much sugar is present, it’s converted to triglycerides that is easily stored as fat. By contrast, dietary fat is slowly broken down and used for energy and cellular repair.

We need to rethink how we view dietary fats. Extensive evidence exists to show that saturated fat by itself is not a cause of heart disease and is actually necessary for optimal health. A diet that excludes refined carbohydrates and includes healthy uncooked monounsaturated fats from olive oil and nuts will promote cardiovascular health and contribute to your natural weight loss goal.
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Eat Fat, Lose Weight

September 14, 2010
(Article first published as Eat Fat to Boost Weight Loss on Technorati.)

Fat has been vilified over the past half century, as many people have been led to believe it promotes poor health and leads to abdominal weight gain. Fats are one of the three macronutrients required for normal cellular functioning within the body and are necessary for optimal health, as well as being a contributor to healthy weight loss and weight maintenance. You can use fat to your advantage as you make the necessary dietary modifications to lose weight, as long as you make the proper fat choices.

Fat Metabolism Controlled by Hormones
Weight gain or loss is largely under the control of a very intricate system of hormonal balance, and is very sensitive to wild swings in blood sugar which leads to insulin resistance. Once insulin becomes metabolically inactive, it is unable to usher sugar from the blood into the cells and muscles where it’s required to provide energy to your cells. This is the beginning of metabolic syndrome and can lead to diabetes, heart disease and an early death.

Sugar, Not Fat Leads to Weight Gain
Sugar and refined carbs cause blood sugar levels to quickly rise and drop, making you want another sugar fix to start the process all over again. As this process is repeated multiple times each day, insulin becomes less able to flush excess sugar from the blood after each meal, and the sugar remains in circulation. In an attempt to prevent further damage, the body converts the excess sugar to triglycerides which are stored as fat for future use. Dietary fats have no effect on blood sugar or insulin, and don’t directly lead to weight gain.

Healthy Fat Diet Shown to Decrease Waistline

Information from a study published in the International Journal of Obesity illustrates the effect of fat consumption on weight loss in two groups of obese participants. One group ate a reduced calorie diet with 18% of calories coming from fat, while the second consumed the same number of calories, except 39% of their calories were supplied by an almond-enriched fat diet.

After 6 months, the group eating the higher fat diet had a 62% greater reduction in body mass index (BMI), combined with a 50% reduction in waist size and 56% lower body fat when compared with the low fat group. The low fat group ate a high carbohydrate diet which converted to excess blood sugar and hampered their weight loss success, while the healthy higher fat group was able to lose much more fat eating the same number of calories.

Adding the Correct Fat to Your Diet

The results of this study underscore the importance of including the right fats in your diet to meet your weight loss target. Choose monounsaturated fats from natural food sources such as almonds, walnuts, flax seeds and olive oil, while avoiding vegetable oils and fats cooked at high temperatures. Overcooking oil causes hydrogenation and unhealthy trans fats which not only will pack on the pounds, but also leads to increased risk from heart disease and cancer.

Changing the way you think about dietary fat is an important first step toward improved health and natural weight loss. It’s easy to think of fat as a source of artery clogging plaque, but the body is much more sophisticated, and readily converts the fat you eat into cellular components needed for replication and not into stored fat. Eat monounsaturated fats in moderation, eliminate sugar and processed carbs from your diet and be rewarded with improved health and natural weight loss.

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Best Heart Disease Prevention Steps

August 6, 2010
(Article first published as Top Heart Disease Prevention Steps on Technorati.)

Why are some people seemingly able to eat a diet loaded with heart clogging fried foods and fats, while others seem destined to poor health regardless of their diet? This question has plagued medical researchers for decades. The answer is now beginning to unravel, in part due to advancements in decoding the human genome, and an understanding of the intricate genetic interactions which respond to diet and lifestyle decisions we make every day.

Genes Provide the Missing Link to Heart Disease

Scientists are able to watch gene alterations or switching in virtual real time, as they observe the positive or negative influences of specific food items in each meal. According to a study published in the journal Nature, researchers have identified nearly 100 genes which specifically control up to a third of the inherited factors controlling our cholesterol, specifically LDL cholesterol and triglycerides that are known factors in the development of coronary artery disease and heart attack risk.

Our Genes Aren’t Set in Stone
This study demonstrates for the first time that certain individuals are predisposed to developing abnormal types of oxidized LDL cholesterol through a hereditary link. Based on the results, up to 20% of people are at increased risk for developing heart disease, as their genes have been ‘switched’ in favor of  developing a poor blood lipid profile.

This does not mean that you’re condemned to poor health due to heredity. Our genes respond to the cues they receive from the foods we eat and the lifestyle we lead. A predisposition to heart disease is not destined. Fortunately, there are several simple steps you can follow to reduce and virtually eliminate the risk for coronary artery disease, regardless of the genetic cards you’ve been dealt.

Step 1: Eat Fat with Your Heart in Mind

Diet is the single most important factor which controls the actions of your genes. The nutritional content of each bite of food directly impacts and influences how each gene activates, and scientists are able to track subtle changes which take place after each meal. Diets which are high in hydrogenated trans fats such as fried foods are particularly damaging from a genetic perspective.

It’s important to understand that not all fats are the same when it comes to heart health. For a half century, saturated fats have been maligned, and most have been advised to avoid them at all cost. Nothing could be further from the truth, as these fats play an essential role in cellular health.

Omega-3 fats from fish and fish oil are essential to the prevention and treatment of heart disease. Ensure that the ratio of Omega-6 fats (from vegetable oil sources) to Omega-3 fats is no higher than 4:1 to reduce systemic inflammation and proliferation of coronary disease.

Step 2: Limit Refined Carbs and Wheat Based Foods
Extensive scientific data is mounting which correlates excessive consumption of wheat-based foods with progression of coronary artery disease. Wheat has been a part of the human diet for a relatively short period of our evolutionary history, and genetically we’re not well equipped to digest these grains.

To make matters worse, most foods made with wheat have been highly refined, stripping out any beneficial fiber which cause wild swings in blood sugar levels. Limit or fully eliminate wheat and refined carbs to avoid dangerous triglyceride and oxidized LDL cholesterol levels.

Step 3: Supplement with Heart Friendly Nutrients
People who are genetically predisposed to heart disease, as well as those with the desire to prevent this silent killer will want to supplement with a targeted nutritional cocktail which has been shown to stop coronary artery disease in its tracks. The B complex vitamins along with C and E provide critical support for the heart, as long as they are taken in their natural forms.

Magnesium, Selenium, Chromium and Potassium are essential minerals. It’s important to note that a daily multi vitamin doesn’t provide the proper amount or type of these critical nutrients. Choose a non-synthetic source made from whole foods. The amino acids Lysine and Proline in combination with Vitamin C (The Pauling Therapy) can be used for advanced protection against heart disease.

Research has uncovered the genetic link to heart disease which many have suspected since the beginning of modern medicine. We’re now able to use gene mapping to understand how this disease develops, and more important, how we can affect our diet and lifestyle to reduce our risk factors, and prevent and even treat coronary artery disease.

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Eat Fat, Lose Weight, Be Healthy

July 6, 2010
(Article first published as Eat Fat, Lose Weight With These Top Foods on Technorati.)

Over the past half century, we have become a fat-phobic nation. This has led to the low-fat diet mentality which is prescribed by the overwhelming majority of medical and dietary professionals. The problem is this diet is the direct cause of heart disease, diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.

By purging every possible gram of fat from our diet in favor of carbohydrates, we have eliminated one of the most important nutrients required for our health. For decades, saturated fat has been maligned as the most villainous fat of all, purportedly being deposited inside our arteries almost instantly after eating.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, saturated fat is not associated with an increased risk from coronary heart disease or stroke.

Fat is Required for Good Health
Many people still shun all types of fat, in favor of the ‘healthy’ low-fat substitutes. And those same people are still developing heart disease, diabetes and many forms of cancer which result from eliminating this important food nutrient. Certain fat containing foods are not only essential to good health, but contribute to a healthy weight loss lifestyle. It’s important to combine fat and protein food groups with each meal, and minimize highly refined low-fat carbohydrate offerings to achieve the best weight loss and fitness results.

1. Nuts and Seeds Fuel Weight Loss

Raw nuts (almonds, walnuts and pecans) and seeds (flax, pumpkin and sunflower) have been shown to aid in appetite suppression and weight loss goals. Although nuts are relatively high in calories, those calories are conserved and metabolized differently than the same amount of calories from low-fat carbs. This is due to the perfect distribution of healthy monounsaturated and saturated fats, as well as the low glycemic index of nuts and seeds which prevents blood sugar spikes. Researchers found that eating one ounce of nuts five days a week reduced the incidence of diabetes by 27%.

2. Meats: Turkey, Chicken, Beef and Pork in Moderation
We have evolved over the last 150,000 years to eat meat as part of a healthy diet, and we can use meat as part of a sensible weight loss diet, as well as an important source of Vitamin B-12. Much of the problem associated with most meat is the way it is raised, and equally important, the feeding practices and living conditions of the animals.

Our early ancestors did not eat corn fed beef, which were not permitted to roam freely, and neither should we. Try to find free-range, organic products whenever possible, avoid overcooking the meat, and limit total calories from meat to no more than 20% of your daily total.

3. Fish and Fish Oils Help Burn Fat
The American Heart Association recommends at least two servings of fish each week for heart health benefits. The Journal of Nutrition reports that fish, and specifically the DHA component found in fish oil helps weight loss by preventing fat cells from maturing. Many people have trouble eating fish, but the same benefit can be obtained from 1200 mg of fish oil supplemented daily.

The evidence now indicates that saturated fat is not the cause of heart disease, but the real devil is in trans fats. These artificial fats should be avoided as they increase the incidence of a heart attack by 25%.

Enjoy a balanced diet including different fat containing food groups, but be sure your fat intake is part of a reduced calorie diet full of raw leafy greens and vegetables. Eliminate low-fat and refined carbs and add healthy fats to your diet, as you watch your health improve and ultimately attain your weight loss goal.

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Saturated Fat – Not Really the Devil?

March 30, 2010
Strong scientific evidence is now arriving which indicates that the much maligned saturated fat we have all been told to avoid for more than 50 years is really not that bad for you all. As a matter of fat, some saturated fat is required for health and cellular construction. That said, this is not a green flag to begin eating foods containing lots of fats because as it turns out, saturated fats are a close neighbor to the real culprits in destruction of our health.
The main reason for the association between cardiovascular disease and saturated fat is back in the 1950’s, researchers began to notice that those individuals with the highest sat fat intake also seemed to exhibit the highest incidences of heart attacks and related cardio problems. But a true analysis into the problem was never fully undertaken, that is to really determine if sat fat was the actual cause by eliminating any other factors. Western diets at this time were moving away from he traditional foods that ‘Grandma’ would cook, and more toward the quick convenience foods and fast foods which quickly gained popularity with many of today’s ‘baby-boomers’. It was an easy stretch to make the association between the higher amounts of saturated fats in the diet with the rapidly rising incidence of heart disease.
The food elements which were never taken into account are the highly refined carbohydrates and trans fats which were mixing with the saturated fats in an ever increasing proportion in our food supply. Convenience foods needed to have longer shelf lives, and synthetic trans fats were the inexpensive means to allow that Twinkie to sit on the shelf for very long periods of time. Also, trans fats were being introduced into the diet in a much higher proportion by the cooking process associated with fast food production, namely frying and charred cooking of meats. Our diets had switched from mostly home-cooked to the extremely atherogenic convenience-food lifestyle. Heart attacks by 1970 were increasing at an exponential rate, especially in the vulnerable male population… and then things got worse.
In the early 1970’s came the introduction of high fructose corn syrup. It was an easy, ‘natural’ method of sweetening almost everything, and has ended up in virtually every processed food in today’s grocery store. Interesting is that the incidence of diabetes has also increased two to three fold during the same time frame. Science is showing that this foreign substance (it is artificially created, and not seen as a natural food substance by the body) is not processed by the liver, does not register as calories by the body, and is quickly converted in to fat for storage when consumed as excess calories (which is almost always the case). Today we see an epidemic of obese pre-teens who are either diabetic or pre-diabetic.
So we can now see that saturated fats are really not the enemy, but an innocent bystander for the most part. They actually provide us with immune benefits, proper fuel for the heart muscle, lower cholesterol and provide genetic stability. The problem occurs in that for the vast majority, they are always consumed with the real villains, as trans-fats (through high heat cooking which converts fats into trans fats) or in the presence of highly refined carbohydrates and high fructose corn syrup. Read the label of virtually any processed food and you will likely find one of these villains lurking under an assumed name of some sort.
For this reason, it is essential to consume 80 – 90 % (or more) of your diet as unrefined: raw vegetables, lean protein and meats, un-roasted nuts, seeds, legumes and minimal fruits (they still contain fructose which many people do not properly digest). Eliminate the quick convenience and fast foods, anything which comes in a box, can or jar. You will find that your body is quickly able to ‘remodel’ it’s cellular matrix, and after eliminating sweet food sources for two weeks, you won’t miss them at all. In fact, you’ll wonder how you every enjoyed anything so sweet!