It's time to change the way you think about fat. For a few decades now, well known diet gurus have preached that eating fat makes you fat. We want to tell you that fat, in and of itself, is not what is making you fat! Instead, it's eating too much fat in general, it's the wrong kinds of fat we are concerned about. All fats are not created equal! If you are like 90% of Americans, you are eating the wrong kind of fat most of the time. We could say, it may be time for an oil change! What is Fat? Fat is one of the body's most basic building blocks. The average person is between 15 and 30 percent fat! Of all of the types of fats in our diets, the body only REALLY needs two types of fat; omega 3s and omega-6s. The foods that supply the best amounts are cold water fish like sardines and wild salmon, canola oil, walnuts, Brazil nuts and sea vegetables. The higher-quality the fat is, the better your body will function. That's because the body uses fat you eat to build cell walls. You have more than 100 trillion cells in your body, and every single one of them needs high-quality fat. How do you know if your cells are getting the fats they need? Your body sends signals when it's not getting enough good fats and it's up to you to recognize just some of the warning signs:
- Dry, itchy, scaling or flaking skin
- Soft, cracked, or brittle nails
- Hard earwax
- Tiny bumps on the backs of your arms or torso
- Achy, stiff joints
Why does the type of fat matter? Building your body from the inside out is just like building a house. You can frame the house with the cheapest stuff or you can go cheap. The best would be to invest in quality materials that are going to be energy-efficient and last a long time. Which Fats to Eat and Which to Avoid If you eat a diet of processed foods, you will likely be Omega 3 deficient. Most processed foods are made with poor-quality omega-6 fats because they are abundant and cheap. Also, fat makes food taste good and improves its texture. Take a look at the ingredients of your favorite packaged food. If the list includes oils made from corn, soy or safflower then you are getting a lower quality fat. When the body puts these cheap fats to work, the cell walls are also not as strong. That means instead of being flexible and responsive, the cell walls are stiff and rigid. The more rigid the wall is, the slower the cell functions and the more vulnerable it is to inflammation. To ensure your body has the fats it needs to construct high-quality cell walls, you need to eat more omega-3 fats. Also, the more omega-3 fats you eat, the easier your body cools itself. A cool body is a less inflamed body. Inflammation is at the root of nearly every chronic disease, especially those impacting the brain and the heart. Of all the body parts dependent on high-quality fat, the brain is uniquely vulnerable. That's because the organ brain is made up of 60% fat, the biggest portion of which is an omega-3 fat called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA for short) . Your brain needs DHA to spark communication between cells. Easy access to high-quality fat boosts cognition, good moods, learning and memory. In contrast, studies show a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. After the brain, it's the heart that needs more omega-3s . The heart is a direct beneficiary of omega-3 fats. They lower cholesterol by reducing levels of bad fats (triglycerides). At the same, they raise levels of good fats (HDL) in the blood. Omega-3 fats make the blood more slippery, and that reduces the likelihood of artery disease. Beyond the heart and brain, eating the right fat also helps you lose fat. Healthy cell walls made from high-quality fats are better able to metabolize insulin, which keeps blood sugar regulated evenly . Without proper blood sugar control, the body holds onto fat for a rainy day. It's not eating the good fat that makes you gain weight while most people continue to eat the WRONG types of fat. How do you really know whether your body is deficient in healthy fat? Our office provides a blood test which can accurately conclude if you are deficient. Contact us today to find out more about how this type of test may be of important benefit to you.
Your heart, brain, skin and joints will thank you!
Dr. Heather Yost, DC, CFMP
Yost Wellness Center
3993 100th St., Urbandale, IA 50322
Serving the Greater Des Moines Area.
At Yost Wellness Center, we are leading a Wellness Revolution that advances a new model of health care by pioneering cutting edge treatments while utilizing Functional Medicine.