Friday, April 19, 2013

Are You Scarred to Increase Fat...?

Because we have been told for so long, and it is ingrained in us, that saturated far and cholesterol cause heart disease, we are afraid to increase it in our diets. We all know the effects of heart disease and none of us wants it. This is WHY I have increased my intake of both fats, I know they do not cause heart disease, in fact they can help with heart health, from reading articles such as this one from Chris Kresser. 

If you have been reading these posts and think there is no way I am going to try eating more fat, then maybe his articles will help to ease your mind and give a Paloe/Primal lifestyle a try.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,

Monday, April 15, 2013

April's Challenge of Increasing Good Fat

For this week, I thought we would continue working on eliminating hydrogenated oils, this can be a large goal and take several weeks, even months to accomplish. But, as long as you are giving this your best effort, you are making progress in the right direction. Do not ever forget where you started from, the road you were on and the journey you have taken so far. Small steps in taking better care of yourself are commendable and need to be recognized and congratulated.

I have had several questions about what a hydrogenated oil is. So, I thought I would try and explain it further today. Something to keep in mind is this, when we are talking about nutrition and fitness, it can become very complicated very quickly. Just say cholesterol and you can already be in over your head! My goal for this blog and my business, is to help bring nutrition and fitness to a level more people can understand, simplify. At the end of the day, it is not complicated, we lived for thousands of years without so called experts and people telling us what to eat, we knew what to eat, ate it and were very healthy. In fact, it could be argued even healthier than we are today. Not every one is as crazy as I am with nutrition and fitness, I am a self professed junky! Trying to navigate through everything can become daunting and overwhelming, I truly hope I can help bring some simplicity and understanding to such a complicated subject.

There are many different types of fat. By giving them names, we can delineate between the different types and know somethings about a fat just by it's name. Some fats have been given really bad raps, such as saturated fat and cholesterol. When in fact, these fats are healthy, they are heart healthy and help us to lose weight, gain needed weight, in general keep us healthy. Here is another reason health can be very complicated, one group says one thing and another says something else. Science is altered, studies are conducted to prove what someone wants, or if they do not like what the results are, they simply throw out those results or change them. We are talking about multi-billion dollar industries that want to make their money. There is not money in you being healthy, but if you are sick, then there is big bucks. They need things to be complicated so you need them.

Back to the fat. When we talk about omega 3-6-9, these are different types of fat that we all need in our diet to maintain health. When we eat a cow, elk, fish, chicken, whatever the animal is, we are in taking all of these different types of fat, as well as many many more. When the animal is eating what God intended it to eat, the ratios of all these fats are in the correct order for ideal health, the animal is healthy and so we are healthy then. When they are eating a diet they were not intended too eat,  corn, soy, grains, who knows what else, the ratio of fats is in disorder. They have far more of the omega 6 instead of the correct ratio to the 3's. When this happens, we gain weight, have increased risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, inflammation which is at the root of most if it not all diseases. The animal is no longer as healthy as it should be, so you are not either. At the same time, if you are consuming these foods as well, soy, corn, grains, vegetable oils, you will be in taking far too many omega 6's and not enough of the other fats, creating all the same problems plus more. It is all about balance.

These omega 6's can be made even worse for our health by the processing they go through to pull out the oils, this is where they become hydrogenated, or trans fats. What this is simply, is a change in the chemical structure of the fat. When we change the structure of the fat, our bodies have a hard time using the fat, it causes many health problems or might not be able to use the fat at all. This chart shows the many steps involved in making different "vegetable" oils from a crude oil to product:
This chart is from the Weston Price Foundation, article entitled The Great Con-ola. This is a wonderful visual of the many steps they take to make the oil eatable.

The natural balance of omega 3 to omega 6 is 1:1 and no more than 1:4, one 3 to four 6's. In today's world of processed foods and animals not eating what they are suppose too, this ratio looks more like 1:20 or 1:200 even. Unfortunately, most of this omega 6 is hydrogenated, the chemical structure of the fat has been changed. This is where the big problems come from, heart disease, cancer, inflammation, weight gain, reproductive problems, cell structure issues, further reduces the amount of omega 3's in the tissues of the body, inhibits hormonal function and production, lowers the immune system, to name a few more things.

The take home point of all this is simple: J.E.R.F. Just Eat Real Food. Sean, I love this and wish I had come up with it! It does not have to be complicated at all, if you eat the food God intended our bodies to eat, we do not have to think about all of this stuff and we are healthy. God has given us everything we need in the food He provided for us. Do yourself a favor and take out the complicated from nutrition and eat the food God gave us, animals and animal products from pastured raised animals, vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds. The base of your diet should be healthy animal fats and the rest a combination of protein and in season vegetables and fruit.

To find pasture raised animals, look online for a farmer near you and buy local. If you cannot find one close or what you are looking for, there are several online farmers you can buy from and they ship.

A list of oils you want to avoid:

  • Canola oil
  • Corn oil
  • Soybean oil
  • "Vegetable" oils
  • Peanut oil
  • Sunflower oil 
  • Safflower oil
  • Cottonseed oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Margarine
  • Shortening
  • Any substitutes like I Can't Believe Its Not Butter, Smart Balance

Oils to use for cooking:

  • Butter
  • Lard
  • Tallow
  • Coconut oil
  • Bacon grease
  • Ghee
  • Fat from bone broths 

Other oils that can be good to eat, but you should NOT cook with because they will become hydrogenated and no longer be good for you

  • Olive oil
  • Flax seed oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Almond oil
  • Other nut oils

I hope this clarifies things a little further.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's abundant blessings be showered upon you,

Monday, April 8, 2013

April's Challenge Continued

How are things going for April's challenge of eating more healthy fat? I hope this has started off well for you and you are enjoying the benefits.

For the challenge this week, I want to focus on hydrogenated oils. Instead of increasing these oils, I want you to work on eliminating them. This could be a challenge, especially if you are used to eating processed, pre-packaged foods, because they are loaded with hydrogenated oils. Maybe for were you are in your health journey, fully eliminating them is not feasible, then try it for one day or maybe two days a week to begin. Continue to add a day a week or every other until you have eliminated them. This is a journey and it can take time. If you are already well into your journey of healthy eating, maybe fully eliminating these oils is the next step for you. Where ever you are, take the next step!

Where you will find hydrogenated oils is in food with omega-6 in them. These are foods like soy, corn, sunflower oil, safflower oil, animal products from grain, soy, corn feed animals, canola, vegetable oils and spreads. When reading a food label, look for hydrogenated oil on the label. Even if on the front, it says no hydrogenated or trans fats, be sure to read the ingredients. Here in the US, food manufacturers are allowed to put so much in and still call it "free" from these deadly oils. Read the labels! This will basically keep you on the outer portions of the grocery store, buying single ingredient items, real food.

If you are going out to eat, ask what they cook their food in. If it is vegetable oil, ask for yours to be cooked in butter.

Other places to watch out for trans fats is from unstable oils being cooked. Oils such as olive, flax, walnut, oils which are higher in omega -9. These are all very healthy oils and provided much needed fat and other nutrients, just do not cook them. Heating these oils changes them into trans fats.

By eliminating hydrogenated/trans fats from your diet, you will be protecting your heart, decreasing inflammation in your body, which is at the root of every disease, take off inches from your mid section, plus you will not be eating processed food and instead be eating highly nutrient rich dense foods that will nourish your body among many other benefits.

In other posts this week, we will talk about why these oils are so bad for us and why they are so prevalent in our foods today. So, if you are interested in more of those details, they are to come, otherwise, know you will be doing your body a favor by eliminating hydrogenated oils.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's many blessings,

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April's Month Challenge

In helping my clients to reach their health goals, one of the things I like to do is break down their goals, chunk it down to a manageable level. Taking it one step at a time. If we try to change everything all at once, chances are very great that you will be over whelmed, stressed out and not make a lifestyle change. It is too easy to fall back into old habits when the change is a lot all at once and not fully incorporated into our daily life. To help you all out with this, I thought I would do something similar on my blog as well. Every month for the next 12 months, we will work on a health, fitness, nutritional change. On top of that, every week, I will try and have a small challenges or activities associated with it, just something a little more to chunk it down even further to make it more attainable. I will also do a few more posts on the topic through out the month, try to keep posts shorter. All of these goals are meant to be built upon and carried along with you, hopefully for the rest of your life.

What better way to start this little journey off, than by encouraging you to eat more healthy fat! You love me already don't you? More butter please. If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you know my obsession with butter. I have my reasons for this healthy fat increase, and they are all for health, not just so you will love me and want to keep coming back for more tips.

Some benefits of healthy fats:
Very important vitamins and miners, A, D, K2 and omega-3's
Help with hormone synthesis, if we do not have enough healthy fat, we cannot make our hormones.
Help in our weight lose or weight gain efforts, which ever you need.
Make food tasty yummy
Help our bodies to uptake the healthy important stuff from our veggies and fruit.
Help our hair, nails and skin be healthy.
Help to protect our hearts.
Help protect our brains, which is mainly cholesterol.
Main energy source

This is an extremely short list, but I think you understand the idea. Anywho, how long of a list do you need anyway when someone is giving you permission to eat healthy fats, like butter?! Not long.

What determines a healthy fat, to me:
It has to be natural.
Not going through huge lengthy chemical processes to be able to eat it.
No hydrogenated, transfats, these are processed omega 6's, vegetable oils.
From animals that are pastured raised, eating what God intended them to eat, as much as possible.

Foods we want to increase:
Obviously butter!
Full fat heavy cream
If you can find it, whole raw milk
Whole eggs
Organ meats
Coconut oil and milk
Nuts and seeds
Bone broths
Not the lean meat, but fattier cuts
Cold pressed olive oil
Code liver oil
Ghee, tallow, lard, bacon

Now, I am not saying go over board and only eat fat. In my eating plan, I strive for somewhere between 50-65% coming from healthy sources of fat, a ball park range. It seems for most people, this is a good range. This will help you feel full and satisfied as well as give you good stable energy, and nutrients your body needs to thrive.

For this weeks challenge:
Incorporate more healthy fats into your daily diet.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's blessing shower down upon you,