FAT And Facts That May SURPRISE You

Benefits of Fat

Fats are the best source of energy for the human metabolism. They also don’t influence blood sugar. Here are 5 reasons why fat is our friend:

  1. Fat regulates our appetite. It helps us feel satisfied.
  2. Fat provides long lasting energy that carbohydrates are no match for.
  3. Fat has very low insulin (the hormone of aging) response, especially compared to sugar. One of the greatest side effects from the low fat craze – besides tripling childhood obesity in just one decade in the US – is its impact on mental decline.
  4. Fat is essential to the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), which are vital for health.
  5. German nutrition expert, Konrad Biesalski, points out the counter-intuitive reality that many of the nutrients implicated in protecting against cancer (vitamin A, folic acid, selenium, and zinc). These are not only more abundant in meat but are also more available than they are when they’re coming from plant sources. This means that these nutrients are better absorbed when consumed from meat rather than vegetables and fruits. Obviously that doesn’t mean that you if you get your protein from more plant based sources that you should stop, only that it seems to be a better source.

Which Fats Are Best… And Best Avoided?

    • There are three types of fats you should include in your diet: saturated, mono-unsaturated, and poly-unsaturated.
    • Despite what we’ve heard in the past, saturated fat and cholesterol are needed for the synthesis of the steroid hormones in the body, including testosterone.
    • This means muscular strength and tone, which is good for independence in old age, sex appeal, resistance to disease and also Vitamin D synthesis.
    • Trans fats (Cakes, doughnuts etc) are nice to have as a treat once in a while but they should be consumed minimally. It can take a bit of mental strength to do this but you’ll thank yourself in your 50’s.
  • As a general rule, studies have shown that a fat intake making up less than 15% of overall calories in the diet can significantly decrease testosterone levels.
  • If you’re on a carb-restricted diet, make sure you include a decent amount of saturated and mono-unsaturated since they’re good for energy metabolism.
  •  Saturated fat and cholesterol help to maintain rigidity with cell structure.
  • Poly-unsaturated fats should be included at lower quantities since they’re sensitive to oxidation. Still, these have specialised roles to help optimise cell function, cognitive behaviour, and inflammatory modulation.
  • Eating high carb and high fat at the same meal isn’t a good idea since insulin promotes fat storage in the wrong environment.
  • Never cook with poly-unsaturated fats. Cook with coconut or palm oil. Other than brain boosting and fat-busting benefits. The reason to favour these tropical oils for cooking is because they’re extremely saturated. This means any chance of oxidation from heat is minimised.
  • They also contain low amounts of Aldehydes once they are heated, which are substances linked to the development of some diseases.

Good Sources

Our ancestors thrived on a 4:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. Nowadays the average diet leans toward 1:16 which is unhealthy. A reasonable aim would be a 1:1 ratio. This can be achieved by way of supplementation and good protein choices e.g. grass fed beef. Good options are to invest in Free range or organic foods. The only problem with these is that they can be more expensive. You can get a lot of good benefits in terms of healthy fats and protein from Oily fish such as salmon and mackeral. Which are cheaper choices in some places.

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Understanding Blood Pressure

You might have heard the terms “Systolic”, “Diastolic”, “Stroke volume” being thrown about when you last had your blood pressure checked and silently nodded at the Doctor without understanding a single word of what they were talking about.

You are not alone in this. Blood pressure is a commonly discussed and commonly misunderstood part of human health. Allow me to clear up a few of the terms and what you should actually be aiming for when you get it measured.

First of all, I would recommend (if you can budget for it) that you get hold an electric blood pressure monitor for home use. It is good practice to regularly monitor your own BP and record it- rather than waiting months before your Doctors visit. They are not that expensive and can provide an insight into your health without leaving the house.

The Terms, there is alot of science that can be thrown behind a topic like this but I shall keep it brief. “Systolic” refers to the pressure that is measured on your artery walls when the heart is contracting (sending blood out). “Diastolic” refers to the pressure measured on the artery walls when the heart is refilling inbetween contractions, this is why it is a lower value. “Resting heart rate” is, as the name suggests, how hard the heart is working to pump bloody when you are at rest, so the lower the number here is generally better. “Stroke volume” is not a term that is generally included within BP testing but refers to the overall amount of blood that is pumped in a minute. “Hypertension and hypotension” refer to high and low BP, respectively. There are several ‘steps’ to each of these and is sometimes given a colour to signify its severity, for example 140/90 would be given a red flag whereas 140/80 would be an amber flag. If you do a self read and you are not sure about your reading then consult a Doctor, 

A good reading is advised to be 120/80 Systolic/Diastolic, this is for most ages and for those that have an activity level of low to moderate, if you have an activity level of moderate- very high then it can be as low as 100/60. Resting heart rate is indicative of a strong heart and a good reading for this in the same catergory as above would be 70 or less. Likewise those that exercise regularly could have a RHR of <50.

Foods that help to decrease blood pressure will be nothing short of what you may heard before, eating fruits and veg are always solid pieces of advice, as well as avoiding excess amounts of red meat and salt.