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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Broccoli: King of the Vegetables

Eat your greens!

There are many reasons that Broccoli is widely considered the best vegetable to include in your diet in terms of bang for your buck. I’ll go through a few points as to why it is such an integral food.

Macro nutrients in Vegetables

Broccoli is a vegetable that contains large amounts of macro nutrients that are needed in everyday life and for good functioning health. Per 100g it contains 2.8g of Protein and 2.6g of Fibre. These two are instrumental in not only maintaining a healthy balanced diet, but also ensuring optimal mental and physical well-being. I wouldn’t say that it is the best source of Protein to use for your diet, as the amout is quite small. But the amount that is present will certainly help growth and repair of tissues and encourage fat loss. Fibre is instumental in ensuring that the digestive system works properly, meaning efficient digesting and passing of waste.  It has been shown to reduce the risk of Cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/basics/fibre.html

Broccoli is also a source of carbohydrates (7g). These aren’t carbohydrates in the normal sense that you would find in bread or pasta. More in line with the natural sugar found in Fruit. This means on the dinner plate it’s a great source of Carbohydrates.

Micro- nutrients in Vegetables

Also contained within this vegetable is a huge amount of vitamins and minerals both also needed for optimal functioning of the human body. I’ll go through a few of the best.

  1. Vitamin A is important for healthy skin, teeth and bones,  contributes towards retinal development (so being able to see in the dark properly). It contributes to a healthy and active immune system (which aids in the prevention of diseases). But probably most importantly it contains a lot of Anti-oxidants. Anti-Oxidants are the bodies first way of combating free-radicals, which are a series orf events that leads to the damaging of a cell formerly a process found in the development of terminal diseases.
  2. Vitamin C is the chief vitamin that helps to prevent Scurvy. Something that the British Navy was plagued by in the past. They combated this by including limes and lemons in the sailors rations. Scurvy was a nasty disease that led to losing teeth and rotting gums. Lack of Vit C can also lead to longer time of wound healing. It also protects bones and contributes to a healthy immune system.

It’s a very cheap way of staying healthy, you can buy a weeks worth of  vegetables for less than £5 in certain supermarkets. But can you put a price on health?

 

Stress and the digestive system

Ever had a stressful day and felt like you’ve only wanted to eat bad foods? There is a reason for this and it’s actually to do with your nervous system producing too much of one particular stress hormone- cortisol.

Cortisol is the bodies’ reaction to stressful stimuli, which can be anything from exercise to having a very stressful job which you feel trapped in. The result will be an imbalance in your endocrine system- which means a big imblance in your daily life.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the “fight or flight” response? The bodies basic response to a perceived ‘danger’ or traumatic event, in this event two hormones are released, Adrenaline and Cortisol. These are the hormones that govern how your body behaves in such an event. They are also heavy somatic repressors, this means that while you are in such a state, the body will redirect all of its ‘resources’ to the primary goal, which could in this case be escaping a lion. While these hormones are present in the blood, you will not sleep, need food or drink and in extreme cases most of your other senses are put on hold. In short, Cortisol is a very destructive (but necessary) hormone and if not regulated properly it will continue to affect the bodies hormonal system.

Why is this important if you have a stressful job?

As explained above, if you are working long stressful hours- then your appetite will be significantly repressed. Meaning your body will crave junk food, this will in turn have a negative effect on your sleep patterns- as well as the hormones still in your body. Hydration will be affected which will in turn have an increased on your energy and sleep levels.

What’s the solution?

Obvioulsy the solution isn’t to walk away from your job tomorrow, as much as we would like to. If you have identified yourself through what you’ve read above- either feling constatnly lethargic or always tending to eat junk food, then I would recommend seeking further help from a nutrionist to help with this matter.

A quick fix that you can do at home is to make sure there is time for you, see my previous post on the “Pirate Map” which is about seeting yourself habits to ensure that you get a good balance of work and play. Also ensure you have regular intakes of water throughout the day and make an attempt at Nutritious food- perhaps have a meal prep day on the weekend which sets you up for the following week?

In regards to sleep, there is a great app called “Headspace” which may help you to regulate your stress levels a little bit before sleep, if you are looking at screens right up until the time you close your eyes then that will also have a negative effect on your sleep. Even in the busiest of lives there is always time for the things that are important.