Tuesday, December 13

Saturated Fat and Heart Disease: The Truth


Saturated Fat: Good or Bad?

Lets start with some of the questions I get asked on a regular basis...

Why are saturated fats bad? They are not bad perse, it depends on the source.

Which is best saturated or unsaturated? This one demonstrates the present depth of confusion over fats in general, we of course need both and so neither is saturated or unsaturated fat better or worse. Again it depends on the source, though the golden rule is if its highly refined steer clear, examples of which include margarine, buttery spreads, vegetable and sunflower oils.

Why are fats bad? They are not, they are in fact fundamental nutritional requirement for many biological functions and thus the right fats should form the greatest proportion of your diet.

What is saturated fat? or What are saturated fats?  Saturated fat or more specifically "Saturated fatty acids have no double bonds between the individual carbon atoms of the fatty acid chain. That is, the chain of carbon atoms is fully "saturated" with hydrogen atoms. There are many kinds of naturally occurring saturated fatty acids, which differ mainly in number of carbon atoms, from 3 carbons (propionic acid) to 36 (hexatriacontanoic acid).

Various fats contain different proportions of saturated and unsaturated fat. Examples of foods containing a high proportion of saturated fat include animal fats such as cream, cheese, butter, and gheesuettallowlard, and fatty meats; as well as certain vegetable products such as coconut oilcottonseed oilpalm kernel oil.

What are unsaturated fats?

"An unsaturated fat fatty acid that has at least one double bond within it's chain. A fat molecule is monounsaturated if it contains one double bond, and polyunsaturated if it contains more than one double bond. Where double bonds are formed, hydrogen atoms are eliminated. Thus, a saturated fat has no double bonds, has the maximum number of hydrogens bonded to the carbons, and therefore is "saturated" with hydrogen atoms. That's it so nothing too alarming there about saturated fats is there?

Saturated fat and heart disease

Well were told pretty often that saturated fat causes heart disease but is it true? Just because it says so on the telly, in the supermarket, at your doctors...does this make it true? Absolutely not! Did you know there is not one shred of evidence to support this hypothesis? However on the contrary there are many that point to a rather more controversial culprit.  Though feel free to read for yourself - Saturated Fat and Cardio Vascular Disease.

I leave you now with a quote that pretty much sums up what were up against.

"The idea that saturated fats cause heart disease is completely wrong, but the statement has been "published" so many times over the last three decades that it is very difficult to convince people otherwise unless they are willing to take the time to read and learn what really produced the anti-saturated fat agenda"

How many more lives will be lost, how many more will have to suffer because of misleading dietary advice?  Well don't know about you but I think It's high time to put the record straight.

Eat natural dietary, saturated and unsaturated fats, get lean, increase brain function and live longer.

Sunday, December 11

Best Exercise for Fat Burn

[caption id="attachment_2249" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Burning fat the wrong way will never last."]Best-exercise-for-fat-burn[/caption]

Exercise and fat burn go hand in hand right? Well that's what is commonly believed... So what's the best exercise for fat burn? Well experience has taught us that, in the end, exercise doesn't have that much to do with fat loss or fat burn (and yes, you may wish to rewind and re-read that sentence)!  We watched a show last night on television "Fat Families" (read: Fat Families review) have you seen it?  Shows like this and the biggest loser (do you remember that one - yes the one where Anne Diamond snuck off and had a gastric band fitted) convince us that the way to fat loss is to exercise more and eat less also known as starvation.  Exercise is used to create an even larger deficit in calories combined with a diet where calorie intake has been reduced to minimal levels.  This is starvation (and yes I wrote this twice).

Our bodies panic when we starve them causing STRESS: that is, elevated cortisol levels.  Our bodies wants us in balance (homeostasis) and are genetically programmed to achieve this.  When stress levels rise our bodies throw everything at the stressors to bring it back into balance.  Er.....sugary drink anyone?

So, it you want temporary fat burn with lot of stress and starvation, don't go paleo! If you want temporary fat loss with lots of stress and starvation, eat less and exercise more (conventional wisdom). If you still believe in the calories in calories out rubbish then go visit your local dietician or sign up to weight watchers, slimming world and the like who will be happy to place you on one of their programs. It is likely you will also be advised about the best exercise for fat burn. Then sit back and watch the fat bounce back making all that restriction utterly pointless...
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEhLhqZjddg&w=420&h=315]

Exercise has this fantastic potential to improve our health and wellbeing and our mental and emotional health but in the end, poor diet will always win because of the stress factor and the consequences. For example: exercise might help you fight your depression but your fantastic potential is compromised if you are eating a low fat diet. You see natural dietary fat along with protein are the fundamental building blocks of optimal health. Exercise might help you feel alive and connected but this will be temporary if massive swings in your blood sugar levels are knocking you down between meals.

Nutrition is the key.  Choose well as if your quality of  life and your future depended on it....because it does!

“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive” 

[caption id="attachment_1252" align="aligncenter" width="114" caption="Joseph Campbell 1904-1987"]Joseph-Cambell[/caption]