- 4 Jul 2011
(excerpts from Understanding Fat Can Save Your Life! by Russell J. Martino, Ph.D)
Like carbohydrates, the purpose and the importance of fat in the human body is greatly misunderstood.
- Fat is where most of the energy in your body is stored and, contrary to pop nutrition beliefs, medical physiology textbooks clearly state that fat and fat byproducts, not glucose from carbohydrates, are by far the primary and preferred source of energy for your muscles and organs.
- Most people have at least a month's supply of energy stashed away in the form of stored body fat. Besides supplying energy, fat cushions and protects your organs and helps regulate your body temperature.
You may be surprised to learn that cholesterol, which is a fat derivative, is so important to your health and well-being that your body makes its own just to insure you have what you need when you need it, regardless of your dietary intake.
- If someone magically removed all the cholesterol from your body, you would melt into a puddle like the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz.
- There’s a whirlwind of confusion surrounding cholesterol and part of that confusion has resulted in dietary practices that clearly and undeniably harm people’s health.
- About 95% of your body fat is in the form of triglycerides which are classified as simple fats.
- Triglycerides come in two varieties, SATURATED fatty acids, which are solid at room temperature, and UNSATURATED fatty acids, which are liquid at room temperature.
- Saturated fats come from animal sources including meat, egg yolks, dairy products, and fish. They are also found in tropical oils, especially coconut and palm oil.
Unsaturated fats come in 3 varieties; super-unsaturated, poly-unsaturated or mono-unsaturated. The difference between these 3 is the ease with which they break down inside your body.
- Omega 3 essential fatty acids are super-unsaturated; they are easily broken down in your body and then used in numerous, vital health building processes.
- The Omega 6 essential fatty acids are polyunsaturated acids and they too are easily broken down and used throughout your body.
- Monounsaturated fats, the Omega 9s, are found in olive, almond, avocado, peanut, pecan, cashew, filbert, and macadamia oils, and to some extent in butter and meat, and are also easily broken down.
- Another form of fat, compound fat, is the result of simple fats combining with other chemicals. The 2 main compound fats in your body are the phospholipids and the lipoproteins.
The most well-known compound fat is the lipoprotein, which comes in several different densities, the two most famous being LDL and HDL.
- Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) transports cholesterol and nutrients from your liver through the blood system and into your cells for use.
- High density lipoproteins transport cholesterol away from your tissues and back to your liver where it is recycled or eliminated.
The confusion and misunderstanding is over what causes cholesterol to rise in the first place and the importance of the ratios between HDL and LDL. This controversy is completely cleared up in 5 Steps to Optimal Health.
Certain fats, like the essential fatty acids, play a crucial role in building your health
Without a regular and sufficient supply of essential fats, health fails, degenerative disease sets in, and a downward health spiral is guaranteed.
The consequence of the resulting widespread deficiency is epidemic ill health including chronic fatigue, obesity, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, and so on.
Obviously all fat is not all bad, but just as obviously there are "bad" fats and to put it simply, too many bad fats will eventually ruin your health.
Some fats are healthy, others are deadly.
- Good fats are the naturally occurring fats that have not been chemically altered.
- Bad fats are any fat or oil from any source that has been hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, or in any way chemically altered.
- Stay away from the bad fats and make certain you get a sufficient supply of the good ones.
Bad fats don’t grow on trees or in fields; they aren’t raised on farms or herded on ranches; bad fats are made in clean, sanitary manufacturing plants and then bottled and sold to commercial food processors and grocery stores.
Food processors add the bad fats to hundreds of products found on the grocers' shelves, products like bread, crackers, cookies, cakes, snack foods, dips, spreads, dressings, and so on. In addition to being added to processed foods, bad fats are attractively packaged and sold directly to people just like you and me.
We buy the bad fats in bottles, cans, and jars and use them for baking, frying, melting, and spreading on our food.