By: Sarah A LoBisco, ND
Last week, I discussed an easy way to eat healthier this year…
Increase your bug consumption! 🙂
I will speak more on my homepage this week on other yummy tips for a healthier new year. There, I will be highlighting and discussing the following five suggestions:
Implementing more healthy fish and beans on your plate
Cutting down on processed foods
Increasing whole grain consumption
Drizzling olive oil on your salads
(Other health boosters include eating a rainbow of produce, proper supplementation, staying connected to others, eating smaller meals vs larger ones throughout the day, and cutting salt).
Why Focus on Healthy Fat and Fish?
Fish from healthy sources (such as Vital Choice), contain the highest levels of omega 3 fatty acids than any other food. Here’s some recent articles that confirm why you need to eat fat to be healthy and slim!
The Importance of Fat!
Fat is one of the body’s most basic building blocks. The average person is between 15 to 30 percent fat! (Men should be 10-20% fat and women should be 20-30% fat). Of all of the types of fats in our diets, the body only REALLY needs two – omega-3 and omega-6. Our bodies manufacture all the other fats we need.
What is an omega fat? The omega numbers (in this case 3 and 6) refer to where the hydrogen atom joins the fat molecule. Remember, the name is just basic chemistry lingo. What is important to understand is the impact of different fats on body.
The higher-quality the fat, the better your body will function. That’s because the body uses fat you eat to build cell walls. You have more than 100 trillion cells in your body, and every single one of them should be constructed of high-quality fat.
How do you know if your cells are getting the fats they need? Your body sends signals when it’s not getting enough good fats. It’s up to you to recognize the warning signs:
· Dry, itchy, scaling or flaking skin
· Soft, cracked, or brittle nails
· Hard earwax
· Tiny bumps on the backs of your arms or torso
· Achy, stiff joints’
· Memory problems
· Attention deficit disorder
· Weight gain
Of all the body parts dependent on high-quality fat, the brain is uniquely vulnerable. That’s because it is made up of 60 percent fat, the biggest portion of which is an omega-3 fat called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Your brain needs DHA to spark communication between cells. Easy access to high-quality fat boosts cognition, happiness, learning, and memory. In contrast, studies link a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, and even violence.
After the brain, it’s the heart that will thank you for eating more omega-3s. The heart is a direct beneficiary of omega-3 fats. They tamp down cholesterol by reducing levels of bad fats (triglycerides). Meanwhile, they raise levels of good fats (HDL) in the blood. Part of their magic is that omega-3 fats make blood more slippery, which reduces the likelihood of artery disease.
Beyond the heart and brain, eating the right fat also helps you shed fat. Healthy cell walls made from high-quality fats are better able to metabolize insulin, which better regulate blood sugar . Without proper blood sugar control, the body socks away fat for a rainy day. Ironically, it’s not eating fat that makes you gain weight it’s eating the WRONG types of fat.
Source: Hyman, M. Are you Fat Enough? Drhyman.com. 1/5/2013. http://drhyman.com/blog/2013/01/05/are-you-fat-enough/
Fats & Nutrients That Aid Wound Healing
Another study on the importance of healthy fats provided evidence in their effect on healing. The study used one hundred patients with acute lung injury who were fed a diet enriched with eicosapentanoic acid (EPA), gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), and vitamins (vitamins A, C and E). The group with the intervention had positive results in healing time. The authors concluded:
A diet enriched with EPA, GLA and vitamins A, C and E is associated with a significantly lower occurrence of new pressure ulcers in critically ill patients with acute lung injury.
Theilla M, Singer P, Cohen J, Dekeyser F. A diet enriched in eicosapentanoic acid, gamma-linolenic acid and antioxidants in the prevention of new pressure ulcer formation in critically ill patients with acute lung injury: A randomized, prospective, controlled study. Clin Nutr. 2007 Dec;26(6):752-7. Epub 2007 Oct 22.
Contrary to what has been popularly believed over many years, change starts with small steps, sprinkled with self-acceptance, and adding in delectable foods that nourish you.