The truth about saturated fats

by Mary Enig PhD and Sally Fallon
Saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources provide a concentrated source of energy in the diet; they also provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone like substances.

Fats as part of a meal slow down absorption so that we can go longer without feeling hungry.

In addition, they act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Dietary fats are needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption and for a host of other processes.       

Politically Correct Nutrition is based on the assumption that we should reduce our intake of fats, particularly saturated fats from animal sources. Fats from animal sources also contain cholesterol, presented as the twin villain of the civilized diet.

Understanding the chemistry of fats
Clearly something is wrong with the theories we read in the popular press—and used to bolster sales of low fat concoctions and cholesterol-free foods.

The notion that saturated fats per se cause heart disease as well as cancer is not only facile, it is just plain wrong.

But it is true that some fats are bad for us. In order to understand which ones, we must know something about the chemistry of fats.

Fats—or lipids—are a class of organic substances that are not soluble in water. In simple terms, fatty acids are chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms filling the available bonds.

Most fat in our bodies and in the food we eat is in the form of triglycerides, that is, three fatty-acid chains attached to a glycerol molecule. Elevated triglycerides in the blood have been positively linked to proneness to heart disease, but these triglycerides do not come directly from dietary fats; they are made in the liver from any excess sugars that have not been used for energy. The source of these excess sugars is any food containing carbohydrates, particularly refined sugar and white flour.  – – – –

Fatty acid classifications by saturation
Fatty acids are classified in the following way:

Saturated:

A fatty acid is saturated when all available carbon bonds are occupied by a hydrogen atom. They are highly stable, because all the carbon-atom linkages are filled—or saturated—with hydrogen. This means that they do not normally go rancid, even when heated for cooking purposes. They are straight in form and hence pack together easily, so that they form a solid or semisolid fat at room temperature. Your body makes saturated fatty acids from carbohydrates and they are found in animal fats and tropical oils.

Monounsaturated:

Monounsaturated fatty acids have one double bond in the form of two carbon atoms double-bonded to each other and, therefore, lack two hydrogen atoms. Your body makes monounsaturated fatty acids from saturated fatty acids and uses them in a number of ways. Monounsaturated fats have a kink or bend at the position of the double bond so that they do not pack together as easily as saturated fats and, therefore, tend to be liquid at room temperature. Like saturated fats, they are relatively stable. They do not go rancid easily and hence can be used in cooking. The monounsaturated fatty acid most commonly found in our food is oleic acid, the main component of olive oil as well as the oils from almonds, pecans, cashews, peanuts and avocados.

Polyunsaturated:

Polyunsaturated fatty acids have two or more pairs of double bonds and, therefore, lack four or more hydrogen atoms. The two polyunsaturated fatty acids found most frequently in our foods are double unsaturated linoleic acid, with two double bonds—also called omega-6; and triple unsaturated linolenic acid, with three double bonds—also called omega-3. (The omega number indicates the position of the first double bond.) Your body cannot make these fatty acids and hence they are called “essential.” We must obtain our essential fatty acids or EFA’s from the foods we eat. The polyunsaturated fatty acids have kinks or turns at the position of the double bond and hence do not pack together easily. They are liquid, even when refrigerated. The unpaired electrons at the double bonds makes these oils highly reactive. They go rancid easily, particularly omega-3 linolenic acid, and must be treated with care. Polyunsaturated oils should never be heated or used in cooking. In nature, the polyunsaturated fatty acids are usually found in the cis form, which means that both hydrogen atoms at the double bond are on the same side.

All fats and oils, whether of vegetable or animal origin, are some combination of saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated linoleic acid and linolenic acid. In general, animal fats such as butter, lard and tallow contain about 40-60% saturated fat and are solid at room temperature. Vegetable oils from northern climates contain a preponderance of polyunsaturated fatty acids and are liquid at room temperature.

But vegetable oils from the tropics are highly saturated. Coconut oil, for example, is 92% saturated. These fats are liquid in the tropics but hard as butter in northern climes. Vegetable oils are more saturated in hot climates because the increased saturation helps maintain stiffness in plant leaves. Olive oil with its preponderance of oleic acid is the product of a temperate climate. It is liquid at warm temperatures but hardens when refrigerated.
In summary, our choice of fats and oils is one of extreme importance.

Most people, especially infants and growing children, benefit from more fat in the diet rather than less. But the fats we eat must be chosen with care.

Avoid all processed foods containing newfangled hydrogenated fats and polyunsaturated oils. Instead, use traditional vegetable oils like extra virgin olive oil and small amounts of unrefined flax seed oil. Acquaint yourself with the merits of coconut oil for baking and with animal fats for occasional frying. Eat egg yolks and other animal fats with the proteins to which they are attached. And, finally, use as much good quality butter as you like, with the happy assurance that it is a wholesome—indeed, an essential—food for you and your whole family.

Mary G. Enig, Ph.D. is an expert of international renown in the field of lipid biochemistry. She has headed a number of studies on the content and effects of trans fatty acids in America and Israel, and has successfully challenged government assertions that dietary animal fat causes cancer and heart disease. Recent scientific and media attention on the possible adverse health effects of trans fatty acids has brought increased attention to her work. She is a licensed nutritionist, certified by the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists, a qualified expert witness, nutrition consultant to individuals, industry and state and federal governments, contributing editor to a number of scientific publications, Fellow of the American College of Nutrition and President of the Maryland Nutritionists Association. She is the author of over 60 technical papers and presentations, as well as a popular lecturer. Dr. Enig is currently working on the exploratory development of an adjunct therapy for AIDS using complete medium chain saturated fatty acids from whole foods. She is the mother of three healthy children brought up on whole foods including butter, cream, eggs and meat.

Sally Fallon is the author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (with Mary G. Enig, PhD), as well as of numerous articles on the subject of diet and health. She is President of the Weston A Price Foundation and founder of A Campaign for Real Milk. She is the mother of four healthy children raised on whole foods including butter, cream, eggs and meat.

 

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It’s a delicate balance of making sure that what you burn isn’t outdone by what you take in.

It’s all about energy – energy in, energy out.

Lifestyle, age and genetics all play a part in determining our metabolic rate. A low metabolic rate helps the body to conserve energy supplies but unless those supplies are expended, weight gain may occur. Whether your metabolic rate is slower due to genetics or age you may find it harder to control your weight in the long term.

The most effective strategy to increase your metabolic weight is a daily dose of moderate exercise – just enough to increase your heart rate and make you out of breath. This won’t just burn up extra calories but can keep your metabolism revved up for some hours afterwards, as the muscles burn calories to repair themselves.

Your diet is an important aspect of a healthy exercise programme. It’s not simply about counting calories but also about making sure you have the right nutrients to support an exercise programme as well as a mental commitment to that routine.

Thermogenesis is the term used to describe the process of heat production in organisms – and supports calorie expenditure. Most commonly it takes place during and immediately after exercise and also manifests itself as shivering where the body is actually maintaining its core temperature by burning additional calories.

for further information about FitChoice  click on http://pleine-vie.ineways.eu , then click on the FitChoice logo and select your language.

FitChoice engages both your body and your brain, so you can reset your habits and attitudes and make long-term, sustainable lifestyle changes.

Make the Choice that Fits You !

 

About Maggie Pascoe

By helping enough people achieve what they want to achieve, you will achieve your goals !l My aim is to help people get what they want in life, to improve their health & life & have the same satisfaction by helping others.

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