Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Results First- Fats

I love the mantra- 'results first, beliefs second'. It's something I attempt to live by everyday, and I have to say at times it's not easy. We are bombarded with so many "truths" (beliefs) that have little results to back them up. We tend to lose ourselves in social proof, or the idea that if enough people believe it, it must be true. It's time to wake up! I wanted to share some of my personal results in the area of health and fitness that were once dictated by broken and/or misaligned beliefs. This will be a series and I wanted to start with food as there seems to be a ton of confusion out there.

The Belief(MYTH): Fat is bad, particularly if it's from an animal source (aka. saturated).

The Truth:  Studies done associating fat and heart disease have been done on PROCESSED saturated fats... aka trans fat and hydrogenated oils or on animals raised on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO's). What that means is
that the source of the fat was never taken into account during any of the studies done. Of course hydrogenated fats are going to produce poor health results. Studies show hydrogenated fats increase tissue inflammation throughout the body and specifically the arteries while increasing total cholesterol to combat it. We've known this for years. I would avoid them at all costs.

Of course animals raised on grains, cardboard and sewer sludge are going to produce negative test results and show association to heart disease. That only makes sense. I would avoid them as much as possible.

We have eaten fat, forever. Why is it that in the last 40 years it's bad for us to consume? The funny thing is that research actually points to the fast development of the human brain being made possible because of the access to greater amounts of fatty acids in our diet. Fat is in every cell of the human body. Wouldn't that make it important? 

-Saturated fatty acids make up at least 50% of the cell membrane which gives them integrity and suppleness.

-They protect the liver from alcohol and other toxins. (which is why you have most likely heard that toxins are stored in the fat of animals)

-They enhance the immune system.

-They have antimicrobial effects in the digestive tract.

-They are needed for the production of certain hormones. 

And these are just a few of the many wonderful things that are associated with fats. The key is to consume quality sources raised on traditional diets. Here are some examples of common traditional foods;

-Cows eat grass, not grain. Cows that eat grass have a better, more natural fat ratio. How would you look and feel if you ate grains ALL day?
-Chickens eat bugs and insects, not grain. Chickens that eat insects have a better, more natural fat ratio. How would you look and feel if you ate grains ALL day? That 'vegetarian fed' chicken or eggs are no better than a commercially raised chicken, just marketing hype.
-Pigs eat plants, bugs, grass, flowers, whey or anything they can :) Pigs that are raised on pasture have a better, more natural fat ratio. How would you look and feel if you ate grains ALL day?
Shall I go on? I think you get the point. Chose quality over quantity every time. Don't eat foods raised on feedlots that are feed grain, cardboard or sewer sludge.

For me personally, after years of buying into the no fat hype, I realized I do much better on higher amounts of quality fats. I've had improvements in energy, digestion, skin and overall health. Current fats/foods that I consume and or cook with regularly;
organic coconut oil
organic soaked nuts/seeds
organic nut butters
pastured chicken (dark meat + skin)
pastured chicken fat
organic olive oil
organic sesame oil
organic flax oil
grass fed raw butter
grass fed raw cream

I recommend you test for yourself. We all need different things in different amounts, but we all need quality food raised in a traditional manner. Start where you can and learn and work within your limits. It doesn't have to be perfect overnight, just better.

If you don't have access to these foods and are looking for local sources contact me @

Eat up!

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