The Fat Lesson
Don’t be afraid of fat, fat is not fattening within itself.
Topic 1: Types Of Fat And Fat Balance
The three main classifications of fats are:
- Saturated fats
- Monounsaturated fats
- Polyunsaturated fats
Saturated fats are mainly found in animal products, palm oil and coconut. While a lot of the bad press it gets is undeserved it should be balanced with other more beneficial fats.
Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil and avocado. These have many health benefits including improving cholesterol profile by raising your high density (good) cholesterol.
Polyunsaturated fats which include omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, these fatty acids can’t be made by the body so must be eaten.
For the best results in health and fitness these fats should be balanced on a ratio of 1:1:1 Fat balance is important for:
- Hormonal regulation, including female menstruation and male testosterone production
- A healthy immune system
- Correct inflammatory response to injury or illness
The easiest way to balance out the three fats is to add fat to your diet.
You will be getting saturated fats from your protein selections.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats should come from these sources:
- Avocado (whole or oil)
- Algae oil
(whole or oil)
(ground, sprouted or oil)
(seeds or oil)
(whole or oil)
Topic 2: Omega Fats
Total fat balance plays a part in health. So does the balance of omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids.
The majority of polyunsaturated fats come from omega 6 category, so it’s important to include omega 3 rich foods and supplements such as:
- Fish oil
- Flax seeds
- Flax oil
- Hemp seeds
- Chia seeds
- Algae oil
By adding these omega 3 rich foods daily, the omega 3 – 6 ratio will improve, resulting in a better inflammation profile.
Topic 3: Fish Oil
Although the beneficial omega 3 fats (DHA & EPA) are found in fish, commercial fish may be contaminated with environmental toxins in varying amounts. It is therefore best to keep fish intake to a minimum while supplementing with an EPA and DHA fish oil.
For general health, it is generally recommended to have 3 g per day of fish oil. However, levels as high as 1g per kg body weight have been shown to be extremely beneficial for weight loss, due to the way the cells use this kind of fat. If you don’t want to use fish oil, algae oil will also work well.
Fish oil has been shown to:
- Decrease risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers
- Increase metabolic rate
- Help reduce fat mass and increase lean mass
- Reduce inflammation in the body
- Reduce pain from inflammatory disorders such as arthritis, chronic fatigue, etc.
Improve mood while reducing symptoms of depression