Fats are, without a doubt, the most important energy source of all foods. Necessary for peak physical and mental function, fats should comprise a high percentage of our total calorie intake. Yet fats as a whole have been charged with many crimes against humanity. For decades, fats have been blamed for atherosclerosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, elevated cholesterol, cancer, increased mortality and much more.
The Fat family has been ostracised by the National Heart Foundation, nutritionists and doctors, while only certain members are criminals. Most of the clan are actually essential contributors to the wellness and longevity of the entire community. Cholesterol particularly has been maligned as public enemy number one, when in fact, Mr. Cholesterol is one of the most important citizens in the human body. Through fear and misinformation, many have avoided all fats, only to reap disastrous consequences. The Pritikin Diet, for example, produced many casualties presenting a range of physical and mental disorders.
It is true that some fats cause a lot of trouble. Trans Fat for example, has been responsible for breaking and entering arterial walls, robbing nutrients, exploding white bloods cells, deploying mercenary free radicals and promoting havoc from one organ to the other. Trans Fat hides out in margarine, processed oils, vegetable shortenings and all foods made with them.
The refined Mr. Vegetable Oil is another culprit behind cancer and heart disease. A study of Swedish women showed a marked link between refined vegetable oil intake and higher breast cancer rates. ((Wolk, A. Et al, Arch of Intermed, 158:41 (1998))) All heat pressed or rancid oils debilitate.
Unsaturated fat barricades protein in the stomach, causing impaired nutrition. He leads enzymes astray affecting digestion and thyroid function. His regular presence in the neighbourhood increases the risk of abnormal blood clotting, inflammation, immune deficiency, obesity and cancer. ((Dr. Peat, From PMS to Menopause))
Mrs Poly Unsaturated Fat can be a particularly nasty lady, being an expert in immune system sabotage. She has a corrupting influence on fast foods, fried food and most bakery products and contributes decisively to degenerative changes and aging. ((Hollingsworth. Take Control of your Health, 72))
The members of the Fat family that support the community reside in foods such as avocados, olives, nuts, coconuts and seeds. Cold pressed oils derived from these sources provide concentrations of health promoting nutrients including the essential fatty acids. Other distinguished fats are found in organic eggs, organic butter and soft cheeses. These fats are often employed as security guards to protect against neurotoxins such as heavy metals, solvents and agricultural chemicals. They nurture the whole system, supporting long-term gastrointestinal health, growth and development, cognitive function, healing, immunity, hormonal balance and skin care.
Contrary to popular belief, these illustrious fats are needed for healthy heart function, and protection against the development of cancer.
Butter, for example, has appreciable amounts of butyric acid, used by the colon as an energy source, and known to be a potent anti-carcinogen. It is also rich in lauric acid, providing protection against microbes and fungus. Butter also protects against calcification of the joints and hardening of the arteries. Butter stimulates the pancreas to produce alkalising bicarbonates and enzymes such as Trypsin, which is known to prevent cancer. Butter is an excellent source of dietary cholesterol. In 1920, the consumption of butter in the USA was eighteen pounds per person per year while heart disease was an insignificant statistic. By 1960, butter consumption had plummeted to four pounds per person per year and heart attack had become the cause of half the deaths in America. As butter was displaced by the mischievous Miss Margarine, cardiovascular disease increased proportionately. Organic butter is readily available. When Moses sang his renowned song of joy, he praised God for the great blessings of butter, sheep’s milk and the fat of lambs, rams and goats. ((Bible Deut 32:13-14))
If any member of the Fat Family especially deserves promotion, it is Mr Egg. Good old egg is rich in protein, good fat, iron, minerals and B Vitamins and is vital in the development of cognitive function in children. Jesus himself promoted the egg as a good food for children. ((Bible Luke 11:12-13)) Researchers at the University of Connecticut have shown that three eggs a day do not raise heart disease risk factors in elderly people, nor do they increase cholesterol oxidation. They promote health and extend life. ((U CONN. Journ. of Nut. Dec 2005. www.enc-online.org))
The famous Fat brothers, Omega 3 and Omega 6, are extremely beneficial to the body when they weigh in at the same weight. The ideal ratio is 1:1. Most Australians consume too little Omega 3 and too much Omega 6, often presenting a ratio of up to 1:25. The Japanese, who boast the third highest life expectancy on Earth, present a typical ratio of 1:1. Mercury free fish oils prevent heart disease, cancer, depression, inflammation and diabetes. They improve concentration and memory, and increase energy levels. Omega 3 fats are found in cold water fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, leafy green vegetables, broccoli and cabbage. Their effectiveness is supported by monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, sesame oil and macadamia nut oil.
Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil is a patriarch of the Fat family, containing 75% Oleic Acid along with 12% saturated fat. He is a proven benefactor for the people of the Mediterranean where he has slowed down the ageing process by inhibiting oxidation.
Coconut oil is surely the most robust of all the Fat clan. Renowned for therapeutic and remedial benefits, coconut oil is antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal. It is used in weight loss programs and contains 92% saturated fat and large quantities of lauric acid. Islanders whose diets were predominantly coconut-based boasted healthy, long lives until the Western diet infiltrated their countries.
Doctor Weston Price travelled the world for a decade documenting his observations of indigenous populations, while searching for the secret of health. He found that where the fat intake comprised 50% to 65% of the diet, the people had easy births, healthy teeth, excellent physical structure, general good health and longevity.
There is not one size fits all. The subject requires study, guidance and empiricism. A basic formula that works for many people is: Carbohydrates (15% to 20%), Protein (20% to 30%) and Fat (50% to 65%). The key is to minimise the insulin response in each meal. This is achieved by increasing good fats at the expense of carbohydrates.
Mr. and Mrs. Fat and their little fatlets deserve respect. Eat, the good old fats of our ancestors, and your health will prosper. Deport the contemporary fats such as Trans, Refined and Poly from your home and avoid them at all costs.
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