You Are a Fathead

Yes, you are, and no, I am not insulting you.

Your brain is comprised of approximately 60% lipids (aka fat), and our cell membranes are fat based as well. According to Dr. Ryan Andrews the fat we eat literally becomes part of our cells, and has a huge impact on if our nervous system communicates properly. I was amazed to learn that a properly balanced fat intake can affect how my entire body functions, from our brain power all the way through. You really are what you eat!

What are healthy fats so important?

  • Fats exert powerful effects within the body and healthy fats have been shown to offer the following benefits
  • Cardiovascular protection (though there is less evidence for protecting against heart failure)
  • Improve body composition
  • Alleviate depression
  • Prevent cancers
  • Preserve memory
  • Preserve eye health
  • Reduce incidence of aggressive behavior
  • Reduce ADHD and ADD symptoms

When it comes to healthy fat, intake amount is important. People are often concerned about eating too much fat, but not getting enough fat may also be the underlying cause of health problems.

We need adequate fat to support metabolism, cell signaling, healthy body tissues, immunity, hormone production, and the absorption of many nutrients (such as vitamins A and D). Having enough fat will also help keep you feeling full between meals. So what the good doctor is saying is that we need healthy fats – to be healthy!

You can read more about Super Omega-3 in this article: 5 Fast Facts for Fish Oil.

You have been lied to.

Low fat diets stink. You aren’t getting the health benefits outlined above, but that is not all. Healthy fats cause satiety, or the feeling of being full longer, more than protein and certainly more than carbohydrates. You know it’s true. You can blast through 2 or 3 donuts and be hungry an hour later. Try eating a couple eggs and an avocado and see what happens – I can guarantee you will be fuller longer. Part of the reason is that it takes fat a lot longer to digest than carbohydrate, so it doesn’t empty from your stomach and travel through the digestive system as fast.

But won't all that fat go right to my waistline?

Au’ contraire, mon ami!

Eating fat does not “make you fat”. Eating excess of anything will cause it to be stored as excess energy (fat). And an argument can (and is) being made because it is easier to overeat carbohydrate than it is fat or protein, increasing your fat intake is a good nutrition strategy when looking for overall calorie reduction. It helps keep you full longer and also avoid the huge blood sugar crashes that can accompany carbohydrate intake, particularly from simple carbs.

Here’s a partial list of healthy fats that you should add to your eating plan:

  • Avocado
  • Fatty fish (salmon, sardines, herring, tuna, mackerel)
  • Macadamia
  • Nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Flax seed oil
  • Fish oil
  • Omega-3 eggs

Healthy fats. Every day. No excuses.

To your best health,
Coach Nancy

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