Choose foods with healthy fats, limit foods high in saturated fat and avoid foods with trans fat.
'Good' fats - monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats - lower disease risk.
'Bad' fats - saturated and, especially trans fats - increase disease risk.
Eating foods that contain a variety of fats is a great way to have delicious meals, support health and achieve optimal body composition. But over the last number of years fat has gotten a bad reputation with a number of low fat guidelines published and evil rumours about what saturated fat will do to you. This article hopes to educate and enlighten you on fat.
Fats you need to avoid are trans fats, these are man-made fats that have been chemically altered. They include hydrogenated oils and eating them has been linked to a number of diseases including: heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer and neurological problems.
Common trans fats hidden under different names include: hydrogenated rapeseed, soybean or cottonseed oil. They are found on the labels of many cereals, crackers and processed baked goods like cookies. These trans fats are harmful to the body producing oxidative stress and causing inflammation.
EPA and DHA
Studies carried out on Greenland's Inuit population showed that despite having a diet lacking in fruit and vegetables, the population has historically healthy hearts. Evidence suggests this may be due the huge amount of health benefits associated with the omega-3 fatty acids naturally present in fish oils - eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Benefits of EPA and DHA include: supporting a healthy heart, improved brain function, increased joint care, boosted immunity and healthy eyesight.
With regards to exercise, EPA and DHA display anabolic (muscle building) properties by encouraging protein synthesis. Through their role in supporting a healthy inflammation response and fending of insulin resistance, higher levels of EPA and DHA have been linked to less body fat accumulation.
What to eat?
Fish species with the most EPA and DHA include: herring, trout, arctic char, anchovies, salmon, mackeral and sardines. These fatty acids are also found in grass fed meats, organic milk, omega-3 enhanced eggs and certain fortified foods.
Some plant foods include: walnuts, flax, hemp, canola oil and chia all contain omega-3 fat in the form of alpha-linolic acid (ALA), which the body can convert to EPA and DHA.
We recommend: Hemp Alka-Protein and High Strength OMEGA Blend.
Conjugated Linolic Acid (CLA)
Emerging evidence suggests that Conjugated Linolic Acid (CLA), an important omega-6 fatty acid, is helping us fight fat stores! CLA appears to target fat by reducing the synthesis of fat cells, altering genes involved in fat accumulation and supporting insulin senstivity.
CLA can also increase the rate at which you burn fat during exercise, which can be beneficial to improving body composition.
There is much confusion with omega-6 fats because the Western diet is dangerously high in isolated, processed omega-6 fats in the form of vegetable oil. Those are the fats you want to avoid, but avocado, tree nuts and unrefined virgin olive oil are unprocessed and can improve body composition, while also counteracting inflammation.
What to eat?
The primary sources of CLA are meat and dairy.
We recommed the Supergreen Wheatgrass Shake
Medium Chain Triglycerides
"Eat fat to Burn Fat"
Increasing evidence suggests that medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) can enhance the body's fat burning potential and lead to improvements in body composition (ratio to fat to lean body mass).
This is due to the unusal chemical structure of MCTs allowing them be absorbed from the digestive tract intact where they can be used for energy production in the liver - therefore it will be less likely they will be stored as fat compared to other dietary fats.
Therefore, MCTs are minimally stored as adipose - body fat - and they contribute to elevated fat burning metabolism.
What to eat?
Foods high in MCTs include: butter, coconut butter and red palm oil. Try to use coconut oil for cooking in place of other oils.
Coconut and red palm oil are saturated fats high in MCTs that can eradicate inflammation in the body, boost metabolism and stimlate the thyroid.
We recommend natural coconut butter.