Can we talk about fats for a moment? With all the news about obesity
these days, fats have gotten a bad reputation. Here are some facts to
consider: Nearly every cell needs fat to help constitute the cell membrane (the external barrier that helps keep what needs to stay inside the cell and prevent things from getting inside that don’t belong.) Brain cells need fat as well. So do many hormones
(particularly the sex hormones, known collectively as the sterols, from
which cholesterol is used). Lipids are fats that are liquid at room
temperature. Some fats are essential in that your body cannot make them (it can make cholesterol and sunlight on exposed skin helps this process). The two essential lipids are Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s. Processed foods are very high in Omega 6’s (sunflower, safflower, canola oils). The American Diet is typically low in Omega 3’s (which is why you hear so much about this these days). Good sources of Omega 3’s are cold water fish, such as salmon, and flax seed oil. Oil’s can go rancid when exposed to light and heat (which is why it’s a good reason to store most oils in the fridge). Rancid oils can act like free radicals and destroy cell membranes (very bad for the health of the cell).
Stress Tip for the Day:
March is celebrated as Nutrition Month, so let’s go out in style. Consider incorporating healthy oils (lipids) into your diet on a regular basis. It’s also a good idea to avoid transfats (hydrogenated oils). They may be good to promote long shelf life for boxed food in the grocery store, but even bacteria won’t go near transfats—and neither should we. Transfats act like free radicals, and speculation suggests an association between transfats and cancer and heart disease. When purchasing oils for cooking, find oils that can withstand high heat (it should indicate this on the back label). And remember, eggs are good for your sex life.
Links/Books/ Movies Worth Noting:
For further reading, here are some good links to check out:
Quote for the Day:
“Cholesterol is only one of the important lipids in the body and is not the only factor associated with heart disease. There are two other important lipids in the body: triglycerides, which provide energy to cells, and phospholipids, which are used in the structure of cell walls and in the insulating sheath that surrounds nerve fibers. All these lipids are made up of basic building blocks called fatty acids.” – Ronald L. Hoffman, M.D.
Photo for the Day:
Oh yeah…There is one more purpose of fat in the body. It serves as a protection to various organs, like the heart. And of course, keeps us warm when cold. These La Jolla Seals would know about cold. Enjoy!
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.