The three foundations of nutrition that I stress with all of my clients included water, salt and fat. Both the quality and quantity of water salt and fat will drastically impact your nutritional foundation. Today we will talk about fat, as I am participating in a low carb day with my faster way community.
Fat is an ESSENTIAL macronutrient, along with carbohydrates and protein that can be used as a source of energy. Our bodies prefer to use sugar or carbs to make energy but fat should be easily mobilized to covert into fuel. That being said, many of us struggle with fat loss resistance – that is in part a result of damaged receptors (more on this in a bit.)
Fat is used in the body to make hormones like estrogen and cortisol. Cholesterol is the precursor of theses hormones so inadequate intake of fat can lead to a overall deficiency of hormone production affecting both your stress management abilities and reproductive health.
Also, each and every single cell uses fat to build its membrane called the phospholipid bilayer. This membrane has pumps and receptors that help us to absorb and respond to both water soluble and fat soluble nutrients.
It is essential to eat high quality unprocessed and raw fats from plants (seeds and nuts, avocado, coconut oil) and from animal sources (grass fed beef, pastured eggs, wild fish, etc). Imagine your cell membrane being made up of “bad fats” from highly heated, fried oils and processed vegetable oils like corn, soy and canola. When oil is highly processed or highly heated, they become oxidized. Think about a donut or char-lines on your meat, the crust on your bread the best part of the brownie – the 4 corners – and imagine this reaction happening to your cells.
Oxidation is the reaction that occurs when metals rust or tarnish. Imagine your cell walls tarnishing or rusting — these are essentially what happens as we age – as the definition of aging is oxidation… this is where life factors can contribute to cause cell damage which can result in wrinkles and brown spots on our skin… and is happening in other cells in your body. No one wants to age prematurely though! Even if you eat good fats, if you cook them past their smoke points, you will still deal with the negative effects of oxidation and free radical damage.
Even if you eat good fats, if you cook them past their smoke points, you will still deal with the negative effects of oxidation and free radical damage.
So, when you cook your food, try to use water so that it protects the oils and add raw fats at the end of your cooking. Eat enough good fats (about 2 thumb-sized amounts) per meal. If you are deficient, you may need a quality DHA or EPA/DHA product to get you out of deficiency!