How Fats Can Help You Burn Fat and Thwart Disease!
Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN
excerpt from Yuri Elkaim's new book "Eating for Energy"...
Many people fear fats. I don’t why? I believe that most people don’t understand fats. Most people think that if they eat fats they too will become fat. This is true to a certain extent. This belief will hold true if you consume high amounts of animal, rancid, or trans-fats! Without a doubt these fats will destroy your body and your health and, as such, have no place in your diet. These fats are not metabolically active and are thus easily stored as fat in the body. Trans-fats are especially detrimental to your health. Trans-fats are fats that have been molecularly altered, usually by adding a hydrogen ion through hydrogenation. It is important to remember that these fats are not naturally occurring in nature and thus your body doesn’t know how to process them. Trans-fats increase blood cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and have been linked with greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other degenerative diseases! Fats are always incorporated into the cell membrane; when trans-fatty acids are assimilated in the cell membrane the cell begins to lose control over which substances enter the cell. Salt, carcinogens, damaging free radicals, and chemicals begin to accumulate inside the cell. The cell then becomes more susceptible to ultra-violet radiation and cancer.
Raw Plant Fats and Weight Loss
What makes raw plant fats so powerful is that they assist in their own digestion and breakdown! That’s right! Because raw plant fats have not been processed or heated they still contain their fat digesting enzyme, lipase, which helps digest these fats in the body. Therefore, even if your diet has a higher amount of raw plant fats, you are less likely to gain excess fat compared to consuming a similar or even less amount of cooked animal fat. In fact, you will even lose body fat if you are following an adjunct exercise program. Furthermore, plant fats contain no cholesterol. Cholesterol is a compound found only in animals as it is produced in the liver.
Raw Plant Fats and Longevity
All fats and oils are composed of fat molecules called fatty acids. There are two methods of classifying fatty acids. The one you are most familiar is based on saturation. There are saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The second method of classification is based on molecular size or length of the carbon chain in the fatty acid. There are short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), medium-chain fatty acids(MCFA), and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). All raw plant fats have LCFAs which help protect cell membranes from oxidation and free radical damage. Free radicals are defined as electron-deficient molecules. Raw plant fats (which have large amounts of spare electrons) help de-activate free radicals by giving them electrons! Essential fatty acids (omega-3 and 6) have a particular abundance of electrons and thus help in promoting optimal health and longevity.
Another term you will often see in reference to fatty acids is triglyceride. Three fatty acids joined together make a triglyceride, so you may have short-chain triglycerides (SCT), medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), or long-chain triglycerides (LCT).
Coconut Oil – the Undisputed Saturated Fat Champion of the World
MCT are easily digested, absorbed, and put to use nourishing the body. Unlike other fats, they put little strain on the digestive system and provide a quick source of energy necessary to promote healing. The digestive health advantages of MCT over LCT are due to the differences in the way your body metabolize these fats. Because the MCT molecules are smaller, they require less energy and fewer enzymes to break them down for digestion. They are digested and absorbed quickly and with minimal effort and are not stored as fat. MCT are broken down almost immediately by enzymes in the saliva and gastric juices so that pancreatic fat-digesting enzymes are not even essential. Therefore, there is less strain on the pancreas and digestive system. In the digestive system MCT are broken down into individual medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). Unlike other fatty acids, MCFA are absorbed directly from the intestines and sent straight to the liver where they are, for the most part, burned as fuel much like a carbohydrate. In this respect they act more like carbohydrates than like fats and thus provide a great source of energy for physical endeavours.
Eating foods containing MCT (ie. coconut oil) is like putting high octane fuel into your car. The car runs smoother and gets better gas mileage. Likewise, with MCT, your body performs better because it has more energy and greater endurance. Because MCFA are funneled directly to the liver and converted into energy, your body gets a boost of energy. And because MCFA are easily absorbed by the energy-producing organelles of the cells, metabolism increases. This burst of energy has a stimulating effect on the entire body.
Several health problems such as obesity, heart disease, and osteoporosis are more prevalent in those people who have slow metabolism. Any health condition is made worse if the metabolic rate is slower than normal, because cells can't heal and repair themselves as quickly. Increasing metabolic rate, therefore, provides an increased degree of protection from both degenerative and infectious illnesses. The MCT in coconut oil are highly metabolic and thermogenic, meaning that they rev up your body’s metabolism.
Copyright 2007 Yuri Elkaim
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