Julian Bakery: Cutting The (Unhealthy) Fat From Nutrition

The past couple posts have helped you learn how to get your body into fat burning mode using metabolic pathways.  I want to stay on the topic of fat to give you the inspiration you need to continue leading a healthy lifestyle.

Before you completely cut all fats from your diet, let me explain the different classifications.  Fats are classified by saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and trans fat.  As you will see, not all fats are unhealthy for you.  In fact, your body needs fat to aid in producing hormones, increase cell health, transport vitamins, and regulate body temperature.  Keeping away from the biochemistry of fats, you should know that fat is directly correlated to cholesterol levels.  Furthermore, there are two types of cholesterol: the good cholesterol, HDL (high-density lipoprotein), and the bad cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein).

Saturated fats, found in red meats, contribute to raising your LDL and lowering your HDL.  Saturated fats are also known to cause insulin resistance (Refer to our Hormone post), increasing unwanted fat storage.  Polyunsaturated fats are the healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fats found in fish, legumes, seeds, and leafy greens.  This set of healthy fats increase HDL, and decrease LDL.  Polyunsaturated fats are well known for decreasing the risk of heart attacks as well as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Monounsaturated fats are found in avocados, legumes, peanut butter, and oils such as olive, peanut, canola, and sunflower.  Almost as healthy as polyunsaturated fats, these fats are also known to increase HDL, and may slightly decrease LDL. Trans fat is the absolute worst of the fats.  This super unhealthy fat increases LDL and decreases HDL. Trans fat is a manufactured fat, initially created in an attempt to replace saturated fats.  The human body doesn’t digest it properly, leaving it to clog your arteries and cause coronary heart disease.  The food industry has been attempting to eliminate this harmful fat, but checking labels and avoiding it is a must.

An individual’s genetics, nutrient intake, and activity levels determine how their body metabolizes fat and where it is stored on the body.  The average adult with an average body composition carries about 30 billion fat cells.  This storage process is an automatic survival tactic that our bodies use in case of a starvation period.  Although starvation is not much of an issue in our society today, we are stuck fighting against the fat stores that our ancestors left us.  Not only are these ancestral fat stores easily synthesized from excess nutrients, but it is tough to reverse the cycle to burn fat stores off. (See our ‘A Look Into Fat’ series to learn how to manipulate your hormones into burning fat.)

This is a typical weight gain graph showing the weight losing-then-gaining trend known as the “rebound effect” or “yo-yo dieting”

As you can see, losing weight is almost always followed by an increase in weight to more than the initial weight.  This commonly seen rebound effect happens when someone temporarily cuts calories through dieting.  Not realizing the goal is to simply lose weight, the body automatically responds as if it is in starvation mode.  Once the dieting change comes to an end, the body overcompensates to ensure the body has enough stored nutrients in case of another starvation period, causing more weight gain than before the diet.  The only way to fight this effect is to make a lifestyle change or permanent change.  Cutting out obvious junk foods from your diet and keeping a regular exercise routine are the first steps to leading a healthy lifestyle.

Knowing how these fat-burning pathways work allows us to fight fats on multiple fronts.  It is important to educate yourself on these processes and dieting methods before adjusting your diet or taking on an exercise plan.  Without this knowledge you could be simply wasting time and money.  Stay updated on the Julian Bakery Blog postings, and keep shopping at www.julianbakery.com to help you fight against estrogen and fat.






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