Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Choose Fat Wisely

Do you believe reports you hear that tell you to eat the right types of fat? There are definitely good and bad fats, but it may not be in line with what you have been traditionally used to hearing from the health community and your doctor. Here's why:
  • For decades, meat has received a bad reputation as being the culprit of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and other problems. The real problem is how the meat is raised -in factory farm environments with no room to roam nor grass to eat, fed corn, soy, and grains, and administered antibiotics to combat illnesses brought on by the very things animals are eating. Grass-fed and sustainable-raised meats and poultry are healthy and contribute to health in a positive way.
  • Many low-fat and non-fat foods have a negative effect on health. This is because many of these foods are not real, whole foods. Simply put, a real, whole food has not been altered by the food manufacturer in some way from its original state and can deliver maximum nutritional value to the body. Low-fat and non-fat dairy products are a good example of this because their enzymes and proteins have been altered to include less of what you need to utilize nutrients in your body for proper digestion and health. As an example, many lactose intolerant individuals can eat whole, raw dairy from a clean source, while pasteurized, homogenized, and reduced fat varieties cause allergies and illness.
  • Cholesterol has also received a bad name, and the reality is, the human body needs healthy cholesterol from healthy fat found in meat, dairy, and eggs. If the body doesn't have healthy cholesterol on a regular basis, it cannot defend itself against weight gain, heart disease, cancer, and many other conditions. Up until the 1920s, heart disease in the United States was almost non-existent. It was about that time that people's eating habits changed dramatically to include less good fats and more hydrogenated, altered fats.
To keep your health in good condition, it is essential to eat a moderate amount of healthy fats and cholesterol. The following is recommended:
  • Look for raw dairy from reputable sources, grass-fed, sustainable meats and poultry, and eggs from pasture-raised chickens, geese, turkeys, and ducks. Check in your local area.
  • Look for locally-produced grass-fed meats and poultry.
  • Buy local eggs from organic, pasture-raised hens
  • Obtain regular, moderate exercise.
  • Get enough fiber in your diet from whole foods. If you need more fiber, take a supplement as recommended by a knowledgeable health care practitioner. Good, natural brands are best. Avoid mainstream brands such as Metamucil and other which contain chemicals and binders that will harm your digestive tract.
  • Obtain a regular dose of Omega 3 essential fatty acids from a good fish oil source.
  • Maintain a low glycemic diet - this is not the same as a low-carb diet. If in doubt, remember that whole and raw foods are the rule of thumb for health. If it's not, it's probably not low-glycemic.
  • Eat less refined sugars, grains, and products that are not whole foods or are altered in some way. This includes most breads, crackers, bagels, pasta, cookies, "food" bars, and refined sugar products.
  • Eat more fresh, organic vegetables and fruits.
  • Find out about performing detoxification cleanses appropriate for your body and health state. Consult with a knowledgeable health care practitioner about this process, as you can do your body more harm than good and waste money trying to determine what you need on your own.
  • Take a good quality probiotic to help boost your immune system and digestion function.
For more information about the dangers of low-fat and controlled diets, visit The Weston A. Price Foundation.

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