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Fats Can Be Healthy Too! Consume Your Healthy Fat From These Natural Food!

Fats Can Be Healthy Too! Consume Your Healthy Fat From These Natural Food!

Among the plethora of misinformation circulating about nutrition, one detrimental falsehood is receiving the rectification that it deserves. I’m talking about healthy fats, and yes, there is such a thing. The word “fat” itself is incredibly daunting, and we have been conditioned to believe that all fat is bad fat. Fats are actually a vital part of our everyday diet, and when consumed in moderation, they are extremely beneficial to our body’s daily function.

Trans Fats have given all fats a bad rep, and we’ve been losing out on the benefits of good fats because of it.

Preceding the end of World War II , a correlation had been linked between the consumption of high cholesterol foods such as eggs and red meat leading to ailments such as coronary heart disease. In lieu of this, The American Diet Association recommended that people reduced their intake of fats, and increased their intake of carbohydrates. This “adjustment” led to a whole new selection of issues, such as anal leakage, and an increase of refined carbohydrates and sugars. In turn, the rates of obesity and diabetes are at an all time high- and it is mostly due to the consumption of refined carbohydrates that were meant to replace the detrimental fats. A study published by The New England Journal of Medicine diffused the argument that the depletion of fats was beneficial in terms of increased lifespan or prevention of disease.

When you compare our eating habits to those of the Mediterranean diet, the difference is uncanny. Food items containing healthy fats have always been prevalent in this region; with items like olives and their coveted oil as a staple in the dining room. The proof is in the people, who boast low cholesterol levels, low rates of heart disease, beautiful skin, and lean bodies.

Healthy fats have a polar opposite effect on the body than bad fats do.

Yes, it’s true. Some fats can be good for you and are a necessity for a balanced diet. But how do you differentiate them from the rest? It’s all in the name. Anything containing Trans fats are a big no-no, and will wreak havoc on your body (and your mid-section). Instead you want to consume Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats as well as Omega 3s.

Nothing that is unnatural can really be good for you. Trans fats are a perfect example of this They are actually a byproduct of a process called hydrogenation, where liquid vegetable oils are heated with a heavy metal additive such as palladium, changing the chemical composition and making the oil solid. This process also strips the oil of any nutritional value. Consuming trans fats can cause inflammation, which can later lead to heart disease stroke and diabetes. The introduction of trans fats into the blood stream raises the presence of harmful LDL cholesterol, and lowers the beneficial HDL cholesterol. The ADA has recommended that your caloric intake from trans fat should be less then 2% which can still be harmful to the body, mostly the arteries.

Saturated fats can be distinguished by their form at room temperature. Coconut oil, one of the most renowned oil based products on the market is solid at room temperature. This is true of all saturated fats. The term saturated comes from the chemical composition of the oils. The organic matter starts with one carbon atom, which is surrounded by hydrogen atoms. If the carbon chain is abundant with hydrogen atoms, then it is saturated. The ADA recommends that you keep your daily intake of calories from saturated fats below 10%.

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Monounsaturated fats– now we’re getting to the good stuff. These stay liquid at room temperature. Items such as olive oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, most nut oils, safflower and sunflower oil. These fats have a single carbon to carbon bond, which is how they stay liquid at room temperature. There is no recommended daily intake other than to consume as much healthy fat as possible.

Polyunsaturated fats are considered essential to the diet. That means your body needs it to function, but does not produce it on its own. Therefore you need to consume lots of it to ensure that your body runs like the perfect machine it was intended to be. These are incredible beneficial because they help to build cell membranes and the coverings for nerves. They are also vital for muscle movement, blood clotting, and inflammation. The name Poly is derived from the Latin term meaning multiple, as in there are multiple double bonds on its carbon chain. Most cooking oils such as safflower and sunflower oils are examples of polyunsaturated fats. There are two types of polyunsaturated fats- Omega 3 and Omega 6. Both are incredibly beneficial to the body.

We need to consume healthy fats daily to improve brain and memory function, and to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Think of Trans Fats as the evil cousin, the black sheep of the family. They clog arteries and cause inflammation. They’ve given the whole fat-family a bad rap. Most other fats, particularly Polyunsaturated fats do just the opposite for the body.

Omega 3’s and 6 are super helpful for body function, by helping to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by lowering your blood pressure. In addition to this, it helps to higher HDL (the helpful cholesterol), and lower triglycerides. It has shown evidence of improving symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Omega 3’s and 6 have also been linked to a number of health benefits such as reducing dementia and improving memory.

Here’s how you can consume the most healthy fats.

The only way to ensure that you incorporate healthy fats into your daily routine is to eat them! Luckily there is a wide selection of delicious foods that are high in healthy fats, and packed with additional benefits and nutritional value.

Avocados

    half an avocado can keep you full for long already!

    Packed to the brim with monounsaturated fats, this super food has much more to offer the body. They are also abundant with vitamin E which protects your skin from free radicals, increases immunity, and acts as an anti-aging savior for your skin. It’s super high in protein, as well as folates. This is the go-to snack for pregnant women and just about anyone who is looking for a delicious way to improve their health!

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    Ghee

      It’s good for your heart!

      High in Omega 3 and Omega 6, this product provides the body with essential fatty acids that it cannot produce on its own. Daily consumption of ghee can help to improve brain function, as well as the condition of the skin. Ghee (and butter) are high in water soluble vitamins and minerals such as selenium, which is a powerful antioxidant.

      Coconut Oil

        You can use coconut oil for many things!

        I put that ish on everything! My hair, my skin, my food. Try and find something coconut oil ISN’T good for, I’ll wait. This stuff is super easy for your body to digest, so you’ll start to feel the benefits rather quickly. The fatty acids in coconut oil help to promote memory and brain function, as well as reduce inflammation and harmful cholesterol.

        Extra Virgin Olive Oil

          There are many kinds of oilve oil and you need to make sure yours is extra virgin!

          Like it’s other oily counterparts, EEVO is extremely helpful for memory and brain function, anti-inflammatory, and helps to protect your skin from damage. No wonder the Italians have such great skin!

          Fatty Fish

            Fatty fish like salmon contains Omega3-acid which is very good for our skin.

            Very high in Omega 3s. Salmon, Albacore Tuna, Sardines, Lake Trout and Mackerel are very incredibly abundant in this respect.

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            Walnuts

              The old chinese saying said walnut is good for our brain because of the similar shape they both shared. It’s still a myth tho!

              One of the only nuts containing Polyunsaturated fats.

              Flax Seeds

                it is gluten free and very good for weight loss

                Very high in Omega 3 and 6, also a very good source of fiber.

                Eggs

                  Don’t over-eat and you need to be aware of your cholesterol level.

                  Some farmers provide their chickens with feed that is very high in Omega 3s, resulting in eggs with a very high concentration of Omega 3s as well.

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                  Dark Chocolate

                    Even though it delivers more health benefits than other chocolate, over eating it is not good for you too as it’s high in sugar n calories

                    High in unsaturated fats, and abundant with anti-oxidants as well as digestion slowing elements such as stearic acid. It helps to stagger hunger, and fights off free radicals which in turn improve brain function. Chocolate lovers rejoice!

                    Spirulina

                      It’s very good for your digestion too!

                      One of the ultimate super foods. Very high in Omega 3s, this magical substance is also high in protein, and probiotics. Fitness gurus swear by it in the aiding of weight loss.

                      Featured photo credit: Harvard Health via google.com

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                      Jenn Beach

                      Traveling vagabond, writer, & plant-based food enthusiast.

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                      Last Updated on March 30, 2020

                      Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                      Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                      Feeling tired all the time?

                      Have you ever caught yourself nodding off when you’re watching TV, listening to someone drone on during a meeting or even driving a car?

                      I know I have, especially when I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive.

                      Feeling tired all the time may be more widespread than you think. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

                      If you’re tired of feeling tired, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

                      In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re feeling tired all the time and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

                      What Happens When You’re Too Tired

                      If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

                      Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

                      • You may have trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired within your brain.
                      • You may experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not because your brain’s neurotransmitters are misfiring.
                      • You may get dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
                      • You may find it more difficult to exercise or to perform any type of athletic activity.
                      • Your immune system may weaken causing you to pick up infections more easily.
                      • You may overeat because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids even when you’re not hungry.
                      • Your metabolism slows down so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

                      Are you saying that feeling tired can make me overweight?

                      Unfortunately, yes!

                      Feeling tired all the time can cause you to put on the pounds especially around your waist. But it is a classic chicken and egg situation, too.

                      Heavier people are more likely to feel fatigued during the day than lighter ones. And that’s even true for overweight people who don’t have sleep apnea (source: National Institutes of Health).

                      Speaking of sleep apnea, you may be wondering if that or something else is causing you to feel tired all the time.

                      Why Are you Feeling Tired All the Time?

                      Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

                      Here’s a quick overview of each root cause of feeling tired all of the time:

                      1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep restorative sleep.
                      2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness which could be triggered by numerous issues such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
                      3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

                      The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance or emotional trauma.

                      It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

                      Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

                      Feeling Tired vs Being Fatigued

                      If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

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                      Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

                      Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep.

                      But fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive (source: Science Direct).

                      Symptoms of fatigue include:

                      • Difficulty concentrating
                      • Low stamina
                      • Difficulty sleeping
                      • Anxiety
                      • Low motivation

                      These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness but they usually last longer and are more intense.

                      Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. But there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

                      How Much Sleep Is Enough?

                      The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

                      Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

                      So, quantity and quality do matter when it comes to sleep.

                      The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

                      Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

                      Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[5] So, you should definitely plan on getting seven hours of deep restorative sleep every night.

                      If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is most likely reason you feel tired all the time.

                      And that is good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

                      It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

                      4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

                      Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

                      1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
                      2. Exercising regularly
                      3. Using stressbusters
                      4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

                      So, I know it is possible to change your lifestyle even when you’re working crazy hours and have lots of family responsibilities.

                      After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

                      In addition, I lost two inches off my waist and looked and felt better than ever.

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                      I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

                      Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

                      • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy including getting enough sleep.
                      • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day ideally for six days a week.
                      • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
                      • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

                      The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight and to achieve overall wellness.[6]

                      And yes, there does seem to be an important correlation between being lean and feeling rested.

                      But overall based on my personal experience and Dr. Sear’s scientific proof, the key to not feeling tired all of the time does seem to be 4 simple changes to your lifestyle.

                      L — Living Healthy

                      Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested and better overall.

                      So, whether you’re sleep deprived or potentially suffering from fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you probably want to find a way to sleep better.

                      In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger.

                      As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

                      Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

                      1. Unplug

                      Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. But tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime.

                      So turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

                      2. Unwind

                      Do something to relax.

                      Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or taking an Epsom salt bath.

                      3. Get Comfortable

                      Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

                      Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep.

                      Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

                      Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed.

                      If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[7]

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                      Above all, be gentle with yourself and count your blessings, some sheep or whatever helps.

                      This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

                      E — Exercise

                      Many people know that exercise is good for them, but just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

                      That’s what happened in my case.

                      But when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my lifestyle.

                      As part of my lifestyle upgrade, I knew I needed to move more.

                      My friends who exercise all gave me the same advice: find an exercise you like to do and find a specific time in your schedule when you can consistently do it.

                      That made sense to me.

                      So, I decided to swim.

                      I used to love to swim when I was young, but I hadn’t done it for years. The best time for me to do it was immediately after work, since I could easily get an open swim lane at my local fitness club then.

                      Also, swimming became a nice reason for me to leave work on time. And I got to enjoy a nice workout before eating dinner.

                      Swimming is a good way to get your cardio or endurance training. But, walking, running and dancing are nice alternatives.

                      So find an exercise you love and stick to it. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training and flexibility training in during your daily 20-minute workout.

                      If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try because you will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

                      A — Attitude

                      Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

                      When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted. But there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued.

                      Do you want to know what that master stress-busting technique was?

                      Breathing.

                      But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

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                      Here’s how you do “Long-Exhale Breathing”:

                      1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy (so you know you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm and not shallowly from your chest)
                      2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air)
                      3. Hold your breath while you count to 7 mentally and enjoy the stillness
                      4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it)
                      5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep, long exhale breath
                      6. Repeat 3 times ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system

                      This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

                      When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[8]

                      Plus, this is a great technique for helping you get to sleep, too.

                      N — Nutrition

                      Diet is vital for beating fatigue – after all, food is your main source of energy.

                      If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels.

                      Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated, time-consuming though.

                      For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

                      Unless your current diet is solely made up of fast food and ready meals, adjusting to a fatigue-fighting diet shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the system.

                      Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

                      1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
                      2. Add a healthy fat or protein to your any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed. Please note that carb-only snacks lead to blood-sugar crashes that can make you eat more and they can keep you from sleeping.
                      3. Fill up with fiber especially green leafy vegetables. Strive to get at least 25g per day with at least 5 servings (a serving is the size of your fist) of green vegetables.
                      4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice and corn.
                      5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
                      6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives such as So Delicious Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream.
                      7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive and nut oils.
                      8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts such as Kite Hill Plain Yoghurt with 1g sugar or Lifeway Farmer Cheese with 0g sugar.
                      9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice

                      Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

                      That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

                      Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multi-vitamin or specific supplement.

                      The Bottom Line

                      If you are tired of feeling tired, then there is tremendous hope.

                      If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices.

                      If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes including:

                      • Enough High-Quality Sleep with Bedtime Routine
                      • Regular Exercise You Love
                      • Stress Reduction with Long-Exhale Breathing
                      • Fatigue-Reducing Diet

                      Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle Is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

                      More Tips to Help You Rest Better

                      Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
                      [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
                      [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
                      [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
                      [5] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
                      [6] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
                      [7] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
                      [8] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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