It's all in the fat!
Dietary fat that is. Have you ever paid attention to the typical American diet?
Breakfast : bowl of cereal with whole milk (whole milk is a plus) or maybe eggs and bacon or sausage ( even better). But the toast is "buttered" and the eggs are cooked with soy based vegetable oil spreads -a whole different topic all together.
Lunch is heavily carb balanced : sandwich, chicken (without the skin) and fries. Don't forget the cookie or chips. Yikes!
Dinner : Seems healthy : chicken breast or fish grilled with vegetables and another starch. But if the chicken breast isn't topped with a good oil or there is no real butter or oil such as olive drizzled on top of your vegetables, your healthy dinner just sold you short!
What I'm getting at is, where is the substantial good fat in the typical American diet?
Fat is necessary to absorb vital vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E, & K
Vitamin D deficiency is much more common than you would think.
Vitamin D as the active form D3 cholecalciferol is not only beneficial for your bones, but it works like a hormone in regards to maintaining metabolism, and helping with cognitive function - your thinking and your mood.
Remember the cod liver oil your mom use to force you to take every morning - especially for those from cold northern states? Cod liver oil taken to help your immune system is rich in Vitamins A& D.
A major source of Vitamin D is whole milk (with 8g of fat per serving). 3 cups a day is required. Now if you can keep up with this intake, you're all set. However, if you have an allergy or intolerance to milk- your intake of Vitamin D will be sparse. Unless of course you take a supplement. However, if you are not eating any fat with your supplement. The supplement will do you no good.
My favorite is fat is butter. Butter is the fat separated from milk. Many people with a milk or lactose intolerance can still tolerate butter.
I love butter for the cholesterol is has! As a very young 40's girl I appreciate more than ever cholesterol's role in producing hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. For men cholesterol works in producing testosterone. Hormones also play an active role in our metabolism and in keeping our hair healthy and skin youthful. That's only icing on the cake in reference to hormones.
I also love butter for the Butyric Acid and congugated linoleic acid (CLA) it has. These are 'friendly' fatty acids that help our metabolism and fight inflammation.
Long and short of it, if you are struggling with your weight after cutting out the carbs, eating more vegetables and eating more protein, look at your fat intake.
Great sources of fat are:
Beef (20% fat)
Chicken with the skin. (Chicken breast usually have small amounts of fat)
Now all fats are not alike. This is why I did not mention vegetable oil from soy beans which consist of a type of fatty acid that has been linked to insulin resistance and excessive weight gain. Soybean sources of foods have also been shown to adversely affect your thyroid and metabolism. The imbalance of the estrogenic properties of soy has also been seen to cause precocious puberty in girls. So much so that signs of early puberty begin to diminish when the diet was changed to eliminate excess sources of soy. Soy is used often in places where the ingredients are listed as natural flavorings. Check your burgers and chicken, guys! I know this is hard to swallow. It's hard for me to believe I drank nothing but soy milk at one point. What can I say, I bought into the 'all naturale' hype.
Moreover, the more research I do and the longer I practice medicine, the further away I want to be from soy. Is it perhaps the genetic modification of soy? It's not certain, but it could be the reason. Also keep in mind that many foods at restaurants are prepared with soybean vegetable oil, which also turns rancid when heated.
Ok enough of soy bashing. Hope you get the point. Lose the soy in your life as much as you can.
My emphasis on eating fat is not just so you can shed some unwanted body fat. It's so you can thrive in every aspect of your health. Since I started eating more fat, good protein, and minimal carbs, my brain and emotions are much more intact. My energy levels are steady and no one can ever guess my age :-). I have also found inches of unwanted fat are melting away. Furthermore, I'm not starving or remotely hungry unless it's been 4-5 hrs since I've eaten.
Of course eating the right types of fat throughout the day is a big part of the optimizing the health movement, but it's not the whole picture.
One blog at a time, we'll get there!