Saturday, March 8, 2014

Where's The Fat ??

 
If your diet was 70% carbs and 30% protein, where is the fat?

Technically,  it's near-impossible to get zero fat, trace amounts come along with the leanest of proteins and even with some of the carbs in veggie foods, surprised ? Still where's the accolades for fat? It's hard to believe, that anyone would want to eliminate from their diet something that is directly responsible for our evolution into the beings most of us are. There is a massive amount of nutrition knowledge in 2014 as compared to the 1980's or 1990's. Still it staggers me that people still believe that cutting all the fat out of the diet will help you get leaner, healthier or more muscular. Never a week goes by, that I don't hear someone in the gym regurgitateing some stuck in the 80's nutrition advise. Wake up! Dietary fat is absolutely vital to your health, let me say that again, VITAL to performance and achievement of optimal body composition. This  includes gaining lean muscle. In fact we've all been living under a bogus set of dietary guidelines imagined and implemented by a man named Ancel Keys who used bogus, and selective science to influence widespread nutritional practices and public policies like the FDA food pyramid.

Once and for all this is how governmental nutritional policy is made in the good ole USA. Well it seems that the head of the USDA believed in the low fat diet, so to be sure she was on solid ground, she consulted with the head of the national academy of science. Who promptly told her the hypotheses was nonsense. So, she did what politicians always do, cheat, and she shopped around for some out of work scientist to award a grant to, and agree with her. Then with her bought and paid for studies in hand she then issued her USDA guidelines as she saw them. So thanks to a handful of politicians with no background in science, heart healthy benefits of a low fat diet became official government policy. Real scientists got the message loud and clear from the government, if there was any arm twisting to be done, it was going to be done by the government ,"tell us what we want to hear, or loose your lucrative government funding" truth and public be damned. Sad to say to day that is the official government position.

Essential fatty acids like omega 3, have so many benefits, you could almost say their effects are "drug-like", but when you go on a no fat diet, you cut out these healthy fats along with the saturated ones. Even saturated fats have received partial vindication as many nutritionists including myself are starting to label them as "neutral" as opposed to being " bad." In fact, saturated fat is essential for our anabolic hormone production. A minimum of 15-20% of your calories should come from fats, and in some cases as much as 30% of your calories, if the fats are carefully selected.  Demonizing an entire macronutrient, whether carbs or fats is a BIG mistake. Yet, every day I see celebrity diet programs where the journalists are writing about how "carbs are the enemy" or  "fats are the enemy" or "egg yolks are the enemy" So up till now fats have been banished, like it's a bad word to even say. It's like the 80's all over again. Do people really think that zero fat is any better than zero carbs? In fact, this comes as a huge surprise to most people, but in individuals with certain genetic predispositions, a very high carb, zero fat diet can actually CAUSE health problems like increased blood triglycerides and blood sugar management problems. Even if the carbs are all the "healthy" kind, like rice, potatoes and whole grains. Some doctors like Dr. Gerald Reaven, who literally wrote the book on metabolic syndrome also called Syndrome X, (Metabolic syndrome is a combination of medical disorders that increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes) intentionally prescribes moderate-fat diets as a treatment. Even if you're not sick, zero fat diets and very low fat diets are a really bad idea. The exception is trans-fats, otherwise known as hydrogenated oil's. You should Never eat products containing trans-fats. Enough said. I might also mention here I believe zero carb diets are a really bad idea also.

Better idea, balance. Some in our fitness industry are suffering from a massive problem of backwards 20 year old thinking, where health is prescribed in extremes of all or nothings. Perpetuated by lazy undereducated trainers and nutritionists shooting off their mouths in newspapers and magazines. Publications who are in fact, trying to sell magazines not health. The impulse to point the finger at one nutritional scapegoat is beyond ridiculous. What you really need is the right balance of everything and that includes all macro-nutrients, proteins, carbohydrates and yes, fats and even the right balance within each macro-nutrient group the right proportion of saturated, poly and mono-unsaturated fats as well as the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio (which is seriously out of whack in most people's diets). Furthermore, not all fat is created equal. There is a difference in the fat that comes off grass-fed (how we used to, and should raise animals) and grain-fed animals. So instead of fearing fat, you're better off spending the time and effort finding source of good organic meats. Grown withot antibiotics and hormones. A diet high in fats will also optimize testosterone levels because fat provides cholesterol which is required to create testosterone. The fact is, many cultures who have extremely high saturated fat diets, have the lowest instance of heart disease. For instance the Maasai in Kenya, have an extremely high meat and fat diet, the Inuit Eskimos in the arctic eat seal and whale blubber (fat),  the Tokelau in the south pacific, The Tokelauans traditionally obtained 40-50% of their calories from saturated fat. These cultures are from the far corners of our planet. There is NO reliable scientific evidence to suggest animal or saturated fat causes heart disease. Listen, if you're an ectomorph, you don't use the same nutrition strategies as an endomorphic body type. If you're carb intolerant, with metabolic syndrome, that high carb, zero fat diet may not be so smart. If you're an athlete needing fuel, that low low carb diet may not be so smart. Still, one-size-fits-all programs predominate nutrition advise everywhere today. Know this, it will take some trial and error for you to dial in your proper nutrition program. Don't get discouraged. My advise is to steer clear of extremes, and don't run from the fat. Look if you eat more calories then you use, you gain weight. When you gain enough weight you're FAT, and most likely have more then one health issue. Run from the deep fried foods, cooked most likely in hydroginated oil (trans fat) . Also packaged foods and confections with hydrogenated oil's. As they will clog your arteries quicker than you can say Boo. When a food product says sugar free it only means it was made with an artificial sweetener that is many times more dangerous to your health then any natural sugar could ever be. If you're a diabetic with a sweet tooth sorry, but to be healthy you're going to have to make your own sweets using, stevia, xylitol, or raw honey. Remember if the natural product has been changed by man to increase production and revenue, IT'S BAD FOR YOU! Things like white flour, white sugar, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, but don't blame the fat. When you get both your physical training and nutrition properly adjusted, with no extremes on either end, the results can be remarkable. For an in depth interesting lecture on saturated fat topic, this is extremely informative video on fats, oils, and heart disease. Good Luck...
 





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1 comment:

  1. This is a lot of new info to take in, thanks for sharing. I am making it a goal to start eating better and I appreciate all the advice I can get. It's going to be really hard at first but I think I can do it!

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