Fats and Diet
Oils are essential not only for maintaining cell tissue and organ integrity but also for skin quality ensuring that it is well hydrated.
Fats have been ‘engineered’ to become something vastly different to what nature intended leading to damaging pro-inflammatory lipids (fats).
What is wrong with most of the oils present in our foods, in particular processed foods? (This applies equally to pet and horse feeds)
It is the presence of transfats, created by a range of manufacturing and storage methods.
Before looking at the categories of fats just be aware that while fats are more calorie dense, it is the way they are metabolized, that determines whether we lay down ‘fat’ or whether it is used as a form of fuel without creating undue stress on the pancreas and insulin response.
Research has shown:
- That the brain, which is 60% lipid by weight, operates more efficiently by burning ketones thereby helping regulate glucose fluctuations.
- Also fats/lipids are required to help absorb oil soluble vitamins like A,D,E and K. So by all means add butter or olive oil to your broccoli and vegetables.
- Fats slow down the insulin response as well as lowering the glycemic index of various foods.
- Adding good fats to your meals will help curb those sweet cravings.
- Fats are good for the heart particularly mono-saturated (olive oil).
- Fats added to horse feeds provide an additional slow-release calorie load and will lower the glycemic index.
- The ‘satiety factor’ makes you feel satisfied before you over-eat.
- Fats are crucial in creating sex hormones, improving fertility and to maintain skin elasticity and moisture.
- Oils help reduce inflammation by addressing the balance of prostaglandins.
- Oils are critical in addressing moods and neurological functions. They have a place in treating mild depression.
Types of Fats
- Saturated include Lauric acid – coconut oil, palm kernel oil, Myristic acid – nutmeg, coconut oil, palm kernel oil and butterfat Palmitic acid – meat, palm oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil, Butryic acid -butter, cheese and other dairy products Stearic acid – animal and vegetable fats.
- Monounsaturated (still regarded as a good oil) to include olive, avocado oil as well as being found in macadamia nuts.
- Polyunsaturated (to be treated with caution due to their bio-sensitivity) of which there are two subgroups: Omega 6 found in a range of nuts and seeds. Omega 3s found in oily fish, flaxseeds, walnuts, hempseed, borage seed, black currant seeds. It is also from this group of poly-unsaturates that so many cheap cooking oils are produced and bottled in plastic bottles found in the middle isles of your supermarket.
Lets Break it down Further
All lipids fats and oils (saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated)
are composed of molecules all arranged in different ways to form fatty acids. These are determined by the length of the carbon chain. So there are:
- short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) ,
- medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs)
- Long chain fatty acids (LCFAs).
These then can be joined together to make triglycerides:
- Short chain triglycerides. (SCTs)
- Medium triglycerides (MCTs)
- Long chain triglycerides (LCTs)
MCT’s are the most suitable for health and weight loss programs because they are broken down immediately by saliva and gastric juice enzymes so that the pancreatic fat-digesting juices are not involved in their digestion. They are then broken down into medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs).
Unlike other fatty acids these MCFA’s are absorbed directly from the intestines into the portal vein then straight onto the liver. They are not packaged into lipoproteins like other fatty acids( tending to lay down fat) but are converted into fuel via the liver. This also helps help stabilize blood sugar.
The latest research promotes one special MCFA called lauric acid found in both coconut and butter.
Coconut oil deserves a place in the diets of people, pets and horses, particularly for those with endocrine challenges.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
These come from the polyunsaturated group and are the most sensitive of all and once oxidized become pro-inflammatory.
These need to be taken daily. These oils that are highly sensitive to heat, light and oxygen and must be cold processed, filled into glass environment with anti-oxidants like vitamins C and E added to protect the oils from peroxidation.
- Omega 3 group eicosapaentoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which the body converts from alpha-linolenic acid ALA.
- DHA is found in cold water fish like salmon and mackerel.
- EPA is found in linseeds. Chia seed and walnuts.
- Research shows that these fatty acids are powerful anti-inflammatories and are important for the vascular system, skin and brain.
- Omega 3 is responsible for skin repair and cross linking which causes wrinkles
- Omega 6 is called linoleic acid (LA) which the body converts into gamma linoleic acid (GLA). This needs to be in balance with omega 3, 6 and 9.
Avoid polyunsaturated oils increase you intake of the saturated and monosaturated fats listed above and make sure your essential fatty acids are correctly manufactured
Below is our slow burning Smoothie recipe which will help switch on the production of acetylcholine (energy neurotransmitter) and help reduce leptin resistance. Remember to front load your day with proteins.
This smoothie should be taken in the morning to stimulate acetylcholine (energy neurotransmitter) production
Half a cup of yoghurt ( we use a full cream raw milk one)
half a cup of any berry fruit pulp
1 dessert spoon of Omega Oil Complex
1 tsp of cottage cheese ( sulphur based protein )
3ml Gingko extract and or ashwagandha
½ tsp ascorbyl palmitate (oil soluble vitamin C)
Tsp spirulina which provides amino acids (protein load). We add salad greens, spinach, miner’s lettuce etc
1 dessertspoon lecithin granules ( flushed and clears arteries and is a precursor to acetylcholine)
Blend with a stick blender or Nutribullet.