Breaking Down the Fat

The final weekend – the final countdown!  It’s hard to believe there are only two days left until the end of The Community Cleanse.  Although I can still pinch an inch from my mid-section, I certainly feel trimmer than I did twenty-six days ago.  Of course the cleanse’s main focus is to clean the body, break habits and increase overall nutrition.  But I must say that the F-word was still on my mind – Fat that is.  Secretly, I had hoped to trim up and shed off some of the over-indulgences I was carrying around.    

In my early twenties I avoided oil, nuts, avocados and all things fat.  If low-fat diets were in, I was on a no-fat diet.  This was a big mistake!  Healthy fats are essential to our bodies being able to function.  Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are unsaturated fats and commonly referred to as Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.  EFAs are not synthesized by the body.  Therefore, these healthy fats must be obtained from our food. 

We cannot survive without EFAs.  The membrane that encapsulates each one of our cells is mainly composed of unsaturated and essential fatty acids (good fats).  EFAs keep the integrity of the cell membranes intact; they allow good nutrients to transverse the membrane and keep damaging toxins and anti-nutrients out of the cells.  EFAs also help to moderate hormone function and healthy nerve function.  They’re essential to keeping our brains and minds working (I don’t know about you, but I can use all the help I can get).  EFAs increase the formation of healthy prostaglandins in the body and this helps to decrease inflammation and lubricate joints.   EFAs improve our overall immunity, decrease allergies and support a healthy cardiovascular system.  They also keep our skin supple and our hair healthy.  It’s believed that ingesting additional EFAs can actually help with weight loss (fat loss) because the good fats attract the bad fats and drag them out of the body (flaxseed oil is good for women and helps with this). 

Now let’s be clear that we’re talking about good, healthy fats.  Examples of bad fats are; any hydrogenated fats found in processed and fast foods; “chemicalized” fats like margarine; junk food fats like chips and French fries; and an excess of hard saturated fats like much too much red meat and bacon. 

I‘ve come a long way since my days of abhorring fat.  I’m no longer afraid to cook and dress salads with oils including organic olive oil and canola oil, sesame oil, walnut oil, grape seed oil, and others.  I  eat handfuls of nuts and seeds; walnuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds (Mmm-almond butter), chia seeds, pecans, sunflower seeds and so on.  I consume boat loads of fish and love avocado – everything tastes better with avocado.  I also take a fish oil supplement every day to ensure I’m getting enough EFAs.  Oils and good fats should be fresh, kept away from light and not overheated.  Happy Cleansing!

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