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An ideal diet should obtain between fifteen to twenty percent of its total calories from fat.

 

Fats are grouped as a colorless food even though some, like olive oil, contain pigmented molecules.

The American diet instead provides over forty percent of its calories in the form of fats and too much of it is in the form of saturated fat because of its emphasis on meat

Not only is this a shockingly high amount, but the kind of fats they contain, are the bad ones, the saturated and polyunsaturated ones.

These oils have been processed, exposed to powerful solvents and overheated.

These are unhealthy, adulterated fats. A cheap form of energy that contains some of the nastiest carcinogenic and atherogenic compounds known to science.

 Its toll on health can never be calculated.

Saturated fat is not the only source of bad fat.

Seeds, beans, nuts and kernels of various plants contain enormous amounts of energy stored as protein, starch or fat.

The three nutrients are stored in the endosperm and represent the sole energy source for the developing embryo.

These nuts, seeds, and beans have their oils extracted, refined, filtered, mixed and packaged. The more refined and processed the oil, the more the oil cause metabolic stress.

Monounsaturated and omega-3 oils are good fats.

These fats contribute to good health.

Healthy people prepare their food with these oils while unhealthy ones are addicted to the other..

 

Dietary fat is necessary for the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) as well as the carotenoid pigments.

Good fat is an important component of a sound diet. Their absence indicates a poor diet.

Fat also supplies the essential fatty acids, linoleic and linolenic acid.

Essential fatty acids are precursors for compounds that regulate muscle contraction, blood clotting and inflammatory reactions.

All plant seeds and nuts are high in fat.  

Some fruits such as the avocado and olives are rich in monounsaturated fat and promote metabolic balance.

 

Since the purpose of these wages is to help athletes prevent disease especially heart disease, a substantial reduction in saturated fat or animal fat is recommended.

All oils contain an amount of saturated fat including olive oil.

Olive is high in monounsaturated while the other vegetable oils are high in polyunsaturated fats.

The fate of fats in the body reflects health status.

 

Fat chemistry is based on a series of small chain molecules that are assembled and used in a variety of ways.

Fatty acids in lipids are the structures that are moist vulnerable to free radical attack.

When fatty chains are altered they produce dysfunction and disease.

 

Fatty chains are embedded in cell and nuclear membranes where they function as an escort service for chemical messengers.

The stimulation or binding of receptors triggers the cascade of chemical processes responsible for growth, inflammation and metabolic activity.

 

Bound or unbound, receptors and their ligands are the 0 and 1’s of biology. They are the positive and negative spins of life. The yin and yang of the universe.

Receptors translates the hormonal and neuronal signals into a molecular language that cells understand.

 

Altered lipids as part of a receptor may not bind with its normal ligand (insulin for example) causing a form of insulin resistance diabetes.

Other chains are transported by the blood as lipoproteins like cholesterol where dysfunction results in plaque buildup. Still other converted into an inflammatory mediator or used to synthesize hormones. The fate of any given fatty chain is based on its structure and its ratio in the body.

 

Long chain fatty acids are the most common building blocks of fats and oils in the diet.  They contain either 16 or 18 carbon atoms and may have one or more double bonds. The more double bonds a fatty acid contain, the more the fat is subject to molecular alteration. Double bonds are the sites of free radical attack.

Both linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) are polyunsaturated fatty acids containing 18 carbon atoms. Linoleic acid possesses two double bonds beginning at carbon number 6, while alpha-linolenic acid contains three double bonds beginning at carbon number 3. Linoleic acid therefore belongs to the omega-6 family of polyunsaturated fatty acids while ALA belongs to the omega-3 family of fatty acids.

They are both considered as essential fatty acids.  That is only because the body cannot manufacture. It does not mean they are both desirable. ALA, or omega-3 oils are good fats. The presence of too much omega 6 fatty acids in the diet makes them a bad fat.

 

Monounsaturated fats like olive, macadamia nut and canola oils contain oleic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid possessing one double bond at carbon number 9. These are termed omega-9 or simply monounsaturated fatty acids.

Polyunsaturated fat sources include soy, sunflower and fish oils. They are preferable to the saturated fats with one major reservation, intake of linoleic acid, the omega-6 essential polyunsaturated fatty acid  must be limited.  Its double bond at the number six position assures it of surviving the refining process better than its chemical cousin the omega 3 fat.

 

The double bond position is important because the 6 position better resists hydrogenation and chemical breakdown. This is in contrast to the exposed omega-3 bond., which becomes converted into less desirable oils in the refining process.

 

Linolenic acid (the omega-3 precursor) is readily converted to a trans-fatty acid when it is hydrogenated. Linolenic acid is destroyed in the commercial extraction process. Hence the complete lack of omega-3 oils in cooking oils.

Linoleic acid is found in high amounts in all vegetable oils including as safflower, soy and corn oils. When taken in amounts greater than ten percent of total calories, linoleic acid causes the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins.  Modified lipoproteins are atherogenic and cause plaque deposits on the inside of arterial walls.

Linoleic acid, although an essential fatty acid, is implicated in initiating atherosclerosis and therefore its intake should be limited.

Polyunsaturated fats become rancid in the presence of oxygen, heat and light.

 

Omega-6 fats  are converted to arachidonic acid, a precursor to the formation of inflammatory molecules.

 

When omega 6 oils are consumed in high amounts they change the healthy balance between omega-3 and omega 6 fats. The new ratio is  an unhealthy one, an imbalance that  promotes inflammation and arthritis.

 

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