Fat - What You Don't Know Can Kill You
Especially if you don't know that you don't know.
And topping the list of things we don't know is what our bodies need in the way of food.
Even dietitians don't know! They're all perky and positive-but wrong. As in upside-down wrong. Sadly, they can't deviate from the party line without getting bounced, so wrong is all we hear.
Dietitians, along with doctors, magazines, TV, health class-wherever diet gets a mention-tout a low fat, low protein, low salt and no sugar diet. Unfortunately, that's the exact diet that leads to disease, then to death.
So, how does it really work?
Our brain is mostly fat. If we don't eat the fat we need, fatigue sets in. Along with cravings, whether of sugar, alcohol, whatever. An underfed brain grasps for any straw it sees.
And our endocrine system makes all its hormones from fat. No fat means no hormones.
But-and here's where dietitians run screaming into the night-it has to be saturated fat. Gasp!
Perhaps you heard about the benefits of omega 3 fat. But did you hear the part about it being saturated fat? Surprise, surprise!
Of course, good saturated fat can't be raised on a diet of grain, given antibiotics or stuffed with hormones, so we're talking wild-caught fish, pasture-raised beef with not a feed lot in sight, and so forth. Coconut oil's a winner, too.
Good saturated fat helps us lose weight, lowers our cholesterol and puts smiles on our faces.
Our bodies stumble to failure unless they can create the enzymes they need. Enzymes play a starring role in pretty much everything our bodies do. And what's the raw material for all that enzyme making? Protein.
Chugging down enzyme supplements isn't the answer. Our bodies customize our enzymes to meet our individual, second-by-second needs; enzyme supplements aren't that talented.
Unfortunately, just stuffing ourselves with protein doesn't guarantee enzymes. If we have thyroid or adrenal problems, live with fluoridated water, have celebrated 50 birthdays or more, etc., etc. etc., we may not be able to digest the protein we eat. Can you say digestive fandango? Saggy muscles? The energy of a beached whale?
Our bodies have to be able to digest protein to create the enzymes we need.
I write about this quite a bit in my Moving to Health program. It's a huge, widespread problem, and the only real, get-the-job-done answer is to treat the cause.
Salt, also known as sodium, is essential to life. Without adequate salt, we're doomed.
As one of our electrolytes, sodium helps provide energy and other good things. But electrolytes work as a team, and life gets hard when they get out of balance.
Cutting back on salt unbalances the tar out of our electrolytes. Eat salt, live long and prosper.
But ditching regular table salt is a dandy idea. It may "pour when it rains," but regular salt gets processed literally to death. Then, once all the nutrition is removed, bad stuff such as aluminum gets added.
Use sea salt. Since it's unprocessed, it's chock-a-block full of body-blessing minerals. But not if it's white; white means it's had the life processed out of it.
Did you know craving salt probably means your adrenal glands need a boost?
And did you know Gatorade, the widely touted balancer of electrolytes, whacks the thyroid?
So much to know; so little time.
Nobody will ever describe sugar as a health food, but I think it's getting a bit of a bum rap.
The real culprit is high fructose corn syrup, which swamps our liver, whacks our kidneys, raises our triglycerides, drop-kicks our pancreas and makes a general mess of things. Our bodies don't recognize high fructose corn syrup and can't handle it.
High fructose corn syrup has no redeeming value and should never pass our lips. The stuff is everywhere, in everything, but we want to make every effort to avoid it.
And regular table sugar isn't the stuff of dreams, either. Notice how white it is? As in processed to death? Consider that a clue.
But brown sugar is worse because it's bleached whiter-than-white, then chemically colored to make it look unprocessed.
But still, since our bodies know how to handle sugar, it doesn't swamp our innards like high fructose corn syrup does.
Our brains like a little sugar from time to time-as long as we get enough saturated fat to balance things out.
You might consider raw, unprocessed sugar. Most grocery stores sell it. It tastes about the same as processed sugar, but more mellow. It still includes the minerals it was born with.
Coconut sugar isn't really sugar, but tastes like it-in a sort of caramelly way. And it has vitamins, minerals and other good things in it. A little hard to find, but worth the effort.
To sum up then: Eat plenty of saturated fat and good protein. Make sure you get enough salt. And enjoy a small treat of sugar now and again.
Your body will thank you. Your taste buds, too.
God is good,
Copyright by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved
P.S. Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be She's a patient who's been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth 12-month subscription program, "Moving to Health" about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work-or don't, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.