With so much in the news recently about the saturated fat and heart disease myth I thought it would be a good idea to talk about why it’s important to add healthy fats to your detox diet as well as the diet you are going to eat afterwards.
Saturated fat has been demonized for decades and many folk have been avoiding it but eating unhealthy fat in its place with dire consequences. It’s time to put the record straight.
It’s an indisputable fact that you need to eat a variety of healthy fats to have a healthy functioning body. Dietary fat takes a predominate role in many bodily processes including detox.
Both essential fatty acids Omega 3 and Omega 6 are needed for the production of hormone like substances called prostaglandins. They regulate many body functions including inflammation (the underlying cause of many chronic diseases), and directly regulate production of the sex hormones.
Healthy cells need healthy fats
Healthy saturated and unsaturated fats are needed to form the cell walls (membranes) throughout your body. Healthy cell walls keep out invaders like viruses and bacteria.
A proper ratio of fats in the cell wall is needed to enable the flow of toxic waste out of your cells and allow the nutrients in. In this way they are responsible for the detoxification of your cells.
Your liver needs essential fatty acids for all its many functions of including detox. Saturated fat has been shown to protect the liver from alcohol and medications, including acetaminophen and other drugs commonly used for pain and arthritis.
Myelin, a type of fat, shields your nerves, speeding up and containing the signals. Without this fat insulation, the signals dissipate, the electrical signals shoot out erratically, and you would behave like a jumpy nervous person.
Are you brainy enough?
Your brain, the fattiest organ in your body, is two-thirds fat. It’s made up of Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids and saturated fat. Your body cannot manufacture the essential fatty acids so they must be obtained through food. The signals and memory function rely on fats for their very existence.
This is one reason that low fat diets don’t work for long. Your body will develop functional problems because of the need for healthy fats. Your brain and body regulators become starved for healthy fats. Research is being done on this to see if there is a connection with Alzheimer’s disease.
Healthy fats also insulate your body with a thin layer just under the skin called subcutaneous fat. This gives your skin a soft, youthful appearance and the fatty acids keep your skin moist and supple.
Many vitamins are fat soluble, so you need to eat fats to absorb A, D, E, and K from your food.
Many of our organs are cushioned with fat and it helps hold our heart, kidneys and intestines in place and protects them. This protective fat is the last to be burned for fuel by the body.
Dangers of visceral fat
Even though saturated fat is not the baddie it has been made out to be you cannot eat it with gay abandon because it can build up as visceral fat which is the internal fat that wraps itself around your heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas, and streaks through your muscles. This fat is different than the fat that holds your organs in place.
Visceral fat behaves differently than the fat that lies just below the skin and is known to cause inflammation in the colon and the artery walls, and is a major cause of heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer. It is very hard to lose but low carb diets combined with higher health fats have been shown to help reduce it.
So you see you need to eat fat to maintain the functioning of your body systems. While adding healthy fats to your diet, don’t forget that you must eat all fats in moderation. Fats have 9 calories per gram as opposed to proteins and carbohydrates that have 4 calories per gram. Too much fat can make you fat, so choosing healthy fats is not enough. Balance in your diet is still important for natural detox and to remain healthy overall.
Best healthy fats
The best healthy fats to eat for a detox diet and afterwards are these:
You get essential Omega 3 fatty acids from small oily fish such as wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, sea trout. Larger varieties of oily fish accumulate mercury, a toxin, so it’s best to avoid them.
Other healthy fats are butter from grass fed cows, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, organic eggs, unsalted and unroasted fresh nuts (not peanuts), seeds, avocados, olives and full fat live yogurt.
If you are going to eat red meat, which is usually excluded on most detox plans, be sure to look for meat from grass fed animals which has a better ratio of the fats that are needed for health than commercially reared animals. It’s also low in fats that have been linked with disease
Did you know you could eat all these healthy fats when you are on a detox diet?