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Essential Fats And Weight Loss

The story of essential fats

Turkish breakfast -- fried eggs, peppers, meat and spices
  • Let's start by answering this question: What are fats?
  • All fats are long chains of carbon. That's all, just long chains of carbon atoms. Carbon is good for that -- it can make long chains.
  • And in fats these carbon atoms have hydrogen atoms attached to the sides of them. Hydrogen and carbon. Simple.
  • Now, each carbon atom can connect to as many as four other atoms. Why does that matter?

Saturated fats

Have you heard the term "saturated fats?" When all the carbon spaces are filled -- when every carbon is connected to four other atoms -- the fats are "saturated."

That's what saturated means -- there is a hydrogen atom in every available space.

Unsaturated fats

Some fats are "unsaturated" -- meaning there is not a hydrogen atom in every space. So you say, "So what?"

Well, two of the unsaturated fats are essential fats. They are essential fats because your body needs them and you can't make them.

"The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight because by then, your body and your fat are really good friends."

Author Unknown

What are essential fats?

Your body needs essential fats, and since you can't make them you have to get them from your diet.

They are called omega 3 and omega 6. These are just the chemical names for the fats. These are the two essential fats.

Omega 3 and omega 6

The essential fats are the omega 3 and the omega 6 fatty acids. The numbers 3 and 6 refer to the first carbon atom in the chain which is missing hydrogen.

You count the carbons -- one, two, three -- and if the 3rd one is missing a hydrogen it's an omega 3. If it's the 6th one, it's an omega 6.

Why are omega 3 and omega 6 essential?

They are essential because you need them for growth and development of the brain and nervous system, immune system, and heart and blood vessels.

You can't make them because you don't have proper enzymes. So you need them in your diet.

If you get them in your diet, you can be healthy. If not, well, you suffer the consequences.

"Cigarette sales would drop to zero overnight if the warning said 'CIGARETTES CONTAIN FAT.' "

Dave Barry

Omega 6, inflammation and chronic pain

Now, you don't really need to know all the chemistry. But what you do need to know is that you do need omega 3 and omega 6 essential fats. And most people get too much omega 6.

Most people get far too much omega 6 in their diets and would do better with more omega 3.

Omega 6

Omega 6 comes from corn oil, canola oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil, and there is just too much omega 6 in the modern diet.

See, omega 6 is essential to your health, but modern diets have too much omega 6 and not enough omega 3. It is a problem of balance.

Too much omega 6 can contribute to:

  • cancer
  • heart disease
  • arthritis
  • asthma
  • and depression.

Omega 3

On the other hand if you get in the right balance with omega 3 you can do a lot to improve your health.

Here's what omega 3 can do for you:

  • helps with blood pressure
  • improves cholesterol
  • lowers triglycerides
  • reduces your risk of heart attacks
  • and it can help you lose weight.

It is kind of "in with the good and out with the bad." When you take in good fats it lets your body get rid of the bad fats. When you don't get good fats your body clings on to stored fat.

But when you take in enough good fat your body can let go, and you can start to lose the bad fat -- you can actually lose more weight.

Fish oil and flax seed oil

So how do you get more omega 3 fat in your diet? You find omega 3 in cold water fish -- wild salmon for instance. Unfortunately farmed salmon are fed grains and have more omega 6.

But unless you are eating fish several times per week you would be better off taking a supplement.

You can get the omega 3 you need with a fish oil supplement. You can take it in capsules or as a liquid.

Flax oil

Another way to get omega 3 is by taking flax seed oil. You can get flax seed oil in any health food store.

Flax seed oil comes in a dark bottle because it is sensitive to light. You cannot cook with it because it is sensitive to heat.

You can take 1-2 tablespoons per day of the liquid flax seed oil. One tablespoon of flax seed oil will give you 6 grams of omega 3.

You just pour it into a tablespoon and swallow it down. Different brands have different tastes. Try a few and see which one you like. If you don't like the taste you can put it in a little orange juice, mix it up and drink it.

Getting the fats in balance

Doughnuts. Extra large doughnut -- 28 grams of fat, 250 calories just from the fat!

French fries. Large McDonald's French fries -- 30 grams of fat, 270 calories just from the fat!!

Hamburgers. Wendy's Triple Cheeseburger -- 60 grams of fat, 540 calories just from the fat!!!

Do you see a pattern here? If you eat this stuff and you can't see your feet or tie your own shoes then you shouldn't wonder why.

"When I buy cookies I eat just four and throw the rest away. But first I spray them with Raid so I won't dig them out of the garbage later. Be careful, though, because that Raid really doesn't taste that bad."

Janette Barber

Fats in a healthy diet

You need fat in your diet. You can't live without it. It should be about 25-30% of your total calories.

In a 2000 calorie diet that's about 65 grams per day. Or about 600 calories from fat.

And you can get that with lean meats, eggs, and a little cooking oil. Add some fish oil or flax seed oil and you'll be all set

The recommended cooking oil is olive oil. There is no comparison between the health effects of olive oil and any other oil. Use olive oil for cooking and you'll probably live longer.

Avoid fats to excess

You don't need to use a lot of oil for cooking. Just a little in a pan will keep food from sticking if you don't cook on too high heat. You can get olive oil cooking spray and that works well.

You don't want to use too much oil because there are 120 calories in a tablespoon of oil -- it really adds up fast.

Sensible fats and weight loss

So what about fats and weight loss? The answer to that is...

Give yourself an oil change. Eat lean meats. Have a few nuts. Cook with olive oil. And take some extra fish oil or flax seed oil.

You'll feel better and look better. It's all part of healthy weight loss.

Permanent weight loss

If you haven't gotten to your goal weight, you owe it to yourself to get a copy of Dr. Dan's Super Weight Loss Plan.

It will help you look better, feel better, improve your health and lengthen your life. You'll be glad you did!

"Look at the average American diet: ice cream, butter, cheese, whole milk, all this fat. People don't realize how much of this stuff you get by the end of the day. High blood pressure is from all this high-fat eating."

Jack LaLanne

Where to start:

There is a lot of information on this site. The links below will get you off to a good start.

Most popular pages:

These are some of our most popular pages. They are also some of the most helpful if you are finally ready to lose weight.

You can always reach us:

  • 28960 US Highway 19 North, Suite 115
  • Clearwater, FL 33761
  • (727) 771-8282

  • Or to use our contact form click here.

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