nutritional label

Fat The Good and Bad Guide For Optimal Health

There is a lot of bad information about dietary fat. Many believe it’s awful and only increases the waistline. As a matter of fact, it’s essential for health. Good fat keeps skin, organs, blood and muscles functioning properly. Most importantly, nerves have a fatty protective layer to ensure proper function. It’s similar to the covering of wires to a bulb. 

close nutritional label with fat and carbohydrates

Of course, not all fat is the same.  Differences exist. Some are far more beneficial for your body than others. Thus, learning the difference between good and bad fat is important for optimal health. 

Trans Fat Is Bad

By far, the most dangerous is trans fat which is a byproduct of hydrogenation. The process turns liquid oils into solids to improve shelf life of packaged foods. On labels, you’ll see them as “partially hydrogenated oil.” Found primarily in processed foods, even small amounts can increase your risk of chronic disease. 

Eating foods with trans fat directly increases the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol in your bloodstream. Increases in LDL can lead to inflammation, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other conditions. Research shows every 2% of calories from trans fat increases risk of heart disease by 23%. Link here

Good Fat Equals Optimal Health

Foods like nuts, seeds, and some vegetables contain good fats. Monounsaturated fat includes common oils like olive, peanut, and canola while polyunsaturated fats are known as omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. Omega 3 and 6  can be found in eggs, fish, organ meats, and nuts. Keep in mind that omega-3 is the best type. 

Your body can not make mono or polyunsaturated fatty acids. Thus, you must obtain them from your diet. When eaten in moderation, both mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids help optimize health. 

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abdominal fat

Vitamin D Use for Abdominal and Belly Fat

Increased fat mass and metabolic syndrome is a worldwide problem. Increases in weight have a higher incidence of joint and skeletal disorders, kidney disease, cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease. Mounting evidence shows a link between vitamin D levels and weight.

abdominal fat

Preliminary studies show that vitamin D supplementation improves total fat mass and body mass index in obese children. Link here. Children took 1,200 IU of vitamin D 3 for 26 weeks. All children had blood levels under 30 ng/ml. Also, high levels of abdominal fat or larger waistlines show low levels of vitamin D. Link here. Scientists believe that it’s hard to metabolize or use with excess fat mass.

Other Uses For Vitamin Supplementation

Other uses for supplementation besides bone maintenance exist. For instance, I wrote about low levels of vitamin D and folate relates to first incidence of psychosis. Link here. Other studies include heart health, cancer rates, and immune system health. Link here.

How Much Do I Need?

Above all, it’s important to supplement in the fall and winter months. Sunlight is less intense and the day is shorter. With the advice of your general practitioner, 1,000 IU of Vitamin D3 with K2 is recommended. Lastly, studies need more research to help create baseline levels. A set baseline will establish better usage and dosages.

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