Good Fats and Bad Fats – Oh My! – Dr. Emile Allen M.D.

Good Fats and Bad Fats – Oh My!


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I often get questions on what is the difference between Cholesterol, Lipids, Fats, Triglycerides, LDL, and HDL.  These terms are constantly thrown around in the media with out clear explanation.  This just seems to lead to more confusion.  Let me help by making it as simple as possible.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is not a fat.  It is the raw material for cell membranes to function properly and is used by cells to produce critical hormones for the body to function including estrogen, testosterone, cortisol to name a few.  Cholesterol is broken up into two forms:  “bad” cholesterol, which is also known as LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and “good” cholesterol, which is also known as HDL (high-density lipoprotein).  Now let me make it clear that neither is truly  “bad’ or “good”.  Both are need for cellular health.  They only cause problems when they are outside the optimal measurable levels.

Optimal cholesterol levels:

  • Total cholesterol – 160 to 180.
  • LDL – less than 80.
  • HDL – higher than 60.

Fats

Another common terminology you will hear is triglycerides levels.  Triglycerides are free-floating fats in the blood and rise after eating a meal.

  • Total triglycerides should be less than 150.
  • Optimal levels are less than 100.

Fats are further broken up into two categories: unsaturated and saturated.

Unsaturated

Unsaturated fats are generally considered “good” fats.  They come in several varieties and must be consumed in the right balance for optimal health.  There are two types of unsaturated fats:

  • mono-unsaturated.
  • poly-unsaturated.

There are two crucial groups of poly-unsaturated fats:

  • Omega-3 fats – found in salmon, sardines, halibut, scallops, shrimp, tuna, tofu, soybeans, walnuts, organic eggs, and flaxseed.
  • Omega-6 fats – primarily found in liquid vegetable oils and a variety of nuts.

The typical unhealthy Western diet of (fried foods, processed foods, and excess red meats), provides a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats of 25 to 1.  It should be 1 to 4.  While we need some Omega-6 fats to live, in excess they promote inflammation in the body and lead to several chronic diseases.  On the other hand, research suggests Omega-3 fats counter inflammation.

Reported in the Sept. 12, 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found Omega-3 poly-unsaturated fatty acid supplementation does not appear to reduce the risk of cardiovascular or cerebrovascular events.  This came after an extensive review of 20 randomized clinical trials that included more than 68,000 patients.  Even though there may be no clear cardiovascular benefit from prescribing Omega-3 supplements, aside from helping to reduce triglyceride and cholesterol levels, a heart-healthy and plant-based diet along with Omega-3 rich poly-unstaturated fats still seems to contribute to a improved health.

Saturated

Saturated fats are bad when eaten in excess and contribute to type II diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, in addition to many other diseases.  When at body temperature, saturated fats are sticky and cause red blood cells to clump together, preventing them from carrying oxygen to the cells of our organs.  Whereas, unsaturated fats are liquid at body temperature and don’t cause this problem.  Foods that are high in saturated fats include red meat, whole milk dairy products, and the skin of chickens.

Transfats

Transfats are unsafe in any amount.  Transfats are made by Commercial foods manufacturers in laboratories.  Transfats are in margarine and various hydrogenated vegetable oils commonly used in fast foods and most factory-baked goods.  These fake fats inhibit the body’s detoxification process, decrease testosterone levels, increase heart disease, obesity and diabetes.  Transfats are more damaging than saturated fats because they raise “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower our “good” HDL cholesterol.

DeliverLean diet delivery meals are prepared with only the healthy unsaturated fats.  We never use transfats or processed foods.  Let us do the cooking for your heart-healthy meals so you can achieve and maintain optimum health.

Juicing in the DeliverLean Office

With the launch of DL Juice I’ve been entrenched in juicing lately – literally I’m obsessed. Let me tell you, in school they teach us NOTHING about holistic medicine. Everything is textbook nutrition – highly influenced by The USDA guidelines. I was never educated on alternative medicine until after graduation, and the more I’ve learned, the more interested I’ve become.

Before launching our juice line, Olga and I decided to try a juice cleanse on our own, to help us choose our signature recipes. For three days we drank a combination of our DL Greens and Red juices, our vegan protein smoothies, raw vegetable soups, and kale salads.  After three days on our cleanse I felt SIGNIFICANTLY better. I kicked my cravings for sugars, carbs, and even alcohol and I became more in tune with my body and the way it reacts to different types of foods.

One of my favorite benefits from the cleanse was the fact that it balanced out my blood alkalinity. Alkalinity has become somewhat of a buzzword lately, but not many people know what it actually entails. Our bodies pH levels can either be described as acidic or alkaline. The body works best when it is in a state of homeostasis. Homeostasis is a state of equilibrium, or balance in our bodies. In order to achieve that balance you must have a blood pH that is slightly alkaline.

Most individuals are more acidic than alkaline. Grains, fish, meat, poultry, shellfish, cheese, milk, and salt all produce acid, so the introduction and dramatic rise in our consumption of these foods meant that the typical Western diet became more acid-producing. When our bodies are more acidic than alkaline we are MUCH MORE susceptible to disease. Those of us that are more acidic suffer from lack of energy, excessive mucous production, nasal congestion, frequent colds and flu, anxiety, nervousness, irritability, ovarian cysts, polycystic ovaries, benign breast cysts, and headache.

If you suffer from any of the above symptoms I highly suggest trying our cleanse. The best part about our DeliverLean cleanse is that opposed to many other companies, our cleanses encourage eating foods as well to ensure the best results. Contact our office today to speak with myself, or our other Nutritionist Amanda and hear more details about or DL Juices!