The ideal diet should obtain between fifteen to twenty percent of its total calories from fat. The American diet instead provides over forty percent of their calories in the form of fats and oils. Not only is this a shockingly high amount, but the kind of fats that are built into their foods are the bad ones, the saturated and polyunsaturated ones.
These oils have been processed, exposed to powerful solvents and overheated. They are unhealthy adulterated fats. A cheap form of energy that contains some of the nastiest carcinogenic and atherogenic compounds known. Its toll on health can never be calculated.
This is not to imply that all fats are bad. All saturated fat is bad. Almost all polyunsaturated oils are bad including the omega-6, one of the so-called essential fatty acids.
Monounsaturated and omega-3 oils are good fats. These fats contribute to healthfulness. Healthy cultures prepare their food with these oils while unhealthy ones are addicted to the other..
Dietary fat is necessary for the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) as well as carotenoid pigments. Good fat is an important component of a sound diet. Their absence indicates a poor diet.
Fat also supplies the essential fatty acids, linoleic and linolenic acid. Essential fatty acids are precursors for compounds that regulate muscle contraction, blood clotting and inflammatory reactions.
All plant seeds and nuts are high in fat. Some fruits such as the avocado and olives are also rich in monofat. In addition, these botanicals also contain healthy compounds, which promote metabolic balance.
Since the goal of this book is to prevent disease especially heart disease, it recommends a substantial reduction in saturated fat, especially animal fat.
All oils contain an amount of saturated fat including olive oil. Olive is high in monounsaturated while the other vegetable oils are high in polyunsaturated fats. Their fate in the body goes along way towards determing health status.
Fat chemistry is based on a series of small chain molecules that are assembled and used in a variety of ways. The fatty acids in lipids are the structures that are moist vulnerable to free radical attack. When fatty chains are altered they produce dysfunction and disease.
Fatty chains are embedded in cell and nuclear membranes where they function as an escort service for chemical messengers.
The stimulation or binding of receptors triggers the cascade of chemical processes responsible for growth, inflammation and metabolic activity.
Bound or unbound, receptors and their ligands are the 0 and 1’s of biology. They are the positive and negative spins of life. The yin and yang of the universe.
Receptors translates the hormonal and neuronal signals into a molecular language that cells understand.
Altered lipids as part of a receptor may not bind with its normal ligand (insulin for example) causing a form of insulin resistance diabetes.
Other chains are transported by the blood as lipoproteins like cholesterol where dysfunction results in plaque buildup. Still other converted into an inflammatory mediator or used to synthesize hormones. The fate of any given fatty chain is based on its structure and its ratio in the body.