Fats/Oils

So think you can cut all fats out of your diet?  WRONG.  A diet too low in fat can actually cause depressionOn the other hand, we do eat much more of this nutrient than we should.  The recommended intake of fat should be between 20-30% of the total dietary intake.  Americans and most westerners eat  between 40 and 60% fat.  There are what is known as "good fats" and "bad fats".  Some fat facts:

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Not ALL fats are bad.  Mono-saturated and poly-unsaturated fats can actually lower cholesterol and improve heart health.

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You need fat to help transport the fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, & K, across the cell membranes.

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Our cell membranes are made up  of fat.

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Brain cells have the highest concentration of fats (about 60%).

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Eating high levels of saturated fats increase our desires for sugar and carbohydrates.

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Be careful of processed or partially hydrogenated oils and margarines.  Many times that process actually will make a polyunsaturated fat saturated, and include additives and preservatives that are more harmful to you.  A low fat option...take one pound of butter, add 1/4 cup of water and blend well with a mixer.  Store this in a sealed container in the fridge.  This should not be used for baking due to the increased amount of water. Another lower fat option is to mix 1 cup softened butter with 1/4 cup of canola oil and mix with mixer until smooth.  This can be used in cooking and baking.   Store this in the fridge as well. Both of these reduce your saturated fat while providing a  "spread" that is better tasting than any margarine.  Low fat and diet margarines often have water added to them.  This way you actually use less "fat".  A very YUMMY recipe for butter is to mix 1 pound of butter with  1/4 cup of honey or molasses. This is great on bread, roles, pancakes and biscuits!  (I know that butter is a saturated fat, but, most margarines are hydrogenated and have further additives.)

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Many people think that saturated fats are only animal fats, such as found in marbleized red meats, poultry and fish skin.  Vegetables can also be a source of saturated fats.  A hint here...if the fat is solid at room temperature, it's a saturated fat and should be used sparingly or avoided.  Palm oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil and cocoa butter have a much higher percentage of saturated fats than eating a double hamburger from your favorite fast food restaurant.


Mono-saturated Fats Polyunsaturated Fats
increase the level of HDL or "good" cholesterol lowers cholesterol blood levels
Cashews Corn Oil
Avocados Sesame Oil/Sesame Seeds
Canola Oils Soybean Oil
Peanut Oils/Peanuts/Peanut Butter Sunflower Oil/Sunflower Seeds
Olive Oil/Olives Almonds/Cashews/Pecans/Walnuts
  Safflower Oil

Omega-3/ Omega-6

Omega-3 has been a "buzz" word around bipolar sites for the several years.  (Check out this article already on the site http://www.bipolarworld.net/Meds_Trt/Alt_trt/fish.html. Many people who supplement their diets with Omega-3, claim that they have been able to come off all medication.  I guess I'm a bit skeptical about coming off ALL my medication,  on the other hand, I do believe that Omega-3 and Omega-6 taken in equal amounts can seriously improve your mood and health.

According to Dr Joseph Mercola of the Optimal Wellness Center, Omega-3 and Omega-6 are both essential for good health, but we eat too much of the Omega-6 fats.  "The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is 1:1.", according to Mercola.  "Our ancestors evolved over millions of years on this ratio. Today, though, our ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 averages from 20:1 to 50:1! That spells danger for you." 5   Foods rich in Omega 3 are  "olive oil, avocados, dark green leafy vegetables, salmon, flax seed oil, walnut oil,  nuts, ocean fish, ostrich meat, grass fed beef, bison, and venison", says Mercola. He goes further to say that the Omega-6 oils are too prevalent in our diet and should be limited or avoided.  They are: corn, soy, canola, safflower and sunflower oil. 5

One additional thought: cooking and heating Omega-3 sources decreases the amount of good fats you receive.  For that reason, many nutritionalist suggest taking a dietary supplement such as  cod liver or flax seed oil capsules, as well as eating uncooked vegetables and oils.  Meats should always be cooked to kill bacteria.

Here is an additional link  that lists foods high in Omega-3 and Omega-6:
 http://www.annecollins.com/dietary-fat/omega-3-efa-6-chart.htm 

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