Oh my word the days are running into each other and I don't seem to be touching sides...
The information while I was writing this article for you was overwhelming. There is just so much more to FATS.
But here's the low down - We all need a certain amount of fats daily.
And Fat has a role to play in delivering key nutrients to our bodies.
Vitamins A, D, E & K are known as fat-soluble vitamins because they need to bind to fat to be absorbed by our bodies...
…If we’re not eating fats then these vitamins cannot be utilised by our bodies which could lead to deficiencies.
Fat also provides energy to our body and it is an important part of every cell membrane. Fatty tissue protects our organs from trauma and temperature changes.
Have you noticed how some people just don’t seem to feel the cold? Could be their fat storage or it could be hormones.
But hormones for another day....
There are different types of fats that you need to eat.
There are Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA),
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) and
One fat to avoid is man-made trans-fats because they have been shown to increase bad cholesterol and reduce good cholesterol.
Trans-fats have been chemically altered through a process called hydrogenation….
…So when you see “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” in an ingredient list on a product, avoid it!
Now, omega 3 & omega 6 oils are part of the PUFA group.
There has been a great deal of research done that clearly shows that the balance of omega 3 to omega 6 is very important to our health.
Studies show that the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 should ideally be 2:1 and no more than 4:1
The modern diet ratio is in favour of omega 6 at a ratio of 10:1 or even higher at 17:1
This high intake of omega 6 compared to omega 3 has shown in studies to be linked to;
Aim to reduce omega 6 oils in the foods that you eat. Omega 6 is found in
The 2 acids in omega 3 – EPA and DHA – (they have long Greeky sounding names!) have been shown in many studies to reduce triglyceride levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.
EPA & DHA have also shown to reduce the stickiness of blood so clotting is reduced and heart attacks lowered.
EPA & DHA also have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body and this could help with inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
The benefits of taking a supplement of fish oil are far reaching, from decreasing depression and Alzheimer’s to decreasing death from heart disease, to improving body composition.
Here are 10 benefits of eating a fish oil supplement –
Fish oil could help to improve lean body make up in a number of different ways. So if you are a guy with more than 15% body fat or a woman with more than 25% then fish oil could help you to lose fat. PLUS it will help to stabilise any blood sugar issues you may be dealing with. And it could help you to gain muscle faster which you NEED in order to burn fat.
To find suitable fish oil you need to look at a couple of factors.
EPA & DHA
To reduce body fat you need 2-3grams of total EPA & DHA per day. Most store brand fish oils have a combined total of 0.3g per capsule. So that would mean you’d need to swallow up to 10 capsules each day!!!
So an alternative that makes a lot of sense is to look for fish oil where the total EPA & DHA is at least 0.5g
You can find ones that have up to 0.75gg which means fewer capsules to swallow.
Currently my total EPA & DHA is only 0.3g per capsule.
I take 4 in total each day = 1.2g
I’m going to increase that! I don’t mind swallowing extra capsules.
And when these ones in my cupboard have run out then I’ll be looking for a greater EPA & DHA combo.
Studies have found that foods with healthy fats like avocado pears, almonds, olive oil take longer to digest and so they keep you fuller for longer.
Combining them with complex carbohydrates will keep your blood sugars stable and you’ll avoid hunger spikes and dips.
In short, FATS are your friends.
Welcome to Part 2 of What's in my Tablet Box...
Meet Zinc, my main mineral!!!!
This mineral is an absolute must have in your health box.
It is needed in more than 100 enzymes and it is involved in more body functions than any other mineral.
It’s also fairly common to be zinc deficient. This is as a result of soil losses and food processing losses.
Where do we find zinc?
Red meat and liver.
The zinc found in animal sources is better absorbed by the body than those sources in plants.
It is possible to obtain adequate zinc from plant sources, though. Whole grains are rich in zinc – wheat, rye and oats.
Pecan and Brazil nuts contain high amounts of zinc. And pumpkin seeds are considered helpful to the prostate gland.
What is Zinc for?
Zinc is required for
What does Zinc do?
It is involved in many body functions.
It aids the liver in detoxifying alcohol but drinking alcohol flushes zinc from the liver.
So you’ll need to take extra zinc after you have indulged in those cocktails!
Zinc helps the body to use and maintain levels of vitamin A. This action may help to keep healthy skin cells and make new skin cells.
In one study of macular degeneration the supplementation of zinc resulted in significantly less vision loss.
We all need our eyes so what a good idea to add zinc each day…
It is needed in energy production. Do you feel tired and lethargic?
Maybe it’s time to up your zinc…
Zinc is important to the male sex organ function and reproductive fluids.
It is helpful in treating infertility by improving sperm count and motility of the sperm.
It helps in digestion.
Zinc attaches to over 300 enzymes (structures made of protein that break down other molecules).
It is needed by the body to use amino acids from the food we at. It also helps to break down carbohydrates which are a source of energy for the body.
It supports immune function.
Zinc helps to boost the immune system in fighting the common cold and prevents the progression of viral flu symptoms.
It supports insulin activity.
This is especially important for people who have diabetes. Zinc binds to insulin. Insulin is stored in the pancreas and is released when glucose enters the bloodstream. Zinc allows digestive enzymes that are needed for insulin to bind to cells so that the glucose in the bloodstream is used by the body for energy and not stored as fat cells.
Zinc helps with your taste sensation.
A study done with anorexic patients found that by increasing their zinc intake their appetite and taste function improved. Of course there is more to anorexia than just not eating. But by not eating their zinc levels would be low and so they would have a reduced appetite. A vicious circle.
It can speed up recovery time post op. (I’m thinking post C-section, tell your friends who are preggers).
Zinc is useful in treating skin problems like acne, dermatitis, bedsores and boils.
Teenage acne has been successfully treated with zinc supplementation.
If only I had known this when my brother was suffering the worst of acne. He was staying in a back packers at the time and living on baked beans. Nothing wrong with baked beans just not for every meal for every day….
As we grow older the absorption of zinc is reduces as well as our intake.
This is because our digestion is not as good as it is when you are younger AND you tend to eat less so there is less nutrition to be gained.
When we are pregnant our need for zinc increases. This is probably because we are growing another human who requires zinc too.
PMS and using birth control pills are associated with lower zinc levels.
Have you ever noticed white flecks on your nails? This could be a sign of low zinc levels.
Being under stress causes the body to use more zinc.
Have you ever wondered why you have a white tongue? It could be a sign of low zinc levels!!
It has also been found to improve behaviour and IQ in children who may be deficient in zinc.
There is a product for children called Zinplex. It comes in a liquid form and tastes great. Ask my Boys!!!
Both my boys take it from time to time.
When I notice that J is getting a cough or post nasal drip then he'll get Zinplex for a few days.
When M is teething that usually brings on a snotty nose and I give him Zinplex which seems to stop the runny nose.
In two studies, extra zinc was given to Alzheimer’s patients.
The improvements in cognition were dramatic.
It seems that a deficiency leads to plaque forming and nerve cells being destroyed in the brain tissue.
Do you know an older someone? Make sure that they are taking zinc…
How much zinc?
The RDA is 12mg.
The average American consumes 10mg.
We can safely assume that we also are somewhere close to that number. The result? We’re short on zinc.
I use a product called Zinplex. It provides 9.5mg of elemental which means available zinc per 50mg. I take 100mg twice per day.
When I’m fighting off a cold or infection then I take 150mg twice per day.
A side note…
Cadmium is a toxic trace mineral that COPIES Zinc. Ther is no benefit to cadmium and yet it is found in our foods!!
Its toxicity is kept under control by zinc.
Whole foods have a beneficial ratio of zinc to cadmium. BUT when a food is processed and refined then zinc is removed from the food and cadmium dominates.
It is found in coffee, tea, shellfish, sugar, white flour and white rice.
Chat soon, Lee
If you know of another mom who’s looking to bring harmony & health to her life, please share this with her.
She’ll appreciate it and so will I…
Click here to get quick meal ideas for your kids