Beating Sugar Addiction For Dummies
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Dietary fat has been bedeviled in the past as the primary contributor to obesity and heart disease. However, fats are necessary to beat sugar addictions. As nutrition science progresses, it has become clear that dietary fat is a very important component of nutrition. Your body uses fats to produce hormones, transmit nerve impulses, regulate the immune system, and create cell membranes.

Fat provides taste to foods and helps you feel full. Fat takes a long time to digest, so it slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream.

Fat is the most efficient source of food energy; each gram of dietary fat provides approximately nine calories of energy for the body, compared with about four calories per gram from carbohydrate or protein.

Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning they can only be digested, absorbed, and transported in conjunction with fats.

Avoid bad fats to beat your sugar addiction

Different types of dietary fat have different effects on the body. Two types of potentially harmful dietary fat are

  • Saturated fat: This type of fat comes mainly from animal sources of food. Saturated fat from animals that are fed an inflammatory diet (GMO grain and corn instead of grass, perpetual antibiotics, growth hormones, and so on) can raise your inflammatory markers, which increases your risk of cardiovascular disease and other health problems.

  • Trans fat: Trans fats are created when unsaturated fats (like oils) are heated too much, such as when food is deep-fried. Trans fats are also intentionally added to processed food by a process called hydrogenation. This process creates artificial fats that don’t spoil as fast as naturally occurring oils, but these Frankenstein fats are toxic to the body.

    Some of the health problems associated with trans fat consumption are increased inflammation, increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels, disruption of the metabolism of essential fats, and increased risk of diabetes.

Fortunately, food manufacturers in the United States must now list the trans fat content of their products on the nutrition facts label, and many companies are actively attempting to remove trans fats from their manufacturing process.

Here are some tips for minimizing trans fats in your diet:

  • Avoid eating fried foods and commercially baked goods.

  • Don’t eat foods with “hydrogenated” in the ingredients.

  • Try not to overheat any oil that you cook with.

Seek out good fats to beat your sugar addiction

Not all dietary fat is harmful! You want to consume adequate amounts of healthy fats in your diet. Here are some suggestions for foods high in healthy, unsaturated fats:

  • Avocado

  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, anchovy)

  • Nuts

  • Oils (olive oil, canola oil, borage oil, grapeseed oil)

Of particular importance are types of unsaturated fats called omega-3 fatty acids, found primarily in fish, nuts, and some oils. These have a number of heart-healthy effects, including reducing triglyceride levels, raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol, “thinning” the blood, reducing levels of homocysteine, and lowering blood pressure.

Two essential omega-3 fatty acids are found primarily in fish: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Research shows that EPA and DHA serve as powerful natural anti-inflammatory agents, lessen the effects of depression, and protect the cardiovascular system. These fats are particularly important to the function of the brain and nervous system.

Technically, the body can manufacture both EPA and DHA from another essential fatty acid — alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), found in flaxseed oil, canola oil, soy oil, and walnut oil. However, this conversion is very inefficient (less than 10 percent), so it’s virtually impossible to convert enough ALA into adequate amounts of essential fats. Fish oil (or krill oil, if you’re not allergic to shellfish) supplementation seems to be the best option.

About This Article

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Dan DeFigio is one of the most respected names in the fitness and nutrition industry. His articles have appeared in numerous professional journals, and his workshops have been presented in many cities across the United States. He has appeared on the Dr. Phil show and was featured in SELF Magazine, MD News, Personal Fitness Professional, and a host of other publications.

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