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Health and Wellness
All Fats, Carbohydrates are Not Created Equal
Wellness Consultant
Wednesday, January 18, 2012 • Posted January 19, 2012 11:37 AM

“The fat you eat will soon become the fat you wear!” states John McDougall, M.D. After years of learning to treat fat as the enemy, it’s strange to hear nutritionists advocate that we put some fats back into our diets. Recent studies show that we actually do better if we augment our diets with moderate amounts of healthy unsaturated fats. Switching from red meat to chicken and fish reduces the intake of saturated fat and increases omega-3. Meat eaters can get healthier fats by buying from producers that allow their animals to pasture feed. These meats are nearly as low in total saturated fat as skinless chicken breast, and they’re high in omega-3s and vitamin E. Sources include American Grass Fed Beef (, Niman Ranch ( and Slanker’s ( Game meat such as venison and buffalo are also lean. Other options are seafood and free-range chicken and pork. Sources of healthy fats include nuts, seeds and most vegetable oils, particularly olive oil, which is high in cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fat.

Here are substitutes that you might use to lower your fat intake when preparing foods. Instead of: a hot dog, choose a nonfat turkey sandwich; bacon or ham hocks, use Canadian bacon; high-fat dairy products, use low-fat, part-skim products; whipped cream, use evaporated skim milk (chilled and whipped with 1 tsp. lemon juice) or low-fat or nonfat vanilla yogurt; salad dressings, use olive oil, balsamic vinegar, or lemon juice.

Essential Fatty Acids are called such because your body cannot make them and they must be obtained from the foods you eat. These are good fats, but must be consumed in balance, as they are the building blocks for every cell in the body. Omega-3 fatty acids help to prevent inflammation, immune and endocrine problems. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in: tuna and salmon, soybeans, beans, wheat germ, walnuts, flaxseeds, and canola oil. Omega-6 fatty acids, such as animal products and polyunsaturated vegetable oils, are essential in small amounts only.

Americans are loading up on refined carbohydrates made with heaps of white flour and sugar. These foods contain considerably fewer vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, fiber and phytochemicals than complex carbohydrates. Most refined carbohydrates score high on the glycemic index scale, meaning they are quickly converted to blood sugar by the body, causing an insulin surge. Subjecting the body to continual insulin peaks may lead to serious health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Sucanat is a good alternative to refined sugar. It is cane sugar that has been juiced and dried, not de-mineralized, bleached and chemically treated, and is a one-for-one substitute for sugar in cooking and baking or… try Stevia.

Whole grains are an important part of any healthy diet. Products containing bleached and enriched flour act like simple sugars in the body in that they cause blood glucose levels to rise quickly, triggering production of insulin. Read the labels carefully on packaged foods, particularly breads, crackers, cookies, cereals and pastas. Look for whole grain ingredients such as 100% whole wheat, oats, oat flour, millet, whole spelt flour, barley flour, quinoa, whole rye. Instead of white, enriched or polished rice, choose brown rice, basmati, or wild rice. Avoid instant or quick oats and oatmeal. Choose the old-fashioned oatmeal instead.

Eat more fruits and vegetables, and don’t stop at five servings a day; the minimum number recommended by health organizations is 5-7 for children, 7-9 for women, and 9-13 for men. The research seems to show that more is better.

To obtain a glycemic index chart of fruits, vegetables, and grains visit: and/or other web sources.

“Your mom would be proud and your doctor will thank you.”

Next week: Is there a rainbow on your plate?

Disclaimer: Facts in these articles are obtained from medical and clinical journals, scientific publications, and published trade books. These articles have been written and published strictly for information purposes. Consult your health care provider for your specific medical needs. For any questions, comments or suggestions contact Maryella at or

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