High Fat Diets

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The Truth About Fat-Heavy Diets

The Truth About Fat-Heavy Diets

PHOTOGRAPH BY STOCKFOOD/CLINTON HUSSEY

Headlines scream about fat-loading for endurance, butter-drenched “bulletproof coffee,” and how bacon is good for you, but here are four truths that you really need to know.

This article appeared in the June edition of; The Training Edge, a publication by N.A.S.M. This is neither for or against a fat heavy diet, but raises a rational awareness.

1. It’s easy to overdo it.
“A gram of fat has nine calories, while carbohydrates and protein have four calories per gram,” notes registered dietitian Courtney M. Sullivan, founder of Nutrition for Body and Mind (cwnutritionforbodyandmind.com) in Beverly Hills, Calif. “Healthy fats are important for a balanced diet, but moderation is key.”

2. Good fats can aid post-workout recovery.
In a University of Florida study, people who took a supplement that included an omega-3—found in fatty fish like salmon—had less inflammation after exercising. “Get some every day,” advises Sullivan.

3. Animal fats can raise the risk of heart disease.
In a recent case study from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, a 39-year-old man who worked out regularly saw his LDLs (“bad” cholesterol) rise 55 points after he began eating more meat and cheese on the Paleo diet and then added a daily cup of bulletproof coffee (coffee laced with a tablespoon of butter and a medium-chain triglyceride oil). Bottom line: Butter, bacon, and fatty red meat are high in saturated fat, which can increase your risk of heart disease.

4. “Fat loading” for ultra-endurance isn’t ready for prime time.
The theory that high-fat eating lets you “tap into your body fat” for energy, saving carb stores for later or slowing their use during exercise, has had mixed results in human studies.

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Heart Disease in Women

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Can you believe that at the age of 30, physical inactivity begins to play it’s largest role in a woman’s risk of developing heart disease? This is according to Australian researchers, as posted in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. (May 2014)

Physical inactivity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. In 2008 according to the World Health Organization; globally, 31% of adults age 15 and over were insufficiently active. Of those, 28% were men and 34% were women.

From the age of 31 and beyond, inactivity raises the risk of heart disease more than smoking, being overweight or having high blood pressure.

Changing diet habits and walking thirty minutes a day or for an hour three times a week, will make a drastic change in your risk. Blood flow to the heart and the ability to pump normally can be changed in as little as a  month.

Exercise is only a fraction of the equation though. Stress management and a strict, healthy diet are crucial lifestyle changes that need to be adhered to. Following up with regular visits to your doctor, staying at a healthy weight and not smoking will greatly reduce your chance of developing heart disease as well.

It is never too early or too late, to begin a healthy lifestyle change. Find a support group, join a walking club or just ask your medical professional for advice and help. Some insurance companies will offer a discount on proactive health services. Search social media or join a discussion forum. My Fitness Pal is just one of the apps that has many group discussions, recipes, food logging tips and support opportunities.

Whatever method you choose to better yourself, just stick with it. You will develop a sense of pride and accomplishment, and just may be a role model for someone else.

In fitness, Bob