The body stores body fat for 2 reasons:
- Too many calories from carbohydrates or bad fats.
- It is not getting the required good fats it needs to run the body smoothly.
The first reason is pretty simple. When we eat more than our body requires for energy it stores these excess calories as fat. This is the fat we see on our bellies, hips, and thighs. The fat most of us desperately want to get rid of.
The second reason our body stores fat is because it is not getting the required “good” fats it needs to run the smoothly. Fat is the most important macronutrient as it is needed to make every cell and every hormone. Good fats are also used to keep the hair and skin healthy, maintain proper inflammation function, and keep our moods stable.
Good fats are called essential fatty acids (EFAs) and are found in food such as fish and shellfish, flaxseed, hemp oil, soya oil, canola oil, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, leafy vegetables, and walnuts. We need an abundance of good fats in our diets because the body cannot make these “essential” fatty acids. One problem in getting these fats arises when we cook any of the food that contains them.
Cooking food changes the molecular structure of the fat and turns it into a bad fat such as a trans fatty acid. This is what we don’t want. Cooked food is deficient in good fats. We need to eat these foods fresh and raw. It can be difficult to get enough of these fats in our diets.
Once the body has become deficient of these fats it can take a while to build them back up again. I like to get these good fats in my diet by adding 2 – 4 tablespoons of essential fatty acid oil purchased at any health food store. I pour the oil over my food after it has been cooked. I especially love it in my steel cuts oats in the morning. This ensures adequate amounts of these good fats for your body to use for its essential functions.
Oh and one more thing! Eating these good fats uncouples or breaks apart the stored body fat so it can be burned for fuel easier, making us leaner. Try adding more good fat to your diet, you will be amazed at how good you look and feel.
Steve Butler is a health expert specializing in pain and rehabilitation – Back Pain Vancouver