Fat is Our Friend

Hi, I'm Dr. Marie Starling.

At The Healing Center, we help people like you reach their full potential.

I specialize in adjunctive care for internal disorders, autoimmune conditions, IBS, thyroid symptoms, diabetes, and other complex health issues.

 

By, Lisa Biederman, CNTP

In the world of functional medicine, why does fat matter? 

  • Curbs overeating and calms leptin, the hormone that controls hunger
  • Gives structure to our cell membranes
  • Makes our steroid hormones, including testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and pregnenolone
  • Burns body fat in the absence of carbohydrates
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Forms neurotransmitters vital for cognitive and memory function
  • Decreases inflammation

The best way to burn fat is to eat fat, but only in the absence of carbohydrates. When sugar is not available to burn, the body burns fat. Minimizing our dependence on glucose for fuel will optimize our brain function. Spikes in blood sugar increase insulin, leptin, inflammatory cytokines, and cortisol and deplete our neurotransmitters and nutrients.

The brain is made up over 50% fat, and prefers ketones, sourced from healthy fats, for its main source of fuel. Ketones are a sustainable, reliable source of energy and prevent the mental, emotional, and physical symptoms associated with low blood sugar. Omega-3 fatty acids help with electrical and cardiovascular function, joint health, immune system, gastrointestinal system, and health of the brain and nervous system. Deficiencies in Omega 3s are often found in people with depression, obesity, bipolar disorder, cardiovascular disease and ADD/ADHD. Omega 3 fatty acids contain DHA, which support neurotransmitters and are vital for brain function. The use of vegetable oils can interfere with the absorption of omega 3s. These harmful oils, such as canola, corn and soybean oil, can increase insulin resistance, lead to obesity, atherosclerosis and cancer, and should be avoided.

Fats Flyer Back

Common myths and truths about fat:

MYTH: Fat makes you fat.

TRUTH: As well as being a source of energy, good fats provide satiety and satisfaction. Most fats are not stored as fat. In fact, sugar is more likely the culprit in increasing body fat. Eating simple carbs turns on insulin, a fat storage hormone, which takes the fuel out of the bloodstream, causing hunger and slowing metabolism.

MYTH: Saturated fat causes high blood pressure and heart disease.

TRUTH: A review of all the research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows there is no correlation between saturated fats and heart disease. The major fatty acids in blockages are unsaturated. While lowering saturated fats in the diet may lower cholesterol, it lowers the HDL, which is the good cholesterol. When people eat less fat, they usually eat more sugar or starch which increases the LDL, the dangerous cholesterol  that can lead to heart attacks.

MYTH: Cholesterol is bad.

TRUTH: Cholesterol is needed for brain development, hormone production, and protecting cell membranes. Dietary cholesterol does not increase blood cholesterol. Most of our cholesterol comes from our liver, not from our diet, so when dietary cholesterol is increased; less is synthesized in the body.


Sources

Enig, Mary G. Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils, and Cholesterol. 2013.

Hartwig, Dallas and Melissa. It Starts with Food. 2012.

Shanihan, Catherine and Luke.  Deep Nutrition. 2009.

Related Posts

Announcement: Foundations of Health: Toxins and Pathogens in your Environment

Have you ever eaten sushi? 

Have you ever used Windex or other common cleaning products?

Have you ever traveled, or kissed someone?

If the answer is yes, you’ve been exposed to pathogens and other toxic chemicals.  Unfortunately, they are a widespread part of our modern lives.

Join us at The Healing Center for Dr. Marie Starling’s FREE Foundations of Health Series, “Toxins and Pathogens in your Environment,” to understand daily exposures that destroy your health, learn what they are, and how to avoid them.

Foundations of Health Lectures Series Dates and Times Announced!

As some of you may know, Dr. Marie Starling is putting on a FREE lecture series starting in April!  “Foundations of Health,” is a series designed to share Dr. Starling’s wealth of knowledge with anyone interested in long term health.  You don’t need to be a patient!  In fact, we are encouraging patient’s to bring any family or friends that don’t quite understand what it is you do when you’re at The Healing Center OR have interest in becoming a patient themselves.

How Emotions Affect Your Health: Drop the Emotional Baggage for Good

Every day each of us experiences an array of emotions that can range from pure illation to the worst kind of grief, sometimes making it feel like we’re on an emotional rollercoaster. Though most emotions leave the body after they are experienced, some will latch on, continuing to have a negative effect without us consciously knowing. Before we dive into why some emotions…

Your Underactive Thyroid and Weight Gain: Hypothyroidism Symptoms and Treatment

Are you tired all of the time despite getting a full night of sleep? Have you noticed sudden weight gain with a decrease in energy and motivation? Do you feel like you’re going through your day in a haze of brain fog…

Meet Suzanne! Our New Energy Worker!

Hi! I’m Suzanne Rainey. I like to call myself a spiritual guide. I work with clients who are on journeys to heal in deep ways, and who may be suffering from chronic issues, pain, anxiety, and other symptoms. I work with people to clear old patterns and restore balance…

Happy Thanksgiving!!

As we approach Thanksgiving, we would like to express our gratitude to our amazing patients who brighten our days with their smiles, commitment, and constantly improving health. The holidays can be challenging to engage in the festivities yet keep your body happy.  To make your Thanksgiving sweet, yet healthy, here is a tried and true yummy gluten-free, dairy-free pumpkin dessert recipe for you from Detoxinista!

B12 – How Are You Getting This Essential Vitamin?

It is estimated that up to 40% of the U.S. population does not get enough B12 in their diet. Vitamins are substances that are essential in small amounts for the health, growth, reproduction, and maintenance of our body. In nature, these vitamins are never isolated – they are part of complex plant…

Trick or Treat? The Dangers of Sugar

The American Heart Association lists the following foods as containing high amounts of refined sugars. *carbonated soda *candy *cookies *fruit juice drinks *dairy desserts *ice cream *cereals *waffles *pies Watch your list of ingredients! Refined sugar will appear in product labels under other names, such as:

Epigenetics

Epigenetics is the study of changes to gene expression without changes to the DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes turn genes on or off and determine which protein is transcribed. Genetics are influenced greatly by environmental and lifestyle factors such as nutrition, sleep habits, stress levels…

All About Serotonin

Serotonin is a brain neurotransmitter commonly connected to happiness and mood, but it also has numerous functions and roles in multiple body systems, such as in the gastrointestinal, immune, urinary, reproductive, cardiovascular, and hormonal systems. Functional medicine recognizes the other roles of serotonin and the importance of a healthy gut…