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Fat is Fuel

27 Feb 2016   Shanti Gowans

Fat is required for the insulation of the body, to release energy, to help store vitamins A,D, E and K, and to help protect vital organs such as your heart, kidney and liver.

Nearly all disease is caused by defective metabolic processes. What causes your metabolism to go harwire is the damage and dysfunction in the mitochiondria, thousands of which are at work in nearly every cell in your body, generating energy you need to stay alive and well. When mitochondria become damaged in large numbers, it is impossible to stay healthy.

A diet in the pursuit of weightloss through the consumption of high protein and no fat is amongst the primary cause. They do not allow your metabolism to ward off the development of most chronic diseases and premature aging, and thus heal at the cellular level. Fat is the primary fuel source that your body is designed to burn in the most efficient way possible. Feeding your body with a cleaner fuel will optimise the biochemical pathways that suppress disease and support healing.

Imagine pouring a cup of corrosive acid directly into your bloodstream. Think about what this would do to your thyroid, skin, bones, heart, your fat-burning metabolism, your body.
 
Now imagine pumping that acid into your body every day, 24 hours a day. For many of us, that's exactly what's happening. This can cause fat cells to become "leaky", allowing a dirty slew of corrosive, inflammatory molecules to spew out. They silently attack your tissues, especially sensitive ones such as your thyroid, making you feel and look decades older than you actually are. One of these particularly dangerous particles destroys the body's ability to process sugar, turns the body diabetic, and forces on slabs of body fat.
 
But the good news, however is a metabolic "double agent", a particle normally considered inflammatory, yet when triggered by a unique "micro-burst" movement, switches sides and becomes anti-inflammatory and comes to your rescue. Additionally, it forces your fat cells to release the fat held prisoner inside and marches that fat directly into your muscle cells where it's burned for energy. More about it in a moment.  
 
There are some truly dangerous myths and half-truths about 'healthful diets'. The benefits from feeding your body a cleaner fuel include:
 
Mental clarity: Your brain cannot function properly without healthy fats. Because your brain is 60% fat, eating healthy fats that build biologically responsive membranes is crucial for optimal brain function.
 
Reduce inflammation. Sugar fans the flames of inflammation in your body. You can limit your consumption of bad sugar and get most of what you need from oil-rich fooods, containing healthier oils.
 
Greatly improved energy. Eating healthy fats improves the mitochondria you already ahve and stimulates the creation of new mitochondria.
 
Freedom from cravings. When you use sugar (eg. alcohol) for your primary fuel, metabolic pathways are activated by driving your blood sugar down, causing your brain to register a craving for replenishment after a short while. Fat, by contrast, is naturally satiating - meaning it leaves your belly full and satisfies your desires for consumption - you don't need more, more, more - of anything as quickly.
 
Weight loss without deprivation. With wise fat intake you are able to modulate the levels of your hormones, including leptin and insulin, which influence your weight, thereby directing your body to burn fat not store it.
 
Our problems arise when we over eat or satisfy the taste buds with more than what our body requires. Weight essentially comprises of lean mass and fat mass. Lean mass is predominantly your muscles, bones, organs and everything but your fat mass. Fat mass is nothing but your fatty tissues. Lean mass takes up very little space in your body but weighs more, while fat mass takes up a lot more space, but weighs less. For better health and metabolism, you need to preserve and gain lean mass keeping a check on your fat gain, rather than weight gain.
Let us understand why fat cells become "leaky". The main reason arises when your body is in a constant state of panic, arising from being nutrient-deficient, loaded with metabolism-killing toxins, and overwhelmed with stress hormones. 
 
To compensate, your cells dump loads of sugar and fat into your blood. Much of this fuel goes un-used, even if you exercise an hour or more a day. This excess sugar and fat pools into a toxic, metabolic sludge which clogs your arteries, triggers more body-destroying inflammation, and pumps your belly full of fat. It's like blending together candy floss and cream cheese, and pouring it directly into your veins! However, this is just the beginning. Once your body panics, your fat cells start leaking. A lot. And that's when your metabolic public enemy number one rears it's ugly head. TNFa,  the kingpin of these inflammatory, metabolism-killing molecules blocks insulin's ability to handle sugar and carbs. Your liver turns it into slabs of body fat, especially deep inside your belly. This dangerous fat, called visceral fat, then cranks out more TNFa.
 
Fortunately, that metabolic "double agent" we referred to earier can come to your rescue. It's called IL-6 and is normally associated with inflammation. However, once you trigger it with a unique "micro-burst" movement (eg Bollywood dancing), IL-6 becomes your best fat burning friend. It squashes your belly fat cells' ability to release age-accelerating TNFa, helps you burn sugar more easily by increasing your body's sensitivity to insulin, and improves fat burning by setting free "stuck fat" and increasing how fast it's burned. Additionally, it builds more cellular energy factories called "mitochondria" - nice!  And, there are four more body-rejuvenating molecules released by micro-burst exercise. They dull joint pain, improve blood flow to your heart, lungs and brain, enhancing your ability to move and stay active. 

Diet to most people is bland, tasteless food, which eventually when adhered to, kills your tastebuds. Exercise is a series of strenuous routines which help convert fats, sugars and starches into aches, pains and cramps. However, according to Ayurveda, what works to optimise your health and nutrition is just simplifying your lifestyle and eating healthy, mouthwatering meals appropriately.

Abandoning your regular lifestyle will result in a temporary solution. To be healthy, you are not only required to be determined but also make your routine fit your lifestyle and not the other way around.

 


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About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography


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