Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Food For Thought: Saturated Fats

Many of you who personally know me and my cooking habits know I don't buy fake foods (ie fat free/sugar free/carb free created food) and that I typically cook and bake the majority of my family's meals.  I use real butter, full fat sour cream (it has like 2 natural ingredients), mayo and if I'm making a special treat, oh yeah, I'm buying 100% heavy cream and whipping it up.  No fake, man-made, chemical filled Cool Whip in this house!

For the last 3 or so weeks? (I've lost count--it needs to be a lifestyle, not a certain period of time, right?) I've been following a special PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) food plan to help reduce my symptoms naturally.  Modern medicine treats the symptoms with a myriad of drugs and a person with PCOS will typically have a medicine cabinet that resembles their grandparents. (This was my thoughts one day, when in my early 20's, I looked at mine) This eating plan basically has no man-made carbohydrates, dairy or grains.  At first, I wasn't quite sure how I would do it since I am naturally a carbo-loading, cheese eating, chocolate munching gal, but it got easier each day as I learned to be more creative with my meals.  So far I have lost just over 10 pounds and I honestly feel my hormones are adjusting as my symptoms are fluctuating.

In my reading today, I came across the following bit of information and it perfectly explains my reason for spending more time in my kitchen than the average American.  When I was studying for my BS in Holistic Nutrition I had countless texts express the same thing: eat natural foods. I honestly believe that most disease we have today in our country is because of our diet. Our bodies are miraculous, but they don't have super powers.  If a person continually puts garbage in, it's only a matter of time before their body can't keep up and disease/illness will be the result.

"Quite a number of native or primitive cultures in the 20th century or earlier consumed a diet high in saturated fat.  Yet they had very little heart disease, diabetes or obesity.

"Moreover, heart attacks in Americans were almost unheard of at the beginning of the 20th century, but by the 1960s, heart attack was common--in spite of the fact that total fat consumption remained virtually the same during this period.  How do we make sense of that? Has focusing on reducing fat and cholesterol in the American diet produced a healthier population? Clearly, it has not.  Ongoing nutrition research is revealing the complexity of our situation, in which we have a highly manipulated food supply with a great deal of synthetic additives and chemical alteration of foods.  These altered foods are not ideally suited to our internal chemistry.  Chronic health problems are the result.

"The American diet during the 20th century has undergone an astounding increase in the consumption of highly processed foods and beverages, many of which are laden with refined carbohydrates (sugars and starches) and refined vegetable oils.  The processing has stripped away fiber and essential nutrients.  It has degraded the proteins and fats naturally found in foods.  Modern food technology has created "fabricated" food molecules that don't even exist in nature.  Foods are contaminated with man-made chemicals and some chemicals are intentionally added for marking reasons." --Nancy Dunne, N.D.

And don't get me started about fast food...that's a blog post for another day.