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Fat

"Medical myths about fats have steered millions of Western people into self-destructive dietary folly in recent years.

Natural unadulterated fats are not only highly nutritious, gram for gram they contain far more energy than any other type of food on earth, which makes them the most efficient fuel for essence-to-energy food alchemy.

Natural fats contain nutrients which are absolutely essential for proper functioning of the brain, heart, and immune system, but despite this fact, the Western medical establishment, along with the media and processed-food industry, have condemned natural fats as killers and suggest instead that we all switch over to 'low fat' or 'no-fat' products in which natural fats have been replaced by hydrogenated vegetable oils.

First, let's discuss why the body requires fats and how it uses them, then take a look at the artificial substitutes.

Natural fats such as butter, nut oils, and fish oils contain important nutrients called 'essential fatty acids, which are required for many metabolic processes and vital functions.

That's why they are called 'essential'- because your body cannot function properly without them. Among other things, fatty acids are required to build and repair cellular membranes, especially in brain, nerve, and white blood cells, and to keep blood vessels clean and well lubricated. Two of them- linoleic and linolenic acid- cannot be synthesized in the body and must therefore be obtained from dietary sources. According to Dr. Cass Igram, one of America's leading nutritional scientists, virtually all Americans are deficient in essential fatty acids.

Fats are about twice as efficient in producing energy as any other type of food, including complex carbohydrates and natural sugars. The essence-to-energy conversion of fats takes place in tiny power plants within each cell, called mitochondria, which prefer fat over all other fuels. But the fat must be natural and unadulterated in order to yield viable cellular energy. That means butter, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, and cold-pressed oils.

The traditional Eskimo diet included mounds of raw fat from whales, seals, and fish, but Eskimos never experienced problems with arteriosclerosis and heart disease until they switched from natural fats to processed American foods made with hydrogenated vegetable oils, sugar and starch.

The Japanese also eat a lot of natural raw fish oils in the form of sashimi and sushi, which contain abundant supplies of essential fatty acids. Cold-pressed olive oil has been a mainstay in Mediterranean diets for thousands of years, and these countries are known for their relatively low incidence of cancer and heart disease. In China, people traditionally used cold-pressed sesame and peanut oil for cooking and making condiments, and in India essential fatty acids are obtained by abundant use of clarified butter called ghee.

During World War II, when butter became scare, American chemists fiddled around with vegetable oils to produce butter substituted and came up with margarine and 'shortening'. They did this by heating various vegetable oils to over 500oF, then pumping hydrogen through it and adding nickel as a catalyst to harden it. The result of this chemical wizardry is a solid fat substitute with a molecule structure very similar to plastic.

When natural fats are eliminated from the diet in favor of hydrogenated-oil substitutes, the body is forced to use these denatured fat molecules in place of the natural fatty acids missing from the diet. White blood cells, which are pillars of the immune system, are particularly dependent on essential fatty acids. Here's how Dr. Igram describes what happens to white cells when hydrogenated oils replace natural fats in the diet, excepted from his book Eat Right or Die Young:

These cells incorporate the hydrogenated fats you eat into their membranes. When this happens, the white cells become sluggish in function, and their membranes actually become stiff.

Such white cells are poor defenders against infection. This leaves the body wide open to all sorts of derangement's of the immune system. Cancer, or infections by yeast's, bacteria and viruses can more easily take a foothold....In fact, one of the quickest ways to paralyze your immune system is to eat, on a daily basis, significant quantities of deep-fried foods, or fats such as margarine...No wonder that a high consumption of margarine, shortening, and other hydrogenated fats is associated with a greater incidence of a variety of cancers.

Besides cancer, regular consumption of hydrogenated-oil products, including non-dairy creamers and toppings and virtually all processed and packaged foods, is closely associated with an increased risk of arteriosclerosis, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, candidasis, and high blood pressure.

The heart is particularly fond of natural fats as fuel, and heart cells specialize in the conversion of fats into energy. In order to do this, however, a nutrient called 'carnitine' is required to deliver fats into the cells for combustion. 'Fats cannot be properly combusted without adequate amounts of carnitine,' writes Dr. Igram.

Carnitine is an amino acid synthesized in the liver from two other amino acides-lysine and methionine- both of which must be obtained from dietary sources. If you have sufficient supplies of carnitine, you can eat all the natural fats you want, because carnitine helps burn fat, especially in the heart, which never rests.

Here we find a very interesting link with the traditional Taoist notion of the Five Elemental Energies and their associated organs, in which the liver is governed by Wood and the heart by Fire. 

According to the generative 'Mother-Son' relationship of Wood to Fire, the liver feeds the heart with energy, just as wood fuels fire. In terms of modern nutritional science, the liver provides the carnitine and the fat which the heart burns to produce energy.

The richest dietary sources of carnitine are lamb (especially the fatty parts), organ meats (especially liver and heart), fish, avocado, and wheat germ.

The best sources of essential fatty acids are deep water ocean fish such as tuna and salmon, as well as wild game, avocados, almonds, pecans, and pumpkin, pine, and sunflower seeds.

The best choices in cooking oils are cold-pressed olive, corn, sunflower, sesame, and safflower oils. Clarified butter (ghee) is better than ordinary butter for cooking because it can withstand higher temperatures without damage.

Avoid all products made with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, including commercial mayonnaise, bottled salad dressings, margarine, shortening, and virtually all processed foods."

Source: Daniel Reid.  

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