What do roller coasters and campfires have to do with healthy fat?

We learned previously that fat is a nutrient.  It’s one of the three nutrients classified as macro-nutrients – proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

The three work synergistically together; they require each other for proper absorption and assimilation into our bodies. 

Fats require proteins for adequate use and proteins require fats for adequate use.  We need them both together.  This is why in whole-food forms found in nature, both proteins and fats are coupled together in the same food.  Hmmm….  Maybe God knew what He was doing after all.

Fats take longer to digest.  Hence, they slow the whole absorption process down.  In so doing they enable us to get more of the accessory nutrients found in nutrient-dense whole foods.

As well, by slowing the absorption of our carbohydrates, consuming healthy fats prevents us from having blood sugar spikes and dips AND helps us avoid weight gain.  YES!  You read that correctly.  Consuming fat can help us avoid gaining weight and can help us to lose unwanted weight.

How is this so?

When we rely on glucose from refined carbohydrates as our primary source of fuel, we get blood sugar spikes and dips.  Both too much glucose and too little glucose in the blood is seen as a life-threatening event.

When we have a sugary snack or a high carb meal (with little to no protein or fat), we get a surge of glucose in the blood and our blood sugar to spikes.  Our body sees this as a life threatening emergency and our pancreas goes into overdrive to bring the blood sugar down.  In the process excess glucose (i.e. what is not needed for immediate cellular energy) is stored in the liver and muscles for later use.  The glucose that is still leftover after that gets converted into fat and stored in our adipose tissue.

Now what happens?  Because the pancreas overcompensated to get the glucose out of our blood, our blood sugar dips too low.  Now our bodies need to kick back into overdrive to raise our blood sugar.  At the same time, we reach for a sugary snack to lift us back up.  And once again our blood sugar spikes.

Although it sounds counter intuitive, unless we consume good healthy fats, we never have a chance to burn up that stored fat.  In fact, the opposite happens.  We continue to store more because we are constantly looking for a quick fix to satisfy the sugar dips and cravings that follow the sugar spikes.  And those quick fixes once again get turned into fat and stored in our adipose tissues.

The blood sugar spikes and dips are like being on a roller coaster…that never stops.

However, when we consume adequate fat, we prevent the blood sugar spikes from occurring.  In turn, we start relying more on dietary fat as a source of energy and we can begin to utilize that stored fat.

Have you ever started a campfire?

What happens if you only have kindling for that fire?

You will have to constantly add kindling to prevent the flame from going out.  And you will never get a roaring fire adequate for cooking or providing warmth.

Relying on carbohydrates as a fuel source is the same as trying to start and maintain a fire with only kindling.  We have to keep consuming more snacks to keep us going.  We do not have sustained energy for any length of time, and we never feel great.

However, adding a balance of fat and protein to our diet, is like adding a good log to the fire. Now we have sustained energy for hours to come.  We do not have to continuously return to the cupboard of fridge or stop at the convenience store to refuel.

As well, when we consume sufficient fat, we are satiated quicker.  So, we end up eating less, while still getting adequate nutrients, which also helps with weight management.  😊

In addition to providing energy for daytime activities, having adequate fat can provide our bodies with the needed energy to sleep through the night.  Without restful sleep with cannot go through the much needed restoration, recovery and regeneration processes that only occur during sleep.

“Lack of sleep is associated with a number of serious and life-threatening conditions. If we don’t cycle through the stages of sleep in an appropriate way, there are many negative health consequences. We could experience issues with memory which could become chronic and lead to neurodegenerative diseases. We could have emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, or mood swings. Fragmented or disturbed sleep can also weaken the innate and adaptive immune systems. Poor sleep has also been associated with high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease; and it’s been linked to a risk factor for diabetes, weight gain, and low sex drive.”  Peter Cummings, MD [1]

In addition to having stable blood sugar and restful, restorative sleep, by getting a good balance of healthy fats we are also able to manage pain and inflammation.  To heal, our body needs to inflame and then to anti-inflame.  We have problems when these processes get out of balance.  Often this happens when we consume a diet high in sugar, refined carbs, vegetable oils (aka: industrial seed oils), and trans fats.

When replace these fake foods with the healthy fats like those that I have listed below, and we find a good balance of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fat, we can greatly reduce chronic and acute inflammation and greatly reduce healing time.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Please note, I am not pushing a high fat/low carb diet.  Rather I am encouraging all of us to see past the fallacies around fat that we have been taught the past several decades – that fat is bad for us and that it is going to clog our arteries and cause heart disease.

Truth be known, that when we cut out the saturated fats (the animal fats, the egg yolks, etc) we started seeing a tremendous rise in diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disease, obesity, and cancer.

Why is this?  Besides the fact that we are not getting essential nutrients found in these fats that we cut out, we replaced them with sugar, industrialized oils, and other chemicals, all of which wreak havoc on every cell in our body.

Hence, I am advocating for us to return to a healthy sate by re-introducing those healthy fats that nourished mankind since creation.  And to find the right balance as individuals.

As we have seen here today, fat is critical for the proper absorption and assimilation of our proteins and carbohydrates.  We need all three to keep that fire going properly and to feel our best – to have sustained energy, stable mood, proper weight balance, sound sleep, less inflammation, reduced healing time, a robust immune system, good cell formation and function, good hormone production, and much more.

So, enjoy some healthy fat, and enjoy good health!

Once again, here are some healthy fats.

Here is what one of my clients said recently in regard to eliminating sugars and adding in some satiating fat:

“After a less than positive checkup six months ago, which showed elevated blood sugar and a rise in A1C, I decided to heed Karen’s counsel.  I eliminated sugar, artificial sweeteners, and other processed foods.  I replaced them with complimentary properly prepared, nutritious, satiating foods.  In so doing I began enjoying the fats that I thought were bad for me.  As a result, I experienced significant weight loss in an extremely short period of time.  I was not obese by any means, but I needed to maintain a leaner profile in order to achieve my personal health and fitness goals.  I cannot say enough about the advise and counsel Karen has given me over the past several years.  Thank you, Karen!”  Dave S.

And there are still more important roles to come!  So, stay tuned!

Peace and grace,


[1] Webinar Replay: Sleep: Restoration, Recovery, & Regeneration

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Plus monthly REAL food tips & inspiration right to your inbox!
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