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Healthy Dietary Fats is Vital for Your Child’s Health

Healthy Dietary Fats is Vital for Your Child’s Health

For a long time we have considered fat to be the enemy, believing that it’s bad for our cardiovascular systems and contributes to weight gain. Low fat foods line our supermarket shelves and are packaged in such a way to sway us into believing they are better for our health. This couldn’t be further from the truth and I would like to share with you why healthy fats are vital to your child’s wellbeing and that choosing low fat options may be doing more harm than good.

Healthy fats support cell function. Every cell in the body is held together by a fatty bi- layer called the cell wall. Just visualize and tyre tube inflated with air providing a clear definition between the inner and outer and you’ll have a picture of a healthy cell wall. The cell walls main job is to keep the inner contents of the cell together and to facilitate transport of nutrients and information between cells, from cells to tissues and from tissues to the rest of the body. This process is crucial and requires a range of healthy dietary fats to function correctly.

Health fats transport fat soluble nutrients around the body, namely vitamins E, A, D and K. These nutrients are essential for healthy liver, immune and eye function and generally contribute to slowing down oxidative stress. Other nutrients found only in healthy fats include omega 3, 6 and 9 and butyric acid. These contribute to healthy digestive function, have an anti-inflammatory action and support overall metabolic function. A low fat diet will deprive your body of these essential nutrients eventually resulting in deficiencies.

Healthy fats support healthy brain function. The brain or the master computer that lives on top of our shoulders is comprised of around 70% fat. If you are consuming poor quality dietary fats or fat free foods you will be compromising the function of this master computer. If you want to help your kids become smarter start by ensuring dietary fat is of the highest quality (See below).

The Truth about Vegetable, Canola and Margarine. These products are marketed cleverly to make you think they are healthy but in truth they are far from it. I would strongly advocate avoiding vegetable, canola and other oils as these are highly unstable and are prone to going rancid easily. When this occurs cell function is disrupted and oxidative stress occurs, this is premature aging. When this is left to continue unchecked the body will create an inflammatory response. Inflammation can be silent and go on for many years before illness shows up. When inflammation is ongoing we develop immune disruption which makes us susceptible to cancer. Another fat that is not health promoting is margarines.

Margarine should be giving a wide berth. It is altered to such an extent that it is one molecule away from being a plastic. Margarine is burnt to a black substance that looks similar to motor oil. It is then bleached, fragranced and tainted with synthetic polymers that make it easily spreadable. To top it off it is then packed into a plastic container that will disrupt your child’s endocrine system. This is hardly health promoting.

Other Sources of Questionable Fats. Commercial bakery products, biscuits, cakes, some ice cream, boxed cereal and muesli. These contain either poor quality vegetable fats or synthetic derivatives. Once again, these will contribute to causing damage in the body by altering vital metabolic pathways. Their unstable nature creates oxidative stress which can result in genetic mutations.

What are the best fats to use? The best fats to use in your cooking are easy to obtain from your local supermarket and are healthy for you. Here are the 4 fats I advocate parents to regularly use for their families.

  • --> Butter - rich in butyric acid which aids digestion & an excellent source of Vitamins

  • --> Extra Virgin Olive Oil - tasty, versatile and good for your cardiovascular system

  • --> Coconut oil - will not burn up to 180C, use in stir fry, Excellent brain-food too

  • --> Essential fatty acids (Fish, Nuts and Seeds) - contain balanced ratios of omega 3,6 & 9 to ensure healthy cellular communication and immune function

In this brief article I outlined the nature of fat in the body and how it plays a vital role from the smallest cellular communication to the wide reaching functions of immunity, metabolism and beyond. Not all fats are created equal and the types you choose can either contribute to your family’s health and wellness or be detrimental. So feed your kids healthy, good tasting quality fats and watch them flourish as a result. Wishing all the very best in health and happiness.

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