Dr. Charlene McCullough has joined HeartWise Ministries as director of nutritional education. Dr. McCullough will be giving HeartWise ministries useful dietary information on Biblical Nutrition. She has spent many years helping people from different walks of life gain insight into nutrition.
This is a question that gets asked many times, so lets take a look at fats and how they work in our bodies.
Uses for fat in the body:
- padding and insulation
- helps assimilation of fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E and K)
- used in making hormones, aids in metabolic processes
- alternative source of heat when carbohydrates are not
Where Do Fats Originate?
The fats found in animals and humans originate from two sources:
- From our diet
- Conversion of excess carbohydrates by the body into fats.
(this is where most fats come from)
When we consume fats, they are broken down by our digestive system into one of two forms.
- Glycerol (glycerin) this can be broken down into sugars for energy
if necessary, in much the same way as carbohydrates are broken down
into sugars, or converted to fat cells
- Fatty acids, which are chains of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen atoms.
These are the building blocks of fat, like amino acids are the building
blocks of protein.
TYPES OF FATS
Essential Fatty Acids – Our body can manufacture most of these from fruits
and vegetable sugars. There are a few that the body cannot produce, and must
be supplied by our diets, in there whole form. These three essential fatty acids are called Vitamin F (Linoleic acid, Arachidonic acid and Linolenic acid).
Essential fatty acids are used by the body in the following ways:
- for normal glandular activity, mainly the adrenal glands
- manufacturing sex hormones and adrenalin
- many metabolic processes
- promotes the availability of calcium and phosphorus
- forming the fat-containing protein of cell’s structure
- for growth and reproduction
Non-Essential Fatty Acids
These can be produced by the body from fruit and vegetable sugars, which come from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy and meats
CLASSIFICATIONS OF FATS
Fats are known as lipids, known as:
- Simple lipids
a. monoglycerides (composed of one fatty acid chain)
b. diglycerides (composed of two fatty acid chains)
c. triglycerides (composed of three fatty acid chains)
- Compound lipids. (highly complex fats)
b. Steroids (cholesterol, bile salts and hormones)
Fats have to be broken down for proper assimilation by the body into monoglycerides. When triglyceride levels in the blood stream rise, this is an indication that you maybe eating the wrong kind of fats.
We have all heard of unsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, Cholesterol, these are good fats, so lets take a closer look:
Unsaturated – has one or more carbon atoms in the fatty acid chain, do not have their accompanying hydrogen atom attached “e;unsaturated”e; with hydrogen. These help us to transport nutrients to the cells, so that the body can carry out certain metabolic processes.
Polyunsaturated fat – this contains many, many fatty acid chains, which have two or more open carbon atoms.
Unsaturated fat is liquid in form (oil) at room temperature, like vegetables, grains, avocados, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
Cholesterol: This in itself is not harmful. It is manufactured by the liver from fatty acids following uses:
- tissue structure of the body, including brain, skin and spinal cord.
- Bile salts used for digestion
- vitamin D and the basic structure for hormones
- combines with protein to help fats and some nutrients to be carried to the
The liver makes approximately 3,000 milligrams of cholesterol per day, no matter cholesterol is in the diet or not, which enters the body from unsaturated fats we eat. When concentrated cholesterol enters the body through diet, an excess occurs. Some of this can be used by the body, if it was not heated above 112 degrees. Once cholesterol or any fat has been heated above 112 degrees, it is denatured to where it cannot be properly utilized by the body and become stored, which is mainly stored on the inside of the artery walls, leading to atherosclerosis – hardening of the arteries.
Saturated Fats – fats that have every carbon atom filled with a hydrogen atom, which makes it unusable by the body, and are solid at room temperature. These are found mainly in animal fats and flesh, dairy products, and eggs.
Hydrogenated Fats (trans fats) – are laboratory processed in which hydrogen is added to polyunsaturated fats, filling the open carbon atom with hydrogen, making the fatty acids saturated. These fats are also solid at room temperature, like shortening from vegetable oil, and margarine. The hydrogenation process consists of heating unsaturated fats/oils to 212-400 degrees F. Hydrogen is then added. This process destroys any vitamins or nutrients that might have been present.
GOOD FATS FOR OUR DIET
Well lets look at a list of good fats, that provide good essential fatty acids to the body, these are all unheated or heated to 112 F or less:
- flax oil and flax seed
- olive oil
- nuts (raw)
- seeds (raw)
- butter (organic best) only allowed to melt on foods, not to cook with
- olives (sun dried in olive oil)
- coconut (raw unsweetened)
- pure fish oils
by Myrna Petersen
The scriptures give us instructions and examples of optimal foods, designed by our creator for us to eat. Gen. 1:29, and Lev. 11 (I do not advocate eating meat, but if that is your choice, He gives us instructions for doing so). Plus there are many other examples throught out the scriptures.
Minerals, vitamins, amino acids, essential fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber, are all essential for good health.
Whole foods contain all of these nutrients. Some ask what is a whole food? A whole food is something edible grown by nature without being processed, like: raw fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds. Minimally processes food contain less nutients but still have benefits. Some of these would be whole grain breads (Ezekiel/manna breads) cereals, and crackers. Sprouted grains retain more nutritional value than whole grain flour.
Things that come from a box, can, bottle ect. Are usually highly processed food, and if eaten, should be done so in moderaton.
Through out the next few articles we are going to look at the nutritional content of. The foods listed below are not the only foods that contain these vitamins, but have the highest level of the vitamin in them.
Vitamin A: Apricot, broccoli, cantaloup, carrot, collard, dulse, garlic, papaya, peach, pumpkin, red bell pepper, sweet potatoes, and yellow squash.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Brown rice, legumes, peanuts, whole grains, fish, poultry and egg yolk.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Whole grains, spinich, asparagus, legumes, yogurt, and egg yolk.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin): Broccoli, carrot, dandelion greens, dates, peanuts, tomatoes, whole wheat, and eggs.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic): Fresh raw vegetables, legumes, mushrooms, nuts, royal jelly whole grain rye/wheat, and eggs.
Vitamin B6 (Pyriodoxine): Carrot, peas, spinch, sunflower seeds, walnuts, fish,and eggs.
Vitamin B12: Dulse, kelp, nori, alfalfa, and eggs.
Folate: Asparagus, whole grain barley, brown rice, dates, green leafy vegetables, legumes, mushrooms, oranges, split peas, root vegetables, salmon (wild caught) and tuna (no mercury brand only)
Inositol: All fresh fruits and vegetables, lecithin, legumes, raisins, and whole grains.
Vitamin C: Fresh berries, citrus fruits, and green vegetables.
Vitamin D: Dandilion greens, sweet potatoes. Oatmeal, halibut, salmon, sardiens.
Vitamin E: Cold pressed vegetable oil (unrefined is best) dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and eggs.
Vitamin K: Asparagus, blackstrap molasses, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, dark green leafy vegetables, oats, whole grain rye/wheat, and soy beans.
Bioflavonoids: Peppers, buckwheat, black currents, berries, and citrus fruits.
by Myrna Petersen
We are now going to look at minerals, and the foods that contain the highest levels of these minerals. There are other food that contain these minerals also, but these have been found to be the best sources.
Every living cell on the planet depends on minerals for proper function and structure. Within our bodies every thing needs minerals to work properly, for example: fluids, all tissues, the formation of blood, nerve function, bone formation, muscle tone (including the muscles of the cardiovascular system). Like vitamins minerals function as coenzymes.
Boron: Apples, carrots, grapes, dark green leafy vegetables, raw nuts, pears, and whole grains.
Calcium: Dark leafy vegetables, raw almonds, asparagus, blackstrap molasses, broccoli, cabbage, carob, oats, prunes, sesame seeds, salmon with bones, sardines, buttermilk, and goats milk.
Chromium: Brown rice, whole grains, dried beans, blackstrap molasses, corn, dulse, mushrooms, potatoes, eggs, and meat.
Copper: Almonds, avocados, barley, beans, beets, blackstrap molasses, broccoli, garlic, lentils, mushrooms, raw nuts, oats, oranges, radishes, raisins, green leafy vegetables, salmon, and soybeans.
Germanium: Broccoli, celery, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, onions, rhubarb, sauerkraut, tomato and milk.
Iodine: Kelp, dulse, saltwater fish, asparagus, garlic, lima beans, mushrooms, sea salt, sesame seeds, spinach, summer squash, swiss chard, turnip greens, and soybeans. NOTE: some foods can block the uptake of iodine into the Thyroid gland, when eaten raw in large amounts. (brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, peaches, pears, spinach and turnips) If you have an under active thyroid, limit your consumption of these foods.
Iron: Green leafy vegetables, whole grains, eggs, fish, almonds, avocados, beets, blackstrap molasses, dates, dulse, kelp, kidney and lima beans, lentils, millet, peaches, pears, dried prunes, pumpkin, raisins, brown rice, sesame seeds, and soybeans.
Magnesium: Apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, blackstrap molasses, brown rice, cantaloupe, dulse, figs, garlic, grapefruit, green leafy vegetables, kelp, lemons, sesame seeds, soybeans, and whole grains.
Manganese: Avocados, raw nuts and seeds, seaweed, and whole grains. Also can be found in: Blueberries, egg yolks, legumes, dried peas, pineapples, and green leafy vegetables
Molybdenum: Beans, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, and peas
Phosphorus: Asparagus, bran, corn dried fruits, garlic, legumes, raw nuts, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, whole grains, salmon, eggs, and poultry.
Potassium: apricots, avocados, bananas, lima beans, blackstrap molasses, brown rice, dulse, figs, dried fruits, raw nuts, garlic , potatoes, winter squash, spinach, yams, and yogurt.
Selenium: Brazil nuts, broccoli, brown rice, dulse, chicken, garlic, kelp, molasses, onion, salmon, and whole grains.
Silicon: Alfalfa, beets, and brown rice.
Sodium: All foods contain sodium. Kelp, dulse are a good source.
Sulfur: Brussels sprouts, dried beans, eggs, garlic, kale, onions, eggs, meats, soybeans, and turnips.
Vanadium: Dill, olives, radishes, fish, snap beans vegetable oil, whole grains, and meat.
Zinc: Dulse, egg yolks, fish, kelp, legumes, lima beans, lamb, mushrooms, soybeans, sunflower seeds, whole grains, and alfalfa.
by Myrna Petersen