Fat gets a bad rap. While you’ll want to avoid the “bad fats” (trans fats and saturated fats especially), the fact is: your body needs the “good fats” (mono and polyunsaturated fats) to function properly. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs: a long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid) are the only fats your body cannot produce on its own—that means that, like a complete, balanced spectrum of amino acids, you need to consume them to achieve and maintain optimum health.
You’ve probably heard a lot lately about Omega-3s—so what’s the big deal? EFAs (including Omega-3 and 6) support the healthy function of your body’s critical systems. Your cardiovascular, immune and nervous systems all rely on EFAs. Want to build a younger body? EFAs play a crucial role in your health at the cellular level—EFAs help your cells repair and regenerate, receive nutrition and eliminate waste—all key to vitality at any stage of life.
Exciting new research proves that EFAs not only nourish your nervous system—they help combat depression, low-energy and stress, while improving mental clarity and attention span. Studies have shown that EFA supplementation in children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD can reduce hyperactivity, aggression and impulsiveness. Got elevated cholesterol? EFAs lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) while they help increase HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Achieving the right ratio of these plays a huge part in your long-term cardiovascular health.
If you’re determined to build a younger body, you’ll be pleased to learn that a diet rich in EFAs doesn’t just work on your inside—it also helps reduce the visible signs of aging! A balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 reduces wrinkles and gives you healthy skin, hair and nails. You’ll also enjoy better joint health—and thus a longer active life as you age—since EFAs help reduce inflammation and keep your joints lubricated. Where will you find these amazing EFAs? You can build them into your new healthy-eating plan with:
Salad dressings are the perfect vehicle for getting more plant-based EFAs into your diet—as long as your base consists of a cold-pressed hemp or flaxseed oil, you’re off to a great start.
Omega-3 has stolen the EFA show in the media lately, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only EFA you need to harness the full benefits of healthy fats in your diet—you actually need a balanced spectrum of EFAs and Omega fatty acids. That full spectrum of includes:
Omega-6 has been unjustly labeled a “bad fat” in some circles—actually, there’s a lot more to the Omega-6 story. The standard North American diet delivers a significantly larger proportion of Omega-6 than Omega-3; however, the version of Omega-6 you’ve been warned about comes from heated, denatured sources, like corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean and cottonseed oils, usually used for deep-frying or high-temperature cooking.
Obviously, you’ll want to avoid these damaging sources of Omega-6—but that doesn’t mean you should cut Omega-6 out everywhere! As with carbohydrates, you can choose the right way to get them so they contribute to your health (rather than detract from it). Cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil and hemp seed oil are positive choices that will help you get the right balance of all your EFAs.
- Make your daily smoothie and include a combination of raw hemp, yellow pea and brown rice proteins.
- Switch it up: choose hemp nuts or ground flax as your source of protein for a meal instead of soy protein
- Bake with a whole-grain flour (such as whole-wheat, spelt or kamut)
- Use a natural alternative sweetener in place of white sugar (such as agave nectar or stevia)
See? Eating healthy is easy! Keep it that way: remember your five habits from our introductory lesson and focus on including, not excluding as you begin to incorporate these healthier choices into your diet.
Bonus Long-term Action: Gradually cut back on processed fats and refined carbohydrates at a pace that’s right for you
Brendan Brazier (born March 1, 1975, in Vancouver, British Columbia) is a Canadian endurance athlete, author, advocate of a plant-based diet for personal and environmental health, and creator of the Vega line of whole food nutritional products. Brazier is a former professional Ironman triathlete (1998–2004) and author of The Thrive Diet (Penguin, 2007) and Thrive Fitness (Penguin, 2009).
Brendan Brazier纯素健身 – 揭开蛋白质、脂肪和碳水化合物的神秘面纱 第二部分