What’s The Big Fat Problem Anyway?

March 1, 2012

By Anna Varriano

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March is Nutrition Month and so I have been getting requests from a number of organizations to give a nutrition-related presentation to their staff.

I love giving presentations as they give me the opportunity to educate more people on the importance of making the right food and supplement decisions to support overall good health.

  • Is margarine better than butter?
  • Will eating eggs and beef raise my cholesterol?
  • Is canola oil better than olive oil?
  • Can I cook with olive oil?
  • What’s the healthiest oil to cook with?
  • Should I be avoiding fat to lose weight?
  • Is it true that some fats promote weight loss?
  • How can a product with a zero trans fat claim actually contain trans fats?
  • Why are omega-3 fats so important and why are most of us are deficient in them?

Do you know the ‘real’ answers to the above questions? Are you sure or could you be making big fat mistakes?  Being misinformed can be hazardous to your health, so I’d like to help you learn the right answers!

When I am approached to give presentations, I always ask if there is a particular topic that is of interest to the audience-to-be.  Sometimes I do get specific requests, but the response I most often get is, “No, not really. Just come and talk to us about overall good nutrition and health.” Since that’s not something that can be covered in an hour or two, when the topic is left to my discretion, I like to start with the one area of nutrition that is not only so very important to numerous areas of our health, but also the area that in my experience, seems to be surrounded by the most confusion – and that is the topic of fats.

When I say fats, I’m talking about fats and oils, such as butter, margarine, olive oil, canola oil, sesame seed oil, coconut oil, omega-3 oils (like those found in fish and fish oil supplements), corn oil, soy oil, grapeseed oil – you get the idea.

Fats are absolutely essential to so many critical roles in the body. Here are just a few examples:

  • Structural:  Fats, including cholesterol, are the most critical components of  healthy cell membranes, which are the foundation of our overall health.
  • Energy storage:  We can store and burn fat for energy.
  • Body temperature:  Fat acts as insulation and is instrumental in body temperature regulation.
  • Hormones: Fats, including cholesterol, are the building blocks for powerful hormones that regulate many processes in the body.
  • Carrier of fat soluble vitamins:  We need fat to absorb and utilize vitamins A, D, E and K – all of which have so many health-boosting roles in the body.
  • Protection/Insulation:  Our organs depend on a coating of fat to protect and insulate them from trauma.
  • Proper nerve function:  Nerves have a fat-like coating wrapped around them called the myelin sheath. This fatty sheath allows for proper nerve impulse conduction throughout the body.
  • Proper brain function:  Approximately 60% of the brain is fat. We need healthy fats, including cholesterol, for healthy brain function and the production of neurotransmitters (chemicals that affect brain function, nerve function, mood and behaviour).
  • Weight loss:   We have to eat fat to lose fat! Eating certain fats will actually help us to lose fat!

Fats come in numerous forms and while not all fats are evil, some of them can do more harm than good when it comes to promoting our health – and unfortunately, many people are confused and often  misinformed about this issue.

So, what fats are healthy and what fats are not?

In honour of Nutrition Month, I will be giving a one-hour presentation entitled “The Skinny on Fats: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”.  During this presentation, I’ll separate fact from fiction when it comes to fats.

Here are just a few of the quetions I’ll be answering:

Should fats be avoided? If so, why and which ones?

Are unsaturated fats like vegetable oils and margarines healthier than saturated fats like those found in butter, eggs and meat?

Which fats make us fat? Which fats help us lose weight?

Learn about the ‘big fat problem’ that has the potential to increase your risk of cancer, heart disease, obesity and numerous other health issues, and more importantly, what you can do about it.

Presentation details are as follows:

Date: Wednesday March 28th 2012

Time:  7:00pm – 8:00pm

Location: International Academy Health Education Centre, 380 Forest Street (off of Carling, just a few blocks west of Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre. Parking available on Forest Street.

Reserving Your Spot: Space is limited to 30 people, so please RSVP toinfo@perfectresonance.com to reserve your spot today!

Cost: $10 per person, payable at the door (by cash or cheque), with 50% of proceeds to be donated to The Ottawa Food Bank….and you’ll receive a loot bag of healthy product samples!

I’m looking forward to seeing you there and sharing loads of great info with you!

Yours in health,

Anna

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