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Monday, May 23, 2016

Invictus Spirit - being unstoppable no matter what!

This post is a tribute to Memorial Day today. 

I am about to share my experience with you of the 2016 Invictus Games held in Orlando, Florida USA last week.

Long story short: This is about inspiring everyone to keep on going in life NO MATTER WHAT. To get back up again when we get knocked down. When we get knocked down we might stay there for a time, but we must remind each other not to get stuck there, and to ask for help. The healing process can be a long one, but one that must be walked and it involves healing all aspects; mind, body and spirit. My experience shared here also proves how we are all a team in this world and we have the power to uplift each other. Often times when we are in a rough spot we feel disconnected and alone, like the world is against us, when that is far from the truth. We just need to reach out and then be open to receiving the healing and guidance.

The games were held in Orlando, Florida at Disney World! I quickly snapped this while driving through... 

The very first athlete I met at the games was Scott Meenagh, who is a Paralympian for rowing for Great Britian. Scott lost both his legs in a bomb blast while serving in Afghanistan.  

There were 15 nations who competed in Invictus Games in Orlando. Here are Canadian competitors, Retired Sergeant Nicolas Meunier served with the Royal Canadian Air Force and competed in archery and other competitions. His home town is Montreal, Quebec. CTV Montreal said "One of Canada's 22 medal-winners at the recent Invictus Games credits the event with saving his life. After retiring from a 20-year military career, Nicolas Meunier found himself suffering the effects of PSTD. He found motivation to on by training for the recently ended Invictus Games where he brought home silver in archery." 

And Adam CYR is a retired master corporal who served with the Canadian Army and competed in archery and other competitions also. Me Cyr hails from Saskatchewan. Adam's friend Jay Bickerton posted on Facebook regarding PTSD, "My buddy Adam has learned to deal with the "new norma". If you need help, ask for it. It's time to get rid of the stigma. If a friend has diabetes or high blood pressure or a bum knee, you wouldn't think twice about it. Adam Cyr is an inspiration, never quit." 

I was so honored to be able to be part of the Invictus Games 2016 in Orlando. It was fun, empowering, inspiring and heart touching. 

The Invictus Games are an international Paralympic-style multi-sport event, in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans take part in sports including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, and indoor rowing.

The actual meaning of “Invictus”, is “unconquerable” or “undefeated” in Latin, is a poem by William Ernest Henley. The poem was written while Henley was in the hospital being treated for tuberculosis of the bone, also known as Pott's disease. The speaker in the poem proclaims his strength in the face of adversity:

"My head is bloody, but unbowed.... 

I am the master of my fate; 

I am the captain of my soul."

I now sport two shirts I got from the games, one saying I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL.

I wear them loud and proud and it starts great conversations! So far in Orlando, New York City and Canada.

Why this games is important to my heart…

I first heard about Invictus Games on the Internet. It came up in my feed as all the advertisements do when the Internet knows we like related things. I saw wounded warriors, men and women who went to the war and lost limbs, arms and legs. When I read more I learned it was also about veterans who suffered internal injuries like brain damage from explosions, or even "invisible wounds" like post traumatic stress disorder and depression. Then I learned that 22 veterans commit suicide every day in USA, and that's when it hit my heart. When I was 18 I declared to myself and the world that I would contribute my time here to help reduce depression and suicide with the time I have here. It's a subject close to my heart because a family member of mine first attempted suicide when I was 17 years old, and at that time I was so confused I didn't understand or know what depression was. I traveled the world and interviewed people on depression and visited some of the countries that had high suicide rates like Latvia and Lithuania. Since then I've experienced severe depression myself and gone through thought processes where I thought I was worthless and should take my own life. I have been recovering from this the past few years and feeling much better and happy to say I do not experience those feelings or thoughts anymore. Because I overcame it I know that others can to. And others do to, but sadly many take their lives. It takes a lot of things to heal from the darkness of depression; I did a lot of healing using food, and also did a lot of mental, emotional and spiritual work. 

“Happiness is not ready made, it comes from your own actions.” Dalai Lama

My role in this… Helping people heal with food.

Veterans, service men and women who go to war experience traumatic things and it's understandable they take their lives. But it doesn't have to be that way. And that’s why Invictus Games was created. To bring together the wounded, and the family and friends of Veterans, to uplift each other. The Invictus Games was also about bringing awareness to invisible wounds like post traumatic stress.

When we feel like we don’t matter… and we don't belong remember this: 

The Invictus Games was created by Britain's Prince Harry. You may have seen the video he did with the Queen. The first Invictus Games was in London in 2014. The inaugural Invictus Games in London 2014 used the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women. The next Invictus Games will be held in Toronto in 2017. Loblaws a supermarket chain in Canada is one of the sponsors, I will do my best to make sure there is natural and organic awareness for healing the body at the event. I am proud to say that some copies of The Earth Diet books have been donated to athletes and I will be working with the USA team on healing and strengthening with food.

I thought it was a great time to publish this today Memorial Day, which is usually on the last Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day and commemorates all men and women, who have died in military service for the United States. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day and it is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season.

DAY 1 - Opening Ceremony 

This is what the registration room looked like... The affirmation "I am the captain of my own soul" is such a powerful one to keep locked in our mind! 

My friend and veteran Jason Colchiski also attended the games. Jason served 5 years for the USA army and was in Iraq for 15.5 months. 

It was such a beautiful location to be surrounded by palm trees, blue skies and plenty of sunshine at the ESPN section of Disney World. I loved meeting people and if they asked what I did said that I help people to heal with food, and was able to show them a copy of The Earth Diet book. 

The crowd were excited and energetic! 

The opening ceremony was mind blowing and stunning. 

This was the menu available, not ideally Earth Diet but perhaps I can help with this on the next one! :-p I AM Nourished would be a great affirmation here! 

Morgan Freeman gave a great speech! And so did Michelle Obama, Prince Harry and former U.S President Bush. 

The opening ceremony was both entertaining and inspiring. 

About Adaptive Sports
Competitions like the Invictus Games aid in holistic healing throughout the recovery and rehabilitation process: mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically & socially. The Invictus Games serve as a reminder that there are Service men and women who adapt to a "new normal", long after the Games are over. Military or not, anyone who experiences the Games will walk away changed.

DAY 2 

I had to fly back to NYC because the Sports Emmys were on! So I had a quick breakfast in bed... TigerNuts - same amount of iron as red meat! 

And I got to watch some of the cycling race in the morning...

And meet Michael Geurts whose injuries you cannot see from the outside, because he suffers with internal wounds PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). He said "PSTD we have our highs and our lows. I know that I have the ability to achieve my definite purpose in life. I am succeeding by attracting to myself the forces I wish to use and the cooperation of other people. I will always keep moving forward. I will always be the very best I can bring. I have moments of darkness that on occasion cloud my thoughts, which stop me from moving through these clouds to the clearer thoughts. I see my story is minute compared to my brothers. There must be so many of us out there... Don't hide your wounds and use them as an excuse to be ****." 

Michael spent 17 years in the Australian Army and Department of Defense. He understands the fundamentals and importance of appropriate rehabilitation and is now the CEO of Bootcamp Company based in Sydney Australia. 

I also bumped into Ade Adepitan again, we crossed paths a few times at the games. Ade is an inspiration, he is a British Television Presenter including BBC and wheelchair basketball player. He uses his wheelchair as a result of contracting polio as a child. 

That night back in NYC I had the honor of taking another fun photo with Shaquille O'Neal. And just for the record I am 5"7 although he makes me look absolutely tiny! 

And the pleasure of congratulating VernLundquist on his Lifetime Achievment Emmy. 

Dinner was more TigerNuts! Cannot get enough of this superfood. 

And it was Katie Nolan's first Emmy win woohoo! 

Then I flew back to Florida to be there for the rest of the games!

DAY 4 - Closing Ceremony 

The basketball finals was exhilarating. 

USA ended up winning the Gold medal. 

Right before the closing ceremony I had a brilliant time getting to learn more about Fisher House. I enjoyed some couch time with Dan 

That evening I went to Wholefoods for some nourishment at dinner time and perfect I see TigerNuts are on sale here with a great display! Such a quick nourishing snack aiding in healing the body. 

It’s true, Invictus Games changed my life. And it created a ripple effect for everyone I am in contact with. I am more grateful especially for my physical and mental health, and I point out to others to appreciate what they have, not focusing on their problems. I remind them it could also be worse, they could be dealing with their problems plus without the use of arms and legs. It did that for me, imagine that it also did that for all of the people who attended.

"The Invictus Games would not have happened without Fisher House, Ken stepped up." said ... 

I had planned to meet Ken Fisher right before the closing ceremony, however he got so swamped and didn't make it to the tent. So I had the opportunity to visit his stunning office at the Fisher House in NYC on Park Avenue. Ken explained to me, "I was late for the close. They drove me in with golf cart. There were about 1,000 family & friends of the veterans who greeted me. I have to say it was the most incredible 10 minutes of my life."

Ken said that the games far exceeded anyone's expectations. I would have to agree. 

Ken started work on Invictus Games in January 2015 and described it having so many moving pieces. "We wanted these to have an Olympic kind of feel. We decided on Disney after having dinner down there and resonated with the concept. It was a great location because everyone stayed together which gave them a chance to share their experience. The family and friends of the veterans could affirm they are not alone and be rest assured that other people are going through similar circumstances and knowing that gave them another outlet. It helped them to ask 'how did you deal with that, what did you do?' Disney knows how to do these things. Everyone took something positive out of it. I saw a lot of smiles. There were no major glitches, and the coverage was excellent. Everyone who came in walked out winning, whether they won a medal or not. Everything can take something positive from the Invictus Games 2016. 

I asked Ken about the next Invictus Games which is being held in Canada September 2017. He isn't sure whether the Fisher House will be in or not however he is of course there for moral support. 

The more I learned about Fisher House the more I was blown away. Fisher House plays a huge role in the healing process of a wounded veteran and their family. The family members can stay for free at Fisher House while a veteran is being treated in hospital. The financial burden is removed and they get to meet other families in the house who can support each other. 

"If someone has already had that bad day, they can help you through it. If you have a good day someone there to share that celebrate." 

Selfie time with Ken was fun! 

This was on Ken's desk, and is one of the reasons he does what he does. 

Ken Fisher was born in the Bronx. He can see where he grew up from his office on Park Avenue. 

That evening I got to represent The Earth Diet at the New York Festivals - World's Best Work. 

And I got to meet Jillian Mercado! Another inspiration! Jillian has muscular dystrophy and is wheelchair bound, but that doesn't stop her she is Diesel's newest model cast by BeyoncĂ© and is represented by IMG models who look after Kate Moss and Gigi Hadid. It just goes to show that no matter our circumstances in life we can be unstoppable and live a fulfilling life! 

My life will never be the same again. I have a new appreciation for my body and my health. And I can point the people who are deeply suffering to look at the Invictus Games and be reminded to choose to be unstoppable and let's press on as a team! 

Love Liana

Monday, February 29, 2016

7 Ways to Optimize Cholesterol

This is a great second guest blog post from my good friend and nine-time New York Times best selling author Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D. who just came out with a great book on how good fats will make us thin, improve our health and support our happiness. This blog post is on the best ways to optimize cholesterol. I hope you enjoy!

Much love,
Liana Werner-Gray 

7 Ways to Optimize Cholesterol
“My doctor says my LDL cholesterol is really high and he’s concerned,” is a recent question I received from a reader. “Now you’re saying that I should eat more fat, which should improve my cholesterol. I thought fat was the last thing I should be eating with high cholesterol.”
I know how confusing cholesterol and dietary fat has become. The media, many scientists, and even doctors still disseminate outdated research on nutrition.
The reality is, most of us have little understanding about our cholesterol levels in our blood and the whole topic is much more complicated than we thought.
Many people still believe that eating cholesterol and fat, especially saturated fat, causes heart attacks and that taking statin drugs provide a powerful way to reduce your risk of heart attacks. But is this really true?
One of the biggest refuse-to-die myths is that dietary and cholesterol levels are the enemy and a high-fat diet causes heart attacks.
Your doctor, the media, and traditional health professionals advise that you shouldn’t eat too much fat or cholesterol; yet, study after study shows no link between total fat, saturated fat, or dietary cholesterol and heart disease.
Total Fat and Saturated Fat Don’t Cause Heart Disease
One review of 72 studies comprising almost 600,000 people found no link between total or saturated fat and heart disease, but they did find that trans-fats were clearly harmful and omega 3 fats were beneficial.
What most doctors and drug company commercials don’t talk about are the studies that show that most people who have heart attacks actually have normal cholesterol levels. Because we have statins and other drugs that lower cholesterol, the belief is that these drugs are preventing the heart attacks. What we need to focus on, is what we can do to reduce our risk for heart attack.
One large study looked at 541 hospitals with 136,905 admissions for heart attacks. Altogether, researchers accounted for 59 percent of all heart attacks in America that year.
Interestingly, all of these patients who had heart attacks did not have high LDL or elevated total cholesterol. In fact, 75 percent of those people had “normal” LDL cholesterol, with 50 percent having optimal LDL levels. So much for the high LDL contributing to heart attacks.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Only 10 percent of the participants had levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol over 60. This means that 90 percent of these patients who suffered a heart attack had HDL levels under 60. Low HDL is a big red flag for pre-diabetes, or what I call diabesity. And we now know that low HDL is the real driver of most heart attacks and heart disease.
Indeed, researchers in this study found most of these patients had metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes or diabesity.
I have seen this over and over in my practice over several decades. Fat and dietary cholesterol are not the culprits. It’s sugar and refined carbs that contribute to diabesity, heart disease, and so many other problems.
The End of Low-Fat Diet Recommendations
The 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee reviewed all the research over 40 years and told us to stop worrying about dietary cholesterol, arguing it is “not a nutrient of concern.” They also finally lifted any recommendations to restrict dietary fat after 35 years of a steady diet of low-fat recommendations! This was buried in the report but is huge news.
I recently interviewed one of the world’s leading cholesterol experts, Dr. Ronald Krauss. He told me in the 1980s, when low-fat recommendations were in their heyday, he performed a study taking people with normal cholesterol and feeding them a low-fat, high-carb diet, which experts considered healthy at the time.
Dr. Krauss was shocked at what happened. This supposedly healthy low-fat diet changed healthy cholesterol profiles into heart attack-prone profiles, with high triglycerides, low HDL, and small LDL particles. Researchers were shocked.
What we now know matters most is the type of fat you eat, not the amount. Trans-fats and refined vegetable oils promote abnormal cholesterol profiles; whereas, omega 3 oils from fish and monounsaturated fats found in nuts and olive oil can actually improve the type and quantity of your cholesterol.
Trans and damaged fats are unhealthy, but the biggest culprit of abnormal cholesterol levels is not fat at all. It is sugar in all its many forms.
The sugar you consume converts to abnormal blood cholesterol and belly fat. The biggest culprit of all is high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) found in soda, juices, and in most processed foods. That’s what causes cholesterol issues in most people, not saturated or total fat.
When you ingest fructose in high amounts without the associated fiber found in whole fruit, it turns on the cholesterol-producing factory in your liver called lipogenesis which makes super dangerous small LDL particles, jacks up your triglycerides, and lowers the HDL (or good) cholesterol. So does sugar in any form, including flour and refined carbs.
The Dangers of Statin Medication Used to Lower Cholesterol
So, why are we all obsessed with total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol when we know they aren’t the primary culprits for heart attacks? Because a multi-billion dollar drug industry exists behind the number-one best-selling class of drugs on the market: Statins.
Believing that having a low LDL is the best way to prevent heart disease, doctors often prescribe medications like statins to keep those levels low.
Yet these drugs can introduce a whole host of problems including muscle damage, memory issues, Parkinson’s-like symptoms, and muscle aches and pains. We now know that statins can increase risk of diabetes by about 50 percent.
They also prevent your muscles from working properly so when you exercise, you can’t get as fit. One 12-week study found that people who took statins showed a 13 percent reduction in fitness after a vigorous exercise program. The statins blocked the benefits of exercise.
Even more concerning is that statins don’t even work that well for preventing heart attacks, despite all the media hype and your doctor’s advice. You have to treat 50 people with statins to prevent 1 heart attack or treat 890 people to prevent 1 death. That means 889 people are taking statins with no benefit.
When the statins do work, it often has nothing to do with their effect on cholesterol. Some of the touted benefits of statins are that they lower inflammation and perform like antioxidants in the body.Overall, however, the drawbacks outweigh these and other potential benefits for most people. They may have a little more benefit for those who already have had a heart attack but not much for those who have never had one (which is when most statins are prescribed – before an incident has occurred).
7 Steps to Optimize Your Cholesterol
If your doctor is concerned about your cholesterol, you will want to use these seven strategies to optimize lipid levels and your overall health:
  1. Get the right cholesterol tests. You must check for particle size and particle number by asking your doctor to do a particle size test. Other cholesterol tests are outdated. A regular cholesterol test won’t reveal particle size. The tests to get are either an NMR Lipid Panel from LabCorp or the Cardio IQ Test from Quest Diagnostics. Insist on one of these tests. They are the only way to know what’s really going on with your cholesterol. You want to see results that show lots of safe, light, fluffy, big cholesterol particles. You do not want to see small, dense, artery-damaging cholesterol particles.
  2. Check for metabolic syndrome or diabesity. If you have small LDL and HDL particles or high triglycerides (over 100), you probably have metabolic syndrome. If your triglyceride-to-HDL ratio is over 2 you also likely have diabesity. Ask for a glucose-insulin challenge test or an insulin-response test. Most doctors don’t do this test for insulin; they only check glucose. It is performed by checking your glucose and insulin after fasting. Then you drink a 75-gram glucose drink and your insulin and blood sugar are measured again at 1- and 2-hour intervals. You should also ask your doctor to check your hemoglobin A1C, which is a measurement of your blood sugar control over the last six weeks. If it’s greater than 5.5 percent, you may have metabolic syndrome.
  3. Eat a healthy diet with healthy fats. The good fats in foods like avocado, coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, wild-caught fish, nuts, and seeds can improve the type and quantity of cholesterol in your body.
  4. Eat a low-glycemic load diet. Besides healthy fats, focus on a high-fiber, plant-based diet with lots of phytonutrients and omega 3 fats. That includes lots of non-starchy veggies. Consume plenty of good-quality protein found in beans, seeds, nuts, and high-quality, sustainably raised or grass-fed animal protein.
  5. Exercise regularly. Studies show consistent, regular exercise can optimize cholesterol levels. If you’re a newbie, even 30 minutes of walking will help. More advanced exercisers can incorporate weight training and high-intensity interval training.
  6. Focus on quality sleep. Optimizing blood sugar is just one of the numerous benefits of eight hours of sleep every night. Practice good sleep practices: Turn off the TV and Internet a few hours before bedtime. Many patients like to unwind with my UltraCalm CD. Get 19 of my top sleep tips here.
  7. Take the right supplements. You can find high-quality supplements to optimize cholesterol in my store. These include:
  • A multi-vitamin
  • Fish oil or EPA/DHA
  • Vitamin D3
  • Niacin
  • Glucomannan or PGX (a super fiber)
  • Red rice yeast
  • Low-dose statins (only if you’ve had a heart attack, heart disease or if you have multiple other risk factors while carefully monitoring for muscle and liver damage)
I hope you can see how the story of cholesterol is not black and white. It’s certainly not the enemy. Follow these seven strategies outlined above and you will be able to optimize your cholesterol levels and achieve optimal health.
Want to learn more about Fat and Cholesterol? Watch my Q&A video on Fat. Here are just some of the questions I answer in this video:
If it’s not fat, what is the true cause of heart disease, diabetes, and disease?
· How can we differentiate between good and bad fats?
· Is butter really good for you?
· And how did we get into this big, fat mess?
Go here to watch this video:
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, M.D.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Separating Fat from Fiction: 10 Fat Facts You Need to Know

This is a great guest blog post from my good friend and nine-time New York Times best selling author Dr. Mark Hyman where he reveals a shocking new medical discovery that turns our understanding of why we get fat and sick completely upside down. I am so excited and honored to share this great blog post with you! 

Much love,
Liana Werner-Gray 

“Everyone seems to be talking about fat these days. That fat somehow is good now and can help with weight loss and disease prevention. How can that be true when for decades we all were told that fat was the bad guy? What are its benefits? Are there any downsides to eating more fat?”
Is a recent question I received and it comes at the perfect time. I have just finished writing my new book Eat Fat, Get Thin, hitting the bookstores on February 23, 2016. I wrote this book because almost everyone I know – doctors and patients and eaters alike are all confused about fat and still hold on to myths and misinformation that prevents them from taking advantage of the latest science to lose weight and get healthy.
You’re likely familiar with many of them: Fat makes us fat, contributes to heartdisease, leads to diabesity; saturated fat is bad; vegetable oils are good…I could go on, but I think you know what I’m talking about.
None of these beliefs about fat are true. In my latest book, I combined the latest research with my several decades of empirical evidence working with patients to prove what I’ve long discovered: The right fats can help you become lean, healthy, and vibrant.
Fat is one of the body’s most basic building blocks. The average person is made up of between 15 and 30 percent fat! Yet for decades, we’ve unfairly demonized dietary fat, diligently followed a low-fat diet that almost always equates into a high-sugar and high-refined carb diet that contributes to insulin resistance,obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and numerous other problems.
Simply put: Sugar, not fat, is the real villain that steals our health and sabotages our waistlines.
With Eat Fat, Get Thin, I’m determined to separate fat from fiction by giving you the skinny on fats – what to eat and how to use dietary fats to regain your health and ideal body weight. Eating lots of the right fat will make you thin. The right fats increase metabolism, stimulate fat burning, cut hunger, optimize your cholesterol profile, and can reverse type 2 diabetes and reduce your risk for heart disease.
Over the next few months in these blogs I’m going to blow up our myths about dietary fat and show you how this still-maligned macronutrient can help you become lean and healthy.
For now, let’s look at 10 take-home fat facts.
  1. Sugar, not fat, makes you fat. The average American eats 152 pounds of sugar and 146 pounds of flour that converts to sugar every year. That’s nearly a pound of sugar and flour combined every day! More sugar means your cells become numb to insulin’s “call.” Your body pumps out more and more insulin to pull your blood sugar levels back down. You can’t burn all the sugar you eat. Inevitably, your body stores it as fat, creating insulin resistance and overall metabolic havoc among other mayhem.
  2. Dietary fat is more complex than sugar. There are some 257 names for sugar, but despite very minor variations, they all create the same damage. In other words, sugar is sugar is sugar; it all wreaks havoc on your health. Fat is more complex. We have saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and even trans fats, not to mention subcategories within each group. Some fats are good; others neutral; and yes, a few are bad.
  3. Low-fat diets tend to be heart-unhealthy, high-sugar diets. When people eat less fat, they tend to eat more starch or sugar instead, and this actually increases their levels of the small, dense cholesterol that causes heart attacks. In fact, studies show 75 percent of people who end up in the emergency room with a heart attack have normal overall cholesterol levels. But what they do have is pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
  4. Saturated fat is not your enemy. A review of all the research on saturated fat published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no correlation between saturated fat and heart disease. As with all fats, quality becomes key here. The fats in a fast-food bacon feedlot cheeseburger will have an entirely different effect than saturated fat in coconut oil. Let’s stop classifying it all as the same.
  5. Some fats are unhealthy. They include trans fat and inflammatory vegetable oils. Unfortunately, these fats have increased in our diet as they make us fatter and contribute to inflammation, which plays a role in nearly every chronic disease on the planet.
  6. Everyone benefits from more omega 3s.About 99 percent of Americans are deficient in these critical fats. Ideal ways to get them include eating wild or sustainably raised cold-water fish (at least two servings weekly), buying omega-3 rich eggs, and taking an omega-3 supplement twice a day with breakfast and dinner that contains 500 – 1,000 milligrams of omega-3 fats (a ratio of roughly 300 EPA to 200 DHA is ideal). You’ll find several quality professional omega 3 supplements in my store.
  7. Eating fat can make you lean. Healthy cell walls made from high-quality fats are better able to metabolize insulin, which keeps blood sugar better regulated. Without proper blood sugar control, the body socks away fat for a rainy day. The right fats also increase fat burning, cut your hunger, and reduce fat storage. Eating the right fats makes you lose weight, while eating excess sugar and the WRONG types of fat make you fat.
  8. Good fats can heal. I have many diabetic patients whose health improves when I get them on diet that’s higher in fat. I had one patient with high cholesterol who could not lose weight, so I bumped up her healthy fat content to 70 percent. (I don’t recommend this for most patients; hers was an extreme case.) Her cholesterol plummeting from 300 to 190, her triglycerides dropped 200 points, and she lost 20 stubborn pounds that she couldn’t ever lose before!
  9. Your brain is about 60 percent fat. Of that percentage, the biggest portion comes from the omega-3 fat called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Your brain needs DHA to spark communication between cells. Easy access to high-quality fat boosts cognition, happiness, learning, and memory. In contrast,studies link a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
  10. Your body gives you signs whether or not you are getting enough quality fat.The higher-quality the fat, the better your body will function. That’s because the body uses the fat you eat to build cell walls. You have more than 10 trillion cells in your body, and every single one of them needs high-quality fat. How do you know if your cells are getting the fats they need? Your body sends signals when it’s not getting enough good fats. Warning signs include:
    • Dry, itchy, scaling, or flaking skin
    • Soft, cracked, or brittle nails
    • Hard earwax
    • Tiny bumps on the backs of your arms or torso
    • Achy, stiff joints
I eat fat with every meal, and I’ve never felt better. The right fats can improve your mood, skin, hair, and nails, while protecting you against Type 2 diabetes, dementia, cancer, and much more.
Among my favorite sources of fat include:
  • Avocados
  • Nuts—walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, but not peanuts (one study showed a handful of nuts a day reduced death from all causes by 20 percent)
  • Seeds—pumpkin, sesame, chia, hemp
  • Fatty fish, including sardines, mackerel, herring, and wild salmon that are rich in omega-3 fats
  • Extra virgin olive oil (a large study showed that those who consumed 1 liter a week reduced heart attacks by 30 percent)
  • Grass-fed or sustainably raised animal products (I recommend the Environmental Working Group’s Meat Eater’s Guide to eating good quality animal products that are good for you and good for the planet).
  • Extra virgin coconut butter, which is a great plant-based source of saturated fat that has many benefits. It fuels your mitochondria, is anti-inflammatory, and doesn’t cause problems with your cholesterol. In fact, it may help resolve them.
Want to learn more? Watch my Q&A video on Fat. Here are just some of the questions I answer in this video:
  • If it’s not fat, what is the true cause of heart disease, diabetes, and disease?
  • How can we differentiate between good and bad fats?
  • Is butter really good for you?
  • And how did we get into this big, fat mess?
Go here to watch this video:
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, M.D.