Fat in food
An unhealthy lifestyle combined with the excessive consumption of very greasy and cholesterol-rich foods can lead to a deterioration in our blood fat levels. Above all the consumption of animal fats is known to influence the blood fats negative. But what exactly are these blood lipids?
Blood values, which are primarily influenced by greasy food, are, on the one hand, the cholesterol values and, on the other hand, the so-called triglyceride values.
Cholesterol is considered by many people as fat, but counts purely chemically not to the fats, but to the sterols. Cholesterol is an important natural product, which, like the fatty acids, plays an important role in the structure of cell membranes. However, cholesterol has other functions in the body. Thus, cholesterol also serves as a precursor for steroid hormones such as testosterone or as a precursor for certain bile acids.
Cholesterol is formed in the liver and intestinal mucosa. It can also be absorbed by the body through the food. Since cholesterol is not soluble in water, certain transport molecules – the so-called lipoproteins – need to be transported to the organs via the blood. Together with these transport molecules, cholesterol can be present either as “good” HDL cholesterol or as “bad” LDL cholesterol. LDL stands for Low Density Lipoprotein (low density lipoprotein). This protein transports cholesterol to the organs, where the HDL – high density lipoprotein (high density lipoprotein) – carries the cholesterol into the liver, where it can be excreted.
Since cholesterol together with an unhealthy lifestyle in the blood vessels can lead to the formation of dangerous deposits and thus to atherosclerosis, HDL cholesterol is called good cholesterol because it causes the excretion of cholesterol. The cholesterol metabolism involves various regulatory mechanisms which, on the one hand, are responsible for the intake of food and the body’s cholesterol formation and, on the other hand, the ratio of LDL and HDL cholesterol.
The normal blood value of the total cholesterol is between 120 and 200 mg per deciliter (dl) blood. The LDL cholesterol level should be less than 100 mg / dL and the HDL cholesterol level above 40 mg / dl.
In addition to cholesterol,the so-called triglycerides are also affected by greasy food. Triglycerides are compounds consisting of three fatty acids and one glycerol. Triglycerides are the main components of fats and oils, but also of our cell membranes. Triglycerides are therefore required by all our cells, but not in excess. The normal blood value for triglycerides should be below 150 mg / dl because too high triglyceride levels in the blood are again bad for health.
Increased triglyceride levels, as well as high LDL cholesterol levels, are a risk factor for the formation of arteriosclerosis or other cardiovascular diseases. Too high triglyceride levels occur when you eat very greasy food, or if you suffer from lipid metabolism, kidney disease, hypothyroidism, obesity or diabetes.
Good and bad fats
If you hear that greasy food leads to bad blood values, you might think that all fats are bad. Of course, an excess of fat is not good in all respects, but one should distinguish between fats and healthy fats, especially with fats. But what fats are unhealthy?
It is possible to distinguish roughly between natural and industrially processed fats. In general, industrially produced fats are greatly modified in their composition, so that they are as odorless as possible and long lasting. For example, liquid oils can be cured to produce a solid, durable fat. Through this hardening, unsaturated fatty acids are converted into saturated. But also uncured, more liquid oil from nuts or seeds are often refined and bleached with the aid of chemical processes to make them more durable. By such industrial processes, the original fat is greatly altered, which in turn means that there is not much left of the natural product, and on the other hand contributes to the formation of dangerous transfatty acids.
Trans fatty acids are formed not only during industrial processing processes but generally in the heating of oils containing many polyunsaturated fatty acids. Therefore, one should also use a high-quality, natural oil, which contains many unsaturated fatty acids not for frying, baking or cooking. A healthy alternative to hardened fats is, for example, high-quality organic coconut oil. Coconut oil naturally contains many saturated fatty acids and can therefore be heated without problems
In summary, one can say that the following fats are unhealthy:
- Hardened and partially hardened fats
- Refined oils
- Odorless oils and fats
- Hot oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids
- Overheated fats
- Rancid fats
- Oils in plastic bottles
- trans fats
Industrially processed fats and oils are extremely harmful to the body and have a negative effect on our blood values. The consumption of trans fats, but also the use of PFOA-coated pans and pots, leads to the poor LDL cholesterol value in the blood rising
Healthy fats and oils
High-quality, natural fats and oils of vegetable origin, in contrast to the above-mentioned unhealthy fats, have the positive property that they do not adversely affect blood fats – when consumed in normal amounts.
It is known, for example, that high-quality organic coconut oil, olive oil or linseed oil reduce the LDL cholesterol blood values. Other nutrient-rich foods such as nuts, green leafy vegetables, spirulina algae, blueberries, barley grass, garlic and also vital substances such as vitamin E, ingredients of the grapefruit kernel extract or phytosterols from wild herbs have a positive influence on the cholesterol values. It is therefore not important to consume little fat with the help of harmful light products, but good fats with the help of a natural diet
Spices lower triglycerides in the blood
A healthy diet affects the cholesterol and the triglycerides in the blood in the positive sense. Not only the consumption of high-quality fats has an influence on the triglyceride blood values, but also other food.
Artichokes, but also certain spices are known, for example, for helping to reduce elevated triglyceride levels in the blood. This was confirmed by a scientific study. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University recently conducted an investigation (4) to find out how spices such as cinnamon, oregano, parsley, and turmeric can affect these blood values. Her study, published in Journal of Nutrition magazine, revealed that the consumption of fresh spices can lead to the body generally reacting less negatively to the consumption of high-fat food.
Sheila West, Professor of Behavioral Medicine, who led the investigation, said:
“If you take very greasy food, the triglyceride levels in the blood rise. If this happens too often – or if the blood values are generally too high – the risk of heart attacks increases. “
In order to understand the effects of the spices on the human body, the scientists examined six overweight, but otherwise perfectly healthy men between the ages of 30 and 35 years. Her team prepared special meals for the test participants on two days. Each meal was seasoned with two tablespoons of rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, garlic powder and peppers. These spices showed a very good antioxidant effect already in previous laboratory studies. The meals of the control group were identical with the test meal times except for the spices mentioned. Over a period of three hours the scientists took blood samples from the participants every 30 minutes.
The scientists finally made some very remarkable discoveries:
“We found that the triglyceride response to very high-fat foods can be reduced by almost 30% by refining their food with these spices,
The researchers also found that the spicy meals compared to the un-spiced foods are apparently able to reduce the body’s insulin production by 20%. These observations are most likely associated with the antioxidants contained in the spices, as all the spices used in the study have a very antioxidant effect in common.
Antioxidants for chronic diseases
Numerous recent medical studies suggest that oxidative stress plays a key role in heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and other health conditions. Professor Sheila West is also of the opinion that antioxidants such as these from the above mentioned spices could be very important to reduce oxidative stress, thus reducing the risk of chronic diseases. As the study showed, even small amounts of spices seem to fit like two tablespoons in order to consume a corresponding quantity of antioxidants.
Herb-bitter for fat digestion
In addition to the valuable antioxidants, spices and herbs also contain important bitter substances, which also have a positive effect on our fat digestion. For this reason, herbs were already used in the ancient monasteries to promote digestion.