Posted on August 09, 2016
When it comes to weight management, we forget about the essential role of hormones in our overall wellbeing and much concentrate on restrictive diets, pills and supplements.
Hormones are the chemical messengers that affect our physical, mental and emotional health. From mood swings to our weight, skin health, growth in children, ovulation and reproduction in women, to sexual functions in both men and women.
Our hormone function and metabolism is a complex process and it depends on various factors, one of them is our dietary ”FATS’.
In my practice, I have come across several clients and health professionals who follow low fat diets and include rigorous exercise in their daily routine… The result being unsuccessful weight loss / inch loss.. WHY? Well, one of the reasons may be hormonal imbalance caused by escaping healthy and essential fats from their diet.
Fats are tryglyceride molecules and classified as saturated fats(cis and trans forms) and unsaturated fats (mono and poly forms). Mono unsaturated fats are rich in vitamin E that act as antioxidant (sources-avocados, peanut butter, nuts ,seeds, canola, sesame and sunflower oils) and polyunsaturated fats(sources-soybean, corn, trout. salmon, walnuts, sunflower seeds). Polyunsaturated fats are further classified as omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids.
Saturated fats occur naturally in cis forms but trans forms though occur in some dairy products naturally but are mostly manufactured artificially in the form of processed foods, baked foods, package foods, solid fats.
Researchers have found out that totally removing fats from one’s diet can impact their health negatively and profoundly. So let’s look at some of the researches in this regards:
- Researchers working in the field of endocrinology have identified an alarming connection between hormone imbalance and the inability to loose problem fats (belly fats, love handles, thighs and back fat) in spite of following low calorie diet and exercise in their daily routine. They identified 4 hormonal imbalances that prevent our bodies in loosing fat
2. Researchers even found lower fat in our diets has favoured high risk of heart stroke and type 2 diabetes as it interferes with production of HDL (good cholesterol) and instead produce LDL (bad cholesterol) due to the above stated hormonal imbalances and binge signals send by the brain due to lack of healthy fats.
- Low fats diet also raises your estrogen level in the body beyond the normal level and as a result making you more prone to cancers like breast, uterus, ovary, prostate.
The fat content of the human body is largely saturated fat with only 3% of body’s fat coming from other types. Humans have been eating saturated fats for thousands of years and it’s not the saturated fat that is problematic but the trans-fat; the main culprit produced when vegetable oil is heated and combined with hydrogen gas. The 3% of the body fats is made up of polyunsaturated containing both omega-6 and omega\-3 in equal ratios. Maintaining this ratio is important for health and normal hormonal functions. We mostly consume omega 6 in forms of vegetable oils(sunflower, canola, sesame oils) but neglect the consumption of omega 3 and this imbalance ratio of these two fatty acids leading to hormonal disturbances so we should concentrate on incorporating more omega 3 in our diet (sources-oily fish, oyster, algae like seaweeds, flax seeds, Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, parsley). Thus consuming polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and some naturally occurring saturated fats in adequate amounts help us to maintain a proper cell function. Especially hormones functions as these fats are literally the building blocks for hormone production like thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, leptin, melatonin. serotonin, prolactin.
These hormones in turn control our physical, mental and emotional behaviors to a name a few are:
a) Controls brain thus protecting against memory loss and dementia.
b) Reduce the symptoms of depression, mood swing and bipolar disorder.
c) Reduce the risk of heart stroke and cancer.
d) Ease arthritis, joint pain and inflammatory skin condition
e) Support a healthy pregnancy.
f) Helps you battle fatigue thus making you active and loosing weight.
g) Helps to maintain libido and boost metabolism.
However, having said all things good about fats, it is essential to balance them and know the right way to incorporating them in one’s diet as overdoing anything can cause harm. Consuming excessive amounts of fat can cause constipation, hair loss, indigestion and chronic diseases.
If you would like to balance your hormones and lose weight the right way and unaware of how to go about it, then reach out to us and we will be more than happy to guide you.