What Chiropractors Want You to Know About Fat in Foods
When you think about chiropractors, you most likely think of someone who helps your back or neck pain – and that is a big part of what we do at Greater Life Chiropractic! But the goal of a chiropractor is to optimize spinal health to help you achieve overall health and wellness. This means that when you visit our office, Dr. Grant Lisetor will talk to you about everything related to your body, including what you put into it. There is a common misconception that good nutrition means avoiding all fats, when in fact, fat is an important part of your health, provided that you approach it properly.
You may have heard the terms “good fat” or “bad fat” throughout your life, but it’s hard to understand exactly what they mean. It can be helpful to break down the types of fat found in food and how they impact your body.
This type of fat is a byproduct of a process called hydrogenation, which turns healthy oils into solids to prevent them from going bad. These fats have no health benefits and carry risks like increasing bad cholesterol, creating inflammation that is linked to heart disease, and increasing the risk of chronic conditions like diabetes. Trans fats should be avoided whenever possible.
These fats are common in American diets. They are solid at room temperature but can become liquified, like bacon grease. Red meats, whole milk, coconut oil, and many processed baked goods are made using saturated fats. With these, balance is important – excessive consumption can lead to the same issues as trans fat, but in moderation, there is no concern.
When fat comes from things like vegetables, nuts, seeds, or fish, it is actually really good for your body. A healthy fat would be liquid at room temperature rather than solid. There are two broad categories of good fat.
Many pure oils (olive, peanut, and avocado) are full of monounsaturated fats, as are things like avocados and nuts. It is generally understood that consuming these as much as possible can actually improve health outcomes and lead to lower rates of heart disease. However, be sure you’re opting for the organic options and avoiding anything too over-processed.
These fats are considered essential, or required for normal body function, like muscle movement and blood clotting. Since the body can’t make these fats, they come from food. They are primarily found in omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids, so focus on foods like salmon, mackerel, sardines, walnuts, or nut-based oils.
How Chiropractors View Nutrition
It is true that a Charlotte chiropractor is usually not a fully trained nutritionist. However, our goal is to understand how the body works and how to return it to proper functioning, which is where fats come in. Increasing or decreasing certain fats in your diet can often help you eliminate concerning issues and improve your overall health. If you’re ready to take the next step on your health journey, contact us today for an appointment.
Liu, A.G, Ford, N.A, Hu, F.B., Zelman, K.M., Mozaffarian, D., Kris-Etherton, P.M. “A healthy approach to dietary fats: understanding the science and taking action to reduce consumer confusion.” Nutritional Journal, 2017; 16: 53. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5577766/
“The Truth about Fats: the good, the bad, and the in-between.” Harvard Health Publishing, 2022 April. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-fats-bad-and-good