Thursday, January 23, 2014

On Food - You're Not Only What You Eat, You Are What You're Eating Ate

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By Ebele Mogo,

Dustin is a health coach and nutrition counsellor. He had once given me a healthy-shopping grocery store tour and after that I often email him to ask for his input on some health and nutrition questions. The post below is his email answer to one of my questions. I decided to share it since I bet we all want to know.

Question: How do diets lead to chronic disease and what role do saturated fats play in this?

Answer: Your questions can be answered with such depth that they form the basis of volumes of textbooks and entire scientific careers. So I'm going to give you the Cliff Notes version answer here.

Diet and lifestyle choices lead to, and effect disease due to epigenetic factors; meaning the environment of a cell (or organism) does not just affect the cell, it dictates behavior, function, and DNA gene activation. Poor dietary and lifestyle choices lead to dis-ease promoting condition of the body, dis-ease conditions of the body lead to chronic states of disease.

As for saturated fat:

Saturated fat comes from one of two sources: plants or animals. Saturated fat is fat that is solid at room temperature. They consist of carbon atoms saturated with hydrogen atoms.

Plant based saturated fat (tropical oils like coconut oil or palm oil) do not cause health problems when consumed moderately. Animal based saturated fat (from beef, poultry, pork, cow's milk/ dairy) does create problems and health challenges by potentially increasing the risk of heart disease. It is generally recommended to limit consumption of animal based saturated fats.

Another reason why animal saturated fat should be closely examined before consumption or avoided is that fat is not just a biological mechanism for calorie (energy) storage. Another use for fat is the storage of toxins. Many animals are fed un-natural foods, by-products, and chemicals; injected with hormones and antibiotics, etc. their bodies store the toxicity they are unable to eliminate through the blood and urine in the fat.

Given this context you may be able to see how saturated fat from the meat of a grass-fed cow with access to fresh air, sunlight, grass, love, and care is nothing like the saturated fat that comes from the meat of 'feed-lot' cow who's been fed genetically modified soy and corn products, animal by-products including ground up dead cows; injected with drugs and hormones; and who lived its life in disease promoting squalid conditions. Scientists may say the saturated fat from the two animals is the same: carbon atoms saturated with hydrogen; energetically, however, the two are nothing alike.

You are not able to escape the fundamental truth that 'you are what you eat.'

But what this really means is that you are not only what you eat- but that you are what you're eating ate.

Make sense?

To your health,


For even more health tips, visit his website here:

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Engage Africa Foundation's Staff.

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