Our friends at Chalkboard Mag lend some helpful advice on how to create more balance in what we eat. We love their advice, specifically on how to choose what fats to include in our diets and which ones to kick.

In a perfect world, every summer vacation food would be healthy for us, making it easy for us to eat fried foods in our bikinis. Donuts for breakfast, french fries for lunch, and vegetable tempura sushi for dinner. We wish. Although a giant plate of tempura isn’t going to improve our health anytime soon, there is something we can do to offset the damage of eating fried foods – and the solution tastes pretty great, too. By using the right nutrition at the right times, we can protect our bodies from the harmful effects of our favorite indulgences and late-night snacks.

The Damage: The process of frying food, whether it be a ball of dough or an avocado, leads to the destruction of the nutrients found in those food. Vitamins and minerals are lost, fats are oxidized (i.e., they become rancid), proteins create heterocyclic amines which are potential carcinogens, and carbohydrates create a cancer-causing agent called acrylamides. As a result, the food you’re consuming is nutritionally “dead,” and directly harmful to your body as well.

In order to save our bodies from the damage done by eating fried foods, we must be religious about daily consumption of healthy fats.

When rancid fats are consumed, like when you eat fried foods, the body takes those damaged fats and utilizes them for key processes in the body. Instead of having healthy strong lipids (fats), you have weak and permeable ones, which leads to a host of health issues. For one, lipids are the main component for creating the membranes of our cells, and if our membranes are damaged, the cells become vulnerable to pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungus) since they don’t have a strong barrier against those pathogens. Secondly, rancid fats lead to the destruction of vitamins already present in the body, resulting in deficiency. Thirdly, rancid fats cause inflammation in the body, which stresses the immune system and signals a pain response. Finally, in research studies, the consumption of rancid fats has been found to increase the expression of cancer genes, while turning off tumor suppression genes.

Fill in the Gap: In order to save our bodies from the damage done by eating fried foods, we must be religious about daily consumption of healthy fats. This includes fats and oils that: a.) are protective against free radicals, the cell-damaging compounds created by the rancid fats; b.) provide the body with the building blocks for cellular membranes and hormone production; and c.) act as anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventative agents. While consuming fried foods is never a healthy practice, if you flood your body daily with healthy fats from the list below, you can work toward controlling the damage.

Read more on healthy fats — including which ones to eat — over at The Chalkboard, here.

Image via Handle the Heat; Article by Lauren Felts

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