Waking up on a Monday morning (or any morning for that matter) can be difficult. This world is so fast-paced these days just keeping up is exhausting. Food is no longer even food; our diets are poor at best. Following the Standard American Diet (SAD) [how ironic], we lack the bare minimum nutrition needed to flourish as an individual. Starting your day sipping coffee or tea blended with delectable, healthy fats can give you a burst of energy and eliminate brain fog.
Vilifying Saturated Fat
Cholesterol and fats have gotten a bad rap over the years mainly due to studies done by Ancel Benjamin Keys starting in the 1960s. Only to be followed by decades of mainstream media dumbing down translations of results while using out of context soundbites and quotes. Ancel Keys selectively picked which data to include in his documentation. Validation of his own bias outranked reporting accurate findings. The result of Keys work was a war on fats, especially saturated fats. To make matters worse after removing delicious, healthy fats from the food they began to add grains, excessive sugar, and chemicals to make up for the lack of taste. In the following decades, rates of disease, like diabetes and cancer, have rapidly increased.
Dietary fats are essential, high-efficiency macro-nutrients our body needs and even creates on its own. The body uses fat for four primary functions: a source of heat and energy, as padding/insulation for the organs and nerves, a regulator for fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), and as a source of essential fatty acids.
Certainly, there are “good” fats and “bad” fats. Over the years, many studies were performed on various types of fats. The Standard American Diet (SAD) has based its guidelines on the belief system proposed by Ancel Keys studies. The Standard American Diet has only been slightly modified despite all the newly available information.
Disclaimer: I would like to state that I am not a certified nutritionist or Doctor, but I have thoroughly researched nutrition and fats and attempted dozens of diets over the years.
The real villain
Trans fats are the worst of the worst; linked to inflammation, cancer, obesity, metabolic issues, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, as well as, many other diseases. If possible, do not consume trans fats, ever. Avoiding trans fats can be trickier than one would think. The guidelines for nutrition facts allow for up to .5g per serving to be not reported or reported as 0g. It is important to understand that trans fats are uncommon in nature. Trans fats have been modified or processed from other naturally occurring healthier fats.
The easiest way to remove ALL trans fats from your diet is to simply read the ingredient label. Quick trick: If any ingredient on the label reads as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated,” do not buy or consume this product it contains trans fats.
Hydrogenation is a chemical reaction between Hydrogen (H2) and another compound, in this case, unsaturated fat, to reduce or saturate organic compounds. Trans fats are a side reaction of this process. The plan was to make the fats stable while increasing shelf life allowing easier use in processed foods. Studies have shown that the brain pays the highest price in regards to trans fats causing memory loss, depression, and reduced cognition.’
The good guys
The remaining types of dietary fats are natural and do have at least some health benefits. Primarily, judgment on the health of each type of fat is based on fat molecule stability as it relates to oxidation and creation of free radicals. Being unstable, in itself is not necessarily an issue. It only implies that you should have less and handle with care, so the molecules do not oxidize or spoil. Over-processing and exposure to heat increase oxidation and creation of free radicals.
Polyunsaturated Fats – Fatty acids
Polyunsaturated fats are the least stable with many (poly) binding sites exposed which create a situation where they are open to oxidation and the introduction of free radicals. The two most important types of polyunsaturated fats are omega 3s and omega 6s. Both omega 3s and omega 6s are essential and the key to survival. Our bodies do not produce either. The Omegas must always come from food or supplement. The body can only handle a limited amount of omega 3s and omega 6s at any given time, so these two fatty acids compete with each other within the body.
Omega 6 fatty acids help with muscle growth, hormone production, and brain function. Despite being essential in the body, omega 6s have an inflammatory aspect. Control consumption of this type of fatty acid and keep within a specific ratio of omega 3s. Omega 6s are much more widespread in Western diets allowing the ratio to favor omega 6s. For the average person, a 4:1 ratio of omega 6s to omega 3s is considered ideal. Ratios closer to 1:1 has shown positive results in regards to aging. Far from ideal, the average American eats between 12 and 25:1 ratio of omega 6s and omega 3s. Primarily due to linoleic acid, found in poultry, corn oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, and some seeds and nuts.
Monounsaturated fats are more stable as the only open binding site for oxidation and free radical generation. If you think about a fat molecule as a long table surrounded by chairs, the table would be full except for one seat. These fats are great for your cardiovascular system, affecting cholesterol in two ways: lowering LDL; increasing HDL. Foods rich in monounsaturated fats include oils, fish, nuts, avocados, and other plant foods.
Saturated fat molecules have no open binding sites. Due to this, there is no place for a free radical to attach to the molecule. Being the most stable, consumption of saturated fats is beneficial to any diet. With this said, quality of the saturated fat is of the utmost importance. Meats should be grass-fed, organic or non-GMO, and antibiotic free whenever possible. Coconuts, as well as, their oils are excellent choices when it comes to saturated fats.
Assessing the damage
Take a minute and scan through a few non-whole food items (anything in a box, can, or jar) in your pantry or refrigerator. Notice that these linoleic acid-filled oils are present in virtually every processed food. Why? One might ask. These oils are inexpensive to produce and make various processed foods. Twenty percent of the calories in the average American’s diet comes from soybean oil alone. To make it worse, many of these oils are produced with toxic solvents AND are genetically modified.
Brain fog is a prevalent, under-diagnosed ailment. Often considered just part of life and ignored.
Causes of Brain Fog:
- lack of sleep
- nutritional deficiencies
- poor dietary habits (such as refined carbs, alcohol, sugar, excessive caffeine)
- Inflammation in the body
- Hormonal Imbalances
Brain fog symptoms usually include:
- low energy, fatigue (including chronic fatigue syndrome)
- trouble sleeping through the night; insomnia
- difficulty exercising
- trouble concentrating
- forgetfulness and difficulty remembering information
- low motivation, feeling hopeless, mildly depressed
However, there are ways to overcome brain fog allowing you to live life to its fullest potential. Reducing stress, exercising, and getting a great nights sleep are two free and easy ways to minimize brain fog. Minimizing or eliminating sugar while continuing to consume healthy carbs is beneficial as well. Keep hormonal balances in check and address any known food allergies or sensitivities. Last, but certainly not least, consuming healthy fats and amino acid-rich proteins will drastically reduce or eliminate brain fog.
Butter plus Coffee (or tea)
From the very first sip, this coffee will feel like heaven. On my first experience, I felt the fog lifting like I could see clearly for the first time.
Delicious, imported, grass-fed Butter – Get in my coffee!
It all starts with great coffee beans or clean tea bags/leaves. Coffee is prone to mold, specifically mycotoxins; it is best to look for a wet-processed bean that grew at a higher altitude. Organic is helpful, but altitude has a greater effect on the quality of the coffee bean. Today, it is common to find tea leaves tainted with fluoride and pesticides. To avoid fluoride and pesticides, organic tea is the way to go.
The most delicious process for Butter Coffee
- Boil desired amount of filtered spring or tap water
- Pour water into specified container with recommended amount of coffee/tea noted on bag or box
- We use 2 Tbsp ground coffee for 4 cups of water
- French press for coffee or teapot
- Pre-warm mug, preferably glass or ceramic
- We use 2 Tbsp ground coffee for 4 cups of water
- Let steep for 4-5 minutes unless other directions exist (tea)
- Pour into blender*
- *For French pressed coffee, we recommend filtering a second time via paper filter (to remove sediment)
- Add 2-4 Tbsp of grass-fed butter per 12 oz. of coffee/tea
- Optional superpower Ingredients:
- 1-2 Tbsp of Collagen and or Gelatin
- Ground Vanilla Bean
- Cocoa Powder
- 2-3 small chunks of Cacao Butter
- Blend thoroughly and pour into warm mug
- Sip and enjoy!
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