What’s Worse For Your Body, Cotton Candy or Popcorn?

If you had to pick, which do you think is healthier:

Cotton candy or Skinny Pop popcorn? Whole Foods’ Tuscan salad or Pixie Sticks? Non-GMO sweet potato chips or a Capri Sun?

Did you answer Skinny Pop, salad and sweet potato chips? If so, you’re wrong.

We’re looking at sugar versus vegetable oils — the two most inflammatory, disease-causing ingredients we have. But there’s a fundamental difference in how your body deals with them. For sugar, you can simply do a couple burpees or take an herbal supplement to mitigate its effect. Fats, on the other hand, stick with you and form into your cell membranes.

Although sugar spikes blood glucose and causes inflammation and bloating, and long-term abuse can lead to type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s, it’s a natural substance that the body recognizes. It says, “Woah, we have a lot of this, but we know where to put it and how to process it.”

Fats, on the other hand, can either be the best thing for your body — or the worst.

Every membrane surrounding every cell comes from the fat you eat. These membranes protect the cell and must be flexible and permeable enough to allow nutrients in and out. Can you imagine why a rancid French fry oil cell membrane might not be good at this? If you care about the your brain, skin, liver, organs, muscles, immune system and hormones functioning properly, understand that they all depend on your dietary fat intake.

Furthermore, 60% of the brain is made of fat. Transmission of signals via neurons is directly dependent on fatty acids. For example, Myelin sheaths are fatty tissue that protect nerve cells and carry messages across your entire body. If these are damaged, as found in someone with multiple sclerosis, muscles can weaken to the point of paralyzation. The quality of fat in your neurons is important, and they shouldn’t be damaged.

Cholesterol is also a fat, and a crucial building block in the body. It’s used to make vitamin D, hormones and bile acids to help dissolve fat. Cholesterol modulates these cell membranes, as well as important protein signaling.

Obviously, we need fat in our diet. Our bodies rely on it. The problem is, most fats we consume today are processed for mass production at the lowest cost possible, which damages the structure of the fat. Even if the nutrition facts for canola oil seem healthy, it’s been heated and squeezed so much in its production process that it becomes oxidized and unstable, and can cause serious damage in the body — giving us inflammation and poor quality cell membranes.

Oils to avoid:

Corn, canola, safflower, sunflower, soybean, palm, hydrogenated, trans fat, rancid fish oil supplements, or GMO-fedanimal fats

Stable/safe oils:

Coconut, olive, butter, animal fat, avocado, macadamia nut

Extracting oils is expensive — and it’s not easy. So if it’s cheap, there’s probably a reason. The problem is that they’re hidden everywhere — even in organic, non-GMO “healthy superfoods.” I’m personally salty that canola oil is still in almost every item at Whole Foods’ deli bar. You’d be hard-pressed to find a salad dressing without these oils, or a restaurant that doesn’t sauté your healthy veggies in it.

Check your ingredients— with fats, you really do become what you eat.

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