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Dr. Don Colbert
Dr. Don Colbert

Good fats. The good types of fat are necessary every day for the health of your heart, brain, skin, hair and every part of you. Good fat nourishes and strengthens cell membranes. They include: (1) monounsaturated fats and (2) omega-3 fats.

Monounsaturated fat is found in extra-virgin or virgin olive oil that is cold-pressed (not heated). You can also get monounsaturated fats in natural organic peanut butter, avocados, olives, macadamia nuts, and especially almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts. Raw nuts and seeds should be a mainstay of your diet. Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats and contain about 20 percent protein.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found mainly in cold-water fish, some marine mammals and algae (seaweed). I recommend that you eat wild salmon as a good source of omega-3 fats.

Fresh organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains and monounsaturated fats you can eat almost unreservedly. However, meats and diary products should be eaten with a little more caution.

Eat Meat With Caution 

Humans are omnivores, and meat can be an acceptable and healthy part of your diet. But many people don't understand the dangers of eating too much meat or the wrong meats.

Red meat has a higher concentration of toxins than nearly all other foods. Any pesticide, sulfa drug, hormone, antibiotic, chemical or other toxic residue an animal eats generally gets stored right into its fat. If you eat that fat, the same toxins go into your body and lodge in your fat.

White meat is better, but most chickens are given antibiotics, especially tetracycline, to counter salmonella and other bacteria. In the past, it was common practice to give growth hormones and estrogens to animals to add bulk to increase their value. Fortunately, now these practices have changed.

Eating too much meat and protein makes it harder for your body to detoxify on a cellular level. It may also put a strain on the kidneys. Individuals with kidney failure must restrict their intake of protein, especially meats.

Men usually need only 20 to 30 grams of protein (3-4 ounces of meat) with each meal. Women usually need only 14 to 21 grams of protein per meal (2-3 ounces of meat).

I recommend organic, free-range or grass-fed meat. If you cannot afford these, get the leanest cuts and trim off any visible fat.

Recognize and avoid irradiated meats or other foods. Evidence suggests that irradiation is unsafe. It has been confirmed that it harms the nutritional value of foods. Labels on packages of irradiated food are legally required to carry the phrase "treated by irradiation" or "treated with irradiation."

Turkey breast usually contains the least amount of pesticides and toxins. Other relatively safe meats include the leanest cuts of lamb, venison (U.S.), rabbit and buffalo.

When preparing poultry, peel the skin off and cut away any visible fat before cooking. Bake, broil, grill or lightly stir-fry your meat.

Don't deep-fry your chickens or turkeys. Scrape off charred portions because char contains benzopyrenes, which are carcinogens, associated with colorectal cancer. Cook meats thoroughly because most poultry contain dangerous bacteria such as salmonella, and red meat may contain a dangerous form of E. coli. Once you start buying the right kinds of meats and preparing them in a healthy way, you can fully enjoy them as part of your regular diet.

What About Fish?

New studies keep emerging about the high mercury content of fish. But the following fish are usually safe: wild Alaskan or Pacific salmon, mahi-mahi (Florida), sardines, Tongol tuna (found in health food stores) and grouper (Argentina, Chile, Mexico).

Fish can be your best source of healthy omega-3 oils, which studies have shown is one of the best oils on the planet. The highest concentrations of omega-3 oils are found in Pacific herring, king salmon, wild Pacific salmon, anchovies and lake trout. Wild Pacific salmon contains higher omega-3 fat than farm-raised Atlantic salmon.

Avoid shark and swordfish. They have some of the highest levels of mercury and pesticides of any fish in the sea. In many areas trout also have been subjected to contamination through industrialization. Select fish taken from fresh, pure water areas.

Shrimp contains higher levels of cholesterol than other seafood, but it is usually free from contamination from pesticides. Like most shellfish, it usually contains the heavy metal cadmium, which is associated with hypertension. If you choose to eat shellfish, do so infrequently. Cook thoroughly, since raw or undercooked shellfish may be associated with food poisoning or hepatitis A.

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