500 Words – Day 012 – Racquetballs, Lipids(fats), and Cellular Health

Everything that we put in our mouths influences our cellular health and function. And it is the nutrients, or foods, that we eat that, after being assimilated, become the building blocks of our cellular and metabolic structures.

Back in the year 1997, I remember a very distinct conversation I had with a friend of the family by the name of Jim Brice. I had just started working out at 24 Hour Fitness and he was the only person I knew that was somewhat of a health guru. Back then we called them health nuts.

I contacted him because I was wanting more information about protein and how I could build bigger muscles without having to spend too much money on a bunch of unnecessary supplements. He moved the conversation pretty quickly from protein powders to cellular structure and why building healthy cells was the first step to building bigger muscles. What he said next has stuck with me for the last 25 years. And he painted a brilliant word picture to illustrate.

He told me that our cells need to be like brand new racquetballs and as soon as he said that, I knew exactly what he meant.

If you are not familiar, let me explain. A brand new racquetball is shipped directly from the manufacturer, packaged in a vacuum-sealed container, to ensure the highest quality product for its intended use. A brand new racquetball is soft, supple, pliable, yet rigid in structure. When the package is opened, it whooshes as the outside air rushes inside. And that is when a racquetball is at its highest useful quality. If you’ve ever held one in your hand, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s all downhill from there though as the ball begins to oxidize as pliability gives way to structural rigidity.

When attempting to understand how sufficient fats are necessary to maintain cellular health and therefore, whole creature health, one needs to first understand what our cells are made up of.

      1. Fats
      2. Proteins
      3. Carbohydrates
      4. Vitamins
      5. Minerals

This does not only apply to humans, but it also applies to the foods that we eat. We, quite literally, are what we eat. Or so we’ve been told. But it may actually be more accurate to say that we are what our microbiome eats, which of course is the foods that we eat. That is to say that we are or should be considering first and foremost that there is an intermediate step between our stomach and the nutrients that find their way into our bloodstream. And that intermediate step consists of many trillion micro-organisms and organelles that inhabit our intestinal tract just below our stomach.

So, in a sense, when we feed ourselves, we are technically acting as a banquet server for those intermediary life forms that participate in the digestion process that allows us to assimilate the nutrients from our food.

This brings me to that dreaded F word that is lacking in many whole-food/plant-based diets. Fats. Some would suggest that we don’t need to consume what they refer to as overt fats, like avocado, nuts, seeds, and oils. However, our internal cellular structures require these to function properly. They are necessary and deficiencies will eventually show up. Not right away, but over time. It may even take a good year before we start noticing changes on the surface. That thing we see in the mirror.

The following is an extensive list. I personally abstain from a number of things on this list. Those things will be marked with an asterisk(*).

      • avocadoes
      • canola oil*
      • cashews*
      • olive oil
      • peanut butter*
      • peanuts*
      • sesame oil
      • sesame seeds
      • chia seeds
      • corn oil
      • fish (especially fatty fish, for Omega-3 fatty acid)***
      • pumpkin seeds
      • sunflower oil
      • sunflower seeds
      • safflower
      • soybean oil
      • walnuts

The reason why fats are important is that they help maintain a semi-permeable state of our cellular structures, allowing pliability and nutrient transport across the cellular barrier. In contrast, saturated fats do not function in like manner. They result in the cellular membranes becoming rigid. This is not optimal in that it results in the limited functionality of our cells.

All this to say that we need to be consuming a sufficient amount of fats in our daily diet. But not just any fats. We need to be consuming a sufficient amount of the right kind of fats. And I’m sure you noticed that the list above was primarily plant-based. The exception is fatty fish which this author DOES NOT recommend for optimal health for those on a whole-food/plant-based diet. However, there is some research that would suggest a very small amount once per week may provide some additional benefits to those 65 years of age and above.

Michael J. Loomis

500 Words – Day 010 – Fat’s, Carbs, Confusion, and Misconceptions -808 Words-

-808 Words- -Reading Time: 3 Minutes-

A gram of carbohydrates contains 4 calories. A gram of fat contains 9 calories.
Carbohydrates and fats are not the same things, but they are not as different as some might believe or even teach.

Fats are organic compounds that, LIKE CARBOHYDRATES, are composed of the elements carbon (C), hydrogen (H), and oxygen (O), arranged to form molecules.

Fats, like carbohydrates, are composed of the same elements. Their elements are simply arranged differently for a reason. Both are used for energy within the body, but for different purposes and processes in fueling and sustaining the whole human creature.

While simple carbohydrates(Carbon-Oxygen-Hydrogen) are the body’s primary source of fuel that requires the least amount of metabolic energy to assimilate, fats(Carbon-Oxygen-Hydrogen) have to be broken down into fatty acids for assimilation.

Where they differ is that fats are broken down into fatty acids to make cell linings and hormones. Carbohydrates both simple and starchy are not.

Carbohydrates are water-soluble and are the most readily available source of dietary energy for all living creatures great and small. Fats on the other hand are not soluble in water but require other organic enzymes to break them down. Fats are also the way our body stores energy for later use when carbohydrates may not be readily available.

Our body needs a lot of energy to do all of its work and it is important that we get enough of ALL of the kinds of energy that our body needs, from both carbohydrates and fats. Not just one or the other.

Carbohydrates are the simplest fuel source for our body that we can equate to gasoline for our cars. Where fats are like the crude oil that our refineries use in the refining process that ultimately provides us with gasoline for our cars. And just like in our crude oil refineries our body draws other necessary and useful elements from the fats we consume that are necessary and beneficial for overall human health and wellness. Just think of all the other wonderfully useful petroleum products we have that we take for granted from a barrel of crude aside from the gasoline that we put in our cars. Things like paint, makeup, clothing, shampoo, conditioner, and even the lenses for our glasses, just to name a few.

Carbohydrates are like gasoline and fats are like the crude oil by which gasoline can be extracted along with other useful components. This is why fats contain 9 calories per gram versus carbohydrates containing only 4 calories per gram.


And this is why it is important to get ENOUGH of the RIGHT KIND of energy sources from both carbohydrates and fats. Again, not just one or the other. If we are not consuming enough of the right kinds of fats our body cannot maintain proper cellular structure and overall cellular health, wellbeing, and ultimately the desired longevity of years free from disease.

And when it comes to functionality they also each contribute to different processes. Like different players on the same baseball team. Fats also help in assimilating vitamins like A, D, E, K, while the glucose converted by the metabolism of carbohydrates fuels this process.

Fats also assist in regulating things like hormone production and protecting organs as a whole and at the cellular level. Fats also help in maintaining a steady body temperature. Whereas, the undigestable fiber in carbohydrates helps maintain blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels and is a major contributor to removing waste from our body, which fats cannot do.

So, as you can see fats and carbohydrates are both very important components in the body’s overall activities that require energy and they both serve different purposes within the bigger picture of life.

Around 20-35 percent of our dietary intake should be from fats and 60-75 percent of our dietary intake should be from carbohydrates. This amount will fluctuate based on our body’s needs at any given point in time.

There are a lot of well-meaning teachers on our modern social networks and elsewhere that suggest diets that are too low in what we call fats. As I said, they mean well, and they can be 100% correct about everything else they suggest about the foods we eat, but ultimately miss the bigger picture, leaving their students in an eventual malnourished state.

Please be sure to do your own research. Don’t just listen to talking heads and do what they simply say to do. Not even me. Invest your own time, your greatest asset of all into your own knowledge of this or any other subject. If you do, I can assure you that you will value your convictions and decisions to a much higher level than the ones that were given to you at no cost. We humans just don’t tend to value that which we do not invest in. Invest in your education, it will always pay you rich dividends.