Chronic fatigue is NOT fun, especially when it hits you HARD every single afternoon. Ever noticed that it just seems so much worse when you’re stuck at a desk, too? I can’t tell you how many times I just wanted to lay my head down and sleep (and maybe cry just a little too). I never knew that there was actually a very simple missing link for high energy, even in the afternoons!
When I first started dabbling with food as a potential cause of my chronic fatigue, I zeroed in on the most offensive ones. Chips, milk chocolate, candy, regular Coke…all these ‘foods’ were impacting my energy for sure! But would you believe that one of the most energy-draining foods I was eating was cheese?
I had read, in some of the very popular health and fitness magazines at the time, that protein was the most important macronutrient for weight management and health. AND, the many popular magazines told me that one of the best sources of protein was dairy. But, and here’s the catch, that dairy had to be low-fat or zero-fat.
Because this was back in the day when eating fat was SO BAD! Do you remember those days? Probably…since the very idea of eating fat was sinful from the mid 1950s until, well, today! Right? I opened a fitness blog geared toward fitness pros just last week and the ‘experts’ stated very clearly that they were recommending low-fat yogurt as a healthy protein source.
Go figure…Go figure why so many women are suffering from chronic fatigue!
The Missing Link for High Energy
If you look back through historical records related to foods and fatigue, you may notice a coincidental rise in exhaustion, energy crashes and sleep disturbances as the media proclaimed fat was bad for us.
The truth is that is isn’t a coincidence. It’s proof that the missing link for high energy is fat!
But not just any fat – very specific healthy fats that your body needs to make your sleep hormones and keep your energy stable all day long.
How Low and No Fat Diets Cause Energy Crashes
It all starts with the sugar industry…
The sugar industry became a thing back in the 1950s or so. They discovered, quickly, that people devoured sugar and worked with the government and food agencies to ensure that more and more sugar was sold.
Suddenly, people started to gain weight. What did the sugar industry do? They told people this was because people were eating too much fat! And, that sugar was healthier because it contains zero fat (it’s true – check your white sugar’s food label)!
Low- and non-fat foods became the craze and the sugar industry cashed in. When you remove the fat from food, it tastes terrible. To combat the taste issues, food manufacturers added sugar in order for people to buy more.
So, we have a bunch of people eating tons and tons of sugar. Plus, these same people start to complain about weight gain and, yep, chronic fatigue. Energy crashes become so bad that it’s almost an epidemic.
Long hours in the office are blamed. Sitting too much is the culprit. But never is the concept of too much sugar given any thought…
Not All Fat Is Created Equal
The missing link for high energy isn’t just to eat more fat.
With the advent of processed foods and the goal of food manufacturers to become rich (at the expense of our health), along came highly processed vegetable oils. And, just like sugar, we were taught that these highly processed oils were GOOD for us! Remember margarine? And how advertisers told us that butter was bad while margarine, a completely fake ‘food’, was healthy?
Most of the vegetable oils in today’s supermarkets are actually quite harmful to your health. Canola, corn, peanut, safflower and any other light-colored oil that comes in a plastic, clear bottle has been overheated to the point that its molecules can cause free radical damage in your body. And, these types of oils, along with red meat, are high in omega-6 fatty acids.
If you’re looking for the missing link for high energy, look no further than the problems caused by omega-6 fats. Most of these oils and foods are pro-inflammatory. Inflammation is one major cause of fatigue and energy crashes. Inflammation messes with your blood sugar, making you think you want more sugar because you’ve suddenly had a major energy crash.
(But, you do need some omega-6 fatty acids but you can choose grass-fed cuts of red meat or wild game like bison to avoid the unhealthy side effects. Walnuts, hempseed and pumpkin seeds are also very healthy sources.)
The Healthy Fats Your Body Needs
When it comes to dietary fats, there are a few different kinds. But the ones you want to pay attention to are the essential fatty acids, or EFAs. EFAs come in the form of omega-6, omega-9 and omega-3 fatty acids. I’ve already told you about omega-6 – and while most popular sources of omega-6 fats aren’t healthy, many others are so keep that in mind.
Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory fats. They help nourish the nervous system, manufacture and balance hormones and nourish cells and organs. Omega-3 fatty acids are helpful for maintain cardiovascular health by keeping the arteries and veins supple. They also help nourish your brain and keep all the important chemicals flowing and working their magic.
The missing link for high energy is actually these omega-3 fats! And, unfortunately, many people don’t eat nearly enough of these amazing, healthy foods.
Foods like olive oil, wild-caught salmon, halibut, walnuts, almonds and flaxseeds.
To bridge the gap and address the missing link to high energy, make sure you’re eating enough healthy fats, especially omega-3 EFAs. A diet rich in healthy fats and subsequently low in refined sugar, processed carbohydrates and other processed foods will provide all the nutrients you need to remain alert and energetic all day long.
Imagine never having a horrible energy crash again!