BRINGING BACK THE FAT!
For years we have been told that fat was the number one contributor to bad health and that fat in our diets should be excluded…
The advice came on the back of some shoddy science interpreted back in the 1970’s, and although the science has been discredited our shelves are still full of ‘low fat’ products.
Think about it, for the past 30 years we were advised to lower our fat intake… AND we did. In these same 30 years we managed to increase our obesity and diabetes rates dramatically.
You see when we remove fat from the diet we automatically replace it with something… and just like the food companies discovered the easiest something to replace it with is sugar.
As humans we are programmed to eat whole food, including fats. Simply replacing the fat with sugars will lead to the feelings of hunger (not to mention the issues consuming excess sugar causes!!) Eating fat actually works to fill you up, sending messages to your brain that you have in fact had enough. You will find you need a lot less fat to feel full than protein or sugar.
Despite what we have been told in the past eating fat does NOT lead to heart disease, eating fat is in-fact essential for good health. As well as keeping you full, fat is responsible for cellular health, hormone production and maintaining mental health.
Adjusting to fats in the diet can be difficult, especially if you have eaten a low fat diet for years. Making small changes to your intake will result in big changes to your health, especially in the long term.
To begin including more fat in your diet try the following tips:
1 - Start slowly! Especially when you are introducing oils! If you are not used to processing fats your digestive system will need to be eased into the transition (You don’t want to be running to the bath room urgently!)
2 - If you eat meat think of eating the whole animal including the skin, a concept we call ‘nose to tail’ – This has the added benefit of ensuring nothing goes to waste. (Ensuring your animal products are ethically sourced is also very important to me)
3 - Look at cooking in fat, coconut oil and ghee are my preferred options as they have a high smoke point (meaning they don’t become unstable at high heat like olive oil can). I also use butter for vegetables such as asparagus and broccoli.
4 - Use oils such as avocado oil, macadamia oil and olive oil for dressings, try adding things like vinegar, herbs and lemon for taste and variety.
5 - If you are Vegan consider increasing your consumption of avocado’s and coconut products, unsweetened coconut yogurt is a favourite ‘go to’ of mine. When it comes to nuts, macadamias, pecans and walnuts are all great choices. Seeds such as flaxseed & pumpkin seeds can also be added to salads for crunch and flavor.
6 - If you’re going to have dairy choose the full fat version, I don’t consume milk, but I will use heavy cream and full fat cream.
7 - Avoid trans fat! Commonly found in margarine, processed food and fast food trans fats are chemically made and are associated with many ailments. This is the one fat I strongly recommend people avoid altogether.
Eating a diet based on leafy green vegetables with the inclusion of whole foods (including the fat!) is the best medicine we have. Look at your food as fuel and you will reap the rewards with a happier and healthier body.