Everything you need to know about fat
Get your fat on! … WHAT!?
EATING GOOD FAT DOES NOT MAKE US FAT!
Let’s start with a quick nutrition lesson. There are 3 macro-molecules (macro = big) we must consume regularly in our diet. You know of them:
- Carbohydrates (Sugars)
- Lipids (Fats)
Most people are getting too many carbs especially the less nutritious simple carbs from refined sugars. The best source of carbs is vegetables, beans, some fruit, and some unrefined grains. Most people are getting enough protein especially if they are omnivores (eating meat and plants). Unfortunately a lot of the protein consumed from meat and dairy isn’t the greatest because of how the animals are raised. For example cows should be eating grass not grains. I could go on but let’s stick to our topic of fat. Lipids (fat) serve many important functions in the body:
- Long term energy storage
- Insulation from heat loss
- Protection of major organs
- Protection (plasma membrane) of all trillions of cells in your body
- Component of estrogen and testosterone
- Wrap around nerves to transmit messages faster
There are saturated and unsaturated fats. For decades and decades we were told that saturated fats (mainly from animal origin) were ‘bad fats’. This has recently been debunked. Research is showing that if the animal fat we take in as meat, dairy, butter etc. was raised ‘naturally’ not in a factory farm fedlot than the saturated fats are actually good for us. Generally speaking the unsaturated fats (from vegetable oils) are good for us unless we hydrogenate them or heat them up too much.
Don’t cook olive oil at a high temperature – use butter or coconut oil instead.
Avoid hydrogenated vegetable oils and trans fat.
Avoiding them is hard as they are in almost all processed foods, packaged goods, and deep fried oils. Hydrogenating plant oils leads to the legitimately bad fat – the unnatural trans fat.
Avoid Fat Free Products!
Take a look at this fat free yogurt (one of the leading brands). What you can see is that since they removed the delicious, creamy fat they need to replace it with a toxic brew of garbage! Artificial sweeteners (worse than regular sugar), sugar, and fillers including wait for it…CORN!
Yes that’s right – most of the yogurt you eat should have a corn cob picture on the front!
The best yogurt to buy should be high in fat and have 2-3 ingredients. I buy 6% fat yogurt and the ingredients are cream, milk solids, active bacterial culture. Good luck finding it though in the giant Fat-Free yogurt aisle.
What about Omega Fatty Acids?
Omega 3 and 6 are the essential fatty acids meaning we must eat them in our diet. Generally speaking we get TONS of omega 6 because they are found in grains. Most people are not getting enough omega 3 fatty acids unless you are supplementing. These are found in animals that eat grass, some seeds and nuts, and fish. If you are eating farmed fish (most fish) than the omega 3 fatty acid concentration is lower than wild fish.
Omega 3 fatty acids are naturally anti-inflammatory and good for brain development.
Too many omega 6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory.
Why switch to higher fats?
A few years ago I switched my breakfast from high carb, low fat/protein to high fat/protein and low carb. The amazing change that occurred is I’m no longer starving an hour after eating breakfast. Instead of eating cereal with milk and toast I eat 6% fat, unsweetened yogurt with nuts, berries and natural peanut butter. I feel satiated (benefit of fat) and can go 4-5 hours before feeling hungry again as it takes longer to digest fat.
Because of this you are much less likely to crave a sweet snack like a muffin or doughnut in the morning.
Another benefit to the low carb and high fat/protein meal is you will keep your blood sugar level steady. If you consistently eat poor carbs than you are spiking your blood sugar up and down – an almost sure-fire way to get DIABETES!
Certain Vitamins are fat soluble like Vit D, E, A, K. If you don’t eat fat with these vitamins – you will not absorb them properly. So if you drink fat free milk that is fortified with Vit D – you aren’t absorbing it!
What are some good fats to eat?
- Grass fed (pastured) beef, dairy, butter
- Free range/outdoor poultry and eggs
- Sea plants
- Wild fish especially from deep cold water and fish oils
- Avocado, nuts and natural nut butters, flax seed
- Non-hydrogenated vegetable oils like olive oil
WOW – that is a lot of info and I’m only scratching the surface. If you are in need of a nutritional overhaul let me know and we can start getting your food to work… for you.
YOU ARE (built by) WHAT YOU EAT!
Eat Fat -Yes I Said Eat Fat is also featured on the GoodLife Fitness Blog