It’s true, I’m totally obsessed with fat and have been for a very long time.
In my twenties, my obsession wasn’t a good one, fuelled by all the media surrounding low-fat products as healthy choices. I thought all fat was bad and was on a mission to eliminate it from my diet carefully controlling every meal and snack.
I’m happy to say that now my relationship with fat is a very healthy and well informed one.
Fat is such a big and controversial topic and my aim is to share a few little facts to help you on your way to having a better relationship with fat too. Fat is not the enemy and simply eating fat does not make us fat!
It turns out a lot of the claims connecting fat and heart issues were all built on bad science and a poor understanding of calories. Now that studies have proven that the links between fat and various health issues have been proven inaccurate.
Read on to learn more about the good and bad fats.
Canola oil is the big bad guy and it’s everywhere and in everything! Over 90% of canola oil is genetically modified: it is a refined oil (think bleaching and deodorizing!) which is often partially hydrogenated to increase its stability, but this has negative health effects. If you use it in your kitchen, bin it now. There are much healthier options that you can switch to. You should also read the ingredients of any packaged foods you buy to avoid this.
Low fat products as a rule should be avoided and this includes low fat milk and all low fat dairy products. They have undergone an industrial process to remove the fat and replace it with sugar. They are not a health food, it’s all marketing!
Extra virgin olive oil should be a staple in your kitchen. I use it liberally on my salads and to sauté vegetables at a low heat. This is a staple in the Mediterranean diet which is one of the healthy diets in the world with the lowest rates of heart disease.
Coconut oil has been a hot topic for a while and I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re confused as to whether or not it’s healthy! Coconut oil has many health benefits but like all good fats should be consumed as part of an overall healthy diet. Cultures with 60% of their diet as coconut oil have no heart disease. I love coconut oil and put it in my family’s smoothies every morning.
Butter has been demonised in the past and for a long time people replaced it with margarine and low fat spreads thinking they were making the heart healthy choice. But now butter has made a comeback as a healthy fat and the benefits of butter are becoming more widely known. The omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids in butter help your brain function properly and butter is rich in fat-soluble vitamins and trace minerals. Because of its low burning temperature, butter is not good for cooking at high temperatures (but it’s great for melting over your broccoli!). Always choose organic grass-fed butter, Kerry Gold Irish butter is my personal favourite. A little bit of butter is good and it’s delicious!!
MCT oil is a saturated fat derived from coconut oil. It boosts metabolism, reverses insulin resistance and improves cognitive function. You want to know more??!! This warrants a whole separate blog which is coming soon!
Avocados are the perfect food to protect and enhance your brain. They are also rich in vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant that may help to reduce free radical damage and slow the aging process. They provide twice the amount of potassium as a banana. Potassium works with sodium to regulate blood pressure and is essential for vascular health. Potassium is also good to combat a hangover!Oh, and did I mention they’re delicious?! I keep a stash of chopped and frozen avocado in the freezer to add to smoothies which makes them thick and creamy and the good fat keeps us all full and happy. Of course, smashed avocado on toast with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of chilli flakes is heaven (but choose your bread carefully).
Nuts and seeds are packed with protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. They are a source of good fats which help to reduce your appetite. One or two handfuls a day as snack or sprinkled over a salad is a great way to include them in your diet. Many health studies have shown great benefits of eating nuts including reduced risk for coronary disease.I always carry a pot of mixed nuts in my bag as a go to snack for me and my kids when we’re out and about.
Salmon when it’s wild caught (definitely not farmed), is packed with vitamins and minerals and has a very high omega 3 content, making it one of the world’s healthiest foods! It’s packed with omega 3 fatty acids which our bodies need but can’t make. Omega rich foods are shown to increase brain and memory function among a whole host of other health benefits.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little snippet, it is by no way comprehensive as I’m trying not to overwhelm you with too many details. Contact me if you’d like to learn more.
I provide coffee morning workshops, kitchen detox and my personal health coaching program. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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