If you are of the belief that eating fat will make you fat then you aren’t alone. It took me years, and I mean years, to get over this fear. I grew up in the low fat era where fat was the enemy and should be avoided at all costs. The problem was, I had never weighed more or felt worse than when I was dieting on plain bagels and low fat cookies. Fast forward 20 years and I weigh less and have more energy than I did back then. I attribute that to a lot of things but one of them was losing my fear of fat….
I mean, I guess it made sense at the time. Fat has more than twice the calories of carbohydrates and protein and so logically, if you consume less of it, it would equate to less calories and therefore less weight right?
In a lab, sure, all calories are created equally but in our bodies they act completely differently. If I consume 150 calories worth of avocado my health outcome will be completely different than if I consume those same calories from rice cakes. The 150 calories from the avocado will provide protein for my muscles, allowing me to maintain or grow them. It will provide essential fats for my brain and nervous system and all the hormones in my body. The avocado will also stimulate the release of my FAT BURNING hormone glucagon and so not only will I get energy and growth from the avocado, I will also burn body fat as a result. And so, most of that avocado has gone to growth and repair, there isn’t much left to store on my waistline.
As a bonus, the avocado has a lot of protein and fibre to go with that fat and so it will digest slowly and keep me full for hours.
The rice cake however, will provide me with nothing other than perhaps a short burst of energy and a subsequent crash. It will also stimulate the release of my FAT STORING hormone insulin. And now that the insulin has driven all the available fuel into your fat storage your brain triggers you to eat more. And more. And more. And the cycle continues.
As a bonus, because the rice cake has no protein or fat or fibre with it, it digests very quickly and so the above reactions happen in double time. Yuck.
The only clause I add here is that the quality and type of fat you eat matters. The best fats come mainly from vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish. The worst type of dietary fat is the kind known as trans fat. It is a byproduct of a process called hydrogenation that is used to turn healthy oils into solids and to prevent them from becoming rancid. Trans fats have no known health benefits and that there is no safe level of consumption. Although there are differing theories, most sources believe saturated fats fall somewhere in the middle.
IN CONCLUSION: We should eat a high quality, nutrient dense whole-food diet that’s lower in refined carbohydrates and high in fibre, protein and healthy fats. That plan would include healthy fats like avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds, eggs and fatty fish like salmon and sardines.
Want to try some delicious fat recipes on for size? Check out these related posts.
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If would love to know, if you have increased the amount of quality dietary fats in your diet, how has that affected your health and how you feel? I love avocado, salmon and peanut butter: What are YOUR favourite healthy fats? Share yours below or on my Facebook page.