Fat and the real weight epidemic problem
If you have ever struggled with dieting you will know full well that cutting bad fatty foods from your diet is a good place to start when trying to lose weight.
However, what you were probably never told is that in order to lose weight AND continue to feel good, well fed and under no circumstances feeling as if you are missing out, all you need to do is swap the bad for the good. You can then transition healthily without feeling the need for that ‘fix’ which ultimately leads to another failed diet attempt.
There are good fats and there are bad fats, and understanding how to swap over to only eating the good fats is the difference between having incredibly smooth and plump skin, a healthy heart and bounds of energy and feeling tired, bloated, sluggish and all round yukky. Not to forget of course your expanding waist line.
Let’s be clear on one thing. We NEED fats in our diet for healthy brain function. Fats are broken down to keep our brains communicating with our bodies correctly. If we do not consume enough good fat, we will quickly develop brain fog and long term illnesses.
However, the good fats that our brains and bodies need in order to be healthy are very different to the belly bloating, artery hardening fatty deposits that cause heart attacks and brain illnesses such as alzheimer’s and cancer.
Without it we would miss out on vital nutrients – the vitamins A, D and E – and what are known as essential fatty acids which are needed to prevent or control all kinds of ailments and conditions such as heart disease, cancers, immune system deficiencies, arthritis, skin complaints, PMS and menopausal symptoms.
Remember, eating well is all about swapping the junk for healthy alternatives so that you don’t feel that you are missing out.
Good fats and bad oils
We all know about fat don’t we? That clogging, belly buster that causes weight gain and makes the nation statistically obese. However, it is not just the saturated, hydrogenated and trans fats found in meat, butter, margarine and chocolate etc. that we need to be aware of. Buying vegetable oil has been seen as a healthy option when cooking for many years, but polyunsaturated vegetable oils are not the beauty oil we have been led to believe. Included in many processed foods that range from rice milk to crackers, granola, roasted nuts and frozen waffles, excessive consumption of polyunsaturated vegetable oils and trans fats have been linked to many health problems and diseases. Liver damage, increased cancers and heart related conditions, immune-system dysfunction, damage to reproductive organs and lungs, digestive disorders, impaired growth, weight gain and even depressed learning ability have all been linked to vegetable oil fats.
Polyunsaturated vegetable oils (usually made from soy, corn, safflower and canola) are extremely unstable because they are missing more than one hydrogen bond, meaning that these oils can become rancid and oxidize when exposed to heat, light and air, or simply sitting for a while in your cupboard. Although the oil won’t have a smell, rancid or oxidised oils spew out free radicals which destroys your beauty, causing DNA damage as well as destroying the tissues in your body, from collagen to cell membranes.
Beauty Fats and oils
You may think that you need to avoid all fats in order to be slim and beautiful but our bodies actually needs some types of fats (or beauty fats) in order for us to be beautiful, our skin and hair to be soft and smooth and our brains to function correctly. Unsaturated fats are often referred to as ‘heart healthy fats’ and include avocados, nuts and seeds, coconut and olive oils (although coconut oil is pure saturated fat, but luckily for us it is one of the most healthiest natural saturated fats that our bodies love). Fish also contains omega-3 oil which is a good oil.
Avocados are a wonderful source of beauty fat as it is just about the finest fat we can put into our bodies. With there creamy texture and beautifying oils, avocados are extremely filling and provide long-burning fuel. Spread on gluten free toast for a quick, filling snack. If you have never eaten a fresh avocado before, you have been missing out. Aim for ½ an avocado a day for optimal beauty.
Nuts and seeds make a great addition to heavier meals and you can now buy nut butters to replace margarines and dairy butters. Because nuts and seeds are rich is protein and good fats, it is best to enjoy them as a heavier meal and not combine them with avocados as they both contain fat.
Coconut oil is a great choice because it has a high smoke point, so when used in cooking will retain its stability in high temperatures. Coconut oil contains 50 percent lauric acid which can help and support a healthy thyroid. Although coconut oil is actually a saturated fat, it is cholesterol free and trans fat free and can actually help to lower cholesterol levels.
Other good oils include extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed, pumpkin, hemp seed, borage and evening primrose oil. As with all fats though, moderation should always be observed.
It is not always easy to understand the difference between saturated, mono unsaturated, poly unsaturated, trans fats, fatty acids and everything in between, so we are going to make it easy for you to understand the main differences between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fats.
The difference between good and bad fats is simple.
‘Good fats’ are vital for healthy brain function and ‘bad fats’ clog our systems, block our arteries and cause internal health problems that ultimately shorten our lives.
Trans fats (sunflower, vegetable)
Burgers and Processed meat
Sugars in cake, biscuits, crackers, popcorn
Dairy Butter and margarine
Fatty Meat Cuts
Lard and solid animal fats
Chips and Fries
Olive oil, flaxseed, pumpkin, hemp seed, borage and evening primrose oil.
Nuts and Nut Butters
Oily fish including salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, herrings, trout
Just because you eat fat, doesn’t mean you will get fat. It is all about swapping bad fats for healthy fats that will protect, nourish and support your body and all its essential internal systems.
Never give up fat. Ever. Your body would destroy itself.
See below for healthier alternatives when choosing fats.
If you cook, make sure it is with olive oil or coconut oil. Lard or vegetable oils are not going to do your body any good at all.
Don’t ditch the fat completely. The worst thing you can ever do for your body even when trying to lose weight is cut out fat. Opt for eating nuts, avocados and seeds instead of that burger that has been looking sideways at you for an hour.
Instead of reaching for a packet of crisps, roast kale or thinly slice your own potatoes and oven bake for around 30 minutes with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper.
Instead of chips, try sweet potato wedges or fennel chips roasted in olive oil, sea salt and black pepper.
Olives and Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is top of our good fat swap list because it is rich in essential fatty acids that protect the body against disease and illnesses including cancer and mental health.
If you are currently cooking with any other oil than extra virgin olive oil, swap to this amazing ingredient and you will lose weight and feel amazing. Its also the perfect salad dressing base too. Do not buy anything other than extra virgin versions. Standard olive oil has been mixed with low grade vegetable oils which are produced in factories made with chemicals.
If you have never eaten an avocado, there are plenty of ways to include this amazing little fruit into your new diet. Throughout your programme we have included avocado’s in our recipes.
It can be blended into smoothies, puddings, mayos and chopped up in salads. You can even spread it on toast. It is good as a Savoury or sweet ingredient because it has a creamy taste and can be cooked too.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are packed with macro and micro nutrients, vital for good skin and brain function. If you are allergic to nuts, then seeds will give you the same level of good fat without the trip to A&E.
Good nuts – almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews
Good seeds – sunflower, pumpkin, chia, sesame and flaxseeds.
Add to your salads, morning museli, smoothies, yoghurt and curry dishes or sprinkle over your oats.
Oily fish is rich in omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids. Great for your heart, brain and skin, including 2 portions of oily fish in your diet every week will actually allow you to reach your optimum weight and you won’t be missing out on any of your vital nutrients.
Include salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout and sardines in your new good fat health programme. If you don’t really like fish, roasted salmon and tuna are the better options as when baked in the oven, they taste more meaty than fishy.
Goats Cheese, Yoghurt and Milk
Because goats have a similar protein level to humans, the products they produce are far better as good fats to include in your diet. Rich in friendly bacteria, the natural fats found in goats products can help maintain a good weight.
Dairy cheese and yoghurts have had bad press because of the high fat content, but low fat versions contain high sugar (which turns into fat in the body anyway). It is a contradiction so never go for low fat products. Full fat organic natural goats (or sheeps) produce is a good way of keeping your fat content to a healthy level without feeling as if you ‘overdid’ the dairy.
Meats such as pork and lamb contain higher fat content which isn’t actually bad for you. Do however avoid at all costs meat which has been processed, because processing involves a manufacturer using chemicals and treating products so that they have a long shelf life. Long shelf lives equals lots of chemicals and sugars which are very bad for your health. Not forgetting the cancer forming additives they pump meat with. Bacon for instance is pumped with sodium nitrate in order to keep it looking red and plump, appealing but is actually a cancer forming substance.
Even processed products that don’t taste like sugar have actually had a clever mix of salt and sugar added to the food so that it tastes better. This is what creates the food cravings most dieters hate. Eat fresh, grass fed meat once or twice a week only.