Do you still find yourself attracted to the fat free labels in the supermarket?
We all opted for fat free at one stage because excellent marketing told us to! We ditched anything that remotely had any fat in it and replaced them for fat free versions, because these were the healthy options. Of course it made perfect sense… cut out fat and we won’t get fat,right? WRONG!
What we keep failing to look at is if they are stripping the natural fats out of foods, what are they replacing it with and what processes are they using to do this? What we keep failing to look at is if they are stripping the natural fats out of foods, what are they replacing it with and what processes are they using to do this?
Opting for fat free product alternatives could actually be making you fatter. The reason is most fat-free products are full of sugars and whilst we are won over by the enticing fat free claim we fail to see that its replacement is even more harmful to our bodies and fat loss attempts.
“Our bodies need saturated fats to function, fats are vital for muscle, bone and hormone function. They also allow fat soluble nutrients, vitamins and minerals to be correctly processed and absorbed by the body”
So if there are “good” and “bad” fats, which ones should we eat and why?
There are many fats in our diets and required for the body to function, below I have tried to break it down in simple terms:
- Saturated fats – are the solid fats found in foods such as meat, dairy, butter,palm and coconut oils. They do not go rancid even when heated.
- Monounsaturated fats – are liquid at room temperature but solidify when refrigerated these include nuts, olive and avocado. These typically do not go rancid when heated. Your body makes monounsaturated fats from saturated fats and uses them in a number of ways.
- Polyunsaturated fats – Your body cannot make polyunsaturated fats and therefor they are called “essential”. Our bodies get these from essential fatty acids through the food we eat. They are liquid even when chilled and are unstable and go rancid easily. All oils whether animal or vegetable are a combination of the oils above, an example is coconut oil which is 92% saturated. The main things we need to note in our intake of fats is that we are getting them from good, stable, non-rancid sources. You should be aiming for 1 tablespoon of good fat in every meal. Below are my top tips for how to incorporate more healthy fats into your diet and what to exclude from your diet to avoid inflammatory oils and fat free (high sugar) products:
- Fat dairy products including milk, cheese, yoghurt and ice-cream. Replace with full fat and organic/pasture fed where possible. Always read labels and ensure minimum sugar content.
- Fat free packaged foods such as biscuits and cakes. These are loaded with unhealthy refined carbohydrates and sugar.
- Vegetable and seed oils for cooking are highly processed and way too high in omega 6 fatty acids. My advice is to remove these from your diet altogether. These include: soybean, corn, cottonseed, canola, rapeseed, sunflower, sesame, grapes, safflower and rice bran oil.
- When it comes to high heat cooking coconut oil is the absolute best option as it is very resistant to heat and does not turn rancid. Coconut oil also has amazing health benefits and is anti-fungal. It can increase metabolism and improve cholesterol. Always choose virgin organic coconut oil.
- Butter and yes i know we have been told butter is bad for cholesterol and fat-loss but in fact organic butter from pasture fed animal contains Vitamins A, E and k2. It is known to fight inflammation and improve gut health. Regular butter can often be made with added sugars or protein so opt for ghee when cooking with butter to avoid it burning at high heat.
- Olive oil (do not cook with olive oil at high heat). Olive oil is known to raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. Use on salads as dressings and in cooking at low temps.
- Animal fat and lard from healthy pasture-fed animals is high in saturated fats and has many health benefits. So next time your making a slow cooked meal enjoy the fat that comes from your healthy animal protein don’t try and remove it from the meal.
- Avocados are a great source of natural fat and go great on salads or in smoothies.
- Fish oil is the richest form of Omega 3 available which promotes good cholesterol and the good fats we need to reduce inflammation. Fish il should never be used for cooking.
- Nuts are packed with good natural fats that are healthy, don’t buy nut oils for the purposes of cooking.
How I incorporate good fats in my diet:
- I cook with either coconut oil or ghee.
- I add a teaspoon of butter to melt over my morning omelette.
- I add avocado and/or olive oil dressing to salads.
- I add either 1.4 of an avocado or 1 tbs of coconut oil to my smoothies.
- Incorporate nuts in salads.
- Opt for homemade raw chocolates with coconut oil and nut varieties.
- Warm water, fresh lemon and 1 tsp coconut oil upon waking in the morning.
In short don’t be scared of fats, they won’t make you fat in fact they help regulate hormones and keep us feeling fuller longer for improved fat-loss. Start incorporating small amounts back into each meal and see if you notice a difference in how satisfied you feel after each meal. If this helped you don’t forget to share with family and friends. Be sure to sign up for FREE to become part of the IN2U crew and receive free weekly updates with information and guidance to help you be the absolute best version of YOU. Together lets get back IN2U xx