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The Skinny on Fat

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The Skinny on Fat

Throw out your early 90s diet mindset once and for all, and embrace good, whole fats on your plate.

Raj Barker

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I automatically feel for anyone who tells me they are limiting their fat intake.


By doing so – they are legitimately making their life harder and at this stage of 2022, who needs that?


Re-educating clients (and anyone who will listen) that fats are, in fact, a crucial and very beneficial part of our day-to-day diet is one of my greatest joys.


Watching the shift in people that begin to trust good fats and start to make them a regular part of their diet is a really beautiful journey to witness. 


Way back in the olden days (early 90s), our beloved fats were receiving quite the bad rap. We were advised to limit eggs, switch out butter for margarine, opt for fat-free salad dressing over olive oil combos and cut our hair like Jennifer Aniston. There was a lot going on. 






By adhering to these suggested swaps, we created a generation of individuals that were essentially ripping themselves off from vital nutrients that healthy fats provide.


We focused on consuming highly processed margarines, salad dressings, and dairy products, that created a negative impact on several systems within the body, from inflammation to poor digestion, dysregulation of blood sugar levels and malnourishment.


The lesson was that we truly thrive on food in its most natural state and thankfully the shift back to whole foods is well under way. 


We should all be grateful for ongoing research that has worked double time to right these nutritional wrongs and deliver us with scientific evidence proving that fat is a necessary component for our wellbeing. Let’s examine this statement a little closer…

Not all fats are created equal

There is a huge difference between the fat you ingest from eating fried, processed foods (trans and saturated fats) compared to fats from whole food sources like eggs, olive oil and fish (poly and mono unsaturated fats, omega 3 fatty acids).


A 2016 study by Ginter and Simko highlighted the primary health risk from trans-fat consumption is an increased risk of coronary heart disease it also proved that trans fats have an adverse effect on our brain and nervous systems. 

In comparison, fats derived from (predominantly) whole foods have been linked to a variety of cellular functions, including signaling, cell membrane fluidity, and structural maintenance.


These beautiful fats also help to regulate the nervous system, blood pressure, blood clotting, glucose tolerance, and inflammatory processes (Gammone et al., 2018). 


We’ve all heard that opting for a whole food diet supports a healthier lifestyle and the above studies drive this theory home by highlighting the diminishing qualities of trans fats on our health, versus the myriad of benefits that omega 3 fatty acids provide. 

Rather than telling you what not to eat, let’s shine a light on some potent sources of healthy fats to include in your diet:


Olive oil

Contains valuable plant compounds known as antioxidants (in the form of Vit E). Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat which is renowned for its ability to lower elevated cholesterol levels and protect against cardiovascular disease. 



Raw nuts and seeds

Think walnuts, linseeds and chia seeds. These beauties are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Potent for maintaining and supporting your brain health as well as protecting your eyesight. 

Avocado

Provides both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, a source of oleic acid which has been linked in numerous studies as a way to combat inflammation in the body as well as better blood sugar management. 



Eggs

All the fat contained in an egg is found in its yolk. Not only does the egg yolk contain healthy unsaturated fats, it contains a profound amount of fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, and E, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.


These nutrient dense parcels are really Mother Nature’s way of giving our body a big nutritious hug! 

Cold water fish

Such as sardines, cod and salmon also provide us with omega 3 fatty acids. They contain a higher count of good fats compared to larger, warm water species such as tuna and crab. Omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory as well as immune boosters. 

Challenge: To make sense of the suggestions above and to embody them for yourself.


We challenge you to include a half to whole avocado into your day for the next 14 days. We promise you will notice a positive shift.


You can add the avocado to smoothies, salads or enjoy it with veggie sticks or seeded crackers as a hearty snack.

Try this simple guacamole recipe


Ingredients

+ 1 avocado 

+ ½ lemon, juiced 

+ 2cm of leek, finely chopped 

+ 1 tsp nutritional yeast 

+ Salt and pepper to taste 


Method 

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mash together until the consistency is smooth and everything is well combined. 


Enjoy!


Serves 2

References: 

Gammone, M., Riccioni, G., Parrinello, G. and D’Orazio, N. (2018). Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids: Benefits and Endpoints in Sport. Nutrients, [online] 11(1), p.46. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6357022/.


Ginter, E. and Simko, V. (2016). New data on harmful effects of trans-fatty acids. Bratislava Medical Journal, 117(05), pp.251–253.

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