Fats! Which One?
Through the 90’s the food fad was low fat, sadly even though it didn’t work as a weight loss plan, the diet industry began to produce lots of low fat foods, the rest of food manufacturers followed along.
Press releases and magazine articles based on them re-in forced the idea that at was bad.
Our NHS took evidence from studies, which were faulty, miss-interpreted and at worst, misleading.
So, Rosemary Connolly, the UK Queen of the low fat diet, jumped on board and the spiral into illness and an obese population was on it’s way. To this day many people think low fat is the best way to avoid CHD, Stroke, High Blood Pressure and elevated Cholesterol. Of course this cannot be true – as dietary fat, especially saturated fat will not always effect your cholesterol level. Just as cholesterol levels will not always lead to heart disease and stroke.
Now, times are changing. More and more people are realizing the importance of fat in the diet – good fat that is.
When adding fat into your diet plan, which you should do to maintain optimal health, you must choosing the correct sources.
Chosen unwisely, fat will not only contribute to a body weight and composition problem, but it could put your health at stake as well.
I really want to help you forget all the Lo fat nonsense of the last 30 years and re- learn what your grand parents knew – how to make meals from real food, to eat meat, dairy, fresh vegetables and enjoy very occasional sweet/fatty treats.
So, let’s talk about FATS…..
Fish Oil – The King Of Fats
If there’s one type of dietary fat that you definitely want to be taking in, omega fatty acids are it. Omega fats, which are commonly found in fatty sources of fish (such as salmon and sardines), walnuts, and flaxseeds (along with fish oil supplements), are going to ensure that your body grows and develops as it should be.
These fats are considered essential because your body will not produce them on its own so without an intake through the diet, you’re going to be falling short.
Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids can help to prevent a number of different diseases including arthritis, heart disease and some forms of cancer all while helping to keep your cholesterol level in check.
Omega fats, in a ratio of 1:1 Omega3 to Omega 6, can also boost your level of insulin sensitivity, which will go a long way towards encouraging a leaner overall body composition.
You should avoid adding Omega 6 as they are linked to increased inflammation.
Olive Oil – A Secret Of The Mediterranean Diet
If you’ve ever heard of the Mediterranean diet approach before, you know that at the heart of it is olive oil. People of this area consume diets that are very rich on olive oil and suffer some of the lowest rates of health issues worldwide.
Olive oil is known as an unsaturated fat and will not only prevent heart disease, but also help to keep cholesterol levels in a healthy range and ward off cancer.
It’s essential that you don’t heat olive oil over its smoke point (around 210C) however, as this can cause it to break down and produce free radicals that will then damage your health.
I like to use Olive Oil as a dressing to already cooked food – that way you get the goodness, the flavour and no nasties.
Coconut Oil – The Hidden Healthy Fat
Another fat that must be mentioned is coconut oil. Most people would recognize this as an unhealthy fat as it’s considered to be of the saturated variety. But don’t be fooled, coconut oil is actually a very healthy and is considered a medium chain fatty acid. These fatty acids react differently in the body than most and can actually be broken down and used as a fuel source immediately rather than being stored directly as body fat tissue like longer chain fatty acids are, which are found in plant based oils. ( avoid ALL plant based fats- margarine, cooking oils etc).
Adding coconut oil to your daily diet can help to increase your metabolic rate and promote faster overall weight loss, so if you’re serious about getting lean, get some and use it.
It also has anti-fungal properties, can help to enhance your energy level and endurance, and also offers antioxidant support.
I cook with coconut oil all the time as it can be heated to high temperatures without harming the oil. You cab even buy oil that’s has no coconut flavour; however I find when cooking meats the coconut flavour can be a great addition.
It makes a great moisturiser too – visit your local West Indian or Asian store for great bargain prices compared to Supermarkets.
Finally, to finish off our discussion of fats, we must make note of one that you should be avoiding at all costs – canola oil. The issue with canola oil is that it’s heavily processed and contains trans fatty acids, which are extremely detrimental to your health and well-being.
The body has absolutely no requirement for these trans fats and you should eliminate them from your diet altogether.
In addition to this, canola oil is very unstable when under heat, light, and pressure, and can cause oxidization to take place, creating free radicals in the body. This then puts you at risk for a wide number of diseases including cancer, heart disease, and may also lead to a greater likelihood of weight gain.
So, I’d like you to check your pantry – remove all vegetable oils and spreads, margarine and low fat sprays. Then replace them with olive oil for dressings, coconut oil for cooking and real – grass fed- butter for everything else!
Eat Better – Feel Better
NOTE : many studies show that supplementing with 5 or more grams of fish oil (Omega3) – NOT cod liver oil will help you drop body fat and gain many health benefits – try it for 2 weeks and notice the changes in your skin, digestion, mood, joints and mental acuity. ! J