Good fats: Why the low-fat diet keeps you overweight and hungry
In one of our Detox workshops, we debunked the common misconception that ‘eating fat makes you fat’. For years we have been led to believe that we need to remove the fat from our diet in order to be healthy, when this could not be further from the truth. In fact, our bodies need fat in order to survive. Let us explain..
When fat is removed from your food, what you are eating is no longer a ‘whole-food’. The structure of the food has been modified with the extraction of various components, and foreign components have been added to ensure the food remains stable. Usually, when fat is removed from a food, sugar is added – which is something none of us need more of.
When it comes to the fats in our diet, we should be striving for an even balance of omega 3s and omega 6s in our diet. Unfortunately, due to our highly processed diet of conventionally raised grain fed meat, fast food and toxic vegetable oils, the standard ratio is at around 25:1 with omega 6s heavily outweighing the anti-inflammatory omega 3s. This leads to increased levels of inflammation in our bodies and therefore a higher chance of disease. In getting the right kind of fats into our diet, we are not only working to reduce the level of inflammation in our body, but we are also helping our organs to thrive and do what they do best.
Did you know:
- Your brain is 60% fat! It’s no coincidence that some food is coined ‘brain food’.
- Your digestive tract, liver and gallbladder all rely on the good fats in your diet to help keep things moving through the body.
- Your hormones are actually made of fats and proteins, so including fats in your diet means you are fuelled adequately and hence more fertile.
- Saturated fatty acids contribute at least 50% of your cell membranes. Even the fat around your heart is highly saturated.
So what fats should you be eating?
First, it is important to mention that the amount of fat you need in your diet is really going to depend on the individual. There is no ‘one diet fits all’ and whilst some may thrive on a high fat diet, others may only need a smaller amount in order to ensure they are fuelled. The best way to know this is to cultivate a good relationship with your body and pay attention to what it is asking of you. Experiment with different fats and take notice of how you feel and how your body responds. As noted above, fat is necessary for a healthy and thriving body, but the amount of fat required will be different for everyone. A fast metabolism will burn fat more efficiently, where as a slow metabolism won’t be as efficient so less is required.
The good fats that you should be prioritizing include avocado, salmon, nuts, ghee, butter and red meat (grassfed is preferable), seeds, coconut milk and extra virgin cold pressed plant oils like olive oil, coconut oil and walnut oil. Essentially, you want a good balance of both plant based fats and animal based fats in your diet, as having too much of one fat can often crowd out the absorption of the others. In addition, certain vitamins and minerals found in your vegetables are fat soluble and require fat to be properly metabolized. So not only will adding some fat to your veggies keep you full for longer, but you are also helping to extract and absorb as many nutrients as possible from the vegetable.
Food to avoid:
Low fat dairy: Milk, cream, cheese – any dairy products that have had the fat removed. These products have been refined and heated to extreme temperatures, and are toxic and virtually un-recognisable to the body.
Transfats: Found in all processed and fast foods, transfats are used to increase the shelf-life (and therefore profits) of products. Again, these are toxic for the body and unrecognizable.
Polyunsaturated fats: including vegetable oils that are filled with Omega 6’s.
Here at Lighten Up, we are big fans of good fats and proud advocates of a healthy balanced diet that helps our bodies to absorb minerals, enhance our immune system and keep our hormones healthy and happy.
Tell us, do you incorporate a good range of healthy fats into your diet? Have you noticed the difference?