For some of you this is old news, but for others this is new territory. My generation, and the one before me, were conditioned to believe that if we eat fat we get fat. I’m here to tell you that that is simply not true. For more than five decades we were told that all fats are bad and if we want lean and healthy bodies then we should avoid them at all costs. Guess what? Eating fat doesn’t make you fat. It’s the ridiculous amount of processed carbohydrates and refined sugars hidden in our foods, that we as a society consume in ridiculously high amounts, that we should be pointing the finger at.
This doesn’t mean you should run out and eat avocados with a spoon or bathe in peanut butter but it does mean that you can put down the low-fat yoghurt and rid your fridge of anything fat-free. If this is new to you, don’t worry- it was new to me too. I have worked closely with my nutrition team to educate myself and my 28ers on why it’s time to stop fearing fat. Why? Not all fats are created equal. There are good and bad fats and understanding which ones help you and which ones harm you is key to getting the results you’re after.
Food products marketed as ‘low-fat’ have often been stripped of the fat and replaced with both sugar and salt. It’s okay to eat fats - you just need to eat the right kinds in the right amounts. With this in mind, I put together a handy little guide on how to know what to eat and what to avoid:
OMEGA 3s: Omega 3’s are great for your heart health, brain function and healthy, glowing skin. These fats are found in olive oil, avocado and nuts and seeds.
SATURATED FATS: Saturated fats got a bad rap during the low-fat era but when eaten in moderation and with a variety of plant-based foods, they can have a positive effect on our health.
TRANS FATS: Trans fats are what we really should be avoiding. You’ll find them in deep-fried food and most store bought pastries and other baked goods. Trans fats raise LDL blood cholesterol levels and can increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
INFLAMMATORY OMEGA 6 ACIDS: Perhaps the most misunderstood of all, omega 6 acids are found in oils such as canola and sunflower, which are often marketed as a healthy oil option. However, more often than not, they’ve been through a hydrogenation process, which means they can increase blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease.
If you’re a fat-fearer and you need a little more convincing, here’s a few more reasons why you should be incorporating good fats into your diet:
- Our brains need them. A healthy, balanced diet with regular good fat consumption has been shown to improve memory, brain function and mood.
- Good fats promote satiety and keep you full. When we eat good fats, hormones are released that gives us that ‘satisfied’ feeling and stop us from constantly feeling like we need more.
- Low fat diets cause your body to become excellent carb burners. This sounds great, but it’s not. This means your body will always prioritise burning carbs over fat when you really want it to become an efficient fat burner. That’s how you get a strong, lean body.
This is not hype. This is real. I know as a society we’re in a transition phase when it comes to the understanding and acceptance of this. I can tell by the strange look I get when I’m spreading butter on my toast or getting full fat milk in my coffee. Remember, we’re talking about the good fats here. The ones that help our brain and our skin and keep us lean without any adverse effects on our heart.
If you want to learn more about the science behind our meal plans or how to introduce more good fats into your diet, head to www.28bysamwood.com or send my team an email at firstname.lastname@example.org