Mar 07 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Eat Fat
It has been a little over a year since I started to increase my healthy dietary fat intake. It all started when I tried a Ketogenic Diet for the first time in January of 2017. Naturally people became interested in my diet change when they saw me passing on lunch offers regularly at work. After explaining that I was trying a low carb, high fat diet the questions began:
“Isn’t fat bad for you?”
“You want to eat more fat? You’re gonna have a heart attack!”
“Isn’t that going to make you gain weight?”
For decades the United States Department of Agriculture has created numerous food guides to help Americans remember their dietary recommendations: Food wheel in the 80s, Food Pyramid in the 90’s, MyPyramid in the early 2000’s and the current food guide MyPlate since 2011, to name a few. The USDA has always recommended eating fats sparingly yet in the current food guide, MyPlate, fats are nowhere to be found, and their dairy recommendations include fat-free or low-fat yogurt, milk, and cheese.
No wonder why we often have a knee-jerk reaction to a diet higher in fat. This way of eating has been engraved in our minds for so long, it’s second nature for us to associate healthy eating with low fat.
I know from first-hand experience that increasing healthy fat intake has improved my life, and I believe it can improve yours too. Now, I’m not trying to convince you to drop everything and dive into a high-fat diet tomorrow, but I am encouraging you to eat in a more balanced way.
I am going to give you 4 reasons why you shouldn’t be afraid to eat fat and I have an awesome freebie for you at the end.
4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Eat Fat
Food just tastes better
In my past attempts at eating healthy, I often had meals that included extra lean chicken breast, bland steamed vegetables, and salads with zero or low-fat dressings. After a couple days of eating this way I would often break down and binge on some kind of fast food.
Fast food is not only popular because of convenience but taste. The flavor is in the fat and I am here to tell you that healthy eating does not have to taste bad! So go on, eat your butter (or ghee, like me).
Satisfying meals that take you far
How many times have you had your 8:00 am breakfast of cereal or oatmeal just to find yourself hungry again by 9:30 am? Including fat with your meals not only helps you feel like you ate a satisfying meal, but you give your body balanced slow-burning fuel that will last longer than a couple of hours.
Stabilized Blood Sugar, Stabilized Moods
Not only do you feel satisfied by your deliciously balanced meals when you add fat–any carbohydrates eaten will be absorbed slowly. Your blood sugar will remain stable so your Hangry alter ego has no reason to make any appearances. Your friends and family will thank you.
Cholesterol is our friend
If you have been steering clear of dietary fat due to your long time fear of cholesterol, I would like to ease your mind if I can. We have been told for so long that fat and cholesterol are bad for us, but what you probably haven’t been told is that cholesterol plays a huge role in the body. Cholesterol acts as an emergency response team. When inflammation occurs in the body, cholesterol comes to the rescue to initiate healing. When the body is stressed from daily activities, cholesterol comes to the rescue with anti-stress hormones to counterbalance. Unless a disease or health condition is present, the body strives to be in balance in all aspects, including cholesterol. If we eat more fat, the body will make less cholesterol and vice versa.
Check out this article for the science low down on cholesterol: Cholesterol: Friend or Foe?
Now that I have you considering an increase in your dietary fat intake, you may be wondering how or what fats to eat. Not all fats are created equally. I stick to real whole food sources of fat and try my very best to stay far away from unstable polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs). Unstable PUFAs include fats from margarine, vegan buttery spreads, soybean oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, and safflower oil. These fats can turn into harmful toxins for the body when heated. Unfortunately, these fats are typically used in fast food chains and restaurants making them hard to avoid when eating out.
Check out these articles for more info on PUFAs: Good Fats, Bad Fats: Separating fact from fiction, Dear Mark: PUFAs
Enough of the bad stuff, let’s get into the nourishing good stuff! Below are some of the oils, fats, and foods I eat on a regular basis:
- Avocado Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Ghee (Clarified Butter)
- Tallow (Beef Fat)
- Macadamia Nuts
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Almond Butter
- Grass Fed Ground Beef
As you’re making your next healthy plate of food see if your plate could use a little more fat. Start slowly with fats that you are familiar with like olive oil and eggs. Start making simple salad dressings with 3 parts Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 1 part vinegar of your choice, or make an omelette cooked with butter (or ghee) with the whole egg, not just the egg whites.
Here comes the awesome freebie! I made you a reference guide that includes a breakdown of healthy fats, not so healthy fats, ideas on how to use them, smoke points of oils and why that’s important to you. I even included links to products that I love and use often! To get this guide fill out the box below and bam! You’ve got the guide waiting in your inbox after confirming subscription. (Check your spam if you do not receive your guide in your inbox)
Do you or someone you know usually steer clear of eating fat? Do you naturally choose lower fat foods out of habit?
Thanks for reading!