There is a common myth in the health world that "eating fat, makes you fat". For years, the diet industry campaigned that it was the fat in foods that made you overweight. Therefore, many weight-loss programs promoted a “low-fat” way of eating. Though, new studies and science show how there is no direct correlation between eating fat, and your weight. In fact, eating fat (the good kind), can actually help with fat loss, boost your metabolism and improve overall health. That’s why you will see good fat in all of the meal plans on my F.I.T. programs. So, today I’m telling you that it's time to ditch the low-fat diet, and start incorporating good fats into your meals.
Low fat does not mean healthy.
Unfortunately due to many years of low-fat diets being so popular, people often assume if something is packaged as “low-fat” then it’s good for you. However, a majority of the time these foods are not good for you at all. In order to remove the fat from them, they are highly processed and then have added sugars, salts, and other flavourings or additives to make them taste good. While these “low-fat” packaged foods have minimal fat, they are also extremely low in nutritional value to the body and contain ingredients that will actually make you store fat and put on weight.
Why fat is good?
Your body needs the right nutrients to function properly. Good fat is essential for your body, brain and organs to function properly. It also helps rebuild cells, gives you energy and produce hormones. That’s why it’s an essential nutrient to include in your daily diet. Especially when you are doing extensive exercise and your body requires proper fuel. However, there is a big difference between good fats and bad fats. When I talk about eating fat, I’m referring to the good kind. The good fat you want to eat is in foods that include polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat. .
These fats help lower your bad LDL cholesterol, as well as contain your essential omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are what helps boost brain function, improve your immune system and your mood. You’ll find these fats in your foods like salmon, mackerel, flaxseed, walnuts and chia seeds.
These fats help raise your good HDL cholesterol and lower your bad LDL cholesterol. This helps to reduce the build-up of plaque in your arteries and prevent heart disease. Studies have also shown that these fats help to reduce belly fat. Foods that contain monounsaturated fats are olive oil, cashews, almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds and my absolute favourite, avocados.
Coconut oil is another great example of good fat you can eat. It contains medium-chain fatty acid, which is a healthier form of saturated fats. Our body metabolises these fatty acids differently, and immediately converts it to energy for our brain and muscles to function. It’s also great for boosting your immunity, metabolism and helps to improve digestion. I also love using coconut oil as part of my beauty regime, which you can read more about here.
Fats to avoid:
Not all fat is created equal. Just as there is good fat to eat, there is also fat you should completely avoid. Both saturated (except coconut oil), and trans fats are bad for you. They raise your cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease. Trans fats are the worst, as they are made from unsaturated fat and have been chemically processed to prolong the shelf life on packaged foods. They do not only raise your bad cholesterol, and cause heart disease, but they also increase inflammation in the body. Foods that include these fats are vegetable oils, processed cakes, crackers, chips, biscuits, margarine and french fries. In processed food, look out for the ingredient “hydrogenated vegetable oil”, aka trans fat. You’ll be surprised at how many foods you’ll find that contain these bad trans fats.
So if you want to remove fat from your body, it’s not about removing fat from your diet completely. It’s about finding a good balance between eating whole nutrient rich foods like vegetables, fruit, lean meat, nuts, seeds, legumes and good fat. So ditch the low-fat diet and start nourishing your body instead with healthy wholesome foods.