FAT FIGHTS BACK
For a very long time, fat had a bad reputation. We were told many times to avoid it at all costs. We all opted for skim this or diet that, and fat was kicked to the kerb. But in recent times, you may have heard that fat is no longer the bad guy. We all know to pile our sourdough with smashed avocado and many of us have become used to cooking with coconut oil, however it seems that saturated fat has remained the enemy.
But here's the thing - it doesn't always have to be. Recent studies have shown that saturated fat can actually be good for you. In fact, omitting saturated fat from your diet actually has the potential to do more harm than good. But then again, fat is a lot higher in calories than protein or carbs and can have negative health effects as well. We know what you’re thinking… Ugh, so is it good or bad? All these rules… it’s like we can’t win!
Yep, we get it. That’s why we’ve put together this post to help explain things a bit better. All it really comes down to is balance and making the right choices. Here’s how to eat fat the healthy way…
EAT CLEAN MEAT
A lot of people think that eating saturated fat increases your chances of getting heart disease. The truth is good sources of saturated fat are actually quite good for your health. Saturated fat found in rich protein sources like red meat increases free testosterone levels, which can help to repair tissue and maintain muscle mass.
It’s actually the fat in poor-quality, processed products that are the real problem. Avoid this by choosing things like free range organic eggs, lean cuts of grass-fed meat, and butter (rather than margerine).
CHOOSE FULL FAT OVER SUGAR
Often low-fat or no-fat dairy products are actually packed full of added sugar to make up for the lost flavour. Other times, people make up for it by adding excess sugar themselves. It's better to opt for full fat over non-fat dairy and give the sugar a miss. Also, get into the habit of reading labels in the supermarket and looking to see whether sugar has been added into the ingredients.
CUT DOWN ON CARBS
Recent studies have suggested that eating too many refined carbohydrates had a stronger link to diabetes and heart disease than eating too much saturated fat. Try replacing your traditional spag bol with a zucchini noodle version (you won't regret it!). Swap white bread for sourdough. Remember to keep some wholegrain, high-fibre carbs (like oats) in your diet. These are still important for your health.
MONO IS STILL BEST
While other fats are slowly creeping their way back into our diets, monounsaturated fats found in things like avocados, nuts and olive oil are still the best for your health. They can help lower bad cholesterol levels in your blood, which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Most sources can also help keep your skin looking soft and youthful.
SAY NO TO TRANS
Unfortunately, there is one type of fat that’s still in the bad books. Artificial trans fats or ‘hydrogenated’ fats are terrible for your health. They’re one of the few ingredients that can actually raise your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol at the same time. This can lead to inflammation, heart disease and diabetes.
Artificial trans fats are often found in hydrogenated vegetable oils, which are used in a lot of processed and fast food. The solution? Just eat real food! Choose real butter instead of margarine, olive oil or coconut oil over vegetable oils and pick home cooked meals over fast food.
At the end of the day though, it's all about balance. We stick to The Good Life rule, where most of the time (about 80%) we eat clean, lean, whole foods. The rest of the time, it's okay to treat yourself a little. Ultimately, being armed with the knowledge about what's good for you will help you to make the healthiest choices.