The Secret to Healthy Eating. Part 3 – Fat
Posted on 1st February 2016 at 11:03
In this week’s section of ‘The secret to healthy eating’ I’ll be exploring why you should be eating fat and the best sources to ensure that you get a good variety of the essential fats.
It’s been 31 years since the cover of Time Magazine infamously branded fats and cholesterol as the enemy. That was the final nail in the coffin that saw the general public take fat out of their diet through fear of a heart attacks and poor health. Shift forward to the present day and it seems fat is back on the menu. And rightly so!
The ‘Low Fat’ craze all started in the 1970’s with ‘The Seven Countries Study’. This study reviewed the correlation between saturated fat intake and heart disease among 12,763 men from seven different countries. The study found a correlation between the two, and western governments changed their health policies accordingly, making fat the enemy.
Unfortunately, no one decided to take a deeper look into the study.
If they had, it would have exposed how deeply flawed this research was. It didn’t take into account essential factors such as smoking rate, sugar consumption and exercise levels. The most shocking oversight was that the author actually had access to data from twenty-two countries. Including this broader data would have massively contradicted the conclusion of this study, so he conveniently ignored it . He also chose to ignore the fact that many populations follow diets high in saturated fats and yet barely experience any heart disease e.g. the Kenyan Masai, the Tokelau in Polynesia and the Arctic Inuit.
To this day people still don’t know the health benefits of saturated fats, and even fats in general.
The biggest mistake I see when people look to eat healthy is that they cut out fats completely.
In their place they will load up on ‘healthy’ pasta, rice and whole meal bread. If you are unsure why this is bad I strongly encourage you to click here and read my article that explains how over consuming carbohydrates makes you fat.
At no point do people make a connection between fat and health.
Here are my top 8 reasons why you should add fat into your diet for optimal health:
Liver Health – Saturated fats encourage the liver cells to get rid of fat cells. This massively improves the function of the liver, and if your liver isn’t functioning optimally, you can forget body fat loss.
Immune Boosting – Fatty acids, found in coconut, help optimise white blood cells to recognize and destroy invading viruses and bacteria.
Hormone Optimization – Increased fat in the diet can increase free testosterone (the form your body can use), which is great news for men and females as it will help repair and preserve muscle along with improving sexual function
Improves body composition – Essential fatty acids found in Omega-3 fats in fish and flaxseed won’t be stored by the body. Instead the body will put them to work instantly to help make hormones (not just testosterone) and help build healthy fluid outer cell layers.
Improves Insulin Sensitivity and cell health – As mentioned above, fat helps build outer cell layers. If a cell has a fluid outer layer it allows better inter cell signalling, and insulin signalling which will allow for a better and more efficient metabolism.
Fat is very filling – It is very hard to overeat fat. If you eat fat with a diet rich in good quality protein you will notice you will eat less and stay full for longer
Reduces inflammation – Diets high in carbohydrates activates pro-inflammatory processes in the body through their effects on fatty acid composition and blood lipid (fat) levels. A diet high in carbohydrates also makes the cell membrane less permeable (insulin resistance) which triggers inflammation throughout the body due to a rise in insulin. If you need a recap of my analogy diagram of how this works click here.
Improves brain function – if your body is inflamed so too will be your brain, leading to brain fog. A diet high in EPA and DHA from fish, grass fed meat and wild meat help protect the brain and act as food to fuel the brain.
So how do you start adding fat into your healthy eating plan?
Well last week I showed you how to include good quality protein in all of your meals. Next thing to do is replace your carbohydrates (except vegetables) with any fat from this list. You can’t tell me there isn’t variety here. When it comes to the oils, I recommend that my clients pour it on their vegetables or salads. I can hear you now, ‘ I don’t want a plate of meat with a little bit of veg’. Well neither do I. Your plate should be 60% Vegetables, 25% Protein and 15% fat.
So how much fat should you be eating? This all depends. However, a warning, there are a lot of calories in fat. You can’t start eating Almond Butter like its ice cream. Stick to the numbers I give you and you will be absolutely fine.
So let me guide you and offer-up a rough idea of how much you fat should be eating:
Last week I told you how to work out how much protein you need. So if you haven’t worked that out click here and quickly figure it out.
* Next you will need your BMR (base calories you should be on) click here to do that.
* For this example I will be using a female who is 30, 5ft 3” and is 131 lbs. her BMR is 1379 calories
* Her protein intake should be roughly 105g a day (using formula in link above)
* I am going to take that number, 105, and multiply it by 4 to calculate how many calories that equals. (there are 4 calories per gram of protein)
* That tells me 105g of protein is equal to 420 calories (105/4)
* Take the 420 calories away from your BMR (1379-420 = 959 calories)
Now this is important. Most of you won’t be hitting close to your BMR, so I’m going to take 200 calories off the remaining calories. As you can’t just jump in and eat twice as much food. You need to build on it week on week. If you are unsure how much you are eating click here and quickly get a ball park estimate.
* So it was 959calories – 200calroies (for the correction) = 759 calories.
* Divide the remaining 759 calories by 9 ( 9 calories per gram of fat)
* That leaves me with 84grams of fat per day for this lady.
* Divide that by the number of meals you have e.g. 4 (84/4 = 21 grams of fat per meal)
As I said this is a rough guide, unfortunately I’m not working with you personally to give you exact figures.
This week’s home learning is to complete and start your healthy eating Food Plan by taking out all processed foods and, using my 2 charts, create a Healthy Food plan for yourself that is simply protein and fat. Do this for 7 days and you will notice the difference. Next week will be the big one, all about carbohydrates!!
How many of you have gone no carb and enjoyed the benefits of a high fat diet?
I would love to hear from you, join the conversation below or on Facebook.
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