Over the last 60 years, eating fat has been demonised to the point where I now find a lot of clients are plain old scared to go near it! I mean, why wouldn’t you be very afraid? After all it has been shown to cause all kinds of illnesses….from heart disease, diabetes, strokes, as well as the ominous physical conditions that can be indicators of the fact that these dramatically life threatening situations are on their way…high blood pressure, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, joint and mobility issues, water retention, and the list grows ever longer.
Fat is a dirty word, something to be avoided at all costs.
Something that should be treated, at the very least, with caution and care. Dealt out with due moderation and to be taken into consideration when preparing a meal or looking at the ingredients of prepared food. The high fat content of a product is ‘code red’ right?
The thing that puzzles me, (As I’m a bit of a geek who’s been looking a little deeper into these things through my work in the past 8 years)…is that reducing fat levels in your diet, doesn’t actually seem to have much of an impact with long term weight loss and reduction of potential life-threatening conditions…in fact, I might boldly say…we’re WORSE in our general health and body conditions by the time we get to middle age than EVER BEFORE!
So…what are we to do about this? Clearly, we need to question a couple of recent ‘scientific’ discoveries, and take a closer look at the evidence.
Firstly…there was the discovery in the 70’s of an evil substance called ‘cholesterol’.
This substance will coat the inside of your arteries, clogging and choking them into completely closing eventually…. causing your blood to stop in its’ tracks. Ending, basically, in your death. Wow! No wonder it’s such a dirty word!
Only now, we have a more rounded understanding of cholesterol…now we’re aware that there’s GOOD and BAD cholesterol. Which is which? In a nutshell, the BAD stuff is very low in density (LDL cholesterol), and we take it into our bodies via the food we eat…it’s lightweight characteristics mean that it easily get’s ‘caught’ on the lining of artery walls, and then becomes stuck there…building up a deposit over time. the GOOD stuff has a high density (HDL cholesterol), is made by your liver, and performs a number of absolutely vital roles in the body…one of which is to move the low density cholesterol along from its’ ‘sticking points’
Your liver makes this lovely substance. However, it’s ability to move the LDL along will become greatly impaired if the walls of the cardiovascular system are inflamed…the LDL sticks and just can’t get loose. Also, the function of making the HDL by your liver may also be impaired if it’s under pressure to carry out many extra functions too…It is actively involved in toxin breakdown, and producing digestive enzymes…the Chinese believe that the mighty liver can carry out 500 functions!…But if it IS over worked by also having to deal with too many over- processed foods and attendant chemical compounds in them, its’ effectiveness at making HDL will be compromised. The good news though, is that it’s the most powerful organ in your body, and it will repair itself quickly and efficiently if you put it into the right condition.
Second…Saturates bad/ Unsaturates good.
Ok, this is a very problematic equation because, for a start, at the very basics of it is your body’s messages and it is very well capable of telling you when something is good for it….that satisfied feeling when you’ve eaten deliciously tasty, crispy chicken skin or pork crackling? That’s your body saying “thank you very much” They are VERY Saturates, and yet the message from your body is deep satisfaction when you eat them and related cooked animal fat….Saturated fat sits in our stomach for hours….it takes a long time to break down.
Saturated fat is described best as ‘fat which is solid at room temperature’ and is mainly animal in origin. It also includes coconut oil. It has been demonised more than any other nutrient, and yet it is the key, vital, and absolutely necessary component for your well-oiled machine to thrive on! Unsaturated fat is runny at room temperature, and we have all been told, of course that this is the ‘safe’ stuff to eat. And to a certain point it is…a really good, thick olive oil will be a clean and efficient fuel for your body.
The REAL bad guys as far as fats are concerned are those that aren’t naturally occurring…those that have had hydrogen molecules blasted through them to turn them into spreadable fats. These are the margarines and spreads designed in the labs of the 1970’s and still advertised as ‘good fats’ today. But it’s just advertising, nothing more. Marginally better for you, but not much are the poor quality vegetable oils that are simply low in the essential fatty acids, such as rape oil and sunflower oil…they tend to be thin in consistency and ‘sticky’ during cooking. They are often a very vivid yellow in colour.
Worst of all the lot are those that have other ingredients in them to make them lower in calories…the low fat margarines, spreads and sprayable ‘light’ frying oils. You know why these are actually the bad fats? Because they inflame the lining of your arteries, that’s why! They create the exact environment necessary in your cardio vascular system to cause the LDL cholesterol to stick in the first place. They are also a poor nutrient for your body, so they won’t affect your appetite…your brain won’t register that you’ve eaten, and so you will still be craving the sugars and bloaty carbs that temporarily answer your crave.
Where’s the bad in eating the right fat? well, I’m going to say….None at all! So here’s the secret why…
“It isn’t EATING fat that’s the problem…it’s STORING it that causes all our health issues and weight gain!”
Storing fat happens when our body sets it to one side to use later…this happens for 1 reason only….when, my lovelies, we eat processed carbohydrates and sugars, because our body has to get rid of them first. It prefers fat as a source of fuel, so it hangs on to the good stuff and eliminates the ‘fossil fuel’ that is processed carbohydrates, and stores the ‘solar energy’ reserves of fat. Take the processed carbohydrates out the equation? Your body quickly and effortlessly reverts back to the fat burning machine that it actually is…and then…you no longer store fat, you BURN it. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, The LDL cholesterol disappears out your bloodstream because the inflammation goes down, You feel satisfied because the fats have sat in your stomach for hours. You feel full of energy all the time because you’re burning the best source of fuel for you on the entire planet. And you LOSE WEIGHT as a natural, in fact INEVITABLE consequence. No diet required.