Remember in the 70’s when margarine was good for you? (insert gagging emoji here…) Or in the 80’s how eating a low carb, high protein diet was optimal for weight loss? Or how counting calories (i.e. calories in must be equal to or less than calories out) was the way to go? Or that eating a low fat diet was the key to losing fat? How’s anyone suppose to know how to eat the right thing!? (insert confused, “head in a blender” emoji here…)
Today, fat is where it’s at! As I sit and listen to my 4th lecture during Dr. Mark Hyman’s Fat Summit, I find myself continuously blown away by how much the concept of nutrition has changed over the years.
During this online event Dr. Hyman (one of my favourite lecturers during my year at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition) is talking to over 30 doctors, and health and wellness experts about how important, and even crucial fat is to our overall health.
Here are some highlights from just the first 4 lectures I’ve listened to (in no particular order):
- Sugar, not fat makes you fat (can’t stress this enough!)
- The body can turn certain healthy fats into energy more readily than it can protein
- Alzheimer’s is now being called the 3rd type of Diabetes (with diabetics being more than 4 times at risk for getting Alzheimer’s than non-diabetics)
- Gene expression can alter how our bodies process even the most nutrient dense foods (i.e. if you’re stressed while eating kale, your body won’t necessarily reap all the benefits from that deelish, green leafy king of veg)
- A great deal of our bodies is made up of fat, and we need fat from food in order to keeping our bodies working efficiently (e.g. our brains are made up of more than 60% fat)
- There are different types of diets – maintenance, therapeutic and elimination – and what works in the short run may end up causing problems down the road
- Overconsuming a combination of sugar and unhealthy fat is worse than overconsuming sugar alone (yet this sinister combo of sugar and fat is the very formulaic foundation for top selling junk food!)
- Eating the wrong kinds of fats can lead to chronic inflammation which can lead to metabolic diseases (eat more omega 3’s and fewer omega 6’s)
- Too little healthy fat in the diet is linked to depression (to the point of suicide), hair loss, loss of libido, aggression (to the point of murder), and even weight gain
- Eating more fat can actually help you lose weight, feel more energized, and satiates you so you feel hungry less often
- Bio-individuality is key – what works for one person, may not work for another, so keep experimenting until you find a way of eating that makes you feel good, energized, sexy, and vibrant, and then tweak as needed throughout life
And there’s more, so much more…!
As I get older, I see how my body is changing and how what it needs to function at its best keeps changing; and today, eating more healthy fats is a key to me feeling great!
Here are some healthier fats to consider:
- Organic, cold-pressed, high quality pure oils – coconut oil (converts easily into energy), avocado oil, olive oil, high lignon flax seed oil; ghee from pastured cows (saturated fat can be good for you!)
- Nuts and seeds – soak and sprout to remove phytic acid and make more digestible – walnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds (organic from Spain or Italy), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds
- Wild caught, clean, algae-eating fish
- Egg yolk from free range, chickens on grass – contains choline and vitamin A which are great for brain function
- Nut butters – eat in moderation as they have less fibre, and can sometimes be more addictive than their whole nut counterparts; great in smoothies!
And if you keep in mind that for each gram of fat you get more than twice the calories you do with carbs or proteins, you end up getting more nutritional bang for your buck in each smaller, more unctuous and delicious morsel of fat than you do in a bite of even lean protein which takes way longer to break down, and ultimately turns to glucose (which ends up getting stored as body fat if it doesn’t get used up quickly enough). Protein is a necessary building block of life, but when it comes to energy, fat is more easily accessible by our bodies.
So how do you feel about fat? Do you get enough every day? Are you eating the best kinds that work well for you, your body and your lifestyle?
To separate “Fat From Fiction”, check out The Fat Summit. You may find that adding some more fat into your diet may be just what the doctor/naturopath/nutritionist/health coach ordered! (insert high fivin’ emoji here…)
Starting Tuesday, March 22nd – the next Eat Well Be Well™ 12-week group program featuring guest speakers including: Dr. Adrienne McRuvie of Oma Chiropractic, Dr. Pascaline Phillips of Natural Panacea, Louise Comtois of d’Avignon Digestive Health Centre, KimberLee Schaumburg of Healing Spirit Nutrition, and pastor Helen Valleau of the Centre for Spiritual Living! For more information, check out the blog…
And for those interested in changing careers, or just getting an incredible foundation for holistic health, I’m always delighted to chat about my experience at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. You can also contact IIN directly by Friday, January 29th at 1.877.730.1520 or 1.212.730.5433. Just make sure to let them know you got the skinny from me and there’ll be some sweet tuition deals in store for you!
For now, get your veg on, fill up on healthy fat, and until next time…
Eat well. Be well.™