You know you're an 80's kid if you grew up thinking this way about fat (and sugar).
We've been taught to be scared of fat.
You know you're an 80's kid if you grew up in a house that was scared of fat. Terrified, in fact.
I grew up in a house that followed the government advice, we ate low-fat margarine and drank low fat milk.
You live and learn!
Why are fat and sugar considered to be unhealthy foods?
Are they really? Let’s find out.
Back in the 80s, real healthy fats were a sight for sore eyes, but what was in abundance was SUGAR. Refined, processed, sugary goods. They seemed good at the time! Sugar was fat-free! That's good, right?! I would down a bag of jelly snakes in one go, without a second thought. Now? We are enduring the consequences of those good old sugar binges.
Now, I am thriving, but it hasn't always been that way. For me, all that refined sugar, meant PCOS, acne, and IBS as a young adult. My gut health was questionable to say the least. My doctor would prescribe me antibiotics for nearly every ailment, but they didn’t address the root cause of the problem.
I just took them, I didn't know how to surpress symptoms in any other way, and I didn't know how to heal. The risks of antibiotic usage weren't explained to me, and I wasn't aware of any alternatives, so my decision making was very much uninformed. As I am sure it is still for many people doing their best to feel their best.
The 80's narrative was filled with damaging messages such as;
'Fat in your diet will make you gain weight AND raise your cholesterol, giving you heart disease!''
Science now shows that it is sugar's role in the diet that increases your risk of weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, poor immune function & gut health. High sugar is linked to increased; • Raised blood sugar • Weight gain • Tooth decay • Inflammation • Heart disease • Fatty liver disease
(Not an extensive list)
Healthy fats on the other hand play a role in brain health, energy levels (they help our cells talk to each other more effectively), good fats protect and insulate our organs and nerves, digestion, absorption, and hormone production.
Realising this, let's give healthy fat its reputation back!
What are some of the best fats to consume?
• Avocados – a great source of vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B9 (folate), C, E, K, and B6. They are also the best source of soluble fibre compared to other fruit, and contain vital minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium, and potassium. • Nuts and seeds – rich in monosaturated and polyunsaturated healthy fats, whilst low in saturated fat. A great source of protein, fibre, vitamins such as vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, vitamin E, minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, as well as being rich in antioxidants. • Cold pressed oils - a good source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, lecithin, vitamins A, C, E, D, potassium, zinc, and bioflavonoids (antioxidant!) Buy in dark glass bottles, avoiding plastic wherever possible.
What are the best fats to cook with?
The best fats to cook with are as follows: • Ghee – high in omega 3s, source of short chain fatty acids which promote good digestion, naturally lactose free, source of essential vitamins A, D, K, and E • Tallow – rich in vitamin A, B1, D, E, K, choline and CLA • Coconut oil – digested more easily, good for brain health, antimicrobial, and rich in antioxidants
• Avocado oil – one of my favourites as it pours like olive oil but has a higher smoke point. High in oleic acid (omega 9), Vitamin A & E. Reduces LDL cholesterol, improves heart health and high in antioxidants. These fats are ideal to cook with as they are more heat stable than olive oil and much more so than polyunsaturated oils like rapeseed, sunflower, canola or other vegetable or seed oils. These oils oxidise easily when heated which is harmful to health.
Where to source your fats?
Source your fat from organic sources & grass fed animals where possible. These fats are a great source of energy and can really help us absorb more vitamins and minerals, so proper sourcing can really help to up your wellness game. In this case, quality really does matter.
Top tip: Did you know that a higher fat diet with reduced sugar can actually lead to weight loss? That blows the 80’s narrative out of the water now doesn’t it.
If weight loss is a goal of yours, it’s best to work with a practitioner that can understand your health, your goals, and work with you to overcome any blocks that may be holding you back from reaching for your ideal body composition. Like what you've read? Subscribe to the Nourish + Power blog by adding your email address to this form and be the first to hear about newly published blog posts