Fat is the new black.
Choosing the ‘Low fat’ option in the hope to lose a few pounds? Stop, before you go any further – check the nutritional content and you will be shocked to find that the ‘low fat’ version is often higher in sugar, artificial sweeteners and flavourings, than its full fat counterpart.
The media, food industry and healthcare systems across the world have name and shamed saturated fat consumption as one of the biggest risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease. However, despite the strict protocol of a low fat diet, as outlined by national dietary advice – levels of cardiovascular disease, high serum cholesterol and obesity has continued to increase. This begs the question, is fat completely to blame?
Coconut oil is a perfect example of how fat is actually beneficial in your diet. Coconut oil is composed of a group of unique medium-chain fatty acids, which are classified as saturated fats. However, although they have high saturated fat content, this unique type of saturated fat found in coconut oil is called lauric acid. It has been shown that lauric acid increases the good HDL cholesterol in the blood to help improve cholesterol ratio levels.
Fats poor reputation is mainly based on the fact that it offers higher energy content per gram in comparison to protein and carbohydrates. However, despite this, the body does not metabolize fat, carbs and protein in the same way. So a calorie of fat is not equal to a calorie to carbohydrates, or protein, as your body does not deal with them in the same way.
Fat is very satiating, so it keeps you feeling fuller for longer. This makes it difficult to overeat on a high-fat, low carb diet. However, Dietary fat in the presence of large amounts of carbohydrates can make it difficult to access fat for energy, and this can lead to storage of fat and increased weight gain. The body becomes lazy on a high-carbohydrate diet, but by reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing fat intake, the body becomes more efficient at mobilizing fats as energy leading to increased energy levels and greater fat loss.
If you are trying to eat better, or lose a few pounds, or simply feel better in yourself, try cutting out the low fat options from your diet and instead, eating foods which are unprocessed, and contain natural healthy fats. Here is a list of some of my favourites:
- Olives and Olive oil
- Nuts and nut butter
- Oily fish: Salmon, mackerel, and herring.
- Coconut oil
By Hazel Wallace