Most Americans are fat deprived! We have been living the past 20+ years eating low fat foods thinking that this is the way to health and wellness. When in fact we need fat for:
- Hormonal Support
- Brain Function
- Nutrient Regulation
- Nerve & Organ Protection
- Liver Function
- Cardiovascular Health
- Immune System Function
- and the list goes on…
Instead of reaching for whole foods with real fat (think grass fed meats or tropical nuts), we have been reaching for low fat, reduced fat, fat free snacks and boxed foods honestly believing that this is what is going to make us healthier, skinnier and happier. And why wouldn’t we believe that? When in the news, in magazines, bogs, radio and public chatter has been telling us that eating fat makes us fat and being fat is unhealthy!
CONSUMING FAT DOES NOT MAKE YOU FAT!
Want to test it? Look around. Look at the individuals who eat traditional foods or follow a Paleo lifestyle. These diets focus on fat consumption (always remember quality fats – grass fed animals) and the people who follow these diets are healthy and wait for it…. on the thinner side. BUT the caveat is that you can’t simply add fats into your diet and expect great results. You have to counter this by severely reducing or eliminating the foods that are making us unhealthy and overweight. These are things like:
- Refined oils (think vegetable oils and yes they are all bad)
- Processed and refined foods
I know, you think Paleo and you think, ‘but I have to give up all my carbs.’ Just remember, fruit and vegetables are carbs too and they are not bad. You don’t have to be strict Paleo to start getting healthier and feeling better. It starts with simple changes. By focusing on whole foods, eliminating sugar and refined oils and adding the right types of fats into your diet, I wouldn’t be surprised if you started reaping the benefits immediately.
BEING FAT OR OVERWEIGHT DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN YOU ARE UNHEALTHY!
WHAT?????? Yes, you read that correctly. As a society we are horrible at judging others on their weight and simply assuming that if someone is overweight then they are unhealthy. There has been some recent studies surfacing talking about the obesity paradox – that overweight individuals may actually be healthier than their thinner counterparts. But WAIT. Don’t stop reading there and rejoice. There is more. Cardiologist Carl J. Lavie who reported this study states that overweight and obese patients had roughly half the risk of mortality of normal-weight patients following angioplasty, a procedure to unblock arteries in the heart. Lavie noticed a similar trend in his patients recovering from heart failure. He published his findings in 2003, where he revealed that for every 1 percent increase in body fat, there was a 13 percent increase in overall survival. Then on further look what was discovered was fitness level. The health of these individuals had much more to do with their state of fitness than their degree of fat. Those who were overweight and maintained a regular fitness regimen where the ones who had better recovery rates and overall healthier than their thinner, nonactive counterparts.
So what’s the point?
CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS SO YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE!
So being “thin” does not necessarily make you healthy. How does this tie back to consuming fats for health? Nested loop here. This is two fold. So many people struggle with image and thinness as an indicator of health. In addition, we have been lead to believe that eating fat makes you fat. Therefore, there is this incredible battle in our brain when someone tells us that we can eat fat and be healthy. We think. eating fat makes us fat and if we are fat we are unhealthy… More or less. That’s the first part.
The second part is that if we can realize our trained thought patterns we can begin to dissect them and break them apart. AND understand there is not ONE single thing that is going to make us healthier and in turn happier. Remember those who are fat and healthy are the individuals who maintain a regular fitness routine. So we must begin to understand that traditional thinking needs to be turned on its head so that we can begin to make changes and then understand that this is a process. So not only look at eating patterns and food intake but environment as well. Are we active? Do we sleep well? What’s our level of stress? And so on. When we start attacking all of these things one at a time, we can turn our life around, rid ourselves of chronic illness, feel better, be happier and live a long healthy life!
So… ARE YOU FAT DEPRIVED?
Signs of fat deprivation:
- Irritated dry skin
- Poor memory or memory loss
- Chronic fatigue
- Chronic moodiness
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Constant hunger
- High Cholesterol, Heart Disease
- Low sex drive
- …and more
Simply stated, we need the right types of fat to function optimally. Again, throw your traditional ways of thinking out the window. When I say the right types of fat I am not talking about simply unsaturated fats… I’m talking about quality fats to include animal and diary, tropical nuts, and so on.
TYPES OF FATS WE NEED
- Animal fats from grass fed pastured animals (lard, tallow, goose & duck fat). They have a higher omega 3 to 6 ratio and will fight inflammation. DO NOT consume high amounts of animal fats from conventionally farmed animals!
- Fatty fish
- Pastured Eggs
- Dairy from grass fed cows (specifically raw milk if you can get your hands on it) – butter, whole milk, full fat yogurt (not sweetened)
- Nuts, especially tropical nuts like coconut (which btw is high in saturated fat)
- Olive oil
- Fish liver oils (I highly recommend this company: Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil)
Look at your diet and see how much and what types of fats you are consuming. If you eat a lot of low fat foods and consume fats in the form of vegetable oils then I would venture to say you may actually be fat deprived.
You can read more about the obesity paradox research here: http://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/abs/10.2217/fca.13.84