THE DREADED F WORD – WHY YOU SHOULD BE EATING MORE FATS
As most of us know, our diet is one of the greatest contributing factors to our overall wellbeing and the best way to maintain optimal health. We know we need to eat better and avoid too many desserts, but it can be difficult to know at times exactly what that means. One component which cops a bad wrap because it sounds like a dirty word is one you need to know better – Fats.
Fats can sound like something you should be running far away from, but it’s not always the case. The focus needs to shift so you’re consuming more healthy fats. By focusing on the healthy fats which do so much good for our bodies, you’ll be encouraging your body to use stored fat for energy. And burning off more fat is always a good thing!
Tip The Scales
This shift in thinking about fats and including them in your diet will have long-term benefits for your health, but there are many short-term benefits as well. Primary among these is weight loss. At Life On The Inside, we have had many patients experience improved overall health this way and achieve their weight loss goals. Not only that, but putting a focus on good fats and reducing sugar production also allows your body to balance your hormones. This means your body will fight symptoms such as: Infertility, heavy or painful periods, hot flashes, night sweats, inflammation, weight gain, fluid retention, osteoporosis and digestion issues.
Good fats also help create healthy prostaglandins. Of all the contributors to the inflammatory process, prostaglandins are one of the more significant ones. Prostaglandins are one of the more potent mediators that cause increased blood flow, chemotaxis (chemical signals that summon white blood cells) and subsequent dysfunction of tissues and organs. Not good. We need to make sure we’re keeping an eye on those above all others.
Introducing more healthy fats to your diet allows your body to fight inflammation and all of the diseases associated with it. It’s not a cure-all, but you want to put your body in the best possible position to fight off inflammatory diseases such as auto-immune disease and even cancer.
When we focus on fuelling our body in a way to best fight off inflammation, we set ourselves up for better long-term health outcomes. This is one of the reasons we hear so much about avoiding refined carbohydrates in our diets. When your body breaks down carbohydrates, it releases sugar into your system. And we all know the perils of too much sugar in our system, another nasty which inhibits your body’s ability to fight back due to the inflammation it can cause. Not to mention the long-term increased risk of heart disease and other severe health problems. Increased sugar levels can also lead to overgrowth of Candida, the naturally occurring microorganism. This type of growth is the basis of a yeast infection. Yeast uses sugar to live, so when our blood sugar levels are higher our bodies are more prone to these types of infections.
How Sweet It Is
Most sources of sugar are obvious, but it can be surprising which commonly perceived ‘health’ foods contain loads of sugar. One that might surprise you is fruit. If you want to reduce your sugar intake, you should avoid high Glycemic Index (GI) fruits such as: cherries, pineapple, most canned fruits and even watermelon, which packs a real punch in the sugar department. Also in the one to avoid category are most of root vegetables, such as potatoes or even pumpkin, as they’re packed with starch, which breaks down in the same way and floods your system with sugar.
Reducing carb intake is a good thing, but we’re not suggesting a full Ketogenic diet. There are still ways to enjoy carbs and include them in your meals, but focus on the carbs you can get from your greens such as spinach, kale and cauliflower.
The great thing is, there are a lot of ways to get good, healthy fats into your system. The creamy deliciousness of avocado is packed with good fats and should be included in your daily diet wherever possible. Also good to include are nuts such as almonds or macadamias, fatty fish like salmon, trout and sardines and plenty of the good oils such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil. Then reward yourself at the end of the day with a nice chunk of dark chocolate, but make sure it has at least 70% cocoa and raw.
Finding The Good Fats
Getting more good fats into your diet is a positive move to improving overall health, though we know that in the heat of the moment when the baby is crying or you’re in a rush, it can be difficult to know what’s good for you and what’s not. So here are some helpful resources which can guide you to a better diet and consumption of healthy fats:
Download an app such as The Good Fat App to help you make better decisions on the run
Learn more about fats and shifting your perspective on what’s healthy with What The Fat? by Professor Grant Schofield
Grab a recipe book like Eat Clean by Luke Hines to help you find better solutions for your meals
If you really want to monitor blood sugar, try a wearable device such as the Dexcom G5
So start today – have the avocado and eggs for breakfast, the salmon for lunch and some delicious greens for dinner and you’ll be well on your way to transforming your overall wellbeing and putting your body in the best possible condition to fight off health problems down the track.