Let’s chat about fat and dig into some 3 ingredient guac!
Eat fat, get fat
…or so the old adage goes. Unfortunately that’s just not the case anymore. I’m sure you’ve heard both sides of the argument, and believe me, so have I. I’ve been on both sides. I came from a zero-calorie dressing, rice cake eatin’, peanut butter powder lifestyle. And why? Like most, I’m sure, that go down the low-fat route have been plagued with information, books, celebrities touting the amazing results of a “low-fat” diet. However, the issue lies where the science is not — in that most of these low-fat fad diets are rarely based off of any scientific research or reasoning.
A few months ago an article titled, How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat popped up on my news feed. I’m always a little hesitant to read anything that lands on my Facebook page, but I respected the sharer and dove in.
In summary, the article explained how a researcher uncovered details of scientists in the 1960’s who were paid to down play the link between sugar and heart disease and instead, promote (saturated) fat as the main culprit.
Interesting. But 50 years ago? Com’on. Doesn’t mean squat today…
But it does. This opened the closet door on the sugar industry and more recent reports were revealed on how the food industry continues to influence this type of nutritional science.
(If you’re rolling your eyes, roll your eyes at this: last year, it was reported that Cocoa-Cola, not only provided millions of dollars in funding to researchers who sought to downplay the link between sugary drinks and obesity but it was also reported that they funded studies to claim children who eat candy tend to weigh less than those who do not….time out. what?)
The other crazy part? Much of our standard American nutritional foundation hasn’t change that much in fifty years. We’re still using some of the old-school research to base our daily nutritional recommendations off of. Stuck in the past much? Abso-freakin-lutely.
So now that we’re aware of how SKETCH the sugar industry is – let’s debunk why fat isn’t going to make you fat.
Myth: Eat low-fat foods to lose weight and become healthier
Fact: When you see “low-fat” think high sugar. One of the main roles of fat is to add flavor to our foods. When you remove that from a food product, you have to then substitute it with something that will give it back that flavor, aka: Sugar.
So then if we’re consuming high volumes of low-fat foods, we’re going to be eating more carbohydrates/sugars. In this instance, the more carbs and sugars we consume, the more glucose our body will be making in response to those nutrients. The more glucose = the more insulin needed. This can and will lead to a chronic overproduction of insulin, which in turn results in insulin resistance and eventually obesity…
Back it up and let’s break it down again:
You eat low fat food (high sugar content) > large amounts of glucose released > insulin secreted to respond to high levels of glucoseConstant secretion of insulin = insulin resistance which can eventually lead to weight gain, diabetes, obesity and series of other health problems.
Insane, right? Don’t let the sneaky food marketing fool you. If you’re wondering if you’re eating low-fat/high-sugar foods, take a look at this chart to see some of the more popular low-fat/high-sugar foods. And this one, too!
The plus side of fat
Why are fats so important? Good quality fats are needed by your body, for:
- Keeping us satiated – provide source of long burning energy
- Repairing and build cell membranes and hormones
- Required for adequate use of proteins
- Protecting the lining for our organs
- Slowing the absorption of food for proper energy regulation (not a spike, followed by crash)
- Making food taste good
Types of fat we should be consuming:
- Saturated – yes, saturated. These fats are highly stable and safer at higher heats.
- Animals fats and tropical oils like coconut oil and palm oil
- Poly-unsaturated – unstable. Should not be used with high heat.
- Flax, nuts, seeds and fish oils
- Mono-unsaturated – relatively stable. Safe at low heat.
- Olive, almond and avocado oils
About 30% of your daily caloric intake should be of these good quality fatty acids!
Types of fat we should be avoiding:
- Refined, processed oils
- Fried fats/oils
- Trans fatty-acids
These fats are toxic and interfere with the essential roles fatty acids play within a healthy body.
The toxicity in these fats can produce free-radicals – which are a main influencer in carcinogenic mechanisms in the body.
When should we be eating fat?
- First meal of the day. Consuming this type of long-burning energy source keeps us satiated and sets the foundation for our body’s hunger cues throughout the day.
- Before a long endurance workout. Combine it with a carbohydrate source to give the body the quick and longer energy stores it needs to stay fueled through a long workout.
- Lunch time. Keep the energy going to power through the last half of the day. A quality fat source will help keep those mid-afternoon sugar cravings at bay.
Additional resources on fat
- Mark’s Daily Apple: Responses to High Fat Diet
- PaleoLeap: The Importance of Fat
- What’s a Ketogenic Diet?
Healthy recipes with quality fat sources:
And of course, the deliciously healthy, fat-happy guac recipe:
Enjoy & be well.
Three Ingredient Guacamole
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- 4 ripe avocados
- 1 juiced lime
- 4 green onions
- Mash avocados until chunky-smooth consistency
- Use kitchen scissors to cut green onions and mix with avocados
- Pour lime juice over avocado mixture
- Sprinkle generously with salt (to taste)
- Mix together and enjoy!
- Add a little red pepper flakes or jalapenos for an extra kick