Why do you need to eat fat?
“I am afraid of fat! The kind you eat! I am still in this low fat mentality, and i hear that low fat food has other stuff in it though… what do I buy?”
This is not the first client who comes to me for mindful eating guidance, still wanting weight loss or weight management, who is worried about all the fat in food.
As I discussed my non-diet approach for our 50's, eating mindfully to increase satiety, whole food and plant based eating, including using some fat, she told me that she is AFRAID.
She's afraid to eat it.
High fat, low carb. The Ketogenic Diet. Coconut oil. Fat fuelled elixirs (SOOOO GOOOOD). Fat is the new superfood, it seems. And while I do not believe each person should eat the same way, not the same way through their lifetime, there is some good reasons behind eating HEALTHY fats.
We need fat. Your cells, every cell, needs fat to function. Fat is the component of the cell membrane. It is the gatekeeper to the cell, and lets vital information (hormones) pass through. When we think of nutrition, fat is part of the foundation. Carbs, protein and fat, right?
So why was this lady afraid to eat fat? Two reasons: heart disease (1) and weight control. She really didn't want to gain anymore weight, and was worried about her highway system of arteries.
If you're my age, you will remember the low fat way of living. From yogurt to salad dressing, low fat was the way to go. According to Ann F. La Berge, in Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Volume 63, Issue 2, 1 April 2008, physicians and scientists began promoting low fat diets in the 50's for cardiovascular health. Called the diet-heart hypothesis, which stated that eating a lot of saturated fat and cholesterol were a big cause of heart disease, eating low fat and higher carbohydrates stayed in the public eye as the gold standard, until the late 1990's. (Access article here https://doi.org/10.1093/jhmas/jrn001)
Now, science is finding that a little higher consumption of fat is a healthier way to go.
We know now that these low fat foods have other ingredients to create taste and texture that is palatable, like their higher fat counter parts.
Sugar plays a role in low fat food creation, and in our lives in general.
High Fructose Corn Syrup came on the scene in the 70's and is in most of our foods. It's cheap, and just as sweet as table sugar. Your body can get overwhelmed when processing HFCS, because the liver has to process it. If there's too much, the liver can't do this fast enough, and it turns this fructose into fat.
Hello high triglycerides ...
... as this is the fat that gets pumped into your bloodstream. High triglycerides raise your risk for heart disease. Fructose will also help you gain weight. It turns off the body's control centre for appetite.
Fat helps you absorb minerals and vitamins, like the fat soluble ones A,D,E, and K, as well as calcium.
So do you go out and eat a bunch more of it? No.
You make sure you are getting the right types of fat, especially Omega 3. Our diets can be high in Omega 6, and still trans fat, even though there's so much less in processed food.
Click here to see where to get some nutritious sources of healthy fats, and to read why fat helps your body!
Maybe, try this Lemon Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding for your next breakfast, or evening snack, if you find you have some evening hunger
There is so much information out there about food, fuel and what to eat in general.
I help mature women find their OWN inner roadmap to longevity, wellness and satisfaction, through Mindful Eating practices, and whole food creation.
If you are curious if Mindful Eating can help you, contact me, and we can talk Mind and Food together! The only cost is 30 minutes of your time:)
"Higher Omega-3 Linked to Lower Mortality Risk." Life Extension, Aug. 2018, p. 17.
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Volume 63, Issue 2, 1 April 2008,
"Omega-3, omega-6 in diet alters gene expression in obesity." Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week, 2 June 2018, p. 1782.