Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Fat makes you fat...

Is one thing you will NEVER hear me say. Those 3 words, 'low fat diet' chill me to the bone. And if someone were telldiscovered at is fattening, you could expect an absolute mouthful back at you...of words that is...not the food...ok perhaps a bit of food as well...

My diet is pretty fat-centric, sometimes as much as 40% of my caloric intake will come from fats, and here are some reasons why it will stay that way -

- It's tastier. Scientists have recently discovered our sense of taste for fat, and it makes sense from an evolutionary perspective that we SHOULD like the taste of satisfying, high energy foods like fats. Besides, eating the flavour-less fat-free version makes it more likely that we will only overeat anyway to try to get the same satisfaction.

- I find them more filling. I'm not sure if its the psychological feeling of satiety or physical, or a combination of both, but I know that adding fat to my breakfast has been an absolute winner in terms of keeping my happy until lunch.

- Fats support neurological and nerve function. Each brain cell/nerve is insulated by a fatty sheath called myelin, which prevents electrical currants sparking off, so having enough fat to enrich this sheath will help keep the signals clear and sharp. This is why a high fat diet is often called upon for individuals with epilepsy, as seizures are essentially caused by abnormal neural firing.

- Fats help your body absorb vitamins. Vitamins A D E and K are fat soluble, which means they rely on fats to get around the body to do their job. If you eat more fat, you will reap the benefits of higher levels of these vitamins (e.g. Better hair and nails, better eyesight, better neurological function). If you think you might be deficient in any of these vitamins, talk to your doctor about increasing healthy fats as part of your treatment.

- Its good for my delicate digestive system. Healthy fats keep your liver healthy and stimulate healthy production of digestive enzymes (source). I love flaxseed for this in particular which I posted about here

This isn't an exhaustive list, and neither is this list of my favourite healthy fat sources:

- coconut oil (more on this later)
- nuts and nut butters
- avocado
- flax and chia seeds
- whole cows milk
- whole eggs

If you want to read more, I definitely recommend these posts (1, 2, and 3) from Michelle at Peachy Palate
- I learnt SO much!

Obviously, if you have specific health or dietary needs to do with fat consumption, such as high cholesterol, check with a dietician to make sure you get the most out of your dietary fats.

So now you have a perfect reason to enjoy your fats as well as your veggies!

Hannah xx

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