Is fat our enemy? What happens when you cut fats from your diet?
For years we’ve been bombarded with nasty information about fat - but what actually happens when we remove it from our diets?
We’ve all heard about the connection between heart disease and fatty foods. It’s still hard to resist plumping for that low-fat yoghurt simply because it’s low in fat, regardless of any other nutrition deficits it might have. We’re constantly fretting high in fat equals high in calories and this will inflict serious damage on our bodies. But should we be?
Studies are now suggesting that low-fat diets can cut your life expectancy drastically. People who cut down on fat tend to fill the hole with starchy carbs like pasta, potatoes and bread which don’t have some of the nutrients that fats have. It’s now said that lowering your intake of saturated fats can also lower your life expectancy by up to 13%.
Good fats vs bad fats
So just which fats are good for us? Most naturally occurring fats like those found in nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables are healthy. Oils like olive, sesame and walnut are all packed with things our body will love us for giving it. On the other end of the spectrum, saturated and trans fats are the ones we really need to avoid where possible. These fats are usually found in pre-packaged foods which are high in additives and preservatives.
The fats which tend to have a more positive effect on our bodies are those that get used as energy rather than stored as fat, such as palm kernel oil and coconut oil. Contrary to the message of old, some fats actually help your cholesterol, and help you to absorb certain vitamins. Without monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, your body fails to do this. The true enemy to our health here is trans fats - those found in processed and ready-made foods are most dangerous. They can raise your cholesterol and are known to increase the likelihood of blood clots.
So the message is a simple one. Avoid processed foods and get back in touch with your food by cooking from scratch. Natural, wholesome food is always a better option to provide a healthy lifestyle.
Here are three lovely balanced meal ideas to help you on your journey:
1. Grilled salmon with avocado salsa
Salmon is a fantastic way to get healthy fat and our avocado obsession doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fast. Get your fix of good fats with this recipe by The Cookie Rookie.
2. Paleo meatloaf
There’s nothing quite like serving your family a dish you know is going to pack a punch. Even better when you know exactly what has gone into it and can be assured of its health benefits. Here’s a meatloaf recipe from Paleoholic you wouldn’t expect to see in the diet section - proving that life is very much about balance.
3. Baked Cauliflower
Cauliflower is the most versatile of veg. Recently it’s become the ideal carb replacement in its many forms. Learn more about its benefits and enjoy a delicious baked cauliflower recipe.
Learn more about nutrition with our experts.