With the recent controversy surrounding coconut oil in the media, I thought it would be timely to do a blog addressing the importance of good, healthy fats.
To start with, let’s look at ‘healthy fats’ vs ‘unhealthy fats’. This really is quite simple, when you are searching for a healthy fat, look for fats that are found in nature, fats that come from real food, and fats that are as close to their natural state as possible. These fats include things like: butter, nuts, avocado, animal fats, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, macadamia oil, walnut oil and inca inchi oil.
Unhealthy fats and fats that we should avoid tend to be highly processed, often genetically modified, and include things like margarine, vegetable shortening, hydrogenated vegetable oil and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, and fractionated vegetable oil (containing a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fat).
How Your Body Uses Good Fats
When thinking about fat (and any food) it also pays to use common sense. Why are we blaming a food that humans have successfully eaten for thousands of years on the increasing rates of new lifestyle diseases?
Good fats are so important for our health – they provide energy, brain power, help liver function, nerve function, gut health and promote a healthy metabolism.
Often, when people start the 4 Phase Fat Elimination Protocol, they feel concerned about the fat loading days at the start of the protocol. Many of us coming into the program are from a background of low fat and yo-yo dieting (like I was) and hold the fear that if they are overweight while eating a low fat/calorie restricted diet, their weight will surely skyrocket when they start adding fats in. This is simply not the case.
It is important to note that the fatty acids found in good fats such as butter are not stored in the body as fat, instead they are processed by the liver and utilised by vital organs within the body. We also need to remember that it is not one single thing that will cause fat gain or disease; we need to look at our diet and lifestyle as a whole.
Are you eating plenty of healthy fats, plus refined and processed foods, plus grains, plus sugars, plus takeaway foods (which are often cooked in vegetable oils)? If so, then it would be little wonder if your body was in a state of chronic inflammation, obesity and ill health.
However, if you eat plenty of healthy fats alongside other real foods such as grass-fed protein, organic pastured eggs, a wide array of vegetables and fruits just as nature intended, then it would be highly unlikely that you would suffer any such complaints.
Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat
Part of the beauty of the 4 Phase Fat Elimination Protocol and the Hunter Gatherer Protocol are the inclusion of healthy fats in the diet. While healthy fats are included in the entire Hunter Gatherer Protocol , they are omitted for part of the 4 Phase Fat Elimination Protocol. Similar to the trepidation felt prior to fat loading in the first phase of the 4 Phase Fat Elimination Protocol, many people also feel nervous when they gradually add fats back into their diet after such rapid weight loss at the beginning of the protocol.
It is always a source of utter delight for me to watch people’s surprise and joy as they start adding healthy fats back into their diet yet the numbers on the scales maintain, or even continue to drop for them. It all sounds good in theory that fat doesn’t make you fat, however there’s nothing quite like experiencing it first hand.
As thousands of our happy customers can attest to – life is happier, waists are smaller, and bodies are healthier when good fats are a part of your real food diet!
If you are interested in reading more about the benefits of some of our favourite healthy fats, here are some blogs that are well worth the read!
For anybody who is still feeling concerned about coconut oil’s recent bad press, here is a fabulous, science-based article featuring Dr Gary Taubes (which is quite lengthy, but well worth the read).
It is interesting to note that, while it has been suggested that we avoid saturated fats in our diet, it has also been recommended that we consume things like margarine. If you don’t know how margarine is made, please do get yourself a copy of Cyndi O’Meara’s book ‘Changing Habits Changing Lives’ – it is a very informative read that’s likely to change the way you view our modern day diet and inspire you to make healthy changes for you and your family.
Now that I’ve buttered you up, get out there and enjoy a real food diet including healthy fats, trust me – it’s oil good! (Sorry I’m coconuts about puns, despite their high margarine for error!)
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