- Discover why so many nutritionists have got it wrong…
- …and why they are not giving up without a fight
- Healthy fats boost health – discover what they can do for you
I regularly point out that pizza and fast food can never be classed as good foods.
Enjoyable they may be as a treat, but certainly should never be a major part of a daily diet.
One of the reasons was the excessively high amounts of fats they contain – which most people understand…
…the problem is though that the dietary fat story is not that simple.
There really is such a thing as healthy fat, let me explain.
Start looking into the issue and you discover a whole range of different types – trans-fats, polymers, hydrogenated, non-hydrogenated, saturated and unsaturated being just a confusing starter.
This creates a massive problem for those who try to eat sensibly.
We all know that we need some fats, it is what our body craves to nourish important tissues like our brains. They are the basis of important hormones and especially important right now as they act as insulation to keep us warm.
This is all in addition to the fact they provide a great source of energy, which is why athletes have high fat diets in preparation for competition.
The major consideration though is that not all fats are good for us…some are healthy fat, but there are those you have to avoid at all costs.
But how do you tell the difference?
The fats we all need to eat
Fat has been receiving a bad press of late; to the point it has become demonised.
It has become all too easy to link higher dietary intake with increased levels of cholesterol in the blood and on to enhanced risk of cardiovascular disease.
The justification for why we all need to be on statins – at least according to the Daily Express (in fact this august publication would have you believe that these hateful drugs are the answer to all mans ills… but that rant is for another day!).
But the equation isn’t so simple… it never is.
In essence all foods that contain healthy fat will have a mix of the three basic types of fat in them, and a whole host of important fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E and K.
The main fat types are:
Saturated: The bad fat, or so we are led to believe. This is the one that is consistently linked to blood cholesterol levels and we are told to avoid it as we would a rabid dog.
In 2010 a leading nutritionist, Dr Krauss (director of atherosclerosis research at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute and adjunct professor of nutritional studies at the University of San Francisco at Berkley… so he should know) shocked fellow professionals by concluding that saturated fat could not be linked to heart disease.
His work was followed this year by others from Harvard and Cambridge Universities who came to the exact same conclusion.
The problem is, concludes Nina Teicholz in an article in The Independent last August that “It seemed that saturated fat, our principal dietary culprit for decades, had been unfairly convicted.
“The truth is there never has been solid evidence that these fats cause disease. We only believe this to be true because nutrition policy was derailed over the past half-century by personal ambition, bad science, politics, and bias.”
Strong words but actually missing the other important part… the drive by pharmaceutical and food companies keen on selling their low-fat products and cholesterol busting drugs.
Monounsaturated: The good healthy fat, found in olive oil, avocados and almonds. This type of fat is consistently linked to the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and we are encouraged to seek out foods that have higher levels rather than those with saturated fat.
Lazy nutritionists and well meaning but misguided commentators often laud these fats and oils above all others, imbuing them with mystical qualities, when in fact they are just another type of nutrient.
Polyunsaturated: The fishy ones which include the omega 3 and 6 versions that are so important for us to balance in our diet. Like monounsaturated versions these fats and oils are promoted as uniquely beneficial and receive star billing on low-fat spread advertisements… but often they can be as bad for us in large quantities as anything else can be.
Things become complicated when we then look at non-natural fats, those which are the result of food manufacturing techniques leading to the production of variants known as trans fats – which are abundant in the deep-fried foods found in takeaways and the likes. These fats a definitely bad for us and are the ones we should avoid.
In their natural states though we need a balance of fats to be healthy – we just need to keep our intakes of the overly refined type to a minimum.
Plenty of butter this Summer please
For too long the zealots in the nutrition and food industry have made eating a truly balanced and natural diet seem like a sin.
Sure they will promote eating handfuls of seeds, slabs of grain and fibre rich roughage but they consistently deny us the benefits of eating simple and enjoyable foods like butter, eggs and cream.
In reality including small amounts of all of these foods in our daily diet, along with oily fish, vegetables and grains is what our bodies are designed to deal with, and will provide us with all of the nutrients, minerals and vitamins that we need.
So, rather than shunning delights this Summer we should be seeking out more fat – I firmly believe that a shift back to full fat milk, red fat marbled meat and creamy butter will deliver a veritable nutritional goldmine for us all.
It would certainly make for a delicious barbeque!
Boost your healthy fat intake and discover some amazing health benefits from this natural oil – here