Eating a high fat diet improves your health? This goes against everything you have been told by the media over the past 15 years, where naturally high fat foods like nuts, oils, dairy, beef, and even amazing avocados have been labelled as high risk foods and generally poor choices compared to a balanced moderate to high carbohydrate diet.
So here we are in 2014 and after years of bad press the supermarket shelves are dominated with 0% fat versions of pretty much all of your favourite products which contain fat. The only trade off is that this fat is usually replaced by a form of carbohydrate (usually sugar) to make up for the flavour lost with the fat. But this is ok right? Because a steady intake of carbohydrates (regardless of type) is what makes up a healthy diet? It seems they might have been wrong as it turns out that a low fat approach is actually harmful to your health, weight, and even your cognition.
A diet rich in healthy fat is not only better for your overall health but essential for the proper functioning of your body and brain. And it apprears that the science totally dispels the belief that a diet rich in fat has links to heart disease and obesity, it is actually more a case of what types of fat that you are eating which will determine the effect it has on you. So before you banish fat from your diet and stock up on unnatural low fat alternatives of deliciously healthy fatty foods listen up and open yourself up to the benefits of a truly balanced diet. One that is rich in healthy fats.
Will I Get Fat if I Eat a High Fat Diet?
Years of media coverage repeating that low fat diets are the way to lose weight and "you are what you eat" if you eat a high fat diet have made it very difficult for someone to believe that a diet which contains more healthy fat and less carbohydrates will improve your health.
People who, in an attempt to lose weight, eat a low fat diet which is usually high in empty carbohydrates, have been unknowingly contributing to their own downfall with their low fat, moderate-high carb diet leading to:
- Weight gain
- Hormonal issues
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Mood issues
- Energy crashes
- Binge eating
To put it simply, the rise in prevalence of low fat, low calorie approaches to eating and product design has coincided completely with an increase in obesity. Go figure.
So a high fat diet can improve my health?
Yes! Infact, if you go back to our primitive ancestors, there were absolutely no refined carbohydrates present in their diet. Instead, their diets were rich in animal proteins and up to ten times more fat (particularly saturated fat) than is present in the modern diet. Despite this, the list of ailments such as coronary heart disease and other "fat-caused" conditions were non-existent in this period. Keeping this evidence in mind, perhaps it is the increase in refined carbohydrates and oils such as vegetable oil which could be the cause of our problems. Maybe the media should report this to the masses!
Those worried that increasing totally natural high fat foods (particularly those high in saturated fat) such as eggs, animal fats, organic dairy, butter, avocados, nuts, and coconut oil will have a negative impact on their weight and health need not fear. There are now many conclusive studies which prove that saturated fat and cholesterol are not the issue when it comes to heart disease; Instead, the true cause and reason is a topic for another article entirely.
A diet rich in healthy saturated fat and cholesterol is essential if proper functioning is something you want with these natural fats playing a key role in our health, especially hormonally which coincidentally is one of the biggest areas which needs addressing when someone wishes to lose weight.
The body needs saturated fat and cholesterol and a diet which increases these and reduces refined carbohydrates will lead to:
- Proper hormonal functioning in men and women
- Increased brain function
- Proper energy balance
- Less cravings meaning less binging
- Less nutrient deficiencies
Not all fat is created equal
Before you start wolfing down any and all kinds of foods containing fats, it is important to understand that there are fats to be concerned about. These are primarily overly refined and unnatural fats which are and are included in things such as:
- Vegetable, canola, or soybean oil (and anything cooked in it!)
- Almost all fast food
- Grain fed meat
- Baked goods
- Anything created or changed in a laboratory.
These must be avoided as the evidence is pretty clear that these are carcinogenic (cancer causing) foods.
So as long as you avoid these bad guys in the fat world you would be better placed to include high levels of the healthy natural fats listed above.
A high fat diet is better for your health: Final considerations
If you are still sceptical as to whether what I have been telling you has validity, I have a few final points which I hope will persuade you to ditch the low fat approach in favour of a healthy and balanced intake of natural fats:
- In France, more saturated fat is eaten in the form of meat, butter, cream, and cheese than most other countries in the world, yet compared to America, the French have half the amount of heart-related deaths.
- Japan has a diet rich in naturally occuring fats which has increased steadily in correlation with an increase in the countries average life expectancy.
- Your brain is made of entirely fat.
- Cholesterol is required in every cell of the body for proper functioning.
- Carbohydrates are the only nutrient the human body can live without - without protein and fat we can't survive.
I hope these final few facts convince you to rethink what you eat and to ditch the low fat alternatives to your favourite healthy fat containing foods. Give your body and brain a chance and enjoy some butter, cream, organic beef, avocados, and coconut oil completely guilt free!