Eat fat to burn fat

I have good news for foodies. Did you know that you can lose fat by eating fatty foods? Don’t fall for that droll about fat-free, lite and skimmed products being the road to a fit body. In fact, health foods aren’t all they are made out to be [more on that in another post]. Eating certain fatty foods can actually blast fat more effectively. It’s a nutritional fact I found hard to swallow when I started educating myself about eating and supplementation.

Turns out I was wrong about a lot of things, one among them being that I would get fat if I ate fat. Years of brain washing in ads had convinced me that saturated fat is the enemy. A change in perception was followed by a change in eating patterns, and wellness followed. The problem occurs when sugar comes into the mix. Mainstream media is also getting with it.

Credit Suisse Research Institute reports that the number of health-conscious folks choosing whole-fat foods over fat-free is increasing. Contrary to popular belief, people who consume a lot of high-fat butter, cottage cheese, milk and Greek yogurt have the lowest incidence of diabetes, according to a study of over 26,000 people. The findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found the highest incidence of diabetes in people who ate low-fat dairy products. We need the fat that goes along with calcium and vitamins naturally found in food in order for the body to absorb them.

Fat was made into a villain by vegetable oil manufacturers and since then, people started eating more refined carbs, processed and junk foods. Don’t even get me started on the fraud that food lobbies have been perpetuating about trans fat and refined oil. This demonising of saturated fat has led to more – not less – obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Over the last 50 years, general nutritional wisdom has recommended a moderate consumption of fat. We have been told to dramatically lower our consumption of saturated fats (contained in butter, lard, milk, red meat, coconut oil…) and cholesterol (found in eggs, poultry, beef…). We have also been advised to increase our intake of polyunsaturated fats (contained in soybean, sunflower, corn, cottonseed oil…) and carbohydrates (found in pasta, bread, sugar…). But fat is a complex topic and these recommendations have been debated and questioned over the past 30 years. Some experts believe that these dietary recommendations – closely followed by the US population – are the main cause behind the country’s [and now the developing nations’] high obesity levels and the rapidly growing number of people suffering from metabolic syndrome.

-From the study, ‘Fat: The New Health Paradigm’

To sum it up…

Bottomline: Cut carbs, not fat. Fresh cream, raw cheese,Greek yogurt, even mayo (not low-fat, oh no!), … bring it on so long as you keep it natural. [Do I hear that bacon sizzle? Does that gorgeous butter ooze or what?]. It’s one of the underlying principles of the high fat-low carb ketogenic diet I am on.

Dig into these delicious whole-fat foods starting today, if nothing then for the sake of losing weight.

Whole milk

Low-fat, non-fat and skimmed milk won’t bring the goodness that full-fat (or whole milk) does. The yoghurt derived from it has more protein and less sugar.

Walnuts

Walnuts have 13 grams per serving of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), which activate genes that reduce fat storage. They are the best dietary sources of PUFAs. Sprinkle a handful (raw not roasted / salted) on your salad for fat-burning. Walnut oil has equally effective belly-busting properties. A diet rich in walnuts also helps your body bust stressbetter.

Bacon

The science-backed Ketogenic and Paleo diets have made this old-school breakfast favourite popular again. Forget turkey and chicken bacon. It’s (small amounts of) full-fat pork that will do the fat-burning; it has less sodium too. Pork has more protein and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) than chicken. Not more than four strips are enough for breakfast (or brunch) per person.

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Regular mayo

While the purest plain mayo has a mix of olive oil, egg yolks and dijon mustard, low-fat mayo has unhealthy ingredients — added sugars, vegetable oils and artificial preservatives. They have little to offer in terms of nutrition and won’t let the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins. In fact, regularly eating low-fat mayo will make you heavier.

Coconut

Although coconut is high in saturated fat, it improves good cholesterol (HDL). A new has found that supplementing your daily diet with coconut oil reduced abdominal obesity. Start using coconut milk and cream for cooking and coconut oil for stir-frying your veggies.

Whole eggs

Egg-white-only omelettes and boiled egg whites are nutritionally poor. Egg yolks are more nutritious than the whites in every category but one (riboflavin). Vitamins A, D, E, B1, B2, B6, B9, B12, iron, calcium or minerals phosphorus, zinc and selenium – the yolk has it all. I eat 2-6 whole eggs every single day in some form – boiled, scrambled, fried or poached. I haven’t had acne or eruptions which women complain “the heat from the yolk” produce… despite having oily skin and large pores. So, your skin is safe, ladies.

Whole eggs are the easiest and most convenient ways to deliver protein to your diet. It’s also the biggest source of the micro-nutrient choline, which is otherwise found in lean meats, seafood and some greens. Don’t fall for the trap of “enriched” eggs. Look up the local poultry provider for your daily dose.

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Tuna

Tuna is the prime source of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an essential fatty acid the body and brain need for functioning at optimum levels. A study published in the Journal of Lipid Research discovered that having Omega 3 fatty acid supplement daily actually turned off abdominal fat genes. Canned tuna harvest from small fish has the lower levels of toxic mercury and can be had 2-3 times a week.

by Kasmin Fernandes

Up next week: ‘Health foods’ which are making you fat and weak

 

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