Fats and why they are essential in diet.

Why I like high fat and low carbohydrate diets

For me I’m really carbohydrate sensitive both mentally and physically. I bloat and hold water really easily and I have the tendency to gorge on carb based foods. It’s easier if during a time that I need to lean down I really drastically reduce my carbohydrate intake. However carbohydrates are a great source of fuel and energy so without them in my diet where do I get them from? Fats…

Now I’m not saying that I shovel mountains of fat based foods down my throat, far from it. But by playing it smart the body can learn to use fat as a fuel source rather then carbohydrates. We don’t actually need carbs to survive, think of them as an added luxury. What we do need is proteins and fats so by feeding the body a higher proportion of these food groups we are actually allowing our bodies to do what it has been designed to do. Fats don’t make you fat but they can help you burn it.

So what do fats do? 
Fat is essential to our diets, in blunt we cannot live without it. Fat is one of the best fuel sources for the body. It’s highly concentrated and our bodies can even transform it to glucose when needed. Fat is a cushion to our internal organs and our bodies insulation, it aids the absorption of certain vitamins. Fats contain essential fatty acids – note the word ESSENTIAL – our body cannot produce these we have to get them from the food we eat.

Due to fats being calorie dense they will not only give you energy they will also keep you fuller for longer!

Now I’m not advocating a crazy high fat diet, too much fat is not a good thing for our bodies. By making your total daily intake to be around 35% from fat your giving your body just the right amount! It’s a good thing!
These are some of my favourite fat sources:

Coconut oil

I use coconut oil for everything, it’s one of the most versatile products available. From make up remover to hair conditioner to a cooking aid and a moisturiser it’s so multi use and is always featured in my kitchen. It also has endless health benefits!

Competition prep has seen my using coconut oil in a new way…by adding a teaspoon to my coffee twice daily. It took some getting used to, it has to be well mixed or it becomes an oily layer on top of the coffee. It just gives that little bit of extra fuel for my body to reboot with and is a really quick and easy way to get some extra fats into your diets.

Nut butters & Nuts

Hold my hands up, I’m a nut butter lover! Peanut, almond, cashew, etc. A natural nut butter is just blissful for me. I do literally eat it by the spoonful. Just be careful and make sure you do go for a natural nut butter, Whole Earth, Biona & Meridian are really good choices. And be inventive with your nut butters, cook with it, add it to shakes or like me just use a spoon and the tub!

Nuts themselves are also great sources of fats. Preferably plain nuts over salted is the better choice here as sodium can case water retention. They are transportable, filling and delicious whilst being highly nutritious. Just weigh out your portions, its so easy to overeat nuts. They are incredibly calorie dense as well as being nutritious and delicious so a single serving is around 1 ounce (28 grams)

Eggs

One of the most complete and versatile foods available, and cheap too! Eggs are so underrated, they combine high quality protein and a large portion of good fats. I love mine poached, boiled and even fried with 1 calorie cooking spray when I’m feeling a little extravagant (okay daily then…)

Other excellent sources are avocado, olives & olive oil, seeds, oily fish like salmon, lean red meats, chia seeds

So as most people know there are different types of fat. If you educate yourself on these you can make really good healthy choices which will provide your body with excellent fuel and gets tasty snack at the same time!

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The general rule of thumb here is if your unsure check to see if it’s natural. If it’s a naturally grown product then chances are the fats are either good or okay, if it’s processed or deep fried or made in a factory who knows where then make a better choice! Have a treat every now and then, we all love a donut or a caramel slice. My suggestion is make it a once weekly thing, have a designated day once a week where you allow yourself a small serving of something on the naughtier side…there’s absolutely nothing wrong with moderation. It’s all about balance, just don’t be scared of consuming good, high quality fats! Your body will thank you for it.

Check me out two posts in one day! I’m on a role (or just slightly bored at work?)

 

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