Go to the supermarket and the special offer shelves have low cal this and low fat that and ‘heart healthy’ wholegrain cereal bars at all the checkouts.
Then you scroll through social media and all the work out videos and gurus are there; Pilates, Crossfit, Yoga, Figure8 and so on and so forth. Get your dream body and clear mental health………
The message, as per usual is cut down on what you eat and up the exercise. Because its tried and tested and always works. Oh wait! In fact it hardly ever works.
Everyone is looking for the magic bullet, the quick and easy route to losing weight and feeling great. A quick fix that will just be added to your daily comfort zone.
At the heart of all the health messages for the past 50 years is that fearful word fat. Cut fat, burn fat, don’t be fat.
One of my main areas of focus is fat.
I shout loudly that fat is your friend. Obesity and the world health pandemic (before the current pandemic, and has never gone away) was never to do with eating fat.
Confused? Allow me to explain.
Our brains comprise 60% fat, so just from that you could say it’s pretty important! But what’s really interesting is that our bodies have 3 feedback mechanisms for food and liquids. 1. Water. You cannot drink too much water because your body regulates it by getting rid of it though urination or simply tells you you are no longer thirsty.
2. Protein. When you have consumed enough protein, which is the building block for all your cells, the body will, again, tell you to stop eating.
3. Fat. Fats contained within protein providing foods, namely stable saturated fats also trigger the satiety switch in your brain and tells you to stop eating and that you have taken enough energy on board.
You might well be worried about the mention of saturated fat here. It has been made out to be the monster of all fats. Let’s cut through the nonsense shall we? Would human health have waited hundreds of thousands of years for Proctor and Gamble to have come up with chemically bleached and processed seed oil gloop to find what’s best for you? Or are we supposed to eat the fat grown in the light of the sun, that naturally occurs in animals and a few fruits (avocados, olives and coconuts)?
Furthermore did you know there is no feedback mechanism in the body for carbohydrates, sugar or alcohol? So you can consume them to excess and your brain won’t tell you to stop. And what does sugar do in the body? It stores as fat. Obesity has nothing to do with consuming fat and everything to do with consuming sugar in all its forms.
It is unfortunate that we use the same word for an essential nutritional element and socially unacceptable weight gain.
Animal fats are particularly feared. Which is ‘worse’ (neither in the Wide Eyed way, I love saturated fats) according to current mainstream thinking, pork lard or avocado fat? Lard and avocado have the same 6 fatty acids. Both dominantly monounsaturated fat (the main fat in olive oil), 45% in the lard and 50% in the avocado. Yet the lard contains more vitamins. But how many people do you know that cook in lard?
Fat soluble vitamins are essential to human health. Fat in food delivers those amazing vitamins in a perfect package. Nature delivers them and we remove them, examples of which are skimmed milk, zero fat yoghurt and lean meat. How do you get the essentials then? You don’t.
I refer you back to the global health pandemic.