Healthy Eating

For too long, health experts have believed eating too much fat was the primary catalyst for serious diseases like diabetes and obesity, or as a Dr Hyman likes to call it “diabesity.”

I totally agree with this statement.

Why? Because for 30+ years I believe we have been giving the wrong advice to the public.  We have never been fatter before and we are getting fatter every day. Type 2 diabetes is rising and most people have what we call ‘pre-diabetes’, which means you have a higher-than-normal blood sugar level that’s not high enough to be diagnostic for diabetes…yet.

As a dietitian I am supposed to provide the best care for people and I really thought I did until I started to challenge what was taught at university.

My Aha Moment

One day everything changed for me and that’s because I was able to witness what effect various foods have on my blood glucose (sugar) levels.

I wore a glucose monitor (this monitor is used in people with type 1 diabetes and measures the glucose in your interstitial fluid – the fluid in and around your body’s cells), and noticed that my blood sugar would rise after eating ‘healthy’ cereal such as bran flakes and shredded wheat. This got me thinking…

Metabolically the only foods that are broken down into glucose (or sugar) are carbohydrates!

Protein, fat and vegetables are not broken down into sugar. So why do we tell people to start their day with cereal? When essentially cereal is broken down into sugar? And yes porridge is a high carbohydrate meal and so is coco pops. Though Coco Pops has added table sugar too it!

I had an ‘Aha’ moment….Or what I like to call it ‘I had an epiphany’.

Why do we tell people to eat so many carbohydrates when they essentially are broken down into sugar? Why do we focus so much on saturated fats when really people are over consuming on carbohydrates because they fear fat? Why are we not teaching people to count their carbohydrates instead of calories? Read my blog about why I believe calorie counting isn’t for everyone! Click here. 

 

Conventional nutrition guidelines state:

Base your meals mainly on starchy carbohydrates. (Up to 50% of your diet should be based on carbohydrates).

Limit your intake in saturated fat. Opt for low fat where possible.

Everyone is so fear full of fat…..Why is that?

The so called war on saturated fat started in the 1970’s based on one key study which showed that dietary fat was related to heart disease. The study is known as the ‘Seven Countries Study’ which you can read here. The man at the forefront of this study was Ancel Keys.

Ancel Keys was a charismatic man who later charmed himself into becoming chair for the American Heart Association’ advocating that the findings of HIS study should be the base of the first nutrition guidelines ever produced. Corrupt or what? Nutritional science keeps changing and there is so much politics and corruption happening behind closed doors which no one dares to talk about…..

The study below adds to the growing body of evidence that our low-fat (and therefore high-carb) dietary guidelines are not doing us any favours.

“In a study published in the Lancet, they found that people eating high quantities of carbohydrates, which are found in breads and rice, had a nearly 30% higher risk of dying during the study than people eating a low-carb diet. And people eating high-fat diets had a 23% lower chance of dying during the study’s seven years of follow-up compared to people who ate less fat.” Click here to read more.

 

How Much Fat Do We Need?

Nutritional guidelines suggest that we should have 70g of fat in our diet on a daily basis, of which no more than 20g should come from saturated fat.

70g is a lot of fat which most of us don’t get enough of!  I recently discovered that I’m not getting enough fat myself!

Since being conscious about it and adding more to my diet I have felt a tremendous difference in myself. I look and feel better and my skin is glowing!

So how do we know if we are fat deficient? Well first of all, calculate your average fat intake. You could use the app ‘MyFitnessPal’ to help you do this or contact me for expert help and advice.

Obviously, it’s all about the quality and quantity. I will explain this further down this blog post so keep reading…..

 

Indicators Of A Possible Fat Deficiency:

  • Weight gain. How many carbohydrates are you consuming daily as a consequence of neglecting your fat intake? If your carbohydrate intake is above 250g daily then you may need to re-consider your diet. Ask me and I’ll happily direct you. Don’t fear fat. Learn about the various food groups and make an individualized decision to how you eat. Don’t follow the crowd! Your body is different to the next, therefore your nutritional requirements will be different too!
  • Skin: Do you suffer with itchy scalp and/or dry skin? We need essential fats to keep the largest organ, the skin, healthy and glowing! 
  • Cognition: Two types of omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are essential for brain development. Forgetfulness? Dementia? Alzheimer? These conditions are all linked to fat deficiency!
  • Vision: EPA and DHA found in oily fish helps with the health of your eyes. Do you have dry eyes and/or poor vision? Think about your intake of omega 3.

Fat Types

Fat is essential to life. There are different types and they all have different properties. Let’s explore them together…

Saturated fat: Found in meat, dairy, eggs, cream and coconut. This type of fat has previously thought to increase cholesterol but this statement has actually never really been proven. Science is still unsure!

Polyunsaturated fat: We have 2 types: Omega 6 and Omega 3. These are essential as the body can’t make them. However, it’s vital to ensure you consume a balance of these fats since excessive omega 6 and not enough omega 3 can cause inflammation in the body. Inflammation is the cause of all disease.

Omega 6 is found is vegetable and sunflower oils, corn and soya.

Omega 3 is found in oily fish, nuts, cold pressed rapeseed oil, flaxseeds and chia seeds.

Monounsaturated fats: Most of us know that this is a universally accepted ‘good’ fat which is found in olive oil, avocados, peanut and ground oil. Other foods include cashews, brazil nuts and almonds.

Here are some foods which are high in fat, the so called ‘good fat’.

I would strongly suggest you incorporate these into your diet on daily basis. It’s not enough to eat oily fish once a week. You have to set the bar higher than that if you want to live a healthier life. Mix it up! 

 

Are you getting your 70g? If yes, I hope it’s mainly these healthy fats listed in this table.

Fat Types

Food

Fat Content (g)

Type of Fat

1 x Avocado

27

Monounsaturated

1 x Tbsp Flaxseeds

4

Omega 3

1 x Tbsp Chia Seeds

5

Omega 3

1 x Handful Olives

12

Monounsaturated

1 x Handful Pecan Nuts

21

Monounsaturated

1 x Handful Almonds

17

Monounsaturated

1 x Handful Walnuts

28

Omega 3

1x Portion Salmon

15

Omega 3

1 x Tbsp Extra Virgen Olive Oil

12

Monounsaturated

1 x Tbsp Cold pressed Rapeseed Oil

12

Omega 3

 

 

Struggling With Weight Gain?

If you struggle with weight gain then it’s very likely that you consume an excess of carbohydrates. If you are sat in an office and eating a low fat sandwich with fruit then this may not suit you since it’s a high energy meal and since most of us are sedentary, we don’t need much carbohydrate. What you need to do it change how you combine your food groups. You would benefit from eating 1-2-3.

The 1-2-3 Healthy Eating Approach is a method I use to teach and empower people how to eat! Because most of us have no clue! Or we think we do….but it’s all the wrong health messages…

 

Struggling To Gain Weight?

If you struggle to gain weight then you may not be eating enough carbohydrates. I have had many clients, both children and adults, who have trouble gaining weight and the ‘issue’ at times is a diet high in protein and not enough carbohydrates. 

 

I use the 1-2-3 Healthy Eating Approach with both children and adults. It’s not rocket science. It’s simple and fun. This approach has helped many people lose weight. It has helped people with diabetes stabilise their blood sugar and it has helped children understand and practice healthy eating. You can here more about it here or contact me for further information. Read more about The 1-2-3 Healthy Eating Approach here.

I hope to hear from you so please comment below, like and share!

Warmly,

Nishti

Fear of Fat has Made us Fat

 

Please note that this information neither is medical advice, nor is it meant to replace the advice of your doctor or dietitian and I assume no liability for the use or misuse of this information.

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