So, headlines last week announced to us ‘LOW FAT DIETS BAD, HIGH FAT DIETS GOOD’ and ‘EAT FAT TO GET THIN’. Low fat diets are linked to obesity and diabetes and high fat foods are being hailed as superfoods.
But let’s be honest, that’s not news. Except to whoever came up with the ‘official recommendations’ which preaches a low fat diet and has done for the past 30 years. But now they’ve changed their tune (for the better!)
For years, health advocates have sworn by the good old avocado (advocato) and wouldn’t dream of touching low-fat cottage cheese. Don’t feel bad if you feel baffled – you know for a fact that an avocado has a heck of a lot of calories in it but the back of your fat-free cottage cheese tells you there are no calories. So surely no calories over 500 calories every time, right?
Eating fat does not make you fat. But eating products with no fat which have replaced the fat content with sugar and carbohydrates most certainly does. Eating fats gives your body essential fatty acids – essential in the sense that we need them but our body doesn’t make them (good one, evolution.)
We get omega 3 from oily fish and flax, and it has a list of infinite benefits ranging from curbing joint stiffness (no arthritis up in here) to aiding with depression. Eating fats helps you burn fat too, in case you were wondering. Just give it a google and you’ll find a whole plethora of stuff on why you should be guzzling down on healthy fats.
But the real issue here is not the misinformation. The real issue is that people who really need guidance on what is best for them to be eating are bombarded with too much information to process and understand at one time.
We’re told by one expert that we should be eating a handful of nuts twice a day, whilst another dietician will tell us to avoid nuts like the plague. We’re encouraged to eat five portions of fruit and veg a day, but then it is argued that this is an arbitrary number and in fact, fruit is pretty damn sugary and bad for our teeth!
So who have we to listen to? Who holds the secret to the perfect diet?
The unsatisfactory answer to that is no-one. No-one can give guidelines that are suited to everyone. Finding your perfect diet is a solo quest, a challenge that only you can really take on, because you are the only person who is directly impacted by what goes in to your body.
Instead of listening to health ‘gurus’ and wellness experts, you should be tuning in to your body. So here is the advice from Eatupp when it comes to a high fat/low fat/any other diet:
1. Eat foods that make you feel good. Eat foods that leave you glowing, that fill you up and leave you satisfied. Whether it’s a bowl of greek yoghurt & honey or a pot of pomegranate seeds, if it makes you feel great – eat it.
2. Don’t deprive yourself. If you tell yourself you can’t have something, you’re tapping in to the creation of an unhealthy relationship food, where you attach feelings of reward and happiness to some foods and feelings of duress to others. Unfortunately, we often attach the positive feelings to unhealthy foods because we restrict our consumption of them in an attempt to be ‘healthy’ and ‘good’. In fact, depriving yourself of foods will only throw the balance of your diet off even more. You’ve heard it before, now take it to heart – eat what you like in moderation.
3. Finally, listen to your body. Don’t ignore your energy slumps. Understand when your body is starting to drain a little, and work out what foods you’ve eaten that haven’t fuelled you properly. If you understand the peaks and troughs in your energy levels, you can pinpoint the foods that will fuel you best. Remember it is different for everyone though, so a bowl of cereal might see your colleague through the morning just fine, but you might have a rumbling stomach within about 10 minutes and start to crash.
So by all means, do your research and put yourself straight on to a high-fat diet, but make sure you work out if the ‘recommended diet’ is really good for you.