Are You Fat Phobic?

I remember when Snackwell's Devil's Food Cookies came out on the market about the time I graduated from college.  I was Nabisco's target market because I wanted to lose the 40 pounds I had gained in college but also have my ‘sweet fix’ without the guilt of the oh so vilified FAT. I would buy 3-4 boxes at a time and because they were 'fat free,' I would eat 6, or even 9 cookies in one sitting.  I had a feeling that it wasn’t great for me, but I wanted my dessert and no amount of inner-knowing about the consequences was going to keep me from having it. Although I primarily ate foods labeled ‘fat-free’ I eventually noticed that I my weight wasn’t budging much and I felt irritable and hungry a lot of the time (today we refer to this as hangry…ever experienced it?).  Years later, I realized I was racking up on nutritionally deficient foods loaded with sugar, artificial flavors and ingredients that my body had no idea how to process.  It was all starting to make sense to me. And, once I started to make some significant changes in the way I thought about food and what I ate, I felt better, had more energy, lost the extra weight and had a better sense of well-being.

In November of 2015, the Dietary Guidelines for America was published with a bombshell of a statement that read: “Cholesterol (fat) is no longer a nutrient of concern.” Now this is HUGE since these guidelines help shape policy around food and determine what is recommended for consumption as it relates to health. Until 2015, we had been scared into thinking that the “fat on our lips ends up on our hips” or that “fat causes heart disease” or “fat will clog your arteries”, etc. Although the statement was embedded deep into the guidelines’ text, it’s starting to work its way into mainstream knowledge. Yet still, many people are still convinced that fat is the enemy and if they eat too much they will die an early death. This couldn’t be further from the truth; as a matter of fact, healthy fats are essential for a healthy body.

Now, there is still a bad fat that will raise your LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase your risk for heart disease. This fat is found in processed foods and many restaurants use them because they are cheap and have a long shelf life. To avoid them, look for partially or fully-hydrogenated on the ingredient list of processed foods, stay away from fried restaurant foods and ask for your meal to be cooked in olive, coconut or avocado oil or butter when ordering.

Good fats should be a regular part of a healthy diet as they play a huge role in nutrient absorption and are required for brain health, muscle movement and healthy joints to name a few. A short list of good fats to include in your diet include the following:

  • Olives and olive oil

  • Coconut butter and oil

  • MCT oil

  • Flax oil

  • Avocados and avocado oil

  • Organic, grass-fed butter

  • Nuts & seeds and their butters

  • Grass-fed beef

  • Pastured chicken

  • Wild caught fish

If you still find yourself fat-phobic then maybe it’s time for a shift in how you think about fat. As a Certified Health and Wellness Coach, I want to show you how to live your best life: mind, body and spirit. So, to help you move past your fat-phobia, schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation and learn how your choices can help you to LIVE-POWER-FULLY by clicking here. I look forward to connecting soon.

Photo by Melanie Wasser on Unsplash

Michelle Ward