I was recently told by a client that she had been advised by a medical professional to cut out all fat from her diet, she was advised to do this because she had high blood pressure. She also has arthritis and is in the early stages of osteoporosis, she is only in her 50’s! This client in particular was an avid dieter and said she hasn’t really eaten any fat for many decades, she eats fat free everything, low fat this, low fat that and avoids fat wherever she can. She does not use oils, she cooks with oil sprays sometimes, she won’t eat avocados or nuts and basically has diet food wherever she can. She has followed a “diet” that promotes a fat free approach, heavy on the carbs and she spends a fortune each week on the products provided by this particular diet.
The problem with this blanket advice to “avoid fats” is that people listen and take it literally! They then fall into the “safety trap” which is what I call that point where you are not sure what is good or bad for you so you only eat the thing that is labeled as good for you! The “fat -Free” the Low-Fat” the “diet” options.
What is not explained is why they SHOULD eat fats!
The funny thing then came when another client nearby said her Doctor had told her to eat lots of healthy fats to bring her BP down!
It really is no wonder why people are so often confused about fats!
Fat is one of those food groups with a bad reputation and if you are really unsure on which way to go here are some really simple snippets to help you make the choices right for you!
- Many synergistic and vital vitamins MUST have fat present in the foods to absorb into the body these include Vitamin A, D, E and K. Without fat they simply pass right through the body, even supplements, even those magic pills that contain all of your daily needs will pass right through without the presence of fat!
- Calcium must have fat present in the foods to be absorbed into the body.
- Vitamin A we often hear as the eye health vitamin but there is far more to this wonder vitamin than meets the eye! For instance did you know the digestive tract health is influenced by Vitamin A, that vitamin A is not only important for vision but fertility, skin health and body fat absorption also. It is also important in making glycogen which is a source of energy for the body! When vitamin A is deficient you might experience vision issues, dryness of the eyes or even ulcerations. Sinus problems, skin issues like acne or boils, respiratory issues, fertility issues, fatigue and even insomnia can all be linked to Vitamin A deficiency.
- Vitamin D deficiency (Vitamin D comes from foods and sun exposure) has been linked to so many chronic conditions that if this was addressed would save millions of lives each year! From obesity to cancer, from colds and flu to diabetes, insomnia to hypertension, muscle pain to cavities, from asthma to osteoporosis the links are endless! Vitamin D will protect nerves from degradation and help to maintain healthy heart tissue, it will also assist in the absorption of Calcium and therefore is critical for strong bones or reducing bone loss (especially important for women as they age).
- Vitamin E is something many people understand as linked to signs of ageing and often in eye cream but a diet rich in Vitamin E, with the appropriate fat sources for absorption will not only help you look younger but will help your immune system work better, has been shown to aid vision, has proven anti-cancer properties and linked to reductions of Alzheimer’s! And given that many of my clients have arthritis, have diabetes and cancer then its best you know that Vitamin E is important in protecting against and recovering from all of these too.
- And what about vitamin K, we might know this as the injection given to babies because it helps with blood clotting but did you know its importance in creating strong bones and preventing heart disease!
Fat should be in your diet in the form of olive oils, avocado, eggs, natural live yoghurt, nuts, seeds and even coconut oil.
So next time you go to the super market and pick up the fat free option ask yourself why? Is it really because it is better for you? I would suggest that it is not and that more natural and by far much tastier options will aid your health above and beyond any ‘diet’, ‘low fat’, ‘fat-free’ option anyway!