Okay, so, I’ve been harping on eating fat a lot lately! But now I want to get even more indepth about what types of fat you should eat, why, and then give you several meal/snack ideas on how to get more good fats into your diet. In the ideas, I’ll be specifically focusing on dairy-free ideas. There is already a great list on how to eat more fat at Cheeseslave‘s blog that focuses on a lot of dairy-full ideas.
So, fat. It’s EVIL in this culture. But here’s what you need to know: in fat-free or low-fat products, something has to replace the flavor and calories that fat brings. That is almost universally SUGAR. Sugar is far more evil! Overconsumption of sugar is why we’re a nation of people who are overweight and (type II) diabetic! The other day at the store, I looked at a box of Snackwell’s fat-free chocolate cookies and the FIRST ingredient was sugar. Before flour! So if you think you’re doing a good job on a diet because you’re eating these fat-free cookies, no way! You’d be better off eating a tub of lard. For many reasons.
Then there’s the perception that we need low-fat, low-calorie meals that are filled with just veggies to be healthy. The average person (and this is according to the government; I don’t entirely agree) requires 2000 calories and 65 grams of fat in day. That’s about 500 calories each at breakfast and lunch, 700 at dinner (or better, 700 at breakfast and 500 each at lunch and dinner) plus 300 calories of snacks per day. So if you’re focusing on a super low-fat lunch of a salad and vegetable soup which contains all of 200 calories, you are way, way under the amount you need per day. A lot of people skip breakfast, too, so that puts you even further down. This opens you up to fatigue, slowed metabolism, weakened immune system, and of course the very likely possibility that you’ll end up snacking on junk food later.
It’s also known that eating fat helps the absorption of nutrients. It’s why even mainstream dieticians recommend eating an oil-based dressing on your salad (of course, they say only a tiny bit and don’t overdo the nuts, which I disagree with). There are so many detriments to NOT eating fat, and so many positives to eating it.
As I mentioned in another blog post, the body requires either fat or carbohydrates as energy. Fat is a great energy source isn’t actually stored in the body as fat (it’s actually burned slower than carbs, but to me it feels “faster” because I’m hungry sooner). Carbohydrates are burned faster by turning into simple sugars (yes, even whole grains — it’s slower and the bran helps, but they still break down into sugars, because that’s what carbs are) and spiking your blood sugar. They are then easily stored as fat.
Fat also does many great things for our bodies, including:
*Balances hormones (including serotonin, responsible for mood; and serotonin, which tells you when to stop eating)
*Develops babies’ brains
*Improves digestion and absorption of nutrients
*Saturated fat composes about 50% of our cells, so eating it helps cellular regeneration
*Many more! (read the resources below)
How much fat should you get in your diet per day? According to Weston A. Price Foundation, anywhere from 30 – 80% of one’s calories per day should be from fat (high percentages being for therapeutic diets, not normal ones). On average, 37% is normal, which translates to around 97 grams per day (significantly more than the U.S. RDA’s “65 grams or less”).
If that’s true, how do we go about getting more fat into our diets? Here are several dairy-free ideas:
*Smoothies with coconut milk or coconut oil added (or coconut cream if you can get some)
*Coconut milk ice cream made with honey and extra coconut oil
*Potatoes fried in coconut oil, lard, bacon grease, or beef tallow
*French fries made in beef tallow
*Grass-fed burgers cooked with extra beef tallow and grilled onions (add bacon too!)
*Bacon and pastured eggs cooked in bacon grease
*Eggs scrambled in beef tallow with avocado
*Coconut flour muffins made with coconut oil, and topped with sunflower butter or real butter (if you can eat dairy)
*Carrot or celery sticks dipped in sunflower butter (or peanut butter)
*Sausage fried in lard with peppers and onions
*Cream soups made with coconut milk and oil
Add cheese, cream, or butter to anything if you can do dairy!
Now that you’ve read about how and why to eat fat, it’s time for a CHALLENGE! Starting on March 1st, I am launching a 30-Day Eat More Fat Challenge. Here’s how the challenge works:
*Register for the challenge
*Each person will have a username throughout this challenge so that it is anonymous to other readers (this is because we’ll be sharing height/weight/diet information)
*Each day, I will post a new tip or idea on fat: how to eat more, random fact about why it’s good, etc.
*Each week, all the participants will come back to the blog (so, Mar. 8, 15, 22, and 29; final results on Mar. 31) to “check in” on a variety of factors (detailed below)
*The participant who does the best in the most categories (details below) will win either a copy of my new cookbook, or a jar of my Soothing Skin Cream (similar to the homemade diaper rash cream recipe I posted earlier), winner’s choice.
*Most weight lost
*Most (healthy!) fat consumed (fat sources added to meals or snacks)
*Most creative way(s) to add fat to your diet
Each week, participants will report the following:
*How much they weigh
*The fats/fattening foods that they ate each day (i.e. “organic bacon grease and eggs at breakfast, olive oil and almonds at lunch, coconut oil at dinner”)
*The most interesting fat-filled meals they prepared in the last week
1) All participants MUST officially register and agree that their username and other information can be posted to the site (real names won’t be used)
2) Participants must come to every weekly check-in, including the final check in
3) All fat consumed must be HEALTHY fats. That is, coconut oil, organic lard, organic palm shortening, organic beef tallow, butter, ghee, sustainably produced meat, dairy, nuts, eggs, etc. The following fats do not count: vegetable oil, peanut oil, anything containing trans fats, commercial fried food, processed foods containing fat, factory-farmed meats, eggs, milk. (For your convenience, I’ll post a chart of approximately how much fat common foods contain on Mar. 1)
4) The winner must submit his or her mailing address for the prize to be sent by April 3rd, 2010.
Please feel free to spam this contest everywhere!
Taking the Fear Out of Eating Fat
Benefits of Eating Coconut Oil
Proven Health Benefits of Saturated Fats
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