There is something I’ve been meaning to write about ever since I started Cloves & Ginger but I kept putting it off because I never knew where to start. I still don’t really know where to start, but I’m going to give it a go anyway! I want to talk about FAT. Everyone thinks they know about fat: it is supposed to be bad for us, it’s supposed to cause heart disease and it’s supposed to be the main cause of obesity.

But none of this is true.

There are bad fats that cause all sorts of diseases, but these are bad because they have been processed and altered during food production. These are called trans-fats or hydrogenated fats and are not naturally occurring. They can be found in margarines, vegetable spreads and a lot of packaged foods such as sausage rolls, quiches, biscuits and cakes.

Natural fats found in pure oils, nuts, avocado, meat and even butter are

not the enemy. [They are] a very important path to health and without [them] we would not be able to make hormones, vitamin D, vitamin K, all our cells and brain tissue. Fat not only makes things but has an important part to play in our structure. Structural fat gives us beautiful cheeks, padding under our heels, protection for vital organs and curves of a woman’s body.  Fat is also required for energy, in fact fat is a better quick energy source then sugar.

Know Your Fats – www.changinghabits.com

Cyndi O’Meara explains all of this so much better than I can, so please head over to her blog (once you finished reading this one, of course!) for a more detailed and scientifically accurate explanation of why the low fat, high carbohydrate diet is not the healthy diet we’ve been told it is. Try reading:

Know Your Fats

and

It’s Official Saturated Fats Are Good For You!

The latest evidence about fats tells us we need to stop avoiding natural fats – and that includes saturated fats. Low fat alternatives that are advertised as good for our health and our waist lines are not only lacking in essential nutrients, they are often packed with unhealthy sugars. Trans-fats and unpronounceable chemicals are also common in these supposedly healthy foods. Jessie Reimers has written an excellent blog in which she shows the ingredients in a low fat tub of yoghurt. It’s worth a look.

Based on all of this, if you want to be healthy and slim, I suggest you ditch the diet foods, cut down on your carbohydrate intake and get to know your fats a little bit better. Here are a few suggestions on where to start:

  • Replace sugary snacks with nuts and nut butter.
  • At meal times, pile your plate high with protein, fat and vegetables but go easy on the starchy carbs.
  • Don’t be afraid to use oil in cooking or as a dressing, but make sure you pick the right oil for the job. Oils change structure and become harmful to our health when they are heated past their smoke point. Olive oil, for example, has quite a low smoke point so it is best to use it for cold dressings on salads rather than for cooking. Rapeseed oil and coconut oil have high smoke points so they are brilliant to cook with.
  • If you eat cheese and yogurt or drink milk go full-fat rather than skimmed. It won’t make you fat and you’ll enjoy the taste so much more.

Please do go and research this big FAT issue further. I think you’ll be surprised by some of the information out there.

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