Why you should eat more fat

  Jan 6, 2016  |  #Eats/WIAW
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Hey, friends. It’s Wednesdayyy which means it’s the perfect day to showcase a day of eats for WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday). My eats are from Tuesday.

Why You Should Eat More Fat

Let’s go through a day of eats, shall we?

pancakes

Breakfast #1: A coconut flour pancake, made with 2 tbsp coconut flour, 1 egg, 1 egg white, a sprinkle of cinnamon and vanilla extract, topped with peanut butter and berries.

I wrote a post before Thanksgiving about some healthy holiday lifestyle switches to make without sacrificing food, and it seems like a good time to discuss this again with all the resolutions being made. There are easy swaps we can make on a daily basis that offer more nutrient density, meaning they provide our body with more nutrients per gram of calories (sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes, greek yogurt rather than mayo, whole apples rather than apple juice). Eating more nutrient dense foods definitely earns you a gold star on the path to better health. However, fat has been back in the spotlight lately for various reasons, but I wanted to talk about it today because incorporating fat into your diet can actually be a healthy habit!

One food-related goal I’ll be working on throughout the year is eating balanced meals, which means I’ll aim to have a protein, fat, and carbohydrate (try to make this a complex carbohydrate as much as possible) at every meal. While this won’t always be feasible (c’mon, I’m a girl with a sweet tooth and sometimes I’ll just eat my carb-loaded piece of cake), it is actually very important and it’s a switch that many of you should aim to make too, if you’re not already doing so! I’m totally guilty of just grabbing a banana or apple on it’s own and calling that my snack but for the reasons I’ll discuss below, I’m always going to try to pair those with a protein/fat!

I met up with the lovely Kate for coffee and breakfast #2 at one of my favorite Charlotte places, Sunflour Bakery. I feel like I know Kate from reading her blog but it was so nice to meet her in person, and chat about life and nutrition things. She is such a sweetheart! 

 

why you should eat more fat
Breakfast #2/Lunch: I couldn’t resist getting something on the cheddar biscuit, so I went with the egg, provolone cheese, baked tomato, spinach and avocado combo. And a mini french press. Heaven.

To speak candidly, I don’t like seeing recipes that boast “low fat” or “no sugar,” and instead use fake ingredients in their place. These are recipes for disaster; they are not balanced, they will not fill you up, and they will just leave you craving those high palatable foods that you tried to avoid in the first place. It’s an endless cycle that I urge you not to start.

Why you should eat more fat

Fat gets a bad wrap because people still think that eating more fat causes your body to retain more fat. No No No. This is just not how the body works, and biochemistry can teach you why. Fat has so many beneficial functions, such as supporting brain and eye function, regulating hormones (hence: sleeping, hunger, and keeping us full), ensuring proper nerve signalling, and decreasing inflammation in the body. AND, EVEN MORE, fat is important for your bones and for absorbing vitamins, namely A, D, E and K. These are fat-soluble vitamins which means they need to be taken with fat to be effectively absorbed. So while enjoying a salad, you aren’t doing yourself any favors ordering the fat-free dressing because you won’t absorb many of those nutrients. Go for the full fat dressing (just use less; it will be more flavorful afterall) or use olive oil. Or, add an avocado or some olives, or put some meat, nuts, seeds or cheese on top.

Did you experience constant sugar cravings over the holidays? I did. Like you could eat cookies all day for every meal? Ehh…I’m guilty. It’s because once we’re introduced to that sweetness, it becomes addictive. And if we don’t have adequate fat or protein in our systems to slow down the blood sugar spike, our blood sugar goes for a ride and leaves us feeling empty and then craving more sugar.

greek yogurt, why you should eat more fat
Afternoon/Post workout snack: Full-fat greek yogurt with bluebs, chia seeds and chopped up mango. A side of unpictured grapes, to hold me over until dinner.

 

If our blood sugar spikes up, we are:

  1. a) more likely to eat more and crave something sweet again,
  2. b) feel anxious, tired or have low energy (counter intuitive, I know),
  3. OR, c) store more carbohydrates as fat because insulin is a storage hormone. Most of us gain some weight over the holidays – more often than not, it’s from all the sugar we’re eating (not fat), in addition to our higher caloric intake overall.

Try to pair those carbohydrates with protein and fat so you can prevent that blood sugar spike, which is so important in helping our bodies stay within homeostasis.

And for dinner, this yummy stuffed sweet potato, stuffed with chicken sausage, goat cheese and avocado. Recipe to come on Fridayyy. These babies are one of my most favorite things ever.

stuffed sweet potato, why you should eat more fat

stuffed sweet potato with salsa

Also, cocktails with the hubs at The Cellar at Duckworths. This place is legit. Yay for so many artisinal cocktail bars in Charlotte.

cellar_duckworths moscow

Isn’t Charlotte beautiful?!

Charlotte

And dessert = greek yogurt with bananas and peanut butter, and hot chocolate with marshmellows 🙂

hot chocolate

If you’re still dealing with those post-holiday cravings, try adding in some healthy fats. When in doubt, spread some nut butter or butter for some power, or pair snacks with string cheese or edamame.  Start cooking with avocado, coconut or olive oil. Adding in these fats should help with cravings. Cheers to health in 2016. Linking with Health and Happiness

What’s your favorite healthy fat? Mine is drippy peanut butter, hands down. 

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35 responses to “Why you should eat more fat

  1. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday.
    It’s always exciting to read content from other writers and use
    something from their sites.

  2. I love when people understand the importance of healthy fats! The low fat era is slowly turning to low carb (which is not cool either!) but at least many are starting to swing back and know that fats are not the enemy and lead to greater satisfaction because of that whole ‘mouth feel’ they got going on.

    Favourite fat? Crunchy, extra roasty peanut butter and for more savory dishes–> avocado

  3. Nutbutters for sure followed closely by avocado. Eaten daily 🙂

    Thanks for sharing with friends at Fitness Health & Happiness Sarah! Have a great weekend.

  4. Great post! I love fats, nut butters are definitely my favorite. I need to be better about incorporating more of a variety of healthy fats into my diet and not being “afraid” of them. One fat source I want to branch out to is avocados!

  5. I TOTALLY have a post scheduled tomorrow all about healthy fats and which ones are my favorites. As someone who used to avoid fat at all costs, I can’t imagine living without it now!!

  6. Healthy fats are so important! I recently realized that I wasn’t eating enough fats so I decided to add some nuts and dark chocolate to my daily diet (seriously super yummy healthy fat sources) and I’m so happy I started! I feel so much better and more satiated! Also, your eats look amazing! I LOVE breakfast food… and I can’t wait for the recipe for that baked loaded sweet potato!! YUM!! Looks amazing! Just ate a sweet potato at lunch today 🙂 SO good.

  7. I love the fact that fat SEEMS to be starting to become a bit less feared by the public (and I wholeheartedly believe that it’s through posts like this!!) Virtually all of my favourite foods happen to be fat-dominant which I think definitely speaks for its flavour 🙂 And all of your food looks soooo good. Such a neat cup your cocktail came in!

  8. I couldn’t agree more! I eat peanut butter at almost every meal and hate, hate, hate “fat free” versions of most foods – especially desserts. While I LOVE frozen yogurt (and def don’t eat it because it’s low fat), I love ice cream just as much. And guac is my jam. 🙂

    1. I also love pb. I would love to hear what brands people are digging. Jiff and natural skippy will always be dear to me but am willing to try others!

  9. I’ve really focused on fatty foods recently. My menstrual cycle has been irregular the past few months, and I want it back to normal! I lost it as a result of my eating disorder a few years back, and work diligently to have it return. That’s why I am all about whole milk, peanut butter, avocados, and ice cream right now!

  10. I try to go with my gut one fat (not in the bad way). If I’m craving it, I’ll intentionally pack my day with it, otherwise I kind of just go with what I’m planning for that day, but not avoiding fats. When I’m pregnant I tend to eat a LOT more fats because I have cravings like wow for them!

  11. Hahahah. So I think my “biochemistry” lesson gives yours a run for your money (TOTALLY kidding). This is awesome, and something I need to continuously remind myself of. Being a sweet tooth, I find it way too easy to just have a big piece of baking for my meal, but I need to remember to add some butter or peanut butter so that it actually lasts me longer than, oh, 10 minutes. You don’t need much right? Adding 1 tbsp peanut butter or 1/3 of an avocado to a salad would do well?? Those are my favorites.
    Is that BBQ on that sweet potato I see? That thing looks glorious. And now I want marshmallows (and I don’t even really like marshmallows).

    1. Yes those would be perfect amounts to help fill you up and stay full. I’m guilty of forgetting too but it’s my goal this year so I’m not snacking every 20 minutes! Recipe will be up on Friday 🙂

  12. I love fats!! So tire about they they help satisfy you. I eat peanut butter every single day, so it’s hard not to pick that as my favorite. I love me some cream cheese and guac too!
    All you eats look amazing- that sweet potato looks to die for.
    It was so fun getting together! I am so glad to find someone who loves to chat about nutrition. Can’t wait to do it again!

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