The “f” word. It instills fear in many people. No, I’m not talking about the four letter f-word. I’m talking about FAT. Many people subscribe to the notion that fat is bad for us and will subsequently cause us to become fat and/or raise cholesterol. What many people don’t understand is that the body needs fat to survive and thrive. Fats help regulate our hormones, which is very important for all our bodily functions. I get especially mad when I see the guidelines for pregnant women to watch their fat consumption. The brains of developing babies need fat to properly develop so why should we be limiting that?
How many of you think that eating healthy includes choosing low fat options (like low fat sour cream or milk), avoiding traditional fats (like butter or lard), and using oils like canola, vegetable and soybean oil? If you are like most people, that probably sounds completely normal to you. But for me and my family, none of those things cross our doorstep. Instead, we use lots and lots of real butter from grass-fed cows, eat full fat dairy (including milk, cheese, sour cream and yogurt) and frequently include lots of bacon grease, lard and coconut oil in our daily food consumption. This is probably shocking to most people but after I learned the truth about fat, I haven’t looked back.
I love Giuliana Rancic and I’m so happy she and Bill finally have their baby. However, her infertility struggles left me baffled until I read what she was eating. Ann Marie wrote a great post on what could possibly be causing her infertility and strongly linked it to her diet. I was shocked when I read her food diary, although it isn’t that surprising for someone in Hollywood. In contrast to her diet, here is what a normal day might look like for me:
- Breakfast: Eggs (yolk and white) fried in bacon grease, with plenty of salt, pepper and cheese. Sometimes I do an egg scramble with broccoli or spinach if I have it in the fridge and tomatoes are also great. You can really get creative with veggies and other combinations. Spinach, feta and tomatoes is a favorite combo of mine. I typically also have some fresh fruit on the side or some cereal with raw milk or organic oatmeal with chia seeds
- Morning snack: An apple with peanut butter, or a large handful or mixed nuts, or some organic crackers and cheese (depending on how hungry I am, it may include more than one of these!)
- Lunch: Usually dinner leftovers
- Afternoon snack: Whatever I didn’t have from my morning snack or some nice popcorn popped in coconut oil with plenty of real butter and real salt
- Dinner: Any one of the delicious meals I cook up which always has a good balance of protein, fat and some carbs. Tonight we had a delicious beef and broccoli dish that you may see on a Chinese takeout menu. Ours had delicious, grass-fed beef; organic broccoli and carrots; plenty of coconut oil; raw honey; organic soy sauce; and ginger. It was outstanding! We served it with some organic brown rice and each had a large, healthy serving.
Quite a contrast from what Giuliana was eating, right? Sadly, she probably had no idea her diet was contributing to her infertility struggles. Most people would probably read her food diary and think “Wow, what a healthy day of eating!”
Why do people believe these myths about saturated fats? Well, it’s been drilled into our brains for years that fat is evil. Even the USDA perpetuates the myths with their food pyramid (or I guess now they use the plate), telling us that we should eat plenty of grains (carbs) and avoid anything but a small amount of fat. Dr. Marcelle Pick offers some great information in The Truth About Cholesterol and Fat. She also touches on how low-fat/low-cholesterol diets can disrupt hormones which is especially bad for women trying to conceive a child and/or regulate their cycle.
Kelly writes on her Kitchen Kop blog about a talk Sally Fallon gave on how we came to believe saturated fats are so bad for us. This is information I think everyone should be aware of! Once you know not to be afraid of fats, I guarantee you’ll enjoy eating so much more. I should mention that there are fats to stay away from, most importantly all trans fats and anything that is hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. Pay attention to these whenever you’re reading food labels and you’ll be shocked at how much these horrible oils are in many products.
If I can open the eyes of just a few people to this fat myth, I’ll be happy. So, how do you think you will incorporate more fat into your diet?
This post is part of Monday Mania over at the Healthy Home Economist. Check it out!