We’ve been told fat causes heart disease and clogs our arteries. We’ve been told cholesterol is bad for us and we can never have cholesterol that is too low. People are being put on statin drugs at alarming rates and many of us are buying low-fat foods trying to be healthy.
Unfortunately, we’ve been misled and it’s having devastating impacts on our health. When I was trying to lose weight, I began cutting out fat and counting calories. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that this was the wrong approach and I began feeling worse. My body stopped knowing how to digest fats, which set me up for even bigger issues down the road.
A low-fat diet typically means higher carbs, more sugar, and more processed food. For a lot of us, when we begin eating low-fat, our body begins to crave fats (because we need them) and we reach for the wrong type of fats to satisfy those cravings (french fries, wings, fatty foods). This leads to an even bigger fatty acid imbalance and then the cycle repeats itself.
Let me explain why fats are crucial in our diets:
Fat fuels our brains
Our brain is made of 60% fat and 25% cholesterol. Yes, cholesterol. When our cholesterol becomes too low, our brains don’t function! Ever wonder why people on statins begin to have “brain fog” or become forgetful?
Fat makes food taste good
This is important! No one wants to eat boring veggies with no fat. You are surely to fail on a “healthy diet” if this is the case. When we eat low-fat diets, it leaves us feeling deprived and empty. Then the cravings and binging comes later. When we add fat to our meals we feel satiated and it tells our brains we are full so we know when to stop eating.
Fat helps slow insulin spikes
When fat is paired with a carb or protein, our body slows its digestion. This means we do not get the huge insulin spikes which lead to a blood sugar rollercoaster (aka BEING HANGRY). When I started adding fats back into my diet, I felt more grounded and stable.
We need fat to absorb our nutrients
If you are following a low-fat diet, there is a good chance you are malnourished. Vitamins A, D, E, and K, are fat soluble which means they need to be in the presence of fat to be absorbed.
Fat is a concentrated source of energy
Fat is a source of slow burning energy. The heart works best when given fat. If you overconsume carbs and underconsume fats, you will have no energy. Our body needs a mix of both.
Fat helps our mood
Fatty acids are needed to make neurotransmitters to help mood regulation.
Fat is the precursor to make hormones
Do you have endocrine or hormonal issues? Are you having fertility issues? You may want to reassess your fat intake. Without fat and cholesterol, we won’t have proper hormones. Steroid hormones are derived from cholesterol (progestagens, glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, androgens, and estrogens). In addition, thyroid hormones are lipid soluble.
Fat does not cause you to gain weight
Sugar and bad carbs cause us to gain weight, not fat. Fat nourishes our body and gives us energy. In fact, you will lose weight if you begin adding proper fats to your diet while cutting out the processed carbs.
Some symptoms related to fatty acid deficiency: easily fatigued, muscular skeleton issues, tension headaches, endocrine issues (hormonal imbalance), cardiovascular issues, immune issues, environmental and food allergies, dry skin, dandruff, inflammation, infertility, or depression.
Fats play a role in all of these issues!
In another post, I will be talking about good fats vs. bad fats…
To health with it!