I’m Angela – a Nutritionist, Weight Loss Coach and Personal Trainer. I’m about 17% body fat with a visible 6-pack. I have very little fat on my body and I eat a lot of healthy fats. In fact, 70-80% of my calories come from fat. I’m on a fat diet. Also known as ketogenic diet. But you don’t need to know fancy terms to benefit from this amazing way of eating that keeps you fit, full, healthy and happy.
How many times have you heard “Fat makes you fat”? Fat is still widely demonized. Many health professionals still say fat (any kind) causes heart disease, obesity epidemics, and all related health issues. Most nutritionists/dietitians/weight loss coaches still will tell you, that you have got to watch those fats if you want to maintain your waistline and keep your heart and arteries in a good condition.
I used to be like that. I thought, “fat makes you fat” made sense. We eat fat, we get fat. But in fact, what makes us fat, more and more research prove that, is too many refined carbohydrates in our diet, not fats. All the stuff with white flour and any kind of refined sugars.
Today we will leave carbs alone and we will talk about fats – ‘fat that makes us fat, and healthy fats that make us fit’. Fat can contribute to many health problems and obesity. There is no doubt that when we eat too much every day – we will get fat, no matter what we eat. But surprisingly it’s harder to get fat eating good fats that come from whole unprocessed foods than it is to get fat eating lots of carbs – even if the carbs you are eating come from foods like fruit and whole grains.
Fats only become a problem when they come from the wrong sources. Fats that make us fat and sick are the ones that come from our favorite processed foods. All that yummy stuff we are not supposed to put in our mouth like cookies, chips, ice-creams, French fries, pizzas, burgers, etc. The ones that we buy from conventional supermarkets and fast food places. All these foods on the “forbidden” list, like desserts, burgers, and pizzas can be made healthy. I make my own healthy chocolate mousse, ice-cream and hot chocolate that contain no added sugars and lots of healthy fats (Recipes are below).
Junk food contains bad kind of fats – trans fats. Trans fats come from partially hydrogenated oils, basically vegetable oils that were chemically changed to last longer. And those are the fats are the ones that make us fat. Plus, they usually come together in one package with refined carbs and processed sugars in all the junk and fast foods we love so much.
Healthy fats come from whole foods that mother nature provides for us.
These are foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, fatty fish, grass-fed beef, eggs, and organic unpasteurized dairy products.
Anything that was not messed with and anything that comes from nature contains fats that are good for us. Healthy fats are essential for our health. Essential fatty acids that come from healthy fats are important for our hormonal system, and hormones rule the show in our body. Healthy fats are important for a healthy brain, skin, nails and hair. Healthy fats are important to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. That’s why it’s SO important to consume some kind of fat with our salads – to absorb the vitamins and minerals from the greens and veggies.
Consider this. Healthy fats are so essential for our health that going below a certain percentage of body fat (8-10 % for women and 2-4% for men), can actually cause death! We all need to eat fats to stay healthy and perform well, both mentally and physically. Fats make absorption of nutrients slower, keeping us full longer so we have less cravings and our appetite is reduced.
So, stop fearing the fat and embrace it! Eat your healthy fats – The healthy kind of fat.
I personally prefer fats from plant sources. I just feel better that way. Besides with plant sources of fats we also usually get tons of fiber, which is very good for digestion, and lots of vitamins and minerals, and much less amount of possible chemicals and hormones that are present in most animal products these days. But lots of people feel good, consuming fats from good quality animal products. It’s your choice. Experiment and see what works best for you.
The best sources of healthy fats.
- Nuts: Walnuts, Macadamia nuts, Coconuts, Almonds, Pine nuts, Pecans, Cashew, Brazil nuts
- Seeds: Chia, Hemp, Flax, Sesame, Pumpkin, Sunflower, Apricot Seeds
- Oils: Olive Oil is best for salads, Coconut Oil is best for cooking, especially at high temperatures. Macadamia Oil is good for cooking at low and medium temperatures. The rest of the oils are for salads and other no-cooking methods of consumption as they do not stay stable and most nutrients are destroyed.
- Other: Avocado, Cocoa
- Fatty fish: Salmon, Trout, Mackerel, Sardines and Herring
- Unpasteurized dairy products
- Beef: grass-fed beef has much better essential fatty acids profile
- Other: Butter, Lard
If you choose to consume animal products try to be especially careful about the quality. Look for organic, wild, grass-fed and experiment a lot. Some animal products might not work for you, some might work great. Try to reduce animal fat in your diet. Overconsumption of animal products is still very questionable for health reasons.
As I said, I prefer plant sources of fats. I try to consume my healthy fats from whole foods as much as possible, not from butter or oil, because they lack fiber and it’s very easy to overeat them.
I love eating all kinds of nuts and seeds – healthy fats. Macadamia and Coconut are my favorite nuts, and I absolutely love avocados. I love making fatty-healthy fit desserts. Two of my favorite are hot chocolate and chocolate mousse, which are very easy to make. I’m a chocoholic, and as I learned more about nutrition, I realized I can be a healthy fit chocoholic! Isn’t that great?
Enjoy your fat and yummy healthy desserts! AND stay fit and healthy!
Fit Chocolate Mousse:
Ingredients (serves 1-2):
• 1 large ripe avocado
• 1/4 cup cocoa powder
• 1/4 cup coconut milk
• 2 tsp stevia (or other natural sweetener)
• Optional extras: vanilla, toasted sliced almonds, chia seeds, frozen mixed berries, almond butter, cocoa nibs, coconut oil
1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor, powerful blender or mix them by hand
2. Mix everything until smooth
3. Put in some container
4. Chill in the fridge for the best experience
5. Add extras, when desired
*Adjust amount of ingredients to taste. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Make it perfect for you!
Fit Hot Chocolate (Keeps YOU Hot! Inside and Out!)
Ingredients (serves 1):
• 1 cup of coconut milk (or other nut milk)
• 2 tbsp cocoa powder
• 1-2 tsp stevia (or other natural sweetener)
• Optional extras: vanilla
1. Pour milk into a pot
2. Put the pot on the stove
3. Mix in cocoa powder
4. Stir until hot and dissolved
5. Pour in a cup, add sweeter
*Adjust amount of ingredients to taste. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Make it perfect for you! Stay Fit! Eat Fat!
About the Author
Bochakorn began her education in conventional medicine as a nurse, then shifted to embrace natural healing and integrative medicines. Her training and certifications abroad include: Nutrition and Western Herbal Medicines, Acupuncture and Moxibustion.
During her therapeutic sessions, she may also incorporate other aspects of integrative medicines when required, including: acupuncture, cupping therapy, moxibustion, nutritional, supplements and herbal recommendation.