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The Low Fat Joke

yoghurt

I’ll admit it: my sanity is in jeopardy. If I see one more advertisement with super fit beach bodies proclaiming the wonders of a product being “fat free”, I may have to be checked in to the nearest nuthouse.

The incessant message being shoved down the consumer’s throat of eating low-fat to trim down is, in a word, ridiculous. To put it bluntly, the science just doesn’t support this “logic”. Eating fat doesn’t necessarily make you fat. Having said that, if you chow down on a stick of butter wrapped in bacon three times a day, there’s a good chance you’ll stack on some extra kilos. But this isn’t purely because your “meals” have a high fat content. More than likely you’ll be consuming far more energy than your body needs and so you’ll store it away for a rainy day (in the form of body fat).

Some folks at Harvard University did a meta-analysis of studies involving 68 128 participants, which was published in The Lancet in December 2015. They found low-carb dietary interventions produced significantly better results than low-fat dietary interventions when it came to losing weight. Also, low-fat interventions were no more effective than other higher-fat interventions. In other words, if you decide to change your diet, cutting out fat isn’t the most effective way of losing weight. Those following a low-fat intervention did lose more weight than those who stuck to their normal diet. So, the decision to change was more important than whether the change was increasing or reducing fat. Confused?

Well, here are some reasons I believe going “fat free” or “low fat” is the wrong choice:

  • If they’ve removed the fat, what have they replaced it with?
    Fat tastes good. It also gives food a satisfying mouth-feel. So if the manufacturer removes the fat from a food, the taste goes along with it. Now our normally tasty food tastes like wet cardboard/an old boot; not a great plan for repeated sales. Hmmm… what else tastes good? Sugar! Let’s pump it so full of sugar the consumer’s head will spin. As long as we can put “fat free” on the front, that’s all that matters. That’s what consumers want (because we keep telling them that’s what they want). This process can be repeated replacing sugar with salt, artificial sweeteners, flavours etc. So make sure you check the label. No, not the front where the company is telling you what you want to hear, turn it over and check the ingredient list and the nutritional panel, where they’ve printed what they have to tell you. That’s where the truth comes out.PopSnarfsImage source 
  • We need fat for our bodies to work properly.
    Four of the vitamins we need are fat-soluble vitamins. These are A, D, E and K. To put things simply, if we don’t eat fat, we won’t be getting/absorbing these essential nutrients. Deficiencies in vitamins can lead to all sorts of health problems. Our brains are around 60% fat and they need certain types of fat to operate optimally. We’ve probably all heard of omega-3 and omega-6, right? These are types of fats, which collectively (along with omega-9) are called Essential Fatty Acids or EFAs. They are called essential because human bodies can’t make them and so we have to get them from our diet.
    In addition to this, all the cells in your body contain fatty acids. Every. Single. One. They form part of the cell membrane (the part that keeps the outside out and the inside in). So we need to choose the right kinds of fats to help keep our cells functioning correctly.
  • You’ll miss out on a whole host of healthy foods.
    Cutting out fat from your diet means missing out on amazing foods like avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds, coconut oil and oily fish. Oh, and eggs. EGGS! I don’t know what I’d do without eggs! These are whole foods, which contain lots of healthy fats, as well as a range of other helpful nutrients. Whole foods should be a big focus for your diet. Generally, the closer a food is to how it’s found in nature, the better. By removing fat, you’re also restricting the variety of foods you can eat. This can lead to monotony and boredom. Variety is the spice of life! Cliché, I know, but it’s so true.

⇒ You may also like to read our article about Eggs and Cholesterol


So to sum up, the fact you eat fat isn’t what really matters. It’s most definitely the type of fats you choose to eat. If you’re going to eat a handful of natural nuts, smear or smash some avo on your toast or drizzle your salad with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, then I say “go for it!”. These whole foods have plenty of health benefits to coincide with the healthy fats they contain. On the other hand when choosing packaged foods in the supermarket, make sure you read the ingredient list on the back of the pack, check to see what’s behind the “low fat” message on the front and check for hidden sugars and nasties. Low fat isn’t always best, most of the time it’s just a joke.

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Chilled Food Essentials

grocery-whole-foods

grocery-whole-foods

Seasonal Fruit and Veg!: First and foremost, vegetables (and fruit to a lesser extent) should be the basis of what you put into your body! You can pretty much eat as many vegetables as you want (providing you don’t suffer from an intolerance) without it effecting you negatively. Variety is the spice of life, as they say. Buying seasonally is the best way to get maximum nutrient value from your fruit and veggies. It means they won’t have been kept in cold storage for months at a time and it’s almost certainly going to be cheaper. Ideally*, become a regular at a local farmers market, if you can find one nearby. You’ll be able to have a chat to the vendors to find out exactly where their produce has come from, whether it’s organic/biodynamic, which foods go well with others, and if you get to know the vendors, they may even throw in a little extra for you if you buy regularly. Bonus!

Spinach, baby or otherwise: This is a nutritional powerhouse, which is incredibly versatile. Throw it in a smoothie to add extra green goodness, steam it, wilt it, use as a base for salads… the list goes on.

Kale, baby or otherwise: Ditto as per spinach.

Sweet potatoes: An amazing vegetable with so many health benefits and even more possibilities in the kitchen.

Capsicums/Peppers: Great to throw into a salad for some extra colour, these are a fantastic source of vitamin C and carotenoids, as well as vitamins E, A, B6 and folate.

Yoghurt: Good quality, natural, pot-set yoghurt if you can tolerate dairy. Otherwise,  coconut or fermented soy yoghurt for those who can’t.

Bone broth: Nourishing for you and your gut, this can be made on a lazy day at home using the bones from a roast you’ve made. Then pop it in the freezer to enjoy during the week. See our recipe here.

Lemons: For your morning alkalising, digestion-helping, liver-detox-aiding kickstart to the day.

Tomatoes: That easygoing, lifelong friend in the fridge.

Zucchini/Courgette: A fantastic gluten-free/grain-free alternative to pasta, as well as another versatile veg.

Sauerkraut: Wonderfully nourishing for your gut. See our recipe for how to make your own… Super easy!

Herbs: Fresh herbs are a great way to add extra flavour to a dish, whilst sneaking in bonus nutritional benefits.

Kombucha: Made from green tea and sugar (just to feed the beneficial bacteria and yeast) and fermented, kombucha is another great way to give your gut a nurturing, liquid hug.

Meat: For all of you who are omnivores, do your best to source organic, grass-fed or pastured meat. When cows are grass-fed/pastured, it increases the level of omega-3 fatty acids in the meat. The meat is richer in protein, vitamin E and beta-carotene (which converts to vitamin A in the body). Cows that are grain-fed have meat that is more pro-inflammatory, due to the higher proportion of omega-6 to omega-3. The cows are also more likely to have been exposed to antibiotics and other nasties.
A great way to get good quality grass-fed beef is to buy it from your local butcher or at your local farmers market, if they have a meat vendor. Once again, you can have a chat with the vendor/butcher to find out exactly where the meat has come from, the best ways to cook different cuts, and you could also pick up some bones they may have (cheaply), which you can use in making your broth.

Chicken: Again for the omnivores, always go for free-range or organic chicken (and eggs). The birds will have been treated better, not have antibiotic exposure, and have a better nutritional profile.

Eggs: As mentioned above, organic/biodynamic eggs are best, or free-range as an absolute minimum! If you can get them from your local farmers market, there’s a better chance they won’t have travelled far, so they’ll be fresher!

*Actually, in an ideal world you would be able to grow your own, but I don’t know anyone who has the time or space to grow enough veggies to be self-sustainable year round!

 

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Dry Pantry Food Essentials

Food Pantry Essentials

Food Shopping Essentials And Nutritional Guidance

grocery-whole-foods

As some of you may have noticed, restaurants keep their sides very similar for all their dishes so they can control their waste and can, most importantly, prep and get their dishes out in a timely manner.

The items we have selected to always have stocked up in your pantry and fridge come from the same idea. This is also reflected in the recipes we’ll add here on the site. There’s nothing worse than wanting to try something new, you find a recipe you want to try and find there are 3 obscure ingredients you don’t have. We really want to minimise disappointment (and unnecessary trips to the shops).

You will be able to reuse them for several of your meals instead of thinking of what you need for everyday of the week. for example: kale can be pan fried and used on your toast with an egg (poached/fried) but also be used for your lunch salad. Turmeric is full of health benefits and can be added on top of your eggs, in your salad, in your broth or wherever you can squeeze it in.

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Celebrating Our One Year Anniversary With Abel & Cole 🍒🎉

Food Shopping Guidance

Personal Food Shopping Guidance   Food shopping may seem overwhelming for various reasons. We can help you build your dry pantry and chilled essentials with the right items to get you through a few days, if not the week,…