My dieting career began in the nineties when the philosophy ‘fat will make you fat’ was all the rage. I became fat phobic and stayed away from anything with fat in it. I was attracted to all the fat-free, sugar-free (real-food free), food I could get. I drank diet coke like it was going to keep me thin (studies actually show people who consume diet soda are heavier than those who drink regular), and actually bought a bag of potato chips with a warning label: May cause anal leakage. Well, only once. I remember my roommates coming home from work at a pizza restaurant with free pizza and I said no thanks. I will just stick to a baked potato with nothing on it. I was eating a lot of fat free foods high in carbs and could not for the life of me figure out why I was gaining weight! I worked out and ate no fat, it wasn’t fair.
Fast forward to today where the research is claiming quite a different story. Essential fatty acids which are ESSENTIAL, are vital to our health. Having fat in our diets (and I am talking about healthy fat from real food like grass fed butter and coconut oil), help with energy, brain function and aid in digestion. If you eat a bunch of greens with no fat (such as healthy oils and avocado), your body is not able to process and absorb these vitamins as efficiently. I see so many women AND men still going for the fat free junk, or eating too little while never feeling satisfied. When products have fat and sugar removed they have to replace them with chemicals to help the food taste good. These chemicals and sweeteners actually trigger the brain to make you believe you are more hungry. This leads to more cravings and eventually binge eating.
What does all of this have to do with skin? Healthy fat is necessary for beautiful skin. No wonder my skin was so dry and flaky back then! This is why you hear about Salmon being so great for glowing skin, it is the essential fatty acids within the fish. Brain function also depends on healthy fat to keep it strong and can cause many problems when it doesn’t get it. (How did I ever graduate college!?)
There are so many studies that prove a high fat, low carb diet is the ideal diet for not only weight loss but for optimal health. They say going back to the way grandma or great grandma cooked is the way to go for starters. It’s something to start thinking about in this current food culture where everything is processed and fat is forbidden. I for one am happy to eat fat again and actually feel good about it.