Bring on the Fat!
Recently, I've been experimenting with a high-fat diet. Yes, I may be a little late on the trend, but to be honest, fatty foods used to scare me.
Before the word "Paleo" became part of our everyday speak, I was that part of our society that believed in eating mainly lean chicken, turkey, egg-whites, and fish as my protein-mains, while shunning red meat, butter, egg yolks, pretty much anything with high amounts of fat, that we were told by the media, would cause artery-clogging heart disease. And yes, while the often deadly effects of heart disease worried me, my main thought was, "If I eat fat, I will become fat." I'm embarrased to admit it, but just like the majority of women in this country, we focus on changing our bodies for vanity issues, as opposed to health, more than we ever should. So, while it's sad that getting fat was my main thought, I know that others out there can relate to that feeling. Thankfully, body images have evolved with the times, and now fit and muscular is considered beautiful, instead of starving ourselves to be skinny. And with that evolution, comes new insight into what foods are healthy, and which ones to truly avoid. Which is where a high-fat diet comes into play.
Before we delve into the details, let me clarify for a minute -- eating a high-fat diet does not mean eating nothing but ice cream, fast food, fried food, creamy sauces, tons of cheese -- yes, if you are eating these things on a daily basis you are not only going to gain unhealthy amounts of weight, but you are probably going to die of some awful diease as a result. A high-fat diet centers around consuming healthy fats, while limiting carbs, and consuming smaller portions of protein at a given meal time, and eating hearty portions of vegetables and fermented foods at your whim.
To define, "good" fats are unrefined animal fats from grass fed-beef, fats from fish, and select fats from plant sources, such as avocado, nuts, olives, and tropical oils such as coconut and palm. These fats contain a higher proportion of saturated or monostaurated fats and tend to be higher in omega 3's, which fight inflammation. "Bad" fats are vegetable fats, such as soy, peanut, corn, safflower, sunflower, and canola oil that have been refined. These are higher in omega 6's and poly-unsaturated fat, and are highly susceptible to oxidation and becoming rancid during processing, causing them to be extremely damaging to the body. Remeber, omega 3's fight inflammation in the body, while omega 6's cause it. And what results from inflammation? Obesity, bloating, gastrointestinal disorders, joint pain, heart diease, high cholestetrol, cancer, the list goes on and on. And why are we limiting carbs? Because carbs cause insulin spikes, resulting in weight-gain, specifically abdominal fat, which is now linked to heart disease, diabetes, and premature death. Carbohydrates also elevate triglyceride levels, causing inflamation yet again, and plaque buildup in the arteries, increasing heart diease risk. Now when I say, "limit your carb intake," it means consume healthy carbohydrates only, such as unlimited non-starchy vegetables along with one sweet potato a day, but DO NOT eat pasta, bread, grains, fruit in more than one serving daily, sugars -- pretty much anything with simple sugars that will cause any of the ill-mentioned effects above.
Now that we have the scientific details boiled down, let's take a closer look at all of the awesome benefits:
Good fats cause body-fat loss, help build more muscle, balance hormones producing better reproductive health, improve brain functioning and decrease depression, build stronger bones and decrease osteoporosis risk, reduce cancer risk, and strengthen your immune system. The studies supporting these finds are so extensive that it's no wonder that Paleo, or a high-fat diet, is quickly gaining in popularity.
So what has been my result with consuming a high-fat diet so far? I've had a marked increase in my energy levels, my mood is definitley more upbeat and positive, and my workouts are more productive. And yes, I've even lost a couple of pounds of body fat, while increasing my lean muscle mass. Does it sound to good to be true? Perhaps, but for me, the proof is in the pudding, and I'm sticking with the pudding, with extra-fat added of course.
Fat for Fuel Protein Shake:
1 cup water or unsweetened almond milk
1/2 Tablespoon Bulletproof Brain Octane
1/2 Tablespoon grass-fed butter (I use buffalo or goat butter because of low lactose content, but can use cow)
1/2 Tablespoon TerrAmazon Cacao Powder
2 Tablespoons Bulletproof Collagen Protein
1 Tablespoon Pure Formulations Unflavored Grass-fed Whey Protein (can use whatever flavor you like or dairy free Plant Protein)
stevia or 1 teaspoon raw honey
1. Add first 4 ingredients to blender, blending for about 30 second until slighly frothy
2. Add proteins to mix in blender, blending on low for 30 seconds
3. Add stevia or raw honey to taste