Prefer to listen to this article?
Laying the Foundation – just a few words on habits and mindset
Healthy eating HABITS are powerful for the maintenance of a healthy body weight. Your body wants to be healthy, it is intricately designed for survival. But your mind is a key component to that survival. Your mind longs to be trained and FED, as much as the rest of your body. The healthy eating habits that we are passionate about at The OMNI FIT are not just “another diet”, they are conscious decisions that, when made over and over again, train your brain and your body.
A huge component of training your brain is habit programming. Obtaining new habits may require new knowledge, an investment of time and certainly a lot of practice. Let’s face it, this may mean you have to unlearn prior information or overlay and abandon past practices picked up along the way. So with this in mind, let’s talk about a common fear that comes up often among ladies who reach out to us for help: the fear of consuming fat.
A look around
This has caused me to take note and to begin a little social experiment lately – watching people at the grocery store. Watching what’s in their cart and visually assessing their general look of health.
I’m a kind person, non-judgmental and this is far from scientific, but quite interesting. I don’t see many vegetables. I do see lots of BOXES with ingredients most of us can’t pronounce.
And in the carts around me, I see myriads of items labeled “low-fat” or “no-fat”, too many to count.
Do you notice this also? What’s in your cart this week?
Do you consider ” the no-fat” or the low-fat” concept to be more healthy? When did you buy into that idea?
Ideas have consequences, you know?
Yes, ideas have consequences.
For the last 20 or so years, “low-fat” or “no-fat” has been the “so-called” remedy for weight-loss and health. Yet this has created one of the most serious public health crisis of our time. The National Center for Health Statistics, and the Food Research & Action Center report “obesity rates have more than doubled since 1970”.
It doesn’t take a study to know this, we only need to look around. Glance up from the grocery cart to see the struggle is everywhere. Or better yet, pause to look inward, get conscious to notice how “the no-fat/low-fat” subconscious messaging plays out in our own lives.
Trust me, at one time or another we’ve all been duped by this food conspiracy. I confess, my personal, “low-fat” chemical concoction used to be Fruity Pebbles. A perfect example of the “low-fat/no-fat, non-filling array of sugar options incessantly promoted.
Fat-Free doesn’t equal healthy, Non-Fat doesn’t equal weight loss
There is no doubt that marketing messages, the government, the food industry and western diet generally does not promote optimal health or sustainable habits.
I would be aloof not to mention a diet industry focused on quick results, a food supply chain focused on profits or the problems compounded by manufactured nutrition. Yet, don’t let me get off the topic that brought you here. We can all admit, that we don’t lack for food information, but we suffer from an abundance of conflicting information and practical sustainable implementation resources.
The cool thing is, more and more women like you are seeking resources to implement sustainable, optimal eating habits. Eating that serves us well. So let’s get back to basics, shall we?
As mentioned above, sometimes we need to revisit what we already know. “The basics” of healthy eating are: positive habit development, slowing down to listen and taste, listening to your body’s hunger queues, and learning your optimal intake needs. This means to choose a variety of adequate protein, balanced carbs and healthy, balanced fat sources. Which is the really the focus of today’s blog – The Basics of Healthy Fats.
So without further ado, let me re-introduce you to all MY FAT FRIENDS, they can be your friends too!
Back to Basics – Fats
Bare with me as I sum on some kind of nerdy science stuff for you. I promise, you don’t want to skip it. Like you, I got to the carbon stuff and was like, “oh yea, this part will be skipped”, lol! But it’s good to review a few basics on this macronutrient.
- You might want to know that fats are 9 kcals per gram. A tablespoon of fat generally measures at 14 grams or 130 kcals (9 *14). Visually, that’s probably the size of your thumb.
- Saturated fats are solid at room temperature (think butter or coconut oil) and unsaturated generally liquid at room temperature (think olive oil).
- Polyunsaturated Fats can be generally classified by Omega3 / Omega 6, these are considered “essential” because your body must obtain them from diet.
- Monounsaturated Omega 9 on the other hand can be produced by your body.
- The closer any fat is to the whole food source the more healthy it tends to be. Right now it’s likely, you need more of those and less of the processed stuff.
But you know this already, right?
So while we are reviewing, check out this helpful visual, courtesy of Precision Nutrition. So simple, I bet you can keep this snap shot in your brain for future reference!
Digging Deeper – Our Body Needs.
Lean in a bit closer. The FAT of the facts is that we need ALL the healthy fats on the left side of the above table to function optimally. Why?
- Much of our body is comprised on lipid type tissues, from the brain down to our cell membranes.
- In fact, our brain, that same brain that needs to be trained, is comprised of more than 60% fat!
- Most fat is digested in the small intestine with the help of bile (an emulsifier) from the gallbladder and lipase from the pancreas and then transported to the liver.
- The fat we consume can ultimately be used in three ways by our bodies: cellular structure, energy or stored energy (adipose tissue).
- All three of these uses are critical to our daily life: regulation of cellular communication, hormone signaling and nerve impulses.
- gut support
- vessel constriction
- mood regulation
- immune function
- energy balance
- Absorption and store of fat soluble vitamins like A, E, K & D.
- Shock absorption
- Mood Balance
- Healthy weight management and so much more.
The fat we consume can ultimately be used in three ways by our bodies:
- cellular structure
- burned energy
- stored energy (adipose tissue).
If consumption of healthy fat is important to all those functions, can you see how the believing the “low-fat” lie might set you up from trouble?
A LITTLE MORE – BALANCE
Grandma’s old adage – “everything in moderation” isn’t far off.
Balance is super important as it relates to your health, too much or too little of anything can be problematic. We need a balanced intake for our body to function optimally. This is certainly the case with fats.
Unfortunately, the typical western diet weighs in super high in Saturated Fat and Polyunsaturated Omega 6 fats, leaving Omega 3’s in the shadows. Left unchecked, this causes a plethora of problems, a topic we will discuss more in Part 2 – “Our Fat Foes”.
So don’t throw ALL FATS in the “bad” category. Instead, shoot to keep an equal balance between whole food categories of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated sources, giving favor to Omega 3 over Omega 6 in the polyunsaturated category.
We will wrap up with a helpful list of healthy fat sources by category:
Saturated Fat Sources
- Grass Fed meats & Dairy
- Unrefined Coconut Oil
- Unrefined Palm Oil
- Ghee (Clarified Butter)
- Baking chocolate
- Coconut Milk
- Coconut Meat (unsweetened)
- MCT Oil
Monounsaturated Fat Sources
- Natural Peanut Butter (peanuts/salt)
- Macadamia Nuts
- Avocado Oil
- Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- Cold Pressed Peanut Oil
Polyunsaturated (omega 3)
- Flax, Chia & Hemp Seeds
- Grass Fed Meats
- White Fish
- Egg Yolks
Polyunsaturated (omega 6)
- Safflower oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Sunflower oil
- Corn oil
- Sesame oil
- Walnut oil
FREE Nutrition eCourse
Stop dieting and start your journey of learning how to be “forever fit”.
In this course you will be given the tools to:
- Find a sustainable approach to nutrition
- Create a realistic fitness goal for yourself
- Become mindful and "in tune" with your body