By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
January 19, 2015
- Is a low-fat diet healthy?
- Here’s what you’re missing out on
- Don’t deprive yourself of these delicious high-fat foods
One of the worst pieces of advice you can fall for is that all fatty foods are bad for you and will pack on the pounds.
This creates a situation where you end up eating healthy-sounding low-fat foods that really aren’t so healthy. And, at the same time, you avoid foods higher in fat that might actually be much better alternatives.
Here’s what you really need to know…
A lot of healthy-sounding foods have replaced fats with substances that kick insulin – which is basically your “fat” hormone – into high gear. This causes your body to store fat.
At the same time, many of these foods are laden with allergens, sugars, sodium, bad fats and ingredients that not only affect your weight, but also create an inflammatory response in your body.
Let me show you a few of the delicious fatty foods you might be missing out on, and why they may be better for you than their lower-fat counterpart…
Why eggs are better than whole-grain cereals. Most whole-grain cereals on the market today contain gluten. Many people are sensitive to this protein, and it could be what’s causing your bone and joint pain. Gluten can leave you feeling fatigued, with a bad case of brain fog. Headaches, muscle cramps, rashes and depression have also been linked to gluten intolerance.
Additionally, even some of the healthiest-sounding cereals can include GMO corn products, a hefty dose of added sugar, and more sodium than you would imagine.
It may surprise you to learn that a two- or three-egg omelet is a much healthier choice for breakfast, even though it might contain more fat and calories. In the past, everyone was convinced eggs would clog your arteries, give you a heart attack, or lead to a stroke. But the evidence shows just the opposite.
We now know the nutrients in eggs may actually be protective. They not only lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, they also raise good (HDL) cholesterol levels. In fact, people who eat more eggs have about a 25% lower risk of suffering a hemorrhagic stroke. This is the type of stroke when a blood vessel bursts inside the brain.
I prefer eggs from pastured chickens from farmer’s markets or from “whole-food type markets.” If you’re still concerned about oxidized cholesterol, then don’t break the yolk exposing it to air before cooking… and don’t scramble it. Instead, have it over easy/medium, soft-boiled, poached, hard-boiled, etc.
A nutty alternative to those high-protein snack bars. I admit. It’s really easy to grab a protein bar for a snack. Some of them are even labeled as “meal replacement” bars. And they market themselves as healthy, low-calorie food options.
In reality, most of them are nothing more than a glorified candy bar. Many of them are made with granola, which is often contaminated with gluten. And, almost all of them are loaded with sugar, corn syrup, sodium and artificial ingredients. These ingredients not only expand your waistline, they also fan the flames of inflammation.
If you need a high-protein snack, you’re much better off enjoying about half of a cup of nuts. Sure, nuts are high in fat and calories. But surprisingly, people who eat nuts have a lower body mass index and smaller waists. They have a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer… and they live longer, too.
Nuts with the highest protein content include almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts and Brazil nuts.
Choose butter over margarine. For years, low-calorie margarines have been the “big thing.” But, if you’re still eating margarine, it may be time to rethink your options.
Part of the concept behind the push for margarine was to replace saturated fats with healthier omega-6 vegetable fats. But this is a problem, because eating too many omega-6 fatty acids promotes inflammation. This, of course, is an underlying cause of heart disease.
So, it’s no surprise that we’re now discovering people who eat the most omega-6 fatty acids have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death.
Many margarines also contain trans fats. These fats are deadly. They create high levels of inflammation, increase bad LDL cholesterol levels, and cause healthy HDL levels to drop. They’re also associated with a harmful increase in small, dense LDL particles, which can slip through the lining of your blood vessels and cause plaque to build up.
So, even though it’s a little higher in calories, you’re much better off sticking with real butter. And, by real butter, I mean the good stuff – organic butter from grass-fed cows. This is the healthiest form of butter you can buy.
(By the way… even though butter is better than margarine, olive oil is best of all. It lowers blood pressure, reduces plaque build-up in the arteries, and lowers your risk of heart attack. It even helps balance blood sugar levels.)
Your best bet? Ditch margarine altogether, use butter in moderation, and add liberal amounts of olive oil whenever you have the chance.
Here are some other delicious foods you might be unnecessarily depriving yourself of because of your fear of fat…
Chocolate. Over the years there has been a lot of great news about cocoa and cocoa-rich dark chocolate. The flavonols in this tasty treat protect against stroke and heart disease, improve blood sugar, lower LDL cholesterol, and raise HDL. It also increases blood flow to your brain for a boost in brainpower.
Avocadoes. Eating just half of an avocado with lunch can reduce your desire to eat by about 40% over the next three to five hours. At the same time, avocadoes can help reduce inflammation, reduce triglycerides, and help balance your cholesterol profile.
And, don’t forget about the power of extra virgin olive oil, wild-caught omega-3-rich fish, and the occasional cut of grass-fed beef.
Sapone A, et al. “Spectrum of gluten-related disorders: consensus on new nomenclature and classification.” BMC Med. 2012 Feb 7;10:13.
Rong Y, et al. “Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.” BMJ. 2013 Jan 7;346:e8539.
BioMed Central Limited. “People who eat nuts more than three times a week have reduced risk of dying from cancer or cardiovascular disease.” ScienceDaily. July 2013.
Mozaffarian D, et al. “Health effects of trans-fatty acids: experimental and observational evidence.” Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;63 Suppl 2:S5-21.
Wien M, et al. “A randomized 3×3 crossover study to evaluate the effect of Hass avocado intake on post-ingestive satiety, glucose and insulin levels, and subsequent energy intake in overweight adults.” Nutr J. 2013 Nov 27;12:155