Just so you know, it’s taken me decades to improve my diet. Growing up, I drank plenty of soda, ate donuts every weekend, and fast food several times per week. I still love sugar and baked goods—I just don’t eat as much as I used to. We are all plenty educated about what to eat. The trick is to make little choices over time to move us closer to our goal of a healthy diet.
Eat Fat to Lose Weight
If you don’t know by now, fat doesn’t make you fat. In fact, it’s the opposite. Healthy fat is a great, slow-burning source of energy, whereas sugar and refined carbs burn quickly. The body does break down all food sources into simple sugars, but it’s how quickly this process happens that determines whether or not your blood sugar spikes. Think of it like a campfire: kindling (sugar) burns hot and fast while a log (protein & fat) burns steadily over time. Mood also follows blood sugar levels so if you want a steady mood, avoid sugar spikes that cause you to crash later.
But I Don’t Want Heart Disease
Eating healthy fat doesn’t give you heart disease, but eating lots of sugar may. That’s because high circulating levels of sugar in your bloodstream can damage the walls of your arteries, including those found in the heart. Low density lipoproteins (LDLs), white blood cells, and other debris either get stuck in or gravitate towards these damaged areas. This leads to a hardening of the artery (atherosclerosis) and further accumulations at the damaged site.
Cholesterol is not the same thing as HDL and LDL. HDL and LDL are carriers for cholesterol—they are the boat and cholesterol is the passenger. Cholesterol itself is a molecule known as a sterol. It is an important precursor to the production of steroid hormones, bile acid, and vitamin D. It is also an essential structural element of animal cell membranes. This includes neurons in the brain which rely on a cholesterol rich myelin sheath to rapidly transmit nerve impulses along their axons. Think cholesterol is bad? Think again.
Let’s Get Back on topic
If you want to lose weight, treat your body like the machine it is. Feed it these 11 healthy fats, vegetable and animal protein, plenty of cruciferous and leafy green vegetables, and water. Love carbs? Me too! I try to start my day with some form of protein like eggs and avocados, eat a salad or leftovers for lunch, and then not worry so much about carbs at dinner. I also try and only drink one cup of coffee in the morning and water the rest of the day.
The Lowdown on Fats, Carbs and Proteins
- Most Americans deficient in EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids)
- Sources: Olive Oil, Walnut Oil, Flaxseed, Grapeseed Oil, Avocado Oil
- Fat slows down food movement out of your stomach and makes you feel full
- Fat is needed is needed for energy stores, for hormone production
- Hydrogenated Oils are Poison!
- Increase LDL, lower HDL,
- Inhibit normal hormone functions resulting in systemic inflammation
- FDA- Acceptable level in our diet: Zero!
- Sources: organic leafy green vegetables broccoli, kale, spinach, brussel sprouts—YUM!
- Organic fruits: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries
- Do not drink fruit juice. Fructose is processed by the liver (not by insulin). Excess levels convert to fat.
- White flour & Sugar (Yes, even brown sugar, honey, cane sugar, and the like).
- Craving carbs is sign of metabolic imbalance.
- The more you eat, the more you will crave.
- Number ONE cause of Type II Diabetes and Inflammation.
- Approximately 95grams/day is ideal; amount varies based on weight and athletic demands.
- Sources: organic eggs, dairy, fish, chicken, grass fed beef; 3-4oz per meal.
- Lecithin in egg yolk lowers blood fat & improves liver and brain function.
- Contains 8 essential amino acids aiding in tissue growth & repair.
- Destroyed by heat- don’t overcook your food.
- Great energy source for your body!
Most people know junk food from healthy food, but they don’t realize that little choices throughout the day add up, resulting in inflammation, fatigue, digestive issues and added pounds. Eating healthy is not about suffering. Instead it’s about making small choices (eggs instead of a muffin) over time that you can gradually fold into your routine. Be kind to yourself and start where you are. If you need help, ask a friend who knows about nutrition to give you some tips. You can do it!