Benefits of a High-Fat Low-Carb Diet & How to Do It
Avo-toast extraordinaires, nut-butter addicts, coconut-yogurt lovers -- this one's for YOU.
Tired, sluggish, carb-lovers -- this one is also for you. :)
Let's take the time to explore the infinite benefits of a higher-fat, lower-carb "diet" and why I (as your health guinea-pig) am implementing more healthy fats into my diet (more than ever) and seeing real benefits.
Yep, fat is BACK. Let's set some things straight first. Fat doesn't make you fat, fat doesn't clog your arteries, fat doesn't cause cancer. That is, if you're eating the right types of fat, in the right amounts, with the right mindset. Key.
I personally love eating fats because I feel like its nourishing my body, inside and out. Fat is the building block of our skin which is huge, and also tons of tissues within our bodies. I mean, we're like basically all skin, right?! I want my skin to be in good working order, and if eating tons of healthy, yummy dietary fat will get me there, I'm in. I've also been researching lots on the Ketogenic diet recently, as it is very similar to what I've been eating and similar to how I should be eating to kill off my parasite and candida. Here's some information from my trusty NTP about why its such a healing diet!
Fat is also a necessary building block to our bodies internal structures and functions. We need fat for healthy bile function, which is the process of the gallbladder reducing bile into the digestive tract which then digests fats. If you don't have fat in your meal, no bile is secreted and it just stays in the gall bladder becoming thick and less likely to be secreted when you do need it. Basically, not good. Bile is essential for detoxing and hormone production so get your fats in! Speaking of hormones-- hashtag buzzwords --fat is the essential building blocks of all our hormones. We need cholesterol (the good kind) to produce all our sex hormones, and if we're not getting enough fat we can easily become deficient in progesterone or testosterone.
I've basically been eating as close to ketogenic as possible while still enjoying my sweet potatoes and berries because I can't ever give those up... and I'm totally okay with that! I don't like to label myself as anything, but I'll say I'm following a low-carb, high-fat diet, ish. And that is only for healing purposes, not for any sort of weight loss or whatever. I like to feed my body what it runs the best on and what is known to heal my gut and adrenal issues. To heal! Fats heal the gut, aid in digestion and soothe the adrenal glands. That's it! You do what works for you and what makes you feel best. Above all, eat intuitively and listen to your body -- that's the best diet! But back to the details...
I've been upping the fats (trust me, you're probably not eating enough!) and lowering the carbs. That way I can turn into a fat-burner rather than a sugar-burner. Are you a sugar burner? If you feel hungry shortly after eating a meal, get cranky when you haven't eaten in a few hours, or carry a bit of extra weight around your belly -- you're a sugar burner. That means you use glucose as your primary source of fuel. As a fat-burner, you're shifting your primary source of fuel from glucose to fat. This means you can go longer periods without getting hungry because your blood sugar won't crash dramatically because of glucose. You'll have normalized blood sugar throughout the day, normalized hormone and cortisol levels, and normalized energy levels. Doesn't that sound ideal? That's my goal and that's why I'm upping the fats in my diet and that is also why you'll be seeing high (healthy) fat diets become far more popular in the near future. Jordan from The Balanced Blonde is already on top of the trend and reaping the benefits and looking glow-y as ever.
How much fat should we be eating though? There are ranges, and it's different for everyone. But generally, 40% of our calories should be coming from fats! Just experiment and see what works best for you. No need to count anything here though - duh.
Here's a little look into my daily "high-fat, low-carb" life (which becomes rather repetitive) and how I've been feeling since eating this way!
Breakfast: I eat right when I wake up! I've always been that way and since cutting out coffee I've been waking up STARVING, so a meal is just what I want. I also have to eat so that my adrenal glands don't produce cortisol out of stress. Since eggs are out, I've had to become creative with my breakfasts! If you can tolerate eggs, they're a great option if you're trying to up your fats. Cook up 2-3 eggs in ghee, pair with raw spinach or wilted greens with avocado for an ultimate-fat burning breakfast. For me, I've basically been eating that just with ground turkey instead of eggs. I love savory food so that doesn't bother me, but if you're into sweet breakfasts, make sure its a fat-burning one! Trade in the oats for coconut yogurt, chia seed pudding with nut butter/coconut shreds/seeds! You'll have longer lasting energy off of that rather than a carbo-loaded bowl of oats! See this post for more yummy breakfast ideas!!
ALSO: Bulletproof coffee (or chicory root coffee for me!) is a great fat-burning drink if you're not in the mood for a full meal right when you wake up. Check out my Instagram for my recipe!
Lunch: My lunch is usually pretty similar to my breakfasts. A serving of protein, greens/veg sautéed in yummy ghee, and avocado. If you're wondering, I consume at least one avocado everyday. This may seem like a lot but I feel SO good after eating avocados. That's all that matters, right? Usually if I've worked out or am feeling a bit more of a bigger lunch, I'll roast up 1/2 sweet potato in ghee/coconut oil because sweet potatoes are everything to me! I usually feel really satiated after lunch (around 1pm) until about 4 where I start to feel hungry again (still not completely fat burning or else I would be able to go longer between meals) so I'll usually snack on nuts, prosciutto (loving), have a small salad or whatever leftovers I've got!
Dinner: I've been into early dinners lately so I've been eating around 6:30 so I don't feel super super full by the time I go to bed. For dinner I usually have chicken, a turkey burger, a beef burger, or occasionally shrimp sautéed in coconut oil or ghee with tons of spices, roasted/sautéed veg (either cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, kale, spinach or all of it) and again more avocado.
Can you tell I don't really change up what I eat that much? To be honest, it's hard to find variety over in Scotland, so I stick to what I know. I'm going to have to be careful about overdoing certain foods as that can cause food sensitivities, but at the moment I'm into what I've been eating. It's been working for me -- filling, energizing and tasty.
I really believe in the powerful healing benefits of healthy fats and am trying to swap out some of my carbs for fats. Don't get me wrong, I love carbs and have nothing against them. I just think for my case in particular, I'm better off as a fat-burner rather than a sugar-burner. I'm prone to energy dips and I really believe this is going to help with that, all while healing my adrenal fatigue, parasite, candida and food intolerances! Food is super powerful, friends, and I love experimenting with it to see what makes my body feel best. Food can either be the most powerful medicine or the most lethal drug -- take yo pick.
SO, bottom line: add more fats into your meals when you can. Cook with coconut oil, ghee, olive oil, butter, etc. Add 1/2-1 avocado to your meals daily. Eat egg yolks! Eat nuts and nut butters in moderation (my issue for sure!). Add chia seeds and hemp hearts to your coconut yogurt bowls or salads! Snack on toasted coconut (so yum!). STOP using vegetable oils and conventional meat and stop eating non-fat yogurt. DO eat fatty fish, grass-fed beef/meat, chicken with skin! That's all good stuff, no matter what that horribly outdated food pyramid or whatever says! You'll feel the energy, the glow and the brain fog and digestion issues will go away!
Do you eat a pretty high fat diet? What are your thoughts?! Are you scared of adding more fat into your diet?
Love to hear thoughts!