The term “healthy fats” is tossed around a lot these days in particular in the “whole foods” space, which is great that people are becoming more aware that French fries are different than a fresh avocado. This is awesome and a huge improvement from several years ago when people were thinking that eating non fat everything was the key to health and that eating fat would in turn make you fat. We’ve since learned the massive health benefits of eating high quality fats but, somewhere we got a little wonky on portion sizes.
People love extremes. We went from eating no fat to eating all the fat with popular diets like the ketogenic diet (or what people think is a ketogenic diet). We need fat. Our brain is made of fat. Our cells are held up with fat. Our hormones travel on fat. We just don’t need as much as a lot of us are currently eating.
As people began to realize the benefits of a whole foods diet, whole milk cheese and yogurt became popular again, eggs and bacon are the breakfast of champions and heavy whipping cream or even butter became a staple in people’s morning cup of coffee. Listen, I love all these things and I’m not knocking on any one of them individually. An issue that I see, is some people are *only* eating high fat foods in pretty big portions too. This raises the issue of total calories consumed and also cholesterol. While fat doesn’t make you fat, overeating cholesterol does negatively impact your overall cholesterol levels. People can forget about fruits and vegetables because fat is so satiating. This can be a reason people drop body fat while eating a high fat diet, mostly because they end up eating less total calories. An issue arises when people are eating high fat, and high carb in combinations (or even just normal carb). Again, fat and carbs are not bad, but it’s incredibly easy to eat more than your body requires which equals a calorie surplus.
For the majority of people, sticking to around 30-40% of your daily calories from fat is sufficient. This supports brain function, hormone function and satiety while also supporting body composition. This means that if you eat 2,000 calories per day, you’ll eat about 65-70g of fat per day. This may look like a big number, but most people are surprised how easy it is to consume much more than that.
I do believe that there are specific people and situations that do well on a higher fat/ketogenic diet. I just don’t believe that the majority of people should. Don’t fear fat, (or any other macronutrient for that matter) just realize that as with everything, it’s about moderation and being aware of the quantities you’re consuming based on what your body needs.
Interested in learning more? Schedule with our knowledgeable nutritional therapist, Hannah Roeter BS FNTP.
Mindset around food
“I’m so bad for eating this pizza!”. “I was so naughty last night, I ate ice cream”. “Tomorrow, I’ll be good and stay on track.”
Sound familiar? Listen up folks, you are a person who eats food that is either effective or ineffective for your health or your goals. There’s significantly more to what makes a person good or bad other than their food choices and I’d even argue beyond that, but not today.
Let’s break down what people mean when they say they’re “bad” for eating “bad” food. Typically they mean that they ate something with sugar, fat or something they’ve been avoiding either for fat loss or a health concern such as diabetes, high blood pressure etc. Did they eat food that was ineffective (or make worse) for their said condition? Possibly. Will it cause irreversible damage? No. Health, in whatever capacity that looks like for you, isn’t made or broken in 1 or 2 meals. Just as I won’t make it to the CrossFit Games because I went to 1 or 2 CrossFit classes.This is where it can get tricky though. When you start minimizing little things, before you know it, you’ve eaten nothing but fast food and chips and salsa for 2 weeks. It’s a constant balancing act of holding yourself accountable while also knowing that it is totally fine to eat out once in a while.
When people say they’re “good” for eating a salad for example, they are automatically putting a salad above whatever “bad” food. While a salad does have more nutrients than chips and salsa, it’s not on morally higher ground. If I told you “hey, don’t look out there”. You’d look where I just told you not to without even thinking about it. It’s a similar situation with food. “Hey, don’t eat chips, sugar, pizza and coffee.” What do you want this second? Likely all those things. This is where practicing moderation with foods that are ineffective for whatever goal you have can be really beneficial (more on that in another article).
Some people are lucky enough to have been brought up with no issues around food. Their parents and siblings never restricted or “dieted”, food was just food. Unfortunately, I would say this is not where the majority of folks find themselves. People who were raised by parents who restricted and dieted nearly nonstop, family members who have/had eating disorders, being rewarded/bribed for good behavior with candy etc. This can be a tricky cycle to break for sure. All of these can be to varying degrees and may take longer to heal from.
Food is something that we need to not only live with but consume everyday, so working on our mindset and finding what truly works for us is a journey worth taking. Once you have a healthy relationship with food, not only is it freeing to you, it’s also so beneficial to everyone around you. You are so much more interesting than the food you eat. You have a mind full of brilliant ideas. You have talents and hobbies that interest you and others around you. Think about how much you have to offer people other than talking about what “diet” you’re on, how much weight you’ve gained or lost. It could be revolutionary.
Interested in finding a personalized approach for yourself? Schedule a visit with our in house nutritional therapist, Hannah Roeter, BS, FNTP.
Staff at Mission Health & Wellness regularly contribute to this blog including Nick Carlo, Hannah Roeter, Courtney Mohr Taylor, and Dr. Kristen Acesta