There is a huge misconception that has swept across the nation. This isn’t something that has just appeared out of nowhere either. It’s a movement that has been been around for years. We have been taught that fat is bad. For some reason most people associate being fat with eating fat. That just isn’t the case. Fat is NOT bad! Well, some of it is, but we have to start changing our mindsets to understand that there are good fats as well. Part of the blame goes to all the fad diets that popped up over the years. There have been quite a few that have preached that high protein, low fat, and low carb is the way to go. All that does is lead to a lot of pissed off, irritable, hangry people, which I will get to in a bit. But good fat serves an important purpose for our health. It’s time to put our negatively influenced views to the side and stop avoiding fat!
How did I get on the fat train? Back in 2015 when I discovered I had Lyme Disease, I started digging into natural treatment methods. Because Lyme causes a lot of inflammation in the body, I had to consume foods that would help battle that inflammation. That’s when I discovered that healthy fat sources, such as avocado, fish oil, and coconut oil play a major role in reducing inflammation. Before I made the changes to my nutrition plan, my macros consisted of about 50% protein, 30% carbs, and 20% fat. Those macros came from healthy foods, of course, but I would go through most days feeling drained. Like most people, I never fully understood the purpose that healthy fat plays in our health so I avoided it like the plague. I then shifted from a 50/30/20 ratio to 30/20/50, meaning most of my calories throughout the day came from healthy fats. This was well before I understand the energizing effects that healthy fat has on our systems as well. Once I made that shift, the pain I was feeling slowly became less intense and eventually disappeared. I’m 100% sure that the increase in healthy fat played an important role in that happening.
Fast forward a few years, I began to hear a lot about a ketogenic nutrition plan. I heard about it in the past, but I always thought it was one of those fads that I mentioned above so I always quickly dismissed it. However, after learning about the anti-inflammatory effects that healthy fat has on our bodies, I wanted to dig a little deeper and find out what else a plan high in healthy fat could do for me. After quite a bit of research, I was surprised to find out all the additional benefits. They include raising the level of good cholesterol (yes, there is such a thing), lowering bad cholesterol, improving brain function, improving skin health, promoting heart health, reducing arthritis, and improving energy. Not to mention that they contain many minerals and vitamins.
The “improving energy” part is the one I want to focus on now. Just about anyone I’ve ever talked to, besides health professionals, have the “holy shit are you serious?” look on their face when I tell them that fat can be used as a fuel source rather than carbs. This is something that nobody is taught. Since we were little we have correlated carbohydrates with increased energy. Hello candy and the sugar rush! Basically this is the process. You eat carbs. Carbs are converted to glucose. The body releases insulin, allowing the glucose to enter the cells for energy. What people don’t know is that healthy fat consumption can give you energy as well. When you stop eating so many carbs and increase healthy fat intake, the body will automatically shift from using carbs for fuel to using fat for fuel. Interestingly enough, carbs aren’t even the preferred fuel source, fatty acids are. Is your mind blown yet? Don’t worry, mine was too when I discovered all of this. I subsequently shifted to a plan that consisted of 10% carbs, 60% fat, and 30% protein, sometimes increasing that 60% to 70%. Initially when I made the change my body didn’t really like it. I felt sluggish and completely exhausted for the first 3-4 days and then experienced an immediate change once my body got used to using fat for energy. Not only did I start having a lot more energy and felt great, I started really leaning out as well. The problem that most people have is that they lower the carbs AND the fat, therefore consuming a ton of protein. I’ve done this in the past and it leads to a very sluggish, exhausted feeling. The body just has nothing to use for fuel, so it eventually starts burning muscle. Not only that, but the cravings are usually out of control. With a high fat plan, because good fats are so nutrient and calorie dense, normally there aren’t any cravings. I’ve been following a high fat low carb plan for a while now and love how I look and feel. Plus, even though only 20-30% of my calories are coming from protein, I’m still maintaining strength and mass.
Most people then ask me, “What foods contain healthy fats?” I’m going to list them below.
(1) Avocado. They are loaded with monounsaturated fats (the good fat). I eat a half an avocado every single day.
(2) Coconut Oil. These contain medium chain fatty acids (another good type of fat). I usually have about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil daily.
(3) Almonds. Contain monounsaturated fatty acids and fiber. I usually have 2 tablespoons of almond butter daily.
(4) Butter. I’m not talking about margarine or fake butter, I’m talking about REAL, grass fed, organic butter. Contains Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids, which help improve brain function and skin health. I might have 1-2 tablespoons of butter per day. I usually cook it with my eggs and vegetables.
(5) Salmon. Contains loads of Omega 3’s. It’s important that you stay away from any fish that is farm raised and go with wild caught.
(6) Olive Oil. Contains high levels of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. I might have 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil per day.
(7) Eggs. The best is organic pastured eggs. I have 4 whole eggs (cooked) daily.
The last thing I want to do is give you a recipe for something we like to call a “Fat Bomb.” Basically it’s a snack that is extremely high in healthy fat. Goes great with high fat low carb nutrition plans.
Questions? Email Josh@JoshSpencerFitness.com. Don’t forget to head on over to my LIKE PAGE and follow me there! You can message me there as well. From this point on, I hope you start incorporating healthy fat into your nutrition plan.