Sunday, March 6, 2011

Love the fat

As someone recovering from an ED my biggest fear used to be fats. I didn't understand the concept that fats didn't make you gain weight (not that I couldn't have afforded to anyway) and the whole calorie input/output ratio. I avoided anything with the slightest amount of fat like it was the plague, and tried my best to suppress my nut cravings (my body's way of crying out for fats). When that got out of hand I would find myself eating nuts by the handful and not being able to control myself. It was the most frightening feeling.

But I've learned a better way to live – just give your body the fats it desperately needs. I still struggle with this concept a bit, but I am slowly learning to embrace my love of healthy fats to the full.

Oh yes, fats are HEALTHY. In today it's all about the low-fat this 'n' that, and products that have a reduced amount of fat commonly find their way into the shopping carts of people who are a) trying to lose weight or b) eat healthy. But is low-fat really healthy?

Most people are aware of the fact that fat is essential to the body functioning properly. It is needed for energy, healthy skin and the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Of course most people think of these benefits in context with the so-called “good fats” – mono -saturated, polyunsaturated and Omega-3 fatty acids . The truth is however, that these saturated fats are also a needed part of an every day diet. Cell membranes are made up of both unsaturated and saturated fatty acids, which means the body needs a variety of fat sources. Without saturated fat, they would lose their stiffness, and be unable to function properly. We should eat foods with saturated fat so our body can absorb and utilize other essentials. In addition saturated fat contributes to brain health and immune health.

Of course the key is moderation and ideally only 10% of our total energy intake should come from saturated fats. But I thought it was interesting to point out the animal fats are not all bad. So go ahead and eat:

It won't kill you (I'm preaching at myself here as well)

Recently my healthy living goal has been to include more fats into my diet – particularly the plant based kind (I already eat my fair share of cheese and eggs). This means nuts, nut butters, avocados and olive oil. One problem with this most recent venture of mine is that 100% nut and seed butters are extremely expensive. So I've decided to make my own. Armed with my trusted hand blender we set out to take over the world, one nut butter at a time.

Yes it's just a hand blender, but it has some amazing power to it :P. Although I'm sure a food processor or Vita-mix would do the job much better, we work with what we've got.

So far I have almond, coconut butters under my belt, as well as tahini (I'll be doing a tutorial on this one, so stay tuned). Looking forward to some yummy nutty snacks ahead.

My success stories :P
Coconut butter

Raw almond butter


I still have yet to find new and creative ways to use my newly acquired nut butters. Although this has been my favorite combo so far – raw almond butter on a cracker topped with banana.

And speaking of healthy fats let's not forget my green little friend – Mr. Avocado.

I love eating him on toast with a sunny side up egg, plain with lemon and salt, or in a white bean spread. Delish!

So don't be afraid to enjoy your fats everyone. It tastes good AND it's healthy. What more could you want?

(If you haven't been getting a lot of fats in your diet I've found from personal experience it pays to go slow and give your body a chance to adjust. There have been times I've overdone it a bit and ended up with extreme nausea and stomach pain.)

What's your stance on fat?

Got any tahini, almond butter, coconut butter recipes to suggest?


  1. i LOVE FATS!! i eat at least 30% of my daily intake from fats!! nuts and nut butters are my fav sources!

  2. I've only recently started getting over my own fear of fats and what helped me was finding out that they can help you get your periods back! Desperate measures lol. Now I can clear out a tub of orgainic peanut butter like THAT haha XD I'll have to try that banana with nut butter on a cracker...looks tasty :P