What if I told you that you could lather your baked potato in butter and it would actually be good for you? Or, that your morning latte can be rich, creamy, and healthy without the half&half or artificial sweeteners that Starbucks loads their coffees with. Being a dancer, I constantly struggle with trying to be fit and healthy. Body image is huge in the dance world and the pressure to have a certain body type is intense. You’re constantly being told to eat low-fat, non-fat, low-carb, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free…..where does it end? Not to mention the fact that our portions are only supposed to be big enough to fill up a tiny bird. After a while, the endless worrying about calories, portion size, and guilt from eating something not-so-healthy gets a little overwhelming. I’m personally a FOOD LOVER, yet I want to maintain my healthy lifestyle. My Mom has been trying to convince me for a long time that if I eat GOOD FATS, that I will not only maintain my healthy/happy weight but feel better as well! Of course, any talk of the word “fat” and I would completely ignore what she was saying. Wouldn’t eating fats just make me fatter? The answer is NO! That’s what the media and food companies want us to think but it’s entirely false.
Our bodies need good fats that give us nutrients to help us to have energy, radiant skin, healthy hair, and strong metabolism. My Mom has been doing some extensive research on why our bodies need these good fats, and The Healthy Home Economist has completely changed the way she views food and “traditional dieting.” In Sarah’s many writings of fats and health, she discusses how having an unbalanced diet that lacks in good fat will actually make us crave sugar and junk food. So essentially, the low-fat foods that we have been told for so long to eat are actually making people gain more weight! Not only that, it can cause you to constantly feel sick and sleepy because your body is lacking in nutrients. For so long I ate foods that were supposedly low-fat, but yet I stayed hungry all the time and had little to no energy. Sarah Pope’s book “Get Your Fats Straight” helped me to understand why this was happening. This book is a super easy and quick read that will help you understand why it’s necessary for our health to intake the proper fats.
More people today have obesity, cancer, and heart attacks than ever before. This is because food is processed more than ever before and filled with fake ingredients and additives. The worst part is that these additives are being labeled as “non-fat” and “low-fat,” tricking consumers into believing that these foods are actually good for them. This idea of a low-fat diet was introduced in 1956 when the American Government made a public statement that heart disease could be prevented by cutting butter, beef, lard, and eggs out of one’s diet. This statement is 100% false. Those foods are actually vital to our survival. Low-fat=fake fat. What most people don’t know is that saturated fats (that come from a natural source) have so many healthy benefits like Vitamins A and Vitamin D. The things that we actually need to be avoiding in our diet are artificial flavors and preservatives (fake stuff)! Also, the dreaded trans-fat is another thing to stay away from. This along with artificial foods and sugars will only cause you to crave junk food and feel terrible. A nutrient that many people do not know that they need is Vitamin K. You can get this vitamin from eating animal fats such as grass-fed butter, cheese, and pasture-raised eggs. Many studies have been done where a certain culture’s way of eating is monitored. These studies show that cultures who have a full diet that is rich in fat-soluble vitamins are much healthier and happier than people whose diets consists of over processed foods.
Sarah points out that another reason why people intake so much junk is because cooking at home a lot is rare. Most people eat out at least once a day, if not more. When you eat out, you really don’t know for sure what is in your food or where it comes from; I’m super guilty of this. I absolutely love eating out and trying new places but I usually try to pick somewhere on the healthier side or somewhere that uses fresh, local, or organic produce. I don’t think there is anything wrong with eating out once in a while, just not every day. One of my favorite quotes from Sarah’s book is “The hand that stirs the pot in the kitchen rules the family’s health.” With this comes responsibility; get the bad stuff out of the kitchen. This included boxed cereals, skim milk, non-fat yogurt, soy milk, low-fat cheeses, and bread. It is so important to keep organic foods in your kitchen and keep out as many processed foods as possible. I personally love chips, cereal, and bread…..therefore this part is extremely hard for me. So, I eat these things in moderation and I try to make sure that they are organic. One thing that I really struggle with is that I include too many grains in my diet and I think a lot of people have that same problem. Who doesn’t love bread right? This is one of the reasons why it is so crucial to eat good fats that do not come from a grain source such as grass-fed butters, milk, yogurts, and cheese. Grass-fed simply means that the cow the milk came from was fed grass instead of grains. When cows are fed grains, it means we are getting grain not only in foods such as bread, but in our dairy products as well. This is incredibly unhealthy and one of the many reasons why people are so sick today; we need the good nutrients that REAL dairy gives us. In addition to dairy, coconut oil is another thing that can change your life for the better. Consuming raw coconut oil is great for your skin, hair, and even weight loss! It’s a great replacement for regular cooking oils and the benefits are endless.
I have been eating by these good-fat techniques for a few months, and not only do I feel better but I have actually lost weight. It’s AMAZING! I get to eat all the time and my food tastes amazing, yet it’s so much better for me than the way that I was eating before. Don’t get me wrong, I still eat a processed treat every now and then and eat out on the weekends but I do it all in moderation. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself every so often as long as you are being good to your body most of the time. If I’m not enough proof for you, Sarah, the writer of “Get Your Fats Straight” is 40 years old yet she weighs the same weight that she did in high school and her diet consists of 50-60% natural saturated fats. Pretty mind-blowing huh? Changing the way you eat isn’t as hard as you think. Eating mostly ORGANIC or GRASS-FED products is the best way to start. You will soon realize how much better you feel when your body is getting needed nutrients that it has been lacking. This process is not a get-skinny-fast technique that will shed pounds over night, but if you add this healthy diet to some regular exercise, after time you will begin to notice that you not only feel better but look better too. In a few days I will post my favorite grass-fed, organic, and nutritional products that are great for you, taste good, and will get you on the right path towards a rejuvenated version of yourself!
Eat more butter,
Ashlyn Tori <3
-Information from The Healthy Home Economist guide “Get Your Fats Straight”