LAURA WARREN: ‘Why life is so much sweeter without sugar’
THERE’S lots of misconceptions out there when it comes to fatty foods. As with carbs, and any food type, there are bad fats – but there are some good ones too.
This morning (surprise, surprise!) I gorged on two poached eggs cooked in raw organic coconut oil, washed down with my Frank & Honest coffee. I enjoyed a portion of full fat cheese with my chicken salad at lunchtime and I also poured a fair auld dose (I think that’s the technical term) of olive oil on the evening salad that accompanied my rib-eye steak at dinner.
I also snack on nuts like a squirrel throughout the day, so it’s fair to say I’ll have consumed a fair amount of fat by the time I hit the hay.
In the past, nutritionists and most medical advice would have us believe that fat is a very bad thing: it clogs up our arteries and makes us pile on the pounds? As a result, most of us choose low fat products in the supermarket thinking it will make us slim and trim.
But in fact, it’s often the opposite. Many of these ‘low fat’ products are pumped with hidden sugars to make them taste better, wholly negating any of the positive, but ultimately false, side effects.
My advice if you are looking to lose weight is to avoid anything bearing the ‘low fat’ label. In my view it’s better to embrace full fat dairy and other saturated fat, but within a healthy eating plan.
Just 12 months ago I assumed keeping fat to a minimum was the key to staying trim and healthy. In fact, my entire diet revolved around carbohydrates such as rice, potatoes and bread, wraps, paninis, cereal and pasta. “Good solid fuel,” I was told, especially because I went to the gym so much. But I still always had a pudge of fat on my belly and thighs that no amount of gym classes would shift.
This was one of the reasons I began to explore and study nutrition with the Irish Institute of Health & Nutrition (https://www.iinh.net). I wanted to be able to understand the science and nutrition of food to be able to teach myself firstly, and then perhaps to help others. I know weight gain for any woman or man can be very upsetting and can contribute to depression.
I strongly believe processed products that are laced with sugar should carry the same warnings as alcohol. Some of the products people are buying on a weekly basis in the supermarkets are causing huge health problems to the population: in some cases they’re killing people, albeit slowly.
Studies increasingly show us that the culprit causing so much of our health problems is sugar, not fat. It rots your insides, plays havoc with your skin, rots your lovely teeth. But it’s not easy to escape. Sugar is everywhere, in our food, our drink and in a lot the bread we consume.
I seldom eat bread these days, I completely avoid processed food and I embrace a full fat diet as part of a varied Mediterranean-inspired diet. And I’ve never felt better. I’ve heaps more energy, my skin is glowing, I’ve lost my pot belly and that bloated salt look is gone from my face. And I find I’m more focused in my work because my mind and body is clearer.
With so many diets on the market right now, it can get terribly confusing for people. The truth is that we are all different, and no one size fits all. I’ve discovered the type of foods and daily diet that suits me, but it’s obviously not going to be the answer for everyone.
But one bit of advice that does apply to everybody is to stay away from the processed junk and choose fresh food, packed with fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. In general, try to shop from the outer aisles in the supermarket – avoid the inner aisles where they hide the processed sugar products in plain sight. Buy fresh, buy organic, whenever and wherever you can.
And in the wise words of the great physician and ‘Father of Medicine’ Hippocrates – “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
*For more top health and nutrition tips visit: http://www.elitelivingnutrition.com