The idea that a low-fat diet is always healthier has been a popular belief for several decades. However, recent research has shown that this is not the case.
Firstly, it is important to understand that not all fats are bad for you. In fact, despite what a lot of mainstream media and the diet industry has been feeding us (pardon the pun) some types of fats are essential for maintaining good health. These include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can be found in foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish as well as grass fed fats like tallow and ghee. These fats can help to reduce inflammation, improve brain function, and lower the risk of heart disease.
On the other hand, many low-fat foods are often heavily processed and contain added sugars and other unhealthy ingredients. This can lead to an increased risk of health problems such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
Low-fat processed foods are often marketed as a healthier option, but they can actually do you a lot more harm than good. Here are just some of the hidden drawbacks of low fat foods:
High in sugar: To compensate for the loss of flavour that comes with removing fat, many low-fat processed foods are high in added sugars. This can contribute to weight gain, high blood sugar levels, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
High in refined carbohydrates: Similarly, many low-fat processed foods are high in refined carbohydrates like white flour, which can cause spikes in blood sugar levels and contribute to inflammation and insulin resistance.
High in additives: Low-fat processed foods often contain a long list of artificial additives, including preservatives, colourings, and flavourings. These additives can be harmful to your health and may increase your risk of certain health conditions.
Not as filling: Fat is a nutrient that helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied after a meal. When you remove fat from food, it can be less filling, which may lead to overeating and weight gain.
Lack of essential nutrients: Some types of fat, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, are important for maintaining good health. When you remove these fats from your diet, you may miss out on important nutrients that your body needs.
What are the 'Good' fats?
Ghee and tallow are both types of animal fats that have been used in cooking for centuries. While these fats have been somewhat demonized in recent years due to their saturated fat content, they actually offer several health benefits when consumed as party of a healthy, balanced diet.
Firstly, both ghee and tallow are rich in fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E, and K, which are important for maintaining good health. These vitamins play a crucial role in maintaining healthy bones, teeth, and skin, and can also help to support immune function.
Another benefit is that ghee and tallow are both stable at high temperatures, making them ideal for cooking and frying. Unlike some other vegetable oils, they do not oxidize easily, which can lead to the production of harmful free radicals and is toxic for the body.
Ghee, in particular, is also rich in butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and may help to improve gut health.
Here are some of the benefits of incorporating more of these natural fats in your diet:
- Improved heart health: Healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, can help to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which can reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Reduced inflammation: Some healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce inflammation in the body, which can help to prevent chronic diseases like arthritis and type 2 diabetes.
- Improved brain function: Fats are an essential component of the brain, and consuming healthy fats can help to support brain function and improve cognitive performance.
- Improved mood: Healthy fats can help to regulate mood by supporting the production of hormones like serotonin and dopamine.
- Improved nutrient absorption: Some vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, D, E, and K, are fat-soluble, meaning that they need to be consumed with dietary fat in order to be absorbed properly.
- Healthy weight management: Consuming healthy fats can help to keep you feeling fuller for longer, which can help to reduce overall calorie intake and support healthy weight management.
That's not to say we should all start eating plain old butter by the stick, people should still be mindful of their total fat intake alongisde a healthy serving of protein, carbohydrates and vitamins and minerals form fruit and vegetables. It's also important that you choose high-quality sources of these fats, such as grass-fed beef tallow or organic ghee, whenever possible. It is important to focus on whole, unprocessed foods, and to avoid heavily processed and high-sugar foods, regardless of their fat content.