Eating the right amount
When someone wants to keep their weight up or put some on, for instance if they’re going through some acute ‘situation’ such as chemotherapy and have lost their appetite, what do we do at Nuush? We give them more fat. Because a little bit of fat goes a long way and it’s a really easy way of making someone fatter without them having to eat loads of food.
People say that overeating fat isn’t as easy as overeating sugar. I disagree. As someone who has a ‘fat tooth’ I can easily eat a large pot of cream spoon by spoon; a slab of cheddar, maybe with a bit of butter spread on it, followed by a plate of pork crackling, and come back for more. It’s delicious, but I stop myself. Why? Because it makes me fat, just like it would anyone. It stands to reason.
This doesn’t mean that carbohydrate or protein are the kings of macronutrients or that we should eat car-boot loads of pasta or mass-produced bread, cakes and biscuits. It means we need a bit of everything, in balance. Yep, that ethos is regularly dissed by LCHF’ers but we have plenty of data from Nuush clients to illustrate that it works in getting people to a healthy body fat percentage without creating food fear.
What’s the problem with focusing on fat?
Focusing on fat as the main food group has plenty of disadvantages:
- It makes us fat easily.
- It limits the range of nutrients we eat, as does any dietary restriction.
- It reduces the amount of fibre in the diet.
- Tends to go hand in hand with overeating protein, which can put strain on the kidneys.
- Can increase inflammation due to a reduction of antioxidants in the diet – antioxidants are found abundantly in vegetables and fruit. Inflammation is a precursor to many diseases and health conditions.
- Although cholesterol isn’t bad per se, if you combine high amounts of cholesterol (found in fatty foods) with stressful lifestyles the cholesterol is more likely to oxidise, causing damage to blood vessels where plaque builds up.
- It increases secretion of cortisol.
- It reduces diversity of gut flora.
- Low carb diets can adversely affect thyroid function due to insulin reduction.
- Carbs are the easiest form of energy, cutting them out is not what nature intended, otherwise it wouldn’t have made our bodies so very able to use carbs when we want to move around.
- It demonises carbs. Demonising food groups is a significant factor in anorexia and other eating disorders.
I’ve seen too many plates bursting with meat on social media, and bacon-centric meals, hashtagged with #paleo or #LCHF with a paltry amount of vegetables or salad on the side – usually with the food fashion-item, avocado. These regimes also tend to demonise fruit, further reducing fibre intake, and oddly they’re also prone to encouraging fear of dairy. Hey presto, bang goes a whole raft of natural nutrients gained by eating the right amount of fruit and vegetables.
Pitfalls of Low carb/ High fat diets
Yes you can do LCHF and keep your veg intake up but the strong message coming across is that fat is the best thing EVER, therefore you must major on fat; not just some fat with your veg but a little bit of veg with your fat.
But fat IS good, right?
Our Nutrition for Everyone plans – in fact all our plans – include plenty of it in good forms; real butter, whole milk, full fat yoghurt, natural oils, full fat cheese, nuts, seeds, oily fish and so on all provide nutrients in abundance and are an essential part of our healthy eating prescription.
Nuush weaves good fat into your diet in the right amount alongside carbs and protein, to give you a joyous combination of nutritious and tasty food. Perhaps most importantly we don’t create any fear or hang ups about certain food groups because we know what a strong influence that has on eating disorders. We support people in loving and embracing food and being healthy. Eating naturally, not like a caveman or a lion, but like a healthy, evolved human being living in this century.
Not forgetting how nice it tastes of course.
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