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Health Hack with @amysfitnessandnutrition

It’s the never-ending debate in the nutritional world. So many people are recommending a high fat ketogenic diet, whilst nutritional labels still proclaim to be ‘low fat’, subconsciously cautioning that eating too much is a bad thing.

This health hack was inspired by a lovely client, who told me a bootcamp challenge she had started included a plan that proclaimed, ‘if you eat fat, you are fat’. I’ll bite my tongue and we won’t get started on how helpful or not that statement is…let’s just look at some of the facts.

So, where to begin? Is fat good or bad?

In 2003 a group of researchers embarked on a study where they tested 3 dietary theories to reduce cardiovascular disease. The first was the Mediterranean diet with 1 litre of extra virgin olive oil a week (lots of fat), the second was a Mediterranean diet with 210g of nuts each week (also a lot of fat), the third group was asked to follow a ‘low fat’ diet (still packed with fruits and veggies).

In 2013, 10 years after the study began, it was stopped. They had to ensure no harm came to the patients. Whilst the group following the higher fat Mediterranean diets lost weight, reduced their risk of heart attacks, stroke, memory loss, diabetes, breast cancer, high cholesterol and high blood pressure (wow), the group following the low-fat diet experienced 30% higher risk of heart attacks.

The real smoking gun?

Our sugar intake over the last few decades has increased exponentially. The average kiwi consumes about 22kg of sugar every year (and in my experience with clients around 35-45 teaspoons a day). All while a high sugar diet has been linked to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, dementia and liver disease. Should we look here instead of at fat maybe?

If you’re reading this hoping for a quick fix – sugar pre-disposes you to store fat around your abdomen (our beer belly, spare tyre…six pack warmer - insert affectionate pet name of choice). It will likely grow with sugar intake and could be reduced by increasing your healthy fat intake. Particularly from natural sources like olive oil.

Time to change your thinking when it comes to fat? Maybe.

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