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As you begin to reduce your carbohydrate intake by getting rid of bread, pasta, beans and sugar you may wonder where you are going to get all of your energy. Fat is the answer! For many of you it will be tough to get away from the thinking that dietary fat will also lead to you becoming fat. This debate over fat has been covered extensively in the Paleo/Primal community and I encourage you to check out the following resources to see where we went wrong in our avoidance of fat and how good they can actually be from you:
The Big "Fat" Blog Post from Robb Wolf
7 Common Reactions to a High Fat Diet from Mark's Daily Apple
Cholesterol and Saturated Fat Are Not the Enemy from Chris Kresser
Of course, not all fats are created equal. Here are the ones that you should avoid:
- Trans Fat- Found in margarine,shortening, and fried foods like donuts, french fries, fried chicken etc. Avoid processed foods and words on labels like hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. Trans fats are heavily associated with inflammation and atherosclerosis. They also cause a high level of weight gain, especially around the abdominal area.
- Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid (PUFA)- These are primarily your typical industrial cooking oils. Canola, corn, sunflower, soybean oil along with vegetable shortening make up the PUFA family. These oils are all pro-inflammatory, go rancid quickly and oxidize rapidly while cooking. Heavy consumption of PUFA has been associated with insulin resistance, obesity, diabetes, heart disease along with many other problems. If you go out to eat, watch out for these and ask what oils your food is cooked in.
But, remember we are not afraid of fat! Indulge in these delicious sources of energy:
- Whole Food sources- Fat from pastured meat, fish, and eggs along with avocados, macadamia nuts and coconut products are all good options.
- Grass fed animal fat and butter, coconut oil, olive oil are all awesome additions to your meals
- Nuts and Seeds
- Full Fat Dairy from happy cows
- Fish oil as an added supplement
As your body adapts to running on fat as a source of fuel you will quickly lose the crash you may experience from burning through sugar and you will quickly lose weight and feel great. Embrace the fats!