Why I broke up with sugar and made friends with fat

Monday, December 5, 2016

I have an awesome job. I get to sit and talk to healthy people every day, learn about their strategies and hear their success stories. What I’ve learned is each of us has our own system and strategies to be healthy and well-balanced. We’ve talked about different diets such as Paleo, Atkins, and I have even referenced the military diet… Ice cream every day y’all! As you know, Kristen and I do not promote diets because we want you to have a lifestyle that is conducive to living well without restrictions. We believe in the Well-Balanced Plate.

Lately, I’ve heard a recurring message from family members and clients as they strive to eat well through the holiday season. First step… Cut out the fat. For many years fat has endured a bad reputation and not surprisingly, it’s a pretty complex macro nutrient. For example, 1 g of fat has 9 calories versus 1 g of protein or carbohydrate has 4 calories. That means foods with fat are more energy dense.

Recently, I came across an article, Sugar and heart disease: The sour side of industry funded research. I felt empowered and frustrated while reading about how the Sugar Research Foundation paid the scientists and doctors doing the research to detract attention from any evidence linking sugar and coronary heart disease.

What we know now: Fat is our friend.

How fat is our friend:

  • Makes food tastier
  • It fill us up
  • Keep us full longer
  • Helps us absorb other nutrients such as fat-soluble vitamins.

About a year ago, I got really frustrated with my sugar cravings and talked about it with my good friend and fellow dietitian, Brenna Thompson. She helped shine light on the benefits of incorporating more fat (and protein!), which essentially makes less room for my body to crave sugar. I changed my diet gradually over the past year and typically include at least 1 to 2 tablespoons of fat with most meals. Not surprisingly, breakfast includes peanut butter or almond butter, at lunch I usually have salad dressing or mayonnaise (not necessarily the healthiest choice). I typically cook with olive oil or butter on my vegetables at dinner. When I first made this change I was genuinely upset after finishing dinner and realizing I was so satisfied and did not have any room for the chocolate or other sweets I typically indulged in after a meal.

Food for thought:

As we are surrounded by sweets, treats and goodies this holiday season I wonder if you will make fat your friend too? If you’re struggling with cravings, I suggest a tablespoon of peanut butter or handful of almonds.

What’s one way you can add, our friend, fat into your diet?___________________________________________

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  1. Pingback: HALT: A tool to head off emotional eating | Well Balanced Nutrition

  2. Pingback: 8 chicken-free dinner ideas | Well Balanced Nutrition

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