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To eat or not to eat fat? Now that is the question.

For those of you reading this blog who are old enough to remember the fat-free boom that was in force in the 1990's you will remember avoiding eggs, cheese, nuts, avocados and eating carbohydrates and sugar based food instead.

However research in the mid 1990's started to show that this diet did not lead to either a reduction in heart attacks or obesity levels. However people were and still are purchasing fat free foods.

The fact that this research was not released was due to the vested interests of the researchers, food manufacturers and officials at the time.

What we now know is that some fats such as those found in nuts, olive oil and fatty fish actually contribute to the reduction of heart disease. However carbohydrate is also not the good guy in this relationship. It was originally thought that you could eat all of the carbohydrate you wanted without any repercussions.

What we now know though is carbohydrates worsen glucose and insulin and have a major impact on blood glucose levels. So while saturated fats can increase Low Density Lipoproteins aka bad cholesterol. New research now shows that saturated fats can actually increase High Density Lipoproteins aka good cholesterol as well as lower triglycerides.

Therefore it appears that saturated fat has a neutral effect on the body when compared with carbohydrates. Therefore substituting carbohydrate for saturated fat is not associated with a cardiovascular benefit.

So the key is to reduce refined carbohydrates, and eat green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, olive oil, legumes, cheese and meat where you can have up to 45% of your total calories from fat. Eating carbohydrates increase the stimulus for more carbohydrates to be eaten. While eating fat increases satiety for a longer time frame. Therefore allowing for a greater control of overall calorie consumption.

So before you reach for the carrot stick or piece of bread you may want to rethink your choice and chew some fat.

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