Should you be eating more fat?

Should you be eating more fat?
Curl of fresh butter with basil, isolated on white

Should you be eating more fat?

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New research certainly seems to show that eating more fat is better for your health.

The debate over fat is hot and heavy at the moment. The British Heart Foundation is funding their own research which so far weighs in on the side of fat being “not-so-bad-after-all”, whereas our own Australian Heart Foundation is sticking by their guns and claiming that the research is flawed and you should continue to avoid fat like your life depends on it.

While the debate rages on, some intriguing new research will undoubtedly add fuel to the fire. In a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers set out to discover what effect following a high fat diet versus a low fat diet had on specific markers of cardiovascular risk.

They analysed 14 different trials and from that were able to select 1753 people that met their requirements of being either pre-diabetic or diabetic.

What they discovered is almost shocking

The current paradigm around consuming fat would have us believe that the people who ate a high fat diet for 12 months would surely have signs that they were at risk of developing heart disease, right?

Wrong. What the researchers discovered turns that belief on its head.

The people who had eaten a high fat diet for the last 12 months had:

Lower triglycerides (bad fats)
High HDLs (good fats)
Lower diastolic pressure
Lower blood sugar levels

There are limitations to what we can conclude from this study but the researchers themselves say:

“high fat and low fat diets might not be of equal value in the management of either pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, leading to emphasis being placed on the recommendations of high fat diets”.

That is, if you are close to developing or already have diabetes, you might want to reconsider how much fat you eat and start having more!

What foods you should you eat more of?
There are still fats which are better for your health so focus on including the following in your diet now:

– full fat dairy such as butter, milk and cheese
– olive oil and avocados
– coconut oil
– grass fed red meat such as lamb and beef
– raw nuts and seeds

The W8less 40 Day Challenge emphasises eating plenty of healthy fats to encourage weight loss and optimum health.

Lukas Schwingshackl and Georg Hoffmann. Comparison of the long-term effects of high-fat v. low-fat diet consumption on cardiometabolic risk factors in subjects with abnormal glucose metabolism: a systematic review and meta-analysis . British Journal of Nutrition, available on CJO2014. doi:10.1017/S0007114514000464.

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