When you cut back on carbohydrates, the trick is to fuel your energy needs with fat instead. Eat enough fat at your meals so that you are not hungry for at least 5 hours.
Although fat has more calories per gram than protein or carbohydrates, it’s what fat does when it enters your body that is important. As you grow older, your metabolism and activity levels may slow. If you keep up your high-fat/high-carb eating habits, you’re likely to pile on the kilos. And, if you’re already overweight and eating lots of carbs, it’s very difficult to tap into your excess body fat as an energy source. Cutting down on carbs releases you from the roller coaster of dieting.
In addition, along with protein, fat helps you feel full. And because fat carries flavor, it makes food more satisfying. It takes twice as many calories from refined carbs than from fats to provide the same level of fullness, which makes fat a better choice if you want to lose weight. Dietary fat also slows the entry of glucose into your blood stream, which keeps your blood sugar in check and means you’re less likely to be as hungry after eating fat than you’d be after eating refined carbs.
Will saturated fat clog my arteries and give me a heart attack? No.
This is one of the biggest nutrition myths of the last few decades. Fortunately, during the last several years more and more experts and organizations have realized that natural saturated fats are completely OK and healthy.
Saturated fat is found in real foods that we’ve consumed throughout evolution. It’s natural to eat saturated fats, it’s found in lots of natural foods, even human breast milk is full of it.
During the last ten years or so, many reviews of all available science have come to the conclusion that there’s no connection between saturated fat and heart disease. This fact has also been recognized in many high-quality newspapers, such as TIME. It’s simply been a mistake.
Ten Ways to Eat More Fat
1. Start with whole, full-fat ingredients
Say goodbye to low-fat and fat-free products. Say good riddance to Egg Beaters, artificial creamers, and reduced-fat peanut butter. Banish any item labeled ‘light’ or ‘lite’ from your pantry and refrigerator.
Forget nonfat and low-fat dairy. (If your grocery store doesn’t carry plain, full-fat yogurt, buy the plain low-fat version and add back the fat by stirring in heavy cream, sour cream, or crème fraiche.)
Rethink your grocery list and stock your refrigerator and pantry with real whole food, including fat-rich options like avocados and eggs. Try to add natural fat rather than avoid it.
Fatty cuts of meat can be more flavorful, tender and inexpensive than leaner cuts. Salmon and sardines contain plenty of healthy fats and are a terrific addition, too. Invite these delicious items back onto your plate.
2. Cook with fat
No more limp steamed vegetables or dry chicken breasts. Cook your vegetables, meat, fish, and eggs in tasty natural fats like butter. Or the other ones listed under point 3, below.
Use as much as you need.
3. Use different fats for different flavors
Fats can change the flavor of a dish, which adds variety to your meals. For example, top green beans with butter for a comforting, familiar taste. Or, sauté them in peanut oil and drizzle with sesame oil for a delicious, Asian-inspired variation.
Experiment with new combinations to see what you like best. Stock several of these healthy fats in your fridge or pantry:
- lard, tallow, duck fat, and other animal fat
- coconut oil
- olive oil
- avocado oil
- peanut oil
- other nut oils (macadamia, almond, walnut, etc.)
- sesame oil
4. Top any dish with oil, dressing, sauces, or butter
Drizzle on oil… Pour on dressing… Spoon on Hollandaise… Ladle on flourless gravy… Dollop on sour cream… Spread on mayo… Melt on butter. Top off your dish with one of many fat-rich options.
5. Garnish with high-fat foods
Cheese. Avocados. Cured Meat. Olives. Seeds. Nuts. These whole-food toppings add flavor and nutrients, including plenty of fat, of course! Sprinkle some on almost any dish. Here are a few ideas to mix and match:
6. Ensure snacks contain fat
As a rule, it is best to avoid snacks, but if you are too hungry to make it comfortably to the next meal, reach for a real-food snack with plenty of fat. Obvious choices include cheese, nuts, and hard boiled eggs.
7. Add a cheese course
Cheese is a simple addition to any meal. It works as an appetizer. It works as a topping. It works as a dessert. If you need a lot of calories, cheese can help you feel satisfied.
8. Blend fat into coffee or tea
Melting butter or coconut oil into coffee or tea is quick and easy. Pouring in heavy whipping cream works, too. This warm and comforting shot of fat can replace breakfast, stave off hunger between meals, or substitute for dessert if you aren’t quite full.