I’ve taught my “Diet For Human Beings” to a LOT of people in 36 years in practice. One problem I repeatedly see however is insufficient fat intake.
How can this happen in such a “fat-friendly” diet? Here’s 5 reasons…
1). We’re so programmed to avoid fat that we simply don’t put enough on our plates. After 40 years of fat-avoidance messages, our brains (and our friends at the dinner table) are pretty fat-phobic.
I sometimes have to put a Post-It on my stove reminding me to ADD FAT! Crazy, but after decades of eating this way even I must remind myself.
2). The Primal/Paleo/Ancestral diet is so satisfying that food portions and food frequency tends to be reduced – fat, veggies, all of it. (Although protein is seldom cut short I think). Less food = too little fat.
3). Our fat intake is sharply cut by eliminating greasy tacos, potato chips, desserts and pizza. But are we replacing it sufficiently with the good stuff?
4). Bread, pasta, pancakes and potatoes HOLD FAT. They are porous fat magnets. In fact, that may be one of the key reasons we eat them is to transport fat into our mouths.
It’s definitely harder to get ghee, coconut oil and lard into my mouth with my meat and veggies than it was with pasta, potatoes and pie.
5). Fat is expensive. The miser in us still believes that cheap food is fine. Even though we KNOW we are investing in our future well-being, it still hurts to scoop up more of that $20 ghee or lard! But as I remind my clients, the money you saved this month on chips, granola bars, pasta alfredo, sugary smoothies and lattes, alcohol and candy will buy a whole case of macadamia nut oil, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, pastured lard, coconut milk or duck fat.
Who needs more fat in their Diet?
Fat is satisfying and keeps us from eating sweets, carbs, sodas and snack foods. The goal is 3 or 4 hearty meals a day, with no hunger or drop in energy. As I tell my clients, all meals are Dinner – I’m as happy with my leftover Roast Chicken and grilled Asparagus for breakfast as I am for lunch.
If you’re having a light breakfast, or worse, just a smoothie with fruit or juice (big mistake) you are not getting enough of the right kinds of fat and protein to keep your energy stable all day.
So how much fat is enough?
It depends on many factors, but as an average, I suggest 6 tablespoons of fat a day. That’s 6 spoons that actually make it to your mouth, not what’s left behind on the plate or in the pan.
I get my dose with a mix of saturated fats such as ghee, coconut oil, lard and duck fat, with monounsaturates such as olive oil, macadamia oil and tea oil. If the meal is lean, I just eat a few spoonfuls of fat right from the jar!
If the goal is 30 to 60% of our calories from fat (Yes, that’s right!), those 6 tablespoons of pure liquid fat will give you 800 calories. (You can’t get the equivalent from meat juices, nuts, eggs, etc. But they do add to your daily total). Look at what’s on the plate.
If it’s lean and clean, get the fat and a spoon!
How do you like your fat?