When the idea of substituting low-fat foods for those which are higher in fat was first suggested to me, my initial response was, “Surely if I’m trying to improve my general well-being and lose body fat I need to reduce my fat intake, not increase it?” Whilst the low-fat method can be successful for a short period of time, I found that it was not sustainable or effective for any health benefits or weight loss.
Of course, I could maintain eating the 0% fat indulgent yoghurts and the “light” salad dressings; they all tasted great due to the added sugar. But it was the frequent infections, persistent fatigue, low mood, and the constant fluctuations in weight which provoked me to evaluate my food choices; clearly something wasn’t working.
My brother suggested a week’s meal plan for me. Many of the foods listed contained a considerable amount of fat. Sardines, coconut oil, grass-fed meats and butter, mackerel, avocados. As I was self-conscious about my appearance, as most teenagers are, these were some of the foods I had previously eliminated from my diet in hope of losing some of that “puppy-fat”, which was mysteriously clinging on even after my “puppy” years. This was despite following the dietary guidelines set out by those who purported to be providing reliable information. After witnessing how my brother had improved his health by adopting a similar diet, I followed his advice. Slowly, I started to cut out the adulterated, low fat foods and the high carbohydrate staples, which are found in most kitchens, and replace them with higher fat foods.
Now, roughly two years later, I no longer salivate at the thought of the a “weekend treat” in the form of a molten chocolate pudding. I no longer feel envious of those friends (you know the ones, we all have them) who can eat all the salted caramel biscuits, flaky croissants or cheesy pasta they desire and still look incredibly healthy. This is partly because I simply don’t crave these foods. However, I have also learnt that not all damage done to our bodies is immediately visible on the outside. Of course, we might have a few spots threatening to erupt from time to time but frequently the damage accumulates internally and we pass it off as feeling merely, “a bit run down”, or perhaps,”just tired”. I think my improved knowledge has enabled me to see food as information rather than just taste or texture.
Anything we eat has an effect on our body, it’s our choice whether that effect is positive or negative.
For me, this way of eating makes perfect sense. I relish eating the delicious, satiating foods our ancestors relied on as fuel for an efficient brain and body. I have finally found a sustainable way of eating which I enjoy and makes me feel great.
So, I will pass on the triple chocolate, extra fudgy brownie, thank you. No, I don’t care if it’s just come out the oven. Really.