We are always striving to lose weight, and we want quick results without damaging our health. We are always being told that to lose weight we need to cut saturated fats out of our diet, and to eat more essential fatty acids if we want to keep fit, however this is not the whole story. In fact, it is entirely possible to eat saturated fat, burn more calories and get slimmer.
Studies show that the majority of people in the Middle East are fat, bloated and carry a spare tire around their middle area. In the past 100 years we have switched from a diet of full saturated fats, like butter, ghee and coconut oil, to a diet full of polyunsaturated fats like soy oil (found in virtually every processed food on the supermarket shelves), corn oil, vegetable oil and canola oil.
If you look back to your great grandparent’s generation, almost all fat consumption would have been saturated in the form of butter, lard and cream amongst other things.
Butter is expensive because it comes from a real animal that has been fed and cared for. Coconut oil is important for countries like Indonesia, therefore the Middle Eastern food industry does not benefit from it.
The oils that Middle Easterners eat today are from cheap plants like corn and soybeans. The profits, for the companies that produce them, are enormous. The unfortunate truth is most people are led to believe these are healthy oils, yet they do not know that these oils are not meant for human, or even animal, consumption. They are much better suited as paints and varnishes as they oxidize very quickly. If you paint a wall with butter it will stay moist for 20 years but if you painted a wall with canola oil it will dry immediately.
Your body does not want fats such as PUFA (polyunsaturated fats) that dry so quickly with oxygen and cause lipid peroxidation. Lipid peroxidation is a process that wastes the valuable oxygen in your body. It also increases inflammation that interferes with digestion, metabolism and other vital functions.
Your body want fats that remain untouched, such as butter and coconut oil so it can utilize the oxygen to produce energy.
Marilyn Monroe’s full fat diet
Marilyn Monroe’s diet is famous for her heavy consumption of full fat milk and ice cream, yet we continue to admire her figure even now. She is just one example of eating full fat foods whilst managing to keep off excess weight.
Oils that can help the every-day woman in her quest to stay in shape include coconut oil.
Coconut oil is 98% saturated fat, but has numerous health benefits and is effective in portions as small as a half teaspoon a day. Studies on the effects of coconut oil as a part of animal diets have time and again shown that animals which eat coconut oil are lean and active. This is why livestock are fed soy and corn to fatten up. The levels of saturated fat in coconut oil have been shown to support the thyroid function and subsequently improve metabolic rate, resulting in weight loss. It is also the case that people who eat coconut as part of their cultural habits tend to experience a generally lower level of cholesterol than those on a typical western diet.
Coconut oil can also act as an antioxidant, protecting cells from free -radical damage. Free radicals are formed from Polyunsaturated fats, like soy oil and corn oil. Coconut also contains many antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial fats that help keep infections under control.
The evidence shows that the introduction of coconut oil into one’s diet will significantly improve weight loss in a natural manner. And so, I have created the Twitter hashtag: #fitwomeneatfat.
Vahdaneh Vahid is a UK-based Personal Trainer who recently moved to Dubai. She has had an interest in fitness from a young age. Her motto is now "Train Don't Drain" and teaches her clients that a balanced understanding of their physical, mental and emotional wellness is key. She can be found on Twitter: @vvfitness