Paleo Challenge Tips; Don’t avoid Fat!

As many of you go through your 30 Day Challenge you’ll be uncertain on what to eat, coping on how to eat at outings and special gatherings and most importantly carbs/sugar cravings. There are many articles that mention saturated fat & cholesterol being bad, it’s not so get your bacon intake and enjoy! As per Paleo Long Island “Your own liver makes up to ~80% of your daily cholesterol with only ~20% generally coming from diet… However, when you eat more cholesterol, it doesn’t get piled on like a mountain but rather your liver down-regulates production of cholesterol to maintain the balance… Additionally, were these “High LDL” numbers calculated or actually measured, was the count of LDL vs. VLDL taken… These are questions that you need to ask before you carpet ban one of the most nutritionally dense & healthiest foods on the planet….

Coconut oil is 92% saturated fat which makes it really stable under heat and solid at room temperature. If you buy the virgin coconut oil, it well leave a great yet subtle coconut taste and smell to your dishes. The taste is something I like in almost any situation except maybe for eggs, where I prefer cooking with lard or butter.

Its main fatty acid content comes from Lauric acid (47% to be more precise). Lauric acid is a rare fatty acid that is a medium chain fatty-acid, which is supposed to be the easiest fatty acid to digest. Lauric acid also has natural antimicrobial and antifungal properties.

Most animal fats are highly saturated so are heat stable to cook at high temperatures, solid at room temperature and don’t need to be refrigerated. What’s fun is that since they’re not very popular because of their reputation, they’re pretty cheap, even the ones coming from well treated animals.

Just go to your butcher and ask for duck fat, pork lard or beef tallow.

Yes, it’s a vegetable oil, but its content is mostly monounsaturated, a fat source which is safe and healthy. Don’t cook with it, it will burn and oxidize quite easily. Use it in dressings or put on top of your already cooked meals. As you probably know, a good extra-virgin olive oil offers lots of great health benefits.

Fresh oils in dark bottles that haven’t been on the shelf for a long time are the best. Keep in a dark and cool place for it not to oxidize too fast. You can store it in the fridge if not using promptly. It will become cloudy in the refrigerator, but will return to normal once back at room temperature.Avocado is a fruit, one of the only fatty fruits. It contains loads of vitamin E, B vitamins, potassium and fiber. Its fat content is mostly monounsaturated, so it’s a good choice. It’s not that heat stable though, so don’t cook at high temperature with it. Use avocado oil for your salad dressings mainly. Whole avocados are delicious with salads, chicken or as guacamole with lemon juice and tomatoes.

This is about it for the preferred Paleo diet fats. Of course there are other sources of fat you can consume like eggs, nuts and nut butters. I would be careful with nuts and nut butters though because most nuts are very high in Omega-6, which could trigger inflammation and other digestive problems. Try it out, and go with what makes you feel good.

In terms of cholesterol the best books to read are – “Fat & Cholesterol Are Good For You” & “Ignore The Awkward: How The Cholesterol Myths Are Kept Alive” by Dr. Uffe Ravnskov

Reminders and tips to get you through these first couple of weeks as per Crossfit Garden City:

  • If you are feeling lethargic, it is very possible you are not consuming enough calories or dietary fat. Make sure you are eating enough food to support your lifestyle (especially if you are CrossFitting 3-5 days/week). Also, make sure you ARE NOT AVOIDING FAT! Fat is an essential part of our diets and in the absence of dietary carbohydrate, will serve as our primary fuel source. You don’t need to bathe in Coconut Oil, but an extra shot of Olive Oil and the fattier cut of meat won’t kill you…or make you fat…I promise.
  • Fruit and nuts, while not ideal in large quantities (especially if you are looking to get leaner) can be your best friends in the early stages of making a dramatic dietary change and eliminating dairy, grains and sugar. We recommend always having raw nuts/nut butter and fruit (berries, apple, pear) available (at home or on the road) to use as a default snack option.
  • Breakfast does not always need to be “breakfast” foods such as eggs and bacon. There is nothing wrong with having chicken and broccoli at 6am.
  • Try to consume your daily requirement of water by 6pm in order to avoid going to sleep with a full bladder.
  • When faced with temptation, always remember, NOTHING tastes as good as being lean and healthy feels.
  • Stop drinking cheap coffee…get the whole bean, organic, gourmet stuff.

Enjoy!

 

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