Fats and carbohydrates? Which are best for our health?
(WARNING: ranty pants are on!)
Nutrition science is not super accurate and is constantly changing. Even experts are divided over what the best diet strategy is. Which makes it super confusing for anyone trying to wade through all the media hype and various advice around which macronutrient is best: Fat or carbs?
So I’ve started writing some blogs about our most loved then hated (and vice versa!) macros, which I will post in the next few weeks….
I’m super annoyed with the whole topic! (This irritation started at uni when a lecturer talked about how bad high fat diets are for you, but their actual meaning, and the study they were referring to, was energy dense foods and fast food meals are bad for you, well duh!) 🙄😳
WE EAT FOOD NOT NUTRIENTS!
I didn’t wake up this morning and think: I’m going to eat some oleic acid for breakfast today, because that is a good fat for my heart health. Equally, I never go to a Cafe and say to the waitress: gosh I’d love some glucose monomers, please.
It’s ridiculous! We don’t eat nutrients, we eat food which is made up from a mixture of different ingredients which contain one or all macronutrients (carbs, fats and protein – more about these in a later post) and made into a meal. Each meal will vary in its ratio of fat and carbs, which is normal and fine.
More realistically, I might have scrambled eggs for breakfast and splash some olive oil in the pan. And then, I might catch up with a friend for coffee and have some chocolate with it.
Equally, I could choose to have a high fat dinner and have 1 of 2 options:
1. Go to a fast food restaurant and have the burger that squished a meat patty between 2 deep fried chicken patty’s, no chips, no bun, because carbs are “bad”
2. Have a fresh salmon fillet, with fresh salad, avocado and aioli (homemade with olive oil and eggs)
Or I could decide to go high carb and choose 1 of 2 meals:
1. 2 croissants with low fat ham, processed low fat cheese slice and a lettuce leaf, with a glass of juice and a lamington with jam.
2. Falafel with rice, lots of salad, tabouleh and yoghurt and mint sauce, all made with fresh ingredients
Get the picture? Whether you prefer high carb or low carb, both can be done healthily by focusing on whole foods, mostly plants or very unhealthy by eating lots of highly refined and processed foods.
So WHY are we all so obsessed with either loving or hating carbs and fats?! When really, for most people they’re not the issue!
Moral of the story?
🍞 We eat food, not nutrients!
🍞 Foods are made up of lots of different types of fats and carbs and protein and nutrients like vitamins and minerals and fibre etc.
🍞 Fats and carbs are important sources of energy, which our body needs.
🍞 Amounts and types of fats and carbs we eat, does matter, but it is NOT worth obsessing over! Our needs will vary for each of us depending on our age, gender, health goals, activity levels and how we enjoy eating. If you need help figuring out what’s right for you and your health goals, see a registered nutritionist or Dietitian.
🍞 A high carb diet can be done healthily or not. And a high fat diet can be done healthily or not. It’s not the macros that matter, it’s the quality of the diet!
Instead of focusing on how many carbs and fats you’re having, try:
1. Choosing whole foods as much as possible, 2. Eating mostly plants
3. Tuning into your hunger signals (eat when hungry, stop when satisfied)
OK, rant over. As you were. 😂😍