Curb hunger and ease ailments with good fats

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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By now we all basically agree that fat is an essential nutrient.

Nikki is also an ambassador for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and a UK Hypo-presive Method Trainer.

She helps people master a fitness technique that targets the core.

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By now we all basically agree that fat is an essential nutrient.

Certain fats, like linoleic acid and alpha linolenic acid, are physiologically essential because our bodies cannot produce them.

Other fats, like those found in extra virgin olive oil and grass-fed butter, are culinarily essential because they make food taste really good (and they’re not so bad in the nutrition department either).

And others are conditionally essential, meaning they become extremely helpful and even critical in certain situations.

But how much is enough? How do we know when to increase our intake of specific fats?

There are a few indicators that you might need more fat.

If any of the following issues are giving you trouble or sound familiar, then consider increasing your intake of fat:

You have dry skin
Dry skin can mean a lot of things – allergic reactions, imbalanced gut microbiota, topical exposure to abrasive chemicals – but it often means that you simply need more fat in your diet. How 

Sebum is the body’s natural moisturiser, and we produce it in-house using the fatty acids that are available.

Some of the fats come from our own body stores, of course, while others have to come from the diet, especially if we’re not actively losing body fat or we don’t have much to spare.

Increasing fat intake, then, is a painless, simple way to potentially improve your skin’s moisture levels.

You’re limiting carbs and feeling ‘off’
A person reduces carb intake to lose weight without realising that they need to increase their consumption of fat to make up for some of the missing energy.

They begin losing weight, but the exhaustion, lack of energy, malaise and headaches make it hard to stick to the plan.

Since fat is still a bad word in most circles (though that’s changing), what happens all too often is a person will reduce carbs and keep their fat intake way too low. 
Your joints ache
Achy joints can mean a lot of things. You could have arthritis, another medical condition or improper movement mechanics. You could have suffered an acute injury that’s just now manifesting.

Whatever the cause, reducing inflammation through dietary means can really help dull the pain and even improve the underlying issue.

You’re never satisfied after meals
Low-fat diets are notorious for making their adherents ravenous, whereas low-carb, high-fat diets are well known for curbing out-of-control appetites.

Most people attribute that to the higher protein content of low-carb diets.

I’m not so sure that’s the whole story. In my experience, loading up on protein alone makes me sick of eating and slightly repulsed by food, whereas eating fatty meats satisfies me. Both reduce appetite, to be sure, but I prefer to be sated rather than repulsed.

You’re trying to love vegetables
Fat transforms vegetables into delicious meal accompaniments. Steamed broccoli is tolerable plain.

But toss it with some grass-fed butter, salt and black pepper and it becomes irresistible.

Toddlers, with their instinctive distrust of vegetation, develop a taste for even the dreaded Brussels sprout more quickly when paired with fat.

Vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals and antioxidants and fermentable fibre.

They’re some of the healthiest things a person can consume.

Hopefully you find these tips useful. If you would like any help with the nutritional minefield, then drop me an e-mail to nikki@ukhypo