Prep Time: 25 minutes
May 2, 2017 • By Seamus Mullen
The great thing about the world of dietary advice is if you don't like what you hear, wait a minute and soon enough the pendulum will swing to the other side, and what was once gospel will soon become garbage. I think, at least I hope, that with the topic of fat we can finally end the discussion. Fat. It's what's for dinner. More or less.
After years of the demonization of fat, it seems as though the tides are finally turning, and we're starting to recognize the importance, scratch that, the necessity of fats in our diet. The idea that fat makes you fat is completely out to lunch. In fact one of the most effective ways of weight management is the integration of a high-fat diet. Okay, cool, got it. But what exactly does that mean?
Here's a basic rule of thumb: sugar makes you fat and fat makes you lean. Of course for this to really be true, we need to define what we mean by fat. You've heard that not all calories are created equal? Well, the same goes for fats. When we talk about a high-fat diet, we're talking about good fats, fats like avocado, grass-fed beef and butter, pasture-raised eggs, olive oil, cold water fish, coconut and many, many other delicious things.
To understand this, research has shown that when we reduce the amount of fat in our diet our total cholesterol drops. The problem is that by reducing the total amount of fat intake, we tend to increase our sugar/carbohydrate intake and as a result our light and fluffy HDL cholesterol drops, putting us at greater risk for heart disease. What's more, when we eat SUGAR our blood glucose level increases rapidly and our pancreas secretes the hormone insulin to extract excess glucose from the blood. This is then stored first as glycogen, until those stores are full, and then as…drumroll...triglycerides, or FAT! Something magical happens when we eat (good) fat, the opposite! The pancreas DOESN'T secrete insulin and the glycogen stores are not overfilled and there is no production of triglycerides. Fat actually slows down the absorption of sugar so when we eat low-fat sweets, we're really speeding up the fattening process. It really is a shame we call fats FAT.
Here’s a super simple salad that I love to make in some variation nearly every week. If I have some leftover roasted salmon, perfect, if not, I’ll throw in whatever leftover protein I have hanging around (this week it was sliced up bits of pork chop!)
1 avocado, diced
4 oz leftover protein like wild salmon or pastured meat
Some cucumber, sliced
Some radish, sliced
Fresh herbs like dill, cilantro and basil
A few eggs, boiled for exatly 7 minutes, then shocked in ice and peeled
A stalk or two of celery, chopped up
Two handfuls of your favorite lettuce
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Dress with as much vinaigrette as you like.
Serve right away.