When it comes to dietary fat, the goal is balance. The problem with the American diet is not that it is high in carbs and fats. It is that the carbs in that diet have been refined and we consume more processed fats and animal based fats than whole plant based fats.
Take a look at your favorite meal and really assess it. Does it mostly come from whole food or whole grain sources? Do you have a good balance of unprocessed animal fat and plant based fat on your plate? Does it contain a good source of fiber? If you asked me right now what my favorite meal is I would have to say my mom’s oven baked mac-n-cheese.
As you can see, though this meal is satisfying, it is lacking in nutritional value. This meal is high in refined carbohydrates and processed animal fats.
All Fat is Important
Eliminating fat from your diet is not the answer. Dietary fat is important for balancing hunger and making a meal taste more satisfying. It helps our mood, body composition, supports our cardiovascular system, maintains our memory and cognition, and can protect us against cancer. In fact, the fat we consume actually becomes part of us. Fat not only becomes part of our body composition but it also becomes part of our brain, skin and internal organs.
It is important to a healthy amount of fat on our body that fat is responsible for supporting our metabolism and cell communication, immune response, hormone production and ability to absorb nutrients. So when the fat we consume and our diet is out of balance, our body also becomes out of balance. And when that is out of balance our body is in a state of stress.
See: Intermittent Fasting
When our body remains in a constant state of stress, our ability to manage our body fat and weight is compromised. This is called adrenal fatigue and it is harmful for your health. People experiencing adrenal fatigue might find it hard to fall asleep or wake up. They might experience depression and anxiety. Some women even experience low libido and/or painful sex.
How we get back to balance
The current American diet is 16:1 (saturated fat and Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids). In order to live a healthier lifestyle we need those numbers to move closer to a 1:1 ratio.
NOTE: I am not recommending taking out animal fats completely (if you eat meat). Animal fats are where you will get most of your protein (i.e. chicken, eggs, other types of meat and milk).
The 143 Method
The plan we need to bring our body back to homeostasis, should lower the amount of processed fat in our diet while increasing plant based Omega-3 fatty acid intake. In order to do that we will use the 143 Method.
The 143 Method, coined by my mentor/coach Chanee Malfavon, is a guide for eating healthy balanced meals intuitively. 143 stands for 1 plate with 4 components eaten 3 times a day with an optional snack. The 4 components on your plate are:
- Fiber (Usually Leafy greens)
- Protein (also includes animal fat source for meat eaters)
- Fat (Plant Based/Omega-3)
- Carbs (whole food/whole grain carbs)