R ecently I read an interesting book. It’s called ‘Real Food’ and no prizes for guessing it’s all about the benefits of eating real, whole food and avoiding the usual suspects of anything processed and packaged.
One of the things I enjoyed most was hearing about the author, Nina Planck’s journey to finding a balance between enjoying food and being happy with her waistline.
Like me, Planck grew up on a farm. And also like me her mother just cooked real food, without any thought of whether it contained ‘fat’ or ‘carbs’. It was just food.
Then during her teens, Planck started to gain weight so she embraced the popular advice to eat ‘low fat’ and became a strict nonfat vegetarian. Her weight struggles continued until in her 20s she started eating real food including animal products and ‘fats of all kind’.
She then continued to lose 20 pounds, not overnight but without any real effort. And has pretty much maintained her new healthy weight for over a decade while ‘eating more than ever, never skimping on fat and exercising only half as much’.
Which mirrors my own experience.
So what is the truth about fat?
You’ve probably guessed it. The truth is, eating fat doesn’t make you fat.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago in my homage to butter, eating fat is not only good for your waistline, it’s good for your health in general.
Why were we told to go low fat?
For starters, it sounds logical that eating fat would make you fat. Doesn’t it?
The second reason is that fat is more ‘energy dense’ than protein or carbs. If you burn 1 gram of fat you get about 9 calories. Whereas 1 gram of protein or carbs only gives 4 calories.
So in a simplistic world, eating less fat would mean eating less calories. Which in theory would be waistline-friendly.
But as you know, our bodies are complex systems. Basically, it’s not that simple.
Surely it can’t be good to eat loads of fat?
Of course, ‘too much’ of anything is still too much.
So I think the best approach is to follow Plank’s simple guidelines.
“REAL FATS ARE GOOD (even the maligned saturated fats) and INDUSTRIAL FATS ARE BAD.”
In case you’re wondering, industrial fats include grain and seed oils such as corn oil, soybean oil, safflower and sunflower oils. They also include trans fats and hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening.
Like to learn more about how ‘Real Fats’ can help your waistline?
To see how my latest eCookbook ‘How to Love Your Waistline and Your Food’ can help your waistline go to:
coconut chicken with greens
One of the things I don’t love about chicken breast is that it drys out easily. The gentle poaching in coconut milk here keeps our chicken breasts lovely and moist.
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 small chicken breasts
1 can coconut milk (400mL / 1.5 cups)
1 large bag spinach leaves
1. Heat a little oil in a small saucepan. Cook garlic on a medium heat for 30 seconds or until just starting to brown.
2. Add chicken and cooconut milk and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 5 minutes.
3. Cover. Remove from the heat and stand for 20 minutes.
4. When the time is up, remove chicken from the pan and slice finely. Divide between two plates.
5. Add spinach to the pot and simmer until the spinach has just wilted. Season generously and serve greens and sauce with the chicken.
short on time? – skip the garlic and simmer the chicken for about 10 minutes or until cooked through. Skip the standing step.
different greens – most greens will work well here, kale, silver beet, chard, cavolo nero even chinese broccoli or bok choy.
hot! – add in a little dried chilli with the coconut milk.
vegetarian / vegan – replace the chicken with 200g (7oz) dried red or green (puy / french-style) lentils. Simmer, uncovered in the coconut milk until lentils are tender (10-20 minutes). If it dries out too much add a little water.
herby – serve sprinkled with fresh basil or coriander (cilantro) leaves.
video version of the recipe
To see how my latest eCookbook can help your waistline go to:
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