No time to cook? It’s all about the snack plate! This was my dinner tonight.
On the plate:
Almost a whole avocado
Spinach with a quick dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper (I hate making salad!)
Half a huge sweet potato
Hard boiled egg.
Zero cooking required. I prepared hard-boiled eggs a few days ago (ALWAYS have those on hand!) and I did bake the potato, but you could also throw it in the microwave. Dinner in five minutes — doesn’t get much easier than that!
Now off to eat a Coconut-Cherry Popsicle.
ETA: For all the people who thinks this looks meager… Nope! It’s around 550 calories, 12g protein, and 41g of awesome FAT.

No time to cook? It’s all about the snack plate! This was my dinner tonight.

On the plate:

  • Almost a whole avocado
  • Spinach with a quick dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper (I hate making salad!)
  • Half a huge sweet potato
  • Hard boiled egg.

Zero cooking required. I prepared hard-boiled eggs a few days ago (ALWAYS have those on hand!) and I did bake the potato, but you could also throw it in the microwave. Dinner in five minutes — doesn’t get much easier than that!

Now off to eat a Coconut-Cherry Popsicle.

ETA: For all the people who thinks this looks meager… Nope! It’s around 550 calories, 12g protein, and 41g of awesome FAT.

Love all of these, but here are my faves:

Myth 3: Low Fat Foods Are Always Better For You

Alannah DiBona, a Boston based nutritionist and wellness counselor made this her number one food myth. She said:

"Without fat, the human body is unable to absorb a large percentage of the nutrients needed to survive. Additionally, fat deprivation prevents messages from being passed between neurotransmitters, resulting in all kinds of neural misfiring in the body! While good fats and bad fats do exist, the right fats in the proper amounts can actually aid in weight loss and cholesterol management."

The high-fat/low-fat food myth is one that’s been around for a long, long time. Ultimately, it’s more important to flip over the food you’re about to buy and read the label, see what kinds of fats are in it, and then make an educated decision instead of immediately reaching for the low-fat version of whatever it is you’re planning to buy, thinking it’ll be healthier. In fact, many products that are “low-fat” are low in good fats as opposed to the bad ones, or substitute in other ingredients like sugars and sodium that you don’t want more of in your diet.

Seattle-based Registered Dietitian Andy Bellatti also called out this particular myth. He said, “A good intake of healthful fats is beneficial for cardiovascular health. Prioritize monounsaturated fats (avocados, olives, pecans, almonds, peanuts) and omega-3 fatty acids (hemp seeds, chia seeds, sea vegetables, wild salmon). Virgin coconut oil and dark chocolate (80% cocoa or higher) also offer healthful fatty acids. Many low-fat diets are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates (i.e.: white flour), which are increasingly becoming linked to increased rates of heart disease.”

Myth 7: Eating Eggs Will Jack Up Your Cholesterol

A number of you took me to task on this one the last time I insinuated that eggs may not be healthy, and rightfully so. Alannah Dibona cleared this one up once and for all, and notes: “More often than not, a person diagnosed with high cholesterol will go out of his or her way to avoid eggs, which is really unnecessary. The body’s cholesterol levels are influenced by certain saturated and trans fats; eggs contain very little saturated fat (1.5 grams of fat per large egg) and absolutely no trans fat. Depriving yourself of an egg means foregoing 13 naturally occurring vitamins and minerals (and a really delicious breakfast option).” 

Ultimately, eliminating eggs from your diet because you’re concerned about cholesterol will do absolutely nothing for you, and instead may actually be harmful because you’re missing out on the health benefits they have. The Harvard Medical School agrees, as does the Mayo Clinic, although they take a more metered approach to the issue, and suggest that if you love eggs, eat the whites and not the yolks. Both agree that even though the yolks have a lot of cholesterol, very little of it actually makes it into your bloodstream, where it matters.

Myth 10: Don’t Eat After 6, 7, 8PM

Both Andy Bellatti and Alannah DiBona called this myth out in different ways. Andy went right for its throat, noting that it is “A silly weight-loss gimmick. What matters is what you’re eating throughout the day. Food eaten after 7 does not magically turn to fat. This is also a ridiculous ‘tip’ for someone who goes to bed at midnight or 1 AM. This tip often ‘works’ because people end up reducing their total caloric intake.”

He’s right: this myth comes from a half-scientific understanding of how digestion works. The idea is that if you eat too late and go to bed on a full stomach, your body’s metabolism will slow down and instead of burning the food you just ate, you’ll turn it all into fat and gain weight. That statement is only partially true, and isn’t universal for all people. While it’s true your metabolism slows down when you go to sleep, it doesn’t stop, and you still churn through the food in your stomach, albeit slower. If your diet, exercise, and activity habits mean that a meal is more likely to metabolize into fat because you sit at a desk all day, eating it at 5pm versus 7pm isn’t going to change that.

In reality, what really happens for the people who swear by this trick is that they don’t wind up eating breakfast the following morning on top of a stomach full of food, and that they’ve blocked off areas of their night when they’re not consuming food-as opposed to someone who would be tempted to have a late-night snack. In essence, they’re just eating less overall. This myth is so popular that the ADA has a page dedicated to debunking it.

Bellatti also makes the point that if you’re the type of person who’s up very late, setting an arbitrary time to stop eating at night isn’t going to help you lose weight, it’s just going to make you skip a meal. DiBona had something specific to say about meal skipping, and how dangerous it can be: “Just several years ago, I remember reading in Cosmopolitan magazine that skipping breakfast or lunch following a “night of indulgence” could aid in one’s efforts to lose weight. The editors couldn’t have been more wrong. If a meal is skipped, the body begins a process of metabolic slowing commonly referred to as ‘starvation mode.’” She continued, “Additionally, surges of hormones then encourage overeating at the next meal, resulting in a higher caloric intake at the day’s end. Keeping one’s blood sugar balanced with small meals and snacks throughout the day is a much more successful approach for weight maintenance and mental alertness.”

See ‘em all here.

Thanks to Terry for pointing me to this article!

In Defense of (Saturated) Fat Part 2

For Part 1, see this post.


It’s no secret that I heart fat, so it should be no surprise that I love when articles come out in the mainstream press vindicating fat and vilifying sugar/processed food. It’s so satisfying to see the dietary principles that have worked so well for me and my YNC clients get backed up by science.

The latest article I’ve seen, from the Huffington Post, says much the same thing as all the others: replacing saturated fat with carbs can increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other “diseases of civilization.”

I think the following paragraph should be required reading for anyone remotely interested in nutrition and “healthy” eating (or anyone eating a low-fat diet!):

…Most foods are composed of a many different types of fats. For example, half the fat found in beef is unsaturated and most of that fat is the same monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Lard is 60 percent unsaturated and most of the fat in chicken fat is unsaturated as well, according to Taubes 2008 book Good Calories, Bad Calories. In his New York Times article he writes, "Even saturated fats—AKA, the bad fats—are not nearly as deleterious as you would think. True, they will elevate your bad cholesterol, but they will also elevate your good cholesterol. In other words, it’s a virtual wash." Taubes continues, "Foods considered more or less deadly under the low-fat dogma turn out to be comparatively benign if you actually look at their fat content. More than two-thirds of the fat in a porterhouse steak, for instance, will definitively improve your cholesterol profile (at least in comparison with the baked potato next to it); it’s true that the remainder will raise your L.D.L., the bad stuff, but it will also boost your H.D.L. The same is true for lard. If you work out the numbers, you come to the surreal conclusion that you can eat lard straight from the can and conceivably reduce your risk of heart disease."

But the most disheartening thing about the article was this:

Old dietary habits die hard and convincing people that what they’ve been told for the past 50 years is just plain wrong, is a hard sell. Not only that, but the continued recommendations to eat low-fat versions of foods (as in the USDA’s latest dietary guidelines and on the Mayo Clinic’s Web site) don’t help. Americans are confused about nutrition and disease and it’s only getting more complex with corporations claiming to make healthier foods (see Mark Bittman’s take on McDonald’s oatmeal and my take on Wal-Mart’s health washing).

I get that people are confused, but I think it’s because no one wants to revise their thinking about what they’ve been told for the past 20-30 years. Understandably. But do yourself a favor and READ THE NEW RESEARCH. It might really surprise you.

And check out my other I Heart Fat posts while you’re at it!

Thanks to Kaleigh for bringing this article to my attention.