Good fats, bad fats
Most people know that there are different types of fat: saturated fat, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, trans fats. Any ideas which ones are the good guys? Which are the worst types? Which ones do we get from animals? Which ones are derived from plants? Which are man-made?
And the most important question of all: Should we be afraid of fat if we are insulin resistant?
As you may have guessed from the title, not all fats are bad. A basic knowledge will help you to make the best choices and the short answer is NO, we should not be afraid of fat! Except for one type: see below.
Monounsaturated fats are the best – they are found in avocados, almonds, cashews, olives and seeds such as pumpkin and sesame seeds. Polyunsaturated fats are found in fish, seafood, some margarines and vegetable oils. Saturated fats are in meat, milk and butter, as well as coconut oil and palm oil. Believe it or not, even saturated fats are not the enemy on an insulin resistance diet!
Trans fats are the man-made ones in solid spreads used in the food industry to make baked products such as pies, pastries, cakes, cookies and buns. These are the ones we need to avoid. Fortunately, this goes hand in hand with…
Good carbs, bad carbs
As you may have guessed, the refined, starchy, processed carbohydrates found in bread, cakes, pastries, potatoes, cereals and rice, as well as the sugars (even artificial ones) are the culprits when it comes to what causes insulin resistance, and to have the best results, we need to be very conscious to limit these as much as possible.
If you have no control over what food is served, make sure you have some protein with this type of carb, to minimize its impact on your blood sugar. To learn more about this principle, check out the post called Link and Balance.
Fruit contains carbohydrates and even though it is natural sugar, it’s wise not to have too much. However, since it is full of nutrients, you should not deprive yourself of fruit! A piece or two a day is good for you! And as for non-starchy vegetables, well, even though they too contain carbohydrates, they should be eaten freely and as often as you like.
One way of allowing yourself carbohydrates is to familiarize yourself with the Glycemic Index; in this way, you can choose carbohydrates that will keep you feeling fuller for longer and will not cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. Below is an interview with Professor Jennie Brand-Miller which gives more ideas about how to use the Glycemic Index to help with weight loss and how to find the best choices for carbs you can include in your diet without fear or guilt.Weight Loss with the GI