A conversation with Nadia Sehweil, co-founder of Bodytree & co-owner of Nectar and Suzan Terzian, Certified Nutritionist, Health & Wellness Consultant
Nutrition is an ever evolving science and we know that for years people have been bombarded with confusing and contradictory information telling you to avoid fats, that they are bad for your health and lead to many negative health consequences. Meanwhile, the low-fat and non-fat food industry grew and became the norm, while levels of heart disease, obesity and blood cholesterol increased.
So while everyone was eating less fat in an effort to get healthy, the result was the opposite due to the high carbohydrate content of these low fat products. Today we would like to end this fear associated with eating fat. Eating less fat has not led to better health, so let’s change this perspective and reconcile our relationship with fat that seems to have taken a wrong turn in the midst of all the false information out there. So let’s have an honest conversation about GOOD FATS!
As with everything we do at Bodytree Studio and Nectar we only add things that are tried, tested and true that have worked for us and significantly enhanced our quality of life! As such are super excited that Nectar has added the highest quality Supercharged Matcha Lattes and Bulletproof Coffee © with Brain Octane Oil to their menu! Look out for it! You won’t find the original Bulletproof brand of coffee available anywhere else in Abu Dhabi!
Nadia: How it has affected me on a personal level
My journey towards wellness, healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle shift started in my early 20s and has evolved over 18 years. The more I research, and speak to knowledgeable and qualified experts, the more I tweak my diet and lifestyle. I’m a true believer in food for healing, inflammation control and disease prevention. What I have become super passionate about lately is fat. I don’t fear it and have added a significant amount of GOOD fat to my diet. The benefits have been so incredible in such a short time. FATS have helped curb my cravings, boost my metabolism, shed my baby weight, given me more energy and mental clarity and a clearer complexion. I have asked Suzan Terzian, Certified Nutritonist, Health & Wellness Consultant to weigh in on the topic and share with us the benefits to our organs and body…
Suzie: On greatly feared fats and their many functions & benefits
I want to make sure you know that we are big fans of the ‘good fats’! The key to everything is moderation, and knowing which fats to choose. We’re not at all suggesting digging into a bag of chips or ice cream. Just in case…
Here are some of the benefits you will enjoy;
– Improved cardiovascular health – Research has shown that the addition of saturated fat to the diet reduces the risk for heart disease by lowering levels of lipoprotein
– Stronger bones – Research has shown, saturated fat is required for calcium to be effectively incorporated into bones
– Liver protection – Fat has been shown to protect the liver from alcohol and medications, including acetaminophen and other drugs commonly used for pain and arthritis.
– Lung health – The lungs have to be coated with a thin layer of lung surfactant which is 100% made of saturated fatty acids, the lack of which can potentially cause breathing difficulties.
– Healthy brain – Your brain is mainly made of fat and cholesterol. Most of the fatty acids in the brain are saturated. You need fat to provide the structural components not only of cell membranes in the brain, but also of myelin, the fatty insulating sheath that surrounds each nerve fiber, enabling it to carry messages faster. A diet low in healthy saturated fats prevents the brain from functioning optimally.
– Fats impact hormones – Fats are structural components of some of the most important substances in the body, including hormone-like substances that regulate many of the body’s functions such as the production of sex hormones. Fat also enhances the body’s ability to burn fat. Eating a low fat diet helps the body become more efficient at burning carbohydrates, rather than fat. Fat impacts the levels of certain hormones which affect fat loss. These hormones enhance your metabolism and increase the rate in which fats are broken down, curbing your appetite.
– Fat forms a protective cushion for your organs – Many of the vital organs, especially the kidneys, heart, and intestines are cushioned by fat that helps protect them from injury and hold them in place.
– Fats help the body use vitamins – Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble vitamins, meaning that the fat in foods helps the intestines absorb these vitamins into the body, and without it, these vitamins would not be absorbed.
Suzie: Nadia how do you feel now that you have added fats?
Nadia: I’ve never been scared of fat and have always enjoyed a healthy diet with olives, olive oil, flax seed, coconut oil, nut butters, avocado, and the list goes on. Recently, I slowly began adding more healthy organic fats to my food. I have to say it’s the best I’ve ever felt. My supercharged fatty coffees & matcha lattes and fat breakfast smoothies give me the mental clarity I need to start my day with the energy boost I need for my intense workouts and my hectic overscheduled days with work and 3 kids. Other benefits are steady, slow and sustainable weight loss as well as a reduction in food cravings. I also try to stick to high quality organic eggs, produce and vegetables. Food quality definitely impacts your health.
Nadia: on changing your diet and lifestyle
I think it’s important to be well read and well educated as a person before making a dietary/nutrition enhancement and work with an experienced nutritionist. I have worked with naturopathic and holistic nutritionists here and in the US, Suzie being one of them. I think it’s important to understand that wellness and sound nutrition is a lifestyle and as such, a journey that takes time to enhance.
Suzie: on the good fats we want you to eat
Just like everything else, not all fats are created equally. Our bodies need fat, healthy fat to thrive. I recommend avocados, high quality, grass-fed butter, organic, grass-fed ghee (clarified butter), coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, omega-3s and MCT oil.
MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil is a liquid coconut extract, the most bioactive form of coconut oil. It provides six times more MCT than coconut oil, which can boost brain function and assist in fat loss. Coconut oil itself does not contain enough MCTs.
Whats so special about it? MCTs bypass the metabolic burden of processing in the liver, so they quickly become energy in your brain and muscles, boosts the metabolism to burn fat, and has antimicrobial benefits.
*as with everything else, I recommend a high grade MCT oil. The Bulletproof brand are doing a great job in providing high grade products and backing them up with science. Brain Octane oil being our favorite!
The 3 Omega-3s are:
– ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) – found in nuts (walnuts) & seeds (chia & flax), and high quality grass fed beef
-DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)– found in seafood sources like salmon and sardines
Research has proven the link between living a long and healthy life with the consumption of a diet rich in omega-3 foods
One important thing you can do to reduce inflammation in your body is to eliminate processed vegetable oils from your diet (such as canola, sunflower, corn and soybean oils)
Suzie: Making Fat Work for You
EATING FAT MAKES YOU WANT TO EAT LESS! One of the best benefits of eating more good fat, is the satiating effect. Traditional lower-calorie diets tend to leave you hungry most of the time by asking you to avoid foods with a higher fat content such as nuts, fatty fish, cheese, and avocado. Satiating fat leaves you feeling full. The trick to finding a happy medium between eating too much and too little fat is to seek out whole, unprocessed food sources of healthy fats and eat them in moderation as part of a low simple-carbohydrate eating plan. By embracing healthy sources of fat, you can help to ensure optimum health and brain function.
Remember there’s no ONE right way to eat. We’re all different, and our body’s requirements are different. However, eating clean, whole foods, containing high quality proteins and healthy fats, plenty of vegetables while controlling the quality and quantity of the carbohydrates consumed is beneficial to most.
Sugar is one of the main foods we must strive to avoid. Nutritionally it provides little to no benefit, while it encourages fat storage, makes you feel sluggish and weak. Sugar is the legal form of cocaine, there is no simpler way of putting it.
When insulin levels are boosted from eating sugar and excess carbohydrates, your body gets the signal to store fat instead of burning it, so eliminating sugar is one of the best things you can do for your health, weight and overall energy levels.