SUMMER GIVEAWAY BLOG POST
06/26/2017

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To kick off summer, my friend and fellow holistic nutritionist, Jess Urback have teamed up to bring you the ultimate package of health and wellness goodies sure to leave you feeling fantastic!

For instructions to enter the giveaway go check out my Instagram Wellness by Stella (They are SUPER easy!)

In this package, you will receive:

JOYOUS DETOX

This incredible book by fellow Holistic Nutritionist, Joy McCarthy is packed with 100 recipes and a comprehensive 10-day meal plan to help you detox, well, joyously! Although there is a lot of emphasis put on the need to do hard core juice fasts or cleanses, our bodies actually work hard 365 days of the year to help us detoxify unwanted substances, chemicals and hormones. Joy’s understanding of this is what makes this book so awesome! No restrictive cleanses here, Joy’s mission is to help us to little things every day to help our bodies along in their amazing detoxifying ways! Her recipes are super delicious and really easy to follow making this your perfect summer go-to cookbook!

GENUINE HEALTH FERMENTED VEGAN PROTEIN POWDER

This protein powder is unique in that it has been fermented. What this means is that it will be more easily digested. Additionally, it helps to promote good bacteria in the gut and supports the immune system. Its completely plant based as well as soy free. One scoop contains 20 grams of protein. It can be used in smoothies, mixed with water or used or baking! As a tip, start by using ¼ or ½ scoop so your body can get used to the protein powder. For those of you who drink your smoothies quickly, consuming 20 grams of protein all at once might cause an upset stomach. It can have a slightly gritty texture but the addition of more liquid can help to minimize this in a smoothie.

WELLNESS BITES CRISPY QUINOA BRITTLE

This stuff is seriously so addicting! It is the perfect combination of sweet, salty and crunchy. If you are craving dessert of some sort but also wanting something crunchy and a little savory then this is the perfect solution. This quinoa brittle totally hits the spot. It comes in three different flavours (my favourite is the peanut butter brittle) is vegan, kosher, and gluten free. This also makes a great topping for smoothie bowls and nice cream. This isn’t necessarily a healthy snack rather a sweet treat that has minimal ingredients. We can’t wait for you guys to try this delicious snack and let me know which flavor is your favourite.

LIVE KUNA GREENS POWDER

This greens powder stands out in a crowd because not only is it packed with anti-inflammatory greens, it also contains quinoa, probiotics and live cultures! The greens such as spinach, broccoli, spirulina, wheat grass, barley grass, alfalfa grass ginger and kale provide tons of vitamins, minerals and prebiotics that feed the good bacteria in your GI tract! The broccoli and spirulina are especially effective for detoxifying and cleansing your body every day In this bag you will find 35 billion live and active probiotics to keep your tummy feeling happy! No need to refrigerate - it’s the perfect travel companion for all your weekend getaways this summer to help you stay vibrant!

LIVE KUNA CHIA SEEDS

Kunachia created the first superfood blend which combines chia seeds AND probiotics – talk about a dream team. Together, this mix supports digestive health, strengthens your immune system, promotes bone health and is an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, antioxidants, and calcium! Chia seeds are a fantastic way to get your omega-3s in! Omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory and support brain function. Together with probiotics this mix is the ultimate energy booster.

Good luck to you all!

Love, Peace & Healthy Eats,

Stella and Jess


Say It Ain't So (A Case Against: "Coconut Oil Is Bad For You")
06/18/2017

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this "article" is a paper I wrote for one of my classes as a rebuttal against the USA Today article and the study published by the American Heart Association. For the original article, click the link at the bottom

On June 16th, USA Today published an article titled, “Coconut Oil Isn’t Healthy, It’s Never Been Healthy” in response to a statement released by the American Heart Association regarding saturated fat and cardiovascular disease. This article uses research related to saturated fat and applies it to coconut oil, making many claims about it without studying coconut oil specifically. Both the article and the statement itself were based on existing data on saturated fat and the effect it has on cholesterol – specifically LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol. Through the use of several peer-reviewed studies on PubMed, I shall demonstrate why these claims about saturated fat cannot be applied to coconut oil. Further, I will discuss how coconut oil has been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease through increased antioxidant function, decreased LDL cholesterol, increased neuroprotective qualities and decreased response exercise-induced stress.

The article on USA Today, written by Ashley May, self-described as a multimedia journalist who follows trending news, begins by explaining that the American Heart Association reviewed existing studies and concluded that coconut oil is unhealthy. She quotes them in saying that, “because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD [cardiovascular disease], and has no offsetting favourable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil.” (Sacks, 2017) From there, the article goes on to quote Frank Sacks, the lead author on the report who says that he, “has no idea why people think coconut oil is healthy because it is almost 100% fat.” (May, 2017) May acknowledges that this idea may have come from studies showing that Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) may help with weight loss but that regardless, the American Heart Association recommends that no more than 6% of our daily calories should come from saturated fat. She also says that people who remove saturated fat from their diet may not reduce their risk of CVD but that we should stick to vegetable oils and olive oil anyway. The article ends with the statement, “you can put it on your body [as moisturizer] but don’t put it in your body.” (Sacks, 2017)

Firstly, I want to address the type of language that is used in the article by USA Today. The title alone aims to trigger a shock response from the readers in hopes of getting them to read it. The article continues in this exact way – by using language that aims to frighten people out of using coconut oil. It capitalizes on the idea that when people are scared, they might not look as closely or as critically at the research that was done. When research is done legitimately, one should not need to use scare tactics - the research should speak for itself.

Upon examining the study that they used to reach their conclusion, it is clear that coconut oil itself was not studied, but rather saturated fat in general. The existing study conducted by the AHA found that diets high in saturated fat lead to an increased risk of CVD. In randomized controlled trials that lowered intake of saturated fats and increased intake of polyunsaturated fats, CVD risk was found to decrease. I can understand why these studies had the outcomes they did. However, it is important to discuss what a “diet high in saturated fat” looks like. Saturated fats are far more shelf-stable than unsaturated fats, and thus are often created in order to give processed foods a longer shelf-life (in things like cookies, crackers, fast food, potato chips, ice cream and other dairy products.) As such, a diet high in saturated fat looks like a diet high in processed foods. In this study, by reducing intake of saturated fat (and therefore eliminating processed foods) it makes sense that the risk of CVD decreased. However, coconut oil contains naturally occurring saturated fat, is high in MCTs and Lauric Acid and therefore cannot be grouped in with all saturated-fat-containing processed foods.

In a randomized study of coconut oil versus sunflower oil conducted by the Cardiological Society of India, they followed two groups over a two-year period based on the concept that saturated fatty acids increase the risk of atherosclerosis by increasing cholesterol levels. Group one was given coconut oil to use in their cooking for two years while group two was given sunflower oil. Anthropometric measurements, serum lipids, lipoprotein a, apo B/A ratio, antioxidants, flow-mediated vasodilation and cardiovascular events were assessed at 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years. They concluded that, “coconut oil, although rich in saturated fatty acids in comparison to sunflower oil did not change the lipid-related cardiovascular risk factors and events in those receiving standard medical care.” (Vijayakumar, 2016)

Further, in the USA Today article, they address the data found on MCTs and how they have been linked to improved weight loss. However, they claim that the research done to prove this was done on 100% MCT oils while coconut oil is only about 13-15% MCTs. In a study done on Lauric-Acid-Rich-Medium-Chain-triglycerides done by Catalytic Longevity in California they found that pure MCTs are very unstable to cook with and that lauric-acid-rich-MCTs are far safer yet still maintain the weight loss benefits. Coconut oil is closer in structure to a lauric-acid-rich-MCT. They found that the MCTs in lauric-acid-rich-MCTs are not stored in adipose tissue and do not increase “ectopic fat” metabolites that promote insulin resistance, inflammation, and may be slightly less likely to produce or activate macrophages (which are pro-inflammatory). They also found that, “although Lauric Acid (LA) tends to raise serum cholesterol, it has a more substantial impact on high density lipoprotein (HDL) [“good” cholesterol] than low density lipoprotein (LDL) [“bad cholesterol]” (McCarthy, 2016)
Antioxidants are vital to heart-health, cancer prevention and help prevent overall oxidative stress. In an experimental controlled study done on mice, they tested how stress levels might be influenced by virgin coconut oil (VCO) in comparison to anti-depression drugs and saline solution. The mice were given one of three substances for a week and then were subjected to a swim test. The mice given VCO exhibited shorter immobility time, lower lipid peroxidation, lower inflammation and higher antioxidant levels than the mice given saline or diazepam. The mice given VCO also had a faster restoration of antioxidant brain levels which may help prevent neural damage. From these observations, they concluded that VCO has a beneficial role in improving antioxidant status and therefore preventing lipid and protein oxidation.

The article by USA today fails to address the issue of coconut oil properly due to a lack of research on coconut oil itself and its effect on cardiovascular health. By using a study solely based on diets high in saturated fat, they decreased their sample size to only those who eat a diet high in processed foods. Those who consume coconut oil for its health benefits and are presumably concerned with their health cannot be grouped in to the category as people who eat a diet high in saturated fat. Coconut oil has been proven to increase antioxidant status, lower depression, decrease inflammation, lower LDL cholesterol, and aid in neuroprotection and weight loss. All of these factors contribute to the larger picture of health – and especially cardiovascular health. Had the study conducted by the American Heart Association actually been about coconut oil, there may have been more merit to the statement they released and the subsequent article by USA Today. However, since coconut oil was not studied, it is impossible to conclude that coconut oil acts like any other saturated fat in the body.

REFERENCES

May, A. (2017, June 17). Coconut oil isn't healthy. It's never been healthy. Retrieved June 18, 2017, from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/06/16/coconut-oil-isnt-healthy-its-never-been-healthy/402719001/

Mccarty, M. F., & Dinicolantonio, J. J. (2016). Lauric acid-rich medium-chain triglycerides can substitute for other oils in cooking applications and may have limited pathogenicity. Open Heart,3(2). doi:10.1136/openhrt-2016-000467

Sacks, F. M., Lichtenstein, A. H., Wu, J. H., Appel, L. J., Creager, M. A., Kris-Etherton, P. M., . . . Horn, L. V. (2017). Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease: A Presidential Advisory From the American Heart Association. Circulation. doi:10.1161/cir.0000000000000510

Vijayakumar, M., Vasudevan, D., Sundaram, K., Krishnan, S., Vaidyanathan, K., Nandakumar, S.,. Mathew, N. (2016). A randomized study of coconut oil versus sunflower oil on cardiovascular risk factors in patients with stable coronary heart disease. Indian Heart Journal,68(4), 498-506. doi:10.1016/j.ihj.2015.10.384

Yeap, S., Beh, B., Ali, N., Yusof, H., Ho, W., Koh, S., . . . Long, K. (2014). Antistress and antioxidant effects of virgin coconut oil in in vivo. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. doi:10.3892/etm.2014.2045


Why Balance is More Important Than Kale
03/30/2017

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Living a healthy life saved me. I struggled with an eating disorder for a long time and as it drew closer to the “end” of it (quotations because there will always be moments that I will struggle with) I changed my relationship with food to focus on what I felt like on the inside rather than what I looked like on the outside. Now I want to start by saying, I love that health and wellness has broken into mainstream society and media. I love that this means people are more aware of what they are putting in their bodies. I also love that so many incredible people are spreading the word about healthy living and how it saved them too.

I also want to acknowledge the flip side of this shiny coin. That flip side is balance – but more importantly, how to achieve balance in a world that often tells us it is impossible to. How many Instagram posts have we all seen that look like this:

“Kinda want pizza, kinda want abs…Kinda pissed that I have to choose one.”

“I want to be the kind of girl who wakes up and does yoga but instead I wake up with a chicken nugget in my hand after a night of drinking”

…or

“9am: Egg whites and avocado
1pm: Kale salad
6pm: Chicken and veggies
11pm: 23 Oreos + tub of ice cream”

All of these suggest that there is a perfect way to be, and everyone who isn’t that way should feel terribly about themselves. We glorify the divide between living a healthy life and the desire to “treat yo self” on a daily basis. This divide tells us that we cannot have both – you must choose one. You are either a green-juice sipping yogi or a couch potato who binge drinks. There is no in between in the world of social media.

One of the main complaints I hear is directly related to that last Instagram quotation. The idea that once you’ve had one cookie, the day is “gone” and you should just give up. You have already crossed over from being a green goddess into a potato chip slamming sloth so there is no point in fighting it, right? Well what happens after that? Oh, then the fun part starts. The guilt sets in. The horrible, horrible, self-deprecating guilt. Guilt that you ruined any progress you made, guilt that you binged, guilt that you didn’t work out, guilt that you had a setback - and slowly we sink deeper and deeper into this hole.

As a nutritionist, I am obviously an advocate for health. But above all, I am an advocate for self-love. When did we get so hard on ourselves? I have watched so many strong women that I really admire be reduced to tears over one day of eating what they deem as, “bad food”. When did we start putting so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect all the damn time?

I know during those moments it is easy to let the divide between the more motivated version of yourself and the more insecure version of yourself become larger. The world has trained us to think we can only be one: kale-slamming-warrior or chocolate-craving-monster. I’m here to let you in on a little secret: They are both you. And that is okay. Because we are trained to think we can only be one of those things, when we stray from the path of kale-slamming-warrior, we deduce that our only option is to become the latter. This harsh divide between two seemingly different YOUs is what leads a lot of people into a state of binge-eating and subsequent guilt.

So how do we cope with this? Unfortunately, this misconception is not going anywhere (fast enough).

Mentally bridging the gap between these two versions of yourself can really help in these moments. When you’re angry at yourself because you strayed from a healthy lifestyle, remind yourself that you are still making progress. I worked very hard to stop seeing myself as these two different people – the confident, healthy one who liked to work out and the insecure one who wanted to curl up alone and eat pizza for comfort. Instead, I look at myself as a collection of both of these women. Everything I have experienced both good and bad makes me who I am. Yes, I have insecure days. I also have days where I feel like I could take over the world if I wanted to. On my insecure days, I remind myself that how I feel that day is not a fair representation of who I am. Health is a JOURNEY not a destination and eating a few cookies along the way does not make you a bad or unhealthy person.

What helped me the most was focusing more on how my body felt after I ate certain foods. What works for one person might not work for all. That is the beauty of health – it is not one size fits all. Next time you eat, I urge you to focus on how your body responds to the food you put in it. Do you feel nourished and energized? Or do you feel sluggish and tired? Let your body tell you what it needs and listen to it.

Finally, next time you feel yourself slipping into a cycle of self-hate or guilt over food, remember that you are not perfect – but that no one is. You are allowed to have speed bumps on an otherwise smooth road. Don’t let a little thing like eating some junk food derail the whole train. Or car... I lost the metaphor there but you get it. Remember that you are your harshest critic and although you might feel like you’ve fallen off track, there are people around you that look up to you and your amazingness. Call one of them and ask for some encouragement and I bet you’ll be surprised by just how awesome you really are.


Your Comprehensive Guide To Probiotics
03/06/2017

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I am sure by now you have herd the ultra-trendy word “probiotics” being thrown around by the health and wellness community and the internet in general…But what exactly ARE probiotics? How do they work? Are they actually worth purchasing? Should you be incorporating them into your diet? Often we can be overwhelmed with all the information out there. Not to worry! I am here to help. Today I am going to let you in on the many benefits of probiotics and how they have the ability to influence both your physical and mental health. First, we will go over just HOW probiotics work. Then, how through incorporating them into your diet you can improve your mood, your immune system, your ability to break down food/eliminate waste, and absorb nutrients

WHAT ARE PROBIOTICS?

Within our bodies (depending on your size) there are about 2-6 lbs of bacteria – with concentrated amounts in our small intestine and colon. Our digestive system is full of living microorganisms in place to help us break down food and absorb the nutrients within them! Keeping us healthy and balanced. When things are working well here, there is a balance of good and bad bacteria – things are moving through our system well, we feel energized after we eat and our immune system is strong. When this balance gets thrown off by say, antibiotics, dysbiosis, IBS, IBD, leaky gut syndrome, or really any digestive disturbance…the bad bacteria are the ones flourishing. Antibiotics for example work to wipe out ALL bacteria in our body both good and bad. Once the microbiome is wiped out, the bad guys are the ones to grow back most quickly and can easily run the show (the “show” being your overall digestion. Not fun). We want the “good guys” to be the ones primarily digesting our food – this way we get the most out of it.

To sum up, probiotics are: Living microorganisms that replenish our gut with GOOD bacteria to help reset the balance

MOOD & DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

Our digestive tract has been dubbed “our second brain” because any changes there have serious effects on the rest of our bodies, especially our mental state. 95% of our serotonin which is our neurotransmitter that allows us to feel feelings of happiness and bliss is created inside of our gut. When bad bacteria (which include things such as yeast and parasites) are the ones primarily running our digestion, we damage the membrane of our GI tract making it more permeable. This can lead to undigested food particles travelling through our bodies, creating inflammation, food sensitivities and many other issues. Inflammation is an imbalance that we definitely feel in our minds. It presents as feelings of fogginess, fatigue, anxiousness… the list goes on and on. Yeast overgrowth (referred to as candidiasis) can actually manifest as ADHD like symptoms as well as depression, fatigue again and many others. These are just a few examples as to how improper digestion affects our mental state.
When the gut is happy, the brain is happy. Scientists have found that certain microbes that live in our GI tract communicate with our brains through our vagus nerve and can help heal and maintain long-term brain health. This demonstrates an actual anatomical connection between our guts and our brains!

HOW PROBIOTICS HELP: YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

Good bacteria essentially keep your gut “primed” for any illness that might come your way – ensuring that if an infection or virus comes your way, you are ready to knock it out. Probiotics help keep unhealthy organisms under control by altering the acidity of their environment. Lactic acid bacteria in our guts lower the pH – this produces antibacterial/ antifungal/ antiviral properties in your GI tract! They protect against radiation and pollutants because they crowd out the “bad guys” filling our bodies with beneficial bacteria. They also protect against parasites which can cause a whole slew of digestion and health problems. Finally, they are considered to be “anti-tumor” which really just means anti-growth potential

HOW PROBIOTICS HELP: YOUR BODY BREAK DOWN AND ELIMINATE FOODS

Since our whole digestive system must work together in harmony to break down food and eliminate waste properly, it is important to ensure our GI tract has all the help it needs. If you are suffering with IBS, IBD or any kind of digestive disruption, probiotics help you clear out toxins faster and more efficiently due to helping to better bowel function. Probiotics also help produce digestive enzymes which means the “good guys” are breaking down our food as opposed to bad bacteria fermenting it – which can cause uncomfortable gas and bloating. They also help to detoxify bile and deactivate many toxic chemicals or pollutants we might have ingested. If your stomach acid isn’t killing these bacteria, the probiotics will help to. Further, good bacteria help to control cholesterol levels and obesity because they help digest fat properly and create healthy fatty acids.

HOW PROBIOTICS HELP: YOUR BODY ABSORB MORE

Probiotics help to heal the lining of the intestines, which is where we do almost all of our absorption of nutrients. Good bacteria specifically help you to absorb calcium, magnesium and iron! Bad bacteria can often feed off of iron and instead of helping you absorb it, they use it to grow uncontrollably. Ensuring that iron gets into the right hands in our intestines is crucial for overall health.

As we discussed before, because probiotics help keep an optimal pH in your GI, foods are broken down properly in a slightly acidic environment and the most is absorbed. Lastly, probiotics help you to manufacture B vitamins! This means that we are getting the most out of our food as B vitamins help with energy metabolism. If you’ve ever taken a B complex, you know that feeling of clean-burning energy as opposed to that caffeine jittery high – this clean energy is what probiotics help to stimulate.

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SOME GREAT FOOD SOURCES OF PROBIOTICS

Fermented foods contain live microorganisms and billions of strains of good bacteria. Some of my favorite sources of probiotic rich foods are:
o Sauerkraut
o Kimchi
o Natto – fermented soybeans
o Miso
o Kombucha
o Kefir
o Apple cider vinegar
o Tempeh

HOW TO CHOOSE SUPPLEMENTS

Personally, I never travel without a shelf-stable form of probiotics. When we travel, we are far more susceptible to picking up viruses, bacteria or a number of parasites. Seeing as probiotics work to fight off the bad guys and keep our gut microbiome flourishing, they are a necessary travel buddy to fight off digestive upsets!

If you decide to go with a supplement form, ensure that there are as many strains of bacteria as possible. A therapeutic dose for someone with intestinal issues (such as IBS) or someone who has just finished a round of antibiotics should be at least 80 billion strains of bacteria. For anyone else starting off, I would make sure you are getting at least 25 billion to 50 billion strains of bacteria. This way you ensure you are getting the most out of what you are paying for! Further, make sure to check the labels. We want the probiotics we take to be in a form of bacteria that can actually “Recolonize” our digestive tracts. Bifidobacterium Lactis (also called B. animalis) are strains of bacteria present in animals but are not present in humans. Therefore, while you take the probiotic supplement you will feel a difference but after you stop, the bacteria will leave your digestive tract and no real progress has been made. Some of the best strains of bacteria to look for on the supplement label are:
o Bifidobacterium longum
o Bifidobacterium Infantis
o Bifidobacterium Bifidum
o Bifidobacterium breve
o Lactobaccilus acidophilus
o Streptococcus thermophilus
o Lactobacillus brevis
o Lactobacillus rhamnosus

These strains of bacteria will help to recolonize your gut with good bacteria and ensure that you are training your body back to health – rather than becoming reliant on supplements.

I hope this article has shed some light on just how helpful probiotics can be to our bodies. Eating right is made so much more effective when you can rest assured that you are digesting and absorbing things properly! Our digestive tracts really are our second brain – when filled with good bacteria they help in so many bodily processes. Bacteria in our guts affect and control our energy levels, our happiness, our immune system and our ability to break down and absorb food. I want to be sure that the bacteria in my system are the ones on my side – not those in place to hinder my progress towards health. I hope you all understand a little bit better that these “trendy” supplements actually have value – and that incorporating some probiotic rich foods into your diet can drastically improve your life.


THE TRUTH ABOUT FAT PART III
01/18/2017

This is the third section in a three-part series about fat and why we’ve got to change the conversation
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THE FOOD PYRAMID

Many emotions rush through me when I look at the food pyramid (spoiler: not happy emotions). The way it has been broken down depicts a dietary lifestyle that has proven to get us into a lot of trouble. It promotes what we call in holistic health as the SAD – the Standard American Diet. Sad…Fitting acronym, no?

The Standard American Diet is high in processed and refined foods which make up the base of the pyramid. Long story short: it is full of white flour and it is full of dairy. Those two foods are presented as crucial to our survival when in reality they are the cause of SO many preventable diseases. Type 2 Diabetes, IBS, Colitis, Metabolic disorders, osteoporosis just to name a few. Even food intolerances and allergies have been linked to ADHD-like behavior, depression and chronic fatigue. SO! to re-cap: refined flour and processed dairy are portrayed as essential while vegetables and fruits are casually thrown on top, and least importantly in the tiny corner: fat.

Nobody puts baby in a corner.

As we’ve discussed in sections one and two of “The Truth About Fat”, healthy fat plays a critical role in many body processes – it helps us stay full for longer, eating it helps us burn our own fat as energy instead of storing it, it helps us feel alert, awake and does incredible things for our brain function and development. These are just a few of the roles it plays – these are the ones you see. What we don’t see is even more fascinating – we don’t see how fat makes up our cell membranes and therefore dictates how we burn energy, eliminate waste and circulate water. We don’t see how healthy fats fight inflammation – both bloating and inflammatory diseases (Crohns, Colitis, Osteoarthritis, endometriosis are just a few of these.) We don’t see how fat coats our entire nervous system in a protective layer. This helps the information highway of our bodies to remain intact and functioning. Finally, although we can’t see it, fat is what helped make our tiny lil brains in the womb develop into the healthy thinkin’ machines that we know and love.

Let’s take a look at the food pyramid, shall we?

food-pyramid

So many things to say. So many problems. Where to begin?

Why must they write “USE SPARINGLY” in capital letters on every version of this thing?

We get it. According to them, fat is not important. In fact, it barely got a spot. They squeezed it in at the top amongst sweets. Why must they again remind us to use it sparingly? No one is going to look at this food pyramid and think that it’s okay to go home and chug a cup of olive oil. Give the reader a little more credit here! Fat is already the SMALLEST section. We get that they don’t want it to be a big part of our diets. Stress it a little more I dare you.

It’s enough to have incorrect information, it’s another to demonize the food as a whole. In writing, “USE SPARINGLY” they basically stamp a big red DANGER sign on fat’s forehead. Think about all the kids who grow up looking to this as the be-all-end-all of health (myself included!) We were taught from a very young age that fat was BAD and that we should use VERY LITTLE in order to stay healthy. The “use sparingly” header is something I remember being stressed to me as a 6-year-old in grade school. This misconception that fat makes you fat was pushed down our throats until we internalized it in our hearts. But what happened when we listened?

We got low fat products. Millions of them. In bright pretty packaging with heart-healthy! stickers. Promoted by dietitians, promoted by doctors, promoted by schools as “the healthy alternative”. And them bam. The obesity epidemic hit.

Is it a coincidence that the spike in low fat products coincides with the spike in obesity? Absolutely not.

But what happened here? The fat went down and the sugar went up.

Let’s look at a product to illustrate this – Packaged salad dressing.

The salad dressing in question originally consisted of olive oil, lemon, grainy mustard and salt. You have good fat, you have anti-inflammatory and detoxifying lemon, you have mineral-rich mustard and sea salt. Throw that on some leafy greens and you’ve got everything you need.

But the food pyramid says fat is “bad” so naturally the company had to adapt (like so many others) because their product was no longer supported by the booming food industry. What happens when you take out the fat? You take out the flavor. You take out the depth. You take out about 50% of why the dressing was healthy in the first place. What do Food Companies do when processed things taste bad? They add sugar.

Therefore, the same industry that is promoting the sparing use of fats and sugars is taking all the good fat out of their products and replacing it with insane amounts of unnecessary sugar

The point is – obsessing over how much fat we eat is useless if we are eating healthy fats. Fat makes things higher in calories, yes. But where has counting calories gotten us? Obesity is growing, eating disorders are on the rise, obsessive behaviour that comes with counting calories adds more stress to our already stressful lives.

Counting calories and limiting fat is not nearly as important as counting NUTRIENTS. I urge you to stop obsessing over how much fat you’re eating and start fuelling your body with the nutrients it needs. We have seen in PART ONE and PART TWO of this series just how many incredible roles fat plays in our bodies and I think it’s important to appreciate those! It is crucial to our brain function, moods, and energy – these are the things we should be celebrating and teaching the younger generation.