BELIEVE IT OR NOT, YOU NEED TO EAT FAT TO BURN FAT?

FOODACEUTICALS: HEALTHY FATS FIGHTING THE FAT-BELLY WAR!

Yes it’s true, some fats have an explosive impact on our metabolism, so you literally melt off calories as you munch! Why you ask? It’s simple, as your body breaks down these healthy fats, the released nutrients and compounds fuel our metabolic inferno, promoting fat burning hormones that curb your appetite, purge toxins, or do both. Do you know that most adults have about 10–20 billion fat cells? And overtime, if you continually eat to excess, your body fashions new fat cells, but lose weight and your fat cells shrivel, however, they won’t vanish because they’re critical to the up-keep of a healthy body. Moreover, the average person needs 20–30% fat calories per day, since our bodies cannot produce these essential fats. So if you want to win the belly-fat-war why not fight fat with fat! Though take heed, you haven’t been given a licence to shovel-in bacon butties or cheesy chips lathered in gravy!

Honestly, we’re a bit like yo-yo’s when it comes to losing weight; we generally exile all fats unfortunately omitting the healthy ones too! Up until now, we have associated FATS with the four-letter-word, probably because most westerners have a “Fat Tooth”; an insatiable thirst for creamy, rich foods say Chicken Tikka Masala or Chocolate Fudge Cake. But the truth is, not all fats are created equal, granted, they have a similar chemical structure, but with a slightly different affect. And regardless of their origin, all fat types provide 9kcal/g!

That’s a lot to take in but needless to say Fats can be broken into three types:

The Guilt-Free-Goodies: Unsaturated-Fats

Unsaturated fats are definite keepers as they abet in de-fuzzing-furry arteries. Mono-unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and also help bust-belly-fat. So splash about these guilt-free vegetable oils, such as olive, peanut, sunflower or rapeseed and toss in some avocado, olives, nuts or seeds. Poly-unsaturated fats ramp-up our mind and mood with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. You’ll find even more guilt-free-goodies in oily fish like, mackerel, tuna, swordfish, herring, fresh or canned salmon and sardines, as well as canola oil, flaxseed or walnuts but funnily enough not in canned tuna. On the other hand, omega-6 fatty acids, keep our skin and eyes healthy. These are found in corn and safflower oils, corn-fed chicken and beef, also in farmed fish.

The Baddies: Sadly Shunned Saturated-Fats

Don’t deprive yourself! They’re crucial for nutrient absorbtion, although if you exceed 10% of our total daily calories on a regular basis, they may raise cholesterol levels and heighten your risk of heart disease. Mostly found in animal fats such as red meat, poultry and dairy products like butter, cream, cheese, milk, plus in some plant foods like coconut and palm oil. Still better than trans-fats!

The Flabby: Toxic Trans-Fats

Unlike other fats, we need zero amount! Trans-Fats are totally toxic because their hydrogen content has been chemically altered to prolong the food shelf life and allow them to remain solid at room temperature. They’re found in margarine, shortening, doughnuts, french fries, and processed foods such as biscuits, crisps and cakes. So don’t be fooled by hydrogenated vegetable oil-it’s sly pseudonym!


YUMMY SCRUMMY SPICY CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA

10 skinless chicken thighs
1 cup Greek yogurt, 1tbsp ginger and garlic paste
3tbsp mustard oil, 1tsp sea salt and cumin
2tsp Garam masala, chilli and coriander powders
For Sauce
1” Cinnamon stick, 2 dry red chilli, 5 green cardamom and 2 cloves,
1tbsp Cumin, 4 black peppercorns, 1tsp fennel greek, coriander and chilli
4 tbsp Peanut oil, 2 chopped onions, 1” grated ginger and 8 garlic cloves
4 chopped tomatoes, ½ cup tomato puree, 1tsp salt and sugar
Bunch of Fresh pounded coriander with the roots, extra for garnish

⦁ Mix all marinate ingredients, rub thighs in mixture and rest for at least 2 hours.

⦁ Cook-off chicken in a grill pan or BBQ. Prepare sauce; Heat spices in dry pan, grind spices with fresh coriander, add a splash of water then cook out gritty powder until a smooth paste.

⦁ Sauté next 3 items in peanut oil. Once onion mixture has turned golden brown, add remaining ingredients, sauté until water evaporates and oil separates.

⦁ Add half a cup of water and bring to boil. Cover and cook the thighs in sauce on a low flame for 20 mins so all flavours to marry together. Add a can of coconut milk and a cup of Greek yoghurt, cover and cook for another 10 minutes.

⦁ Remove from heat and sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with naan, turmeric-infused brown basmati rice, peas and wilted spinach.

And if you are part of the “Some Don’t Like it Hot” Club, why not chill-down your tender taste buds with my homemade Riata.

CUCUMBER AND CORIANDER RIATA

½ cup Greek yoghurt
¼ tsp garlic puree, pinch of cumin
1 tbsp grated cucumber and 1 tsp chopped coriander

So, there is more to “As Cool as a Cucumber”!

More moreish morsels to come…

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