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Reducing Fat in Your Diet and Cooking Without Oil

By Jane Birch

Reducing Fat in Your Diet

Whole plants naturally contain the macro and micro-nutrients we need in the right balance, so (unless you have a specific health condition that warrants it) there is no need to micromanage your diet. Focus on the big picture: eating a diet of whole (unprocessed) plant (not animal) foods. This diet is naturally very low in fat.

Because the American diet is so high in fat (average 35%), it may take some time for your taste buds to adjust to a naturally low-fat diet, but it will happen! It happens quickly from some people, but it may take up to about 90 days for others. The key is to totally eliminate high-fat foods from your diet so that your body and brain learn to adjust. It can help if you tell yourself: this is just for 90 days (rather than THIS IS FOREVER). I think it is easier to go cold turkey, but some people may prefer a slower, step-by-step approach.

Because this way of thinking is so foreign from our current food culture, the following suggestions for reducing fat may be useful, but remember: it is the big picture that matters.

1. Learn to identify high fat foods.

  • All animal foods: meat, dairy, and eggs. These are naturally very high in fat, unless the fat has been taken out (in which case they are unhealthy for other reasons).
  • All vegetable oils, including coconut oil. This goes without saying: these are all 100% fat. Even cooking spray labeled as “zero calories and fat-free” is 100% fat! (The FDA allows companies to round down to zero.)
  • Most processed foods. Check the labels, and read the ingredients. Calculate the percent of calories that are coming from fat. If 20% or more of calories come from fat, consider this a “high-fat food.” It is not uncommon for 50-70% of the calories to come from fat! (But note that most processed food, even if the fat has been removed, is not healthy.)
  • High fat plant foods. These include raw nuts and seeds (75–92% fat); avocados (88% fat); coconut (92% fat); and olives (98% fat).
  • Soybeans are relatively high fat (40%) and so are traditional soy foods (tofu, soy milk, tempeh, miso, edamame, etc.). Nontraditional soy products and “fake foods” made from soy (soy burgers, soy turkey, etc.) are usually VERY high in fat. (Because they are made from soy isolates, which are not healthy, even if they are low-fat they should be avoided.

2. Eliminate animal foods, oils, and high-fat processed foods. Read More→

Overcoming Challenges on a WFPB Diet

By Jane Birch

While some people find it relatively easy to switch to a WFPB diet, most people should expect a challenge. Big change is usually difficult, and we should expect it to require dedication, persistence, a willingness to suffer some temporary discomfort, and a determination not to give up until we succeed.

Most things in life that are worthwhile take effort: getting an education, building a home, establishing a career, and raising children. Taking care of our bodies and feeding ourselves appropriately is one of the important tasks of earth-life and is essential to our well-being, both physically and spiritually. Trying to figure this out is worthwhile, even if it takes some struggle and trial and error. Since Satan has a vested interest in our continuing to eat unhealthy foods that deaden our sensitivity to the Spirit, expect and prepare for some opposition. But remember that the Lord cares even more what we eat, and He will help us if we are determined and reach out to Him.

Once you are convinced that a WFPB diet is worth a try, you will face a number of challenges. These are probably the three biggest. They are discussed individually on separate pages:

  1. Figuring out what to eat
  2. Giving up certain foods (overcoming food addictions)
  3. Dealing with other people (handling social situations)

Not every person faces all three challenges, but many do. Each challenge is difficult, and each takes time and effort to work through, but all can be overcome if you are willing to do what it takes to make it work.

Remember, Remember

If making the switch is not easy, it is definitely worth it. Look at all the sick people around us. What is your health worth? Yes, eating this way is not always easy, but living with cancer or heart disease is not easy either. Believe me, if you get heart disease, you’ll learn to live with it because you’ll have no choice. I would rather freely choose to eat in a way to prevent heart disease in the first place.

I believe the problem is not knowledge; it is commitment. All the scriptures implore us to “remember.” It is right there in the Word of Wisdom, “remember to keep and do these sayings” (D&C 89:18). We know what to do to take better care of our bodies, but it is easy for us to not “remember” to make the best choices. Perhaps one reason is that we feel we are only hurting ourselves. We don’t remember that we are not our own, that we were “bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). And what a price that was. “Therefore,” Paul admonishes, “glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20). If we believe this, what will it take to help us remember?

Ultimately, health reasons may not be enough to help us remember. I do believe our ability to commit ourselves to eating well is greatly strengthened when we see it in light of our religion and commitment to God, when we do it because we have a testimony that it is pleasing to Him. Gandhi, a life-long vegetarian, wrote:

Forty years ago I used to mix freely with vegetarians. . . . I notice also that it is those persons who became vegetarians because they are suffering from some disease or other—that is from purely the health point of view—it is those persons who largely fall back. I discovered that for remaining staunch to vegetarianism a man requires a moral basis.

Fortunately, we have the ultimate “moral” reason for eating a wholesome diet: an amazing revelation from God called the Word of Wisdom.

Last Updated: February 14, 2015