We caught up with Rebecca and Clare Hopkins, sisters and co-founders of Balance Me, to shed some light on the good fat vs bad fat debate.
Like many good ideas Balance Me was born on a kitchen table following Rebecca and Clare's frustrations at not being able to find a natural skincare solution for both themselves and their families. This spurred the sisters to wave goodbye to their corporate careers, retrain in yoga and reflexology, and in 2005 they founded Balance Me.
Today their products, designed to bring your skin back into natural balance, have won over 40 awards and celebrity fans include Emma Watson and Claudia Schiffer!
Over to Rebecca and Clare...
‘Good Fats’- two serious buzzwords in the healthy food industry at the moment. People are slathering their face in coconut oil and we are eating more avocados than ever, but what actually is ‘good fat’? Isn’t all fat just fat at the end of the day? Is healthy fat really that good for us? And which fats can make us glow?
What actually is fat?
An essential part of our diet, fat is nutritionally denser in energy than any other nutrient. It gives us energy and keeps us going. There are two main types of fat – saturated and unsaturated, and the difference between them is their chemical makeup. Saturated fat can be found in foods such as dairy, meat, pastries and cakes and unsaturated fats are found in nuts, oils, seeds and fish. There are two different types of unsaturated fat; monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat are both unsaturated fats. “Poly” means many unsaturated chemical bonds and “mono” means one unsaturated chemical bond. These unsaturated fats are often found in liquid vegetable oils.
Does fat make us fat?
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that eating tones of cakes, biscuits and pastries will make us gain weight due to the high calorie content mixed with sugar in these foods. But not all fat will make us fat; fats take a long time to digest and break down within the body, so consuming healthy fats with our meals will keep us fuller for longer, and curb those afternoon trips to the biscuit tin. However, eating fats and carbs combined with processed sugar will cause a spike in insulin levels and then a crash, producing even more cravings for sugar. We also suggest staying clear of low fat products as they are often packed with sugar, to make up for the missing fat, meaning they won’t help you lose weight but will actually keep you craving more sugar. Having healthy good quality full-fats in moderation, as part of a balanced diet, will help us maintain a healthy body weight.
Which fats will make me glow?
Good fats can lower the risk of disease, make our skin, nails and hair glow and even lower stress. Nuts and nut butter lower blood pressure (especially walnuts), help us deal with stress, and are packed with omega-3. Many nuts, in particular almonds, are rich in Vitamin E, which can make your skin glow and improve its texture. Oily fish such as salmon and tuna, avocados, eggs and seeds all contain healthy fats.
Virgin coconut oil is an ‘it’ fat for a good reason. This magical stuff has anti-microbial properties, helps prevent high blood pressure, reduces inflammation, is great for the immune system and has a multitude of beauty uses, amongst other things! Eating healthy fats is great, but applying them topically to our skin can make the benefits work even harder. Coconut oil is a taking the beauty world by storm. Reap the benefits yourself by using Balance Me’s Super Moisturising Body Oil or Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm. Both of these products contain virgin cold-pressed coconut oil, in its purest form, to deeply hydrate and nourish your skin.