Our article on Joe Wicks and his Lean in 15 book sparked a bit of controversy, with many claiming his recipes are full of ‘healthy fat’. Joe Wicks’ breakfasts are what I have the main issue with, so let’s go bit by bit through what he’s telling his fans to eat.
Baked eggs in avocado with bacon
Now, it’s a well-known fact that you do need healthy fat in your diet. The best place to get this from, is from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and provide essential fatty acids, and I agree with Joe that you need these.
However, this example of Joe Wicks’ breakfasts strays as far away from this as possible.
Yes he has avocado, a source of polyunsaturated fat, yet he includes a WHOLE avocado, which means you’ll also be getting a whopping 4.3g of saturated fat with it.
Mix this in with the 4 rashers of bacon (14g of saturated fat) and the 2 eggs (3g), and you’ve got yourself an extremely fatty breakfast.
This breakfast has a whopping 21.3g of saturated fat, already over the recommended 20g of saturated fat for women a day.
Yes you have the healthy fat from the avocado, but the nutritional benefits of this are lost in what accompanies it. You may as well just have a fry up.
What’s wrong with saturated fats?
According to the British Heart Foundation;
Plain and simple. Too much saturated fats are bad for you. And there’s Joe Wicks telling women to eat over their daily recommended limit by breakfast, because of the healthy fats in the avocado.
A diet rich in saturated fats can drive up total cholesterol, and tip the balance toward more harmful LDL cholesterol, which prompts blockages to form in arteries in the heart and elsewhere in the body. For that reason, most nutrition experts recommend limiting saturated fat to under 10% of calories a day.
Joe claims that;
“Saturated fats from meat and dairy products were wrongly demonized in the 1950s because of their association with increased bad cholesterol and coronary heart disease. For years, we were told to replace these saturated fats with polyunsaturated vegetable oils, margarines and low-fat products.
New research, however, suggests that saturated fats from butter, milk, cream, eggs and coconut oil actually increase good cholesterol and are beneficial for the heart – so don’t throw away your yolks, folks!”
Where is this ‘new research’ that suggests saturated animal fats are good for you? There’s not one source on his page about fats, and no evidence proving this.
In fact, here are a few sources I can show you that demonstrate how fats derived from animal products are bad for you:
- The NHS
- Dr Michael Greger M.D.
- Dr Esselstyn
- North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project
- Harvard Health Publications
Yes, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are good for you in small amounts, but SMALL AMOUNTS only!
You can have a high cholesterol level even if you are a healthy weight. Remember this when you lose weight and believe that you’re healthy on the surface.
The Breakfast Bagel
Here we have:
- 75g of roast beef = 7.5g of saturated fat
- Chicken = 1.5g
- Egg = 1.5
= 10.5g of saturated fat, over half of what’s recommended for a woman in a day
There are so many other ways in which you could get these healthy fats, without all the negatives. Breakfast shouldn’t be filling you up with fat and salt, especially there are so many alternatives.
Foods high in saturated fats include:
- fatty cuts of meat
- meat products, including sausages and pies
- butter, ghee and lard
- cheese, especially hard cheese
- cream, soured cream and ice cream
- some savoury snacks and chocolate confectionery
- biscuits, cakes and pastries
- palm oil
- coconut oil and cream
Yes, fat is good for you, but don’t let someone saying this trick you into eating nothing more than unhealthy food with a twist. Joe Wicks’ breakfasts are not the ideal way for you to be starting your day.