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Childhood attitudes to dietary fat?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 22, 2013 at 7:04 PM

After taking the advice of others earlier this week and upping my dietary fat (to great success - thank you so much!), I started thinking about how my current diet differs to how I ate just a few years ago and in childhood.

When I was a kid, I ate copious amounts of bread and pasta - not much stereotypical junk, but lots of carbs - and whilst my family never demonised fats and my meals all included fats such as butter and olive oil, I never cared for the taste or texture of fat at all. When eating bacon, I would cut off the fat because I disliked it; I would refuse to eat egg yolks; I hated butter in my sandwiches and pasta and would rather eat both plain; I naturally preferred lean meats to fatty meats; I hated fatty salad dressings; etc.

Despite my avoidance of fats, I never thought of fats as "bad" and was genuinely astonished when my year 7 science teacher told me as much - I just didn't care for them and would much rather eat carbohydrates. Unsurprisingly, I got fat.

Whilst I still definitely prefer the taste and texture of carbohydrates (there's nothing quite like a bowl of cereal, a pasta dish, or a hot pie), I've felt a million times better lowering the carbs and upping the fats. My hunger has vanished, and I feel full of (stable) energy - my running endurance has improved markedly in just the past few days. However I've had to teach myself to like bacon, egg yolks, butter etc, and whilst I now like them - I was craving butter just a few minutes ago, so grabbed some straight out of the fridge - it's been remarkably difficult and I still naturally don't eat it unless I consciously remember to.

So, I have two questions: 1) what was your childhood attitude to fats, and how has that affected your eating habits now? and 2) is this natural fat-aversion telling me something important about what my body needs?

Medium avatar

(1097)

on April 23, 2013
at 12:22 AM

Also, I do the cooking, so yeah. Let her eat one starch per meal, instead of just standing to the side and watching her eat the amount of sugar and excessive carbs she used to eat.

Medium avatar

(1097)

on April 23, 2013
at 12:18 AM

Yes, indeed. I'm monitoring her intake pretty closely now since I've been looking into the nutrition and she's trusting my knowledge, and for me to give her explanations. I know, that sounded bad, but trust me--she LETS me do some stuff, too ;)

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on April 22, 2013
at 11:38 PM

You LET her have one starch per meal? Pretty short leash there, eh?

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9 Answers

1
34f00c7b4e5738cf04ead1a012a14ed1

(996)

on April 22, 2013
at 08:11 PM

As a child, I was all about fat and carbs and could care less about lean meat. I hated chicken, and when beef was served it was the first thing gone off my plate. I also hated veggies and fruit other than bananas, but I could polish off a whole loaf of bread in one sitting, eat a whole box of mac and cheese by myself and pasta was always a craving. Bread always "needed" (in my mind, much to my mom's dismay) so much butter that you could see teeth marks in it. Potatoes weren't eaten unless I had at least 3 tablespoons of butter mashed into it.

Don't even get me started on the sugar addiction I had...

0
4e9a5c25d6e74d0bb73026b5fd713ce4

on April 23, 2013
at 02:22 PM

Similar preferences in childhood here! I loved pasta, potatoes, bread, polenta, and pastries. I also loved fruits of all kinds, but not vegetables. I did not like most meats, except for cold cuts (for the sandwiches) and chicken breast. I did not as much as have bacon until fairly recently. I did like runny egg yolks however (love to scoop those with bread) and disliked egg whites and hard-boiled eggs. And I also liked dairy of all kinds: cheeses, milk, yogurt, sour cream (butter not so much as I preferred the softer more spreadable texture of margarine on sandwiches). My preferences still haven't changed very much -- I still find pasta dishes, sandwiches, potatoes, and pastries to be the far tastier option. I find that when I start eating bread in particular my appetite soars and I can eat far more. There's a reason so many restaurants start you off with some free bread.

I also had a strong dislike for water (!) and was ALWAYS very, very thirsty. Pepsi and other sodas were my favourite thing in the world, but would also love other things that would quench my thirst like chicken noodle soup, milk, orange juice.

I've never as much as been overweight (always had bmi < 25). However, I've slowly been edging towards 25. First I ditched sodas and I lost some weight. After that, starting to eat paleo I continued to lose some weight but then I've actually gained some weight back. I feel though that I've improved my body composition without actually trying very hard to exercise or do weights -- I've just had more energy and spontaneously felt like moving my body more, and on occasions when I do organized exercises (for example playing soccer in a team) my athletic performance has substantially improved.

0
Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on April 23, 2013
at 01:38 PM

I don't remember having macronutrient preferences...my mother is very wise and encouraged us to eat plenty of olive oil with everything, so to this day I just have to look at a bottle of olive oil to get an overwhelmingly positive emotional response. We always ate protein, fat, and carbs at every meal. We ate real butter, not margarine, and I remember loving it on fresh sourdough bread or baked potatoes. I loved crispy chicken skin (still do!), spare ribs, fatty pork chops, and bacon, but I also loved lentil soup, chicken breast on salad, roasted carrots, and green peppers, so it wasn't fat-specific. I was a "good eater" and just liked food.

RE: your question 2: is it possible that you have a gallbladder problem? This sounds really woo and bizarre, but maybe your body is rejecting the fat because it "knows" you can't process it somehow?

0
5dd50f78f47b8848d93724d6eb38d4c1

on April 23, 2013
at 09:20 AM

Bacon and eggs grossed me out. Milk, both skim and full fat was gross unless mixed with something. But sausages, french fries, mayo, cream, cookies, pizzas, fried chicken wings, pies, donuts and burgers were always loved so it's fair to say I loved fat.

0
Dc0b6400ec0a34615510f4e01cedab28

on April 23, 2013
at 12:25 AM

I was just like that, cutting fat off of meats, I wouldn't eat the fatty half of bacon! lol! I didn't like egg yolks or butter on bread. I did, however, love fatty/buttery baked goods - pastries, cakes, croissants, oh my! Then as I got older I "learned" that fats are bad for you. I kept gaining more and more weight and kept cutting more fat! My appetite kept growing and growing and I thought there was something mentally wrong with me. I been paleo for 1.5 years now and I still struggle to get enough fat. I love all my bacon now! I still have a hard time eating the fat off a steak though! Although grass-fed fat tastes soooo much better then conventional fat. I find it tastes a bit sweet :) I know my body needs fats. Without it I get really hungry and start thinking about food all the time. I think I was like that as a kid due to poor parenting. I mean, come on, some kids grow up eating bugs! It's how you were raised, not some deep meaning about what you body needs or doesn't need :)

0
618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on April 22, 2013
at 11:50 PM

Drank milk like water, loved cheese (or whatever it was that masqueraded as cheese), loved fatty meats over lean ones. This was also very unfortunately coupled with a huge carb addiction - I found out that my mother fed me cereal in my bottle as a baby to keep me full and sleepy. Wonder bread wasn't safe in my presence, neither was Capn Crunch or Sugar Corn Pops. My childhood was full of processed foods, and as a latch-key kid I went for them as sources of comfort. My natural inclination was for protein like (especially roasted beef with fat on it) and fats like avocado, but combined with the SAD, I was a chubby asthmatic mess.

0
61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on April 22, 2013
at 11:16 PM

I didn't like fat much as a kid. Didn't really like vegetables, either. I was all about lean meat (we had mostly chicken and processed meats like turkey bacon, turkey ham, and beef hot dogs - didn't have experience with fatty meat very often), TONS of eggs and beans, lots of potatoes, some cheese, and a bit of pasta and bread. My mother always had margarine, and I hated that. I didn't like milk, either, after I was about 5. We didn't have sugary cereals very often either, but I did like Shredded Wheat. We didn't keep potato chips, soda, or even juice around very much. Ice cream was our big indulgence and while we didn't get it very often, when we did we ate big portions compared to our usual foods. Basically, I ate exactly what my parents ate, in varying ratios, and there was no fussy-kid stuff except a refusal to eat more than my mandatory three bites of vegetables. I guess I have always been more of a protein lover than fat or carbs.

My family's dietary habits were a combination of background, religion, health and cost. We were kinda poor at some points in my childhood. I was always a super skinny kid. Like, so skinny people wondered if I got enough to eat (and I always did, even when my parents didn't). I was very active, playing outside, riding bikes, jumping on my friend's trampoline, and other kid stuff. We didn't have TV until I was older, and no video games. I got "normal" size when I was in my early 20's.

I have gone back and tried all sorts of stuff I hated as a kid - mostly vegetables and fats. I still don't like the texture of fat if it's not rendered out, so I still trim all the visible fat off my steak and pork chops. I love many vegetables now and most meals don't feel complete without at least one kind. I think adding fat to them, having fresh instead of canned or frozen, and trying cooking methods other than boiling and steaming is really what did it for me. When it comes to fat, the real, natural stuff is great, like butter and other full-fat dairy and bacon fat. I think most of my fat aversion as a kid was because it was margarine and the occasional chunk of fat off a steak or beef neckbones and it was a textural thing.

0
F608030131d21403873cf98972be5756

on April 22, 2013
at 10:54 PM

For me, I feel like I didn't really have an opportunity to develop an opinon on fats as a kid. I grew up without very much money, so I remember living off of things like Sidekicks instant noodles, which would be eaten as a meal, without anything to go with it. We used margerine not butter. I only convinced my mom this year to stop eating it btw. For me, my new diet is a complete revamp of my relationship with food. Before I wouldn't have even considered what my meal was composed of in terms of, "I'm going to sit down and eat this bowl of carbs with processed 'flavoring' for dinner." Never occured to me to question what I was eating. Now, I'm not trying to bash my mom, she did the best she could, all I mean is when it comes to food, EVERYTHING is different now.

From what I can remember, I basically lived off carbs, and straight sugar, but I definately liked fat as well.

0
Medium avatar

on April 22, 2013
at 07:38 PM

I've always loved fat and protein. I'm a 5'7" female, and I can shove at least a pound of fatty meat down my gullet at one meal, no problem. I've always despised potatoes unless fully saturated in butter, (this doesn't seem to be the case with sweet potatoes...) and bread? Eh. That's fine.

But that was childhood. Somewhere in my late teens I started getting these crazy, euphoric highs from eating carbs. I could reach that high so beautifully over a three-serving bowl of cinnamon toast crunch.... I've had to kick that habit since it started to get healthy, but something I was never really all about suddenly became an addiction. It was weird.

Now, my partner is very different. She has a similar aversion to fat you do. It was all texture for her, though.

If you feel better eating more fat, than you should do so. I've upped her fat and decreased her (especially simple) carbs, and along with the no-brain-fog-from-gluten-effect, has had increased and stabilized energy, and though her bipolar is still present, she has much more control over the issue. Which isn't you're experience exactly, but it's so close.

For her it is only texture and the look of it. So, I've fixed it so that I'm adding heavy cream or olive oil to her food when I can, and I cook her lean meats in grassfed butter. However, I keep the pans clean after cooking so she doesn't have to look at left over fat! LOL.

I also let her have one starch per meal. Keeps her energy levels up and imo, her thyroid in check.

Glad to hear you're having so much success! Good luck! :)

Medium avatar

(1097)

on April 23, 2013
at 12:18 AM

Yes, indeed. I'm monitoring her intake pretty closely now since I've been looking into the nutrition and she's trusting my knowledge, and for me to give her explanations. I know, that sounded bad, but trust me--she LETS me do some stuff, too ;)

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on April 22, 2013
at 11:38 PM

You LET her have one starch per meal? Pretty short leash there, eh?

Medium avatar

(1097)

on April 23, 2013
at 12:22 AM

Also, I do the cooking, so yeah. Let her eat one starch per meal, instead of just standing to the side and watching her eat the amount of sugar and excessive carbs she used to eat.

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