Fat bomb. It doesn't have the most positive of connotations, does it? Greasy takeaways, clogged-up arteries... Oh, you hadn't heard? Fat is no longer public enemy number one. In fact, recent research suggests that saturated fats like coconut oil, butter and even cream can increase our levels of good cholesterol and improve "cardiometabolic risk factors, such as ectopic fat storage, blood pressure, blood lipids (triglycerides), insulin and blood sugar". No wonder, then, that the wellness set is attempting to harness its benefits.
What are fat bombs?
So what, exactly, is a fat bomb? And does your mid-afternoon Twix count? I'm afraid not - boasting a mere 23.7g fat per 100g, it doesn't even come close to the 85% fat content we're aiming for. Yes, 85%. A fat bomb is similar to an energy ball or bar. However, whilst these tend to be based around carb and sugar-heavy ingredients like dates and oats, fat bombs eschew these in favour of high-fat, low-carb additions such as coconut oil, peanut butter and cream.
Why should you be eating fat bombs?
OK, let's get a few things straight. Trans fats are bad. Nasties formed as byproducts of the chemical processing undergone by these ‘hydrogenated oils' lower good cholesterol, raise bad cholesterol and appear to promote inflammation and weight gain. However, according to scientists, we should still be getting at least 20% of our daily calorie intake from ‘good fats'. We need fats to absorb fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K, and research suggests that monounsaturated fats (the kind found in avocados, peanuts and olives) can lower ‘bad' LDL cholesterol and increase ‘good' HDL cholesterol. Fats take longer to break down in the digestive tract and slow the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugar, keeping our blood sugar levels stable and helping us to feel fuller for longer. According to scientific research, a spoonful of coconut oil a day could even whittle our waistlines away! You'll still need to watch your portion sizes but, since fats are intrinsically satisfying, eating a fat bomb for breakfast could actually help you stop snacking.
What is a keto fat bomb?
You may have heard dieters talking about ‘keto fat bombs' or ‘ketogenic fat bombs'. These are fat bombs with a fat content of at least 85%. They can be eaten as a quick breakfast, mid-afternoon pick-me-up or pre- or post-workout snack by those following a low-carb diet such as the Atkins Diet since they do not disrupt ketosis. Ketosis is a ‘fat-burning' state characterised by elevated levels of ketone bodies in the blood. When we eat ‘normally', most of our energy comes from blood glucose (or sugar) rather than fat, a state known as ‘glycolysis'. Most fat bombs are ketogenic and can be incorporated into low-carbohydrate diet plans.
Fat bomb recipe
Itching to get cooking? Making your own fat bombs couldn't be easier. Essentially, creating the perfect fat bomb comes down to combining your favourite elements from each of the following categories:
- - Healthy fats such as cacao butter, coconut butter, peanut or almond butter, coconut oil, coconut milk or cream, dairy cream, cream cheese, grass-fed butter, ghee and avocado
- - Low-carb flavouring e.g. cacao powder, unsweetened dark chocolate, vanilla extract, salt or spices
- - If you prefer a little texture, a handful of nuts, seeds, shredded coconut or cacao nibs
Simply combine your chosen ingredients in a mixing bowl, blender or food processor (if you're using coconut oil, you might like to heat it up a little first, in order to soften it). Mould the resulting mixture into small balls or pour into a mini muffin tray or paper cases. Refrigerate overnight, or freeze for 6-8 hours. You can safely keep your fat bombs in the fridge for at least 1-2 weeks.
Some opt to combine boiled eggs, butter, mayonnaise and even bacon to form savoury fat bombs, but chocolate fat bombs are by far the most popular choice. Make your own chocolate bomb by combining coconut oil, almond butter and cacao powder. Make it your own by adding sea salt, vanilla extract, cinnamon or cream, or just sit back and enjoy it in all its wondrous simplicity. Being good never felt so naughty...