I know, I know, the topic of healthy fats is a really difficult thing to wrap your brain around. I still hear people complaining that their doctor told them to avoid foods like meat, cheese, and butter, and I hear it a lot. I actually just heard someone complaining about this on Saturday. She said, “I told him, if I can't eat all those things, then I guess I'd rather not be around.”
I tried to keep quiet, really I did, but I lost the battle.
To the annoyance of my family (“Oh great, here she goes again…”) I blurted out, “You don't have to avoid those things!” She looked at me like I was nuts. Where to begin? How do you sum up something like that and come off credible, when doctors have been saying these are taboo foods for years?!
The answer is that I can't sum it up.
You can't undo years of bad information with a couple sentences, which is about all the time you have in a casual conversation. Unfortunately the only thing I can do is encourage them to read more, and the rest is up to them. Sadly, most people won't do it, though. Here's what Kent & I came up with for why most won't keep researching (I love that I have a husband who will lament over these things with me):
- Many are too busy, too lazy, or too unmotivated to do any reading. (We're busy, lazy & unmotivated at times, too, but not ALL the time…)
- Some take everything their doctor says as gospel. Not that I want anyone to believe ME instead of them. Far from it, but I DO want what people read here to motivate them to keep researching. And I'm not saying docs are bad or that they don't want us to be healthy. I love our family doc and know he really does have our best interests at heart. I just think that they can't be up on everything, and nutrition isn't something most docs have studied much. It's a totally different world compared to the pharmaceutical world.
- The majority of people want their docs to give them a pill that will allow them to keep up their bad habits, and go on with life. They want to eat their fast food (cheap, easy & tastes good), they want to keep eating sweets (my weakness, too…I never said I didn't have my own issues), they don't want to give up pop, etc. (If only they'd “get it”, that traditional food tastes great, satisfies completely, and it will lengthen your life instead of shortening it…even more, it will improve the quality of the life you have while here on this earth. Read about how I've even taken some dessert recipes and made them a little less unhealthy, and more traditional, with natural sugars and healthy fats.)
- I also believe that some suffer from information overload – they're hearing different advice from all over, what “they” say is healthy often changes, and many just don't know who to believe or where to find the truth.
What else do you think keeps people from going after optimum health?
So often when people tell me they're on statins, or they've had heart problems, or they're trying to eat low fat and avoiding traditional foods like butter and meat, they're also overweight. And of course they think I'm a wacko. Understandable, since I'm singing a completely different song from what they've heard for years. I don't want to be rude, but I always want to ask,
“And how's that workin' for you?”
Read this from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition – “Saturated fat prevents coronary artery disease? An American paradox”:
In conclusion, the hypothesis-generating report of Mozaffarian et al draws attention to the different effects of diet on lipoprotein physiology and cardiovascular disease risk. These effects include the paradox that a high-fat, high–saturated fat diet is associated with diminished coronary artery disease progression in women with the metabolic syndrome, a condition that is epidemic in the United States.
(FYI: Metabolic syndrome is a combination of medical disorders that increase the risk of developing heart disease, stroke and diabetes. These medical disorders include obesity, high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and more. Additional info.)
So here's where I need your help
Let's come up with some one or two-liners to explain to people why what they've been taught is a bunch of bunk. Then we'll be better prepared next time it comes up in casual conversation. Comment below with your ideas!
- Read more posts about healthy fats/oils
- Remember, not fearing saturated fats is only one aspect of a healthy diet that we should all be working toward. Wondering where to start? Read over these Rookie Tips
- Keep in mind, whenever I talk about healthy meat on my blog, I'm talking about meat from good sources, and this rarely means meat from your local grocery store
- From Modern Forager: Book Review – Fat: An Appreciation of A Misunderstood Ingredient
- Also, re-read this about how the whole lie began in the first place