Does Fat Make You Fat? Dieting Answers
The last post discussed how researchers are learning that diet foods make us fat. Today I want to explore a similar topic, this time regarding the issue of dietary fat itself: does fat make you fat?
- PART 1 – we'll look at saturated fat, cholesterol and heart disease issues in this post (and one little tid-bit about the role of fats related to sexuality)
- PART 2 – specific principles related to fats & dieting
- Read all posts on this topic of healthy fats.
“Kelly, you're a FREAK, you're telling me I should try and eat MORE fat?”
If there is ONE thing I want to get across to you through this blog, it's the fact that healthy fat is needed for our bodies to be well! I know, I know, you've been taught that for so many years, it is very difficult to wrap your brain around the fact that it may all be a farce, from someone like me no less – you must wonder how I could dare to make such a claim, but I hope you'll keep reading so I can attempt to convince you.
First, what about saturated fats, cholesterol and heart disease?!
I've heard many analogies about the role of cholesterol in our bodies. One is that when we're prescribed statin drugs, it's like “shooting the messenger” – high cholesterol isn't the problem, it's just a symptom of a problem going on somewhere else in your body – such as damage to your arteries from eating unhealthy fats, like highly processed vegetable oils, trans fats, margarine, etc. (By the way, statins are known for their many side-effects: often turning a healthy person into a “patient” rather quickly.)
From “The Truth About Cholesterol and Fat“: Does fat make you fat?
“America has been on a low-fat diet for over 30 years. Yet we’re fatter than ever, we have an epidemic of diabetes, and our cholesterol levels are rising, not falling.”
“If you deprive yourself of cholesterol (and make up those calories in carbs and sugar), your metabolism goes into famine mode and your liver overproduces cholesterol to make up the difference and stock up. This overdrive state can’t shut off until you start eating cholesterol again. So, a low-cholesterol, high-carbohydrate diet can actually lead to high cholesterol!”
From Nina Planck in “Real Food, What To Eat And Why“
“The modern habit of eating chicken breasts and other lean cuts trimmed of all offending fats is new, an aberration in three million years of human history. Most people never ate protein without fat for the simple reason that in nature, protein and fat go together.”
Now an excerpt from an article titled, Why Butter Is Better (notice the many references listed at the bottom of the article at this link):
“Heart disease was rare in America at the turn of the century. Between 1920 and 1960, the incidence of heart disease rose precipitously to become America's number one killer. During the same period butter consumption plummeted from eighteen pounds per person per year to four. It doesn't take a Ph.D. in statistics to conclude that butter is not the cause. Actually, butter contains many nutrients that protect us from heart disease. First among these is vitamin A which is needed for the health of the thyroid and adrenal glands, both of which play a role in maintaining the proper functioning of the heart and cardiovascular system.“
“A Medical Research Council survey showed that men eating butter ran half the risk of developing heart disease as those using margarine.4“
The article goes on to explain more:
- “Butter has anti-cancer properties.”
- “The vitamin A in butter is essential to a healthy immune system.”
- “Butterfat contains glycospingolipids, a special category of fatty acids that protect against gastro-intestinal infection, especially in the very young and the elderly. For this reason, children who drink skim milk have diarrhea at rates three to five times greater than children who drink whole milk.12 Cholesterol in butterfat promotes health of the intestinal wall and protects against cancer of the colon.13 Short and medium chain fatty acids protect against pathogens and have strong anti-fungal effects.14 Butter thus has an important role to play in the treatment of candida overgrowth.”
- “The notion that butter causes weight gain is a sad misconception. The short and medium chain fatty acids in butter are not stored in the adipose tissue, but are used for quick energy. Fat tissue in humans is composed mainly of longer chain fatty acids.15 These come from olive oil and polyunsaturated oils as well as from refined carbohydrates.”
What are you putting your fats ON?
I'm not talking about sitting down to a meal of butter. I'm just suggesting you use it when cooking or on your veggies, etc., without the guilt. As Sally Fallon (from the Weston A. Price Foundation) has said, “You should worry more about what you're putting your butter ON (carbs), than about the butter itself.”
So which fats are healthy?
I've eaten healthy fats (animal fats, dairy fat, coconut oil, olive oil, eggs, etc.) liberally…yes, I said it, liberally, for years and my cholesterol numbers are great and my weight stays fairly stable. (Now if I could just curb those sweets a little more, maybe I could lose 10 pounds or so, too…)
Low sex drive?
I'll end with this last excerpt, related to sexuality and fertility, since I'm amazed at how often I hear women complain about this: “Very few of us recognize the connection between nutrition and libido. A lifetime of nutritional deficiencies creates the preconditions for hormonal imbalance. Chronic dieting has a terrible impact on your energy and self-image, and therefore on your sex drive. Low-fat diets are a special problem, because your body needs lipids to make its hormones, including the testosterone needed for sexual response.”
As with anything and everything you see on this blog, be sure to do your own research and talk with your doctor before you make any drastic changes in your life. I don't know what your specific health issues might be and I don't know your health history. However, don't JUST talk to your doctor without researching it yourself, too. Most doctors' main area of expertise is in the field of medicine. I'm not saying that is all bad, but nobody can know everything, so what would be especially helpful is if you had a doctor who is knowledgeable about the natural ways of looking at things, too, and who doesn't necessarily use medicine as a first line of attack.
More you might like:
- Let's be clear on this first: My Dark Secrets
- If part 1 doesn't convince you, be sure to read part 2!
- Wonder how the myths surrounding saturated fats began in the first place? Read about The Oiling of America by Sally Fallon
- Cholesterol meds – what about LDL & HDL?
- Dr. Mercola: Why don't the French get fat?
- Read these Q & A’s from the Weston A. Price site: “Some typical questions and misconceptions on fats and oils.” Here's an excerpt: Butyric acid is found almost uniquely in butter, so it is not surprising that this innocent fatty acid is singled out for heinous crimes. Butyric acid has anti-microbial effects and feeds the good flora in the colon. Likewise lauric acid, found in large amounts in coconut oil, and myristic acid, found in butterfat and certain other animal fats, have roles to play in the body–especially lauric acid, which has antimicrobial effects and plays a role in signaling processes. Butterfat and coconut oil are competitors of the powerful vegetable oil industry, so it is wise to be very skeptical when you hear claims that these fats cause disease.