Who’s ever tried a low fat diet? I know I have. The low fat craze has been the holy grail of weight loss and health advice for the past 45 years. Since the 1970s, the USDA has been telling Americans that fat is bad and causes heart disease and high cholesterol. It turns out even the scientists of that time opposed this junk science, and now it’s finally coming to light.
No randomized research study has ever been able to link a low fat diet and lower cholesterol to a lower risk of heart disease. In fact, more people have heart attacks with normal cholesterol than with elevated cholesterol and there is a higher death rate among people with low cholesterol than with high cholesterol (Wannamethee, et al, British Medical Journal, et al.).
The truth is not all fats are bad; some are extremely beneficial and we need LOTS of these good healthy fats in our daily diet! The best part is, these healthy fats are super filling and tasty!
Fat is structurally essential in every single cell in our bodies. The big problem with the ‘low fat logic’ was that in order to make things taste good without the fat, manufacturer’s had to add sugar, corn syrups, and extra carbs into these products creating highly addictive ‘Franken-foods’ that ended up making Americans fatter than ever! Why? Because…SPOILER ALERT…fat does not make you fat!! Refined carbs and sugar make you fat and tired and are the culprits for disease.
What GOOD fats do: What BAD fats do:
1. Maintain body temperature 1. Contribute to weight gain
2. Insulate nerves 2. Prevent cellular detoxification
3. Cushion body tissue 3. Adhere to arterial walls
4. Build cell membranes 4. Cause inflammation and damage
5. Help absorb vitamins 5. Contribute to heart attacks and stroke
6. Build hormones The natural rise in cholesterol is in response to
7. Lower inflammation the damage caused by these fats and is the body’s
8. Make up 70% of brain tissue attempt to heal itself.
Examples of GOOD fats to eat: Examples of BAD fats to avoid:
1. Olive oil 1. Trans fats (hydrogenated oils) – margarine,
2. Avocados processed, and packaged foods
3. Nuts 2. Vegetable Oils – soybean oil, corn oil,
4. Seeds safflower oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil,
5. Coconuts and others simply labeled as vegetable oil
6. Fats that come from naturally raised
animals (including wild fish and grass fed beef)
7. Grass fed cheese & butter (Ex. Kerrygold)
How to add lots of good healthy fats into your diet
- Put some avocado in a salad, on sprouted whole grain toast, or use it in place of mayonnaise.
- Snack on nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, or cashews.
- Cook with coconut oil or grass fed butter (Ex. Kerrygold)
- Put olive oil on salads or over tomatoes with mozzarella and balsamic vinegar.
- Eat animal products that are organic and grass fed.
- Try Bulletproof coffee! Add a tablespoon of coconut oil and a tablespoon of grass fed butter into your coffee and blend it up with a dash of cinnamon for a tasty, filling, and healthy start to your morning.
Keep in mind that the quality of the fat is the most important. Always choose organic grass fed beef or wild caught fish, grass fed cheeses, and raw nuts and seeds.