The Fear of Eating Fat
The Fear of Eating Fat: When you do a google search on this sentence you get 31,100,000 results (now maybe you will get 31,100,001 results), so what I am saying is that I am not the first or definitely only person/doctor/researcher writing about this. I probably won't add anything new to this conversation but...I am going to write about it anyway, because even though there have been a lot of SMART people writing about this topic, not enough people are taking us seriously.
Let's look at the facts about FAT. Fats 101: There are many types of fats, this should not be news to you. Some are considered "good fats" and others are considered "bad fats". Up until now we are all in agreement. When people start getting a little too technical like saying "polyunsaturated", "monounsaturated", and "saturated" fats you might wanna doze off a little, or cut to a commercial break (as my culinary teacher Chef Mick would say). All you really want to zoom in on is, are these REAL fats of FAKE fats? If they are fake, like trans fats, or processed vegetable oils and margarine, don't eat them! EVER. If they are REAL fats, coming from REAL foods like avocado, olives, nuts, seeds, and animals, these are GOOD fats, EAT THEM.
Why do we need to eat Fats? Regardless of what type of fats they are (as long as they are REAL and not processed) we need them. Let's start at step 1 (I am keeping this nice and simple): Babies need fats and high fat foods for brain development. This is why you should NEVER feed babies low-fat foods. Every cell in our body has a membrane, this membrane is made of fat (and other things). You need cells and membranes...Every hormone in your body is made from Cholesterol (yes, Cholesterol is NOT BAD). You need hormones... right! You're getting the picture. Here's a quote from the American Heart Association: "Dietary fats are essential to give your body energy and to support cell growth. They also help protect your organs and help keep your body warm. Fats help your body absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones, too. Your body definitely needs fat." Again, here we are still in agreement (not so much about other things).
What happens to your body if you don't eat enough Fat? You need Fat to absorb certain vitamins! You might have learned this in school in order to memorize which vitamins were fat-soluble: "All Dinosaurs Eat Kids". Vitamins A, D, E and K can only get absorbed if there is enough FAT. You probably know a little about these vitamins, but let me tell you what happens to you if you don't get enough of them. "Regularly consuming fewer than 20% of your daily calories from fat (...) will put your health at risk in many ways" . This leads to issues with immunity; blood clotting; depression; cancer; cholesterol and heart disease (yes! fats help to improve you cholesterol levels, I already told you this in previous blogs); increased consumption of Carbs (leading to obesity and Diabetes, amount other things); and OVEREATING.
So why are we so SCARED TO EAT FAT? If you read my previous blogs, this all come from a study done in the 50's by a guy named Ancel Keys, bla bla bla bla bla. Today, almost every single doctor will agree that in order to prevent, treat and control Heart Disease and Cholesterol levels you have to eat certain types of Fats (look at the recommendations above from the American Heart Association). Yet, as soon as someone develops heart disease and what's considered a higher than normal cholesterol level, they are IMMEDIATELY told to go on a low-fat diet. Come on?!? Where is the consistency here? This is when they start with the "saturated fat" talk...that's when you should cut to a commercial break. What they should be telling you is to consume GOOD fats and avoid the BAD fats (aka trans and other processed oils). It is way easier (and more profitable) to just give people cholesterol-lowering meds, full of adverse effects....even though getting people on the proper diet would, in most cases (except in the rare cases of Familial Hypercholesterolemia, again in previous posts), improve the heart, and overall health, condition. Anyway, I won't bore you, you can read all that in previous posts. There is a serious misconception that EATING FAT MAKES YOU FAT. I heard a Swedish researcher somewhere make a "funny joke": "Saying that eating fat makes you fat, is like saying that eating vegetables makes you green". I will just cut to the chase here: It's not fat that's making people fat, it's the CARBS and SUGAR. There, I said it! Look at the picture above. I am not trying to be rude. I went on google images and typed in "eating fat" and that was the first picture that came up. Does it look like she is eating fat??? No, she is eating an ish-load of carbs!
How much fat should we eat? The American Heart Association recommends a dietary fat intake of 30% of your total caloric intake. But wait a minute...? The LCHF (Lower Carb HIGHER FAT) diet recommends 30% fat intake (if you take into account the fats from nuts, seeds, coconut oil, avocados as well as from meats, eggs and fish). So what's everybody else eating??? The non-High Fatters (or non-Elcies, as I call them)??? BELOW the recommended levels of dietary fat intake!!!! Yes, you got it, everyone else is eating HIGH Carb and LOW fat. And what's the problem with this? I hope you didn't cut to a commercial break while I was telling you all that up above! Remember? Diabetes? Obesity? Overeating? Increased intake of Carbs? Depression? Cancer? Low immunity? Blood Clotting issues? Ya, pretty serious.
LCHF Plate Proportion
So are YOU still scared of eating Fat? Leave me a comment below!