I’m writing today on a topic that is very important to me. I’ve compiled a great deal of research on this topic and therefore will not be able to fit it in to one post. With that being said, the purpose of this post is to propose some new ideas for you to consider and future posts will be able to go into some of these ideas and studies a little further.
Fat is a macronutrient like protein and carbohydrates. You need to get all three of these things in your diet to live. The debate lies within how much of each you should get. Personally, the best research I’ve seen all points to generally low protein and carbohydrate intake (15-30% of your total calorie intake each) with the rest going to fat. That comes out to about half of your daily calories coming from fat. But won’t that make me fat? Not only will consuming the correct healthy fats not make you fat, it can make you skinnier, give you more energy, more mental clarity, help prevent serious chronic illness, among other heathy benefits.
Here’s a quick history lesson. President Eisenhower’s heart attack catapulted a race to discover the cause of heart disease. Dr. Ancel Keys gained great recognition when he published his 7 Countries Study linking heart disease to dietary fats. Years later it came out that he cherry picked his findings, he actually studied 22 countries, and he only included the 7 countries that supported his hypothesis into the paper. But by the time this information came out the damage was done and as a result heart disease is more rampant than ever.
As a society, we’ve recently embraced certain fats as good, like olive oil, coconut oil, fish, avocados, and almonds. That’s a good start, but most of us still avoid saturated fats like the plague. Saturated fats aren’t bad for you. If they were, olive oil (30% saturated fat), salmon (25% saturated fat), and coconut oil (90% saturated fat) wouldn’t be considered so healthy. Saturated fats get a bad rap because they typically come from unhealthy cows and pigs. Fat cells are your typical resting place for persistent toxins. Same goes for other creatures in the animal kingdom. Therefore you can expect a different body composition as well as fat quality if an animal has been on a steady diet of hormones, antibiotics, and genetically modified food cereals. As a result, grass fed cows have 5 times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids and twice as much conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) as their commercially raised counterparts, as well as significantly less environmental toxins. Bottom line is that you are what you eat, and you are what the things you eat, eats.
Think about it, would you rather eat one of these beauties?
Or this pig?
To put it in different terms…if you were, say a shark, would you rather eat this guy?
Or this guy?
Now, don’t go eating Hugh Jackman. He still has a couple more X-Men movies on his contract I want to see. But jokes aside, the FDA or USDA probably wouldn’t let you eat him. The typical human cadaver has something like 180 persistent environmental toxins stored in their fat cells. Even our government would have a problem with that.
The real enemy is not saturated fat, it’s what can be considered “sweet fats.” This is fat combined with refined starches or sugar, like a bagel with cream cheese, donuts, and French fries. This combination spikes insulin, signals your body to store fat, and causes and inflammatory response.
This post is getting long so I’ll end it here. As always, let me know if you have any questions about this topic and I can address them in the next post.
Thanks and have a great weekend.