Are We A Fat-Overloaded Or A Fat-Deficient Society?
This is a guest post from our friend Jimmy Moore. Jimmy is the man behind livinlavidalowcarb.com and the Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Show. In addition to being one of the nicest and most genuine people we know, he’s also just released his second book, Keto Clarity. If you’re interested at all in ketogenic diets, please keep reading and also check out a copy of his book.
In this post, Jimmy explores why we might need more fat rather than less. Certainly, this is more true for some folks, but I (Jeremy) definitely see many people on Paleo diets who are still afraid of getting too much fat in their diets, so this is an important topic even if you’re already Paleo.
It sounds strange, but could your diet actually be fat-deficient?
We’ve all grown up in a world where dietary fat is the enemy to our health. It’s “common knowledge” that to lose weight and to be healthy, you must reduce the amount of fat you are consuming in your diet leading people to make it their default plan a low-fat, low-calorie diet.
But walk with me for a moment to explore the unintended consequences that popular meme that almost everyone believes to be true has had on the people who have faithfully followed it.
When you significantly reduce or cut dietary fat out of your diet, what happens as a result?
You get hungry, feel cranky, experience brain fog, have intense cravings for carbohydrates, lack energy, and have an overall feeling that something important is missing. And it is!
Fat – especially saturated fat – has been so viciously vilified by our modern-day culture. However, when it comes to dramatically enhancing your quality of life by way of some pretty incredible metabolic improvements, fat is where it’s at. Did you know dietary fat could IMPROVE your health? Probably not with all the weeping and gnashing of teeth that’s been put out there about it for most of our lives.
Let’s take a brief look at just a few of the benefits that you’ll get from adding in MORE saturated and monounsaturated fats to your diet rather than taking them away:
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– Totally zaps those intense carb cravings
– Enables you to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E & K
– Raises your HDL “good” cholesterol the best
– Stokes the fat-burning flame to access stored body fat
– Hunger control that enables you to go many hours between meals
– Improved mood and general sense of well-being
– Sharper mind and increased mental acuity
– More energy than you have ever experienced before
– Delicious food that makes you feel good eating it
I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. Fat is a pretty important part of our diet. So why do we think we have to cut it down in order to be healthy?
The story has been told many times before in great books like the classic Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes and the 2014 New York Times bestselling release The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz, but it goes back to the theory promulgated by a scientist in the 1950’s named Ancel Keys who published a highly-flawed Seven Countries Study that concluded eating real food-based fats like butter, meats and full-fat dairy will increase your cholesterol levels which is a risk factor leading to heart disease and death. We explained in our 2013 book Cholesterol Clarity why this may not be the case if you are interested in learning more about this subject.
Unfortunately, that’s where the genesis of fat-phobia began, but it didn’t stop there. In the 1970’s, the fear of consuming fat reached a fevered pitch amongst our politicians, especially Sen. George McGovern, who felt compelled to push a nutritional agenda that was decidedly anti-fat on the American people. That’s when we got the Dietary Guidelines for Americans beginning in 1980 and the subsequent Food Pyramid–now referred to as MyPlate that is still based on these low-fat principles in 2014.
Can you believe how deeply entrenched the low-fat dogma has become based on just one study by a scientist from a half century ago that left out important data that countered the very position he promoted as absolute fact? And yet that’s where we are in society today.
If you listen to dietitians and other health gurus in the media, they’ll scream from the rooftops that we are all on fat overload. They put this idea out there that it’s the fat in our diet that is making us fat and diseased. I’m always amused when I see the list of “fatty” foods shared in health columns by these so-called health “experts” and they talk about foods such as donuts, French fries, milkshakes, potato chips, pizza, and more.
Ummm, does anybody else see what’s wrong with that list of fat-based foods? That’s right, they’re all mostly carbohydrate-based ones primarily. And the kind of fat they are putting in these processed carbage food-like products are inferior omega-6-rich vegetable oil fats like soybean oil, cottonseed oil, and canola oil that are highly inflammatory in the body. Ironically, these manmade, highly-processed seed oils are the very fats that are promoted by health experts as the better alternative to saturated fats. What’s wrong with this picture?
I think we’ve been bamboozled for long enough and it’s high time we give real food-based saturated and monounsaturated fats the credence they deserve in our diet again. In fact, because of our faithfulness to reducing the amount of fat we eat in our diet, I think we are actually a fat-deficient society, not one that is on fat-overload. That would be blasphemy to say to most registered dietitians, medical doctors, and other health leaders who have been trained to believe that fat is an enemy. But fat is your friend and you should start spending more quality time with this friend to enhance your health.
Can you imagine what would happen if people started eating more butter, coconut oil, avocados, fatty meats, high-fat dairy and more along with a reduction in their carbohydrate intake? The vast improvements in virtually every aspect of health–mental and physical–would not unnoticed and the changes for the better would happen quickly. We would be so much better off than we are today. But do we have the will to go against everything we’ve always been taught about the role of dietary fat in our health? Only time will tell.
It’s time for me to go add some grass-fed butter to my next meal. Care to join me?
If you’re interested in learning more, here’s the link to Jimmy’s recent book on Amazon, compiled with the help of many leading doctors and researchers: Keto Clarity.