The truth about Fats and Oils.
I am excited to share this read with you.
by Mark Hyman, MD “Fat is confusing. So many different kinds of fats – some good, some bad. What’s true? We all were taught that eating dietary fat leads to accumulation of body fat- that passes through your lips to your hips. We were also told that fatty streaks in arteries causing heart attacks came from dietary fat and cholesterol. But it’s not true. Far from it. Eating fat doesn’t make you fat. Eating fat doesn’t cause heart attacks. This is not only my opinion, but the consensus of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a group of conservative scientist who finally eliminated any recommendations to limit dietary fat or dietary cholesterol.
Assumption must be tested and proven in studies before we accept them as fact. But historically that hasn’t always happened in nutrition science. And no assumption has been more catastrophic for our health than the one insisting that fat makes you fat and causes heart disease. It led the government to promote all the wrong foods. It enabled the profit-hungry food industry to sell billions of dollars’ worth of low fat junk as “health food”. And it caused millions of people around the world to become obese, sick, and diabetic and to die. All thanks to one seemingly commonsense assumption that was accepted with hardly any scientific scrutiny at all. So how did it all happen?
The lie that dietary fat is public enemy number one was built on three bad ideas. The first was that body fat and dietary fat are one and the same, and that the fat we eat becomes fat in our bodies. The second was a simplistic view of human metabolism and weight gain – that “a calorie is a calorie” – which experts drilled into our heads. The thinking went like this: A gram of carbohydrates has 4 calories and a gram of fat has 9 calories, so eating lots of carbs and reducing fats will keep you lean. That was dead wrong. In fact, a 2012 Harvard study found that a very -high-fat diet, compared to a very-low-fat diet, speeds up metabolism by 300 calories a day. Eating fat speeds up your metabolism and helps you lose weight. That turns conventional wisdom on its head.
Finally, the medical community came to believe that eating saturated fat and its first cousin, cholesterol, creates roadblocks in our arteries and death by heart attack. Put all three of these falsehoods together and you get one big reason for health authorities to tell us all to throw away our butter. meat, and coconut oil. This is why, in 1980, the US Dietary Guidelines began recommending low-fat diets. As the years went on, their advice became more and more aggressive, leading to the Food Guide Pyramid in 1992 that told us to load up on bread, rice, cereal, and pasta, to avoid even fatty plant foods like nuts and avocado, and to eat fats and oils only sparingly.
But after 40 years of spreading this gospel, health authorities and nutrition experts are now finally confessing that what they told us was false. And it wasn’t simply because they misunderstood the science, but because there was no good science to begin with. One of the consequences of the government’s crusade against saturated fat was that Americans replaced animal fats like butter and lard with the industrially produced hydrogenated vegetable oils known as trans fat. Walter Willett, the chair of Harvard’s nutrition department, estimates that the nationwide shift to trans fat caused up to 228,000 heart attacks in America every year.
Today, every well informed researcher, nutritionist, and clinician should know that eating fat doesn’t make you fat or cause heart disease. But you could go online right this second and spend all day reading nutrition advice about fat that’s outdated, inaccurate, and even deadly. The shift in our understanding of fats has been monumental. But like our ancestors slowly getting used to the idea that the earth revolves around the sun, it’s gong to take some time for the great big reveal about dietary fat to sink in.
We’ve been taught to think of fats and oils as a necessary evil – the unhealthy part of anything we eat and the stuff needed to keep food from sticking to the pot. Nothing could be further from the truth. FAT IS ESSENTIAL FOR HEALTH. Let’s start here.”
We burn tow kinds of fuel for energy, carbs and fats (although we can burn protein when needed). Most people are more familiar with carbs in that role and know that sugar and bread give us energy. Fats are more mysterious. Most of the fats we eat are natural part of foods like meat, fish, dairy, and nuts. And those fats are typically the good ones. Naturally occurring fats on our whole foods aren’t the problem: refined, processed fats and oils that are added to our food by the food industry are.
The purpose of fats and oils is to help us feel full and satiated, increases our metabolism. Because fats (unlike carbs) don’t contain glucose, they don’t spike our blood sugar levels and trigger the release of insulin, which acts like fertilizer for our body’s fat cells.. Fats and oils , they do the opposite.
The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study done by researchers comparing the effects of high-fat, low-carb diets to high-carb, low-fat diets on metabolism. The findings were astonishing. On the high-fat diet, the subjects burned 300 more calories per day than they did on the low-fat diet. That’s like running an hour a day without doing anything. The high-fat diet, also produced the biggest improvements in blood sugar, insulin, triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol and other cardiovascular markers.
The evidence in support of eating fats – traditional, unrefined fats from plants and animals – is overwhelming. The largest randomized controlled study comparing a high-fat diet to a low-fat diet, the PRE-DIMED study, showed that a high-fat diet reduces heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. We need fats for healthy cell membrane, we need them to make hormones, and immune cells, we need fat to regulate inflammation and metabolism. We need fats simply because our brain is 60% fat.
So what should we eat? Get your fats from meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, butter, avocados, nuts, extra virgin olive oil and cold pressed coconut oils. All sourced from sustainable pasture raised natural products or at least organic.
Fats and oils make your food taste better, offer many nutritional benefits, make you feel fuller, and help you lose weight. Now the kind of fat you eat is more important than how much you eat. Americans are eating frightening amounts of refined vegetable oils, seed oils, and omega 6 fats, all of which contribute to inflammation and chronic disease. Or consume fats combined with starch or sugar which is rocket fuel for weight gain, bad cholesterol,etc.. Don’t consume these but stay away from it, and eat whole foods. Avoid processed junk food.
Eat good, Eat well, Eat natural! Nutrigenomics. Food is Medicine! Exercise is Medicine!
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