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Eat Fats... Eat More Fats

Eat Fats….Eat More Fats

by Kenneth S. Solomon, D.C.

Fats in foods have been the villain since post WWII. They donned the black hat when we became a fat phobic nation. The advent of the original cholesterol blood tests, margarine, and low fat everything were the important triggers.

For more than sixty years we cut our fat intake. Meat consumption was reduced by 25%. Low fat and skim products filled everyone’s refrigerators. Butter was exiled. The results of this great experiment were astounding and contrary to every expectation. Heart disease rates doubled. Type 2 diabetes soared. We became the most obese country in the world. An experiment that met with abject failure.

All modern data analysis and research now directs us differently. Fats are necessary for our pursuit of health and vitality. Their restriction is dangerous.

Fats provide the greatest amount of energy for our bodies. Far outdistancing proteins and carbohydrates. Fat is our storage fuel, broken down and used when needed. When there is not enough food or there are seasonal variations in food availability it is our fat stores that maintain us. In America today, food is widely available. We eat too much and too poorly. Fat is not the cause. Fat is instrumental to our well being.

Fats provide and store energy. They are needed to absorb fat soluble vitamins (Vitamins A, D, E and K). Every cell wall and membrane is lined with fat (phospholipids) which protects and allows proper passage, in and out of nutrients and wastes. Blood clotting and muscle health are also fat dependent. Every nerve sheath is made of fat. Hormone precursors are all built from fat. Bone density. Testosterone levels. Immune system efficiency. The list goes on. And fats are the ONLY foods that signal satiety to the brain. The only way we can tell we have eaten enough and not too much.

Fats are chains of carbon atoms with attached hydrogen atoms. The length of the chains and the number of hydrogens that are attached (saturation) determine the properties of the fats.

There are two types of naturally occurring fats. Saturated (Many hydrogens attached) fats are in meats, butter, coconut oil and bacon, and are solid at room temperature. Unsaturated (including mono and poly) have fewer carbons attached and are liquid at room temperature. These include nuts and seeds, olive oil, plants and fish.

There is one more fat. The evil one! Industrially made by forcing hydrogenation of unsaturated fats in the presence of a heavy metal facilitator. Platinum is frequently this metal. Platinum makes a wonderful fountain pen nib or electronic parts, but does not belong in the human body as a food. Heavy metals in our body are never eliminated. They compete with binding sites in many organs of our body. They are carcinogenic. Transfats were made to improve shelf life of many foods. They take healthy oils, make them solid and prevent rancidity (never eat anything that can’t spoil) so they can sit on the shelves forever. This hugely increases the profit margins. Margarine, baked goods, shortening, chips, breads, french fries, etc., etc. Transfats became ubiquitous in our food supply.

It took too long, but finally they were exposed. Harvard studies showed that eating only 2% of daily calories as transfats increased the risk of heart disease by 23%. Cancer, diabetes and stroke were also implicated.

California was first to order labeling of transfats in foods. The rest of the country followed in short time. BE WARNED! The government left a loophole. If the transfat content is below a certain amount per serving it can be labeled as transfat free. It is NOT. Who eats just one serving anyway? If partially hydrogenated anything is listed as an ingredient, it contains transfat. Don’t eat it.

Unsaturated fats have been long thought of as healthy. Eat to your content. Essential (our body can’t make it so we have to eat it) fatty acids from fish,olive oil and plants provide omega 3s in abundance. Legumes, avocado, nuts and seeds. Any oils that are liquid at room temperature are unsaturated. Eat them regularly.

Saturated fats were frowned on until recently. We were urged to eat less red meat, whole milk, bacon and coconut oil. These fats were thought to increase risk of all the major diseases. These conclusions were based on many studies like the “China Study” and the “Seven Country Study”. All of these studies are seriously flawed. They never isolated other contributors. Especially the real enemies (as we know now) refined sugar and carbohydrates. Newer and more reliable data shows just the opposite.

Meta analysis of 21 studies (over 350,000 people) show conclusively that saturated fat has no influence on the incidence of heart disease. More importantly, the replacement of saturated fat in the diet by refined sugar and carbohydrates will significantly increase all risk factors of all the major diseases (Cancer, Heart Disease, Diabetes and obesity).

Although decreasing saturated fat in the diet will decrease low density lipids(LDL), it is not the Lipoprotein B (the heart dangerous type) of the LDL that is decreased. Increased carbohydrate consumption has been directly related to increasing this critical blood value. Saturated fat is no longer the enemy. Eat to your content.

Harvard analyzed 1.2 million people and concluded that there is no relationship between red meat and heart disease. They did show increased risk from consuming processed meats. (Circulation, 2010). Saturated fat is not the enemy. Eat to your content.

Saturated fat improves liver health by diminishing the size and number of fatty liver cells (Journal of American College of Nutrition, 1994). Butter and coconut oil improves white blood cell recognition and destruction of viruses and bacteria.

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Eat food. Eat clean food. Grass Fed and hormone free beef, wild caught fish, free range chicken and fresh eggs. Raw milk and cheese. Know your local farmers and food sources.

Sweden has become the first country to advocate a high fat diet to its citizens. They won’t be the last. Hopefully, the food pyramid will meet the death it deserves.

The greatest food enemy is sugar and refined carbohydrates (Internal Medicine Journal, 2012). Not fats. No more fatphobia. No more low fat and skim. Fats taste wonderful and they are good for us.

Eat fats…….Eat more fats.

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