Consider this: The human brain is about 60% fat (dry weight).
Human breast milk is 54% fat, 39% carbohydrates, and 7% protein.
Every cell in the human body has a lipid membrane which protects it’s inner workings and selectively allows nutrients in and out. In other words all of our cells are surrounded by a layer of fat.
Our body’s ability to anti-inflame comes from prostaglandins derived from fats.
In the 1930’s Weston Price DDS while studying indigenous cultures who still adhered to their traditional diets discovered that 30 to 80% of their calories came from fat; mostly saturated and monounsaturated fats from animal sources.
Again- 30% was the lowest amount of calories from fat Weston Price could find in these healthy cultures!
Scientific Fact- Healthy fats are the best source of energy for all muscles in the body Especially the Heart.
Fats are also imperative for: hormone balance (hormones are how our bodies send and receive messages to function properly…. and their not just for women!!), liver and gallbladder function, and healthy cholesterol levels.
Fatty acid deficiency is in epidemic proportions especially in America. So what’s with all the mixed messages regarding fats? The sad truth is that in most scientific studies the source and quality of a food product is rarely considered. Also the interpretation of what the results of any study actually mean to our health can be slanted towards the opinion of whoever wishes to site it. The more money and resources one has the more people hear and believe alleged scientifically backed opinions. This is fodder for a whole other article so I won’t digress. Just know and understand that there are basically 2 kinds of fats in our diet: natural unadulterated “healthy” fats and processed “unhealthy” fats (or poison fats as I like to call them).
There are entire books written on “good” vs “bad” fats which I’ll mention at the end of this article but I’m going to try and empower you to know the difference in just a few short paragraphs.
If you consume healthy fats that aren’t adulterated or processed not only will you not “get fat” or gain weight but you’ll most likely loose pounds of fat.
A 2003 Study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health (presented to the Association for the Study of Obesity but not published.) Twenty-one overweight volunteers were divided into 3 groups. All food was prepared for the volunteers so the researchers knew exactly what they were eating. Those eating the high-fat diet lost more weight than those eating high-carb, even though calorie intake was the same. In fact, those eating a high-fat diet containing 300 more calories per day than the high-carb group lost more weight.
And another study with Saturated Faaaat: Eating 2 tablespoons medium-chain fatty acids (the kind found in coconut oil) with a meal caused body temperature to rise after the meal. This means that coconut oil can boost metabolism, helping you to avoid the slowdown in metabolism that often occurs during dieting.
Am J Clin Nutr 1991 Mar;53(5):1130-3 (Human Study)
Postprandial thermogenesis in lean and obese subjects after meals supplemented with medium-chain and long-chain triglycerides.
Scalfi L, Coltorti A, Contaldo F.
I could make this article a mile long with such studies but I don’t want to bore you. I’m going to site one more study which is more health related than just about weight gain just to satisfy health concerns about fats in general.
1992 after 40 years of study in Framingham, Massachusetts, The director of the study was quoted as saying “The more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower people’s serum cholesterol. . . we found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories weighed the least and were the most physically active.”
William Castelli, Director, The Framingham Study
Archives of Internal Medicine 1992
This sick and twisted thing about this last study is that the results of that research are often sited as proof of the cholesterol-animal fat theory of heart disease! This is a prime example of what I mentioned earlier about slanting results of a study to produce “scientific proof” for your agenda. Personally I trust the opinion of the director of the study.
Obesity is a sign of ill health plain and simple. Consuming poison fats are just a part of what can lead to this symptom. Just to be clear Oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature so when we discuss fats or oils we’re discussing the same macro-nutrient.
Fats the good and the bad
Oils from vegetable, nut, and seed sources are the least stable oils you can purchase. They go rancid easily and should be in dark bottles and refrigerated right after opening. Look for:
• Cold Pressed
• Expeller Pressed
• Extra Virgin
on the label of these oils. Use them for salads but DO NOT EVER COOK WITH VEGETABLE, NUT, AND SEED OILS. Yes even olive and canola oil. Any plant source oil that says it can be used for for high heat cooking is a processed beyond belief poison and should be avoided.
The human body cannot and does not have the capability to digest refined oils so avoid anything that says:
• Partially Hydrogenated
• Cold PROCESSED (do not confuse this trick phrase with Cold Pressed)
Good Fats vs. Bad Fats
The difference between a Good fat and a Bad fat is in the way they are processed not in the inherent nature of their source.
Exception: canola (rapeseed or mustard seed), soy and cottonseed oils. These oils are not recognized as food by the body….because they aren’t.
So what is a good fat that is going to keep you fit, trim, heart healthy, and provide optimal cholesterol levels? Remember look for: Cold Pressed, Unrefined, Expeller Pressed, Organic, Extra Virgin on the label of plant source oils.
The Good Fats/Oils
-Flax seed oil
-Black currant seed
-Animal flesh fats from pastured animals
-Extra virgin olive oil
Note: The ratio of Omega-6s to Omega-3s in the diet should be approximately 1:1.
A word on animal fats- Animal fats are vitally important to our health and the best source of saturated fats in the diet. We can’t absorb Omega-3’s and other essential fatty acids without saturated fats. ALWAYS CONSIDER THE SOURCE AND HEALTH OF THE ANIMAL. A sick animal is going to produce toxic fat. Just as in humans fat is often used to store toxins when the system is overloaded and can’t get rid of them fast enough. So think organic, pastured, grass fed when buying meat or other animal products.
Cooking- Saturated fats are the only fats stable enough to withstand high temperatures without becoming toxic to our bodies so look at the chart above under saturated for cooking fats. Minga and I do all of our cooking with coconut oil or some type of animal fat (and lots of it!).
This is such a quick look at fats and there’s so much more I could say but I try to be as brief and user friendly with these articles as I can. If you’d like to learn more about fats and how they can bring you to a higher level of health here are a few books to check out:
Eat Fat Loose Fat- Dr. Mary G. Enig and Sally Fallon (source for this article)
Fats that Heal Fats that Kill- Udo Erasmus
Know Your Fats- Dr. Mary G. Enig (source for this article)
Other sources for this article include:
NTA course materials
Fats (article) by Caroline Barringer CHFS, NTP
This article above by Caroline B. is longer and has way more information than my modest article but shorter than a book. If you’d like a copy send me an email and I can send it to you in PDF.
Email questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org