March 3, 2017 | Park Ferguson, Health and Wellness Contributor
For a long time we have been led to believe ‘fat makes you fat’. Which makes sense in theory. However modern science reveals that it is actually the opposite: fat is in fact really good for us.
Scientific studies conducted in the late 1940’s showed a correlation between high cholesterol levels and high fat diets. The research suggested that a low fat diet may prevent heart disease. By the 1960’s the low fat diet began gaining momentum and became promoted as beneficial not only for high-risk patients, but also as good for the general public. By the 1980’s the low-fat craze swept the nation and became promoted by physicians, the federal government, media and ‘food’ corporations
While it was believed the low fat diet was healthy and helped reduce body fat, the actual results of a low fat diet were not entirely known until they were unveiled by the passage of time. If we were to look at a graph of the employment of the low-fat diet by populations and the rise of obesity, heart disease and cancer in the United States we will see that the two go hand in hand, primarily because we replaced good fats like grass fed butter, virgin coconut oil, beef tallow and pastured pork with with refined carbohydrates and industrial seed oils.
Modern science has recognized the dangers of a low fat diet just as our ancestors did. However, the food industry and the general public have not. May of the low fat ‘foods’ on the shelves contain some of the most dangerous ingredients and can be detrimental to your health, despite how inviting the logo may appear or what the packaging may say.
We need fat, especially healthy fats. Fat consumption promotes a healthy body composition and can help shed or keep away unwanted body fat. By decreasing refined carb intake and replacing junky carbs with whole food fats, you improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. Omega 3 fats found in grass fed beef, lamb, eggs and wild caught fish turn on genes that help burn fat and turn off genes that store fat. Saturated fat and cholesterol from these same sources help regulate thyroid function and hormone production.
Healthy hormone production leads to several balancing health benefits in the body. Other benefits of fat consumption include boosting muscle growth and muscle tone. Fat is critical in reproductive health and boosting mood and brain function, making you sharper mentally, helping to prevent dementia and reducing mood disorders by helping you feel healthy and happy.
Fat reduces your risk for heart disease and cancer while building stronger bones and immune system function. Fat is also great for the skin and eyes because it increases the body’s ability to lubricate effectively.
You may have been waiting to hear this, or you body may have been without you knowing: load up on fat. Its great for you!
Some healthy high fat foods that contain healthy cholesterol include farm fresh eggs, pasture raised meat, wild caught fish, naturally cured bacon, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios and other nuts, coconut oil, olive oil, avocadoes, real butter (read your labels), real cream, real cheese, 70% dark chocolate; basically everything awesome and delicious.
Focus on consuming healthy omega 3 fats and avoiding hydrogenated oils, industrial seed oils like soybean, canola, corn, and vegetable oil, and any foods marketed as low fat. Avoid sugar, all varieties of corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and other cheap carbs. If you’ve been avoiding fat for some time, taking a flax oil or fish oil supplement may be a good place to begin balancing your levels and ensure you are getting your daily does of omega 3’s. Cooking with real butter, coconut oil or olive oil may be one of the healthiest decisions you ever make.
Fat is great for us and helps us feel satisfied. Remember: fat is your friend!