Do you feel uneasy when your meal contains “saturated fat”? Do you immediately see yourself putting on weight, having a heart attack, and rapidly clogging arteries? There is a good chance you do.
North American saturated fat phobia is widespread. It is perpetuated by the media, eager manufacturers to cash in on low-fat produce and your nutritionally unaware medical doctor. Unfortunately this phobia is the result of a massive nutritional misguidance.
Putting on weight on a low fat diet?
Have you ever wondered why you eat all the “right” things and have trouble losing weight or feel unwell? Maybe you are lacking something?
There was a period of my life that I fell for low fat diet. Unfortunately, this was also the time when my health was the poorest. My weight went up, I got chronically fatigued, unfocused, bloated, hypoglycemic and generally unwell. But instead of giving up I kept on searching.
I adopted the Zone diet which made a difference to my energy level, but no way could I lose weight. Then I tried to lower calories. I ended up hungry, deprived and weak. And after a few lost pounds my weight loss just stalled. I could not function on this diet, so I went back to normal eating. My energy improved, but my weight went up again. I also tried (not so healthy) high protein diet, which should work well for weight loss, but instead of weight loss I ended up with a complaining liver.
Saturated fats for energy and weight loss
I got fed up and started eating whatever I wanted. My weight stabilized. I was not putting on weight any more. My energy was better, and I generally accepted that I cannot lose weight. However, being curious I decided to type my diet diary on the computer and analyze my dietary calories… and I was shocked!
60% of calories came from fat! What!!!! I was eating unhealthy???!! I am a naturopathic doctor. I know better! How is my heart? Should I not feel sick or be sick? But I wasn’t. I could not believe it.
I tried different diets again, and to my surprise high fat diet worked every time. I was not hungry, I had energy, I did not put on weight, and my liver was happy. This was a shock for me because fat was, in my mind, something you should avoid, or at least not something you want to have too much of. However, despite my still persisting anti-fat bias I did some research.
Saturated fat is better then salad dressing
We all know that there are good fats, and bad fats. Good fats were supposed to be things like olive oil, and omega-3, bad fats were the trans fats and saturated fats. This is what I was taught, told, and enforced by the media. Well, after some research it turned out some things are not what they seem. For example: you may think salads are healthy, but most of them are nothing short of junk.
Despite this wide-spread belief most salads are far from healthy. A vast majority of salad dressings contain PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids), molecules that are unstable (oxidize easily) and cause inflammation. Oxidation and inflammation accelerate aging. Quickly oxidizing PUFAs damage your health and your beauty. Did you know that brown spots (age spots) on back of your hands are the nothing else but oxidized fat?
Saturated fats won’t make you old
While doing my research I found something interesting: saturated fats are the most stable, thus they do not end up oxidizing (rusting) your body. There is a hidden bonus to it: you do not need extra anti-oxidants to enjoy anti-aging effect. Saturated fats burn clean and leave little toxic residue in the body. They raise metabolic rate and keep you warmer, more energized, and slimmer.
There is one caveat to saturated fats. Saturated fat can be inflammatory if the rest of your diet is bad, so inclusion of saturated fats in the diet requires careful planning. Just adding them randomly will not work.
My current diet is approx. 70% calories from fat, predominantly butter, eggs, and grass-fed beef. I feel fantastic, never deprived or craving, have great energy (I had a chronic fatigue syndrome a decade ago), and look exceptionally good for my age. Somehow aging is not catching up with me … there must be a nutritional secret to it, lol!