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Day 19 – FAT

DAY 19 – FAT…no, not “you’re fat” but “dietary fat”

**Don’t forget logs are due tomorrow!

The Skinny on Fat

For many reasons, beginning with Ancel Keys disseminating false information about dietary fat, dietary fat (saturated fat in particular) has gotten a bad rap for being one of the leading factors in causing cardiovascular disease.  We’ve all heard it from friends, relatives, even conventional doctors–“Stay away from fat,” “Fat’s bad for you,”  “Fat will make you fat.”, “Fat will increase your cholesterol”.  Dr. Michael R. Eades refers to these types as “Lipophobes.”  Dr. Eades has a great post about fat and the lies surrounding the matter on his blog that we love to reference (we have this discussion a lot when it comes to dietary fat around the box).

Food is made of fat, protein and carbohydrate. That’s it. Food also contains water, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, but only fat, carbohydrate and protein provide calories. And when a diet is constructed of these things – especially one that toes the line as far as portion control is concerned – trade offs have to be made.

If you keep calories the same, and you decrease one of the three components, you’re going to have to increase one of the others. Let’s look at how the brain of a lipophobe would cypher this.

Okay, we need to cut the fat, so that’s the first thing we’ll do. We’ll cut fat, and we’ll really cut saturated fat. But now we’ve got to get our calories back up, so we’ll add low-glycemic carbohydrates to do that. But, uh oh, when we add that many carbs, even though they are low-glycemic-index carbs, we increase the glycemic load. We can’t really do that if we want to prevent all these diseases. We’ll increase the protein. But, wait, we can’t increase it too much or we’ll damage the kidneys. (A myth, of course, but they all believe it.) And it’s hard to increase the protein without increasing the fat because most good sources of protein contain fat, even, heaven forbid, saturated fat. So if we up the protein, we up the fat. But fat is the devil in disguise, oh yes it is; it’s the devil in disguise. Can’t go there….blah blah blah.

Information provided by our government recommends a high-carb, low-fat diet since a higher fat intake means a higher risk for CVD.  This is simply not true.  It is the high intake of saturated fats in conjunction with a high-carb diet that pushes the envelope and makes it more likely that you will drop dead from a heart attack and/or diabetes.  The truth is, we need fat for normal daily functions–our brains are made up mostly of fat, fat is required for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins that we get from our carbohydrates, fat cells reduce systemic inflammation, Lauric acid (saturated fat found in coconut) has many antiviral properties including gut healing! Fat is also the macronutrient that is responsible for you feeling “full” or satiated after a meal.  Take home message:  DO NOT FEAR FAT PEOPLE!!  Eat and enjoy, without fear,  your avocados, coconut and olive oils, coconut flakes, nuts, and bacon!  My only warning:  do have some restraint as fats ARE easy to OD on.  If you’ve ever eaten a whole jar of almond butter in one sitting (you know who you are), you know what I’m talking about…

A quick blurb about our beloved bacon…

I did mention BACON as being a fat source.  Although bacon contains some protein, its fat content is higher and therefore considered a fat source.  For some time now, it’s been the general consensus amongst the paleo community that the best bacon to buy is nitrite and nitrate-free.  This is because nitrites and nitrates had been linked to cancer.  It wasn’t until recently that Chris Kresser (another one of our favorite paleo guru’s) blogged about studies that have disproved the link between nitrites/nitrates and cancer.  (HERE is the article)

In fact, the study that originally connected nitrates with cancer risk and caused the scare in the first place has since been discredited after being subjected to a peer review. There have been major reviews of the scientific literature that found no link between nitrates or nitrites and human cancers, or even evidence to suggest that they may be carcinogenic. Further, recent research suggests that nitrates and nitrites may not only be harmless, they may be beneficial, especially for immunity and heart health.

In fact, nitrites are produced by your own body in greater amounts than can be obtained from food, and salivary nitrite accounts for 70-90% of our total nitrite exposure. In other words, your spit contains far more nitrites than anything you could ever eat.

So, as long as your bacon comes from a good source (happy pigs!) it doesn’t need to be nitrite or nitrate free!

 

If you read up on this stuff at all, it was initially the Framingham Heart Study that debunked this myth of saturated fat causing heart disease. And now they continue to publish papers to disprove that, but that go on to show proof, causation, correlation (all of the above) that it was actually a high carbohydrate diet that was the cause, as well as for type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic disease plaguing us now.

Dr. Eades blog post is very simple to read, relatively short, and pretty to the point. Take a look – well worth the few mintues of reading:

THE BLOG OF MICHAEL EADES, MD: BIG FAT LIE

 

Another great blog post I came across recently is from The Paleo Diet Lifestyle – good general blog on Paleo.   This is a great tutorial on healthy fats.  Take a look!  PALEO FATS

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