Fat has been demonized by healthcare practitioners for a long time, but the tide is finally turning. Not only does fat not make you fat, but actually it can make you skinny. Yes! The key is understanding the impact that different kinds of fats have on the body. Once you can distinguish between the hormone health “good” fats and the inflammatory “bad” fats, you’ll be on your way to improving your health and losing any unwanted weight.
Does Fat Make You Fat?
Eat good fat to lose bad fat is a 180° Solution truth to increase health and vitality by going against the grain. We’ve been told for a very long time that fat is harmful to our health, but when we examine the studies- this theory crumbles. The key consuming fats to get health is to up your good fat intake, and cut your intake of the bad fats.
Not all fats are created equal, and depending on the type of fat you’re consuming, you are either helping or harming your health. Good fats are crucial to hormone health, they speed up your metabolism, decrease inflammation, and actually help you lose weight. Bad fats do the opposite, and drive up inflammation, which ages your cells, creates oxidative stress, and promotes weight gain.
Good fats heal the cell membrane, which holds the cell’s intelligence, and good health all starts with the cell. Hormone receptors reside on the membrane, and a diet high in healthy fat helps these receptors function properly and send the signals to your brain to burn fat for energy. Eating plenty of good fat is, therefore, very effective in treating hormone-related conditions like weight-loss resistance. If you don’t heal the cell, you won’t get well. In the case of weight-loss: if you don’t heal the cell membrane, you’ll never lose weight and keep it off. Regenerating the membrane with good fat is a core solution to today’s growing epidemic of hormone imbalances, obesity, and the countless “unexplainable” diseases.
The low-fat movement that plagued the country for many years left us with high-sugar substitutes, an ingredient we know to drive chronic inflammation and disease. Finally the pendulum has swung and people have begun to embrace the high-fat movement (a diet our ancestors thrived on). Let’s explore the difference between good fats, and bad fats.
Good fats are defined by the type of fat, as well as the quality of processing and quality of ingredients used. You want to stick to traditionally used fats and oils that are not highly processed, and not refined. It’s also important to purchase your high quality, organic, cold-pressed oils in glass jars, because fats are notorious adsorbers, and will leach the BPA’s and other toxins from the plastic containers they are stored in.
Ironically, the two most vilified fats in our culture are actually the most vital to healing the membrane. As you might guess, I’m referring to saturated fat and cholesterol. Saturated fat and cholesterol are required to make vitamin D, hormones, support brain function, and produce and restore cell membranes, since they help to compose the membranes themselves. When consumed from the right sources, these two unique fats downregulate inflammation, balance hormones to encourage weight-loss, and serve as ideal brain food to keep your body in top performance mode.
Good fats include:
- Cold-pressed olive oil
- Cold-pressed avocado oil
- Cold-pressed coconut oil
- Grass-fed butter and ghee
- Grass-fed tallow and lard
- Cocoa butter
- Coconut flesh
- Fatty fish
Can Good Fats Help You Lose Weight?
Yes! Not only do good fats not make you fat, but they can actually help you lose weight! Good fats provide your body with the building blocks of your cell membranes and hormones, they increase the bioavailability of minerals, act as carriers of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, lower your cholesterol levels, fuel your brain and heart, and increase satiety (which means less over eating). Good fats are a necessity for your brain and body to operate, ans happy hormones means a naturally balanced weight.
It’s not in fact fat that makes you fat, but sugar. Low-fat alternatives that have been marketed to us as “healthy” for the past five decades are high in sugar, which drives all markers of inflammation and disease. Following a balanced Cellular Healing diet/ ketogenic diet (low carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high fat) has incredible benefits, including weight loss.
Become a Fat Burner
By increasing your healthy fat consumption, and decreasing your sugar (carbohydrate) consumption, you become an effective fat burner. This dietary shift helps the body move towards a state where it burns its own fat for fuel instead of sugar, remaining in the sought-after fat burning zone, i.e. you become a “fat-burner” instead of a “sugar burner.” A higher fat (up to 60-80%), moderate protein (15-30%), lower carbohydrate (10-20%) diet, is exceptional for reducing inflammation, a reason it’s so effective for weight-loss, and I’ve found it to be a matchless tool for clients who suffer from weight-loss resistance, brain dysfunction, thyroid disorders , and many other conditions.
Meals With Good Fats
Good fats are easy to incorporate into your diet. To ensure the integrity of the fat is preserved, try adding the fat in it’s raw (cold-pressed, or whole) state, to your food after cooking it. To ensure you’re consuming only good fats, it’s best to cook for yourself (so that you know the quality of the fats and how they were used in cooking).
Meals with good fats include:
- Salad with a cold-pressed olive oil dressing, and fresh olives and macadamia nuts
- Greek salad with avocado
- Oven roasted pasture-raised chicken wings
- Smoothie made with coconut milk
- Tea blended with ghee and MCT oil
- Homemade chocolate made with raw cacao butter
- Wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, or anchovies
Saturated Fats Are Your Friend
Saturated fats have held a bad reputation for a very long time, having been falsely connected to heart disease. The movement was so powerful that many people still have a hard time believing that in fact saturated fats decrease heart disease! Modern studies have blown the lid off of this falsehood and indeed point the finger at the real culprit of heart disease (and of obesity and diabetes): sugar.
The link between saturated fat and heart disease was made by a Dr. Ancel Keys in 1953, with the publication of a (terrible) study comparing saturated fats with heart disease mortality. Keys cherry picked six countries that fit his hypothesis, and left out the 16 other countries that didn’t. Had Keys included other countries, the study would actually have demonstrated that saturated fat decreases heart disease! This poorly conducted study’s findings swept the nation and marketing groups took advantage of these new “findings” to push products high in sugar, and other types of fats.
One of these marketing teams were behind the trans fat brand Crisco. Crisco was introduced initially to make soap and candles, but as electricity swept the nation these vegetable oils were marketed to consumers as a “healthy alternative” to the “unhealthy saturated fats”. Just like that, sugar and trans fats became the new model of health, and it’s that very mentality that has catapulted America into the minefield of modern day diseases.
The sum total of Keys’ data reflects the heart-healthy benefits of saturated fat, and indeed so do modern studies. The populations with the highest consumption of dietary saturated fats are also those with the lowest numbers of heart-disease related deaths. These include:
- Maasai tribe in Kenya/Tanzania (66% of their diet is saturated fat)
- Inuit Eskimos in the Arctic (75% of their diet is saturated fat)
- Rendille tribe in NE Kenya (63% of their diet is saturated fat)
- Tokealu, atoll islands in New Zealand territory (60% of their diet is saturated fat)
Like all things, quality matters. When it comes to saturated fats, you’re mostly looking at animal fats, and the fat from tropical oils (like coconut). To ensure your saturated fat is indeed heart-healthy, make sure you’re consuming only the fat from animals that were pasture-raised, and organic (or wild). Both animal fats and oils should be minimally processed, because all fats have a smoking point (at which point they become denatured, rancid, and toxic). Your oils should always be organic, and cold-pressed.
Bad fats depend slightly on the type of fat, but more so on the processing of the fat. You want to avoid trans fats, polyunsaturated fats (PUFA), refined/ bleached/ deodorized fats, or any label that reads “hydrogenated”. PUFAs in of themselves are not necessarily bad, but they unstable fats that can easily become toxic during the processing/ refinement process. When they are exposed to heat, for example (bi-product of the refinement processing), PUFAs that are consumed will generate free radicals in the body and promote long term chronic inflammation.
You also want to be mindful of never taking your oils to their smoke point (when the oil literally smokes). When an oil smokes, it has gone rancid, and becomes a massive source of inflammation. Even though cold-pressed organic coconut oil is healthy, if your coconut oil begins to smoke in the pan (over very high heat), it becomes just as toxic as a trans fat. When it comes to butter or ghee, you know the fat has gone rancid when it browns.
Bad fats include:
- Refined peanut oil
- Refined avocado oil
- Refined (deodorized) coconut oil
- Soybean oil
- Canola oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Sunflower oil
- Corn oil
- Safflower oil
- Rice bran oil
- Hydrogenated oils
- Fake butter spreads
- Any fat taken to smoke point
The half-life of trans fats, found in foods like french fries, is 51 days. Therefore, after 51 days only HALF of the negative effects have been processed by the body. An additional 51 days (totaling 102 days) are needed to remove the majority of this toxic fat from your system. Bad fats are seriously dangerous since they are found in the very foods most Americans are eating on a daily basis.
Avoid These “Bad Fat” Meals
Meals with bad fats generally come from store-bought packaged goods, and fast-food meals. The best thing you can do to avoid bad fats is to start cooking for yourself, and avoid packaged foods in general. Anytime food is deep fried, you can assume the fat has gone rancid (toxic), and the same goes for any artificial spread or synthetic fat alternative. Cooking for yourself not only saves money, but it ensures you know exactly what is going in your food!
Meals with bad fats include:
- Deep fried food (french fries, fried chicken)
- Factory farmed/ grain fed chicken and pork fat
- Large amounts of nuts (high in Omega 6 like walnuts and cashews)
- Fake whipped cream
- Margarine (which is derived from seed oils)
- Processed crackers and biscuits
- Store-bought pastries
- Most commercial oils and dressings
- Chicken nuggets
- Candy bars
Fat as a Macronutrient
Fat is one of three micronutrients, alongside protein, and carbohydrates. Although it packs a caloric punch per weight (9 calories per gram, compared to the 6 calories per gram of protein and carbs), fat actually has a profound effect on satiety. So although it’s more calorically dense, studies show that a higher fat diet actually has a reduced overall caloric effect.
The key is to stay away from inflammatory fats (like trans fats, PUFAs, and hydrogenated fats) that drive chronic stress on your cells. Good fats, however (like saturated and monounsaturated fats- when properly processed) nourish your body and enable your hormones to operate optimally.
All fat does not make you fat, the key is distinguishing between good (anti-inflammatory) fats and bad (pro-inflammatory) fats. In all cases, you want to stay away from highly processed and refined fats, which can cause them to turn rancid (and toxic). Although fat is relatively high in calories, it is also a satiating macronutrient that actually promotes less caloric intake overall. Fat is a crucial part of nutrition for hormone health, and consuming the right types of fat (in an overall lower-carbohydrate diet) promotes weight loss. Browse the rest of the website for more information on how to optimize your diet and lifestyle.