The Truth About Fat: A new wave of conscious health hunters has debunked the longheld health myth that fat makes you fat. Although not all fats indeed make you fat, distinguishing between the good and bad fats is paramount to ensuring you don’t sabotage your efforts. Today we explore all things fat: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The Cornerstone of Health: Burning Body Fat
The ability to burn your body fat is paramount when it comes to health because it quite literally provides you with the energy to perform all other functions. By jeopardizing the transmission of fuel to the cells, we are compromising their ability to perform tasks from basic survival to detoxification, and more.
Being thin does not mean that your body is effectively burning body fat. Visceral fat (the kind of fat that surrounds your organs) is possibly even more detrimental to health than subcutaneous fat (the kind that ‘shapes’ you), because it contributes heavily to insulin resistance and inflammation. 
Whether you’re overweight or not, addressing the two major pillars that will enable you to burn both kinds of body fat is vital.
Truth About Fat: The Secret to Burning Body Fat
The two main pillars of burning body fat include healing cellular function and nourishing your body in a way that continues to fuel the proper functioning of your cells moving forward. This combination of fix and fuel is what allows cells to operate optimally. [2, 3]
Truth About Fat: Fix the Cell to Get Well
Toxins and chemicals interfere with your health at the cellular level, causing a wide range of symptoms and illnesses. To burn body fat, five main things have to be addressed.
- Remove the Source – We need to determine which toxic sources (heavy metals, biotoxins, environmental toxins, and toxins inside your home) are causing body-wide damage. When identified, these sources can then be safely ushered out of the body using my crafted protocols.
- Regenerate the Cell Membrane – In healthy individuals, the supple bi-lipid fat layer of the cellular membrane allows both nutrients to flow inside easily and toxins and free radicals inside the cell to leave unimpeded.
- Restore Cellular Energy – As nutrients flow into the cell, they feed the powerhouse called the mitochondria, which produces ATP (energy). Without adequate production of ATP, our cells are unable to detoxify or regenerate properly.
- Reduce Inflammation – Toxic inflammation is produced from 3 primary sources: overconsumption of refined sugar and grains, bad fats and toxins from food sources, cosmetics, air pollution, toxic cleaning products, and more.
- Reestablish Methylation – The body needs methyl groups to turn stress hormones on and off; if depleted, our body stays in a constant state of stress.
Truth About Fat: Fuel the Cell to Get Well
Once the 5’Rs are addressed, diet is one of the most important ways to ensure that the cells continue working correctly and that your body can naturally burn fat for fuel. Exploring the timing of our diet with concepts like diet variation and intermittent fasting is one part of promoting long-term cellular health, and knowing what to eat is the other.
Since the membrane is made of fat, a key to its regeneration is consuming good fat, specifically fats containing cholesterol and saturated fat such as full-fat dairy, grass-fed animal protein, and healthy oils like virgin coconut oil. 
Equally important is avoiding the kind of inflammatory fats that lead to chronic inflammation and insulin resistance. Not all fats are created equal, and knowing the difference can make or break your efforts to restore whole-body health.
Truth About Fat: The Good and the Bad
For years, all fats have been demonized by the health industry, giving way to the ‘low-fat’ trends that persist in the minds of many to this day. The problem with that is that the alternative gave rise to high sugar foods full of artificial ingredients. Swapping whole-fat, whole foods, for highly-processed low-fat artificial foods is one of the significant shifts that gave rise to a generation of insulin (and weight-loss) resistance. 
Good fats play a crucial role in whole-body health, with functions like supporting your immune system, regulating body temperature, promoting healthy skin, hair, and nails, providing fat-soluble vitamins (like A, D, E, and K) as well as increasing the bioavailability of vitamins and other beneficial compounds in foods. [6-8]
What makes a fat ‘good’ or ‘bad’ has to do with its quality, how it was processed, and how much of it you consume. Many fats are sensitive to heat (more on this below), which turns them rancid and toxic. Knowing what kind of fat must stay whole and raw (like seeds vs. seed oils), is vital. [9, 10]
The four major categories of fats include:
- Saturated fats: typically solid at room temperature, these fats have a very high heat tolerance. Example: lard, butter, ghee, or coconut oil. These fats can be consumed raw or cooked.
- Monounsaturated fats: more sensitive to heat, monounsaturated fats include avocados, certain meats, certain nuts (macadamia), and olives. These fats should be consumed cold-pressed, and meat should not be charred.
- Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs): most sensitive to heat, these fats are liquid at room temperature. Not only are they a very poor choice for cooking, but the risk of the fats being denatured from the start is likely. Example: fish oil, walnut oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, flax oil. These fats should only be consumed in their whole form (i.e., whole fish instead of fish oil).
- Trans fats: are typically artificially produced and commonly found in highly processed foods. Example: vegetable shortening and margarine. Avoid these foods.
Truth About Fat: The Omega 3 to 6 Ratio
The role of fat also plays a crucial role in either creating or quelling inflammation, depending on a delicate balance of omega 3 to omega 6 ratios. Inflammation matters because it is present in almost every disease model, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, metabolic syndrome, and various types of cancer. 
The optimal ratio of omega 3 to 6 fats should remain around 1:1. Modern Western diets have skewed this balance, with the rate being more like 16: 1 in favor of omega 6 fats.  Finding the balance of these omega 3 to 6 fatty acids happens much more naturally with the removal of processed foods, and avoiding any processed seed and vegetable oils.
Knowing that modern diets favor Omega 6 fatty acids, and the inflammation that results from this imbalance, be mindful of your intake of these types of fats. Omega 6 fats are not innately bad for you; they become problematic when the balance is off.
Examples of omega 6 fats: walnuts, peanut butter, hemp seeds, tofu, sunflower seeds, safflower oil, avocado oil, almonds, cashews, eggs, chicken, pork, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, canola oil.
Examples of omega 3 fats: salmon, mackerel, sardines, oysters, caviar, anchovies, fish oil supplement.
For both types of omega fats, the rules above (good vs. bad fats) still apply. Since omega fatty acids are predominantly polyunsaturated fats, they are the most susceptible to become denatured by heat.  Therefore, it is essential to keep them as unprocessed and unheated as possible. The oils listed in omega 6 category can run upwards of 50% of their weight in omega 6 fats, and should always be avoided. Always opt for whole fish instead of risking the rancidity of processed (heated, and denatured) fish oil supplements. 
Truth About Fat: Summary
Dietary fats play a crucial role in either supporting or harming your wellness journey. Understanding the difference between good fats and bad fats makes all the difference. By opting for fats containing cholesterol and saturated fat such as full-fat dairy, grass-fed animal protein, and healthy oils like virgin coconut oil, and avoiding heat-sensitive oils (PUFAs like seed and vegetable oils), and trans fats– your body will be able to burn fat for fuel and naturally reduce both adipose and visceral fat from the body.