For years we were told to consume low-fat foods and that fats in our diet were causing disease. I remember getting mad at my mother for eating the fat off of the edge of her pork chop because I didn’t think it was healthy for her. Instead, we ate margarine and low-fat everything, from salad dressings to ice cream. That is what we were taught – fat is bad, fat causes high cholesterol and heart disease. Oh how wrong we were to fall for that nonsense!
Now I always tell people to shy away from the low-fat and fat free versions of stuff. So, why the change? We have learned that generally speaking when something is labeled low-fat, in order to taste good, many undesirable and potentially harmful ingredients have been added. Fat gives food flavor…remove the fat and the flavor has to come from somewhere. Enter tons of crap and chemicals – a chemical shit storm as I like to call it. I mean really..can you pronounce the ingredients on those labels? The other issue is that when people are eating a low-fat diet, they tend to consume more carbs. Why? Because dietary fats will keep you feeling full for longer. The same calories worth of carbohydrates burn faster and you are hungry sooner. This leads to increased calorie consumption and over time, weight gain. Many who begin the keto diet feel like they don’t need to eat quite as often for this exact reason. The fat in their diet helps them to stay satiated longer.
The carbs we consume cause our blood sugar to rise. In response, insulin is produced to help move the sugar out of the blood and into cells to level back out our blood sugar. A constant diet of low-fat foods and increased carbs, therefore, cause strain on the pancreas. Over time, we may experience insulin resistance from the constant barrage of sugar and carbs we take in. If this pattern continues, it often leads to Type II diabetes. Insulin resistance is associated with hypertension, obesity and high levels of LDL. “Insulin resistance doubles your risk for heart attack and stroke – and triples the odds that your heart attack or ‘brain attack’ with be deadly, accoring to the International Diabetes Foundation.” (Harrar, 2019).
The other problem with a low-fat diet, besides increased carbohydrate consumption, is the replacement of “bad” fats with what were thought to be healthier fats – now known to have negative health affects. Consumption of these trans fats, such as margarine or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, has also been shown to increase insulin resistance. They contribute to increased lipoprotein levels, increased levels of triglycerides and have are shown to increase the risk of coronary heart disease. So that low-fat stuff we were told to eat to prevent unwanted health effects actually cause heart disease???? What? Yup. Read that again.
After many years of being duped into thinking that the road to health was paved with low-fat foods, data now shows that was never the case. Instead, we are learning heart health comes from a diet rich in nutrient dense, healthy fats, proteins and complex carbs.
Instead, we are learning heart health comes from a diet rich in nutrient dense, healthy fats, proteins and complex carbs.
And that a variety of EFAs are crucial for reducing inflammation and for maintaining the health of the cells of our heart.
So what does this mean for you? Eat the coconut and salmon and avocado, cook your whole eggs in REAL butter and don’t shy away from full fat yogurt or dressings (or better yet, make your own with EVOO..it’s easy, I promise). And if anyone tries to tell you that fat makes you fat or that fat is bad for you – walk away. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your world.
Harrar, Sari. (2019). Insulin Resistance Causes and Symptoms. Endocrine Web. Retrieved from: