One of the main stumbling points for people looking into the paleo diet from the outside is that they perceive that the high-fat, and low-carb diets just have to be bad for our bodies. Some how the idea of fat, all-fat ~ good or bad, has all been lumped into one category — any fat = obesity = bad heart / health problems. This farce has led many companies in the food industry to try to mechanically or chemically remove fat, or produce lower-fat versions, of food that has no business trying to be fat-free.
Here are some things I found out that will help everyone understand why animal fats, olive oil, and avocados, among other good fats are in fact healthy for our bodies, despite the huge bad press its getting.
Humans are made to process animal fat. Do you think God told us in Genesis 9:3 “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.” and then He took it back millennia later? Which ever God or Higher Power you believe in, they are all protectors of we measly humans and want to take care of us and keep us healthy.
Your body needs fat. Triglycerides, cholesterol and other essential fatty acids—the scientific term for fats the body can’t make on its own—store energy, insulate us and protect our vital organs. They act as messengers, helping proteins do their jobs. They also start chemical reactions that help control growth, immune function, reproduction and other aspects of basic metabolism. The cycle of making, breaking, storing and mobilizing fats is at the core of how humans and all animals regulate their energy. Fats help the body stockpile certain nutrients as well. The so-called “fat-soluble” vitamins—A, D, E and K—are stored in the liver and in fatty tissues. Fat—specifically, cholesterol—makes all cell membranes possible. The fatty ends of membrane molecules veer away from the water inside and outside cells, while the non-fatty ends gravitate toward it. The molecules spontaneously line up to form a semi-permeable membrane. The result: flexible protective barriers that only allow the appropriate molecules to cross into and out of cells.
Unfortunately, because of the obesity epidemic in the last 50 years, the fat farce has become more and more fabulous, or should I say fabricated. People look to how obese overall the United States and the UK have gotten and say, “Well, it has to be the fat. The fat we intake as consumers is causing all or our obesity as well as heart problems and diabetes. Yeah, that’s it… it’s the fat we eat, has to be.”
A more careful look reveals that the real obesity-epidemic is increased by the consumption of refined carbohydrates, mainly sugar and white flour. Further, obesity is not “a disorder of energy imbalance,” in which weak-willed people eat too much and exercise too little, but rather “a disorder of excess fat accumulation” in which the body, not the brain, is the primary culprit.
Eating too much and exercising too little are side effects, not causes, of the active role of carbohydrate-driven hormones on the whole organism, including the brain.
A chemical compound derived from glucose turns fatty acids – the “burnable” kind of fat – into triglycerides, the “storable” form of fat.
Consequently, anything that works to transport glucose into fat cells works to deposit fat. And what transports glucose into fat cells? Insulin. When insulin is secreted or chronically elevated, fat accumulates in fat tissue.
Bottom line: Carbohydrates are driving insulin. Insulin is driving fat deposition.
When it comes to accumulating fat, carbohydrates are indeed “bad calories,” as they are the only ones that boost insulin and make fat accumulation possible.
So what’s the scientific weight-loss solution? Since the fewer carbohydrates we eat, the leaner we will be. To achieve this our diets should emphasize meat, fish, fowl, cheese, butter, eggs and non-starchy vegetables. “Excluding carbohydrates from the diet”, says Dr. Gary Taubes, a fellow with the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, “derails the insulin peak/dip roller coaster, so one is never voraciously hungry, making weight loss and healthy-weight maintenance easy. When you eat this way, the fat just melts off,” he said after his speech at the the Nutrition and Health Conference in Arizona.
Wow. Not only do renowned scientists say that fat from animals is in fact good for you, but the idea of fat-free or low-fat products that are scientifically manipulated are indeed bad for you and you should avoid them at all costs.
Have you ever noticed that when you eat the fat-free foods you don’t get full and in fact you end up eating more? Take cookies for example. There’s the fat-free and the regular ones. Perhaps you feel satisfied after eating 2 of the regular cookies. Yet when you eat the fat-free type, two don’t satisfy our sweet tooth. And by eating more than two, you’re already consuming more calories than had you just had the regular ones.
In case you haven’t realized it, let me break the news to you:
Fat-Free does not mean calorie-free. In fact, fat-free usually has similar (if not MORE) calories to its full fat product.
Food manufacturers try their best to make fat-free and low-fat foods taste better by adding extra sugar, flour, thickener, salt and artificial ingredients. All they care about is the product having less fat than its original version but all of those extra ingredients mean a whole bunch of extra calories For weight-loss and for health purposes, it’s best to avoid fat-free and low-fat packaged foods.
Other great articles about the healthiness of fat for your body are: