I used to believe that allowing fat in my family’s diet was tantamount to being an irresponsible mother. No way was I going to recklessly endanger my children’s health. That eating fat was a set up for a slew of medical disasters waiting to cut us down in our prime.
Saturated fats were the devil, to be avoided at all costs.
So, I studied recipes and cookbooks with an eagle eye. Ever vigilant and determined, I stripped all the fat from our daily diet. I was proud that I was an accomplished low/no fat cook.
Even today, if I let myself, I could spiral down the guilt rabbit hole with anger and resentment at Ancel Keyes He is the father of the 20th century low fat movement.
He doctored his research, cherry picked and falsified his actual results. All this in an effort to support his hypothesis that saturated fat causes coronary artery disease.
Like many Baby Boomer mothers, I was an unwitting victim of lies so HUGE and pushed so hard, they found their way into every nook and cranny of the media, popular science and even informed the recommendations of the FDA’s food pyramid.
They linger in the mind with a ferocity that’s hard to dislodge. I had to “relearn” how to eat saturated fat because my aversion to it was grooved so deeply in my brain.
Now I know better, so I do better.
Now I subscribe to the adage: eat fat to lose fat. But not just any fat. I avoid PUFA toxicity and resulting inflammation by cutting out vegetable oils from my diet.
Adding saturated fat to my eating plan helped me lose over 30 lbs and keep it off for over 3 years—the longest I’ve ever gone without steadily gaining weight each year. In fact, I’ve even continued to lose a few more pounds here and there.
Just to be clear, 21st century metabolic science has revealed the truth: SUGAR is the most dangerous substance we can consume. Not saturated fat.
So, let’s dive into the skinny on fats. Which ones to avoid and which ones to use without fear in your kitchen.
Consuming seed oils weakens your immune system.
All oils are pure fat and don’t contain any carbs, but from a health perspective, some are better than others.
The average American gets 80% of their fat calories from seed oils. They are high in unstable fatty acids. They break down into toxins when you cook with them and eat them year after year.
Dr. Cate Shanahan, one of my all time heroes, is devoted to restoring our metabolic health. She has a lot to say about the fats we should include in our diets and those we should avoid like the plague.
Eliminate high-PUFA seed oils from your diet to reduce inflammation.
It’s the NUMBER ONE best thing you can do to support optimal immune system function.
When it comes to beating the Coronavirus, this advice is particularly relevant. Especially as the Delta variant continues to wreak havoc.
The virus is not what’s killing most of us under the age of 65. For the elderly, or for those who are otherwise immuno-compromised, the sheer viral load can be too much for the body to deal with. But for the rest of us, the real threat is not the virus itself, but the way your body responds.
Most of the folks under 65 who have to be admitted to the ICU are there because their body fat is full of inflammation-promoting high-PUFA seed oils. In other words, if seed oils were removed from the equation, then there would be nobody under 65 in the ICU unless they’ve got a rare immune deficiency disorder or are in the middle of chemo for cancer or have something else very serious that’s going on.
What I’m talking about goes way beyond flattening the curve; the sheer volume of the curve would be reduced. If the Hateful 8 weren’t disrupting our metabolisms and forcing our immune system to produce dangerous levels of inflammation, kids are still at school, restaurants are still opened and people are still going to work.
Doctors are so poorly trained in metabolic disease that most can’t begin to appreciate how powerful the wrong dietary advice they typically dish out is disrupting your health. We tell you to avoid saturated fat and when you do you’re going to end up eating unhealthy amounts of PUFA. And so most doctors unknowingly give out nutritional advice that only makes people sicker. When our dietary advice fails to help our patients, we sometimes avoid the subject altogether by ignoring abnormal lab results and telling you “all your tests came back normal.”
That’s my best explanation for why half the adults in this country with metabolic conditions like fatty liver and prediabetes aren’t told they have the condition, and therefore don’t have any reason to believe they’re at risk for additional complications of metabolic diseases or at risk of suffering from serious infections.
Many other common conditions are also metabolic. For example, if you’re a person who suffers from frequent migraines, seasonal allergies, occasional asthma, you almost certainly have an unhealthy metabolism. These seemingly minor underlying conditions are enough to make a viral pneumonia potentially life threatening.
NEVER eat refined PUFA-rich seed oils a.k.a. “Vegetable oils.”
PUFAs are found, in abundance, in processed foods and especially in highly processed foods. These vegetable oils are the darlings of the food industry. They increase the shelf life of a vast array of products.
Vegetable oil is an industry term that sometimes includes olive oil, peanut, and coconut.
However, when you see the word vegetable oil on the ingredients, it’s not going to be first press, unrefined olive, peanut, or coconut oil.
It will be one of the cheap, refined PUFA-rich, seed oils like these: canola (also called “rapeseed”), corn, cottonseed, soy, sunflower, safflower, grapeseed, rice bran.
Refined Palm oil is also toxic. While it’s not very high in PUFAs, the refining process is often more intense and damaging.
Anything that contains the word hydrogenated on its label is particularly dangerous to consume. Food processors start with refined oil and then further treat it which creates trans fats. Never consume hydrogenated oils.
Eat unrefined fats and oils low in PUFAs or high in Omega-3 fatty acids.
Use avocado oil, butter, coconut oil, duck fat, ghee, lard, olive oil, peanut oil, tallow, sesame oil, flax oil, walnut oil, almond oil,or macadamia nut oil.
Oils that are labeled cold-pressed and unrefined are good.
Use these oils for cooking.
Almond oil, avocado oil, butter, coconut, duck fat, ghee, lard, macadamia nut oil, peanut oil, tallow, sesame/toasted sesame oil — although sesame is better if combined with peanut or another more stable fat.
Avocado oil is my personal favorite for sauteing and drizzling over vegetables for roasting or grilling.
I use first cold pressed olive oil for my salad dressings.
Don’t cook with these oils.
Flax oil, walnut oil, fish oil.
Why refined high-PUFA seed oils are toxic.
These oils contain a high percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).
PUFAs are unstable, and break down rapidly when exposed to chemical stress and heat.
Dr. Shanahan asks:
Ever heard of varnish? It’s what carpenters use to finish wood. Varnish is made from vegetable oils, including soy and linseed (which is rich in omega-3, like canola), because these oils are chiefly composed of PUFAs.
PUFAs react with oxygen in the air to help polymerize the varnish into a nice hard coating that helps preserve the wood.
Varnish is good for your floors, but not so good for your brain, your arteries or mitochondria.
Surprise! We actually need some PUFAs in our diets.
BUT NOT FROM PROCESSED FOODS!
Again, I must emphasize: Eat whole foods to achieve a balanced ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 oils.
When we eat PUFAs from whole foods like sunflower, chia or flax seeds, it’s well protected by antioxidants nature builds into the seed.
During the industrial scale refining of vegetable oils, these protective antioxidants get stripped away.
It makes PUFAs toxic by exposing them to heat, pressure, metals and bleaching agents.
The refining process chemically alters the molecules into a wide variety of potent toxins.
These toxic molecules promote free-radical reactions that damage our cellular machinery. This includes our mitochondria, enzymes, hormone receptors, and DNA.
Years of consuming these high-PUFA seed oils has undesirable consequences.
Our body has no choice but to store the extra PUFA in our body fat,. That means that over decades the concentration of PUFAs in our body fat gradually rises.
Back in the early 1900’s our body fat PUFA percentage was 2-4%. Today it’s 10-30%.
This makes our body fat prone to inflammation which has disastrous consequences for our overall health and our ability to fuel our cells.
Limit your use of “refined” oils.
According to Dr. Shanahan, refined high sat-fat/mufa oils are “ok but not great.” That’s because their fatty acids can handle the refining process without generating significant levels of mutated fatty acids. That makes them less toxic.
However, the refining strips them of significant amounts of minerals and/or antioxidants so they are not as nutritious as their more expensive, higher-quality equivalents.
You can think of them as the empty calories of the fat world. If you can afford to, get the better stuff. If you can’t, these are still far better than the high-PUFA oils.
You’ll just need to be sure that the rest of your diet supplies plenty of antioxidants. Lots of fresh greens and herbs, for example.
Make it easier to avoid PUFAs and add healthy fats back into your diet with coaching support.
Find peace and freedom around food, your body and your weight with my coaching program.
You can make deliberate food choices to favor those that provide deep nutrition, fats included!!!
And to make each change easier, you can learn how to strengthen the daily habits of thought and action which support them.
When it came to eating fats, I had years of brainwashing to unravel. I literally changed my thoughts to reprogram my brain.
If you/’re feeling that you too have a strong aversion to including fats in your diet plan, we need to talk. Depriving yourself of the fats your body needs to build flexible cells and energize your body is downright dangerous.
When you design a plan to reintroduce fat into your diet, motivation is easier to sustain.
Take me up on my offer for a FREE Strategy Call. Let’s discuss how you can start incorporating these shifts into your life.
Schedule that FREE Strategy Call right here.
I’m looking forward to meeting you soon.
It’s Never too Late to make your weight loss journey easier. A year from now, you will thank yourself.