There aren’t many scientific facts (but lately more are coming out), just the power of personal observation through ten years of clients and my own personal, radical health story. I eat full fat yogurt. I love full fat cheese. I love real butter, made from grass-fed cows and whole milk ice cream, in all of it’s thick, creamy, rich glory. I eat it because it’s delicious. I eat it because it is real. I eat it because it is as close to natural as we can get these products other than their raw counterparts.
I believe as adults, we out grow out need for milk, mom’s milk that is. Think about this radical concept for a brief moment: When we are babies, we drink our mother’s milk, the perfect balance of nutrition specifically and magically formulated within the mother’s own body for that child. As the child grows older, they begin more solid foods including (hopefully) vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. A baby cow drinks its mother’s milk, the perfect balance of nutrition specifically and magically formulated within the mother’s own body for that baby cow. As it grow older, it naturally grazes on grass. Now we are not only drinking milk into our adult years but now we are drinking milk meant for the growth of a baby cow.
There are too many palate pleasing wines that mate with creamy cheese. There are too many hot and sunny days that require cold and velvety ice cream. There are too many freshly baked, crusty bread that beg to be smoothered in melty, delicious butter. And there are too many afternoon warm coffees that yearn for a little bit of sweet, whole cream. So, if I’m going to eat it, I want it real. I want it whole. I want it pure.
WHY? My body knows what to do with a real, whole product like butter (ingredients: cream and salt). It does not know what to do with margarine (ingredients: 3 lines of junk I don’t know how to pronounce including yellow dyes). Full fat version are less ‘tampered’ with. Although it endures pasteurization, in fat-free dairy we take out the fat, and process it some more, further ‘tampering’ with the original ratios of protein to fat to carbohydrate, then adding in something for flavor because the natural delicious flavor was just removed via fat. If I can’t have it raw, then leave my dairy alone.
Fat is delicious.
Fat is good for you.
Eating good dietary fat will NOT make you fat and will NOT give you heart disease.
Types of Dietary Fat:
Monounsaturated Fat – Good – Sources: olive oil, avocados, nuts, & seeds
Polyunsaturated Fat – Good (when Omega 6 to Omega 3 is balanced) – Sources: fatty, wild caught fish, flax seeds and flax seed oil, & walnuts
Saturated Fat – Good – Sources: organic, grass-fed, free range meat, poultry, eggs, and whole fat dairy, coconut oil, and butter
Cholesterol – Good (depending on the source) – Good Sources: Organic, grass-fed meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and whole fat dairy.
Trans Fat/ Hydrogenated Fat & Highly Refined Fats – Bad – Sources: Margarine, Prepackaged foods, Snack foods, Candy
The Birth of Heart Disease in America
(From the Desk of the Westin A Price Foundation)
“Before 1920 coronary heart disease was rare in America; so rare that when a young internist named Paul Dudley White introduced the German electrocardiograph to his colleagues at Harvard University, they advised him to concentrate on a more profitable branch of medicine. The new machine revealed the presence of arterial blockages, thus permitting early diagnosis of coronary heart disease. But in those days clogged arteries were a medical rarity, and White had to search for patients who could benefit from his new technology. During the next forty years, however, the incidence of coronary heart disease rose dramatically, so much so that by the mid fifties heart disease was the leading cause of death among Americans. Today heart disease causes at least 40% of all US deaths. If, as we have been told, heart disease results from the consumption of saturated fats, one would expect to find a corresponding increase in animal fat in the American diet. Actually, the reverse is true. During the sixty-year period from 1910 to 1970, the proportion of traditional animal fat in the American diet declined from 83% to 62%, and butter consumption plummeted from eighteen pounds per person per year to four. During the past eighty years, dietary cholesterol intake has increased only 1%. During the same period the percentage of dietary vegetable oils in the form of margarine, shortening and refined oils increased about 400% while the consumption of sugar and processed foods increased about 60%.”
(Source: Enig, Mary G, PhD, Trans Fatty Acids in the Food Supply: A Comprehensive Report Covering 60 Years of Research, 2nd Edition, Enig Associates, Inc, Silver Spring, MD, 1995, 4-8)
Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) are one type of fat that most of us recognize as good fat. MUFAs can be manufactured in the body from saturated fats. Since these fats have a bend in their double bond, they do not pack together well as solid fats do, so they tend to be liquid at room temperature. MUFAs do not do rancid quickly and are found in olive oil, avocados, nuts, & seeds. They are good fats indeed.
This type of fat (PUFAs) have one or more double bonds and are most commonly found in foods as Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids. Both types cannot be made by the body and must be taken in through the diet, hence the name essential fatty acids (EFAs). Since most PUFAs are fragile fats, they should be kept in the fridge and never used in cooking. Before heart disease became the number one killer, folks got most of their fat from saturated fat and MUFAs including lard, butter, coconut oil, and olive oil. Today, most fats people consume are the Omega-6 PUFAs in the form of highly refined and GMO soy, canola, corn, and safflower oils.
So the question now becomes, why hasn’t the heart disease issue been revisited through the years as American’s eating habits have fallen victim to food processing, GMO, fortification, stress, long hours, and Big Pharma? It has been suggested that this extreme imbalance in Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids is responsible for hormonal imbalances, blood clots, high blood pressure, inflammation, digestive disorders, decreased immunity, sterility, cancer, and weight gain. (Source: Horrobin, D F, Reviews in Pure and Applied Pharmacological Sciences, Vol 4, 1983, Freund Publishing House, 339-383; Devlin, T M, ed, Textbook of Biochemistry, 2nd Ed, 1982, Wiley Medical, 429-430; Fallon, Sally, and Mary G Enig, PhD, “Tripping Lightly Down the Prostaglandin Pathways,” Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation Health Journal, 1996, 20:3:5-8) The need for more omega 3 fatty acids is real and understood. This fat can be obtained from flax, organic eggs, fish, and more. Take a look at this little factoid from the American Journal of Nutrition… Organic, free range eggs from hens allowed to feed on green plants can contain natural, appropriate proportions of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Commercial supermarket eggs can contain as much as nineteen times more omega-6 than omega-3! (Source: Simopoulos, A P, and Norman Salem, Am J Clin Nutr, 1992, 55:411-4)
It’s no secret that our omega 6 to omega 3 ratios are far off, and to make matters worse, the majority of our PUFA intake is from man-made, GMO, refined omega 6 oils.
Saturated fat (sat fat) is natural, it’s real, and it comes from the Earth. Here are a few of it’s proven benefits:
- Medium chain fatty acids in saturated fats (sat fats) contains antimicrobial properties protecting the digestive tract and immune system.
- Cell membranes and their integrity are made up of 50% sat fat.
- Omega-3s are better retained in the tissues when the diet is rich in sat fats. (Source: Garg, M L, et al, FASEB Journal, 1988, 2:4:A852; Oliart Ros, R M, et al, “Meeting Abstracts,” AOCS Proceedings, May 1998, 7, Chicago, IL)
- Sat fats enhance the immune system. (Source: Kabara, J J, The Pharmacological Effects of Lipids, The American Oil Chemists Society, Champaign, IL, 1978, 1-14; Cohen, L A, et al, J Natl Cancer Inst, 1986, 77:43)
- Sat fats protect the liver from toxicity. (Source: Nanji, A A, et al, Gastroenterology, Aug 1995, 109(2):547-54; Cha, Y S, and D S Sachan, J Am Coll Nutr, Aug 1994, 13(4):338-43; Hargrove, H L, et al, FASEB Journal, Meeting Abstracts, Mar 1999, #204.1, p A222.)
- The area directly around the heart is made up of saturated fat, an area the heart draws from for energy during times of high stress.
- Sat fat helps calcium be incorporated into bone structure when 50% of fat intake is from sat fat. (Source: Watkins, B A, et al, “Importance of Vitamin E in Bone Formation and in Chrondrocyte Function” Purdue University, Lafayette, IN, AOCS Proceedings, 1996; Watkins, B A, and M F Seifert, “Food Lipids and Bone Health,” Food Lipids and Health, R E McDonald and D B Min, eds, p 101, Marcel Dekker, Inc, New York, NY, 1996)
Our blood vessels get damaged from free radical build up and become weak in numerous ways. Cholesterol is NOT the culprit of this. In fact, cholesterol is the ‘fat’ that comes to the rescue to patch up the weak vessel. Cholesterol is pegged as the bad guy only because when a blood vessel becomes blocked, doctors find cholesterol there. It simply acts as the body’s natural healing substance to repair the damage, like a bandaid, a type of antioxidant if you will. Cholesterol is made in the liver and cells however down regulates in production when more is consumed in the diet. The problem is not cholesterol in the arteries, the problem is the inflammation and free radical damage caused buy a number of factors including a processed diet, fake food, stress, alcohol, and more.
Benefits of Cholesterol:
- Cholesterol gives cells stiffness and stability.
- Cholesterol is a vital precursor to the making of sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and androgen.
- Bile salts are made from cholesterol, necessary for fat digestion and absorption.
- Mom’s milk contains high levels of cholesterol, essential for baby’s brain and nervous system development.
- Cholesterol acts as an antioxidant. Likely reason it increases with age. (Source: Cranton, E M, MD, and J P Frackelton, MD, Journal of Holistic Medicine, Spring/Summer 1984, 6-37)
Although there is more. Cholesterol, when exposed to heat and oxygen, can become damaged and oxidized. These types of cholesterol can be found in powered milk and eggs or meats fried or heated to very high temperatures. High levels of serum or blood cholesterol indicate a serious imbalance in usable good fat in the body and act as a protective mechanism.
Trans Fat/ Hydrogenated Fat & Highly Refined Fats (+ Sugar)
Hydrogenation is the method by which PUFAs are turned into a solid fat, producing margarine and so-called ‘healthy’ versions of sat fats. Hydrogenation produces the Trans fat. Refined fats are just that, refined so that they may tolerate high heats better or maintain a longer shelf life. You will find refined and Trans fat in processed foods, fried food, most commercial baked goods, and foods that can sit on a shelf for years. Add sugar and what do you have? One fat, unhappy, unhealthy American.
Fat is delicious.
If you eat food from the Earth, in its purest state, untouched, unprocessed, unaltered, or unrefined, your risk for disease will be low. If your happy, resilient person with a positive mindset, it will be even lower. Think real. Eat simple.