There has been an accumulating myth around fat and the role it plays in your health. If you are trying to lose weight, eat healthily, or just be well, then please do yourself a favor and update your knowledge on the low-down with fat.
Where the myth came from
Belief in eating a low-fat diet was the result of research carried out in the 1980s which found that high levels of saturated fat in the diet lead to cardiovascular disease. This became a huge topic of discussion for the medical industry and became an exploitation opportunity for the sugar industry trying to push high carbohydrate, sugary foods.
This collection of studies have time and time again, with modern research techniques been completely discredited.
There has also been a flurry of business transactions dating back to the 60s which have uncovered multiple sugar companies trying to stimulate the conversation of high-fat being the culprit of ill health and play down the studies that were demonizing sugar. Recently it was revealed that Coca-Cola has filtered millions of dollars into funding research which could disprove the link between sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity.
What we are saying now
All of this false information has been updated. The Harvard School of Public Health titles their page on fats with “its time to end the low-fat myth”. All we have to do it look at the state of health of our population today. Over a third of our population is overweight or obese. The highest cause of mortality is no-longer old-age but preventable, lifestyle diseases like diabetes and heart disease. So, it begs the question, whatever research is saying, clearly we are doing something wrong.
Eat fat to lose fat
When you eat fat, it does not automatically convert into fat on your body, it gets burned and used and stored just like protein and carbohydrate. Both of which are also converted into fat when they are not burned or used in the body. Interestingly enough carbohydrates and protein in most cases store as fat much faster than actual dietary fat, because of our tendency to over consume these macronutrients.
If you take a look at the biochemistry of our bodies, and how our metabolism and energy production works, it does not make any sense whatsoever to run on a high-carbohydrate and low-fat diet. It is unsustainable, causes a huge amount of stress on the body, dis-regulates your hormones, and slows down your brain function.
If you want to lose the fat that you are carrying on your body, eating carbohydrates is not the way to do it. Eating carbohydrates produce insulin in your body which physically blocks the pathway you need to turn your stored fat, into usable energy, effectively burning your fat. If you are trying to lose weight, but still consuming a high carbohydrate diet you are actually inhibiting your body from doing so, and as a result, you will remain the same weight or even put more on.
Most importantly, fats play a huge role in our body, it is needed for many critical biochemical processes, like cell regeneration, hormonal regulation, mood stability, and brain performance. So, if you are skipping the fats in your diet you can guarantee your body is not functioning well.
We run far better on fat than we do carbohydrate
Fat is a slow burning energy source, it is very satisfying, and when you eat fat it engages mechanisms in your body to produce its own energy, rather than relying on the dietary macronutrients you consume. This can mean that if you are consuming enough fat in your diet you will no longer feel the burden of constant hunger and debilitated low energy when you haven't eaten.
Your next step
Avoid anything on the supermarket shelves that say “low-fat” “lite” “skim” “trim” - all of these labels should be warning signs for you.
Eat foods which contain an abundance of healthy fats
Aim for a diet that is around 60% fat 30% protein and 10% carbohydrate. This kind of diet can see drastic changes in your health, even to the point of reversing a diseased state, however, it is a change that your metabolism needs to adjust to and should be done under the supervision of a professional nutritionist or functional medicine practitioner. This makes sure you do this the right way and does not cause your body any more unnecessary stress.