I eat fat! I eat the crispy skin off my pastured-raised roasted chicken. I eat fatty, juicy, pasture-finished grilled hamburgers. I eat raw seeds & nuts, and toasted seeds & nuts. My salads are thoroughly covered in organic olive oil dressing. Every vegetable I sauté, roast or grill is doused with olive oil, coconut oil or nitrate-free pastured-raised bacon fat.
I even take a tablespoon of coconut oil by mouth a day!
Wow! I must be the size of a barn…right?
No ma’am. I’m actually pretty lean. So…how can I eat fat and not get fat?! Almost seems counter intuitive, doesn’t it?
There are two schools of thought. One is outdated, and the other is based on research and clinical studies.
Fat is the Enemy
This theory once permeated culture. Back in the day…fat was forbidden! I pulled the skin off of my chicken and sadly discarded it. Salads had scant amounts of low-fat dressing. Grocery shopping consisted of looking for low-fat cheese and lean ground beef. When I ate bacon, the seemingly evil fat torn from the meat!
But I was still fat. Why?!
I filled up on carbs and sugar. Basically, I was starving and over-ate. The sugar rushed in and rushed out. Then I was hungry again. Sound familiar?
Fat isn’t the enemy. Actually no whole, real food made by God is the enemy. Our bodies may be confused or even damaged by some foods like peanuts or dairy. But that’s not because something is wrong with what God made. It means something is wrong with how we have taken what God made and tried to perfect it. As if somehow, mankind could improve on it.
Here’s the truth. Natural fats are good for the brain, skin, nutrition, cells, just about everything in the body. Every cell in the human body is wrapped in a plasma membrane that holds all the stuff inside the cell together and allows nutrients in and waste out, kinda like our own skin. This membrane is made of fat! The basic building blocks of our bodies is made of fat!
Our skin is a fatty membrane that holds all of our stuff inside too! Nutrients in and waste out. From the smallest to the largest parts, we need fat.
There are vitamins needed by the human body that require fat so that our bodies can use them. These fat-soluble vitamins are: A, D, E and K.
Our brains can use either glucose or fat as fuel. Fat however is a cleaner burning fuel for our brains. In other words, the body has less to clean up. The brain also uses fat to transport information and is critically important for one side of your brain to communicate with the other.
Now brace yourself.
The human brain is 70% fat. Yep. We’re fatheads….and it’s okay!
Dangerous fatty, fat, fat
So we know that eating fat doesn’t make us fat. We know carbs and sugar, if not all used, converts to fat. But did you know that excess fat stores in the body can be dangerous?
Excess fat causes inflammation. Inflammation is the beginning of all diseases.
In addition, those big pockets of unnecessary fat start creating hormones. Ugh, creepy. It becomes its own organ. Those fat-produced hormones then interfere with your regular ones.
Fats are made of omegas in different ratios. For instance, soybean oil is half omega-6 but its omega-3 content is only 7%. That’s bad. The human body needs roughly half omega-6 and half omega-3 intake to avoid inflammation. Your cells are made of omega-3.
Pastured-raised meats are actually lower in fat than conventionally raised meat and have a healthy omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.
Chemically-derived vegetable oils are not healthy ratios, because they are unnaturally created. How much oil is really in a soybean? Whereas, fruit (avocado, olive oil) and nut oils are naturally made because they easily give off fat.
Lipase is the enzyme the body uses to breakdown and digest fat. Not everyone has adequate amounts of this enzyme. If you find that eating fat makes you feel unwell and produces symptoms, then consider taking a digestive enzyme. You can find them at health food stores.
Beyond the scope of this post, but still important, your gallbladder and liver help to digest fats. So if you find that eating fat and adding lipase enzyme doesn’t help your symptoms, go here and here to learn what to do next.
For more about fats and weight loss, click here.
The next time someone calls you a fathead, just say, “Thanks!” and know you’re healthier for it!