I Heart Fat
I eat saturated fats and cholesterol, with no regrets! Over the last few months since starting the NTP program, I’ve had a few people ask me regarding my fat intake. Our media has demonized cholesterol over the decades and now we are terrified of saturated fats and cholesterol. I do not understand how our government and media allowed this – literally making us unhealthy and sick. But on the positive side, there is a shift occurring, people are starting to take their health in their hands and eat fat and less processed foods.
I just finished reading Put Your Heart in Your Mouth by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. If anyone has any questions about saturated fats and cholesterol, I highly recommend picking this up and reading it. It is a quick and easy read. It does a fantastic job of painting a complete picture of how processed foods and flooding our bodies with glucose is creating inflammation in our body. It also clarifies the essential roles of cholesterol and fats in our bodies. We CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT FAT! Sorry, but FAT doesn’t make you FAT, SUGAR makes you FAT. The quality of FAT does matter though, that is very important.
I had several HOLY SHIT moments I think will be quite eye opening for most.
PROCESSED FOODS ARE TO BLAME FOR CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE, NOT CHOLESTEROL
Most of our schedules are jam packed, hectic, and stressful with not enough time in the day. We look for quick, easy, and healthy meals. Unfortunately, most of those solutions are processed foods that are primarily high in carbohydrates and low in fat. If they contain fat, they most likely contain hydrogenated oils or rancid fats.
Since introducing the diet-heart hypothesis, Americans have significantly reduced their cholesterol and saturated fat consumption, however, the rates of cardiovascular disease has risen. If cholesterol and saturated fats were to blame, the reverse should have occurred. But guess what has significantly increased, or consumption of processed foods and vegetable oils….just saying. Processed foods lead to metabolic syndrome which leads to a body that is perpetually inflamed.
OUR BODIES PRODUCE CHOLESTEROL WITH/WITHOUT DIETARY CHOLESTEROL
Our bodies produce cholesterol on its own, as needed. Dietary cholesterol simply provides the body a boost in supplying cholesterol so that our bodies do not need to work as hard to produce it. Therefore, cholesterol-lowering drugs interfere with our body’s ability to produce cholesterol**. For everyone else, there’s no stopping cholesterol production – sorry if you tried, you failed miserably.
Cholesterol is essential for our body’s immune system, it is how the body fights infections and repairs itself. If we have high cholesterol it means our body is healing damage. Our liver regulates the level of blood cholesterol. When the liver receives the signal of a wound/injury, it sends the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) to the damage site (LDL binds and inactivates dangerous toxins as well). The wound heals, the cholesterol is removed, and the “good” cholesterol (HDL) is returned to liver. Therefore, atherosclerotic plaque is due to inflammation which is due to the body trying to repair itself. There’s constant inflammation because we continue to damage our arteries instead of letting them repair and anti-inflame.
PROCESSED CARBS –> EXCESS GLUCOSE / INSULIN –> INSULIN RESISTANCE
Processed carbohydrates are easy to digest and are absorbed almost fully by our bodies. This leads to excess glucose and insulin in the bloodstream (metabolic syndrome). Our body’s cells have a limited capacity for taking in glucose; therefore, too much glucose leads to too much insulin which leads cells to become resistant to insulin. FUCK – it is a VICIOUS CYCLE. Insulin resistance leads to more insulin being released as blood glucose levels cannot be decreased, leading to hyperinsulinemia which creates a proinflammatory environment in the body.
Those unutilized and free molecules of glucose attach themselves to proteins within the blood making them sticky, known as AGEs (Advanced Glycosylated End products). These sticky proteins stick to walls of blood vessels and damage them. This is what starts atherosclerotic plaque.
For every molecule of glucose our body requires at least 28 molecules of magnesium in order to metabolize glucose. Therefore, a diet of processed carbohydrates can lead to a deficiency in magnesium. Well what about all foods? Whole foods, natural foods, unprocessed foods – they contain the required cofactors you need in order to digest and breakdown them. They do not require your body to steal nutrients from other foods or reserves to digest them. If you consume a variety of whole nutrient-dense foods, it is less likely that you will be deficient in vitamins and minerals.
Magnesium works with calcium to relax and contract your muscles, especially our heart. A deficiency in magnesium means high blood pressure because the arterial muscles cannot relax. This causes arrhythmias and sudden heart pains.
WHAT CAN WE DO
Fats are not bad. It is how they are prepared/processed that makes them bad. We need to stop consuming hydrogenated oils and vegetable oils. Most oils should never be heated, they are polyunsaturated and very unstable.
Processed foods. We need to be aware that most processed foods contain hydrogenated oils. These oils were developed in order to extend the shelf life. Most processed foods are low-fat and replaced with ALOT of refined sugar. There’s also chemicals and preservatives added to extend the shelf life. A lot of these have not been fully studied and we do not understand the long-term impacts on our health.
I do not recommend you immediately jump from a non-fat or low-fat diet to piling on the butter and avocados. If you haven’t been consuming fat, you will bombard your body with fat and may not be able to handle it. Your liver produces bile (made from cholesterol) which is stored in your gallbladder. The consumption of fat triggers the release of bile into your small intestines to break it down and emulsified to be absorbed. If you haven’t been eating fat or the right fats, that bile may be viscous and not flow properly from your gallbladder to breakdown those fats.
Please, do not be afraid of fat – they make food taste delicious, keep you full and satisfied longer, and provide you long lasting energy!
If you have any questions I’d be happy to answer any. I encourage you to do your own research as well.
**If you are on cholesterol-lowering drugs, work with your doctor to discuss your options. Do not stop taking them based on this, it can be dangerous and you need to work with your doctor to discuss your needs and the best ways to back off the prescription.