By Jessica Ehrlich
Fact: Eating fat is healthy and will actually help you lose body fat.
No, this isn’t a trick. I get asked all the time by my clients and friends my secrets for looking as fit as I do. I tell them I eat 100 grams of fat almost everyday. Most don’t believe me. The ones that do believe me also believe I workout every day like a maniac. The 100 grams of fat per day is 100% truth. However, I do not work out consistently, maybe 2 or 3 times a week.
“But I thought fat made you fat?” you may say, or, “I thought fat was bad.” Here’s the history lesson on the Standard American Diet (SAD): In the 1950s, Dr. Ancel Keys, a powerful political figure, erroneously linked saturated fat to heart disease. Unfortunately, his agenda took like wildfire despite counter research.
Fact: Saturated fat found naturally in animal and plant sources is not the villain. Trans fats are actually the bad fats. This bad fat is found in margarine, vegetable shortening, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils used in low-quality and processed products. This is the kind of fat that leads to disease and other health issues.
But still today, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a diet that includes less than 6% saturated and trans fats. And even as recently as 2010, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommended your saturated fat intake to a mere 10% of your total calories or less. So with the AHA lumping the good fat and bad fats together and the USDA informing people to keep saturated fat intake to a minimum, it is not surprising that most people are ill-informed and confused about fat.
Despite what these agencies say, there is a steady stream of science and research that proves fat is NOT the culprit. Dr. Robert Lustig and Dr. Richard Johnson (author of the books, The Sugar Fix and The Fat Switch) clearly identify the root cause of heart disease as being high amounts of refined fructose. That’s sugar — not fat. In other words, limit or even better, eliminate the refined grains, processed foods and sugar from your diet.
Fact: The latest science says we may need up to 50-85% of healthy fats in our diets!
Saturated Fat Benefits:
- Fats make you feel satiated so you eat less (hello weight loss)
- Fats give you energy – better athletic performance
- Fats improve your reproductive health by regulating hormone balance (for women low-fat is linked to infertility and for men low-fat is linked to reduced testosterone levels)
- Better libido
- More muscle mass – supports hormone balance and recovery from intense exercise
- Stronger bones – less risk of osteoporosis
- Fats help you absorb and utilize vitamins A, D, E and K
- Fat is also needed to convert carotene to vitamin A
- Fats helps mineral absorption
- Fats reduce cancer risk
- Fats strengthen your immune system
- Fats reduce overall fat percentage – easier fat loss
- Fat aids in lowering cholesterol levels
- Fat reduces inflammation (the root of almost all diseases)
- Fats improve brain function and mood (less risk of depression)
In other words, YOUR BODY NEEDS FAT TO FUNCTION.
Good sources of healthy fat:
- Fatty fish (salmon, anchovies, sardines)
- Unrefined coconut oil (avoid refined – it’s bad for you)
- Organic butter (preferably grass-fed)
- Ghee (preferably grass-fed)
- Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil (always consume COLD – do NOT heat! It destroys its beneficial properties)
- Cacao butter
- Raw nuts (roasting and heating destroys the beneficial oil in the nut)
- Organic pastured eggs
- Organic FULL-fat dairy products (no more low-fat and no-fat products)
- Tallow and lard
- Avocado oil
- Hemp seed oil (do not heat)
- Flax seed oil (do not heat)
Fat sources to avoid:
- Rice bran
- Refined palm oil
- Hydrogenated oils
- Refined grapeseed
- Vegetable shortening (Crisco)
Bottom line: Fat is good. Fat is healthy. So, eat it.
Asprey, Dave. Vegetable Oil – The Silent Killer w/ Dr. Cate Shanahan #376.
Bullet Proof. https://blog.bulletproof.com/dr-cate-shanahan-376/
Johnson, Richard J. The Fat Switch, Mercola.com 2012
Johnson, Richard J, and Gowar, Timothy. The Sugar Fix: The High-Fructose
Fallout That Is Making You Fat. Simon and Schuster 2008
Libov, Charlotte. “Vegetable Oil: As Bad as Sugar for Your Health?”
NewsMax Health, 26, January 2017.
Lustig, Robert. Fat Chance, Penguin Group, 2012
Mercola, Joseph. Dietary Fats, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. 25, June,
2017. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/06/25/good- bad-ugly-dietary-fats.aspx
Puotinen, CJ. Unhealthy Vegetable Oils? Does Food Industry Ignore Science
Regarding Polyunsaturated Oils? Implications for Cancer, Heart Disease. Volume 5, Issue 1. Mercola.com.
Sifferlin, Alexandra. “The Case for Eating Butter Just Got Stronger.” Time. 29,
June, 2016, time.com/4386248/fat-butter-nutrition-health
“The Great Con-Ola.” The Weston A. Price Foundation. 28 July 2002,
White, Amy. “Trash the Vegetable Oil.” Simplictyofwellness.com, 16 March,
Jessica Leigh Ehrlich is a personal trainer from Austin, TX. With over two decades in the industry, she has used her passion for wellness to teach hundreds of people fitness, nutrition, yoga, and pilates. You can catch her meal plans, wellness tips, and daily shenanigans on Instagram @jessicaleighe.