“Eating Fat Makes You Fat” And Other Big Fat Lies You Need To Stop Believing
“Eating fat makes you fat.” Everyone knows that, right?
I mean, we’ve heard this so many times, it must be right. Right?
Wrong. Eating fat does not make you fat in and of itself.
Now, it is correct that dietary fats bring with them more calories (9 per gram) than carbs (4 per gram) or protein (4 per gram). So increasing your consumption of dietary fats will result in a higher caloric intake. And current consensus states that consuming more calories than required for your immediate metabolic needs may cause your volume of body fat to increase. I will add one caveat to that statement, this happens when and if your metabolic rate isn’t sped up due to an increase in usable fuel from fats, both the fats you eat and the fat (triglycerides made up of fatty acid chains) in your body fat. There is a measurable increase in metabolic rate for many who transition from carb burner to fat fueled.
Contrary to all the hype about fat, replacing sugar and other carbs with healing fats actually results in “weight” loss when ingested calories are at a deficiency. It is also true that a low-carb way of eating has been shown to result in more body fat loss and a larger reduction in the Pattern B type of LDL than low fat diets. (Not sure what Pattern B LDL is? Read more on that HERE.)
It is when carbs and fats are eaten together that humans are more prone to packing on unwanted pounds. The only proof you really need to support this fact is the insurmountable amount of carb/oil laden processed food we consume as a society. This combo has, in great part, resulted in epidemic levels of obesity today. One in three US adults is considered obese. Look left. Look right. Look in the mirror. One of you is likely obese. It is estimated that HALF the children of today will be obese adults if current trends continue.
When you significantly limit carb intake (individual amounts vary) the body will use dietary fats and your own fat stores for energy. Literally turning your body into a fat burning machine, while reducing belly, thigh, butt, back, and hip fat.
When you were young, your metabolism and high activity levels may have allowed you to eat a generous amount of carbs alongside fats and still maintain a decent body composition (body fat to lean mass proportions), as well as a reasonable weight. But as you get older and like most, your activity levels and metabolism slow down, the number on the scale may start to creep up. Add to this the onset of insulin resistance which an increasing number of those over 40 have to some degree, and you are helpless against the middle-aged spread. It’s a thing, seriously. Look into it. And look around the next time you’re in public.
The middle-aged spread is not only a thing, it’s an epidemic!
If you are already overweight and your diet is filled with carbs, it makes it very difficult for the body to use stored fat for energy because it always defaults to carbs for that purpose. The body is lazy, it’s not going to go the difficult route when the easy stuff is just so, easy.
And if you are eating every 2–3 hours, the probability of tapping into body fat for fuel is next to impossible since food is always being consumed.
By greatly reducing your carbohydrate intake as well as the frequency at which you consume those carbs, you promote your body’s ability to burn fat stores for energy. This results in a healthier loss of “weight” in the form of body fat and water retention. Now unlike carbs, dietary fat also promotes satiety and fullness, thereby helping to regulate the appetite so you actually wind up eating less. In fact, you have to eat two times more the volume in “carb calories” compared to “fat calories” to reach the same level of fullness, in theory. While fat has more calories, 9 per gram versus the 4 per gram in both protein and carbs, it is more important to understand what dietary fat does within the body at the cellular level. Everyone is different, so absolute statements are not realistic here. But by the math, this equates.
Contrary to Conventional Wisdom, a calorie is not a calorie.
Unlike carbs, dietary fat has little impact on blood glucose which keeps glucose and insulin more stable. In turn eliminating out of control cravings and hunger that almost always follow eating carbs. Carbs on the other hand, more specifically the mixture of carbs and processed oils/fats… is the food manufacturer’s wet dream and your biggest nightmare!
Ever eaten a whole bag of chips without realizing what you were doing until you had the bag upside down and found yourself tapping it to get every last bit of the crumbs? It’s almost like an out-of-body experience. The carb/fat combo along with the chemical “s?*t-storm” present in processed foods, lights up certain pathways in the brain rendering it almost zombie-like. All action, no thought. It’s such a strange phenomenon.
When there is a high level of insulin in the blood (hyperinsulinemia), it triggers the body to store energy in body fat. The lion’s share of the insulin your pancreas releases is in response to glucose. Glucose comes from carbs.
So in reality, it is eating carbs that makes the human (store) fat. Not eating fats.
When debating the topic of fat inside the body, there are two different discussions to be had. There’s the fat on our body and the fats in cellular membranes. They are not one in the same, but they are sourced from our food.
The “Fat Haters” threw the gauntlet down without doing their biochemistry homework apparently. To take you back in time, a little or a lot, you may recall looking at cells under the microscope. The outer part you could see as a border and what gives the cell its structure as well as its shape, is called the membrane. This membrane is the protective barrier for the cell. And therefore the protective barrier for you. Every cell in the body has fats in its cellular membrane. We refer to fats in this capacity as lipids, and a lipid bilayer when talking membranes in human cells.
This cellular membrane keeps the good stuff in the cell and the bad stuff out of it, simplistically speaking.
There is a whole lot of science going on when it comes to this balance. But to break it down, the more pliable (flexible) our membranes, the better the cell can regulate its internal environment. The better your cells can regulate their internal environments, the better you maintain your health. The pliability (flexibility) of the cell membrane is directly affected by the quality of fats we eat. This is why I place such a strong emphasis on exactly what kinds of fats to consume.
The best fats for a healthier membrane are monounsaturated and saturated, as well as certain polyunsaturated fats of the Omega-3 variety (n3-PUFA). My preferred specifications for plant-based oils are the organic and unrefined cold-pressed varieties of 100% pure olive oil, avocado oil and virgin coconut oil. My preferred types of animal fats are from animals raised on regenerative farms. They’re fed what they’re designed to eat and pasture-raised so they live as they are designed to live in nature. Preferred animal sources of fats are butter, ghee and tallow from cows and lard from pigs. These fats promote a more supple lipid bilayer (cellular membrane). And supple is where it’s at!
It is ill-advised to ingest the following oils containing Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n6-PUFAs): soybean, corn, canola and cottonseed oils. They are heavily genetically modified (GMO), absolutely marinating in glyphosate and pro-inflammatory which means they promote inflammation in the human body. And if that’s not enough to make you gag, most of them go through the RBD process to make them more “shelf stable”.
What does the RBD process consist of? R is refined, B is bleached and D is deodorized. Need I say more?
Now margarine is always on my naughty fats list, as it is fake and has trans bonds which make the lipid bilayer rigid instead of pliable. No Bueno. For the record Canola oil is the invention of Canadian food manufacturers. “Canola” is can- for Canada and –ola for oil. It’s extracted with hexane solvents, a by-product of refining gasoline, and is in just about everything passed off as “food”. A better term for this “food” is Frankenfood…never eat that stuff.
The “Eating Fat Makes You Fat” lie has done more damage to our health than we will ever be able to measure. The decades of fat-phobia have left us fatter and sicker than ever before in our history as a nation. We are continuously sold out by our policy makers. US food policies are crafted by lobbyists and bureaucrats. Both of whom are funded by Big Food and Big Pharma. And we, the taxpayers, are subsidizing our nutritional demise.
Here’s the take home: Big Food causes the problem, then Big Pharma comes along with the “cure”. All under the watchful eye of our bureaucrats. I don’t see these policies changing anytime soon.
It is up to you to change your own policy in your own body with your own fork.
RECAP of the LIE: “Eating fat makes you fat.”
Eating fat does not make you fat. But eating carbs certainly can.
Especially when it comes to quick and dirty carbs. You know, the ones that lure you in with their sexy chemical names and the feelings of euphoria they trick your brain into feeling.
Remember these types of carbs spike your insulin. Insulin impedes the body’s access to body fat so you cannot burn it for energy. In addition to the carb seduction, the chemicals added to processed foods wreak havoc on your brain and gut creating a perfect storm for cravings and an almost catatonic type of consumption. Like that bad boy in high school…you just can’t resist!
When you cannot readily tap into the stored energy in body fat, you have to rely on a constant supply of carbs to get your energy fix.
Bottom line, it doesn’t have to be this way when you’re fat fueled!