I don’t know about you but I have been cholesterol and weight aware for a very long time. I have lived a low fat and sometimes no fat diet and taken medication to lower my cholesterol on the recommendation of my doctor.
So a logical next choice in prep for my Culinary Nutrition course coming this fall was to jump into the book The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet by Nina Teicholz.
Imagine my outrage as I read/listened to this book to learn that the research studies that resulted in the my doctor’s recommendation were manipulated and/or seriously flawed to come to the researchers desired outcome. Next as experts acted on that flawed information, in an effort to lower heart disease, governments jumped on that bandwagon of recommending a low fat diet and doctors followed suit.
Even though the studies were questioned in the beginning, it wasn’t until much later that the public was made aware that these studies were flawed and by that time the giant ball was already in motion. We were all receiving recommendations to follow low fat diets and take medication to lower our cholesterol levels. We were brought up that way, so it had to be right. Right??
Over the years, I have consciously lowered the fat content of my diet. I have focused on not eating those whole foods that I now learn offer the fats that my body really needs.
Have we really been avoiding those whole fat foods unnecessarily? Could saturated fats really not be so bad for our bodies?
It all seems so very complicated.
In my learning curve, one of the big WOW moments was the day that I learned my brain is made up of mostly fats! Who knew? I didn’t but perhaps I was naive.
I always knew there were certain vitamins that you needed to consume fat with in order to absorb the goodness, but the thought that my brain needed fat was something that really made me sit back and question what I was doing.
The thought that the very thing I had been told to avoid for so many years, was something that my brain actually needed to be healthy is a bit mind blowing.
I don’t know about you but as I age, keeping my brain healthy is one of the things at the top of my list. I would like to keep my mental faculties intact so that I can enjoy my life to the fullest. Now there are a lot of factors that go into keeping my mental faculties, it is not just about consuming enough good fats but I think it is an important part.
There are just so many people out there making recommendations on what is good for you and what isn’t. There is a lot of noise, but how do they really know, why is their study better or not as good as another. Like I said it is such a complicated question to answer.
I must give credit to the medical research industry out there because there is a lot of amazing knowledge that has been identified through medical research that has greatly improved our lives.
And we need those experts to help us identify and make our personal decisions on what is good for us individually. We cannot possibly be experts in everything.
One thing that really hit home as I progressed through the book was that no matter what health recommendation you were listening to, moderation is probably the best route to keep you on a healthy path.
I watched the author Nina Teicholz give a talk about her journey writing this book. Her last words had a most profound effect on me. She told her audience to focus on whole fats in their whole food choices.
Let me say that again......focus on whole fats in your whole food choices!
I can do that!
Since reading this book, I can honestly say that I am not afraid of eating a little bit of fat on a steak. After all I now only eat beef about once, sometimes twice a week, and even then a moderate amount of 3 or 4 oz. I think moderation is the key.
Ideally if we kept track of our fat consumption in our daily diet, the Government of Canada now recommends that 20 to 35% of our total diet should come from fats.
In my eyes, I want those fats to come from good whole foods like avocados, fish, lean meats, nuts, and such.
How do you feel about all the confusion around fats and what is good for you and what isn’t?
What about the fact that the low fat diet recommendations made so long ago by the experts was based on incorrect information?
We are a whole body that needs whole foods including whole fats, in moderation of course.
Explore your world of food, and decide for yourself what works best for you.
Food Sensitivity Coach and Food Lover exploring the world of food.
diane Couse, Food Sensitivity Coach
I am passionate about exploring the world with a view to food allergies and sensitivities. I look forward to sharing with you what I find, from books, blogs and websites to recipes, hacks, inspirations and opinions, join me in a journey to live your best life.