Fat will not kill you! Trust me! But, there are a few things we need to consider when talking about fat. One are fat types, the amount of fat intake, ratio of fat intake and the other is the presence of lots of carbohydrates consumed with fat.
We're not getting into any science stuff here and we will stay high-level on this subject. First, let's take a quick look at a few healthy fats facts:
We'll break down these healthy fats into 3 categories. Saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. These fats will not kill you! So, let's take a quick look at each one:
Saturated fats have been demonized in our modern society but they're not bad as you have been told. Lauric acid, palmitic acid and stearic acid are 3 types.
At the end of the day, you'll find saturated fat in animal products like meats and eggs and also in other plant based foods like coconut oil and chocolate.
Saturated fats are very good in the sense that some have antiviral properties and can also improve memory and cognitive function (and maybe have a positive impact on autism and depression?). It can also help to reduce systemic inflammation.
On the flip side, they can increase cholesterol too which, as we all know, can lead to heart disease. We need saturated fats in our diet but not a ton of it.
However, there are cultures in the world that consume large amounts of saturated fat and have very few cases of disease such as the Kitavans. They eat a lot of coconuts and they contain a lot of saturated fat.
What this means is that saturated fat consumption is not the whole story in terms of health and disease.
Carbohydrates are the other big piece of the story and there is more information on that below!
These healthy fats are found in avocados, olive oil, nuts and organic grass fed meat (not conventionally raised meats).
These are the healthy fats that we certainly want to be sure are in our diets. They have numerous health benefits and contribute greatly to vitality, health and strength. They decrease cholesterol levels, improve insulin sensitivity and are also normally accompanied with antioxidants that promote longevity.
This is why I strongly recommend replacing all your vegetable oils with extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil. Olive oil and coconut oil is fat that will not kill you. Vegetable oils on the other hand, will.
These are very important fats because we must get them from our diet.
This is where organic grass fed meats really come in! The reason is because our modern grain-fed meats have drastically changed the polyunsaturated ratios in the meats we eat. Other sources of this fat are fish like salmon, nuts, chia seed and flax seed.
All kinds of health benefits come from these fats including anti-inflammatory properties and can even help prevent cancer by blocking the production of blood vessels to feed
cancer cells. They are also important for brain development and brain function and even for muscle recovery after exercise and can thin the blood. We need this stuff and the fat will not kill you...seriously!
Here's where we need to talk about omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and the appropriate ratios you need for optimum health. These 2 fatty acids are subgroups of polyunsaturated fats. They're so important that I have a page dedicated to each one.
Polyunsaturated fat will not not kill you. As a matter of fact, they are essential for good health.
Total fat intake varies from culture to culture and for the most part, not much really changes health-wise between these cultures that have an overall healthy diet along with their level of fat consumption.
It can range from as little as 10% to 50% of calories consumed by fat per day...as long as they're the right fats and otherwise have a relatively low carb intake.
Saturated fat should probably be around 10-15% of total fat intake per day.
The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids appear to take the driver's seat when it comes to how diseases either get worse or get better and this is why the ratio of these 2 fatty acids are so important. Unfortunately, they are completely out of whack in today's modern diet which is a big reason we are plagued with so many health problems.
The ratio we need to shoot for is 1:1 or 1:2 omega 3 to omega 6. Our modern diet has badly skewed this to about 1:20 omega 3 to omega 6!!
Getting your diet corrected with the principals on this website will get your fat intake ratios in line with optimal levels. Fat will not kill you, but fat in the wrong ratios or with a high carbohydrate intake certainly will.
Excessive consumption of carbohydrates, which is standard in our modern diet, leads to the production of palmitic acid in the body which is a saturated fat and one that can lead to heart disease.
Too much palmitic acid reduces sensitivity to a hormone that regulates hunger, making you feel like you need to eat more and is the first step to insulin resistance. It creates a snowball effect.
This is a big reason why we can't blame fats all by themselves for heart disease and other ills outside the context of overall diet. Carbs play a big role too.
You can have a high fat diet as long as you reduce your carb intake.
This is why I'm an advocate of a reduced carb diet. Mostly, when you hear of some diet plan out there that says this, it's all about losing weight. It's just that this is a much more important reason to reduce carbs and sets the stage for optimum health. Weight loss would, and should, come as the result of the optimum health you achieve through the proper mindset focused on health, not just weight loss.