By: Gleason Center Editors, Dr. Daniel Gleason, DC
But it's FAT FREE! Isn't it a healthy choice when the box says "low fat", "zero calorie", or "sugar free"? The short answer: no. When fat or calories are removed from a processed food, something else is put in it's place. More often than not, that substitute is scarier than the fat itself. In this month's newsletter, Dr. Gleason dives into the myths surrounding fat and how we can achieve healthy, long term weight loss.
For many years, dietary fats have been vilified in the popular press and in some scientific journals. This includes physicians, those in the mainstream, as well as alternative arenas. This "fat-phobia" has been going on since the 1950’s and has received much promotion from those industries that make and market margarines, vegetable shortening, and vegetable oils for frying and processed foods. Pharmaceutical companies that profit from cholesterol-lowering drugs have also promoted this misinformation.
At the same time, voices supporting consumption of natural fats like butter, eggs, coconut oil, and fat from healthy animals have been shouted down. Thankfully, in the last few years, research showing the hazards of low-fat diets and the benefits of high-fat diets have confirmed what some of us have known all along- low-fat diets are a big problem!
We require adequate fat in our diet to control our metabolic processes including lubrication, inflammation, autoimmune regulation, blood sugar control, and myelin sheath production. Fats are also a precursor to our reproductive and stress hormones. These malfunctions cause most of our common chronic dis-eases including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity, anxiety and fatigue.
Low-fat foods taste terrible unless they are jacked-up with additives and sugar. Healthy dietary fats are satisfying, filling, and tasty. Removing fats from our diets causes us to add way more carbs than our bodies can safely metabolize. Food manufactures add toxic ingredients like MSG and aspartame just to make them palatable enough to sell. Do you ever wonder what is in zero-fat sour cream or half and half?
I can suggest several books that document the weight-loss benefits of eating a high fat, low carb diet. Including Eat Fat Get Thin by Mark Hyman, M.D., Eat Fat Lose Fat by Mary Enig, Phd, and Eat Fat Look Thin by Bruce Fife, N.D. These books are well written and researched.
Because low-fat diets are (by definition) high-carb, there is a strong connection with that form of eating and cancer. The Nobel Laureate, Otto Warburg, first noted this connection in the 1920’s. His research, which has been repeated and confirmed for nearly a century, shows that cancer can only metabolize glucose. Normal cells can burn carbs, proteins, and fats. Eating high carbs, bad fats, and excess protein leads to mitochondrial damage, which is at the root of cancer. Warburg’s research proved that all cancers have damaged mitochondria which is the cause and not genetic mutations as we have been taught (except in rare cases). A recent book by Travis Christopherson entitled, Tripping Over the Truth: The Metabolic Theory of Cancer is a must-read for cancer treatment and prevention.
Another downside to low-fat eating are the cravings and over eating that go along with it. Without adequate fat intake, we are constantly hungry and often “hangry”. This leads to frequent eating and the overconsumption of sweets and starches. This then leads to elevated levels of insulin and insulin resistance, or Type 2 Diabetes. When insulin is elevated, weight loss resistance, fluid retention, and inflammation result. These are also the root causes of most of our common chronic diseases.
In order to promote a long and healthy lifespan, I recommend a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb diet. This should include periods of intermittent fasting. It is imperative to eat only high quality, locally grown, organic foods as much as possible. This is your life and your health, so I encourage you to make this the highest priority for you and your family. KetoClarity by Jimmy Moore and Eric Westman, M.D. and The Complete Guide to Fasting by Jason Fung, M.D. and Jimmy Moore are two excellent books on these subjects.
We, at The Gleason Center, can help you test and tailor a diet and supplement program for your individual needs as well as guide you in making these dietary changes.
If you like this post, you might also enjoy our: June Newsletter