Lies You’ve Been Told about FAT

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Yep, we’ve been swashbuckled, hornswoggled and hoodwinked. The diet dictocrats of the good ole’ US of A have convinced us of all sorts of quackery, including FAT being bad for us. In recent years, they’ve been slowly back-pedaling their previous stance that all fat is bad, and graciously allowing us *moderate* amounts “healthy” fats such as olive oil or canola oil. They’ve been so kind as to suggest integrating low-fat margarine and maybe some flax oil or avocados.

Who is “they“, you ask? Why, it’s whoever dictates where, when, why and what we eat. It’s the FDA, the USDA, ADA, WHO, FBI, CIA, and any other acronym-bedecked entity that decides for us what’s healthy. They’re the big-brains who lovingly propagate the low-fat myths and dictate what we should eat based on whatever corporation they’re in bed with at the time or whatever flawed research is being served up cold with a side of stupidity. It’s the groups of government big-wigs who spread the biased research findings that miraculously confirm whatever agenda these big-food companies are pushing. It’s the XYZ Margarine Company paying Mr. Scientific Researcher to head up a study to find out if margarine is healthy. What do you think the outcome is going to be?

While I’m on the subject of margarine, did you know it was originally developed as an additive to fatten turkeys? Yep, unfortunately it fattened the turkeys but also killed them. Oops. “Well, Jethro. Let’s just regroup and change the label and feed it to the humans instead. They’ll eat anything. Especially if the FDA says it’s healthy.” {snorting and wild laughter}

So, I assume you have an idea of where I’m going with this. FAT is good for you. You need fat and are supposed to eat it. Gasp.
Yeah, I said it.

There are three vitally important things to remember in the whole fat debate;

  • Where did it come from?
  • How was it processed?
  • What are you eating it with?

Where your fat came from and how it’s processed makes a world of difference in how your body reacts to it.

  • Are you eating oils that were created in a factory by chemical and high heat extraction?
  • Are you eating lard that was made from factory farmed pigs who were treated inhumanely, fed an unnatural diet and given hormones and antibiotics?
  • Did your butter come from dairy cattle treated the same ways as listed above as well as filtered, pasteurized and otherwise adulterated?
  • Worse yet, are you eating Frankenfood like margarine, Crisco or fake spray butters?

The excessive amounts of refined carbohydrates in the form of white flour and processed sugar in our Standard American Diet (S.A.D. – quite the fitting acronym, no?) paired with eating an excessive amount of highly processed, oxidized and rancid oils and fats, is what causes problems.

We make the incorrect assumption that eating fat makes us fat. What actually happens is we eat too much white flour and sugar and it overwhelms our liver. Our poor little liver doesn’t even know what to do with those things, forcing it to improvise, convert it to fat and store it. We eat too much of rancid and oxidized bad fats which our body is forced to use to build cells and control hormone function. These bad fats do not adequately support the primitive building blocks of our bodies and causes hormone imbalance, cancer and cell death, amongst other things.

Our bodies are made up of an intricate system of processes that all effect one another in some way or other. Every single morsel we put into our mouths or dollop we rub upon ourselves effects those systems and processes either for good or for ill. As with all things, balance, moderation and variety is key. My personal fat ideology is stay away from the stuff that’s bad and indulge with moderation and frequent variety, all the rest.

So, why do we need fat and how do we know which ones are good or bad?

Why our bodies need fat

  • Growth – especially important for rapidly growing children with developing brains.
  • Energy – it’s really hard to eat the amount of food you need for proper energy in a low fat diet. Fat helps you feel full longer and have more energy.
  • Essential fatty acids – essential fatty acids, the term for fats our body cannot manufacture on its own, are vital to our health.
  • Cell structure – Cell membranes encase our cells and fat—specifically, cholesterol—makes these membranes possible. 
  • Brain and other vital organ function – (our brains are 2/3 fat, afterall) Without adequate fat, cognitive function decreases. (i.e. you become a dummy)
  • Metabolism – fat starts chemical reactions that help control growth, immune function, reproduction and other aspects of basic metabolism.
  • Hormone health – fat is the building block for rebuilding cells and for hormone production. Your body will use whatever fat your put in it for the structure of these processes – good or bad.
  • Healthy skin, eyes, and bones – ever looked at the nails, hair or skin of a person who has been subsisting on a low-fat diet for an extended period? Not pretty.
  • Reproductive health – simple. We need fat to create a fat little baby.
  • Taste – let’s face it, food tastes like cardboard and sawdust surprise when fat is absent. I believe there’s a reason fat tastes good – we need it!


Are you doing a happy dance while pulling out the donuts and Ding-Dongs? Slow down, Kemosabe. We haven’t talked about good fat verses bad fat yet. The simple answer is real fat
versus factory fat. I always ask myself the question, “Did this fat come from something real or a factory? Could I make this oil or fat source in my own kitchen? What was done to it to make it that beautiful golden oil?” Oils and fats that are minimally processed and cold pressed are best. This means the oil wasn’t chemically extracted or heated to high temperatures in order to make it into an oil.


Bad Fat

  • Any oils derived from soy, corn or peanuts. Corn is genetically modified bad news and soy jacks with your hormones. (see more explanation below)
  • Canola oil – this is an oil from a seed grown in Canada called Rapeseed. Yeah, I know. Mmmm. Gimme some rape oil. Just think of it like this – it’s raping your intestines, so don’t eat it! Anyway, the pretty name Canola comes from Canada and Oil being combined. Trust me, a pretty name is all it’s got going for it.

  • Oils like Crisco, corn, canola, vegetable, peanut or grapeseed are too high in poly-unsaturated fats.
  • Poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PFUAs) contain compounds that are rancid, inflammatory and bad for you because of the way they’re processed. Heat and chemicals for extraction and deodorization (rancid oil stinks) causes them to oxidize and creates free-radicals. (cancer causers)
  • Because of our modern diets containing large amounts of omega 6 fatty acids and very low omega 3s, our omega fatty acids are out of whack. Experts believe that before humans ate so many processed foods, omegas were consumed in roughly equal amounts. Omega 6 fatty acids come from vegetable and nut oils. (think soy, corn and peanuts) This imbalance causes inflammation in body and contributes to cancers, autoimmune disorders and heart disease.
  • Any animals fats made from commercially grown, factory farmed animals. (lard, butter, bacon grease, etc.) These animals are fed non-natural diets, housed in sub-standard conditions and then given all types of medications and chemicals to make-up for the unsatisfactory animal husbandry. Then we’re supposed to eat their fat? Gross. Additionally, conventionally raised animals are typically fed a diet high in corn and soy – which in turn makes the meat (and fat) high in omega 6 fatty acids.
  • Any fake fats that were made in a factory and couldn’t be made in your kitchen. Like margarine, spray butters and butter blends.


Good Fat

  • Fatty fish like salmon and other sustainable seafood. Always look for wild-caught not farmed fish and seafood. (great source of omega 3s)
  • Pasture raised meat (chicken, beef, pork, etc.) In one study, the omega 6 to 3 ratio went from 9:1 in corn fed cows to 2:1 in grass fed cows. Wow. It’s amazing what will happen when you feed an animal its natural diet!
  • Dairy products and eggs from pasture raised animals. (whole raw milk, yogurt and cheese, eggs from pastured chickens)
  • Raw nuts – especially walnuts.
  • Flax and olive oils (do not heat these oils – they become rancid and oxidized when heated.) Use for dips and salad dressings. Make sure to get organic and cold-pressed oils. Flax oil should always be refrigerated. Make sure to seek out a brand of olive oil that is not adulterated with cheaper oils and fillers.
  • Lard and butter from pastured animals. Yep, it’s true. Granny was right feeding you all that butter and making her biscuits with lard. It’s good for you. (if it’s made from animals who were sustainably farmed and fed their natural diet and eaten in moderation with a healthy diet of lots of fruit and vegetables)
  • Avocados
  • Coconut oil (one of my favorites)

So now that we know the good, the bad and the ugly of fats (rape oil, anyone?), what can we do to make sure we eat the good fat and avoid the rest?

  1. Focus on upping our omega 3 intake (good fats) and lowering our intake of omega 6 fatty acids and highly processed oils and fats (bad fats).
  2. Cut back on processed sugar and flour (the real cause of getting fat) and eat at home more. By making our own food, we know what goes into it and what we will get out of it.
  3. Be careful where our fat comes from – source it carefully and seek out pastured animal products and organic products whenever possible.

Look for upcoming posts on how to make your own lard and butter as well as where to source these items if you don’t want to make them.

Eat fat, folks. You’ll be happy you did.

















Photo attribution:  See embedded links in each photo. Also 


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