7 reasons FAT is your friend!

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(The right kind of fat, that is. And the right kind tends to surprise people!)

At one time in my life, I could’ve told you which had less fat: chicken breast or turkey breast. Anyone else been there?

Yes, knowing which flavorless low-fat meat was the MOST low-fat meat was important to me. Those fractions of a gram’s difference, I knew, would make or break my “diet.” And probably my heart health. (Meh.)

(Mind you, I had no concept of how those birds were been raised, what they were fed, or how much fat (and how LITTLE breast meat) a chicken or turkey is actually biologically designed to have. I also had no idea that the right KIND of animal fat was actually healthy.)

Pair my red-meat/cholesterol/fat-phobia with my obsessive desire to have absolutely NO fat on my body, and you’ve got a recipe for a low, low, VERY low-fat diet on your hands.

Then, I realized that what I was doing wasn’t working. It wasn’t making me thinner (and did I really NEED to be thinner anyway?) and all that obsessing DEFINITELY wasn’t helping my body image. I wasn’t happy, my skin wasn’t clear, and my energy would tank a few hours after my K@shi Go-Lean-(against-the-wall-so-you-don’t-pass-out) breakfast (with soymilk). And again a few hours after my all-white-meat, low-fat, low-calorie, low-fun lunch.

That's me napping when I should have been filing TPS reports.

That’s me napping when I should have been filing TPS reports.

What I’ve discovered in the years since then is that no matter what I’m eating – animal, vegetable, or my words (ha!) – the key that turns the lock to feeling wonderful and looking my best is FAT.

And not just any fat. Not just plant fat. Not just “politically correct” fat. But also good SATURATED fat. And good ANIMAL fat, from animals raised in their natural environments on their natural diets. This includes lard, tallow, poultry fat, butter and ghee. Sure, you can throw some avocado in there, and I absolutely LOVE olive oil too.

Good fat has become a good friend. Here’s why:

1. Good fat – including animal fat – is GOOD for your health.

The nutrient-rich fats from animals raised in their natural environments, on their natural diets, are amazing sources of vitamins A, D, and K. These vitamins communicate to your body WHERE to lay down calcium – which keeps bones strong and arteries clear.

Not only that, but the dietary dogma surrounding saturated fat, cholesterol, and heart disease has been called into question based on an extreme lack of solid evidence. It now looks like vegetable oils, like canola oil, margarine, soybean oil, and corn oil are the REAL dangers. I write about this in my book. (It’s all way more fun than it sounds. (wink.))

mmmm…butter.

2. Good fat doesn’t make you fat.

The media LOVES to tell us that “fatty foods” are making us fat. But what is ALWAYS wrapped around those so-called “fatty foods?” Buns. Bread. Breading. High-carb highly-processed garbage that causes inflammation, blood sugar spikes, and total hunger insanity.

"Fatty" foods? Or "Carbage" foods?

“Fatty” foods? Or “Carbage” foods?

 

And even whole grain pasta, bread and crackers can have that same crash-and-burn affect! Why do you think we’ve been told to “eat every few hours” to keep our metabolism going? Because politically-correct, fat-free food can cause hunger, energy, and blood sugar dips and spikes that have to be constantly “re-upped.” Think a drug addict “coming down” from a high. (Yeah, that’s a severe analogy. But it works.)

That’s not REAL hunger. That’s CARBAGE hunger (Carb + Garbage = Carbage.)

And often, the media is focusing on bad fats anyway. Fats that have been processed into oblivion. Fats from animals raised on unnatural diets (remember, you are what your food ate). And don’t even get me (or Dr. Fred Kummerow) started on artificial trans fats.

To that point, it’s HUNGER that drives us to over-eat. But what if we ate food that didn’t leave us hungry until we actually needed to eat? That brings me to my next point:

3. Good fat is THE anti-hunger, anti-crash food.

Fat does NOT demand an insulin response, so there’s no energy crash-and-burn when I eat it. Fat stimulates the hormones that signal fullness, and not just the type of fullness that comes from stuffing your stomach. The type of fullness that comes from having REALLY nourished yourself with stabilizing, nutrient-rich fats that healthy people have eaten for centuries.

Not only that, but fat keeps the MENTAL crash at bay. Cholesterol helps stabilize the brain – in fact, the brain is made up, partially, of cholesterol. Rather than passed-out puppy, think astute, highly focused puppy. New York Times Crossword puppy.

Those egg yolks really hit the spot. What's a five-letter word for "doctrine?"

Those egg yolks really hit the spot. What’s a five-letter word for “doctrine?”

4. It enhances fertility.

The fat-soluble vitamins and hunger control that good fats have to offer aren’t its only bonus point, although they’re critical to building a healthy mother that can, in turn, grow a healthy baby. Vitamin A from animal products, like egg yolks, is a critical nutrient for fetal development. Good fat also provides the raw materials for hormones and hormone balance, which is critical for a woman’s ability to conceive.

5. It’s full of VITAMINS.

Did I mention vitamins A, D, and K? These fat-soluble vitamins are little miracle workers, and a huge proportion of the population is deficient in them. Why? Because we’ve been told NOT to eat the foods that contain them. Instead, we take multivitamins with synthetic forms, which actually ARE dangerous. Never try to replicate what mother nature can already do perfectly herself. That’s an ugly can o’ worms. (I should know.)

6. It’s full of CALORIES. (Yes, that’s a good thing!)

We obsess over being able to eat MORE and stuff ourselves MORE, but what’s wrong with having a few bites of calorie-rich, nutrition-rich, health-promoting food? You’d be surprised at how well-regulated the hunger signals, and your relationship with food, becomes when you give your body the raw materials to be not just full of calories, but full of NUTRIENTS.

Fewer bites also means a lower grocery bill – even though you’re getting more nutrition from your food. Win.

Me? Healthy? That's coco-nuts! (And true. It's also true.)

Me? Healthy? That’s coco-nuts! (And true. It’s also true.)

7. It tastes amazing!

Have you ever had a scoop of canola or soybean oil all by itself? I hope not – the stuff sure doesn’t taste good. Yet high-quality olive oil, avocado, coconut, coconut oil, butter, or ghee is delicious by nature, right out of the fruit or the animal. No 70-minute wash with a solvent required. (See video below if you haven’t already.)

 

There’s a reason the best chefs won’t cook with Canola. They know that fats like butter and olive oil – traditional fats that have been part of healthy humans’ diets for centuries – are also those that are most pleasing to the palate.

That’s what I’ve got, folks! How has eating healthy, good fats changed your life? Why is fat YOUR friend? Let’s sing the fatback praises loud and proud – in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

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Liz

Comments

  1. Dolores K. says

    1) It should be a crime how the woman in the video is cooking that steak

    2) It’s amazing that high quality fat foods paired with grassfed meats and healthy vegetables will fill me up for hours. I used to be a grazer and had to eat almost all the time, but adding healthy fats have cut that almost completely away.

    Plus, there’s nothing like beef tallow cream for dry skin and even my lips.

  2. Maria says

    I am having such trouble finding local, Grass fed tallow… But was wondering what state you moved to… Looks beautiful and I want to live in a plae like that… Sort of off-the-grid… And with lots if cows!!! Where are you????

  3. Dana says

    “Deep Nutrition” was the book that launched us onto the path of real food living. 3 months later we embarked upon Paleo. My husband and I have each lost a significant amount of weight without trying whatsoever. We eat until we are full, don’t count or measure anything, and the food is truly delicious. And we have definitely found that the key to making it all work is to make sure that we get enough fat.

  4. Kristin S says

    Since I rendered my own tallow and started using it to roast veggies and fry eggs every morning, I have noticed a huge difference in my skin! I think my body was lacking the amazing nutrients in the tallow and it is just so happy to finally be fed properly!!

  5. Arsy says

    Great post, Liz! Fat is my BFF! I pretty much eat veggies with my butter and coffee with my cream! And I love it! I have energy all day and I don’t get hungry constantly (which used to be a major problemo for me)

    I often wonder if, 1-do we have such an infertility epidemic because of our fat-phobic culture? 2-Do women crave ice-cream when they are pregnant because they actually crave fat? I have known several women that ate a tub of ice cream almost daily, when they were pregnant.

    • Liz (@CaveGirlEats) says

      Arsy, I would probably be lambasted for being unscientific here because there’s really no “controlled clinical trials” (EXCUSE ME but…blah!) on this but…I ABSOLUTELY think so! Full-fat ice cream is also full of easily-digestible carbohydrate, clearly…combine that with fat and you have a major hit of energy and nourishment for a growing little.

    • Liz (@CaveGirlEats) says

      I think so. It’s still too fragile (dense in polyunsaturated fat) to cook with. It’s also hybridized from the original plant (which was high in Erucic acid, which is known to be dangerous to humans). My understanding is Organic oils are not GMO, but I could be wrong – either way, there are much better options out there! If you want a flavorless oil, I actually really like the steam-deodorized coconut oil from Tropical Traditions: http://bit.ly/XsH2NE

  6. Becki says

    I’ve been using coconut oil for cooking as well as bacon grease. I’ve heard that both of these need to be used in moderation. What are your thoughts on these two fat sources?

    • Liz (@CaveGirlEats) says

      I think bacon grease is great, although I’d make sure it was from high-quality, pastured bacon and try to make sure you only re-use it once to protect the fat from oxidation with repeated use. I don’t think there’s any health reason to moderate use of these fats as long as you feel you digest them well and are happy overall with your nutrition and calorie intake.

  7. Vicky says

    I’ve been reading a lot about the dangers of processed foods lately especially all the different kinds of oils that are out there. It really is crazy how a large part of the average person’s diet is made up on processed food and all sorts of things that are completely unnatural and terrible for you. It seems many people are so desperate to keep their daily calories low that they’re willing to purchase low fat, no fat, fake sugar products instead of eating real food in moderation. I really never understood why people don’t question where all that “added flavor” is coming from in all those low calories or zero calorie products. Great article – shared on my blog fb page : ) Signed up for your newsletter to and looking forward to Monday’s email !

    • Liz says

      Thank you for reading and sharing, Vicky! Looking back, as someone who LIVED on all that junk, it’s hard to believe that I never even thought twice!

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