Reading the title you might be wondering if Dr. Andrew has lost his mind. How could anyone eat fat and lose fat? No I didn’t go crazy and YES you can eat a fatty diet and train your body to LOSE FAT. Before your mind blows let me give you a little background on why conventional dietary knowledge tells us that fat makes us fat. For the past 30-40 years low fat diets were promoted to the public to give us healthier arteries and slimmer waists. The reasoning for this was that a low fat diet, in particular, a low saturated fat diet has lower cholesterol, which was believed to cause heart disease. As a result, there are more than 15,000 low fat products in American grocery stores. Since the 1970s fat consumption dropped from 40% to 34% in the American diet, while obesity increased from 14% to 22%. As the American waistline changed, the nutritional knowledge didn’t.
Before we understand how eating fat will assist in fat lose we must first understand the 2 types of fats. I like to simply call them healthy fats and damaged fats.
Healthy fats are ones that provide our body with vital nutrients.
They build cell membranes, absorb vitamins, cushion organs, and build hormones. In fact they make up 70% of the myelin sheath (outer layer) around our spinal cord and nerves. Sources of healthy fats include: olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, butter (raw), full fat yogurt, grass fed beef and wild fish. These types of fats are vital in normal physiological functions.
Damaged fats are altered in the process of extracting them from their source.
Our body can’t recognize them so they can’t break down naturally, ultimately contributing to weight gain. They bind to cell walls preventing detoxification and adhere to the walls of our arteries increasing inflammation, which can lead to stroke and heart disease. Damaged fats include: trans fats (hydrogenated oils), vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil and canola oil. Some of these oils themselves aren’t unhealthy, however the process of extracting them is what makes them unhealthy.
Now you might be wondering where do I start Dr. Andrew? Well the first thing to do is replace all the bad fats in your pantry with good ones and start using these fats on a regular basis during your cooking and food preparation. In addition to replacing the fats, making sure that you’re eating fat at the right time is important. Starting the day off with a good breakfast is crucial to retraining your metabolism. I recommend eating a few eggs cooked with coconut oil. The protein and fat will help to fill you up and keep you full since it takes the body more time to break down these two macro nutrients. Carbohydrates can also be consumed at this time as well. I recommend Ezekiel toast, or organic oats. The carbohydrates give you some quick energy by spiking the blood sugar but the protein and fat keeps you full and gives you sustained energy throughout the morning and into the afternoon. In addition to a hearty breakfast, snacking on fats throughout the day is a great way to curb appetite. Choose seeds or nuts as alternatives to other sweet or salty snacks. By making a few simple changes to the types of fats you eat you can turn your body from a fat storing machine into a fat burning machine.