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Mainely Tipping Points

Interesting Information: A Healthy Diet Includes 50-70% Healthy Fats

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Interesting Information:  July 3, 2012

A Healthy Diet Includes 50-70% Healthy Fats

How’s that for a shocker?

It’s especially shocking when the idea that plant-based diets are your healthiest choice is being pushed so strongly by the USDA and way too many health practitioners who have hopped onto this bandwagon without adequate scientific data for support.  The health of plant-based diets is another one of these food myths that I’ve been writing about for the past few years.  I can’t find any science that supports it that has stood up to peer reviews.  I can find TONS of science that refutes it.  Plants are NOT nutrient dense.  Period.

Dr. Joseph Mercola’s health web site published “Why I Believe Over Half of Your Diet Should Be Made Up of This,” on May 31, 2012 (http://articles.mercola.com).

The “this” was healthy fats, and Mercola noted that his own diet included 60 to 70% of healthy fats daily.

Mercola’s article begins with a history of Crisco, the industrial, white, vegetable-based lard made by Procter & Gamble and introduced a “little over 100 years ago.”  “Atlantic Magazine” published a history of the introduction of Crisco in their April 26, 2012, issue–using an excerpt from the book THE HAPPINESS DIET by Drew Ramsey, MD, and Tyler Graham.  (Mercola’s article contains a link to this Atlantic article.)  Up until Crisco, people used animal fats for frying and in baked goods like pie crusts.  But, the introduction of Crisco included a wildly successful ad campaign claiming that Crisco was “modern” and was healthier than the use of animal fats.

Crisco is an hydrogenated vegetable oil.  Actually its made from the “waste product of cotton farming,  cottonseed oil.”  It’s what we call a “trans fat.”  It causes heart disease for sure and “contributes to cancer, bone problems, hormonal imbalance and skin disease; infertility, difficulties in pregnancy and problems with lactation; low birth weight, growth problems, and learning disabilities.”

Mercola walks readers through the myth of saturated fat being harmful–and gives a history of the misinformation that is still very much present today–misinformation that has no science whatsoever behind it.  (Many of the Mainely Tipping Points essays on this blog discuss this history and what clinical trials and science are actually showing.)  Mercola retells how Ancel Keys ignored countries which contradicted his premise that saturated fat caused heart disease.  Mercola also cites the often-cited statement of Dr. William Castelli, former director of the famed Framingham Heart Study, wherein Castelli notes that “the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person’s serum cholesterol….We found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active.”  Mercola also includes a video of his  interview with Gary Taubes, whose work I’ve written extensively about also in the essays on this blog.

Saturated fats “provide a concentrated source of energy in your diet.”  I’ve read elsewhere–and I’ll need to find this discussion again–that when your body is burning energy from carbs and sugars, it puts a lot of pressure on the body, causing it to malfunction, causing energy swings, and constant hunger.  Saturated fats don’t have this effect–they provide sustained, steady energy for long periods of time.  And, Mercola discusses why trans fats and sugars, particularly fructose, are the “true culprits of heart disease.”  The Weston A. Price Foundation would add that overuse of highly processed vegetable oils (canola, safflower, etc.) are also a root cause of heart disease.

Saturated fats , notes Mercola, are also carriers for many of the minerals and vitamins that are crucial for the body’s health.  Saturated fats are needed for the body’s conversion of nutrients to useable forms in the body–like the conversion of carotene to vitamin A.  Saturated fats are building blocks for cell membranes, help lower cholesterol levels, act as antiviral agents, modulate genetic regulation, and help prevent cancer.

So, writes Mercola, don’t eat processed foods.  Elsewhere, Mercola has advocated not eating grains.

And, writes Mercola, do eat organic butter (hopefully made from raw milk), use unprocessed coconut oil for cooking, and eat raw fats, such as “those from avocados, raw dairy products, and olive oil, and take a high-quality source of animal-based omega-3 fat, such as krill oil.”  (The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends unprocessed, fermented, high-vitamin cod liver oil instead of fish oils and would add beef fat (tallow), pork fat (lard), and chicken fat–all from healthy animals NOT raised in CAFO environments–to the list of saturated fats to use and consume.)

Mercola notes that Paul Jaminet, PhD, author of PERFECT HEALTH DIET, and Dr. Ron Rosedale, MD, “an expert on treating diabetes through diet” both agree that “the ideal diet includes somewhere between 50-70 percent fat.”

One Response

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  1. thanks for this, louisa. so many people have the WRONG idea about this!

    Jen Marshall

    July 3, 2012 at 5:35 pm


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