Fat-free, no-fat, and low-fat lies have ruled how we’ve eaten – or tried to eat – for decades. But I’m here to let you know it’s all hogwash! The truth of the matter is, I can think of at least …8 reasons you need to eat fat! And by fat, I mean the healthy kind, from sources such as avocado, olive and fish. Not all fat is created equal.
Here is why you need to increase your daily intake of good fat:
#1 – Maintain insulin levels
You need insulin to turn the sugars and proteins you eat into energy in your muscle cells, but if sugars and/or proteins are overeaten, insulin converts these calories into fat. On the other hand, insulin is not used to convert dietary fat into energy … nor will that fat get stored as fat. So, a high good fat diet can promote weight loss by helping maintain healthy insulin levels. Generally, in The Plant Paradox, I try to have people consume a 60-80% fat diet!
#2 – Help with weight loss
Some dietary fats have been shown to promote more weight loss than low fat diets with equal calorie consumption. For example, both MCT oil – otherwise known as medium-chain triglyceride oil or liquid coconut oil – and extra virgin olive oil have produced these results.
MCT oil is a saturated fatty acid that not only helps support cognitive function, but also has numerous health benefits, not the least of which is helping with weight management.
And a recent study took places over the course of five years – where people used a liter of olive oil per week versus a low fat diet and … they lost weight!1 Additionally, they also had better memory. The monounsaturated fats in avocados and avocado oils react in the same way as olive oil. Studies also show adding just one avocado a day to the diet results in weight loss. 2
#3 – Glowing skin
Now, the type of fats make all the difference when it comes to glowing skin. Turns out, cell membranes are all composed of fat molecules that have varying degrees of flexibility. Omega 3 fats can be found in –
- Fish oil
- Flax seed oil
- Perilla oil
All of the fats listed above contribute to membrane flexibility – and that means flexible blood vessels and healthier looking skin. I’ve previously published the results of high dose fish oil in restoring flexibility in previously stiff blood vessels in patients. Even olive oil, composed primarily of the monounsaturated fat oleum, acts to promote glowing skin due to its high polyphenol contents.3
#4 – Help prevent Inflammation
Short chain saturated fats – like the fat contained in Ghee (butyric acid) and fish oil – have been shown to nourish the cells lining the gut.4 This helps prevent the inflammation that causes weight gain as I describe in The Plant Paradox.
#5 – Help reduce lectin intake
Replacing sugars from grains and beans with good fats eliminates the plant proteins known as lectins (gluten is one such lectin), which I and others have shown are a major cause of weight gain, obesity, and acne. Moreover, grains have Omega 6 fats, which promote inflammation of skin and the brain (brain fog).
#6 – Prevent further damage to the gut wall
Removing lectins from your diet and replacing them with good fats prevents the damage they do to the gut wall; a fact that also is reflected in your glowing outer skin!
#7 – Feel full faster and longer
What makes us feel full? It’s fat … not carbs. Not protein. Fat promotes satiety or the sense of feeling full. You see, fat turns on hormone “text messages” and sends them from the gut to the brain. These texts strongly communicate calorie intake is sufficient, and you can stop eating.
#8 – Healthier brains and shiny hair
The brain is approximately 60% fat. Truly, it is! Half of that fat is composed of DHA, a primary component of fish oil.5 Another significant source of fat in the brain is arachidonic acid.6 And guess what the the largest available source of arachidonic acid is…
Eat the yolk, and toss out the whites if you want glowing hair, luminous skin, and a, healthier brain! Indeed, human studies show people with the highest Omega 3 index – a measure of Omega 3 ingestion for two months on average – have the biggest brain size, hippocampus size (the memory center), and best memory. Folks with the highest Omega 3 index also have the lowest levels of depression and anxiety – especially compared to people with the low levels of Omega 3s.
So, for big, happy brains, glowing skin, healthy weight maintenance, and a healthy gut … bring on the fat! Fill up on fish oil, olive oil and egg yolks – your body will thank you.
1 Mediterranean diet with olive oil, nuts linked to weight loss. (2017). Reuters. Retrieved 20 July 2017, from http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-fats-mediteranean-diet-idUSKCN0Z321W
2 Dreher, M. L., & Davenport, A. J. (2013). Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 53(7), 738–750. http://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2011.556759https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664913/
3 Kapoor, S., & Saraf, S. (2010). Assessment of viscoelasticity and hydration effect of herbal moisturizers using bioengineering techniques. Pharmacognosy Magazine, 6(24), 298–304. http://doi.org/10.4103/0973-1296.71797
4 Załęski, A., Banaszkiewicz, A., & Walkowiak, J. (2013). Butyric acid in irritable bowel syndrome. Przegla̜d Gastroenterologiczny, 8(6), 350–353. http://doi.org/10.5114/pg.2013.39917
5 Chang CY, Ke DS, Chen JY. Acta Neurol Taiwan. 2009 Dec;18(4):231-41. Review.
6 National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database; CID=444899, https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/444899