It really is the fight of the century: is fat healthy… or is it making you fat? If you’ve seen the Plant Paradox YES and NO lists, you know that there’s no simple answer – there are fats and oils on both sides of the fence.
The YES list consists of a great many wonderful, naturally-derived fats and oils, and they are essential to making The Plant Paradox work for you as a way of life.
But, the oils on the NO list are chemically derived from lectin-bearing seeds or beans, which means you’ve got to avoid them at all costs.
Good Fats to Eat (From the YES list)
- Algae oil
- Olive oil (watch my video HERE on how to get more EVOO in your diet!)
- Coconut oil
- Macadamia oil
- MCT oil
- Avocado oil
- Perilla oil
- Walnut oil
- Red palm oil
- Rice bran oil
- Sesame oil
- Flavored cod liver oil
… Or …
Bad Fats to Avoid (from the NO list)
- Partially hydrogenated vegetable or canola
Getting started with good fats
Now, I really want to help you get off on the right foot with good fats. That means you’re going to have to limit your intake, initially. But after about two weeks, you’ll be able to reintroduce the fats and oils on the YES list.
For starters, cut down on all long-chain saturated fats. You’ve only got to do this to get started, so I’d say it’ll last for just the first two weeks. Of course, this means you’ll have to cut out most mono- and polyunsaturated long-chain fats at first too –
Furthermore, you’ll want to limit your consumption of the following saturated fats –
- Cheese (only from European cows or US goat/sheep/buffalo)
- Sour cream
- Heavy cream
- Cream cheese (even from grass-fed animals)
Now, I’m giving you a lot of limitations, but rest assured I’ve got it all worked out for you. And remember, the limitations above are really just for the first two weeks of digging into The Plant Paradox plan.
There are great oils you can use during this period that will really help jump start your path to better health.
Perilla oil is delicious. What does it taste like? It’s got a sort of minty, basil-y flavor with hints of licorice. It also happens to be high in rosmarinic acid (from aromatic rosemary), which has actually been shown to help improve brain function and memory.1
And, turns out, perilla oil also has an incredibly high content of alpha linolenic acid.2 Alpha linolenic acid is a form of omega-3 fat used in the Lyon Heart Diet – more commonly known as a Mediterranean diet, and it’s been shown to help prevent heart disease even more than the low-fat American Heart Association diet.3
Now, it possible you’ve not yet seen perilla oil in your local grocery store, but it’s super easy to find at Asian markets or natural foods stores like Whole Foods. You can also order it online.
Another great substitution for olive oil and coconut oil as you get started is MCT oil. Now, MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides, which is 100 percent composed of ketones.
Now, ketones are normally made from fat cells once your sugar supplies start running low. So at night, when you’re not eating, your bacteria draw on energy in the form of ketones – made from fat cells – and then, they can make essential stores of ATP through the night.
Well, ATP (or Adenosine triphosphate) is also known as the “molecular unit of currency” when it comes to cells transferring energy to one another. The thing about ATP is that all cells need it in order to function properly.4
MCT oil is also considered akin to liquid coconut oil, because it remains liquid – even at cold temperatures. Your body burns MCT ketones for fuel easily without turning them into body fat. Unlike regular coconut oil, it contains no long-chain fatty acids – that’s the stuff nasty lipopolysaccharides like to attach themselves to.
More Great Choices for the First 2 Weeks
In addition to perilla oil and MCT oil, you can load up on the following –
- Macadamia nut oil
- Walnut oil
- Avocado oil
- Thrive algae oil
- Citrus-flavored cod liver oil
And all the oils and fats on the YES list block LPS’ from invading your gut wall. LPS’ ride into your body from your gut on saturated fats. But these fats can’t get through without special transport molecules. The LPS’ cling to those transport molecules and hitch a ride to get through the gut wall.
So, the last thing you want are harmful LPS’ invading your body. That’s the reason you’ve got to limit even a few of of the GOOD FATS – like olive oil – as you begin The Plant Paradox. But you can do anything for two short weeks, right?
False Advertising and Saturated Fats
Finally, I want to say a little something to anyone who’s committed to a Paleo or Ketogenic diet. Saturated fats are not actually good for you. (Click HERE for my blog post on how to do the keto diet right!)
In fact, a recent study shows that saturated fats, like lard, actually increase appetite by delivering LPS’ to the brain’s hunger center.5 This sends a signal to your brain that your body’s not satiated. We don’t want that, now do we?
But, polyunsaturated fats like fish oil do the exact opposite. Instead, they send signals to your brain that help you moderate your food intake.6
Not all fats are created equal. Some fats can really help you find your way to better health and longevity. Stick to the YES list when discovering new recipes and figuring out how to cook for yourself on The Plant Paradox eating plan. But, remember, even those fats have to be introduced at the right time.
Want more helpful health news from Dr. Gundry? Keep reading: