The Biggest Weight Loss Lie: Why Fat’s Not Making You Fat

Is fat making you fatI think a low-fat diet has to be one of the biggest nutritional myths in the last three decades and it is still not resolved. I have read so many reports that low-fat foods and diets are the healthiest alternatives. Well, certainly in my opinion, I cannot agree with this statement. This thinking is based upon studies which were poorly done years ago. More recent evidence published in 2010 that involved the meta analysis of 23 studies looking at the relationship between the intake of saturated fat and heart disease found no evidence that the intake of saturated fat increased heart disease risk!

If you look at the rates of obesity and chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and dementia, the underlying reason for the damage is inflammation. This inflammation is clearly caused from eating too many refined and simple carbohydrates like sugar, bread products, rice, and noodles.

Certainly, saturated and trans fat from animals, lard, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and dairy products are not healthy for us if eaten in excess—but fat “per se” is not the root of all evil.The REAL reason why so many people are suffering from chronic diseases like heart disease is because of insulin resistance caused from a diet high in simple carbohydrates that keeps blood sugar much too high.

In fact, the Mediterranean-style diet, which contains moderate quantities of the “good” fats from fish, avocado, nuts, and extra virgin olive oil, is considered one of the healthiest diets in the world.

This diet, which is devoid of refined carbohydrates and sugar, is associated with very low rates of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and dementia. Folks who routinely consume this type of diet also live longer compared to those who eat the standard “Westernized” diet.

These healthy types of fats lower the “bad” cholesterol and increase the “good” HDL cholesterol. They also improve insulin metabolism, lower high levels of inflammation, and improve endothelial function which is the key to healthy arteries.

A large , national U.S. study published in 2009 indicated that 75% of patients admitted to the hospital for heart attacks had normal levels of the “bad” LDL cholesterol but had low levels of the “good” HDL cholesterol which was attributed to insulin resistance, obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

The key to heart health lies in the combination of dietary choices and getting enough exercise. Your diet should contain several types of healthy fats consumed daily. These can include nuts, fatty fish like salmon, avocado, seeds, extra virgin olive, canola, or avocado oils, organic poultry and organic, free range meats.

Try to eat more legumes, whole grains, vegetables, whole fruits and much less sugar, white flour products, soda, candy, fruit drinks and breakfast cereals.

Hyman, M.,“Fat Does Not Make You Fat,”Huffington Post website;,last accessed Dec.2, 2013.
Siri-Tarino, P., etal.,“Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease,”Am J ClinNutr. March 2010; 91(3): 535-546.
“Most Heart Attack Patients’ Cholesterol Levels Did Not Indicate Cardiac Risk,” ScienceDaily web site;,last accessed Dec. 2, 2013.