If you’re over the age of 25, chances are you remember living through a decade or more of being told that we should all avoid certain foods that contains fat and cholesterol. We should avoid egg yolks and opt for egg white omelets instead. We should refrain from cooking with butter and lard, as our ancestors did for hundreds of years, and instead use manmade vegetable oils.
We were told if we ate a low-fat diet and made these replacements that we would be thin, have low serum (blood) cholesterol levels and avoid developing heart disease, stroke and premature death.
But is that what has happened?
Not by a long shot. Over the last 50 years of eating low-fat and low-cholesterol diets, obesity has skyrocketed, as has heart disease and type 2 diabetes. By the looks of it, it would seem as though avoiding fat and cholesterol entirely is actually VERY BAD for our health.
The reality is, we’ve all be FED a bunch of dietary myths. Whether these myths were created innocently or intentionally is up for debate. But suffice it to say, we’ve been told dietary myths that are actually harmful to our health.
In this blog post, I am going to put to bed, once and for all, 3 of the BIGGEST fat and cholesterol myths that have been plaguing us for years.
Myth 1: Eating Fat Makes You Fat
Let’s start with the biggest myth out there, and that is the one that says that eating fat will make you fat. Hence, the low-fat diet rage of the 80s and 90s.
Well, as I just mentioned, the low-fat diet craze led to obesity rates skyrocketing, so obviously dietary fat is not really the issue. The real issue is sugar/carbs.
You see, when food manufacturers remove fat from their foods, they’ve got to replace that fat with something that will keep their food tasting delicious. So of course they remove fat and add sugar. And so people buy these foods because the packaging is promoting “low-fat” or “no-fat” and you buy it thinking it will help you lose weight.
But in reality, all of that sugar in that food is spiking your blood sugar, which is causing your insulin levels to rise. And all of that insulin is signaling your body to store those excess calories as FAT.
Eating fat, healthy fats, doesn’t cause weight gain but eating too many carbs does. We can see this clearly in recent times when numerous people have easily lost weight by trying the keto diet, which promotes significantly limiting carb intake but eating high amounts of healthy fats such as fat from meat, dairy, eggs, nuts, olive oil and avocado.
Myth 2: Cholesterol-Rich Foods are Bad for You
Here’s another myth that suggests eating something makes you that something. Just as eating fat doesn’t necessarily make you fat, eating cholesterol-rich foods like whole eggs and shellfish does not cause your serum cholesterol to skyrocket.
Not only is it NOT TRUE that eating cholesterol-rich foods will give you high cholesterol, but these foods are actually really good for you. For example, egg yolks have many beneficial vitamins and minerals including B12, choline, and selenium, while high cholesterol full-fat yogurt is packed with protein and calcium. Your brain NEEDS cholesterol to work properly.
Myth 3: Saturated Fat Causes Heart Disease
I am so happy to put this myth to rest once and for all. RIP myth #3!!
There is currently NO RESEARCH, none, zip, nada… that links saturated fat intake to heart disease.
Here’s the thing to understand: Eating more saturated fat (found in eggs and fatty meats, for example) will raise LDL levels. At this point, most doctors will FREAK out and say, “See! All that saturated fat gave you high cholesterol.”
But what they don’t look at, and they absolutely should, is that the LDL levels that are raised are of a specific kind of LDL, what is known as “fluffy LDL particles.” These are NOT linked to heart disease.
The LDL that actually causes heart disease is a smaller, denser particle. Here’s the kicker…
Not only does eating saturated fat NOT raise the particular LDL level, it actually DECREASES the level of these smaller, denser LDL particles.
But it gets even BETTER! Some studies have now indicated that eating saturated fats not only decreases the bad LDL particles, it also increases the heart-protective HDL cholesterol.
Talk about science getting this WAY WAY wrong for far too many years!
Not All fats Are Created Equal
Here’s what I really want you to take away from this article. Dietary fat cannot be spoken of in general terms. At all.
You see, there are natural fats and there are manmade fats. Natural fats, like saturated fat and monosaturated fats found in animal products and olive oil and avocados… these natural fats are incredibly good for you.
Manmade fats, on the other hand, are NOT good for you. Vegetable oils – also referred to as TRANS FATS – this is the stuff that will help you gain weight, raise your cholesterol levels and develop all kinds of chronic diseases. Trans fats are found in many processed foods and baked goods.
Nature-made good… manmade bad. Keep this in mind!
I hope you have had some lightbulb moments go off in your head while reading this article. And I hope you now understand the TRUTH about fat and cholesterol and will allow this TRUTH to dictate what you do and don’t eat.
And speaking of making better food choices…
Do you know why people on high-fat low-carb diets have such an easy time losing weight?
It’s because when you eat high-fat and low-carbs your body is turned into a fat-burning machine. This isn’t a marketing pitch it’s hardcore science.
Our bodies were DESIGNED to burn fat for fuel, not carbohydrates. High-fat low-carb is how nature intended us to eat.
If you’ve been thinking about trying to eat this way but were confused how to get started, you are in luck!
Primal Labs, in partnership with a medical doctor who specializes in nutrition, has developed Perfect Meal Plan that will help you eat right and turn your own body into a fat-burning machine. And all for less than $10 a month!