OK, so I am not one of those people who think “beautiful” comes in one size, but I did stumble upon some interesting facts about diets that are high in fat and how it actually supports your body in staying healthy and thin.
Before you read any further, vegetarians beware: while no animals were harmed in the making of this article, we do talk a little bit about eating them…albeit with love and appreciation.
Personally, I am a bit of a health nut: the other day I was perusing the aisles at my local neighborhood grocer and spent over twenty minutes in the bread aisle trying to find something without preservatives and crap I can’t pronounce in the ingredient list. Defeated, I eventually gave up and decided to make my own bread from scratch which I have been doing ever since.
Since I was a teenager and became overly conscious of my feminine figure, I have tested many different diets to find the perfect one that would help me in keeping my ideal body shape. And lo’ and behold, I never quite found it.
My main problem was the diets I applied myself to were not sustainable in the long run. Sure, I could do them for a month or two, but eventually, I would cheat and resort back to old patterns. I’d go out and eat pasta, or I’d ended up eating a piece of cake (or two or three). This continued until I moved to Malaysia in 2006, where finding natural, homemade and preservative-free food was easy as cake.
One of the things I noticed was how many of the people had lean bodies compared to the amount of meat, and food in general, they consumed. They didn’t just eat the trim and lean parts of meat: they devoured the big fatty juicy bits as well. It felt counterintuitive until I found some good ol’ science to explain my findings.
A Fatty Diet Can Keep Us Healthy
It has been deemed by mainstream media for years that foods high in fat are bad for people. Many of us have been led to believe that fatty foods cause hypertension, kidney stones, high cholesterol and a myriad of other health concerns. Fatty foods or foods high in natural fat (the key word being natural) are not unhealthy or bad unless people eat pounds of it every day. This would be a feat in itself as the body would reject this much intake of dietary fat under normal circumstances. The fact of the matter is people are actually biologically programmed to love the taste of fat. So don’t beat yourself up for wanting that extra helping of cake or chocolate!
Dr. Weston Pierce was a doctor who, in the 1920’s and 30’s, travelled the world to study the diets of indigenous tribes. What he found made me feel pretty good about my dietary choices: he discovered that most indigenous people, aside from being healthy and athletic, were not overweight or obese. On top of that, the tribes he observed consumed high contents of fat in their diet.
Foods like shellfish, fish, animal blubber, insects, cream, milk and butter were consumed in large amounts by these tribesmen and women. As he continued his studies, he found that tribes that hadn’t a wide variety of natural fats to choose from went out of their way to find it and consume it. The only group of people who didn’t eat a lot of fat were from Northern India, and it showed in their life expectancy, fertility rates and overall health.
Keep in mind there is a big difference between eating a healthy, happy, free-range chicken and the mass-produced chicken nuggets you can find at your local fast-food joint. There is also a difference between natural fat and synthetic fat: natural fat can be found in nature while synthetic fat is man-made. Why is it important to denote the differences?
After hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, our bodies know how to digest and process what nature provides including vegetables, fruits, animals and fish. Man-made synthetic food is a very new invention which has had an effect on our bodies in the last two hundred years or so. Many diet-related illnesses and diseases didn’t begin growing substantially until we, as humans, began choosing what was convenient in the grocery aisle over what was natural.
The human brain contains 60% fat and our cell membranes are made up of 40% fat. Our muscles are laced with fat and even our joints contain fat. To take fat out of our diet can have detrimental effects on our bodies.
Functions of Fat in the Body:
- Provides long-lasting energy;
- we feel full after consuming fat;
- assists the body to produce hormones;
- helps to form part of the brain and nervous system as a child grows;
- helps to form cell membranes for every cell in the body;
- carries vitamins throughout the body;
- And it helps regulate body temperature.
A 40-Year Study on How Fat Is Good For People
The Framingham Heart Study is often cited as proof of the lipid hypothesis. This study began in 1948 and involved some 6,000 people over 40 years from the town of Framingham, Massachusetts. Two groups were compared at five-year intervals.
Group A. Those who consumed little amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat.
Group B. Those who consumed large amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat.
After 40 years, the director of this study, Dr. William Castelli quoted in the Archives of Internal Medicine (July 1992) as saying:
“In Framingham, Massachusetts, 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 healthiest. Shockingly, the study did show that weight gain and cholesterol levels had an inverse correlation with fat and cholesterol intake in the diet. Again, fat is undoubtedly needed for brain development, blood clotting, healthy skin and hair, absorption of certain vitamins, and a variety of other processes.”
In fact, if one was to do their best to cut fat completely out of the diet, they may experience one or more of the following ailments:
- Hormonal imbalance,
- decreased energy,
- decreased libido,
- a decrease in ability to focus and so on.
In summary, there are many foods high in natural dietary fat (if you are looking to be healthier, stay away from deep fried foods, and meat that doesn’t look like its’ corresponding animal part).
Foods such as avocados, natural cheese (not the plastic sandwich slices), whole eggs, butter (not margarine), fish, nuts, chia seeds, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, free range beef, lamb and pork have high amounts of natural dietary fat that will do wonders for your body.
Wishing you a healthy summer!
WeDames is an online women’s magazine and women’s community based out of Springfield, Mo. We love bringing women together in local restaurants and businesses in the spirit of fun and to support the local economy. Part of our women’s networking includes hosting women-only events in and around Springfield aimed to empower women from the inside out. Ladies’ night out is one such event, and is held monthly for women in and around Springfield to look their best and schmooze with other awesome women in the spirit of fun.
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