For years, we've been told that a low-fat diet is essential for weight loss and a healthy heart.
Christine Cronau, author of The Fat Revolution: Why Butter and Real Fats Actually Make Us Slim (Purple Lotus Publishing, $34.95) explains why fats are not the enemy, but the key to being slim.
So you’re saying that eating fat – including saturated fat – is good for us?
Yes. For the last 50 years we have been asked to reduce our fat especially our saturated fats, and statistics show that we’ve reached the recommended targets. But it’s not working. Heart disease is out of control and we are still struggling with our weight.
It sounds hard to believe, but study after study shows that in fact sugar and excess carbohydrates are the true culprits behind obesity and heart disease.
Won’t it give us heart disease and raise our cholesterol levels?
After people hear that fat can’t make us fat, the next question is often, “But what about her cholesterol?” and this is perfectly understandable after hearing the standard health messages for the last 50 years.
But the idea that high cholesterol causes Heart Disease is also a huge myth. The evidence is very clear that saturated fat is not the cause of heart disease and, that it is not responsible for raising our cholesterol levels.
In fact, one woman recently reported that after ten years of high cholesterol levels, her levels have dropped into normal range after just three months on a high fat, no sugar diet. This is very common. Not only that, here are a few little known facts about cholesterol:• Cholesterol is a natural substance made by our liver. If we don’t eat it, our body makes it anyway
• Cholesterol is not a deadly substance, and is essential for just about every bodily function – including cell renewal, hormone production (including sex hormones), fertility, and protection from inflammation
• Evidence clearly shows that low cholesterol levels increase our risk of premature death, depression, cancer and more
• Over half of people who suffer from heart attacks do not have high cholesterol
How can eating butter and animal fats make us lose weight? (and what then is causing our weight gain?)
When we reduce our fat intake, we increase the foods that do make us fat – sugar and grain. In addition, fats are the only food that produces our fullness hormone (CCK). This is why we can eat plenty of sugary food (pure carbohydrate) and still not feel satisfied.
If we eat a meal with healthy fats - natural fats like butter, coconut oil and animal fat - we feel full and stop eating. It's no wonder that our nations are getting fatter and fatter on low-fat diets - people overeat because they never feel satisfied.
Insulin is a hormone that transports and stores extra sugar in our blood. We are meant to eat small amounts of carbohydrate, but when we eat too many, we create too much glucose, and the body must figure out what to do with the excess. In most cases, it is stored in our fat cells. And, because we weren’t designed to eat the amount of carbohydrates we typically eat today, we get fat.
But doesn’t this go against everything the medical and health industries have taught us?
Yes, unfortunately it does go against conventional health advice. But most people are tired of making the same losing bet over and over again, which is why they are now looking outside the box.
Dr Dwight Lundell, an American heart surgeon with 25 years experience and over 5000 open-heart surgeries recently wrote:
'The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation. Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favour of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.
He adds: 'What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those your mum turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods.
'By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.”
What are some of the other myths you bust in your book?
I include information about other myths we got wrong, for example:
Myth 1: We need to be on a diet of very high whole grains and vegetables. I expand on why this is not only unnecessary, but can be very damaging to our digestive system and health.
Myth 2: Exercise is necessary for weight loss. I love exercise for many reasons, but it is completely unnecessary for weight loss.Myth 3: If calories in exceeds calories out, we gain weight. Calories are not created equal; some prompt our bodies to store fat, some don’t. This is just one of the reasons this theory doesn’t hold true.