One of the most common questions in nutrition and health is this: Does fat make you fat, or does starch make you fat?
If you’re used to American medical dogma and new to the Ancestral/Paleo Diet (my Diet For Human Beings DVD) you might think low-fat food is good for you. That can mean unnecessarily avoiding eggs, meat, butter and coconut oil.
For decades, we’ve been told by the USDA, TV, ads and magazine stories that we’re supposed to eat more carbohydrates and stay away from fat and animal protein.
This theory is well debunked, but it still sticks in our heads, having heard it for 50 years!
The standard American Food Pyramid and it’s emphasis on carbohydrates was the topic of my podcast with Denise Minger. Her well-researched book “Death By Food Pyramid” will help you break the high-starch habit and love healthy fats!
Did humans always eat fatty foods?
Thinking that humans were vegetarians who preferred plants and tubers might make you believe that animal fats are bad. Many of us have it firmly in our heads that fatty foods make us overweight and carbs are supposed to be “healthier”.
But you’re wrong!
Two million years of evolution shaped our bodies to thrive on proteins and natural fats of all kinds, including animals, organ meats, coconuts, avocados and nuts.
Our ancestors were never vegetarians – they were hunters who gathered local foods to augment the meats and seafoods they hunted.
Even strict Buddhists who are otherwise vegan consume large amounts of Yak butter! They know this cherished fat keeps them alive in the cold of Nepal, Tibet and Himalayas.
Do Carbs turn into fat?
When we eat starchy carbohydrates, our bodies make insulin to remove that glucose from the bloodstream as quickly as possible.
If the glucose/carb is not being burned off right NOW, the body stores it as fat.
We store extra calories in anticipation of not being able to successfully hunt or gather. We convert extra starch to fat in the form of Triglycerides.
Changing your diet to eat more proteins, veggies and fats with less starch will quickly drop your Triglycerides into range.
If you want to lose weight, stop the carb madness. Just simply stop! The sodas, juice, chips, grains, tortillas, beans and all the rest are what’s making you hold fat (and PS making you sick now or in the future with Diabetes and Insulin Resistance).
What kinds of fats are OK?
The fats you need to avoid are the man-made and man altered fat – HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL in particular. Hydrogenated oil won’t necessarily make you gain weight, but it will kill you. Sooner or later…..
Look at the label of every baked good, kale chip, salad dressing and frozen entrée you buy to look for Hydrogenated Oils. You won’t find labels on take-out food, but you can ask what’s in there! You’ll mostly see Canola, Corn, Sunflower and other plant based oils that you want to avoid. They are high in Polyunsaturates, the ones we want to avoid and easily read on the label.
Stock up instead on Olive, Macadamia, Avocado and Tea Oils, as well as butter, ghee, pastured pork lard (not cheap hydrogenated lard) and of course coconut oil.
Hunters have always prized fatty organ meats above lean muscle meat. This was true 100,000 years ago and it’s true today for primitive hunter and gatherers. We burn fat for fuel and it keeps us from being hungry. Fat also transports and stores the fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K.
For more info on fats, search this page on my website for the topics Fats, Healthy Fats, and Omega 3’s.