I like to look at all the dumb diets I’ve gone on and see if I have at least learned anything from the miserable process.
And more seriously, as dumb as going Paleo was, because I had already sworn off dieting (ugh. so upsetting). I learned a lot about fat. I already knew about industrial seed oils, and was pro-butter myself, but I don’t think I fully realized how healthy saturated fats really are- until Paleo.
And as they say, Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat. BUT, my addendum is: If you binge on it… it will. Obviously!!! Which is what I did. Because restrictive diets make me crazy.
But let’s begin, shall we?
Mainstream, conventional diet wisdom will currently vouch for non-saturated fats. (Nuts, seeds, avocados, olives) Finally, as they did not do this in the 80s and 90s when fat-free was King of the diet kingdom.
Canola oil (rapeseed), corn oil and soybean oil are seen as healthy by people who think the-less-saturated-fat-the-better (and also thanks to their industries’ lobbying). But it turns out now, that these oils are highly processed, rancid, and inflammatory and also have too-high levels of Omega-6. Our bodies do not thrive eating these oils in large quantities. I mean, how does one get the oil out of corn exactly? And yet, Whole Foods still uses Canola oil in a lot of their products and prepared foods.
I do not intend to be a fear-monger. The point I am making is to have healthy skepticism, eat real food liberally and shun questionable claims made by big industries who are pushing their products in the name of health. Because, apparently butter and lard would have sufficed all along.
That being said: Enjoy nuts and seeds and avocados and olives. Use olive oil. And when you go to restaurants, where I assure you they use soybean oil & friends in their cooking: Do not think of it. Your body will be fine if you enjoy your food. The end.
(May as well not cook with them though because they are stupid and fake and taste like crying children.)
Saturated fats are now said to be the most nourishing and anti-inflammatory. Coconut Oil would be one of them. Apparently increasing fat burning, supporting the thyroid, and even being anti-viral and anti-fungal, and being very stable with a high smoke point (good to cook with). Palm oil is another good substitute for trans-fats in packaged baked goods and such. Also, I am happy to tell you that chocolate is another healthy, saturated fat.
This is where its at, YO! And even though I think the Paleo dogma is stupid and ruined my happiness for a good 7 + months, I truly still believe their teachings on Fat.
This includes fat on the animal (lard, tallow, goose) and from the animal: dairy (butter, ghee, cream, milk) and… eggs. Saturated fat is supposed to be the most supportive of our brain and the making of our sex hormones.
Dr. Andrew Weil just recently changed his stance on saturated fats. Heart Surgeon Man‘s stance. Mercola‘s stance. Mark’s Daily Apple. Four Hour Work Week. And here we have the NYtimes writing on the subject, just so all my sources aren’t too alternative for you.
And… seafood. Fish are high in omega-3. Which is apparently good! Haven’t you heard? (Ray Peat would argue that, but I don’t care for any unnecessary fears of unnecessary things.)
Unfortunately, the truth is, my fear of processed Omega-6 oils (canola, soybean, corn, etc) is still where I am a bit stuck. I fear it. And they piss me off. It is a manipulated and fake food, and nearly unavoidable unless you eat every bite at home.
And, you know why it was created? People were foolishly afraid of real fat. Like butter and lard.
I have made great strides recently by eating in restaurants. I think of cheap oils I inevitably take in as a form of medicine for my neuroses. Like a supplement to prove to myself that I can handle less-than-ideal foods. Try it!
Fat is not a problem. Fat, inherently, is good for you. And it is not “fattening”.
(If this post seems less passionate than my post In Defense of Sugar, it is only because I have known and believed that fat was good for a long time. The sugar thing is newer and even more radical.)
But, if you suffer from the fear of processed omega-6 PUFAs… remind yourself, that regular doses will supplement your mind and prove that it can not hurt you.
Your worry and stress over any food is way more harmful than the food itself.
And remember to say: