Fats Don’t Make You Fat, They Make You PHAT! (Pretty Hot And Tempting)

A few days ago while sticking some needles in a patient’s shoulder, he starts telling me how much trouble he is having losing weight and controling his blood sugar. His doctor is threatening insulin.

He then tells me how healthy he has been eating. He’s been on a low-fat diet for over a year now. He is clearly frustrated that his efforts aren’t paying off despite his discipline. To top it off, his cholesterol is high. WTF?

Have you heard this type of story before? The “I’m doing everything right but nothing is working” story? Haven’t we gotten past this yet? FATS DON’T MAKE YOU FAT!

Dietary fat is a super important part of a balanced metabolism, being healthy, feeling energized, and losing weight. So before we make the same mistake, let’s take a look at why we should be eating fat:

  • We need fat to absorb vitamins in our body. Vitamin’s A, D, E, K and CoQ10 can’t even be assimilated without fat.
  • The “omega-3″ fats have an anti-imflamatory effect
  • Cholesterol and fat (both lipids) are the precursor to many of our hormones. Hey guys, see how PHAT you are to the ladies without any testosterone.
  • Fats help your brain work right.
  • Fats will make you fill full and satisfied. Without them, you’ll feel more hungry and probably eat carbs (which will actually make you fat).

I think that most would agree that to be Pretty Hot And Tempting, being slim, smart, healthy, and hormonally balanced is a good place to start.

There is one caveat to this fat story though, they are not all created equal and some we’ll want to avoid. So before you eat a tub of margarine and wash it down with a bottle of safflower oil, let’s set up some guidelines.

Do…

  • focus on eating naturally occuring saturated fats, monounsaturated and some polyunsaturated fats.
  • try to get the optimal balance of of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids (it’s probably about 1:3 respectively). Basically it’s pretty easy to get the omega-6′s, so make a point to incorporate fat’s with omega-3′s. A lot of people supplement with fish oil for this purpose (me included).

Don’t…

  • eat damaged and rancid fats. This means you should buy oils that are labled “first cold-pressed” or “expeller pressed” and are in opaque bottles. Expose your oils to air, heat, and light as little as possible when storing. It also means you should cook meats and eggs at low to medium temperatures.
  • eat packaged and processed foods. They often contain hydrogenated and oxidated fats, trans-fats, and who knows what else (not good).
  • ever use margarine, most vegetable oils (like soy, corn, canola), and shortenings.

Here are some good sources of oil and butters you can use in your recipes:

  • Olive Oil: Use raw, for dressings, and low heat cooking.
  • Flax Oil: Use raw and for dressings.
  • Macadamia Oil: Use raw to high heat cooking.
  • Sacha Inchi Oil: Use raw to medium heat cooking. *This oil has the highest percentage of Omega-3′s of any vegetable oil.
  • Butter (organic from grass-fed cows): Use raw to medium heat cooking.
  • Coconut Oil: Use from low to high heat cooking.
  • Ghee (clarified butter): Use from low to high heat cooking.
  • When it comes to fat in the foods we eat, focus on high quality, fresh, whole foods, including:

  • Grass-fed “red meat.”
  • Free range poultry.
  • Organic and Non-GMO fruits and vegetables.
  • Cage free eggs.
  • Wild caught fish.
  • Fresh raw or dry roasted nuts and seeds.
  • So in theory you shouldn’t have to “count or measure” your fat intake, but moderation is still a good idea (it won’t make you fat, but it’s not healthy to overeat anything). Make fat a part of a balanced meal and see how PHAT you get!

    What’s your favorite fat? Have you tried Sacha Inchi Oil or Macadamia Oil? How about Ghee?

    Photo by ★ spunkinator

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    11 Responses to “Fats Don’t Make You Fat, They Make You PHAT! (Pretty Hot And Tempting)”

    1. Armi Legge says:

      Great work and couldn’t agree more!

      My favorite fats would have to be bacon or animal fat, coconut oil, and avocados. Fat is soooo crucial for the body in thousnads of ways, and yet doctrs and the government still portray it as evil.

      I think is should be mentioned that you can go overboard with the PUFA’s, and the majority should be coming from saturated fats if possible.

      Also, not all trans fats are bad. It’s the processed ones that cause Coronary Heart Disease among other things. conjugated Linoleic Acid is a naturally occurring trans fat that’s absolutely amazing for a healthy metabolism.

      Even as an endurance athlete, I eat a ton of fat and I laugh when people gasp as I pick out pieces of bacon fat and eat them- Yum!

      Keep up the great work:D
      -Armi

    2. admin says:

      No gasping here. In fact, I polished off the fatty pieces that my wife pulled off her bacon this morning. Yum!

      I’ll bold the word “some” in front of the PUFA’s (awesome acronym – I haven’t heard that before).

      I’m pretty new to the benefits of fats for sustained energy. The last couple months I’ve been doing two tablespoons of coconut oil before my surfs with good results.

      Do you have a specific “fat regimen” for training or race days or do you just try to get a lot in your diet?

      Good clarification on the trans fats!

    3. Armi Legge says:

      Hiya!

      Haha, I actually ate some groundhog brains last night and they were amazing!

      Bacon is rad- Gluten is bad. Love that joke:D

      I actually do have a pretty simple and effective protocol I use with fat. I eat all of my food in specific window of time, a la Martin Berkhan’s lean gain’s Intermittent fasting protocols. I eat carbohydrates first to elicit a maximum insulin response, then protein, then fat.

      My races are generally short enough that I don’t need to eat before them, and the fat from the previous afternoon provides a ton of constant energy.

      I think just maintaining a fairly high dietary fat load is best, and that “fat loading” is only possibly effective for longer duration activities like Ironmans. Even then I think it’s mostly the individuals ability to burn fat more than any other specific protocol.

      Awesome work and I love the site!

    4. admin says:

      I saw on twitter yesterday that you caught some groundhogs (and planned on eating them), but didn’t realize you were serious.

      Dude, you’re all business! Were they good?

    5. Why no mention of coconut oil in the post, but in the comments? It is so good! I’m on my first batch of it, and have a new love :-D

    6. Doug says:

      Hey James, good point! I’m not sure what happened there. I use coconut oil almost everday in my cooking. It’s an incredible oil!

      I’ll edit that in ASAP.

    7. Anything coconut is my favorite. Avocados also rock. Those two are especially good when you get to pick them right off the tree :)

      After reading In Defense of Food, I’m more aware of what I unconsciously knew – low-fat processed is way worse than fat that comes from real food. We’ve got to stop eating ‘fake’ food and get back to the real stuff.

    8. Sandy Morris says:

      I am in the process of trying to convince my DH to quit worrying about his cholesterol and eat more fat. He bought into the whole 9 yards about fats ‘back in the day’ and is having a hard time going the other way now. He got off of his cholesterol meds and was eating coconut oil and I was real proud of him. Then he got blood tests and his cholesterol was up and the doctors scared the crap out of him. Back to square one! He says he doesn’t want to be the guinea pig but I have tried to tell him that he was when he was on the meds. Thanks for the article!

      • Doug says:

        Hi Sandy,

        In my practice, I’ve found the biggest thing to influence cholesterol levels is a low glycemic diet. While I agree with you about not worrying about cholesterol, high numbers continue to freak people (and most doctors) out.

        If he wants to see those numbers go down, he has to get rid of the starches, fruit, and sugars. After a month of that, then have him go back to the doc to see about tapering off the meds.

        If you’re inclined, here are some good articles to check out in regard to cholesterol:

        How to Interpret Cholesterol Test Results and How to Interpret Advanced Cholesterol Test Results

    9. Rafael says:

      Why is Lard under ‘don’t’ ? Most is monounsaturated fat and it has a lot of vitamin D. I just discovered cooking with lard and it is faboulus!

      • Doug says:

        Hey Rafael,

        I also use (and make my own) lard and tallow. It is great!

        I’ll change that. When I wrote that post, I was using lard synonymously with vegetable shortening like Crisco.

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