Doesn't that sound strange? 'Eating more fat is healthy'. Does it go against all your principles of healthy eating? There is a small nuance: eating more healthy fats is healthy. It is better to leave industrial (trans) fats. Big culprits of cardiovascular disease and getting fat: sugars and (refined) carbohydrates. Really and truly!
Where does the fat is unhealthy hype come from?
There have been signs of a relationship between sugar consumption and cardiovascular disease since the 1950s. Sponsored research by the US sugar industry pushed this hypothesis into 2016! was swept under the rug.
In the 1950s, Ancel Keys conducted research in 22 countries into the relationship between eating saturated fat and cardiovascular disease. Results from 15 countries did not support or even contradict his hypothesis. There was a relationship in 7 countries. He presented this result. The sugar industry made good use of this. When Keys later wanted to retract his research results, the myth that saturated fats are the cause of cardiovascular disease was already widespread. What is special is the fact that Keys gave the advice in his research to replace sugar, carbohydrates and industrial (unhealthy) fats with healthy fats to prevent cardiovascular disease!
In 1964 scientists were asked to review existing studies on the influence of fats and sugars on health. Subsequently, the sugar industry made a selection of these studies. Three guesses which outcomes were favorites. Right, the one in favor of the sugar industry. Research with positive outcomes on fat and health was ignored. One of the scientists used the results of the review to provide health advice to the government. These implied that saturated fats were the driver of cardiovascular disease. This advice was adopted. And has been accepted as truth ever since.
Sugar appears to be the culprit
When it comes to fats, we all seem to be wrong-footed. In 2016, an overview study by the University of California was published, which showed that we have been misled by the sugar industry all these years. In recent years, more and more organizations, including the World Health Organization, have warned that an excess of added sugars increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. And healthy - including saturated - fats can have a protective effect.
Conclusion of a large Cambridge University study of 600,000 participants from 18 countries: heart disease is no more common in people who eat the most saturated fat than in people who eat the least. So not fat seems to be the culprit, but added sugars. In addition to processed products with chemical additives (that confuses your body because these are substances unknown to the body - think of artificial sweeteners for example!) and industrial fats (trans fats). This also seems to be the case in practice. We eat less fats, but there are more and more people with overweight, chronic diseases and fatigue problems.
Too little fat in our diet
Healthy fat is an essential source of energy for us! Our brains, for example, consist of 60 percent fat. They must be fed. Your heart also needs fats as fuel. Burning fat provides 2x more energy for these organs than burning glucose (sugars). And is therefore a lot more efficient! Fat burning also releases fewer free radicals. The latter can cause inflammation in the body.
Counting calories is nonsense
I've been saying it for years, but I saw it confirmed in Marjolein Dubber's booklet 'Eat more energy with coconut butter'. The type of calorie determines whether it is beneficial or detrimental to your health. A sugar calorie is an 'empty calorie' and mainly contributes to fat storage - helping to make you fatter. Healthy fats provide twice as many calories as, for example, proteins or carbohydrates. That is, they provide the body with twice as much energy. And make you feel full faster. Our body can burn large amounts of fat (because it needs it), but only a limited amount of carbohydrates (sugars). '
An excess of sugars also contributes to insulin resistance (due to the continuous sugar fluctuations in your blood). a hormonal imbalance and an intestinal flora that is out of balance (feeds on sugars - which can also cause fungi). All three causes of obesity.
Healthy fats - unsaturated
Healthy polyunsaturated fats - also called essential fats - are fats that your body cannot make itself. These are fats with omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. Normally there is a balance in your body of omega 6 fatty acids that cause minor inflammation and omega 3 fatty acids that inhibit it. For example, Omega 3 fatty acids are found in oily 'wild' fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, trout). linseed oil, perilla oil and seaweed.
Thanks to our current diet, most of us have an excess of omega 6 fatty acids and a significant shortage of omega 3 fatty acids in the body. Which can lead to chronic inflammation. For example, soybean oil, corn oil and sunflower oil contain a lot of omega 6. Because these are cheap oils, they are most often used by the food industry in processed products. Many animals are also fed with grains - which are rich in omega 6 -. As a result, meat, dairy and eggs often have a high omega 6 content.
Omega 9 is also a healthy fatty acid. However, your body can produce this itself. You can find omega 9 in avocado, olives and nuts, for example.
Healthy fats - saturated
Healthy saturated fats are short and medium chain fats such as coconut oil, palm oil, ghee and butter. The smaller the chain, the easier the fat can be absorbed into our body (read: providing the body with energy quickly). Meat from grass (not grain!) fed animals & animals living in untouched nature also contains healthy saturated fats. Dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt and quark also contain saturated fats, but are irritating to the intestines for many people (due to casein). Goat, sheep and buffalo dairy products are better tolerated
Eating more fat is healthy!
- Providing (fast) energy for your heart and brain, among other things.
- They contain essential vitamins AD E and K for your body.
- Protect your cells against unwanted intruders
- Help remove waste and toxins from your body
- Give a feeling of satiety
- Work preventively against Alzheimer's
Of course, here too, everything that stands for 'too' is not healthy for you.
And what about cholesterol?
Bad cholesterol does not exist. I learned from LaVieSage at a training many years ago. HDL is called the 'good' chloresterol and LDL the 'bad'. However, both are proteins that transport cholesterol in your blood. One leads, the other takes away. If the balance between LDL and HDL is disturbed, it means that a body process is not running properly. There are two types of LDL. LDL-A and -B. The latter are small particles that can pass through your vessel wall. And is oxidized cholesterol. This is caused by a diet with a lot of sugars and carbohydrates. When combined with chronic inflammation in the body, it can cause plaque.
Cholesterol itself is so important to your body that it is produced by almost every cell. A high level appears to protect your body!
Statins given to lower your cholesterol level shut down your energy system. People who take statins are often chronically tired.
Is heating fat bad?
It depends on which fat you are heating
- Ghee (clarified butter), palm oil and coconut oil can be heated to a high temperature without them oxidizing - thus releasing harmful substances that cause inflammation in your body.
- You can heat some butter in butter, but you can't fry it at a high temperature.
- You can only fry in olive or avocado oil at medium or low temperatures.
- All other fats are only suitable for use cold. For example sunflower oil. Then consider that almost all chips you buy are fried in sunflower oil! And what this does for your body.
A ketogenic diet healthy or not?
Lately you hear more and more about a 'ketogenic' diet. This consists of relatively many healthy fats and proteins, but few carbohydrates. As a result, your body gets its energy mainly from fats and hardly from carbohydrates (burning). A strict ketogenic diet is not healthy!
Research shows that such a diet can have a negative effect on performance for runners or fast walkers, for example. A strict ketogenic diet is also not healthy for your thyroid gland.
Ketogenic diets usually recommend eating meat, fish or eggs and dairy products every day. These have an acidifying effect - which is not healthy - . Dairy products cause damage to the intestines in many people.
A ketogenic diet also often contains relatively few vegetables. While we need a lot of it for good health.
Ketones are mainly produced in your liver when fat is burned. Ketones are essential for your brain to function.
A strict ketogenic diet is therefore not desirable for health reasons. It is desirable that we eat much more healthy fats (which really do NOT make you fat). And less (refined) carbohydrates and processed foods. The benefits: more energy, less feeling of hunger, a better mood, no drowsy feeling after a meal, better functioning brain, less chance of chronic diseases, losing excess kilos.
So pour a splash of olive oil over your vegetables and into your homemade soup. Then you immediately absorb the vitamins better. Spread coconut or butter on your (sugar-free) banana-nut bread and eat an avocado regularly. And find out what it does to you.
Read more? Buy the book 'Eat more energy; for a vital and cheerful life' by Marjolein Dubbers.
Sources: bnnvara-zembla, Marjolein Dubbers - the energetic women's academy.nl, LaVieSage, Happyhealthy.nl, ketogeen.com, Runnersworld.nl