The Importance of Fat

Weight Loss Breakthroughs

How many of these come out every year? Dieting is an obsessional behavior; it is not normal or rational. Most conventional diets cleverly encourage the obsession by having you count calories or remembering what you can or cannot eat. These diets treat eating in complicated ways according to inflexible rules. Fat-free usually means added sugar and caffeine. You need to ask yourself does being thin mean that you are healthy? NO! Thin people get cancer and heart disease. It’s the nutritional quality of food combined with exercise that make life, longevity (and weight loss) a permanently attainable goal.

Counting fat grams takes your focus off of the nutritional quality of the food; you assume that all fats are equal. By eating more nutritious foods and including some QUALITY fat in your diet you will get hungry less often. So the question becomes “what are good fats”? Omega 3 (polyunsaturates) can be found in fish oil and unrefined vegetable oils such as flax. Omega 9 (monounsaturates) can be found in eggs, walnuts, macadamia nuts, olives, peanut, chicken, duck, turkey, avocado, almonds, and coconut. Although considered to be a “good fat” try to eat less Omega 6 (polyunsaturates), which can be found in certain vegetable oils such as safflower, sunflower, grape seed, and sesame. These are the easiest to consume, so try and focus on more 3’s and 9’s. Eat more avocado’s, guacamole, nuts, seeds, fish, and coconut oil. Try using coconut oil in your mashed potatoes instead of butter/margarine.

What role do fats play in health?

Fats play vital roles in your body, such as:

  • keep cell membranes fluid and flexible which in turn affects the white blood cells that repel invaders of the body (builds your immune system)
  • promote normal growth, especially of blood vessels and nerves
  • “good fats” keep the skin and other tissues youthful and supple through lubrication
  • make hormones

So, if you are not consuming enough of the proper fats, you will not be able to make and balance hormones properly. Our bodies cannot live fat-free. We need significant amounts of essential fatty acids to function properly and enhance immunity. The nutritional deficiencies related to a fat-free diet have been linked to arthritis, cardiovascular disease, PMS, and headaches.

Nutty Statistics!

We took nuts out of our diet because the ADA told us they had too much fat in them. In turn, we now have more heart disease, cancer, obesity, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Nuts are most valuable in the way they affect cholesterol. The monounsaturated fats in nuts help to lower LDL “bad cholesterol” and raise your HDL “good cholesterol”.

  • All nuts contain Arginine, an amino acid that helps keep arteries clear, and magnesium and potassium, which are associated with lowering blood pressure.
  • Almonds in comparison with other nuts top the list for calcium, fiber, and Vitamin E content.
  • Brazil nuts have more calcium than milk and are high in selenium (antioxidant).
  • Pistachios have more fiber than broccoli.
  • Pumpkin seeds are a good source of zinc, which helps promote fertility, cell reproduction, vision, immunity and they protect again st free radicals.

Raw, unsalted nuts are the best option, however roasted, unsalted nuts are the next best thing. Just beware of the hydrogenated fats that could be used in the roasting process. Coconut Oil enhances the health of your skin. It is a medium chain fatty acid that contains lauric acid monolaurin which increases immunity ( Medium fatty acids are absorbed easier, used up faster, and have fewer calories per gram (6.8). We recommend reading “RX: Coconuts!” by Dr. Vermen M. Verallo – Rowell, MD for further research on this amazing and often neglected product.

Trans Fats (hydrogenated fats)

Unsaturated fats (liquid at room temperature) are more unstable that saturates, and they go rancid even at low temperatures. The hydrogenation of unsaturated fats causes them to “imitate” saturates which makes them more stable and therefore have a longer shelf life. This hydrogenation process produces trans fats, a synthetic or artificial fat that the human body cannot naturally process.

“Women who eat higher levels of trans fats are almost four times more likely to have breast cancer.” – Cancer Epi.Bio.Prev.6:705,1997

Research has shown these fats increase the LDL cholesterol, decrease the HDL cholesterol and thus increase the risk of coronary heart disease. Additionally, they interfere with the metabolic absorption efficiencies and tend to congregate at adipose (fat) tissue sites. Trans fats are extremely difficult to excrete from the body and are a low-quality energy source. In other words…they make you fatter!

TRUTH: It takes 1 month to break down half of the normal fats consumed, but it takes 3 months to metabolize half of the trans fats consumed. In other words, they make you fatter…longer! Hydrogenated fats are found in almost every processed food in the supermarket from soups to chips, crackers, pastries, frozen foods, deep-fried anything, margarine and even some cereals. When reading labels, you can spot them by seeing if the word “hydrogenated” is on the ingredient list.

Saturated Fats and Cholesterol Get A Bad Rap!

Before 1920 coronary heart disease was rare in America. Today heart disease causes at least 40% of all US deaths. If, as we have been told, heart disease results from the consumption of saturated fats, one would expect to find a corresponding increase in animal fat in the American diet. Actually, the reverse is true. From 1910 to 1970, the proportion of traditional animal fat in the American diet declined from 83% to 62%, and butter consumption plummeted from 18 pounds per person per year to 4. During the past 80 years, dietary cholesterol intake has increased only 1%. During the same period the percentage of dietary vegetable oils in the form of margarine (aka Trans fat), shortening and refined oils {Canola oil, Omega 6’s) increased about 400% while the consumption of sugar and processed foods increased about 60%.

Low saturate/low cholesterol diets=increase risk of mortality.

Yes, you read correctly! In a multi-year British study involving several thousand men, half were asked to reduce saturated fat and cholesterol in their diets, to stop smoking and to increase the amounts of unsaturated oils such as margarine and vegetable oils. After one year those on the “good” diet had 100% more deaths than those on the “bad” diet, in spite of the fact that those men on the “bad” diet continued to smoke! – Lancet, 1983, 1:1062 – 1065 . There are more studies like these. Remember, to focus on more Omega 3’s and Omega 9’s. Add some eggs back into your diet! Eggs are a great source of protein and b-vitamins. In our experience, they are the perfect food.

“Saturated fat reduces children’s allergies and trans fats increase them,” Allergy 2001;56:425 – 428.

Mother’s milk provides a higher proportion of cholesterol than almost any other food. It also contains over 50% of its calories as fat, much of it saturated fat. Both cholesterol and saturated fat are essential for growth in babies and children, especially the development of the brain. Yet, the American Heart Association is now recommending a low-cholesterol, low-fat diet for children! Commercial formulas are low in saturated fats and soy formulas are devoid of cholesterol. A recent study linked low-fat diets with failure to thrive in children. — Pediatrics, March 1994,93:3:438 – 443.

Read the Ingredient Label!

The Institute of Medicine (the group who determines the RDA’s) issued a report stating that there is no safe RDA for trans fatty acids – Shape Dec 2002 . The FDA published a rule in 2003 requiring trans-fat contents to be listed on the Nutrition Facts panels. However, FDA’s new law allows companies to add up to .5 grams of trans fat per serving and still say, “zero” on the label! LEARN TO BE A SAVY SHOPPER! We cannot depend on the FDA to make it’s rules for labeling to sound logical. Don’t depend on front label to get your nutritional information. Always read the INGREDIENT label to see what is in the product.


Consider where you get your nutritional advice. Vitamin supplements are not a replacement for food; they are designed to enhance food and correct nutritional deficiencies. Getting a nutritional blood analysis will help take the guesswork out of what vitamins YOU need and how much YOU need to take. Re-testing will help you to determine if what you are doing is working. It is very well documented that our food is 22 – 30% less nutritive than it was 30 years ago. Maybe it’s time you throw out those fad diets and seek a qualified nutritionist to help get on the road to a healthier you!

Think you have to go fat-free? NO WAY! Fat-healthy is the way to go! Your skin, hair, nails, arteries, immune system, and hormones with thank you for it! Need we go on?

Dr. Meyers practices Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Nutrition. To make an appointment for a nutritional consultation, please call 402-898-1540.

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1. The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only.
2. Your individual health status and any required health care treatments can only be properly addressed by a professional healthcare provider of your choice. Remember: There is no adequate substitution for a personal consultation with your chosen health care provider. Therefore, we encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

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