Why is Fat Your Friend

A picture of a slice of bacon.

A slice of bacon.

So your doctor has just told you that you are fat.
If you don’t make major lifestyle changes you are going to die of a heart attack, or you are on your way towards type 2 diabetes or something equally nasty will happen to you.

You know, he was probably right.

The problem is the advice people generally get what they should do about it.

I live in North America and for a person who grew up in Europe the most shocking thing about food on this continent was that somehow almost everything (including meat dishes) seems to contain enough sugar to make it taste disgustingly sweet.

Somehow people cannot grasp the idea that fine cuisine does not use sugar and salt as the only seasoning.

I accept that it is partly a cultural difference, and people born around here might find food from other places not sweet enough. Still it is not normal to have to add sugar to virtually everything you ever eat.

First of all you must understand that it is sugar what is bad for you not the fat content of your food.

It is the sugar that makes you fat, it is the sugar that makes you fall asleep after meals (not because you ate something greasy), and it is the sugar in your food that will eventually lead to type 2 diabetes.

It makes no sense whatsoever to try to avoid eating fat and eat lots of snacks loaded with carbohydrates when you are trying to control your weight.

The dumbed down explanation goes like this:

When you eat sugar —  in particular the one called glucose — but many other carbohydrates will turn into glucose and have the same effect — your pancreas starts to produce insulin.

Insulin will encourage your body to do something about all the sugar circulating in your bloodstream

Because you are probably working in an office and sitting all day without any exercise your body has precious few options what to do with all that sugar. Eventually it will be just converted to fat and starts to be deposited all around your body. This is how you become obese.

As long as this mechanism is working the insulin surge triggered by your initial consumption of sugar will eventually result in a drop of your blood sugar level. At that point you will feel hungry for sugar again, which just causes you to eat even more food rich in carbohydrates which in turn leads to further insulin production and round and round it goes. It is a vicious circle.

As time goes on, even your fat cells get tired of being the only ones paying attention to the rise of insulin levels, and trying to get glucose out of your bloodstream, and just give up. At this point your body cares less and less that your insulin level is rising. Your pancreas has to pump out increasingly larger amounts of it to keep your blood sugar down. This is called insulin resistance.

At one point the your blood sugar level is no longer controlled. Congratulations, you have just graduated to type 2 diabetes.

Yet the first advice people are given is to stop eating fat and start easting “healthy” foods such as plenty of fruits, whole grain pasta and bread, various fat free sweetened yoghurt products, and the like.

Most of these are high in carbohydrates.

It gets even worse if you take advice from television commercials. During a course of one evening the average person can be exposed to dozens of advertisements promoting products that have virtually no nutritional value and are basically just sugar and/or starch.

When the advertisement claims it is “so good” that you can’t eat just one, it should be a dead give away that something is wrong. Alarm bells should go off in your head that the product is designed to ride the vicious circle mentioned above to make you eat more and more of it. It is definitely not in your best interest.

Having wholesome popcorn, or potato chips that are “just as good” as potatoes fresh from the farm, whole grain bread and pasta, orange juice, and fruit jam sounds wonderful at face value but in reality these are mostly carbohydrates that your body does not actually need.

I am serious!

There is no such thing as an essential sugar — if you would not eat any sugar at all (which is not possible under normal circumstances because almost any food contains some sugar — you are not drinking oil straight out of the bottle, are you?) your body still would produce whatever sugars it needs, and you would happily continue to exist. It is very different with other nutrients, some of which are essential.  Your body cannot make all the amino acids that you need as the building blocks of the proteins of your body. It is also unable to produce all the fatty acids that you need for various purposes.

Thus your diet can be deficient in protein or fats but for a healthy person it is hard to argue that one is not getting all the carbohydrates they need — ever.

So, does it make sense at all that in an attempt to “eat healthy” one starts to eat large amounts or carbohydrates instead of eating proteins and fat? Those are the very nutrients one cannot live without, yet the modern “health food” industry tries to brainwash people to live on cheap to produce food substitutes that don’t have much of either.

It is even worse in the junk food industry.

“Do you want fries with that?” seems to be their motto. You get a minuscule amount of meat in your “value” meal, a lot of carbohydrates in the form of a bun and fries and don’t forget all the sugar in the free refills that come with your super sized soda drink.

What you really should be eating is meat for proteins and fat for energy and for essential fatty acids, fresh greens for vitamins and other micronutrients.

Just remember that fat gives you energy while sugar/carbohydrates just make you fat.

While most people readily accept that greens and proteins are good for you, years of brain washing has turned people obsessively lipophobic, especially in North America.

On this site I will regularly post materials that encourage the eating of fat and tell people that it is OK to like it and enjoy it.



Last updated: November 22, 2013