Let’s bring the nineties back and say it with me:
Fat makes you phat.*, **
The thing about dietary fat is that its delish, it slows digestion which keeps you fuller longer, and the right kind of fat can fight inflammation. Since obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and a whole host of other chronic diseases are all products of systemic inflammation in ze body, any opportunity we can take to zap that ‘ish is a great idea.
I eat a whole lotta fat. I eat loads of saturated fat in the form of grass fed butter, humanely raised bacon, free range eggs, coconut everything and dark 80% chocolate. I eat tons of monounsaturated fat in the form of black olives, avocados, macadamia nuts/hazelnuts and olive oil. And I scarf down healthy polyunsaturated fats in the form of almonds (or almond flour!), hemp seeds and fatty fish (tuna, salmon, sardines, anchovies, oh my!).
SO GUYS! Here’s a command: Eat a whole lotta fat, but eat a whole lot of the right kinds of fat. I think its high time for us to discuss this (even though we touched upon it on this and this episode of my all-time fave podcast, The Running Lifestyle Show!).
The thing about dietary fat is that while it can be a powerful source of anti-inflammatory mega-superpower, the bad kinda fat can be a super-duper-proinflammatory killah. The thing about fat is that it can literally change the makeup of your cell membranes, consequently changing the signals sent between cells. We want our cells shouting at the top of their figurative lungs, “ANTI-INFLAMMATION FOR ALL!!!” rather than “KILL ALL THE DNA! LETS AGE THIS &*^#!! LIGHT THIS BODY ON FIRE!”
YUP. Dietary fat has that kinda power. And this is why sometimes I choose low fat/non-fat foods over high fat, because the quality of the fat matters.
Harmful polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) are susceptible to going rancid and causing oxidative stress in the body. Much like you wouldn’t touch rotting, rancid leftovers from last Thanksgiving with a ten foot pole, you shouldn’t put easily oxidized, and highly processed, polyunsaturated fats into that sexy, healthy bod of yours. Back away from the corn, vegetable, soybean, safflower, canola oil as fast as you can. It can only cause harm. I love fat like a fat kid loves cake, but not in the wrong forms!
Its worth mentioning that when animals (ie. cows, chickens) eat a diet high in corn and soy, the fat content of their meat, dairy or eggs actually changes to include more of these harmful polyunsaturated fatty acids. Its confusing because while I totally condone the frequent consumption of red meat, its with the caveat that I want you guys eating grass fed red meat. The grass actually changes the meat to have an anti-inflammatory ratio of fats, rather than pro-inflamatory.
Polyunsaturated fat gets even more confusing because while some PUFA is harmful, other PUFAs are super, duper anti-inflammatory and wonderful for your body (see my faves listed above; ie fatty fish!). This is because different types of PUFA possess different susceptibility to becoming damaged, and send different types of signals after being incorporated into the cell membrane of your body’s cells.
While PUFAs are bad-news-bears, so are trans-fats. I think we all know this already, because its one of the few nutrition-hypes that the media got right. Man made trans-fatty acids are found in hydrogenated oils (ie. hydrogenated vegetable oil or partially-hydrogenated shortening, etc) and actually decrease healthy cholesterol while increasing harmful cholesterol. YIKES. Hydrogenated fats are often found in processed-yadda-yaddas (ya know, the fake ‘ish that isn’t actually food) such as margarine, cookies, or packaged cakes.
I think this little lesson in baddddd fat is important because I spend a whole lotta time and energy battling the low fat phenonemon of our modern culture, but I don’t want you guys chowin’ down on the harmful ish. We’ll delve into why saturated, mono-unsaturated, and beneficial poly-unsaturated fats are so amaze-balls in a different blog entry. But this is a good place to start.
*(I’m a huge Insta hashtag fan of #FatIsPhat whenever I eat eggs with bacon)
**(Phat is another word for “cool,” for those of you are actually cool and have no clue what the heck the word phat means)