In the movie, "Little Miss Sunshine" Steve Carrell's character, Frank, pointedly yells at his niece, "Fat makes you fat." He was trying to shame the young girl into changing her order at a diner. For decades, the U.S. government was sending Americans the same message--warning us to steer clear of fat, and practically shaming us for craving it. They said it was linked to heart disease. So the public heeded the warning, but health issues--obesity, chronic conditions, and, yes, heart disease--continued to rise despite compliance with the recommendations. In recent years, the government and even the conventional medical community has begun to pivot, actually recommending that we eat fats for our well-being. But which are the best fats? And how much should we be eating?
Enter Chris Masterjohn, assistant professor of Health and Nutrition Sciences at Brooklyn College in New York. Chris has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and is a brilliant person to discuss such a topic. And so we did, on the Wise Traditions podcast. Yes, we chewed the fat...about fat! Give a listen to episode #28: Fat does a body good.
Here are some of the things you'll learn.
- how fat helps your body run
- moving from fear of fat toward freedom
- how to eat to fuel your body's needs
- how to figure out what diet (and percentage of fat) will work best for your particular body
- what sources of fats have been eaten over the course of human history
- how our diet has shifted away from animal fats to oils like soybean, canola, sunflower, safflower, corn, and cottonseed
- how this shift may be the cause of many of modern diseases
- the difference between saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats
- the definition of essential fatty acids
- the role of cholesterol (and what numbers could be a red flag)
- a recommendation for a certain type of health care practitioner
Chris concluded our conversation with a surprising suggestion for what to do to achieve optimal health. (To learn more from Chris, check out "The Daily Lipid" or follow him on social media @chrismasterjohn.)
As we wrapped up our talk, I walked away with some new insights and with a conviction that was stronger than ever: fat does many things for us, but it most certainly does NOT make us fat, no matter what the movies (or other media) may tell us!
*** Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and the host of the Wise Traditions podcast (found on iTunes, Stitcher and at westonaprice.org). She is also the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation.