But fat makes you fat doesn’t it?
For decades now westernized societies have been advised by media, food manufacturers and medical experts to avoid fat like the plague. In reality all it appears to be guilty of is being called “Fat” Now I’m not talking about the fat from a mars bar or poor quality processed food, but from good old fashioned grass fed animal sources, such as beef, lamb, pork etc. Fish, some nuts, coconut and other naturally saturated fats.
Saturated fat has had a bad press for years now, mainly due to Ancel Keys who first developed this notion, with his famous 7 country study, which upon being released looked like this –
Not quite, the study was not as clean cut as first thought, the graph released showed correlation between intake of fat as a percentage of calories and degenerative heart disease in men aged 55-59.
This lead to mass hysteria and the fat causes heart disease myth was created (It’s still going pretty strong now!)
Unfortunately Ancel had cherry picked his countries to suit his agenda Countries where people had a high intake of fat but have little heart disease, such as Holland and Norway were left out of the study as were Countries where fat consumption is low but the rate of heart disease is high, such as Chile.
The test was re done a year later with more countries and the results were a lot more mixed.
There seems to be this stigma around fat were it looks, sounds and almost tastes like it would be bad for you. We are told from a young age it causes heart disease and makes you fat and you can’t turn the telly on without a low fat product being advertised. And herein lies the problem, we are programmed and convinced it is bad for you and I am sure children as young as 6 would tell you it is. But thereis very little historical or scientific evidence to back these claims up.
Humans relationship with fat………
Humans have been eating fat mainly by the way of animal protein for much longer than we have low fat yoghurts, grains, wheat, processed sugars, processed diary and whatever else you will find on the supermarket shelves, millions of years longer to precise. I want to delve a little bit deeper into our relationship with fat from all over the globe from hot continents to cold.
Massai Tribe – The Massai tribe are known for having a high fat diet, mainly from the meat (Whole body including organs) blood and milk from their cattle, they also eat bark and certain herbs.
Research has been done on the Massai tribe (Christiansen) and shown High cholesterol values were found in 3 percent of the studied Maasai over the age of 18, which (Christensen) says is a low figure when their high-fat diet is taken into consideration.
A study of overweight Maasai (with a BMI over 25) showed that they had a normal, healthy level of insulin. Few overweight Maasai showed signs of having moved into the pre-diabetes stage, diabetes being a westernized medical epidemic only set to get worse.
“There was a study in Kenya, done by a two British scientists named Orr and Gilks. They studied people who lived in the plateau area of inner Kenya. They studied the K’Kuyu who farmed and ate a mostly vegetarian diet and relatively low protein diet, and they compared them to people nearby–the Maasai, the traditional herders who raised cattle and hunted. People looking through old copies of National Geographic have seen picture of the Maasai, many of whom were quite tall. Some of the males were 7 feet tall. Gilks and Orr literally measured all the people, literally measured them, with measuring tape. They measured their health status and dental status. They found the average Maasai male was six inches taller than a K’Kuyu male. And the average Maasai female was three or four inches taller than the average K’Kuyu female. And whereas the Masai males and females had most of their natural teeth, and the K’Kuyu by the time they were in the mid 20s and early 30s had lost something approaching half of their teeth.” – http://www.meandmydiabetes.com/2010/03/23/steve-phinney-on-pemmican-and-indigenous-diets-will-become-public-in-2-weeks/
Inuit’s tribes –
Inuits are known for their high fat diet and due to the conditions they live in rarely if ever eat fruits and vegetables. Despite this this “Scientists made one of the first associations between omega-3s and human health while studying the Inuit (Eskimo) people of Greenland in the 1970s. As a group, the Inuit suffered far less from certain diseases (coronary heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus, psoriasis) than their European counterparts. Yet their diet was very high in fat from eating whale, seal, and salmon. Eventually researchers realized that these foods were all rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which provided real disease-countering benefits.” You can read more about their diet and lack of chronic disease here – http://www.epa1.co.uk/Omega_3_and_a_Healthy_Heart.asp
I could go on and on and will do more examples of this in future blogs, but for now have a little think about fat, how humans have eaten fat for millions of years and maintained optimal health and how suddenly it is bad for us. The truth is fat is our friend but it has to be the right fats and well sourced too, we often demonize several food groups but never look at the quality of the food itself. Everything is relevant, especially with meat; the life the animal has lived, medication, animals diet, stress, quality of soil etc.
Lots of modern meat is bad for you and lots of fats are bad for you, but that does not mean all fats and meat are bad for you, quite the opposite they are in fact amongst the most nutrient dense products on the planet. Keep visiting the sites were i will continue to show you what, were and how you can source good quality foods.
Thanks for reading.