Separating Fat from Fiction

Posted 02.22.2016

Last month, I wrote a post about how reducing the amount of sugar in your diet can dramatically improve the quality of your life. Today, I want to share a follow-up post about what you should eat instead of sugar.

book-eatfatgetthinYou may be surprised to learn that the answer is fat. As Dr. Mark Hyman, director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, explains in his new book, Eat Fat, Get Thin, eating the right kinds of fats can have a big positive impact on your health and well-being. Because the right kinds of fat also have positive impacts on your cognitive capacity, they can also improve your professional performance.

I didn’t have the opportunity to interview Dr. Hyman personally about his latest work but he’s provided some interesting information that I want to share with you. Here, in his own words, are five of his “fat facts” that you should know:

“Saturated fat is not your enemy. A review of all the research on saturated fat published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no correlation between saturated fat and heart disease. As with all fats, quality becomes key here. The fats in a fast-food bacon feedlot cheeseburger will have an entirely different effect than saturated fat in coconut oil.

Some fats are unhealthy. They include trans fat and inflammatory vegetable oils. Unfortunately, these fats have increased in our diet as they make us fatter and contribute to inflammation, which plays a role in nearly every chronic disease on the planet.

Everyone benefits from more omega 3s. About 99 percent of Americans are deficient in these critical fats. Ideal ways to get them include eating wild or sustainably raised cold-water fish (at least two servings weekly), buying omega-3 rich eggs, and taking a daily omega-3 supplement.

Eating fat can make you lean. Healthy cell walls made from high-quality fats are better able to metabolize insulin, which keeps blood sugar better regulated. Without proper blood sugar control, the body socks away fat for a rainy day. The right fats also increase fat burning, cut your hunger, and reduce fat storage. Eating the right fats makes you lose weight, while eating excess sugar and the WRONG types of fat make you fat.

Your brain is about 60 percent fat. Of that percentage, the biggest portion comes from the omega-3 fat called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Your brain needs DHA to spark communication between cells. Easy access to high-quality fat boosts cognition, happiness, learning, and memory. In contrast, studies link a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.”

If that’s got your attention and you want to learn more about how to eat to perform better while living a longer and happier life, check out this video from Dr. Hyman for more info from Eat Fat, Get Thin.