Healthy quantities of healthy fat don’t make you fat! Sugar makes you fat!
Fats have been demonized in dietary circles over the past couple of decades or so. For some time, many in the medical establishment thought of all fat as bad fat. The public was told: “If you eat fat you’ll get fat.” This way of thinking came to a head in the early 1980s, when the fat-free craze took off. The food industry saw a lucrative opportunity and started to exploit it, selling everything from fat-free cheese to fat-free cookies. People gobbled these foods up in abundance, but to their amazement, they didn’t lose weight. In fact, they got fatter.
How could that be?
The food industry’s dirty little fat-free secret is that when manufacturers remove fat, they put in its place huge amounts of sugar, salt, and fake food fillers—that was the only way to make fat-free food palatable. The irony is that when compared to full-fat versions, fat-free food often has up to 30 percent more calories, as well as more sugar, more salt, and an ingredient list that requires a biochemistry degree to decipher. Americans thought that by buying fat-free foods they were making healthier choices, when in fact they were getting lower-quality food that was even less healthy than the full-fat original.
That dirty little secret has become America’s extra-large dirty laundry! It’s no coincidence that obesity rates have skyrocketed since the 1980s. According to data from the Center for Disease Control, about 15 percent of Americans were obese in the early1980s; by the early 2000s the rate more than doubled, to 32 percent! And it’s estimated that at this rate, 42 percent of Americans could be obese by the year 2030. The fat-free movement was one of the worst things to happen to the health and waistlines of this country.
Healthy quantities of healthy fat don’t make you fat. They are necessary for heart health, brain health, excellent overall health, and even weight loss. Indiscriminately cutting fats from your diet can dangerously alter your intake of essential fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fats are called essential for a reason—our bodies need them, and the only way to get them is through foods or supplements. The fat-free craze caused a drop in fatty acid intake that resulted in a dramatic increase in heart disease, as well as a devastating rise in the number of athletes who died of sudden cardiac death. By making a conscious effort to eat only fat-free foods, people cut back on the consumption of fatty fish like salmon, nuts and seeds, avocados, and other foods that are naturally high in these disease-fighting, essential fatty acids.
While it’s important to avoid fried fats, trans fats, and some saturated fats, cutting way back on healthy fats is harmful, because your body needs them for many crucial biological functions.
Separating good from bad
The Omni Diet and The Brain Warrior’s Way make careful distinctions when it comes to fat. It includes optimal amounts of healthy fats from fish, nuts, seeds, and avocados, while reducing or eliminating suboptimal or harmful fats (especially industrially raised animal fat, trans fats, and omega-6 fats). Human beings are biologically hardwired to seek fatty foods when they are available—a drive that helped us survive during times of famine, but is making us sick and killing us in a fast-food, fried-fat society . That’s why it’s important to make the distinction between fats that serve you and fats that could harm your health. By eating an abundance of foods that truly are healthy for your body, you crowd out the junk and make it easier to break the addictions fueled by food designers.
The Omni Diet and The Brain Warrior’s Way honor our omnivorous nature and encourages you to include animal food in your diet, and I urge you to eat naturally raised meat only from organic, grass-fed, hormone-free, antibiotic-free animals.
Wild fish, such as salmon, mahimahi, albacore, shrimp, trout, and tilapia are an excellent source of nutrition. Seafood is one of my favorite sources of protein. Due to environmental hazards in our world today, for safest seafood consumption I recommend checking SeafoodWatch.org prior to purchasing. They constantly update their site with the latest information regarding safe seafood purchasing.
I also like eggs (if you don’t have food sensitivities – it’s not a bad idea to have a food sensitivity test done) because they are protein-rich, easy to prepare, and easy to pack for on-the-go eating. Be sure to choose cage-free, organic, DHA-enriched eggs from vegetarian-fed chickens.