Yep, you read it right, “Eat more fat”. Of course I'm not talking about just any kind of fat, I'm talking traditional fats – coconut oil, butter, rendered poultry fat, lard, tallow, olive oil, sesame oil, and flaxseed oil. I just finished reading “Eat Fat, Lose Fat”, which completely blows the lipid hypothesis and all the other low-fat dogma out of the water. It's been a trick finding good quality fats (did you know those blocks of lard in the store are normally hydrogenated?), but I think I am finally pretty well set. (I do still need to render the grassfed beef tallow.)
Follow this closely with “eat fewer carbohydrates, especially processed carbohydrates and sugar”. This is the really tough part, as most of us know. I was raised eating processed cereal for breakfast with a spoonful of sugar on top (not always, but generally on weekdays when I was in a hurry for the bus). Ever since I read about the cornflake experiment in Nourishing Traditions, I haven't looked at cereal the same way.
What's the cornflake experiment? From Nourished Magazine:
Another unpublished experiment was carried out in the 1960s. Researchers at Ann Arbor University were given 18 laboratory rats. They were divided into three groups: one group received corn flakes and water; a second group was given the cardboard box that the corn flakes came in and water; the control group received rat chow and water. The rats in the control group remained in good health throughout the experiment. The rats eating the box became lethargic and eventually died of malnutrition. But the rats receiving the corn flakes and water died before the rats that were eating the box! (The last corn flake rat died the day the first box rat died.) But before death, the corn flake rats developed schizophrenic behavior, threw fits, bit each other and finally went into convulsions. The startling conclusion of this study is that there was more nourishment in the box than there was in the corn flakes.
That is just wrong! But if you read Paul Stitt's Beating the Food Giants, it won't come as a surprise. Still, those cereals and snacks can be so tasty…
Number three – read even more labels! There are any number of foods that we eat or have eaten that are “supposed to be healthy”, which, upon reading the labels, turn out to be pretty darn awful. Most processed foods are full of genetically modified corn and soy and a lab full of preservatives.
Case in point: Yoplait Thick & Creamy Key Lime yogurt
Yogurt should be good for you, no? Check out the label on this beast:
- Cultured pasteurized grade A reduced fat milk (because we are told fat is evil)
- sugar (didn't really buy it for the sugar)
- nonfat milk (because skim milk is thin – this stuff has oxidized cholesterol, which is really bad for you)
- high fructose corn syrup (undoubtedly a GMO product, and kills your liver like alcohol)
- modified corn starch (more GMOs)
- kosher gelatin (does it really matter at this point if it's kosher with the other ingredients?)
- tricalcium phosphate (for calcium? also used to mask bitter tastes)
- citric acid (to make tart, because of all the sugar?)
- natural flavors (???)
- vitamin A acetate (supplement)
- yellow #5 (banned in other countries)
- Blue #1 (also possibly carcinogenic)
- Vitamin D3 (well, heck, now I know it's healthy)
No wonder this doesn't fill you up and has a strange chalky texture. I realize it's supposed to be low fat, but you really can't can have “rich and creamy” without some cream, at least not as far as I'm concerned.
Right now, I'm buying a few more things for the pantry, but we're also getting rid of things I don't intend to use anymore. Next week, I'll try some more new recipes, like coconut crackers (from Eat Fat, Lose Fat). I may even try caviar again (it's been around 20 years, so maybe it'll taste better to me now).
I hope you all have a bountiful and healthy new year.
Peaceful Acres has a great follow up to this post – Lard, the Evil Fat? that you may also want to check out.
Update: 4/22/11 – It's over a year later, and I've lost close to 20 pounds since I started tweaking my diet. Bring on the fat!
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