Category Archives: Fat

Compound Butter {Butter Gets Dressed Up}

 This blog is part of my contributions at Traditional Cooking School

Compound-Butter-Traditional-Cooking-School-GNOWFGLINSAs a young married couple without kids, we moved to a new city eight hours from home. There, we met Mr. and Mrs. Samuels at church.

We loved getting invitations to eat dinner at their house. Sam, retired from the Navy, had filled their home with beautiful things from around the world. Helen was a pearls-go-with-everything, warm and friendly lady who knew how to make her guests feel welcome.

But what I remember most about the first evening we spent with them was the butter. Read more…

Mythbusting Ideas About Fat and Cholesterol and Wellness Wednesday

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cholesterol collage titles

I’ve started reading Grain Brain by neurologist David Perlmutter. The focus of the book is brain health. Have you ever heard that there’s a connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease? This book shows you that connection as well as many other lifestyle causes of neurological disease and dementia.

Grain Brain also lays out just what lifestyle choices people are making that can lead to developing Alzheimer’s disease. These include living with chronic high blood sugar levels (those in the “high normal” range) even without diabetes, eating too many carbohydrates (especially refined ones), trying to eat a low fat and low cholesterol diet, and having an undiagnosed sensitivity to gluten. Dr. Perlmutter says up to 40% of all people can’t properly process gluten.

Even if you have a family history of brain disease and Alzheimer’s or dementia you can turn the train around. But he says you have to bust a few myths first. The biggest myths you have to wrap your head around? 1- a low-fat/high-carb diet is good and 2- cholesterol is bad. According to the results of the Framingham Heart Study report from 2005 “people who had the highest cholesterol levels scored higher on cognitive tests than those with lower levels. Evidently there is a protective factor when it comes to cholesterol and the brain.” What most people don’t realize is that cholesterol is a building block for cell membranes and a critical brain nutrient necessary to fuel your neurons.

For more great information on cholesterol you can also read Jimmy Moore’s recent book, Cholesterol Clarity. I reviewed that book here.

Do you avoid fat? What have you always heard about cholesterol? How hard is it going to be to change your habits? Leave us a comment with your thoughts, and then check out the other posts here at Wellness Wednesday.

Wellness Wednesday starts here

Number Two Immune Boosting Food – Wellness Wednesday

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It’s Wellness Wednesday – I’m sharing about another great food for boosting your entire immune system, then at the end there is a link for you to share your own wellness-related blog. Don’t forget to check out the other fine folks who’ve linked up here too!

Immune Boosters

Recently I gave you the Number One immune boosting food – you can read about it here. Today I’m revealing the food in the Number Two slot. This one also plays a powerful role in rebuilding and maintaining a healthy immune system. If you were surprised by #1 then this one may also surprise you. This list is from Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, M.D., is a neurologist, and creator of the GAPS diet, a successful nutritional protocol used in healing both physical and neurological disorders such as autism, auto-immune diseases and heart disease.

cold pressed oils collage

Immunity Booster #2: Cold pressed oils such as olive oil, fish oils, nut and seed oils

While fresh animal fats and cholesterol-rich foods are stellar when it comes to building strong cells and creating important stress-coping hormones, there are many other healthy fats that we should incorporate into our daily diet.

We’re all familiar with extra virgin olive oil, and many of you are also aware of the benefits of fish oils (especially cod liver oil). What you may not have heard about are which of the nut and seed oils truly are healthy, and which ones are toxic.

Just as with animal fats, the fats from plants are also mixtures of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated – there is no naturally occurring fat that is only one type.Coconut, palm kernel, and cocoa butter are all rich sources of plant-based saturated fats. Olive, avocado, almond, pecan, cashew and peanut all provide generous amounts of monounsaturated fats. Cold water fish oils like cod and salmon; along with flaxseed,  non-GMO soy, canola, corn and safflower are primarily polyunsaturated.

Just as with animal fats, the sources of plant fats are extremely important. Many seed oils come from genetically modified plants and carry with them the pesticide and herbicide residues as well as other questionable factors.  Nearly all soy, corn and canola in the U.S. is GMO.

Unlike animal fats, however, there are many methods of extracting fats and oils from plants. The extraction method chosen is extremely important – in fact, even if your plant source is 100% biodynamically-beyond-organic, but you extract the oil incorrectly you will have ruined it, made it toxic.  Care must be taken when extracting plant oils. If powerful chemical solvents are used to extract the oils then you can be sure the oils will retain the toxins from these chemicals. When high heat methods are used for extraction, especially on the fragile polyunsaturated oils, these oils are damaged and turn rancid.  This is why the #2 Immune Booster must come from cold pressed oils.

Any oil that is primarily polyunsaturated should be kept chilled and stored in a dark container to protect the fragile nature of this type of oil. If you find a polyunsaturated oil in a clear container sitting out on a grocery shelf just leave it there! It is already rancid and has no place in your body. It’s not an immunity booster – it’s just a big bust!

vegetable-oil-rancid-ola-toxic-label

So to summarize: Choose your plant-based oils from organic, cold-pressed sources. Read the labels for any expiration date. Keep polyunsaturated oils refrigerated and use them up before they expire. Never heat polyunsaturated oils, keep them for salad dressings or adding to smoothies. Coconut oil and olive oil can be kept at room temperature, but it is still important to keep olive oil in dark containers as the enzymes are light sensitive. Saturated and monounsaturated plant oils can be used for cooking, but save the higher heat applications for the mostly saturated ones.

Now it’s your turn! Share with us on Wellness Wednesday – here’s all the info…


The Number One Immune Booster – Wellness Wednesday

WW titleWelcome to Wellness Wednesday! Each week I will share an article or recipe as part of the Wellness Wednesday blog hop link-up, and at the end is a place for you to share with us too! Co-hosts for this blog hop include Never Lacking Zeal, Frugal G33k, The Wise Wife and Hudman Honey Farm.  So let’s go!

Immune Boosters

More and more people are hearing about the GAPS diet. GAPS (an acronym for Gut and Psychology Syndrome) is based on Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s ground-breaking book Gut And Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, ADD, Dyslexia, ADHD, Depression, Schizophrenia.

Along with priceless information about healing the digestive tract and restoring the gut microbiome she includes her Top Ten list of ways to boost your immune system.

Big Surprise!

Newcomers to the world of real, traditional food will probably be dumbfounded to read that the number one way to support a healthy immune system is with animal fat and cholesterol-rich foods. For over thirty years Americans have been brainwashed to believe fat is bad, fat makes you fat, fat clogs arteries, fat causes heart attacks. Except that it’s all been a big fat lie.

As you begin to absorb the information from Dr. Natasha’s book it begins to make sense how Americans have been in a downward health spiral for the last several decades. We’ve been mistakenly advised to eliminate the very foods that can keep us healthy. Because of this we have put a very heavy burden on our bodies: a burden to create new cells, regulate their growth, create hormones, create barriers to toxins that want to get in, fuel an immune system that needs to patrol for infections and disease - all of this without the proper tools, without the proper building materials. It’s like telling a brick layer to build a wall without using any bricks. You could build a wall with just mortar, but it will not be structurally sound and certainly won’t last as long as a wall built with mortar AND bricks.

#1. Fresh animal fats (from meats and dairy) and cholesterol-rich foods (particularly raw egg yolk)

Animal fats include tallow (beef or lamb fat), lard (pork fat), chicken or goose fat (sometimes called schmaltz), and duck fat; butter, cream and cheese from cows, goats and other dairy animals. Wild caught cold water fish such as salmon and cod also possess healthy fats such as cod liver oil, fish oil and roe.

Animal fats are not made up only of those wrongly demonized saturated fats, but, like all naturally occurring fats, each is a mixture of different percentages of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. Goose, duck & chicken fat, and lard have generous amounts of monounsaturated fats like those found in olives and avocados.

The health food world has discovered the many useful properties of coconut oil, a saturated fat, and yet they are unwilling to embrace beef or lamb tallow, lard or duck fat because they include saturated fat. Healthfully sourced animal fat is something to be desired in a healthy diet.

Healthy animals make healthy fat.

cows on pasture
Animals living outdoors in ways appropriate for their species, eating the food God created for them to eat, will yield beautiful, clean, healthy fat rich in vitamins and fat soluble activators.

Unhealthy sources of fat include fat from any animal living in confined animal feeding operations (CAFO) fed a steady diet of GMO grains, antibiotics and other inappropriate substances.

Healthy saturated fats provide structural integrity to our cells. Our immune system cells are not exception – all cells need saturated fats. Cholesterol, found in all animal fats, is the key component in several important body functions which include helping our skin manufacture vitamin D from sunshine exposure, and being used by the adrenals to make important hormones, including sex hormones and anti-inflammatory hormones. When we don’t eat cholesterol-rich foods our body must use up precious energy to manufacture it out of the carbohydrates in our diet, and then turn around and use the cholesterol to manufacture everything else. When our adrenal glands are already fatigued due to illness or stress this unnecessary step wears them out even more making us more prone to infections of all kinds.

Animal fats provide complete, fully formed and easily absorbable versions of the key fat soluble vitamins A, E, D and K. Pasture raised eggs, whole clean raw milk and cream, butter, cheese, grassfed beef liver and chicken liver, wild caught cold water fish and fish eggs are all great choices for immune-boosting fat soluble vitamins.

Even though labels may say carrots contain vitamin A, the truth is plant sources of these vitamins are not fully formed and require our bodies to use up energy, enzymes and and other reserves to complete the transformation into usable forms. Again, when our bodies are stressed this conversion is difficult and may not even happen at all. This is especially true for people with digestive disorders. This means no matter how many carrots you eat you just aren’t getting vitamin A – you need to eat foods with fully formed vitamin A to get what you need!

eggs1This blog is for informational purposes only. Some links may be monetized. Thank you for supporting Well Fed Family with your purchases.

Now it’s your turn. Share your number one wellness tip with us on the Wellness Wednesday link up!

 


Precious Memories

*Enjoy another blog from Amy as she shares memories from our childhood dinners.

There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh green beans cooking, especially in the summer when they are in season.  Aromas can dig deep into the mind revealing long buried memories making them just as fresh as if they were yesterday. And that is what happened as the savory scent of green beans cooking with onions and bacon filled the house tonight as Well Fed Family prepared dinner on the official Day 1 of Cousins Camp.  It’s a comforting, homey aroma that takes me back to the days when I was a little girl and my grandmother snapped beans on her back porch in West Virginia, and then cooked them for a family feast that night.

pork chop dinner cousins camp

family dinner

 

Grammy’s house had a back porch that wrapped around two sides and the back corner of the house with a portion enclosed for a laundry room and storage area.  The enclosed area was just off the kitchen, and always smelled like fresh produce.  I remember playing on her outside back porch with Lee and smelling the fresh, raw beans as our Grammy snapped and strung them.  Later the wonderful smell of the beans cooking permeated the downstairs.  We would come in for the family meal, then return to the yard where Lee and I ran around catching fireflies.  I remember how the grass felt as I ran barefoot through her yard, running back to the porch to show everyone the firefly I had just caught.  And now our children are growing up with their own special memories tied to the wonderful smell of fresh green beans simmering on the stove in summer.

 

We had a full day today that began with worship, followed by wave jumping in the boat and swimming off the dock.  As dinner cooked, the house was filled with the aroma of simmering green beans and the noise of bustling cousins horsing around.  When the meal was prepared and on the table, we sang the Doxology together before digging in.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Praise Him all creatures here below

Praise Him above ye heavenly host

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost

pork chop plate cousins camp

pork chops, green salad, sweet and white oven fries, and slow cooked green beans

Tonight’s menu included grilled pork chops and those fresh green beans from Randle Farms, homemade oven fries, and a fresh salad (the lettuce was from Malco’s, a Tennessee farm produce stand) with homemade vinaigrette (using fresh herbs from the backyard).  The chops were tender and savory, full of flavor.  As my 8 year old daughter hungrily ate all the crispy fat from the edge of her chop, we remembered the Mother Goose rhyme about Jack Sprat:

Jack Sprat could eat no fat

His wife could eat no lean;

And so betwixt the two of them

They licked the platter clean.

 We talked about how modern illustrations of that rhyme show Jack Sprat as skinny and his wife as plump, when the reality should be the opposite because we know that it’s too much lean protein that adds weight, not fat.  Eating fat doesn’t make you fat.  Interestingly, the name “Jack Sprat” may have been used to describe people of smaller stature several hundred years ago; not far off base since robust health is tied to the important fat-soluble vitamins that aren’t well metabolized when you eat only lean.

storm cousins camp

storm rolling in over Lake Martin 

Just as dinner was winding down, the weather radio alerted us to a severe thunderstorm headed our way.  Everyone jumped up to check their weather apps, grab the swimsuits drying on the deck, and make sure everything on the dock was tied down tight.  Then we stood on the porch and watched the sky turn from the beginnings of a beautiful sunset to dark, angry clouds pulsating with lightning.  Once the wind picked up and the lightning intensified, we came inside for dessert: homemade ice cream, Nourishing Traditions-style.  While we ate we planned out our activities for the week and had fun taking silly panorama pictures with our phones.  The evening wound down with a game of Clue (the very one that Lee and I played when we were girls) while Lee and I worked on Well Fed Family stuff.

clue cousins camp

Professor Plum in the conservatory with the rope?

 

Fresh green beans with sliced onion, salt and pepper, and a dollop of bacon grease – set for a slow, lengthy simmer.  There’s a lot tied in to a pot of beans. It’s real food for a real family that creates real memories for all generations.

 

For we are the aroma of Christ to God

among those who are being saved

 and among those who are perishing.

2 Corinthians 2:15

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Sacred Fat

This blog post is a product of a lot of studying and thinking for a long period of time. Amy and I have talked extensively about it, she’s texted, emailed and phoned me back with random thoughts, Bible verses and other ideas as they’ve occurred. I’d like to write something more detailed eventually, but I think it’s important to write something now.

caravaggio sacrifice of Isaac

Caravaggio Sacrifice of Isaac

Ok, it started with the word Sacrifice.  Defined as the act of offering to God something precious; or the item itself that is being offered; it is also the surrender of something for the sake of something else – something given up or lost.  So something is only a sacrifice when it is meaningful, when there is hardship involved, and when we do it for a greater purpose.  It is important to get that definition of sacrifice in your head, let it sink in.  It’s not really a sacrifice unless what is being given up is something precious.

It is this misunderstanding of sacrifice that I did not fully comprehend and therefore I was able to have this disconnected view of scripture vs. what I personally was doing and what I believed.  Growing up in the 70s and 80s I remember the legendary Time Magazine cover with the eggs-and-bacon frowning face, I memorized the food pyramid with the “fats and oils sparingly” near the top. I bought things because they were fat-free, I tried to drink skim milk (and decided that no milk was better than skim milk – gag!).

Not fully getting the depth of what a sacrifice actually is made it so hard for me when I would read from Exodus or Leviticus about all of the sacrifices required from the Israelites.  Like this one from Exodus 29 “take from this ram the fat, the fat tail, the fat on the internal organs, the long lobe of the liver, both kidneys with the fat on them, and the right thigh…it is the ram for the ordination…burn it up…it must not be eaten, it is sacred.”  Or this one from Leviticus 3 “from the fellowship offering you are to bring a food offering to the Lord: its fat, the entire fat tail cut off close to the backbone, the internal organs and all the fat that is connected to them, both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the long lobe of the liver, which you will remove with the kidneys.”

I mean really, why is there such detail? And why specifically those parts? I remember reading those passages years ago and thinking God wanted all the gross stuff and he left all the normal bits for the Israelites, He’s such a benevolent Lord letting them keep the steaks and the chops while he took the fat and the liver.  But if that were true, it wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice now would it?

butter and sliceIt took me a long time to get it, and it wasn’t until I read about Dr. Price’s villagers in his book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, and about how many of those cultures had sacred foods, that these thoughts began to take shape.  I read about the Swiss villagers in the Loetschental Valley who filled a bowl with the deep orange-yellow butter made from the cream of the cows eating the fresh, green grass of spring. They would place a candle wick in this bowl of vitamin-rich butter, light the wick and place it in a sanctuary specially built just to honor God for giving them this precious food that gave life and health to their village. Native American Indians in northern British Columbia would hunt moose, and after killing one the very first thing they would do would be to open it up, and in the back of the moose just above the kidney would be two balls surrounded by fat. They would remove these and cut them up into as many pieces as there were people in their family and each person, child and adult, would eat his piece. These two fatty bits were the adrenal glands of the moose which we now know are the richest source of vitamin C in all animal or plant tissues.  Natives living on islands near the Great Barrier Reef would purposefully attract sharks and then dive in after them armed with pointed sticks, to slip coconut fiber ropes over the sharks’ heads and pull them to shore because sharks livers were a vital part of the foods they needed to stay healthy.

Learning about all of these people all around the world who put forth so much effort just to have certain foods I began to understand something. All of these highly-valued foods were similar to the very items called for in the sacrifices of the Israelites that I was having such a hard time understanding.

Unger’s Bible Dictionary tells of a breed of sheep raised during Bible times in the Middle East bred to have a particularly luscious and fatty tail. This tail and its rich fat were forbidden to be eaten if the animal was part of a sacrifice offered to God. Also forbidden to be eaten was the fat from around the stomach, entrails and kidneys – all of the richest parts from which we would use nowadays to make high quality tallow. Unger’s goes on to explain that the fat was the richest part of the animal and stood for healthfulness and vigor.

In my past readings of scriptures about sacrificial laws I was approaching it with a modern worldview brainwashed by the government agencies dictating diet advice that condemned fat as bad, said organ meats were dangerous, and told us to eat lean meats instead.  I should have trusted God instead of buying those lies. Isaiah 55 says “Listen, listen to me and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare….For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Because of Dr. Price’s writings, and because of the work of Sally Fallon Morell in Nourishing Traditions, I understand that organ meats are superfoods full of vitamins crucial to health; I know that the fats from grazing free-range animals are rich in vitamins that work as activators for the minerals and other nutrients we eat. I’ve learned these fat-soluble activators are essential to maintaining fertility, growth and health in all humans. And now I understand that God was truly asking for a sacrifice, something that would have been a real hardship to nomadic people whose very life depended on the animals they herded. God commanded them to give to Him the most valuable parts of the very best animals they owned.  The Bible, especially the Old Testament, is filled with expressions using fat to represent something wonderful – “the fat of the earth”, “the fat of the wheat, of the oil, and the wine,” even “the fat of the mighty”.

burnt-offeringNot only were the Israelites called to sacrifice these choicest of parts, but then they would burn the fat on the altar with fire.  Just imagine the aromas that would release – the Bible calls it a “sweet savor unto the Lord”, but anyone who has smelled grilling hamburgers, steaks, or even better, pit barbecue, can attest to the mouthwatering scents that fill the air around those events.  The sacrifices of precious fat and organ meats given over to God on the fire of the altar were the way man could show his complete surrender to God, to show his heart was pure and ready to be obedient. And when a different animal was slaughtered destined to become food rather than sacrificed, the fat, organ meats and choicest bits would be even more appreciated knowing that they were good enough to be given to the Lord.

There’s so much more to say, more directions to go with these thoughts – how did we end up on the road to thinking fat was bad? Why did we think we could improve on fat by making trans fats, fake fats and industrial fats? When we are poor stewards of God’s creatures feeding them foods they were not created to eat, making them live in ways they were not meant to live why are we shocked to learn their fat (and meat) no longer provides what we need?  But I need to stop now. I’m very interested to hear your thoughts, to find out if this has sparked an “aha!” moment for you, too, like it did for me. Please leave a comment by clicking on the “leave a reply” link next to this article!

I’m linking this up with the Easter Sunday Social.

Sunday Social Blog Hop

Sunday Social Blog Hop

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Fresh Lemon Butter Sauce

lemon butter sauce

drizzle fresh lemon butter sauce over baked fish or chicken

The brightness of lemon meets the velvety smoothness of butter; only four nourishing ingredients make this a simple sauce that comes together in just minutes, ready to drizzle over baked fish, steamed new potatoes, braised kale or anywhere you need the perfect finishing touch.  Not just tasty, but able to offer all the good things in butter plus the nutrition of bone broth along with trace minerals in real sea salt, this sauce helps you feel satisfied.

Fresh Lemon Butter Sauce
 
Author:
Recipe type: sauce
 
The brightness of lemon meets the velvety smoothness of butter in a nourishing sauce.
Ingredients
  • 3 Tblsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 5 Tblsp homemade bone broth
  • 8 Tblsp butter (preferably from grassfed cows)
  • generous pinch of sea salt (we like Celtic or Himalayan)
Instructions
  1. When the rest of the meal is just about ready heat a skillet on medium heat.
  2. Add the lemon juice and bone broth to the skillet along with the generous pinch of sea salt and heat until it begins to simmer.
  3. One tablespoon at a time, whisk in the butter allowing it to melt fully as you continue to whisk until each tablespoon is incorporated.
  4. Taste the sauce once all the butter has been whisked completely into the liquid and adjust adding more salt or lemon juice if needed.

What kind of bone broth should you use? Use whatever you have, but consider the flavors of what you are putting the sauce one – use chicken broth on vegetables, fish, poultry or pork; use beef broth for steaks.

lemon and kerrygold

 

 

 

 

 

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Chocolate Illustrated

history of chocolate tourYesterday I took my kids on a fun first-week-back-to-homeschool field trip. We went with a bunch of friends to Chocolate Kingdom. Yes, there is such a place.  We live in Central Florida – there’s a theme park for pretty much anything.

Chocolate Kingdom had a lot of education interwoven with the fun and games, so we learned a lot about chocolate and its history.  For most of the tour I just enjoyed listening to the docent, watching the kids interact, and trying all the little tastes of various kinds of chocolate along the way. In the last room, however, my hidden teacher sprang into action. Lined up along the front of the counter where the custom chocolate bars were made sat this great visual aide! Layered like sand art in tall cork-stoppered bottles was an explanation of just what it means to have dark, milk or white chocolate. And also what the various percentages mean with dark chocolate. Take a look….

dark chocolate properties dark chocolates properties milk chocolate properties white chocolate

The top left jar labeled 100% dark chocolate is simply cocoa powder and cocoa butter. This is what you get when you buy unsweetened chocolate for baking.  This one has the highest content of antioxidants and good tropical fats. Next, in the top right photo, you see two more kinds of dark chocolate.  72% and 58% are their labels. The only additional ingredient is sugar. This is what you get when you buy semi-sweet chocolate. But as you can see when the percentage of chocolate goes down it is the percentage of sugar that goes up. You can feel pretty virtuous and still enjoy the 72% dark. It still has 36% cocoa powder and 36% cocoa butter to get that 72% rating. With the 58% however, you are now almost half and half chocolate and sugar. By the time you get to the milk chocolate 62% of it is not chocolate. One surprising thing to note is the milk chocolate has less actual sugar than the 58% dark. Finally the white chocolate is 69% sugar, no cocoa powder and just 31% cocoa butter. Many chocolate purists say white chocolate ISN’T chocolate. The folks at Chocolate Kingdom say it is since it contains cocoa butter. But they give a big thumbs down to the fake white chocolate made with hydrogenated oils instead of cocoa butter agreeing it is nothing like chocolate when it’s made that way.

So, bottom line is if you’re looking to justify that chocolate bar be sure to reach for the 72% dark ormajor chocolate producing countries higher so you can avoid as much added sugar as possible. And be sure, as always, to read the labels and always avoid anything with hydrogenated fats of any kind. Lastly, although very little was said about it during our tour, please try to choose fair trade certified chocolate whenever possible. There is a lot of horrible stuff still going on in the bu$ine$$ of chocolate, and fair trade certification helps to reduce the likelihood of people being taken advantage of.

major chocolate producing countries->

A Brief History of Fat-Free Dieting (series part two)

This is part two of a series looking at overall health in relation to healthy weight.

Part One looked at how a body in balance, or homeostasis, is more likely to be a body able to tolerate stress, recover from illness, and maintain a healthy weight. We know entire communities of healthy, balanced people have existed in the recent past and may still exist today. The question remains – why are so many of us still so unhealthy?

Let’s again look at some history. These examples are discussed in Gary Taubes book Good Calories, Bad Calories:

In 1882 at the University of Göttingen in Germany, a professor of medicine, Wilhelm Ebstein, wrote a paper titled “Obesity and Its Treatment”.  Professor Ebstein had a famous patient, Prince Otto otto von bismarckvon Bismark, who was able to lose 60lbs. in less than a year. Prince Otto followed Professor Ebstein’s diet which banned sugar, sweets and potatoes and limited bread. The diet allowed green vegetables and meat of every kind. Professor Ebstein particularly insisted that fatty foods were crucial to weight loss because they increased satisfaction with meals and decreased fatty tissue accumulation in the dieter. Remember, this was still long enough ago that all meats and vegetables were still what we would today classify as “organic”. It was also still early enough in modern history that industrialized vegetable oils had not become mainstream.

In 1951 Dr. Raymond Greene and six other British doctors published a book titled The Practice of Endocrinology. In their book they outlined a diet remarkably similar to the one Dr. Atkins would publish 20 years later. Dr. Greene and colleagues encouraged their patients to eat meat, fish, poultry, all green vegetables, eggs, cheese and fruits with the exception of bananas and grapes. They advised avoiding anything made with flour, breakfast cereals, potatoes and other white root vegetables, all sweets and foods containing a lot of sugar.

hilde bruch obesity expert

 

In 1957 a German-born American specialist on eating disorders, Dr. Hilde Bruch, wrote the following quote: “The great progress in dietary control of obesity was the recognition that meat was not fat-producing, but that it was the ‘innocent foodstufs’, such as bread and sweets, which lead to obesity.”

 

In the 1960s and 1970s clinical trials were being conducted in Sweden, England, France and the United States studying carbohydrate-restricting diets. These diets were shown to be extremely effective at producing weight loss.

In the 1980s it suddenly became popular to avoid fat and anything containing fat. Entire cookbooksfood pyramid fda and television shows were produced centering on this low-fat craze. Bread, potatoes and pasta became the main dish, the darling of the diet world, while meat, especially red meat, became the villain. Even with more than 100 years of study and success using low carbohydrate diets, suddenly the AMA labeled these diets as “fads”.  Fat suddenly became the cause of heart disease.

Something that Mr. Taubes doesn’t mention that I personally feel is significant is that during the 1970s and 80s the CAFO, concentrated animal feeding operation, became the norm for beef and pork production rather than the historically traditional and biologically normal pasture or free-range method. It is in the CAFO that the meat we eat gets fattened up as efficiently as possible and as quickly as possible. What is the feed that gets meat animals fat quickly? Grain, corn and soy, the very same foods the experts were telling us to eat in order to get thin.

In the 1900s obesity rates in America were very low, less than 1%.  By 1960 they had risen to around 12%. This rate stayed fairly steady up to about 1980 when it began rising. By 2010 obesity rates had skyrocketed to 35%.  Gary Taubes notes “this parallels the years when we were told to stop eating fat and start eating more breads and grains.”

The federal government, the food industry and many physicians and other public health experts took some studies from the 1940s showing a correlation between a high-fat diet and high cholesterol levels that concluded high-risk heart patients should lower their fat intake and decided that the general population should go ahead and do the same. (Remember, blogger Denise Minger’s favorite mantra “correlation does not prove causation”). These experts assumed that if we ate less fat our weights would go down. They thought this because fats contained densely packed calories. What they did not take into consideration was that the composition of the calorie is far more important than the calorie itself. Instead of weight going down the opposite happened. Weights went up, portion sizes went up (because this new way of eating still left us hungry unlike the fattier foods of old), and the actual amount of food eaten also went up since what we were eating was no longer nourishing us very well and we kept craving more. Foods that are lower in fat are naturally higher in carbohydrates. People ate more because without the fat there was no satiety – our bodies didn’t register “full” as easily.

fat free half and halfThe end result is that now everyone just assumes that fat is bad. More and more fat-free foods became available as the food industry leaped to the forefront to “rescue” us from evil fatty foods. Now we have fat-free ice cream, fat-free cookies, fat-free yogurt, we even have fat-free half & half! (How is this possible? I thought the definition of half & half was half cream half milk!) Still obesity rates have gone up and up while the media and public health experts are accusing us of being lazy and cheating!

This makes me furious! Can you tell me one single person who WANTS to be obese?! Often times it is these people accused of being lazy and cheating who are working the hardest to get thin! They literally starve themselves on diets and liquid-fasts of 700 or fewer calories per day and yet they still gain weight!

What are we doing wrong?   ………to be continued………..Part Three is here.

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Some Thoughts on Weight Loss

WeighYourself

This post is part of Wellness Wednesday Link-Up at Nourishing Treasures.

I have written a more in-depth series of articles on weight loss beginning here, but for the moment I want to get some of these thoughts out there and get you pondering about this topic.  Weight loss is a topic familiar to nearly everyone.  With an estimate as high as 70% of America falling into the overweight category, the diet industry has been booming and everyone seems to have a weight loss system that promises to melt pounds and inches while you sleep. The truth is conventional diets don’t work. You need to change your lifestyle permanently to incorporate the healthy eating habits that will result in not only weight loss but health gain.

Years of misinformation from well-meaning sources like the Food Pyramid have led us to believe that we are only able to lose weight if we stop eating fat. While it is true that gram for gram fats have more calories than carbohydrates, eating healthy natural fats actually helps you lose weight for many reasons, including the fact that they satisfy your hunger four or five times better than carbohydrates allowing you to feel full and content, not wanting more.

Cutting out processed carbohydrates such as chips, pretzels, M&Ms, candy, soft drinks, white bread and packaged cookies is a good place to start. These kinds of carbohydrates have nothing to offer nutrition-wise, and actually drain your body of precious nutrient reserves just to get them digested. Replace the empty carbs with vibrantly colored vegetables and fruits that are full of anti-oxident polyphenols, vitamins and minerals.  Consume this rainbow of healthy carbohydrates with plenty of butter from grassfed cows, unrefined coconut oil, lard from pasture-raised pigs, fresh avocados, fresh eggs, clean raw milk and raw cheese.  These are foods that nourish us and give our bodies energy to carry on vital processes. Along with the colorful carbohydrates and healthy fats you must eat sufficient protein to support your body’s needed repairs, fuel your adrenals and immune system, build muscle and many other projects. Meats from pasture-raised animals, wild caught fish and game have a place in a healthy lifestyle giving you the amino acids you need for good mental and physical health.

One question I hear all the time is, “How can I possibly eat all of that fat without gaining weight?” What they are not understanding is that all calories are not created equal. When you feed your body enough calories made from the right kinds of nutrients then, over time, you will find your metabolism picks up, you begin to have more energy, you aren’t sick all the time, and you will slowly lose the excess stored fat until you get to the balance point where your body should be in order to be healthy. It does not happen at once, it does not happen quickly, but it does happen. The end result is a healthier body. The lost weight is just a bonus.

You can read a 7-part series looking in-depth at issues surrounding weight loss and true health beginning with this article.