You’ve been lied to.
How many times were you told as a kid or probably up to this day to avoid fatty foods because it’s gonna make you fat, raise your cholesterol, and give you a heart attack?
This is almost a foregone conclusion, right?
Fatty and oily foods are bad for you. You have to avoid it at all cost. And we’ve never really questioned it. But is it really true? Does fat make you fat? Or have we been given the wrong information all this time? Find out in this video.
The conventional wisdom when it comes to fat
Raise your hand even though I can’t see it, if you have skim milk, margarine, egg whites, fat free yogurt, lean ground beef, skinless chicken breast, or any low fat food sitting in your fridge or pantry right now.
I gotta be honest with you, I used to believe that fat was bad for you for the longest time. So I avoided it like the plague. I avoided eating chicken skin or pork skin or I would cut out the fat from my steak even though it was the tastiest part. I ate egg white omelettes. How many of you reading this eat egg omelettes?
I used to put skim milk in my cereal, I only ate chicken breast, the list goes on. I did it because I wanted to lose weight. The problem is, it didn’t really work. At least not for a sustainable amount of time. I would lose a little bit of weight, but I was always tired and hungry. I would always end up putting the weight back on. Sound familiar?
So, why do we believe that fat, especially animal fats, and cholesterol are bad for us? Why do we believe they make us fat and cause heart disease? The history of why we came to believe this is actually a wild story. So let’s talk about that just so you know how the idea of fat being bad for you and how it became demonized was actually born and then we’ll talk about some shocking numbers.
How fat became demonized
Starting in 1961, the AHA or American Heart Association said don’t eat fat and cholesterol to avoid a heart attack. And that was based on at the time really, really, weak evidence. It was based on an observational study that just shows association and not causation.
I’m gonna give you an example of how weak an observational study is. Let’s use Facebook for example. It came out in 2004 and it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. Let’s just say that teen pregnancy in the US skyrocketed during that year as well. I don’t know for sure but let’s just use that as an example. An observational study then could say that facebook might cause teen pregnancy. It may or may not. But you can’t know for sure.
You can only establish association, but not causation.
That’s how weak the evidence was against fat back in 1960. They could only establish association but not causation.
And it was a scientist named Ancel Keys that came up with this idea that it was fat, specifically saturated fat and cholesterol that caused heart disease. He fell in love with the idea that fat was bad for you based on weak science, he picked and chose his evidence that’s now been proven to be just wrong. But that’s when that whole hypothesis was born, it’s been enshrined as policy ever since, and it’s led to enormous unintended consequences.
The federal government gets on board in 1980 and that’s the start of the first American Dietary Guideline. Remember the food pyramid? The entire western hemisphere tags along and we all started avoiding fat and cholesterol. Everybody gets on board and starts following a low fat, high carb diet that’s supposedly heart healthy. So far so good, right? Not really.
And the other argument why fat makes you fat is because fat is calorically denser. Right? It has more calories per gram versus protein and carbs which has four calories each versus nine. And common sense suggested that to keep people thin was just to keep calories down just by reducing fat. Without accounting for the physiologic response of those macronutrients to your body.
The rise of the low fat diet (and obesity)
So now we’re all on the low fat diet and we’re avoiding fat and cholesterol like the plague.
And every doctor and health professional on the front line, every dietician, nutritionist, your dog, is pushing this low fat diet. All sorts of low fat foods appeared in the supermarkets. Fat free yogurt, egg whites, margarine, we start eating more skinless chicken breast instead of chicken thighs, everyone is eating extra lean ground beef. We started buying leaner cuts of steak.
Everything goes low fat. And people changed dramatically the way they eat. We started eating more carbs. And this makes sense because if you eat low fat, then you have to replace that with something else so you automatically start eating more carbs. Carbs got the heart healthy label that you see on your cereal box. So we have this huge change in how we ate.
And 1980 is the beginning of the first dietary guidelines for Americans, everyone followed it, they started eating more bread and pasta and it’s also the beginning of the obesity epidemic in North America.
The calories in vs calories out myth
But what actually causes people to get fat? Most of us think it’s eating fat and overeating. Right? And this has been drilled in our heads for decades now. So if we just cut the fat and eat a little less and move a little more, like exercise, then we’re gonna lose weight.
At least that’s what’s supposed to happen. And that’s how the eat less move more movement came to life. It’s the calories in vs calories out model of weight loss.
Here’s the problem with that model. When you try to restrict calories, so reduce the calories in part of the equation, and the lowest hanging fruit there is to just cut out fat again because it’s calorically dense, and exercise more, so increase the calories out, your body is hard wired to adjust to this change so it can survive.
So your body adapts and slows down your metabolism to compensate for this lack of energy coming in. And we just make this erroneous assumption that the calories out part of the equation always stays stable.
But it doesn’t. It can actually go up or down by 40%.
So in this case, if you restrict your calories, you’re on a low fat diet, your metabolism goes down. Your body starts to conserve energy because there’s not a lot coming in. So you feel hungry, you’re cold, and you’re tired all the time.
Restricting your calories and going on a low fat diet works at the beginning by the way. Any diet that restricts calories will work for a short amount of time. But again, your body adjusts to it by slowing down your metabolism.
You can walk around hungry and tired for a bit but not forever. I mean who wants to feel tired and hungry all the time anyway? And what happens when you get sick of eating less and start eating more food? That’s right. You’re gonna start putting all that weight back on.
That’s why calorie restricted diets have a 99% failure rate.
The Women’s Health Initiative Study
And nothing illustrates this more than the women’s health initiative study, a randomized control trial, which by the way is the best type of experiment and research. The government spent billions of dollars on this study. They followed almost fifty thousand women over seven and a half years.
One group followed a low fat, low calorie diet high in carbs, fruits, and vegetables. It’s the diet that we’re all told that we need to follow. It’s the standard American diet. This same group of women also increased the amount of exercise that they did. So they ate less and moved more. Literally the perfect combination that’s expected to keep you healthy and make you lose weight.
A completely separate group called, the control group just followed their normal diet. The expected weight loss for the low fat diet group was 36 pounds per year, or if you extrapolate that, 252 pounds over seven years. The control group wasn’t expected to see any weight loss because they just ate their normal diet.
The results were well, not as expected. The low fat diet was supposed to produce amazing results, right? Well, after seven years, the actual difference in weight loss between the two groups was less than two pounds! I know some people who can lose two pounds after going to the bathroom. Imagine dieting for 7 years and only losing two pounds.
The low fat, low calorie group’s average waist size actually increased in this process which means that they lost muscle mass and gained weight instead! The low fat, low calorie group who exercised more for seven years actually ended up fatter than ever.
The answer: The high fat, low carb diet
And this shouldn’t be news to you if you’ve been following a low fat diet all this time, right? We’re eating less fat but we’re fatter than ever. Now let’s look at the other side of the coin for a second. We’re talking about the high fat, low carb diet. The exact opposite of what we’ve been told to eat.
Well, there are now hundreds of randomized controlled clinical trials on high fat, low carb diets and they consistently show that it not only helps people lose weight but it’s also the best diet to control people’s diabetes, and it improves most of the risk factors for heart disease.
The government actually did a randomized controlled clinical trial called The Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial, and they gave people saturated fat and cholesterol. They did this on tens of thousands of people and they tested to see if giving the people who ate fat and cholesterol would get fat, then get a heart attack or die faster. And none of those clinical trials could show that the people who ate more saturated fat and cholesterol died at any higher rates of heart disease.
Fat and cholesterol are NOT the enemy
In fact there’s a study where the more people lowered their cholesterol, the more they were likely to die of heart disease. But what happens when a study produces results like this? It gets ignored. Because it goes against the grain. It goes against conventional wisdom.
The government is so invested in this low fat hypothesis that they basically don’t wanna back track from it. They can’t. When was the last time the government admitted that they were wrong anyway?
Think about all the food companies making low fat food, all the grain producers, all the multi billion dollar pharmaceutical companies selling cholesterol lowering drugs, every dietician, doctor, and nutritionist advising their patients to eat low fat. Backtracking from the low fat hypothesis would have enormous financial consequences. Long story short, they got it wrong and they don’t wanna admit it. So they keep repeating the same old advice even though it doesn’t work and it’s making people fat and sick.
Listen, there is no association between the amount of fat that you eat vs the amount of fat in your body. Let me repeat that for a second. There is no association between the amount of fat that you eat vs the amount of fat in your body.
It takes fat to burn fat
Dietary fat has little direct effect on blood sugar and insulin levels and if you’ve been watching my videos, you’ll know that it’s actually insulin that causes weight gain and not calories. It takes fat to burn fat. Fat is a major energy source for your body and it helps you absorb certain vitamins and nutrients. And it’s delicious. Same thing with cholesterol. It’s vital for your brain health and basically every cell in your body. 80% of your cholesterol is produced by your body anyway.
So stop eating egg white omelettes. Eat the damn yolk. It’s the most nutritious part of the egg. Eat the fat on your steak. Do you know what actually causes your blood sugar and insulin levels to rise making you fat in the process? Refined carbs and sugar. Do you know what contains a lot of refined carbs and sugar? Low fat, highly processed foods. Because once fat is taken out of food to make it low fat, they have to replace it with something else. And that’s usually carbs and sugar.
So, does fat make you fat? The answer is a big fat no. Pun intended.
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