Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Eat Fat to Fight Fat?

I'd rather eat this than a salad any day!
Rich, fatty foods are like destiny:  they too, shape our ends.  ~Author Unknown

I've been reading about Gary Taubes and his work concerning weight (fat) loss.  I've found an interesting thesis - much like drinking water can help you stop retaining water, eating more fat can help you stop retaining fat.

Specifically, eating more saturated fat.  You know, the meat on a delicious ribeye steak, eggs, bacon, coconut oil, olive oil....

It turns out that as a nation, we eat too much sugar and not enough fat.

"Wait, Donna, what did you say?"

Sugar is the culprit.  Sugar and refined carbs.  We eat too much sugar and not enough fat.  

You see, calories in/calories out is a myth, as I discussed in a previous post.  Any self respecting woman will tell stories about eating nothing but salad for weeks trying to lose weight, while her husband, who eats big greasy steaks, decides to forgo a beer and maybe go easy on the Doritos, and loses weight like crazy.  Why?

Saturated fat.  She is starving.  She's hungry.  Salad just doesn't fill you up.  Ever.  (Ask me how I know.)  Lean meat isn't filling.  But throw some good, natural fat on it, and it will fill you up.

Sugar, though, sugar is another story. Sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Sugar causes insulin levels to spike, leading to a sudden drop, which leaves me (at least) shaky and hungry.  Not just hungry, RAVENOUS.  As in, I will eat anything if it will just hold still long enough ravenous.    Going through the pantry in desperation at 2am ravenous.  

Fat doesn't do that.  Fat triggers satiety, which means that you eat less because you feel full.  Come on - when did anyone binge on eggs, cheese, bacon, or meat?  You can't - the fat in these foods causes you to feel full.  

Commercial salad dressings are loaded in fats --- and sugar to match, so they are not very helpful in weight loss (unless you can find one that is higher fat, that's sugar free).  

Just as a helpful ancedote - I'm Southern, which means that anything that can be fried, will be fried.  My grandfather was put on cholesterol medication and a low fat diet following a mild heart attack.  His numbers kept going up and up - so, in true Harris fashion, he started to eat the way he liked again.

Fried potatoes.  Fried chicken.  Fried green tomatoes.  Fried eggplant.  Butter.  Eggs cooked in bacon drippings, and bacon.  Biscuits and gravy.

His numbers went back down.  

Maybe we're going about weight loss all wrong.

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