Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Good fat, bad fat.

Back in my working days, I worked along side one gentleman who was a "weight freak". This is totally different from a "health freak" only the "weight freak" thinks he is actually the "health freak". It is sort of a problem we have here in America. You see, the weight freak wants to look good. He likes to work out. He falls for all the sensationalism of "slim down" products. He thinks that working out 2 hours a day and pounding down a protein bar and eating "low fat" is what healthy is. At all cost he wants to keep that days of yor teenage figure (not today's teenagers, mind you).

Problem: That weight freak is killing himself.

Back to my story. My co worker ate anything "low fat." He would cringe at my delicious, healthy, brought from home lunches that had butter or nuts as ingredients. Real cream, real cheese. You know. "fattening foods." I would tell him over and over that his fat free , store bought Rice Krispy treat bars would kill him, not my butter laden food. I assured him that I would retain my figure and still eat real food. I would be healthy. I would joke with him that if he kept eating all those "low fat" labeled foods in neat little containers ,with no real food ingredients ,but few calories, (run on, I know) , he would die of a brain tumor.He joked that I would die of a heart attack. That argument went on for years. It ended only because he died of a brain tumor. It was no longer a joke. Ironic, but True story. Of course, many reasons can contribute to cancer, I know that. But, I do know that diet can play a very important role just as the role of diet can fight cancer when it strikes. He fed his body continually to feed cancer cells.

Our bodies need fat. It is essential for cellular functions on every level. Fat signals to our bodies that we are full. Fats feed our brain. Fats help us to absorb vitamins and minerals. Fats help to bind histamines and get them out of our body. When you deprive your body of fat, you are doing a huge disservice to the body on a whole. However, the type of fat you need is not the fat you are going to get along with a super size portion of fries. You want the good fats. The fats that are in nuts, avocados, seeds, coconut oils, olive oils, flax seed, raw milk and butters, raw cheeses and eggs. Without them, we don't absorb important vitamins.

It is also important to get a balance of the Omega 3 and 6. Our diets today are heavily weighted on the 6 side. They are in the seeds and some nuts and in our cheaper oils, like the soybean variety. The important omega 3 oils are in fish, flax seed and walnuts. Cod Liver oil is a great source of Omega 3 and 6. If supplementing, please make sure you get a top quality brand that is mercury free. I prefer Carlson's brand. It can be purchased at most health food stores or from New Beginnings. If you are an allergy sufferer, Cod liver oil is a great way to help get the histamines out of the body.

Of course, as with everything, moderation is key. The good fat is easier to process and therefor used by the body better. If you overdo, of course you can gain weight but that is with anything. If you don't eat fat, that full feeling takes longer to come to. Fat actually signals to the brain that you are "done." Ever went on that fruit and veggie diet and could eat fruit all day and never felt full? You need it. Kids especially need it. Their brains are growing and they need fat to make it , well, fatter. A tsp. or so a day of Cod Liver oil is great for kids or try using some flax oil in your salad dressings. Avocado's are a great source of fat. Try to make a pudding out of it. My friend Terri told me about it and it is great for the little ones who don't know the difference. One avocado, some cocoa powder , a little honey or coconut sugar and blend it up. Add a little banana if you want and you have some chocolate pudding. It has the exact same texture as the real deal and my little guy thinks it is the bomb. He doesn't know he is getting brain food. He is just impressed that he is getting "choclit".

I have never, ever bought anything that says "low fat." Almost without exception, the fat has been replaced by something that should not be edible. The body knows what to do with fat, it doesn't know what to do with plastic. You are a real person, eat real food. Just eat a little less of it.

I just ate a delicious homemade biscuit with sprouted spelt and kefir topped generously with real deal butter. Yummy. Two of them. I had a scrumptious spinach salad with fruit, soaked nuts and a dressing made with coconut oil and raspberries. The "weight freak" would cringe. I devoured. I feel full. I feel healthy. My brain feels fat but I do not. Eat up. Get "fat", the real kind.


kamille said...

great post!

we've been eating more "fat" in our diets lately and i have totally noticed how much better and fuller i feel. i am nursing and when i nursed my first child, i was hungry all the time. now, i am still hungry, but it is a lot less and i do not feel nearly as famished.

we eat soaked oats almost every morning and my husband has noticed that he doesn't get hungry anymore at 10 AM. he's just fine till lunch. so now, he's actually eating less. pretty cool!

kamille said...

i should add that the oats have cream and coconut oil - which is why we stay full!

Linda Merrill said...

Good info Shari! My favorite snack is a handful of raw cashews.... full of fat!!

Whole Food for the Whole Family said...

Great post! We love eating avocados, seeds, and nuts. Many of the raw recipes I make are jam packed with seeds, nuts, and coconut oil. Yum!

Shari Goodman said...

Whole food for the whole family girl,
Love your site! Thanks for commenting so I can check you out. Sounds like a kindred spirit. I look forward to your recipes.

mandy said...

While I appreciate your blog post..I too am a believer in good and bad fat. I find the brain tumor comment, that you kept telling him if he doesn't stop eating it he will have a brain tumor. Completely arrogant. How on earth can you say that b/c he ate that stuff, that gave him a brain tumor. You just sound like you are saying a big fat "I told you so" And well, it stinks. I love your blog, I love the food info and how you care about health. YOu have helped in me so many ways but this, well rubbed me the wrong way. My husband is in the hospital dying of cancer as I write this. We have had people, like you, tell him he shouldn't have eaten this, or that. It is uncalled for and unkind. He was a very healthy person before all of this, and even if he wasn't (like the co-worker you describe) you in no way can be the judge of what gave him that tumor. How sad that I read this because I really enjoy your blog. I hope you will in the future reconsider your stance on that story. It makes you sound cruel and arrogant.
thank you for listening.

Shari Goodman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shari Goodman said...

I am sincerely sorry for how my post was conveyed. Just to clarify a bit, and I did amend my post, I never told him his cancer was caused by his low fat diet. He never had cancer when we joked. He would joke that I would get fat and die of a heart attack. The cancer came later and then it was never a joke and i never game him an "I told you so." It was ironic. I know that cancer has many factors but I do know that diet is huge and can cure cancer as well. I am very sorry for your situation and can certainly see how my post would be construed as offensive. I hope my amendment comes off a little lighter but please let me know if it doesn't. This isn't my intention in any way. However, I don't want to totally remove the reference as I firmly believe that what we eat can and will cause disease. That is the premise of my blog. I never judged my coworker when it did happen and he knew that. I hope you know that too.

April said...

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. That is so sad.

In the 90's I too was taken in by the low-fat diet craze. Luckily it's been proven to be unhealthy and I quit it a long time ago as well as giving up artificial sweetners and other non-natural products.

You mentioned kefir in your post. Do you make it yourself? I have made milk kefir in the past. It's not my favorite thing so I didn't keep up with it, but some people really like it and it's great for you. Right now I'm making water kefir, which grows on sugar. I'm using organic Sucanat. You can also use honey or other natural sweeteners. I'm using it to make soda. It eats up the sugars in the fruit juice and you end up with a soda that is full of probiotics and very little sugar.

If you want more info about it visit She makes milk kefir as well as water kefir. She has several posts about it, they are all linked on the right side of the page.

Shari Goodman said...


Thanks for the tip about water kefir. I do make the milk kefir but I just use it for soaking and cooking my grains. I will have to try the water kefir. I'll check out the blog!

Kara said...

The food industry is so powerful, my mom is still on the low-fat kick and chalks all her health problems up to bad genes.

My father in lay just had heart surgery and the doctors never gave him any dietary counsel, not that he would have taken it, or that it would have been good counsel, but still...our societies entire dietary education rests in the hands of advertisers.

We gotta do our best to be heard, the opposing messages are loud. Thanks, Sister, for standing up and making a difference.

I had a lovely girl in my class today sent from your way, you are being heard.

Terri Burges Hirning said...

Great post as always Shari! I wanted to also comment, coconut oil is utilized first by the body and will not be stored as fat! So, when we are talking about weight issues as well, good to know that the makeup of coconut oil is that it is utilized by the cells for energy product, not stored in the body as "fat". And, I have also read data that to ME suggest it may also aid mitochondrial function as the body does not utilize a certain structure well BUT coconut oil is medium chain triglycerides which IS utilized effectively by the mitochondria. So, I think it has potential for aiding mito function as well. You know how much I love coconut oils (and the entire coconut in general!). So many reason TO love them!!!