Book Review: Eat Fat, Lose Fat

You are what you eat.  Do you know what you eat? Do you understand the subtle, yet large differences between saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and trans fats?  Have you ever wondered why the incidence of obesity, cancer, and cardiovascular disease has risen dramatically over the past five decades despite the vast (and I mean: VAST!) improvements in surgical and medicinal restorative treatment to illnesses of both historical and modern origin?  This writer had heard of the rage of ‘organic’ foods, pasture-fed animals, and the anti-fat movement who espouse the lipid hypothesis and dangers of cholesterol, every now and then eating this or avoiding that in the name of ‘health.’

EFLFHowever, it wasn’t until reading Dr Mary Enig and Sally Fallon’s phenomenal book, “Eat Fat, Lose Fat: The Healthy Alternative to Trans Fats”, that all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place, and he could take responsibility for his food choices and eating habits.  But dear reader, be warned, after reading and assimilating the facts and nutritious knowledge in this 290 page book, the inside of your local grocer will change.  Those harmless frozen, processed and even preserved foodstuffs are not what they seem.  Beneath the neat-clad packaging hides little monsters that will in the future jump out at you with angry little gremlin-like faces and screeching voices. “Eat Fat, Lose Fat”, reveals these monsters extraordinarily effectively to even the novice in Nutrition.

“Eat Fat, Lose Fat”, takes the curious and interested reader on an educational journey of the many ‘ills’ of the modern western diet. Part One, the ‘Truth About Fats’ explains in clear and easily understandable language, exactly that, the truth about fats. Numerous studies, explanations, and real life examples and references are used to make the overriding point in crystal, that saturated fats were an integral part of traditional and tribal people’s diets, yet they did not suffer from diseases such as cancer and have heart problems.  Sally Fallon is well placed to explain this, as she is the president of Weston A. Price Foundation.  Weston A Price is the pioneer and leader in the science of nutrition of primitive, tribal and traditional people and their diets, and the resulting health of these people, as compared to those of the West.  According to an informed friend, his tome “Nutrition and physical degeneration” is the touchstone text on nutrition.  As the Bible is to Christianity, so is this book to the study of Nutrition. Don’t take my word for it, ask google.

In Part One, the facts about the different types of fats are laid out.  Not wasting any time, the authors delve into defining saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats early on, on pages 8-11.  And why not, this is the crux of the issue.  Saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats are all healthy in their own right.  A key difference is that saturated and monounsaturated fats are relatively stable fats that do not create free radicals when exposed to oxygen or heat.  Polyunsaturated fats on the other hand, do.  And it is polyunsaturated fats that are used widely in the production of processed foods, the polyunsaturated fat that is blasted with hydrogen (partial hydrogenation), creating trans fats.  The reason: the polyunsaturated fat then takes on the character of a saturated fat that will give the processed food a longer shelf life.  The problem: it is exactly this fat that causes obesity, may trigger cancer, or cause cardiovascular disease.  Trans fats are essentially a toxin and poison to your body.  Another complication: it is not easy to identify how much trans fats a product contains, despite the labelling that say there are 0.0mg trans fats in a product.  Furthermore, should they not use trans fats, they may still use liquid vegetable oils (polyunsaturated fat) that create health problems when consumed in large amounts, or heated to high temperatures in the production process (creating free radicals).

Discussing the science of fats, and dispelling the myths of cholesterol, the lipid hypthesis, and explaining the progressive state intervention in the food industry, as well as state backing for the “anti-fat campaign,” also account for a good chunk of the first part of the book.  Special attention is given to understanding the natural forms of fats, what their nutritive purposes are, and in which foods to find them.  For instance, did you know, that 60% of the human brain is composed of fat.  Phospholipids, which are roughly 50% saturated fat, help make up the brain cell membranes.  When you are not consuming sufficient saturated fats, the chemistry of your brain may be compromised.  Yes, you may be eating yourself stupid…  The authors conclude Part One by addressing a nutritional approach to weight loss and health. In doing so, the shortcoming of diets such as the Atkins and South Beach are discussed, and the staple base of many recipes contained in Part Three, coconut oil, -cream, and -milk, are introduced.

Having structured Part One in such a way that the reader now understands the basics of fats, the reader is led into Part Two, which focuses on specific foodstuffs.  Nutrient dense foods such as pasture-fed free-range eggs, pasture-fed beef and chicken, butter, liver, and whole-grain milk from free-range sources now become the focus.  Free-range is not only a slogan that is hung around the necks of those who espouse global warming, are anti commercial farming, and who advocate a healthy lifestyle for animals.  Free-range and pasture-fed is important to you if you want to eat nutrient rich food, filled with the goodness of a healthy earth, and avoid the thousands of kilograms worth of pesticides, herbicides, hormones and other chemicals that ultimately find their way to your body.  Did you know, the average amount of such chemicals that the American consumes each year is roughly his own body weight. Gets you thinking, doesn’t it?

Perhaps the beauty of this book is that all of this is covered in the relatively short space of 100 pages.  From here on out, nutritional routines and core principles of healthy eating are laid out. The reader is shown which growing and manufacturing processes are the ones to avoid, and which are the ones to support.  A meal plan is also structured for those who have struggled with the “Boom-Bust Diet Cycle,” to get them on the road of sustained health.  An entire chapter is also dedicated to advising those who have suffered the consequences of nutrient deficiency and are struggling to recover a serious health condition.  Once again, a step-by-step plan to deal with symptoms such as adrenal weakness, allergies and hay fever, ADD, asthma, colds and flu, constipation, diabetes and insulin resistance to name a few, are dealt with.  Healthy foods make healthy bodies; it is as simple as that.

The rest of the book deals with delicious, satiating recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks and snacks, in categories from poultry, beef to pork.  Sceptical fiancé and all, this writer has been eating these foods for over a week now, and it must be said that there are a few winning recipes in there, from “Leg of Lamb with root vegetables,” to “Barbequed Beef Ribs,” “Sautéed Sweet Potato,” “Vanilla Ice Cream,” to “Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce,” to name a few.

One of the healthier saturated fats..

One of the healthier saturated fats..

Eat Fat, Lose Fat” is for the person who senses that he is not putting the best fuels in his body.  It is for the person that has tried the hair of the dog to get healthy, and has been left disappointed.  It is for the person who knows there is something fundamentally wrong with the foods available to us today, and is looking for better alternatives.  To eat is to feed, nourish, restore and replace.  We find ourselves in a commercial farming, big pharma, big healthcare world.  Responsibility of what we put in our bodies has been delegated to the so-called experts of these corporations, and their law-writing cronies, the state.  “Eat Fat, Lose Fat” is the first step to comprehension and assimilation of the dangers their advice and products pose to your life and your body.  It gives you the power to take back responsibility for your own body, life, and health.  It is a book that you will carry to the shop to double check certain references of foodstuffs and harmful substances contained in them.  It is one you will tell all your friends about, but not lend them the book, for risk of not having that crucial little bit of information of whether it was sesame or olive oil that should be expeller expressed, or whether the brand ‘Garden of Life’ is the best available cod-liver oil or not.  “Eat Fat, Lose Fat: The Healthy Alternative to Trans Fats” is a responsible individual’s dream book on nutrition.  Here’s to life, freedom, and most of all, responsibility for your health!

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