5 Unexpected Advantages of a High-Fat Diet for Your Health

Why You Need to Rethink Your Fat Intake: The Benefits of Eating More Fat

With all the different dietary advice flying around these days, it can be challenging to know what food choices to make. Take fat, for example. For years, it has been painted as an evil monster and the root cause of high cholesterol, heart disease, and obesity. But scientific studies now show that there are actually many benefits of eating more fat, and it’s time we started rethinking this essential part of our dietary regime.

In Grain Brain, Dr. David Perlmutter describes our ancestors’ diet as being 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs compared to our current diet of 60% carbs, 20% protein, and 20% fat. Dr. Perlmutter goes on to explain how the cornerstone of many of today’s health conditions, including Alzheimer’s, ADHD, depression, anxiety, and chronic headaches are linked to inflammation in the body and brain triggered by carbs.

Other studies tell us that the obesity epidemic, which has doubled in the last 50 years, is not because of us eating too much fat but because of our consumption of readily available carbs and sugar, including glucose found in fruits and juices. Excessive glucose is converted by the body and stored as fat. It’s time to reevaluate our relationship with fat and understand that it’s not the culprit it was believed to be. In fact, here are just a few reasons why fat is essential to your health.

1. Fat is essential to brain health

Did you know that brain tissue is made up of nearly 60% fat? A diet low in fat actually robs your brain of the materials it needs to function correctly. And while essential fatty acids and omega-3s are making all the headlines now, it’s worth noting that some of the saturated fats we have been told for years to avoid, including natural animal fats, also play a crucial role in providing the vitamins the brain needs. Vitamins such as A, D, E, and K are not water-soluble and require fat to get transported and absorbed by the body. These vitamins are crucial for brain health and many of our vital organs. Vitamin D is also widely touted as an essential element in decreasing susceptibility to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, and other brain disorders, while omega-3s are said to sharpen your cognitive function as well as to improve your mood.

2. Fat keeps your lungs working correctly

Our lungs are coated with a substance composed almost entirely of saturated fat. Premature babies who are lacking this substance are given something called “surfactant” to keep their lungs functioning properly. Without enough saturated fat, our lungs can be compromised. Some studies are now looking at the link between the low consumption of saturated fat and asthma as a result of the breakdown of this fatty layer.

3. Fat boosts your immune system

Dr. Michael and Dr. Mary Eades write in their book Good Calories, Bad Calories about the role that saturated fats found in butter and coconut oil play in immune health, stating that the “loss of sufficient saturated fatty acids in the white blood cells hampers their ability to recognize and destroy foreign invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi.”

4. Fat keeps your largest organ healthy

Fat makes up the bulk of the cellular membrane, and our skin is made up of a vast number of cells. Without the proper consumption of fat, our skin can become dry and chapped, which can also open up pathways for infection to enter our bodies.

5. Fat is good for your heart

Many studies have been done on the benefits of eating saturated fats, which we have been told to avoid for the last 50 years or so. One study in particular focused on a population in the Pacific Isles who eat up to 60% of their diet in the form of saturated coconut oil and have shown practically no incident of heart disease. Also, fat provides twice the caloric energy as carbs – 9 calories per gram versus 4 calories per gram. So not only will it sustain your energy for a longer time, but it will also help you eat less as it keeps the body satisfied.

Stay away from trans-fats. These are the true evil monsters made by adding hydrogen atoms to saturated fat during the heating process. These manipulated fats do nothing but make bad foods last longer on the shelf.

It’s time to shift the perception of fat and get those good fats back into our diets. So grab a handful of walnuts, enjoy a piece of salmon cooked up in some olive oil and butter, and add a little coconut oil to your morning smoothie. Start to rethink your fat intake and see the benefits it has on your overall health.