Big FAT Lies

November 4, 2016
Lyndall McAlpine

Fat Free

Doesn’t it amaze you how much health trends can change over the years… low fat/no fat, low carb/no carb, no eggs, all protein. The one thing I have learnt in my time studying health is that in an instant you can find conflicting evidence on almost every health topic, and the today’s latest headlines may soon be last year’s fad, myth or even scam from weak science and vested interests.

Funny that we so rarely think of fat as our friend, when it does so much for us. Our body needs healthy fat to function.

Good fats are critical in the production of hormones which control inflammation, cell growth, blood clotting, aspects of our immune system and yes good fats are instrumental in regulating many fat-burning hormones, and help to improve satiety and feelings of fullness after a meal.


For so many years we’ve been told that fat makes you fat, fat (saturated) raises your cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease.The latest health research has shown that this information and advise was not correct.

The original study launched by Ansell Keys in 1952, showed a close correlation between deaths from heart disease and proportion of fat in the diet. A subsequent study by other researchers however found little correlation between death rates from heart disease and fat consumption and these authors suggested that there could be other causes, including sugar consumption. Keys theory however was taken up by the Government and scientific peers, those who failed to agree were condemned and ridiculed.

A later analysis of the data in Keys’ Study in 1999 showed indeed a higher correlation of deaths from heart disease with sugar products and pastries than with animal product. Ansel Keys was later exposed to manipulating the data and being funded by the sugar industry.


A hsard as it is to believe you are better off with good old butter than margarine. Margarine is made from cheap vegetable oils, such as corn, cottonseed, soybeans, safflower seeds and canola. These oils are turned rancid from being extracted from oil seeds using high temperature and high pressure, along with the use of hexane solvents (a solvent known to cause cancer) which although it is subsequently is removed, traces of it are inevitably left behind. This process forces some of the polyunsaturated content of vegetable oils to be transformed into trans fats and mega transfats.

Trans fats are often used for frying foods and are in most packaged food. Rancid oils are loaded with free radicals that react easily with other molecules in your body, causing cell damage, premature aging and a host of other problems.

Vegetable oils are are mostly made up of inflammatory omega-6 fats, while having very little anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.

Omega 3,6 essential fatty acids. these are necessary in the right ratio. Most of us today get more than enough of omega 6 (found in fatty meat, cakes, vegetable oils, seeds nuts), however most of us are deficient in inflammation-reducing omega 3 (found in fatty fish, seeds, flaxseed, walnuts etc). Essential omega 3 fatty acids among other things are imperative to a developing foetus and also linked to a decrease in depression and Alzheimer’s.

Saturated and monounsaturated oils like coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil whole eggs, nuts and seeds eaten in moderation are healthy and essential to our diet. They have been shown to be beneficial to not only overall health but also weight loss. Coconut oil and avocado oil are great to cook at high temperatures as they don’t burn as much and do not go rancid and toxic.

bohemian grandma with a tie on her forehead

My take on all the natzi, fad, health diets/ideas that come and go (and make money on their way) is to listen and do as your grandparents and great grandparents did –

Focus on eating fresh, unpackaged  unmanufactured, unadulterated, real food. Cooking these foods (which btw can be delicious – check out some of my recipes) will automatically reduce the unhealthy take away/packaged food which is commonly overloaded with bad fats, preservatives, additives and lacking nutrients.

Enjoy your favourite treats in moderation.

This, along with reducing stress and getting moving is the simple, “no fad” basis to healthy living.

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