Chewing the Fat

One of the biggest and most prevalent myths about food is that fat makes people fat. That butter, cream, lard and fatty, marbled meats are bad for you. That they raise your cholesterol and cause obesity. I have read many articles on this subject and there are several good books available that explain where this myth originated (some bad science is involved) and why it is still so prevalent (bottom line always: money of course). One book is Fat : An Appreciation of a Misunderstod Ingredient by Jennifer McLagan and another important book about cholesterol is The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov I say important because in America we have now come to a place where statin drugs to lower cholesterol are being given to children! What children really need is a more nutrient dense, whole food, unprocessed, high (good) fat diet like the one children ate a hundred years ago.

We only eat whole milk dairy products in our household. (Take a look at that photo on the sidebar of those seven kids and tell me if they look like they are suffering from a high fat diet.) When I read about the fact that the butter fat in dairy contains the necessary Vitamin A that facilitates the body in assimilating the mineral nutrients in dairy, we stopped bringing low-fat and non-fat dairy into our kitchen. A body cannot absorb all the calcium and vitamin D in milk without the fat and children need all the calcium and Vitamin D they can get while they are growing.

My daughter reintroduced me to the joys of cooking with lard when I stayed with her last summer. She had a ready supply of good quality lard and we used it for cooking things like potatoes. What an amazing flavor difference it made! And the potatoes got a beautiful brown crisp without burning. There is a reason it is the preferred cooking fat of French chefs everywhere!

If y'all think I'm talking out of my ear or that I'm a few sandwiches short of a picnic basket, check out any of these well written and documented articles at this link on the subject of fats for a healthy diet.

Also, check out this blog post by Stanley Fishman on Tender Grassfed Meat. It makes some great observations about the unnecessary fear of fat.

Here is an excerpt to peak your interest!

Fear of Fat Makes a Fortune for the Diet Industry

If you look at old photos of Americans at the beach taken during the early 20th century, you will be astonished at how fit almost everybody was. Obesity was very rare. Prior to the demonization of animal fat, most doctors had a simple and effective cure for overweight people who wanted to lose weight. Reduce the amounts of carbs and sugars, and eat a high-fat diet full of butter and other animal fats. These kinds of diets worked, because nothing satisfies like animal fat. There was no diet industry.

Once people became afraid of animal fat, these time-tested, high-fat diets went out the window, and the diet industry came to life. The diet industry has created a myriad of ways to lose weight, based on counting calories, eating a low-fat, nutrient-poor diet, and exhausting exercise. All of these programs are expensive. All of these programs are difficult to do, which allows the victim to be blamed when the program does not work. Typically, these programs work well for a few people, and some may lose a lot of weight on them, but the weight always comes back, and the victims end up fatter than ever, and are soon looking for a new diet program, which is always there. The severe malnutrition and exhaustion that many experience during such programs often leads to chronic illness, sometimes death.