Posts Tagged ‘animal fat’

Big Fat Video Links – Weekend Link Love

I watched 3 really interesting videos in the last 3 days. The first was a documentary on Hulu called Fat Head. Here’s the summary:

Have you seen the news stories about the obesity epidemic? Did you see Super Size Me? Then guess what? … You’ve been fed a load of bologna.

Comedian (and former health writer) Tom Naughton replies to the blame-McDonald’s crowd by losing weight on a fat-laden fast-food diet while demonstrating that nearly everything we’ve been told about obesity and healthy eating is wrong. Along with some delicious parody of Super Size Me, Naughton serves up plenty of no-bologna facts that will stun most viewers, such as: The obesity “epidemic” has been wildly exaggerated by the CDC. People the government classifies as “overweight” have longer lifespans than people classified as “normal weight.” Having low cholesterol is unhealthy. Lowfat diets can lead to depression and type II diabetes. Saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease — but sugars, starches and processed vegetable oils do.

Fat Head Video Link Here.

The second was a talk/lecture by Gary Taubes (author of Good Calories, Bad Calories – now I must read this book) called Big Fat Lies. He has a second book that just came out entitled Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It, which may be more appealing – it’s less scientific and includes explanations designed for lay-people.

The last video I watched was called Sugar: The Bitter Truth. It became somewhat of an internet sensation back in 2009 but I guess I missed it. It’s a 1.5 hour lecture on why fructose is a toxin. (I’m sold.) The lecturer is a doctor by the name of Robert H. Lustig.

If you have some time (each video is over an hour) I highly recommend them. The gist of all of them is that the obesity epidemic is caused, not by fat/saturated fat/meat, but by too much sugar and too many carbohydrates. My take on them:

Fat Head

The first link (Fat Head) “proves” that a high-fat diet is good for you. Um, duh. Tom Naughton’s high-fat diet consists of a lot of meat; I am still kind of undecided on the meat issue. Two more of his points are that 1) grains are doing a lot of damage (he does go into detail but I don’t want to right now) and 2) processed vegetable oils (corn oil, soybean oil, etc… – and not just he partially hydrogenated trans fat ones) are also killing us. Humans are not used to eating either of those things.

Now – I like meat, and I would eat it, but I am morally opposed to the way meat is produced in our country, and I can’t bring myself to eat it anymore. If meat were truly ethically raised? I’m still unsure nowadays. I’m getting off topic, but my takeaway from this one – fat is good. Eat more of it. Eat veggies too, though. It may be possible to have a semi-healthful fast food diet, but it’s probably better to just be more primal.

08 eggs and bacon1 Big Fat Video Links   Weekend Link Love

Mmm… bacon and eggs and butter.

Personal side notes:

  • My “Bring on the Fat” post from last year (one year ago – to the day). Sadly I didn’t keep up with this as much as I’d have liked. Now that I’m a veggie I need to get my animal fat from butter, ghee, eggs (with yolk), and dairy (goat’s and sheep’s milk yogurts are my faves; regular ol’ organic whole cow’s milk for my coffee). Since I went veggie I have been eating too many carbs and not enough fats.
  • The Great Fat Animal Experiment. This was from a year and 3 days ago; it was an intro to my passion for animal fat. I still do love animal fat; again, I’m just going to try to get it from non-meat sources.
  • Way back in July 2009 (4 days before I got engaged… can’t believe I am married now!) was one of the first times I started trying to eat more fat. I didn’t really follow through, at least not to the extent that I should have. I have come a long way since then.

Big Fat Lies

The second link (Big Fat Lies) discusses the matter of why people are getting fat; is it simply that we eat too much and sit on our asses? Gary Taubes seems to think that it’s because we have too much insulin (I’m leaning towards agreeing with him, but I think the reason we have too much insulin is because we… eat too much). He basically says that we aren’t getting fat because we’re eating more; we’re eating more because we’re getting fat. He debunks Ancel Keys’ Lipid Hypothesis/Seven Countries Study which states that:

  1. Saturated fat increases cholesterol. (If A then B.)
  2. High cholesterol associated with heart disease. (B associated with C.)
  3. Saturated fat must cause heart disease! (If A then C.)

What a load of bologna! Ugh, too much to say about this horrible study, will post about this later (if I don’t remind me). I tend to agree with Taubes’ conclusions, but I think that there are a lot of people out there who do simply “eat too much” for probably mental reasons. It’s not just hormones that are making us fat. We have issues that also make us eat too much which starts the vicious cycle of greedy fat cells –> eat more –> greedier fat cells –> eat even more –> also be lazy because we’re too fat.

Sugar: The Bitter Truth

The last link, Sugar: The Bitter Truth, Robert H. Lustig discusses how fructose is metabolized in the body. It turns out that fructose is very similar to ethanol, which is a toxin. He also debunks the Seven Countries Study (though for different reasons than Taubes does). He’s not a low-carb advocate (unlike the other two); he thinks we just have to eat the right carbs, which does not include sugar at all. His diet prescriptions for his patients (mostly kids) are (this is around the 1:10 mark):

  • Only beverages should be water and milk
  • Eat carbs with fiber (ex: fruit is fructose but has fiber built in)
  • Wait 20 minutes for second portions
  • If you’re gonna stare at a screen (tv/video games) you have to do equal amounts of activity (playing outside)

His prescriptions are probably easier and more reasonable to follow than what Taubes thinks we should do (low-carb, lots of meat); they’re also probably more sustainable (we can’t all live on steak due to overpopulation). I’m still on the fence about carbs though. I love ‘em, but they make me feel like shit. Maybe I’m just more sensitive than some people; my husband could probably live on just carbs and get along fine. (Though he did lose 10 pounds in the last month from being vegetarian – 10 pounds he did not need to lose and he is worried about. He’s practically as skinny as I am.)

More personal notes!

  • I eat a lot of fruit. A ton, actually. It’s not uncommon for me to eat 6 apples in a single day. Any time that I accidentally don’t eat fruit though, my skin clears up (my skin sucks). My hormones tend to start regulating properly (my hormones suck too). My stomach doesn’t quite suck as much. But I am too stubborn and I love my apples. So I keep eating them. Why? (That is rhetorical.)
  • I eat a lot of grainy carbs (oatmeal, brown rice, bread), and then complain about my stomach. I think I only complain about my stomach when I’m not eating as much fat. Hm. Annoying.
  • I know that I do better on a high-fat, low-grain diet (NOT no-grain, though I haven’t really tried that), but I have issues and instead I usually eat low-fat, high-carb. This is just a matter of stubbornness and stupidity. Perhaps I will actually get around to breaking a habit at some point.

Oh gosh, I think this might be one of my longest posts ever. I will shut up now.

What are your thoughts? On grains? On carbs? On sugar? On fructose? On saturated fats? On animal fats? On “healthy” fats? On a low-fat diet? On a low-carb diet? On Tom Naughton/Gary Taubes/Robert Lustig?

Or, if you wanna stop with the heavy topics…

What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?

Bobby got us reservations as a restaurant we haven’t been to yet but that I hear great things about.

Happy New Year! A Year In Review.

Happy New Year to all.

I will be back to normal posting soon. In the meantime, here is an overview of wonderful things that have happened this past year…

Last year’s resolutions.

I wanted to learn a new language (didn’t do this), go to Hawaii (yes!), I cultivated patience, I ate more fried rice, ate less meat, I didn’t drink more Kombucha, I did drink less diet soda (overall), and I ended the year on a yoga streak (though I’m not sure I did much yoga throughout the whole year).

The Warrior Challenge (intenSati).

This was a month-long challenge to do 3+ classes a week of intenSati at one of New York’s poshest gyms. I had fun, and learned a lot.

Good conversations with good friends about behavioral change.

jan302010001 thumb Happy New Year! A Year In Review.

And also about drinking tea (yum) and eating kabocha.

Eating Fats. (But didn’t get fat.)

The great fat experiment went well overall. I learned a lot about what my body needs. One thing to note is that it needs (a lot of) animal fats, so I will try to include more this year.

Trying acupuncture.

This was for stress and hormone stuff. Unfortunately at the time I wasn’t ready to commit to everything that I needed to do for acupuncture to work properly, so I quit after two sessions. I may give this another shot sometime though.

How Much Protein Do I Really Need?

This post was written as a response to anyone who doubts that vegetarians (or even vegans) can get enough protein on an animal-free diet. I don’t know the answer to this – I know that I need animal protein, but maybe not everyone does. My opinion on protein has changed (for the better) since I wrote the post. I’m now more into a high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb lifestyle.

Random favorites.

Including macrobiotic meals and fast food. I try not to limit myself too much.

Trailmaking and Wedding Planning.

rockhopper trail orchids etc april24 2010 001 comp Happy New Year! A Year In Review.

Bobby and I went to NJ for the weekend and helped my dad build a trail. Lots of fun – hoping to do more things like that this year.

IBS Management.

I came up with a plan for my IBS – my IBS Management Plan. I didn’t stick to it as much as I would have liked. This year one of my resolutions is to get it under control as much as possible! Recent changes in my eating (eating more fats, fewer grains, more protein) have helped a lot.

Job changes – from full-time to part-time… (And back to full-time again, later in the year.)

01 vietnamese papaya salad 450x298 Happy New Year! A Year In Review.

07 cherries 450x298 Happy New Year! A Year In Review.

Which meant more time to blog, more time to take a class (linguistics), and more time for my favorites like papaya salad and fresh cherries.

Discovery: eating mindfully.

Which later on led to…

And then, oh yeah…


maggie bobby aisle luminaria 400x267 Happy New Year! A Year In Review.

We were married in a Quaker meeting house and the reception was in my parents’ (beautiful) side yard. Here is my other wedding recap. (Guest posts listed there – had lots of good ones!)

Then we…

Went to Hawaii!

01 honeymoon 265x400 Happy New Year! A Year In Review.

We had two glorious weeks on the beaches of Maui. Oh how I want to go back.

Walking talk (about how it is awesome).

How to Get Glowing Skin (very popular post).

I turned 24.

souen kabocha chocolate scone 400x224 Happy New Year! A Year In Review.

Had to have a kabocha scone for dessert on my birthday.

Project Food Blog.

10 veggie stir fry 400x324 Happy New Year! A Year In Review.

(Didn’t get very far.)

The Hunger Diaries happened.

It died down pretty fast icon wink Happy New Year! A Year In Review.

My Macro Plate Recipe.

ozu macro plate 400x224 Happy New Year! A Year In Review.

Finally revealed it.

College-visiting with my sister.

meg julia wedding3 400x267 Happy New Year! A Year In Review.

(She got into her first choice! Not Brown, which is where we went that weekend.)

Highlights of the Fear and/or Sanity Weekend.

maggie bobby guster 2 Happy New Year! A Year In Review.

We took a weekend trip down to DC – so fun. Love the short haircut!

I got over a lot of crapola that had been following me around.

And then…

I took a break.

Said thank yous. And good byes, for a while.

I think I am back now, though! So stay tuned. In the meantime, check out this adorable card that I just ordered from Shutterfly.
shutterfly card Happy New Year! A Year In Review. And again… happy new year!

Everything Is a Contradiction – Just Eat Food and Stop Thinking So Much.

Insurance Companies Are Ridiculous.

I am sitting here looking at an article from a magazine that Bobby got from his insurance company. It states (I am paraphrasing):

  • (1) “Food choices are responsible for a third of your rate of aging.”
  • (2) “Eat 13 ounces of fish per week to keep your arteries healthy.”
  • (3) “Consume 10 tablespoons of cooked tomato-based products per week to get the benefits of lycopene. Lycopene may reduce the risk of cancers or heart disease.”
  • (4) “Eat peanuts – an unsaturated fat – because unsaturated fat lowers cholesterol.”
  • (5) “Low-fat and nonfat dairy products are good sources of calcium.”

There is more but I will not go into it because that is enough.

This is all crap.

Here is what I think:

(1) Food choices affect your health, but your mental health is what really matters. Mental health manifests itself physically, you know! Some studies have shown that if you eat “crap” (what is “crap”, really?) but you are happy, your medical indicators (blood pressure, cholesterol, etc…) will be better than those of someone who eats “healthy” (ugh, these classifications) but is depressed. If we eat intuitively (meaning we don’t think about eating too much) you will probably be happier than if you worry about what you are eating.

(2) You don’t have to eat fish to be healthy. You don’t have to not eat fish to be healthy. Fish (or any other food) is not some magical solution that will solve all of our health problems. In fact, if you stress out over eating fish, you will probably start to be stressed, which will lead to poor health… (See #1 above.) Eat fish if you crave it (there’s that intuitive eating thing again) and don’t if you don’t.

(3) 10 tablespoons of cooked tomatoes? Really? How about FOOD. Real food. Not too much. Not too much thinking. Just eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full. Trying to get veggies but not stressing about it. Eating fats. Eating carbs. Just eating without thinking. (But not eating mindlessly.) Intuitive eating.

(4) First, the assumption that saturated fat is not healthy is completely bogus. It was based on a study that eliminated the outliers (countries that didn’t fit the theory that saturated fat clogs your arteries). More on that at Mark’s Daily Apple. I eat lots of butter and moderate amounts of red meat, and my numbers are fabulous. I feel great. Fat is your friend! Even saturated fat. Second, why focus on peanuts? Lots of nuts are good. So are things like avocados and olives. There is no magic food. Just eat real food most of the time and you will be fine.

(5) Nonfat and low-fat dairy – ugh. If you have lactose issues, full fat might be easier to digest; it also has (healthy) saturated fats. Some good ways to incorporate full-fat dairy into your diet (if you want) is cream in your coffee or maybe some whipped cream over berries. The idea that dairy gives you calcium is not really true either – dairy probably leeches more calcium from your bones than it contributes to them (this is because of the high protein content – our bodies leech calcium to digest animal protein). A better way to strengthen your bones is to get enough vitamin D and to eat other foods high in calcium (like kale!). Weight bearing activity is good too. But remember, don’t stress about it (see #1 again). Eat it if you want it. Don’t if you don’t.

Eat Food. Preferably Real Food. Stop Thinking. Start Living.

I think #1 above is the most important point that I will make today: mental health manifests itself physically – if you are genuinely happy, you will probably be genuinely healthy. Happiness does not mean stuffing your face with burgers – if that makes you happy you have issues. Happiness also does not mean only eating salads – you have issues if you do that as well. Neither of those are examples of intuitive eating.Happiness is enjoying most of your days (but not all). It’s not being stressed continually. It’s feeling relaxed. At times you will be stressed but it will pass. Some days you will have a salad and others you may have a steak. But it all balances out as long as you are not thinking too much about it!

What do you think? Am I saying crazy things?

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