Real Food: EAT MORE FATS

Disclaimer: I am not certified to give health advice, so please do not take this as such. This is my review of a book that I love, and some of my experiences since reading this book. This post is quite lengthy and might go against what you believe or have been taught about dietary fat, but I hope you’ll stick with me and read it all because it is great information!

When I started eating healthier, I was first drawn to items that were low in fat, full of ‘whole grains’, low in sugar, etc. However, I didn’t really lose any weight. What was going on? It took me awhile to realize that I needed to actually eat REAL FOOD to be healthy, and not just eat ‘healthy’ processed foods (think 100 calorie packs, sugar-laden granola bars, ‘whole grain’ cereals). What I didn’t realize at the time was that all of the low-fat things I thought were best for me, actually weren’t helping me in my attempt to lose weight.

My eyes were opened to healthier eating by a few people in my life, namely my chiropractor and my honey’s aunt who is a holistic nutritionist. They suggested I read Nourishing Traditionsย by Sally Fallon and they started talking to me about raw milk and about eating whole foods in general. I started to understand the value of adding more vegetables and good fats into my diet, and I cut out most things that come in a box.

If you look closely, you can see the cream that has risen to the top of the new jar- YUM!

Then, after talking to a really good friend of mine Jeanine (she also drinks raw milk and is the one who got me to actually try it) about some of the things I learned from my honey’s aunt, she told me about a book called Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck. Don’t jump to conclusions!! I’m not a mother now, nor do I have immediate plans to become one! Jeanine assured me that the info in it was relevant to those who don’t have babies, so I said I would read it.

I don’t even think I got through the first few pages before I was ordering the author’s original book Real Food: What to Eat and Why. Iย truly wanted to devour this book because it was so full of information about TRUE healthy eating. It changed my life andย I wanted to order a copy for every single person in my life because it debunks common health myths that our society has held onto for the past few decades.

It cited studies that showed how our industrial foods (especially fats) are making our society so unhealthy. It talks about how raw milk is so much better for you than pasteurized milk. The author goes into detail about the differences between traditional and industrial soy. She also touches on how it’s okay to eat eggs most days of the week and how a study showed that people who ate five or six eggs a week actually had less risk of heart disease than those who had less than one egg a week.

Planck also talks about growing up on a farm and eating REAL food, which most of you are probably eating already: whole fruits and veggies, real whole grains (think quinoa and rice, and not the ‘whole grains’ in Big G cereals like Lucky Charms!) and other things that don’t come in a box. However, she also talks about healthy REAL FATS. We’re not talking about just almonds and avocados here, people! She praises animal fats, such as lard, butter and whole raw milk, for being extremely healthy for you. If you think about it, a low-fat yogurt or cream cheese is not a ‘whole’ food. Some (or all) of the fat has been taken out meaning it isn’t truly whole anymore. Nature packages food the way it is intended to be eaten. Just like when you remove the peel of an apple, you lose a lot of the good stuff when you remove the fat from dairy products.

Similar to Planck, I found that once I put more fat back into my diet, the weight started coming off. My honey’s aunt told me I was fat-deficient just a year ago. I was drinking skim milk, eating low or no-fat yogurt and cream cheese, and still holding onto some stubborn pounds. Once I started drinking raw milk and eating full-fat yogurt, I started noticing a difference in my hunger levels (because fat helps keep you full), and my digestion (because saturated fats actually aid in digestion), and the weight really did come off because I was staying full and stuff was moving through my system as it should!!

Starting the seasoning process with pure pork lard from the farmer's market

I’ve heard many times to “eat the foods our great-grandparents ate.” Let’s be real for a second, they didn’t have the processed, hydrogenated fats (vegetable oil, soybean oil, canola oil, etc.) that we have today. So what types of fats do you think they ate? That’s right, animal fats, such as butter and lard! So why aren’t we eating these?? Unfortunately, the food industry wants you to believe that the vegetable oils of today (the polyunsaturated fats) are better for you, while this just isn’t true. With the advent of these hydrogenated oils, our country has become more unhealthy. You’ll have to get the book to read more about the studies that Planck cites to prove this theory because she does a better job of explaining it than I could. It is just fascinating to think about the correlation between these unhealthy fats and our unhealthy society!

There is so much in this book about fats (and so much more!) that I could never do it justice, so I’m going to stop there and leave you with these facts about fats that I learned from this book:

  • All fats are a mix of saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fatty acids, some just contain more of one type
  • Lard is rich in monounsaturated fat- the kind that lowers your bad cholesterol- just like olive oil!
  • Butter is a source of Vitamins A and D, and contains cancer-fighting butyric acid
  • Raw milk is full of folic acid, and vitamins A, B6 and C, which are all destroyed by pasteurization
  • Coconut oil (a saturated fat) contains lauric acid, which is an antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral fatty acid

Please pick up this book if you get the chance. I promise it will open your eyes to a lot of new information about the foods we should be eating!

More reading: Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, Know Your Fats by Dr. Mary Enig

I’d love to know your thoughts on this! Do you think you eat enough healthy fats??

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About eat healthy. be happy. live well.

A 20-something farmer's wife who has finally learned to eat healthy, be happy and live well!

17 responses »

  1. Such a great post! I’ve been trying to eat more whole foods & healthy fats, but I’m sure I don’t eat enough. I think it’s so important though for people to realize that all of the “health” food we’re bombarded with usually isn’t all that healthy!

    Reply
  2. Fantatic post and I could not agree more! This is an issue that’s seriously close to my heart. It kills me when people only eat Fat Free, Low Cal, Low Carb foods that are overloaded with chemicals.

    I eat only real foods… and if I can’t pronounce all the ingredients (or have ever heard about them) I pass (for the most part!) ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’d rather get some real fat than some chemical I know nothing about. Nut butters, Avocados, Olive Oil, etc are staples in my cooking/daily life!

    Reply
  3. I loved this post! While I don’t do any cooking with lard, and try to avoid dairy I do believe {real} fats are an essential part of your diet! I buy whole milk for my husband and never use any type of “low fat” or “non fat” products. I get most of my fats from coconut oil, avocados and nuts!

    Reply
  4. Thanks for the reads! I will definitley be purchasing these books! I actually notcied when I switched a whole foods diet I gained a few pounds…mostly bc I think my body needed it! I hate admitting that but in all honesty, I’ve never felt better with an extra 5 lbs AND I eat better than I ever ha\ve weighing slightly less! Here’s to unprocessed living!

    Reply
  5. I totally agree with your post! ๐Ÿ™‚ Great job with it!
    I do my best to eat whole foods as well but could really up my healthy fats…. maybe it would help me loose those few pounds that seem like they shouldn’t be there. I think I’ll make the step to drinking the husband’s milk as my first step….

    Reply
  6. Sounds like a great book! And we totally agree with it! eating more natural products like raw milk, eggs, and veggies! And we love our healthy fats ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  7. I definitely try to include healthy fats in every meal and snack – I love them! Avocados, nuts, olive oils…they always make an appearance. I couldn’t live without them ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  8. Great post!!

    I don’t know why people are so intrigued by all this “low-fat” stuff. I agree with you and this book 100% and I’m by no means afraid of whipped cream, full-fat milk, animal fats or lots of olive oil. It makes me feel full, makes my skin glow and makes me happy!

    I think a lot of people neglect the fact that they might be protein-types, meaning that they thrive best on lots of protein (animal+vegetable) and lots of fat. I know that I am a protein-type and I gain weight if I eat mostly grains/fruit/veg but if I include lots of protein and fats I loose weight, have more energy and I’m more satisfied.

    I’m not saying that people shouldn’t go vegan or vegetarian ’cause there can be a number of reasons for people doing this, but I’m afraid that it’s becoming too much of a diet trend and people forget what our ancestors (hunters AND gatherers) ate. A big chunk of game meat grilled on the bonfire with wild carrots and mushrooms – heaven ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  9. Pingback: Back to school, back to school… « eathealthybehappylivewell

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