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 Traditions 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.
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. I truly wanted to devour this book because it was so full of information about TRUE healthy eating. It changed my life and 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!!
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??