Side Effects From Eating a “Low-Fat” Diet

You may think you are being healthy by buying into the “low-fat” eating fad. Fat’s have become “evil” in the American culture.  Cut out fat and you won’t get fat, right? Not necessarily. We have been grossly misinformed primarily by marketing. According to a Weston A. Price article “Taking The Fear Out of Eating Fat “Our media-induced fear of fat in this country has created a market for over 15,000 reduced-fat products! These products completely fail to live up to their claims, not to mention that they don’t even taste good. Have you ever had a fat-free product that tasted better than the original? The fact is that when they remove the fat, they have to put something back in, and that “something” is usually more sugar, sodium, artificial flavorings, binding agents and other chemicals.”

Eating fat does not make you fat! Eating fat with excessive carbohydrates from sugars and refined grains will. Our bodies need fat in so many different ways. In fact, by eating little to no fat, one can expect to feel pretty yucky. You may experience blood sugar fluctuations and weight gain. Remember when trying to eat “whole foods” you want to eat the whole food. That means not removing nutrients that have an important biochemical role in the health of your body. Saturated fats are among these essential nutrients.

Below is a list of side effects you may experience while being on a “low fat” diet. So please stop buying that “fat free” milk, stripped of all it’s important nutrients! When you see “low-fat” on the label, run the other way. The best way to avoid these items is to stop eating processed foods. Stick to the outside aisle at the grocery store-Stop dieting, and just eat real whole foods!

eat real whole foods instead

Weight Gain:
Expect weight gain on a low fat, high refined grain diet. Saturated fats such as butter, lard, coconut oil have a strong influence on metabolism! These fats help to release insulin. Fat keeps you full longer. Fats are satisfying and satiating.  When you avoid fat, you are hungry more frequently. Contrary to what you might think, humans are not designed to snack frequently. However, consuming a high fructose/refined grain and low-fat diet makes you more hungry so you tend to reach for more snacks. You consume more calories just to feel satisfied. Any meal or snack high in carbohydrates like fructose and refined grains generates a rapid rise in blood glucose and then insulin to compensate for the rise in blood sugar. The insulin released from eating too many carbohydrates promotes fat and makes it more difficult for your body to shed excess weight, and excess fat, particularly around your belly.

According to Mark Sisson from Mark’s Daily Apple, “It’s difficult to overeat on a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. Dietary fat in the presence of large amounts of dietary carbohydrates can make it difficult to access fat for energy, while dietary fat in the presence of low levels of dietary carbohydrates makes it easier to access fat for energy. Couple that with the fact that fat and carbs are easier to overeat together, and you have your explanation. In fact, studies have shown that low-carb, high-fat diets not only reduce weight, they also retain or even increase lean mass. That means it’s fat that’s being lost (rather than the nebulous “weight”), which is what we’re ultimately after. Eating a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet is the easiest way to inadvertently eat less without sacrificing satiation or satisfaction. It also improves your ability to access stored body fat rather than lean mass, which is helpful for fat loss.”

Medium-Chain Fatty acids like those found in coconut oil have also been shown to boost metabolism and aid in weight loss. Medium-Chain Fatty Acids are immediately used for energy (are quickly digested and do not require bile to break them down) which, subsequently, increase metabolism. This is also known as “thermogenesis” or fat burning. The body becomes more efficient.

*If you want to feel full longer, and become lean and efficient, fuel up with saturated fats and get your carbohydrates from vegetable sources rather than sugary foods and refined grains


“Brain-Fog”/Forgetfulness:

When eating low-fat, you may find that you have difficulty processing and remembering things. This is often referred to as “brain fog”. The brain is compiled mostly of saturated fat and cholesterol. Saturated fat and cholesterol insulates the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve fibers and preserves proper function of the brain and nervous system. More insulated myelin equals better brain function. Messages/signals in the brain can be more easily transported through nerves. This is a protective layer that helps the brain function properly! Without it, the impulses can be “broken” leading to “brain fog”

According to Mark Sisson from Mark’s Daily Apple,The brain requires glucose. That is true. However, the brain is more of a gas/diesel hybrid. It can run on both fat and glucose. Ketones, derived from fatty acids, can satisfy the majority of the brain’s energy needs, sparing the need for so much glucose. You’ll still need some glucose, as the brain can’t run purely on ketone bodies, but you won’t need nearly as much. And, best of all, your brain will run more efficiently on a combination of ketones and glucose than on glucose alone. That improved efficiency means you can actually function without food. Since you have ample brain energy stores on your body (even the lean among us have enough body fat to last for weeks), and a high-fat diet allows you to access that body fat for brain energy, you’ll no longer suffer brain fog just because your afternoon meeting went a little long and you missed lunch. Instead, you’ll enjoy steadier, more even energy in mind and body.”

*If you want to have better focus, memory, and concentration-eat more saturated fats and cholesterol!

“Unstable” Blood Sugar:

Before eating primal I was constantly hungry, and I would get shaky and hot-sometimes almost pass out if I did not have a snack every hour. I would tell everyone “I have low blood sugar, so I need to snack frequently.” I just assumed it was a condition that I had. Little did I know at the time it was because I was fueling myself with all carbohydrates from refined grains, and little to no fat. When you eat low fat, you typically consume  more sugary foods and carbohydrates. I *thought this was healthy, because that is what I had been taught. Low fat foods are often laced with extra sugar to make the flavor more palatable. All of these carbohydrates break down as glucose. Eating all these extra carbohydrates makes the pancreas work extra hard pumping out insulin. Foods high in carbohydrates like fructose and refined grains generates a rapid rise in blood glucose and then insulin to compensate for the rise in blood sugar. These blood sugar spikes and plummets can leave you feeling drained.

Mark Sisson from Mark’s Daily Apple explains here what happens in the body after consuming a piece of birthday cake (so you have an idea of what happens in the body after consuming a high sugar snack). Fats are like putting a “big log on the fire” in sense that they take a long time digest, and keep you feeling satisfied longer. Fats keep you going. Therefore you won’t experience those fluctuations from blood sugar spikes and dips.

Coconut oil helps with blood sugar regulation as well! According to Dr Ward Jean and Jim English “medium chain fatty acids have a slight hypoglycemic (blood glucose-lowering) effect, and thus may be useful for diabetics, or anyone with a tendency for pre-diabetes.”
According to Brian and Marianita Shilhavy from coconutoil.com “A study done in 2009 at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia by Dr. Nigel Turner and Associate Professor Jiming Ye demonstrated that a diet rich in coconut oil protects against ‘insulin resistance’ (an impaired ability of cells to respond to insulin) in muscle and fat. These findings are important because obesity and insulin resistance are major factors leading to the development of Type 2 diabetes.”

*If you want to feel more stable and less irritable throughout the day, reach for whole nutrient dense foods, rather than low-fat sugary snacks. 

Dry Skin/Wrinkles:
Eating a low fat diet results in dry skin, dry hair, and wrinkles.
According to “Weston A. Price Foundation’s “ask the Doctor” on Dry Skin: “Many practitioners suggest that the solution is to drink more water—usually eight glasses per day of water is suggested. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help much as you may already have learned. The reason drinking a lot of water doesn’t work very well is because the water in our cells is actually derived from the metabolism of fats. (The water we drink mostly goes into the blood stream and then out via the kidneys.) It follows, therefore, that when the skin is dry, it means there is a relative imbalance or deficiency of fats, especially compared to the levels of carbohydrates in the diet. I find confirmation of this in my practice in that most of my patients who suffer from dry skin are thin and have been eating a low fat diet. They are also often hypoglycemic and crave sugar. Thus they are eating a diet that is high in carbohydrates but deficient in good quality fat. By changing the ratio, so that more calories come from fats than carbohydrates, the body produced more water for the cells. In addition, the body will now have more fatty acids available for our oil-producing glands, which are our natural moisturizers. Good fats include butter, lard, coconut oil, olive oil and small amounts of flax oil.”

butter - good fat
Here is a nice story from Weston A. Price Foundation “Taking the Fear Out of Eating Fat” “I worked with a client from Mexico who was here visiting her daughter over the summer. The mother was 85 years old, very strong and healthy, and had not one wrinkle on her beautiful face. Her skin was incredible! It was so soft and silky, not at all dry, scaly or wrinkly like the skin I’m so used to seeing with most of my clients. I just had to ask her what kind of fats she eats. Her daughter translated my question to her mother and then replied, “She said she eats mostly lard. I can’t believe it! I keep telling her that’s not good for her, but she just won’t listen!” Us silly Americans!”

*We have oil producing glands all over our body and on the scalp-so if you want soft skin and shiny healthy hair, no need to buy expensive products, just eat more saturated fats!

If you are uncertain of saturated fats because you have heard that they cause heart disease, check out this , this, and this!

* Please note: This is a personal blog. I am not a Doctor or a Dietician. All data and information provided on this site is for informational/educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitution for professional medical advice.

 

Some resources:
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/saturated-fat-healthy/#axzz2IidhOLQD
http://www.westonaprice.org/making-it-practical/taking-the-fear-out-of-eating-fat

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Comments

  1. laura Midura says:

    Great read! Thanks for sharing! Eat your butter! 🙂

  2. Very interesting. I think our government is partially to blame for the “low-fat” craze as well. Their recommendations include low fat dairy products and lean proteins. Yikes. I tell anyone who will listen, fat is NOT the enemy. All the processed garbage in your pantry is.

  3. I have just recently. Started to eat low carb and high fat food my skin is feeling unbelievable if feels like I have. Put body lotion all over me but I haven’t just eating butter

  4. I agree wholeheartedly with the health benefits of eating high fat low carb. My problem is this: “Have you ever had a fat-free product that tasted better than the original?” Yes! After years of eating low fat in the pursuit of conventional-wisdom health, I cannot stand the taste of most fats. Skim milk is delicious but whole milk is gag-inducing; I love bacon as much as the next guy, but not if I have to eat the rind. Does anybody else have this problem? How do I re-train my tastebuds?

    • Skim milk is gross…on its own or with other foods. I now put 15% cream in my coffee, use whole milk in recipes and I’m not going back.

  5. I am living proof that a high-fat diet clears up brain fog. I have been eating 2 eggs daily, whole organic milk, and pasture raised chicken liver pâté. I understand beef liver would be even better, just eaten once or twice a week. Wow, one week later my brain has cleared. I have never given in to a low fat diet, but increasing my fat intake even a little more has helped me tremendously. The bonus is, I can handle carbs and coffee better as well.

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  9. Thank you for this article. USDA and pharmacutical companies have a vested interest in the low fat diet recommendations. Science writer Gary Taubes has written books that tell the story–backed up by research. In September 2013 David Perlmutter,MD neurologist published Grain Brain, a very important book. Easy to read, he strips away the hype and cites research to support his clinical observations.

    I started low carb ten years ago. I maintained 30 lb weight loss and I feel great at age 62. When I started the low carb lifestyle I felt an immediate surge of energy. Since then i have been watching the literature. After reading Grain Brain I am working to remove grain from my (already low-glutin) diet.

    If you and your loved ones are suffering coronary heart disease, diabetis and/or dementia it is the most important book you will ever read. Bring on the healthy saturated fat! Feel better and live longer.

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  11. She absolutely right..TRUST ME forget all about what other says!! I am saying from my experience i was almost died by reducing saturated fat from my diet:.MY body stopped losing weight /gaining weight, dehydrated, dry skin/ scalp and NO engery at all! Now i feel much better by eating more saturated fat…

Trackbacks

  1. […] This is a follow -up on my post: Side Effects From Eating a Low-Fat Diet […]

  2. […] Cutting fat from your diet can result in blood sugar fluctuations and unsurprisingly, weight gain. Saturated fats help to release insulin (Insulin helps keeps your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia).). Fat keeps you full longer. When you avoid fat, you are hungry more frequently. Consuming a high fructose/refined grain and low-fat diet makes you more hungry so you tend to reach for more snacks. “Any meal or snack high in carbohydrates like fructose and refined grains generates a rapid rise in blood glucose and then insulin to compensate for the rise in blood sugar. The insulin released from eating too many carbohydrates promotes fat and makes it more difficult for your body to shed excess weight, and excess fat, particularly around your belly”. You can find so so so much more information on this subject here – http://primalblissnutrition.com/2013/01/side-effects-from-eating-a-low-fat-diet/#sthash.sDZZQclF.dpu… […]

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