5 Healthy Fats For You, 1 is Even Steak!

Healthy fats, benefits on heart when consuming healthy fats, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated fats

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

October 20, 2017

  • Everything you’ve been told about fats is wrong
  • It’s time to put eggs back on your menu
  • Top sources for healthy, life-saving fats

The idea that fat is bad for you is a myth that’s been sold to the American public for more than 50 years now. But in the past few decades, it’s been disproven over and over again.

Study after study shows absolutely no link between fat – saturated or otherwise – and heart disease.

Yet I meet so many patients and other folks who are still loading up on “low-fat”,” “reduced-fat,” and “no fat” foods. The dogma is so ingrained in their lives that they avoid fat like the plague!

Well, if you’re one of them I have some news for you.

At the recent European Society of Cardiology meeting in Barcelona, Spain, researchers called for a reconsideration of global dietary guidelines when it comes to limiting fat intake and eating carbs.

This comes on the heels of data showing that carbohydrates are a much greater health risk than fats. In fact, high carbohydrate intake increases the risk of death by a whopping 28%.

Higher fat intake, on the other hand, slashes the risk of death by between 23% and 30%. It also reduces your chance of a stroke by about 18%.

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And here’s something that will stun you. The type of fat doesn’t matter. It can be polyunsaturated. It can be monounsaturated. It can even (GASP!) be saturated.

This turns everything you thought you knew about fats on its head. And it’s a very loud and clear message that it’s time to rethink your food choices.

It’s Time to put Eggs Back on Your Menu

If you’ve been avoiding eggs or eating only egg whites for the past 10, 20 or 30 years in your efforts to avoid saturated fats, I have some great news. Eggs are back on the menu!

The truth is, when it comes to cholesterol and heart disease, eggs have been cleared of all negative health consequences. At the same time, they are a near-perfect food and deserve a place in your diet. You can feel free to enjoy one or two a day pastured eggs each day – yolk and all – without guilt.

It’s also time for red meat lovers to celebrate. You don’t have to forego that steak or prime rib for a dry and boring chicken breast. However I do suggest caution on over-doing it when it comes to your meat choices.

There are numerous risks associated with commercial meats. These include exposure to antibiotics in their feed that can fatten you up and ruin the delicate balance of your gut microbiota as well as increasing antibiotic resistant bacteria. They are also exposed to genetically altered grains (and the pesticides formulated for them) which have a negative impact on your gut microbiome too.

Given these concerns, I recommend reserving steak night to a once a week event. Always choose grassfed… and enjoy every ounce of it.

Where Else Can You Find Healthy Fats?

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I know a lot of people who avoid eating nuts because they think they’re fattening. But unless you’re gorging on nuts, it’s entirely unfounded. Nuts can actually help you maintain a healthy weight, and even encourage weight loss if you need to drop some pounds.

At the same time, just a handful of nuts each day can cut your risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and certain types of cancer. Stick with tree nuts like pistachios, walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts. Cashews, pecans, macadamia and Brazil nuts are good choices, too. But stay away from peanuts, as they contain aflatoxin, a natural toxin produced by certain strains of mold.

Avocados are another food that’s often misunderstood. Like nuts, people often think avocados will make them gain weight. However, eating foods high in monounsaturated fats, like avocados, actually prevents the distribution of fat to your belly.

And they’re great for your metabolism. Eating just half of an avocado each day can improve insulin response and lower your blood sugar. Additionally, enjoying avocado regularly can help reduce the number of small, dense LDL particles that can slip into the linings of your blood vessels and cause blockages.

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is one of my favorite sources of healthy fats. EVOO is chock-full of natural antioxidants called polyphenols. These compounds can change the expression of genes that influence your risk of heart disease and plaque build-up in the arteries.

Polyphenols also repress pro-inflammatory genes. Since almost all chronic diseases today are linked to inflammation, this gives olive oil a powerful role in the fight against aging.

And let’s not forget about the all-important omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. These fats lower inflammation, reduce blood pressure and slow the build up of plaque in your arteries. They drastically cut your chances of a heart attack or sudden cardiac death. Omega-3s also slash your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

However, avoid farm-raised and deep sea, top-of-the-food-chain, predatory fish. Your best health benefits will come from smaller, wild-caught fish like mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines and trout.

Surround all of these healthy fats with a wide variety of organic fruits, vegetables and legumes and you’ll be all the healthier for it.

SOURCES:

Revisiting dietary fat guidelines? (PURE). European Society of Cardiology. Aug 2017.

Alexander DD, et al. Meta-analysis of Egg Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke. J Am Coll Nutr. 2016 Oct 6:1-13.

Virtanen JK, et al. Associations of egg and cholesterol intakes with carotid intima-media thickness and risk of incident coronary artery disease according to apolipoprotein E phenotype in men: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Mar;103(3):895-901.

Jackson CL, et al. Long-term associations of nut consumption with body weight and obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul;100 Suppl 1:408S-11S

Afshin A, et al. Consumption of nuts and legumes and risk of incident ischemic heart disease, stroke, and diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul;100(1):278-88.

Luo C, et al. Nut consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul;100(1):256-69.

Paniagua JA, et al. Monounsaturated fat-rich diet prevents central body fat distribution and decreases postprandial adiponectin expression induced by a carbohydrate-rich diet in insulin-resistant subjects. Diabetes Care. 2007 Jul;30(7):1717-23.

Wien M, et al. A randomized 3×3 crossover study to evaluate the effect of Hass avocado intake on post-ingestive satiety, glucose and insulin levels, and subsequent energy intake in overweight adults. Nutr J. 2013 Nov 27;12:155.

Li Wang, et al. Effect of a Moderate Fat Diet With and Without Avocados on Lipoprotein Particle Number, Size and Subclasses in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. J Am Heart Assoc. 2015;4:e001355

  1. Konstantinidou, et al. “In vivo nutrigenomic effects of virgin olive oil polyphenols within the frame of the Mediterranean diet: a randomized controlled trial.” The FASEB Journal, 2010.

Antonio Camargo, et al. “Gene expression changes in mononuclear cells from patients with metabolic syndrome after acute intake of phenol-rich virgin olive oil.” BMC Genomics, 2010.

Saremi A, et al. The utility of omega-3 fatty acids in cardiovascular disease. Am J Ther. 2009 Sep-Oct;16(5):421-36.

Huang TL, et al. Benefits of fatty fish on dementia risk are stronger for those without APOE epsilon4. Neurology. 2005 Nov 8;65(9):1409-14.

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