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April 26, 2015 by Leanne Vogel October 6, 2018
The connection between low-fat, low-cholesterol, calories and an increased risk of cancer. A review of Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories and the weak science behind society’s demonization of fats.
I grew up on margarine. Big tubs of “heart healthy” margarine. We coated our skinless chicken breasts with barbecue sauce, snacked on rice cakes, and only ever made our omelets with egg whites. If this sounds like your upbringing, you (like me!) have a hard time wrapping your head around the whole, “high-fat” or “keto” thing.
What if there was scientific evidence that dietary fat; whether saturated or not, is not a cause of obesity, heart disease, or any other chronic disease of civilization? Would that change your mind? Well, fancy that! There’s lots of research that has been performed over the last 7 decades which proves that a low-fat diet is a load of poo-poo. 7 decades of research.
Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes translates the actual science, history and facts behind the demonization of fats and the impact it’s had on our health. Today, I’m sharing my review of his book, key lessons and the strong link between cholesterol level, the fats we take in and our increased cancer risk as a result, especially in the case of women’s health.
A must-watch if you’re interested in optimizing your eating style to lower your disease risk. So, like… basically everyone would benefit from this information, yes?
For video transcription, scroll down.
Hey, today we’re talking about high fat/low fat, what should we do? Ahhh, it’s a huge conundrum. Eating high fat or keto, something that you know that I’m pretty passionate about. When I’m out with friends, even when I’m at the grocery store and on my blog and You Tube channel, I get a lot of people challenging me on the choices that I’m making for myself and my health. Things like, don’t you know you’re going to die of heart disease? Or, your cholesterol is too high, you’re going to die. A lot of death comments. Another one is, how dare you think that fats are okay and tell people that we should be eating fats when we know that they kill us? Up until a couple of months ago, I would always explain [ketosis 00:00:45] and ketogenics and why I’m dealing with fats and everything but now, I just tell people to pick up this book if they’re that concerned, “Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes 00:00:56, Gary Taubes has been writing about the holes in the low-fat diet since before 2002. His goal with “Good Calories, Bad Calories” was to change our views on the nature of healthy diet.
For anyone who has an honest desire or need to understand how diet impacts our health, this book is an awesome read. Everything I’m going to be talking about in today’s video is based on the things that I learned and read in “Good Calories, Bad Calories,” it really changed the game for me. I already knew that I was eating high fat, keto, I knew why I was eating high fat, keto, but knowing the history behind where this whole low fat thing came from and just reaffirming the path that I’m on was just really helpful. “Good Calories, Bad Calories” does a phenomenal job at putting all the pieces of our history together into one easily consumable and also quite entertaining timeline.
Basically, there was this guy, Ancel Keys, and he decided that he wanted to figure out why heart disease was increasing. Very little was known [00:02:00] about heart disease back then and he went to some conference somewhere and chatted to some guy who said he didn’t have heart disease in his city and so Ancel Keys went to that city, checked it out and determined that heart disease wasn’t a big thing there because they weren’t eating as much fat. That started the whole situation. He had it in his mind, right form the get-go, right from that first initial visit that fat was bad and leading to heart disease. He made it his life’s work to demonize fat and assist people in lowering their cholesterol in order to protect themselves against heart disease.
The sad part is, is that in reading “Good Calories, Bad Calories,” you really start to see that all of Ancel Keys work was based on weak science. He took up a bunch of data from around the world, picked out the countries that he felt he wanted to use and then used that to support his theory. Because he was all saying that saturated fats were bad, we started switching out the saturated fats for polyunsaturated fats but then studies started showing that polyunsaturated fat was causing cancer. Then it was decided that we would stop eating as much polyunsaturated fat and switch that out for grains. What was really interesting is that there was some studies going on later on, I think around the 70s or 80s that were proving that women did not benefit from trying to reduce their cholesterol. Interestingly enough, low fat diets were only tested 2 times ever to ensure that they were safe for people.
The first part of “Good Calories, Bad Calories” highlights the dietary fat, whether it be saturated or not is not the cause of obesity, heart disease or any other chronic illness or disease of civilization. Right around the time that fats were replaced with grains is when the first dietary recommendations came out by the AHA, who was in bed with Mazola and other companies. It was a real mass preventative approach to healing the population by looking at just one type of [00:04:00] disease. Then there’s the whole cancer and low cholesterol issue. A low cholesterol eating style, one that is primarily low in fat, has been shown to cause cancer. Especially in women. In fact, in the book it highlights that women that were on a low fat eating style, following a cholesterol lowering approach actually had more incidences of breast cancer. As a woman, this scares the crap out of me.
Everyone thinks that a lower cholesterol means that you’re going to be healthier and things are going to go your way when in fact, the science really shows that this isn’t actually a thing. We thought that by lowering our cholesterol it was going to fix our heart disease when in fact, it caused more diseases and then we just thought that, “Oh well, it was the high cholesterol from before that caused the disease.” Naturally high cholesterol when we’re eating a good diet of fats and a good, balanced diet where there is fat in the diet, when our cholesterol starts to increase that’s either a good indication that we need it as a precursor for our hormones. If you have imbalanced hormones like I do, I’ve been on a mission to try to increase my cholesterol. Not decrease it. Cholesterol helps to bring nutrients up to our brain and things that we need in order to function properly.
Cholesterol helps protect our body against ages. I call them ages, A-G-E-S, it’s a deterioration of our cells as we age. Cholesterol is there to protect us so that we age gracefully. With the whole cholesterol thing, maybe I’m totally blowing your mind on this, again, if you don’t believe a word I’m saying that’s totally fine. I’m sharing what I learned from “Good Calories, Bad Calories” as well as my personal experience. I have to tell you that saturated fat is your friend. Forms of saturated fat are grass-fed tallow, if you are more plant-based, coconut oil or red palm oil. What saturated fat does in your body,[00:06:00] it strengthens your immune system, builds strong bones, makes gorgeous hair. Saturated fat is not the demon that we make it out to be and it’s not about gorging on the fats, it’s just 10% of fat is likely going to serve you. There were 4 life-changing lessons that I learned and that I feel you too would learn from “Good Calories, Bad Calories.”
The first one is, consuming excess calories does not cause us to grow fatter. Any more than it causes us to grow taller. The second lesson is that the way that we eat now was based on one mans hypothesis, who never tried to prove it wrong and that is how we got to where we are today. Primarily by the work of Ancel Keys. The third lesson is sucrose and high fructose corn syrup, and I would like to say fructose as well in fruit, are particularly harmful because the combination of fructose and sucrose hits our body like a double whammy. It sort of punches all parts of our body at the very same time, causing massive issues. The fourth one that I read through this book is that expending more energy than we take in for some sort of weight loss goal will only make us more hungry.
What do we do with all this information? Something that “Good Calories, Bad Calories” did very well was present the information to us. I have a brain full of information, so much more than I did before. It’s hard to pick it apart and decide, okay, what am I going to do with all this information? I have 2 steps that you can do to considerably extend your lifetime based on the science from “Good Calories, Bad Calories.” The first one is, replace the sugar in your life, the sugar and the fructose with Stevia as a good first step. I, myself, haven’t had fruit in a very long time and so, if that’s not you, maybe you eat a lot of sugary [00:08:00] things or sugary things sometimes. Replacing those sugary things with Stevia and then slowly switching out to non-sweetened things, can go a huge way in expanding your lifetime. Just the sugar. Just trying to cut down on the sugar. The second one should come as no surprise, get the vegetable oils out of there. Get them out.
We know that plant-based oils like vegetable oils, Canola oil, corn oil, soy oil, causes cancer so why are we eating it? Replace that soy oil in your pantry, get rid of the Canola oil, the vegetable oil. Now that’s not your coconut oil, your red palm oil, hemp oil is really great, that’s also plant-based. You have your avocado oils that are brilliant but any of those processed, Crisco-like oils just don’t do it. Margarine, switch it out for butter. If you want to know more about how to go about this way of eating, to really benefit your health and try something new. I would love for you to check out my book. I’ve linked to it somewhere up here and you can go there and check out my book and if it speaks to you, I would love for you to get a copy and then tell me what you think. If you loved this video and you want to hear more from me, please subscribe to my channel, I’ve included a link, it’s somewhere along the screen and you can ahead and click that, subscribe. I will see you soon. Okay. Bye.
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HI! I’M LEANNE
Nutrition educator + keto enthusiast. I want to live in a world where every woman loves her body, nourishing fats are enjoyed at every meal, and the word “restriction” isn’t in the dictionary.