The
Ultimate Guide
To Dietary Fat

What Is Good Fat & What Is Bad Fat?

What Is Good Fat & What Is Bad Fat?

Bad Fat, Crazy Diets 

What's The Fuss? 

Flip-flopping information

One minute something is healthy, then it'll kill us, then 10 years later it's healthy again. 


We have been told for the best part of fifty years that fat is bad and that the consumption of fat will make you fat, your heart unhealthy, and your weight escalate. 

 

Fat-phobia

People have become scared of fat because they've been led to believe fat is some terrifying substance that is the most dangerous thing you can consume.
This is not entirely true (most of the time), because there are very different types of fat. 


Some are relatively good fats


Some are relatively bad fats

 

It's all contingent on many factors
Fat itself is neither good nor bad, but there are two sides to the story - Good Fats and the more sinister bad ones. 

Author AJ James

AJ
James

Divergent Fats
Divergent Fats
Not All Fats Are Created Equally 

A Closer Look

Fear of the lipid

While some people have been prematurely prone to lump all types of fats into the same category, it is an unfair assumption to make. 

Sifting between fact and emotional chaos

Fear has precipitated the sort of mass hysteria that creates the usual blurred information and poor choices with the end result being that many people seeking to control their weight have avoided fat for the sake of their health... As well as actual weight loss. 


Taking fat completely out of one's diet in order to lose weight is a step backward and can create a myriad of preventable health problems, especially when good fat can assist with weight loss. 

 

A Fat  Witch Hunt?

Failed Health Reform

At the expense of your health

Objectively, it's a shame people have taken the stance that all fat is evil and should be avoided like the plague when the truth is good fats are essential to good health and proper brain function. 


The truth about the importance of fat in the diet is slowly making its way into mainstream knowledge, but the majority of people still don't realize the huge benefits of consuming adequate amounts of quality fat. 

 

Beckoning reality
In fairness, avoiding all fat is impossible, but some people seem all too willing to take up the challenge and in reality, it just isn't necessary.  


A lot has been made about the dangers of saturated fat, but as we look at the research, the commonly held belief that saturated fat is potentially deadly might be more myth than fact.

A Fat  Witch Hunt?
The truth about fat
So What Does This All Mean?

The Truth About Fat

The battle of the fats

A lot of what we'd been taught was grounded in shaky science and that's been pretty generous.   

As with almost anything, companies trying to sell us their wares stretched the truth to make their product appear healthier and more appealing.

Fortunes were spent advertising seed oils and non-dairy-based fats.  New products like margarine were lauded as miracle foods, and people flocked to buy what they thought was a healthier alternative.

Vicious campaigns against competitor fat products were launched and the war was basically won by those touting the benefits of unsaturated fat. 

But they were wrong

I know, shocking, right?

Rushed studies, backdoor deals, and all sorts of corrupt machinations meant the public had effectively been duped into some pretty serious deceit.   

 

As it turned out, butter wasn't that bad at all and in fact, had some positive health benefits (1) (2) and on the other hand, seed oils had some characteristically dangerous properties. (3) (4

Not everything unsaturated was golden

Time and time again we were told that unsaturated fats were the golden boy of the fat chains.  These low molecularly dense molecules were believed to do no wrong and consumption increased exponentially but something very strange occurred... Heart health got worse.

But how can that be?

Well, it turns out that not all unsaturated fats are the same and of course, this led to vastly different outcomes in the consumption of said fats.

First, let's look a little closer at saturated fats and learn more...

 

Saturated Fats
What Are Saturated Fats?
What Are Saturated Fats?

Dense & Inert

Hydrogen density

Unlike their unsaturated counterparts, saturated fats derive their name from the saturation of hydrogen atoms in the molecule making for a structural difference compared to unsaturated fat molecules.

Saturated fats break down slower because of their hydrogen density and are extremely stable making them great for cooking at higher temperatures and they also store well in addition to being less prone to rancidity.

So, essentially, saturated fats are denser than unsaturated fats.

 

What foods contain saturated fat?
Saturated fats examples include beef, chicken, butter, dairy and coconut, palm, and palm kernel fats. 
Lard, pork, and many other meat products also are on the saturated fat foods list.

 

Natural or not?
These fat saturates are naturally occurring fats just like the ones found in plants whereas trans fats (further below) are completely unnatural. 


Saturated fats tend to be found in animal fat and dairy with only a few plant-based exceptions such as palm oil.

 

Do saturated fats increase cholesterol?

The only thing that seems to be scientifically provable to a high level of objective evidence is that saturated fats do change the structure of LDL increasing the conglomerative size.

A change in the size of (as opposed to the overall number of) LDL has not been adequately proven to be harmful at all to the biology of a human being, so it can not be proven with any degree of accuracy that the consumption of saturated fats leads to heart problems.


Because of the lack of uncontested evidence, the truth about saturated fat has been harder for the general public to find.
 

Saturated Fat Molecule
What Do Saturated Fats Look Like? 

Zero Double-Bonds

Referring to the image above

As you can see from the above picture, saturated fat has densely packed hydrogen without a double bond and less hydrogen than unsaturated fat molecules.


You can see the picture of an unsaturated fat molecule for comparison a little bit further below.


Because of the density of the molecules, saturated fats are generally quite solid at room temperature whether they come from either animal or vegetable sources. 
 

Is Saturated Fat Unhealthy?
Is Saturated Fat Unhealthy?

Hearsay, Correlation, & Failed Methodology

Do saturated fats increase cardiovascular risk?
The short answer is NO! 

There have been a lot of accusations aimed at saturated fat's effects on cardiovascular health but most are unproven or backed by some extremely shoddy science.

Correlation =/= causation

At best there's a correlation that someone who is overweight and consumes far too many calories probably consumes a fair excess of saturated fats.  It would be ridiculous to point to this correlation and blame saturated fat as being the cause of weight-related illness in the individual.

The aforementioned overweight person would likely also consume excess carbohydrates and protein which would theoretically be just as culpable for the weight gain and subsequent health issues.

So, basically, excess calories cause cardiovascular issues.  

French Paradox

Just as there was a correlation between diets high in saturated fat and high in calories and heart disease, a major problem in driving home the saturated-fat-is-dangerous theory was something called the French Paradox whereby the French population consumes more saturated fat per capita than any other country and yet have an extremely low risk of heart disease.

It would truly seem that calorie intake is the difference here.

Studies show saturated fat is healthy

According to a comprehensive meta-analysis of saturated fat, it appears as though saturated fats are perfectly healthy and that they pose no risk to cardiovascular disease whatsoever. (5)

Oh, and eggs are fine, too. (6)

Times & science can change

Because of this recent change in the way saturated fat is viewed scientists are changing their approach to classification of which fats are healthy and which are not and although the process has been slow, it's starting to reach the masses with high-quality saturated fats being unmaligned at last.

It appears as though an actual correlation worth noting was the decrease in butter consumption and the increase in seed oil popularity which saw an immediate and measurable increase in heart issues.

More on that further below.

Saturated Fat Dangers
Saturated Fat Dangers

Correlations


Caloric excess

As touched upon above, diets with high levels of saturated fats seem to correlate with higher overall calorie consumption.  

All types of fat have the same caloric density being 9 calories per gram but as plant-based fat sources almost invariably contain fiber and carbohydrates which may provide higher levels of satiety and fullness, there's a possibility that this isn't the case with saturated fat sources.

The effect of satiety on calorie/kilojoule consumption

Those who consume larger amounts of plant-based fats may experience better satiation and therefore concomitantly consume fewer calories.

Saturated fats may be associated with higher dairy and meat consumption which may be far more calorie dense by weight leading to more frequent calorie excesses leading to weight gain.

The danger is likely the calorie excess

There's a distinct possibility that consuming a moderate proportion of saturated fat in your diet poses no danger at all and that so long as you're not in a constant calorie excess, saturated fat may be quite healthy with several benefits to overall well-being. (7)

Hormonal issues

Probably the biggest issue with animal-based saturated fats is the ability of animals who are subject to exogenous hormone stimulation, to store said hormones in their fat reserves.

This is one of the major reasons as a biohacker, the consumption of solely organic meat and dairy is considered to be of consequential importance.

Dairy and meat fat can contain high levels of estrogens which might be terribly dangerous not just for male testosterone and health but also may increase the risk of hormone-related cancers in both men and women. 

Unsaturated Fats
What Are Unsaturated Fats?
What Are Unsaturated Fats?

Mono & Poly Chains

Double bonded binding

Unlike saturated fats, unsaturated fats contain a double bond within the chain.  

 

The picture of an unsaturated fat molecule below quite clearly shows one or more double bonds and fewer hydrogen atoms.

 

What difference does a double bond make to a fat molecule?
This double bond leads to a reduction in hydrogen atoms leaving the fatty acid chain less saturated, ergo; the name unsaturated.  Of the unsaturated fats, there are two kinds that differ in the number of chains associated with the fat molecules.


Unsaturated fats fall into two categories:


Polyunsaturated 
Traditionally on the healthy fats list, polyunsaturated fats can be found in such foods as walnuts, fish, corn, flaxseed (linseed), and fish oil. You most likely know them as omega-3 or omega-6 fats.

Polyunsaturated fats have multiple double bonds which can mean they are generally weaker and are susceptible to breaking down and becoming rancid.  

The vast majority of plant-based fats are polyunsaturated and they have been considered historically to be the healthiest fats but that has changed significantly due to recent findings. Which will be discussed below.

Palmitoleic & Cis-Vaccenic

There is a rarer type of omega fat called omega 7 which can be can be found in macadamias, buckthorn, and some dairy.  These less common types of unsaturated fats are considered widely and without controversy to be healthy and studies show measurable benefits to heart health. (8)


Monounsaturated 
Monounsaturated fatty acids can be found in nuts, avocados, seeds, and olive oil. These mono fats are also known as omega-9 fats.


Monounsaturated fats are far superior to most polyunsaturated fats purely because they only have a single double-bond and are much more stable leading to less rancidity in storage and a higher smoke point in cooking.

 

Generally considered the very best fat, although as discussed below, that's not entirely true.
 

Are Unsaturated Fats Healthy?
Why Are Unsaturated Fats Healthy?

Or Are they?

Cholesterol

While the controversy over saturated fat vs unsaturated fat rages on, the one proven benefit of unsaturated fats that keeps being touted is that polyunsaturated fatty acids are proven to lower serum cholesterol. (9)


This is believed to be because of the liver's preference to modulate polyunsaturated fatty acids into ketones and not LDLs.

 

The Fiber Correlation
Most sources of unsaturated fats are plant-based and therefore, also a source of dietary fiber, making another good reason why partaking in a diet where unsaturated fats make the highest proportion of fat consumed could be a wise decision.

Fiber has a positive effect on cholesterol levels which may somewhat skew the results.  It would be really interesting to see a study of whole food, plant-based unsaturated fat vs pure extract.   It would be reasonable to suggest there could be a significant difference due to the mechanistic effect of fiber.

Potential dangers of unsaturated fat

Not all unsaturated fats are alike and though there's evidence to suggest both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat both improve good cholesterol, there's some serious doubt as to the overall health benefits of polyunsaturated fats that are of the omega-6 variety.  There's more on the dangers of unsaturated fat further below.

 

Omega 3
The one fatty acid the body can not replicate and therefore must be consumed is an unsaturated fat and that is omega 3.  Universally believed to be the healthiest of all fats, omega-3 fatty acids are touted for their heart, brain, and health-boosting benefits.

Polyunsaturated fat molecule
Monounsaturated fat molecule
What Do Unsaturated Fats Look Like?

Varying Degrees

What do unsaturated fatty acids look Like?

As you can see by the diagram above, unlike saturates, there is a double bond and less hydrogen present making the name unsaturated fat axiomatic.

The left molecule is a polyunsaturated fat with two double bonds and the molecule on the right is a monounsaturated fat with just a single double bond occurring.

There's a difference in bond structure between the different omega 3,6,7, & 9 fats

Omega 6 Dangers
Omega 6 Dangers

PUFA Problems


Inflammation issues
Unlike omega-3 fatty acids with having exceptional anti-inflammatory properties, it appears that omega-6 polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) may cause inflammation and has some serious issues regarding overall health.

It might be that omega-6 fatty acids play a role in the creation of inflammation modulation agents such as leukotrienes and prostaglandins which may lead to negative health associations. (10)

Inflammation is something that is currently considered to be one of the foundational issues related to poor health outcomes. Most in the biohacking community agree that the reduction of inflammation can have significant effects on health improvement and longevity.

PUFA heart issues
Although studies seem to show a positive effect on serum cholesterol from omega-6 PUFA consumption, that may not be the whole story when it comes to overall heart health.

It seems as though omega-6 PUFAS pose a considerable risk to cardiac lipoperoxidation with findings suggesting the oxidative stress consumption of PUFAs may place on the heart is a health risk factor. (11)

Increased blood pressure/stroke risk

The relative weakness of PUFA molecules leaves them susceptible to ROS (reactive oxygen species) and subsequent oxidative damage leading to atherosclerosis which can be a factor in higher stroke risk. (12)

 

As a biohacker and the author of this article, I personally reduce my intake of omega-6 fats wherever I can based on what I believe to be substantial evidence that these PUFAs are detrimental to good health. 
 

Omega-3 The Super Fat
Omega 3 sources
Bountiful Benefits

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Omega 3 - always on top

Okay, so, whilst omega-3 fats are technically unsaturated fats, they deserve their own title section due to the lack of controversy surrounding them.

 

Fat is a historically contentious subject with saturated and unsaturated fat playing an almost tennis-like game of back and forth between who is the healthiest contender.  There doesn't seem to be any doubt as to the remarkable efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids as a beneficial health boon.

 

 

Omega 3 fatty acids benefits
The body needs omega 3 to complete many important internal processes including; brain function, body repair, and regeneration, as well as skin elasticity. 


One of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids is a reduction in inflammation.

 

Preventing inflammation
Monocytes, neutrophils, and eosinophils can not work with platelets to create the prothrombotic agents that can cause inflammation as effectively in the bodies of people who consume adequate omega 3 fatty acids.

 

Improved cell tissue strength
Cellular body tissue has been shown to strengthen in those individuals who consume foods high in omega-3 fatty acids. (13

Better eye health

It appears as though one of the major animal-sourced types of omega-3, docosahexaenoic acid has a powerful effect on eye health according to research on the effects of omega-3s on retina function. (14)

Omega-3s may help with depression 

It appears as though regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids could help to lower your stress levels.

Using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS), subjects who were given omega-3 fatty acids faired better and showed measurable improvements in mood than the control group.  (15)

ADHD

Administration of omega-3s appears to attenuate the effects of ADHD in children according to a comprehensive literature review of 52 separate studies. (16)

Sleep improvement

A study on fish consumption (a major source of omega-3s) showed that an observable improvement in sleep quality and length was achieved for those who were given marine-based omega-3s. (17)

Consuming regular omega-3 fats may be a way biohack your sleep quality and given the importance of sleep in almost all aspects of health, it's probably worth making a part of your diet or supplementation plan.

Fish High In Omega-3
Foods High In Omega-3

Good Fatty Acids

Finding the perfect source

Knowing that omega-3s are the very best fats available, it's important to cycle them into our diet on a regular basis.

List Foods High In Omega 3
If you're looking to increase your consumption of omega 3 fats then you'll need to refer to our list of foods high in omega 3, below.
The good news is that these foods are delicious and nutritious and most of them are easily obtainable for many people.


Foods high in omega-3 fats include:
Chia Seeds
Salmon
Walnuts

Spirulina
Flaxseeds
Sardines
Mackeral
Cod Liver Oil
Hemp Seeds
Herbs & Spices Such As Basil,  Oregano & Cloves.
Grape Leaves
Anchovies

The best omega-3 source?

Fish sources are considered to be better because of the concentration of DHAs & EPAs.  Let's look a little closer at these two forms of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids...
 

 ALA, DHA, & EPA
 ALA, DHA, & EPA

Optimal Fats

What does ALA, DHA & EPA mean?
These are fatty acid structures, with DHA and EPA being the superior forms.


When eating plant sources of omega-3 fats, the body must break down the ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid) into the superior DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid).


Unfortunately, we are limited by our biology as to how much ALAs we can absorb and process into DHAs and EPAs.

Biological limitations

We only produce enough digestive enzymes to break down a small proportion each day, which is why marine sources of omega-3 fats are far superior.

Eating only plant-based omega-3s may critically limit the overall benefits of these benevolent fats.

 

One dietary biohack is to consume turmeric with plant-based ALA omega-3s as it may help to convert more into the DHA & AHA varieties.

 

Spirulina

The "superfood" spirulina has received a lot of positive press in health circles due to its myriad of apparent health benefits.   

One of the most exciting health benefits of spirulina is that it contains both DHA & AHA omega-3s and is the single best source of plant-based fats but you'd need to consume around 100 grams to get the same amount as a single fish oil capsule.

 Are There Any Dangers

Omega-3 Cautions

Omega-3 Side Effects
It is possible to have too much of a good thing and omega-3 fats are not an exception to this rule. 

 

Blood thinning medications
The healthful anticoagulant properties of omega 3 fats mean that anyone on blood thinning medications could find very serious and dangerous issues arising if they consume an excess far above the recommended intake of omega 3 fats, although it'd be very difficult to consume enough omega-3 fatty acids to meet this criterion.

 

Vitamin A
Superfluous ingestion of fish oil could lead to excess Vitamin A consumption if the source of fish oil is high in retinol.  It would appear as though this would require a pretty significant level of consumption to reach any measurable issues.


Overconsumption of Vitamin A can lead to toxicity causing headaches, skin rashes, brain swelling, mood swings, and damage to the eyes.

Goldilocks formula

There's a biohacking term called the Goldilocks formula which is ostensibly the exact amount of something that you should consume to gain the health benefits of it without excess consumption that could lead to negative effects. Vitamin A is essential but in large doses, quite dangerous so it's important to get it "just right".

 

 

All in all, omega-3s seem to be very safe, extremely beneficial to good health, and the best of all fats with the absolute superior form of 0mega-3 coming from wild-caught and sourced fish oil.

Omega-3 dangers
Man-Made Trans Fats
What Are Trans Fats? 
What Are Trans Fats? 

The Worst Fat In The World

A real danger

Trans fats are "lab" fats (with the exception of natural ruminant fats).  

They are artificial in that they are created by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats, this partial hydrogenation doesn't fully saturate the molecule, thus they do not become saturated fats, but rather this Frankenstein's molecule becomes a newly created trans fat.

 

Bad fats - big profit
Artificial Trans fats have an extended shelf life, which makes them commercially viable and attractive to large businesses.

 

Slowly, but surely the extension of longevity for otherwise rancid products meant that although exceptionally unhealthy, trans fats were far more profitable for the bottom line because it meant less waste and better expiration dates.

Trans fats' attack on health

Artificially created trans fats are indisputably bad fats, are dangerous, and should be avoided.  


Trans fats have been proven to create many health problems including heart disease, weight gain, excess insulin secretion, and many impaired bodily functions.  In addition to these concerning issues, studies have also shown trans fats to be responsible for increasing the likelihood of strokes in some people. (18


Many places have banned trans fats.
The decision to eat them may well be out of your hands depending on your geographical location.  Some countries have an outright ban on the sale and creation of trans fats.

 

Whether you take a more libertarian attitude towards food bans or not, one thing is for sure, trans fats are certainly not something to be missed and most people lacked the informed consent to know just how dangerous these man-made trans fatty acids really were.
 

Ruminant Trans Fats
What Are  Ruminant Trans Fats? 

Not To Be Confused

What are ruminant trans fats? 

Ruminant trans fatty acids (rTFAs) are naturally occurring trans fats and unlike artificially created trans fatty acids are not dangerous at all. (19


Ruminant trans fats occur in two forms: CLA (Conjugated Linolenic Acid) and VA (Vaccenic Acid) which occur naturally in meat and dairy products.


Neither CLAs nor VAs has been proven to be dangerous like industrial artificial trans fats.

 

Anti-cancer properties

As opposed to the terribly dangerous manufactured trans fats, naturally occurring rTFAs (ruminant trans fats) may have some unique health characteristics such as helping to fight cancer and being anticarcinogenic. (20)

Man-Made Trans Fat Dangers

Man-Made Problems


Inflammation issues
Trans fats that are artificially created may be a root cause of inflammation issues in some consumers.

Trans fat heart issues
Trans fatty acids have been shown to increase LDL (bad) cholesterol and has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease. (21)

Increased risk of diabetes

Consumption of trans fats can be linked to the development of diabetes, especially in women. (22)

Endothelial function

Artificially created trans fats may lead to deterioration of endothelial function. (23)

At the end of the day, trans fats are definitely something to be avoided for the sake of your health, but like many things, a small amount infrequently probably won't do too much damage. 

 

Man-Made Trans Fat Dangers
Medium Chain Triglycerdides
What Are MCTs?
What Are MCTs?

More Good Fats

Shorter fat chains

These are fatty acids that have fewer carbon atoms than longer chain saturated fats.  

This reduced size means they are absorbed faster and readily used for energy quicker than the other fat types.

Faster digestion

Unlike long-chain triglycerides, MCTs pass through the G.I tract without the additional processing requirements that affect longer triglyceride chains.

 

No controversies
Because they lack the exact same properties as longer saturated fat varieties, medium chain triglycerides have not come under fire like the dubious scrutiny of saturated fatty acids and thus are not considered bad fat by most experts.

 

Healthy fat benefits​

Reduced appetite.  Studies show that consuming MCTs may help suppress appetites and lead to a lower calorie intake.  (23)

Weight loss.   Studies have shown that consumption of MCTs may lead to an overall loss in adipose tissue (stored fat). (24)

Healthier heart.  Studies appear to indicate that the consumption of medium chain triglycerides can lead to improved cardiovascular health and reduced risk of heart-related issues. (25)

MCT Sources
MCT Sources

Finding Medium Chain Triglycerides

 

What foods contain medium chain triglycerides?
Palm oil is a common source of MCT fats, it may also show up on a label as palmolein. 


Coconut oil, cream, and meat all contain high levels of medium-chain fatty acids.


Milk fat contains a small proportion of MCTs, but sheep's milk has around double the number of medium chain fats as cow's milk.


Many athletes on a ketogenic diet take MCT oil supplements in order to gain the energy benefits of medium chain fatty acids. Some people take a teaspoon of coconut oil straight out of the jar.

 

MCT oil supplements are a type of energy fuel that won't raise insulin the way carbohydrates do, so, it is theoretically advantageous for those wishing to maintain fat-burning mode during a workout without the insulinogenic effects of carbohydrates.
 

MCT Molecule
M.C.T Molecule

Finding Medium Chain Triglycerides

 

What Does A Medium Chain Triglyceride Look Like?
As you can see, it holds similarities to longer chain saturates, but the reduced size (in the example above, caprylic acid) lends to faster absorption in the body.

 

 

MCTs are unique in that they are saturated and dense like long-chain saturated fats but are processed far quicker due to the aforementioned smaller size. 

Lower Calorie Fat

More Bang For Your Buck

Fat kilojoules/calories

Whether you believe the negativity surrounding saturated fat or not, the one thing science can prove to with a high degree of accuracy is the calorie density of fats.


Most unsaturated sources of fat come with proteins, fiber, and carbs, giving a more rounded nutritional profile, but saturated fats often come in the form of easy-to-eat dense fat foods that often can be more nutritionally devoid.
The most popular offenders are animal fats (except fish), which are all mostly saturated. 


These include the fat from beef, chicken, pork, and lamb. 

 

Healthy meat
These meats are perfectly healthy - when lean, but if the fat isn't trimmed then you may consume a large amount of saturated fat.  One could argue fatty cuts of meat are also healthy when calorie controlled but excess calories and hormone-affecting lipids could be a very real issue.


Also in the saturated fat category are cream, butter, and any dairy products containing milk fat. 
Often people are advised to avoid dairy when low-calorie dieting, but this is a bit of a misnomer as low-fat dairy is completely fine and healthy unless lactose or dairy allergies are the issues.

 

Weight gain
As we touched on in a paragraph above, fat is calorie-dense and can directly lead to weight gain when overconsumed (yes, this applies to unsaturated fats and even omega 3's too).


Coming in at 9 calories per gram fat is far more caloric than carbohydrates (4 cal) and protein (3.7), because of this eating the same weight of fats as carbs or protein will result in over twice the calories and it doesn't take a math genius to work out that this can create excess weight gain.

MCT calories

Medium chain triglycerides weigh in at 8.3 calories per gram making them around 8.5% less calorie dense than saturated and unsaturated fats. 

Because of this caloric discrepancy, it makes MCTs a great source of lower calorie fat for those on a very strict calorie-controlled diet.

It's not unusual for bodybuilders to switch to MCTs during their cutting phase in order to lower calories while still having the hormone-boosting benefits of adequate fat consumption.

Lower Calorie Fat
Good Fats - Bad Fats
Healthy Fats
Fat Is Not Your Enemy

You Need Triglycerides To Live

Good Fat = Most Fat
As you can see, the overwhelming majority of fat is good and completely safe to consume.  Fats contain many healthful properties and are a necessity for every diet.   


Overconsumption of fat can lead to weight gain faster than other macronutrients though, but fat is rarely consumed by itself outside of a few Inuits eating large amounts of blubber (without poor health or weight gain).

 

Weight loss "experts"
How many times have you heard so-called weight loss experts use the phrase "If you eat fat you get fat", because it is one of the biggest lies ever perpetrated by the weight loss industry upon the unsuspecting public? 


It's just not true. 

 

Calories in vs calories out
You can only get fat (outside of a medical condition) if you consume more calories than you burn. 


That's it. 
If you ate nothing but fat and burned more calories than you ate, you would still lose weight (and be very sick).

Likewise, if you ate no fat and just consumed carbs, you could still become obese.


Calories in versus calories out. 


Fat will not make you gain weight
Only excess consumption and overeating can do that. 

Lipid health
The Importance Of Fat

Real Food

Why good fat is so very important 
The Mediterranean is a beautiful place, they enjoy a relaxed lifestyle, an appreciation of family, and a distinct love of food. 


This love leads them to consume large quantities of food that contain fat, yet unlike the hysteria we hear back in the west, the fat they eat seems to not make them unhealthy or even affected adversely at all. 


Why? 
The truth of the matter is, that they consume large quantities of unprocessed or far less processed good fats which lower cholesterol, increase metabolism and promote good health. 


The Real Culprit
The western world has another problem that fat has been the scapegoat for - Processed food! 
Processed food is junk, garbage, and trash food. It can usually be identified by the myriad of ingredients in the wrapper. 


This unhealthy cocktail of high glycemic carbohydrates and man-made trans fats is a sure-fire example of why when you tamper with the natural food and process the life out of it, you in fact create a monster. 

 

Your health

We need fat for many processes in the body and the right fat can have significant benefits on heart health, weight loss, and cognition.  Unfortunately, most people have no idea just how important this vital macronutrient really is.

 

Low fat diets that are too restrictive can result in metabolic loss, increased risk of diabetes, psychological issues, skin ailments, nutrition deficits, and even a reduction in brain tissue.

 

Fat is important.

Fighting the junk food monster
Fighting The Real Monster

Slaying The Toxic Beast

Processed food is a monster  - Stop blaming fat
There is no escaping the junk. 


Everywhere you look in Western society there are foods that beggar belief. 


In a chocolate candy bar, you might expect cocoa butter and cocoa mass, some sugar and milk, and maybe a preservative to stop it from going bad. But what you find is ten times this amount of ingredients, many of which are complete unknowns to the average consumer. 

 

Cheap, nasty, and unhealthy components are added to maximize storage life and profits.  


What is happening here? 
The Mediterraneans eat natural, delicious foods packed with vitamins and fiber.

 

These foods invariably contain good fats and as such people in the Mediterranean are amongst the healthiest in the world as opposed to the junk food capital of the world, the U.S.A, where for the first time in history, the life expectancy of individuals is actually coming down - Yes, our lifestyle is killing us. 


What went wrong?
Good fat has been replaced by bad trans fat, good carbs have been replaced by bad sugars and nutrients have been destroyed in the overprocessing of our very lifeblood - FOOD! 


Fat helps us to think, repair, and protect our bodies, but replace it with bad fat, poor carbohydrate choices, and a lack of good decision making, and you have a recipe for poor heart health.

 

There's never been a more important time in history to be an educated consumer.
 

Summatim

What Have We Learned?

To conclude
When you avoid all fat, you miss out on the essential fatty acids your body needs and you put your health in danger, as well as risk poor brain function. 


The solution to understanding fats lies in knowing that most fat is good and the only danger is excess consumption of really bad trans fats, but that doesn't mean we have to give up fat forever, on the contrary - We should make sure to include plenty of healthy fats on a regular basis in our diet. 

Animal sourced fats

Fat from meat and dairy are actually pretty healthy when they're hormone free.  If they're not, you run the risk of exposure to hormones stored in the lipids that may cause endocrinological issues when consumed consistently.

Wild caught fish oil may just be the healthiest fat source of all and one of the healthiest foods in the world.

Plant-based fats

Coconut, palm, and macadamia oils all seem to be very healthy with many beneficial properties.

Omega-6-containing products like sunflower, cottonseed, and canola might create inflammation and subsequent health issues and would likely be best avoided.

Olive and avocado oil look to be healthier plant-based alternatives with high omega-9 levels.

Trans fats

These are to be avoided according to pretty much every health authority and many countries have outright banned them.   That's the man-made, artificial trans fats not to be confused with naturally occurring, healthy ruminant trans fats.

MCTs

These lower calorie fats provide energy, a lower calorie point, and have been shown to possess numerous healthful characteristics.

Improve your health - evolve your mind
Hopefully, people will stop discriminating against all fat in a bid to avoid the bad kind. 


The right fats to eat aren't hard to find and they taste even better than the bad fats. 
A diet rich in olive oil, coconut, macadamias, avocados, hormone-free meat, and plenty of salmon. 


This will give you all the omega 3 and healthy saturated fats that your body needs to have a healthy heart and maintain proper brain function.

 

Disclaimer:

The information contained in this article is offered for informational purposes only.  This information is not intended for the purpose of diagnosing or treating ailments and should you wish to seek such advice, please contact an appropriate medical professional.

The Ultimate Guide To Dietary Fat

What Is Good Fat - What Is Bad Fat?

By AJ James

Fatty acid checklist
AJ James Biohacker & Founder Of Improve Evolve

Biohacker​ & Founder 

IMPROVE EVOLVE

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