Are we at the end of the “low-fat” era?

Photo of Skinless Chicken Breast

Nutritionist at Harvard think so!

Today I read and posted a link to this article on my personal Facebook profile: Time to Stop Talking About Low-Fat, Say Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Experts.

Someone in my circle read the article and commented, “Thanks for the article, Sandrine, I found it interesting. I have been told to stay on a “low-fat” diet to avoid a reoccurrence of pancreatitis. [I have been told] that fat, all types, are hard on my gall bladder and pancreas. Do you know anything about this?”

As a matter of fact, I do!  I responded …

From the Nourishing Our Children presentation:

“The following nutrient-rich traditional fats have nourished healthy population groups for thousands of years: Butter, beef and lamb tallow, lard, chicken, goose and duck fat, coconut, palm and sesame oils, cold pressed olive oil, cold pressed flax oil in small amounts, and marine oils. Healthy fats supply nutrients that are essential for: growth, energy, absorption and metabolism of many nutrients, brain function, kidneys, heart and lungs, building cell membranes, formation of hormones, healthy skin, eyes and bones. Research is now showing that it is the new-fangled fats in the form of all hydrogenated oils, soy, corn and safflower oils, cottonseed oil, canola oil, and all fats heated to very high temperatures in processing and frying that can cause cancer, heart disease, immune system dysfunction, sterility, learning disabilities, growth problems and osteoporosis. These are the fats that are in large part responsible for our national obesity and health crises.”

We don’t recommend a low fat diet. Traditional fat contains vital nutrients such as vitamins A and D. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to serious and permanent dis-ease.

From our presentation:

“Vitamins A and D are crucial for numerous processes in the body. I want to highlight the fact that we need vitamin A for protein assimilation. What happens when you eat protein powder or lean meat or egg whites or skim milk? There’s no fat, there’s no vitamin A, so your body goes to the liver to get the vitamin A stored there and pretty soon you run out of vitamin A. A high-protein, low-fat diet is the quickest way to become depleted of vitamin A, and that’s when you start to see auto-immune diseases and chronic fatigue, the kind of problems that the medical professionals just do not know what to do about. Remember that the traditional cultures never ate lean meat. It is not hard to get adequate protein in the diet. You do need some good-quality animal protein, but that’s the easy part, especially in America where we are not lacking for protein. What we are lacking are the fat-soluble activators.”

I recommend you read this to get an overview of the kind of diet we recommend, as outlined by the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Avoid soy. Soy foods contain trypsin inhibitors that inhibit protein digestion and affect pancreatic function. In test animals, diets high in trypsin inhibitors led to stunted growth and pancreatic disorders.

Here are many references to the pancreas:

http://www.westonaprice.org/diabetes/treating-diabetes

http://www.westonaprice.org/nutrition-greats/edward-howell

Gall bladderhttp://www.westonaprice.org/ask-the-doctor/gall-stones

I think that this is worth the read – about Steve Job’s diet in relationship to pancreatic cancer:

http://www.westonaprice.org/blogs/kdaniel/2011/12/27/ivegetarian2-the-eating-disorders-of-steve-jobs/

If I were you, I would work with a nutritionist and/or holistic medical doctor to address the root cause of the pancreatitis rather than to avoid fat.  Some referrals:

Dr. Thomas Cowan, MD
Julie Matthews, CNC
Monica Corrado, CNC

5 Comments

Filed under What is a healthy diet?

5 responses to “Are we at the end of the “low-fat” era?

  1. Thank you for this article! I have worked with my gallbladder issues for 3 years now, and it’s not all fats that are problematic. In my case, I was able to pinpoint my problem foods with my naturopath and increase all sorts of other fats, to great affect. She also recommended more lacto-fermented foods, which has helped greatly as well. Everyone is different and it may be certain foods that the body poorly responds to, even if they have little or no fat. In my case, dairy is a problem, even if it is skim, but butter works great with my body. Go figure. I can eat duck, organs and all, but bison gives me trouble.

  2. Yep, every time I eat bison it gives me trouble too. I think it might be the effort it takes to load and tie the beast to the hood of my car.

  3. Unfortunately, if you look at the transcript of the conference at Harvard, you’ll see that they are still caught in the bind of avoiding saturated fat, even if they caution against a low fat diet. Unfortunately substituting canola oil, soybean oil, etc. for refined carbs won’t bring you much benefit, and could result in more inflammation and an omega-3 deficiency. How in the wide world can we get through to those guys at Harvard!!! Natural saturated fats are NOT bad fats! They just get the story half right.

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