The release of my most recent book, Primal Fat Burner is helping to revolutionize and modernize thinking around the role of dietary fat– including particularly animal fat and the key role that it actually played in our evolutionary trajectory; as well as the positive central role that quality animal fats are actually being shown to play in human health.
It literally puts to rest a century old misconception (along with literally a plethora of bought-and-paid-for disinformation secretly promoted by the sugar industry, as recently exposed in the NY Times) that quality sources of animal fats are somehow harmful to human health. They are not. In fact (and I hope you’re sitting down for this) it may be impossible to be optimally healthy without them.
The title of my new book, Primal Fat Burner is a bit of a double entendre. At first glance it may look like a weight loss book, and I am quite happy to say that it will probably be a favorite side effect that readers experience once they adopt this way of eating (if they actually need to lose weight, that is weight normalization is the goal), but the true definition of being a Primal Fat Burner is about successfully adopting a fat-burning metabolism (relying on free fatty acids and something called ‘ketones’ for fuel), instead of a sugar burning metabolism wholly reliant on glucose–which is the unfortunate and rather unnatural norm in modern day society.
Carbs that supply us with glucose are little more than metabolic kindling for us. They burn off fast and need constant replenishing. They also perpetually stimulate damaging levels of insulin. That “abnormal norm” was initially established by our growing over-reliance on mainstream agriculture and especially nutritionally inferior mono-crops for cheap dietary staples.
We can also essentially blame the unscrupulous sugar industry, the processed food industry and big agribusiness for further promoting carbohydrate-based diets (along with hijacking medical experts and policymakers) in order to maximize their profits and keep the general population more or less perpetually hungry. –Nice for Monsanto, Kraft and Kellogg’s. And great for pharmaceutical profits and undertakers! Not so hot for the rest of us, though…
For those that wonder if ketogenic diet approaches to eating are somehow a modern-day fad, consider the fact that our brains make up only about 2 – 5% of our total body weight, but they demand a whopping 20 to 25% of all of our metabolic energy in order to function properly.
In great apes that brain energy demand is no more than about 8%. But in human babies, this number is closer to 85%! In small children their brain demands when it comes to total metabolic energy are closer to 45%. Here’s a little known fact: Human babies are literally BORN in a state of effective ketosis! Children don’t become sugar burners until we start feeding it to them!
But that whopping energy demand by our brains makes them very metabolically expensive. How did nature make it possible for us to meet this incredible and unique metabolic demand? By giving us a voracious appetite for fat! No fuel is better suited to meeting the structural and metabolic demands of the uniquely sophisticated and hungry human brain than natural dietary fat–in particular, fat from exclusively grass fed/pastured animal source foods. Fat has double the calories of carbohydrate or protein, but it actually can supply us with four times more energy! And for our brains–ketones are much more than just a fuel–they are a super fuel, more efficiently and effectively producing energy than glucose or free fatty acids!
Furthermore, your brain is literally constructed from the very fats that you supply it with with what you choose to eat. The two fatty acids most responsible for our sophisticated human cognition are 20-and 22-carbon fatty acids known respectively as arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) — both of which are exclusively found within the human food supply in fully pastured animal source foods.
And guess what else is entirely critical to your brain function and that your brain literally hoardes for its own use? Cholesterol. – Yes, eeeevil cholesterol.
Fully 25% of your total body’s supply of cholesterol resides within your brain– and it had better be there if you want to have healthy functioning brain and nervous system. I will leave it to you to guess what happens when we take medications or eat a diet designed to reduce our internal pool of cholesterol.
And not only this, but our brains have lost just over 10% of their volume since the time we adopted agriculture and began favoring carbohydrates over fats is a primary source of fuel roughly 10,000 years ago. Let’s just say that human evolution may not be headed in the direction we might have expected or hoped for nowadays.
Coincidence? I wonder…
Most people today are struggling to rely upon anything-but-reliable glucose as a full-time source of fuel–and we are even erroneously told that our brains have to have all that glucose in order to function. But that is a totally misleading statement.
It is only true if someone has cultivated a full-time dependence on sugar as a primary source of fuel by unnaturally consuming a carbohydrate-based diet. We are literally doing this sort of thing for the first time (since adopting agriculture) in human evolutionary history! It is literally unnatural.
Fat is not the “new fad fuel” on the evolutionary block, sugar is.
But what happens when you instead decide to eliminate sugar and starch from your diet? In a couple of days your body starts to make the metabolic switch from sugar-burning to fat burning, which is actually our most natural, most efficient and reliable full-time fuel–even in the absence of regular meals!
Catch out Fenfast 375: Burn off unwanted fat deposits.
But What About Weight Loss?
For those of you reading this who want to lose weight, it’s important to point out that you can’t get good at burning fat by burning sugar all of the time. You can’t get good at playing tennis by mostly playing golf every day. Right? You get good at doing anything by doing it all the time.
But if you want to have a healthy metabolism, weigh less and age well then you need to make a choice. You cannot eat a carbohydrate-heavy diet AND eat a lot of fat, too. The insulin generated by the sugar and starch will just make you store all that fat and create a lot of inflammation along the way. Fat and sugary/starchy carbs don’t work well together. It’s like putting a lit fuse on top of a powder keg.
Pretty much all of the research attempting to show saturated fat’s deleterious effects on human health always been in the context of a high carbohydrate diet.
By itself–in the absence of carbs, eating fat can literally help you burn more fat and has none of the metabolically detrimental effects it has been unjustly blamed for! But you have to choose. And here’s one other important factoid: Of the three major macronutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrates, the only macronutrient for which there is no scientifically established human dietary requirement–in any medical textbook or textbook of human physiology–is carbohydrates.
We can actually manufacture all of the glucose we need (which really isn’t much) using a combination of protein and fat in the diet… And by far it is healthiest to get it from fat.
In fact, the diet I talk about in Primal Fat Burner is not a high-protein diet at all. I talk about why everyone should be moderating their protein intake at length. But we still do need to get our protein from complete, animal source foods and not lectin-heavy, nutritionally inferior, starchy substrates such as “rice and beans”.
One more important thing I will leave you with here:
Excess body weight and health may certainly have an important association, but it is entirely possible to be thin AND diabetic, or be thin and have cancer, or suffer autoimmunity, or have arthritis, high blood pressure, anemia or heart disease. You can also be thin and suffer Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, any other neurological disorder, substance abuse problems and/or other mental and psychiatric health issues…and on and on. Obesity is perhaps the most visibly obvious sign of trouble (and the one at frequently greatest odds with our self-image and/or vanity)…but it is the less obvious effects of poor dietary choices that are the most insidious…and frequently every bit as debilitating and even deadly. We too frequently equate health with being thin (as a sole marker) when in fact being merely thin offers literally no guarantee of actual health or even freedom from a metabolic disorder at all. Mine is a book and a demonstrably effective philosophy about generating optimal health through first and foremost grasping and harnessing the central importance of healthy, naturally occurring dietary fat to human health.
But quality counts. All of your animal source foods should come exclusively from organic and 100% fully pastured sources. The health of the meat and fat you eat correlates directly with the health of the animals that meat and fat came from. If that animal was unnaturally fed, shot full of hormones and antibiotics and was made to lead a stressful and tortured existence then the meat from that animal is not truly nourishing food for anyone. We need to take a stand with respect to an uncompromising emphasis upon food quality. And none of us will get that quality unless we demand it with how it is we choose to spend our food dollars. We need to verbally ask for this wherever we shop and wherever we dine. We need to reward those that make a point of doing the right thing on our behalf and we need to avoid rewarding those whose primary interests lie not with your health, animal welfare or the health of the planet but instead with profit alone. The power to change this lies with every person reading these words.
Primal Fat Burner is not a diet… It is a movement. And we have our work cut out for us if we want to truly take back our health and the health of our planetary environment. Weight loss may be your favorite side effect of all this, but the benefits reach far beyond just getting into those skinny jeans.
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