You have probably been told your entire life eating fat is bad for you… it will cause you to be fat and lead to heart disease.  Well, you’ve been sold a bill of goods.  Recommendations based on just a few, faulty and even falsified research studies have led to many people substituting high fat foods for low fat, high sugar alternatives that has driven the rise of obesity and other chronic disease for decades.

As many of us in the functional medicine world have been teaching our patients for years that fats are not only okay for you, but serve a vital role in your overall health.  Your brain is made of fat.  The building blocks to make hormones are fats.  Limiting fats through dietary restriction and even through cholesterol lowering medications can actually be detrimental to your health.

A recently published study looked at the dietary habits of over 135,000 people from all over the world for over 7 years.  They researchers accounted for differences in education, smoking, physical activity, diabetes, geography, and total calorie intake.  The results might shock you.  Higher intake of carbohydrates (breads, pastas, sugary beverages/snacks, desserts, etc) was associated with a higher rate of death overall.  The high fat diets were associated with a LOWER overall risk for death and not associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular related deaths.

Dr. Bruce Soloway, MD, commenting on the study for Journal Watch said,

Data from this large, diverse international cohort does not support current dietary guidelines that recommend restricting total and saturated fats.  The findings suggest that people who eat high carbohydrate diets might benefit from substituting fats for some of their carbohydrates.

This study affirmed that not only are fats good for you but that saturated fats are not bad for you.  As you look to change some habits and incorporate some better fat choices, look to brain healthy fats that include avocados, coconut butter/oil/milk, ghee, olives/olive oil and nuts/nut butters.

There is much more to say on this topic so we will revisit it again soon.  In the meantime, don’t believe the low-fat hype.  Eat fat, get healthy!

Dr. Elliot Hirshorn is a board-certified chiropractic neurologist and practitioner of functional medicine atNew Life Functional Neurology & Endocrinology in Greenville, SC.  The information contained herein is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or diagnosis and does not replace or constitute a doctor-patient relationship.  Please seek out the advice of a qualified health care practitioner before making any health-related decisions.



* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.