My son, who is finishing his senior year in college, decided to take a Nutrition 101 class figuring it would be an easy A, or so he thought. He has good fundamental knowledge and, living with me blabbing nutrition 24/7 while focused on healing his own body, he certainly knows more about nutrition than the average person. Well, that being said, after he got through the chemistry part of the course, which he did admit was hard (I laughed because I took 4+ years of Chemistry, including Organic Chem – now that was hard!), the text messages started to come. “This is wrong,” “She is teaching the class wrong,” “I have to drop out” were the text messages. Then came the phone calls. “She is teaching the class that fat is bad, cholesterol is bad, we need to eat more carbohydrates. She said that a vegetarian diet is best for us. This is wrong and I have to get out of this class!” By that time it was too late to drop the class so he had a decision to make. Does he answer the test questions the “right way” and flunk the test, or the way the professor is teaching the course and get his A?
The chemistry portion was straightforward but when it came to the nutrition part, it was clearly outdated and incorrect. Unfortunately, the class is still taught the same as when I took it 35 years ago. They are still teaching low fats, no cholesterol, saturated fats are bad, high carbohydrates are optimum. In fact, my son said the professor could use a good meal with fats in it herself, as her skin was dry, she had lifeless hair and typically had low energy (nothing that some good fats can’t help mitigate).
It’s interesting to me that we have an understanding of the physiology and the chemistry of the human body, we know what makes up our bodies (fats, proteins), we know our brains are 60% fat, we know cholesterol is so important for our body that we internally manufacture it so that it will always be available to us. Cholesterol is a vital component as it repairs injured cells, it is needed to make our hormones and it helps make bile. Now, tell me again why we are not supposed to eat foods with cholesterol? We know our heart prefers fat as an energy source and carbohydrates are the only macro-nutrient that our bodies can live without and we can get all the glucose we need from a breakdown of proteins and fats. So why are we still teaching that fat is our enemy? Humans have existed on this planet for 50,000 + years with the same basic chemical body that utilizes nutrients in the exact the same manner, so why do we need massive quantities of grains, sugars and vegetable oils? Oh, don’t get me started on Canola oil or Cottonseed oil. I will save that for another blog.
I, too, used to be brain washed. I followed the crowd and ate non-fat, went vegetarian and kept my distance from bacon fat, all of which came to an end when I first became pregnant. My body craved protein (meats) and fats and I’m glad I listened, as the body intuitively knows what it needs. Fast-forward twenty-six years and I am now a high-fat (and loving it), medium protein, low carb eater. I have spent many years experimenting on my body, studying how it functions best, while helping others find that balance. I feel better now than I did in my 20’s (non-fat years). I don’t need naps, I have steady energy, my weight stays the same, my brain functions and my hormones are happy (my family likes that part), and goodbye to hypoglycemia and constipation!
A while back, I read a quote that I found to be so obvious and I’ve taken it to heart. That quote was: “Mother Nature makes no bad fats,” and I so believe that it is true. It’s only when man gets hold of them, changes their molecular structure or creates a factory fat, that those fats become harmful and should be avoided. Unfortunately, I believe those are the exact same fats which people are eating and feeling ill health and, as a result, giving all fats get their bad name.
Mother Nature created a perfect package supplying the nutrients our bodies need to thrive. In meat and eggs, the proteins and fats are balanced to provide us with the precise nutrients required for our well-being. Specifically, proteins for our growth and cellular repair and to make needed brain chemicals. Simultaneously, the fats are provided for building our cells (that make up our tissues and brain) and supplying us with the energy we use on a daily basis. These fats provide the essential vitamins A, D, E and K. As such, a diet that is high in protein and low in fat, rapidly depletes Vitamin A stores, and sets up an environment that presents a negative calcium balance. How many people that might have osteoporosis are pounding down the calcium while eating a low-fat diet? What’s the point of taking the calcium since the body needs saturated fats to utilize calcium? It’s confusing, isn’t it? There is so much misguided information.
The correct information is available, however, and there are nutritional legends to follow that can clarify exactly what the body chemistry requires and teach what are the core foundations of our bodies. You won’t find it from a college nutrition course as my son discovered, or from the Biggest Loser TV show, and not from Oprah’s trainer Bob or the newest celebrity diet. It comes from a growing group of science-based leaders who have studied the very basics of our chemical needs and who were not interested in big industry or a quick fix. Take some time and look up a few of these influential educators: Weston A Price, Sally Fallen, and Mary G. Enig. You’ll agree that, indeed, Mother Nature does know best!
By the way, my son quit going to class, and got his A.