Most Americans are aware of the controversy surrounding our culture’s low-fat diet scenario that promotes weight loss and protection against certain diseases.
But it is the type of fat that is the most significant factor in reversing chronic degenerative disease. Cells’ membranes require omega-3 fatty acid derivatives (EPA and DHA) for fluidity. Monounsaturated fats found in nuts and extra-virgin olive oil balance the fluidity in the cells’ membranes. Too much omega-3 would have an oxidizing (disease-causing) effect on the cells. Those healthy monounsaturated fats and vitamin E prevent that from happening.
Our bodies are able to manufacture these omega-3 derivatives from vegetarian sources, particularly green foods when we are healthy. The elderly and people on drugs or in a weakened state may not be able to make enough omega-3 derivatives. In those cases, we must consume the omega-3 fatty acids directly from animal sources by eating cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines, as well as grass-fed beef.
When we store excess fat in our bodies, we store mostly saturated fat. Grain-fed beef that dominates the beef market in the United States is high in saturated fat. The organic grass-fed beef that is now available in some markets has not been injected with hormones, does not contain pesticides and is high in omega-3 fatty acids.
The Mediterranean diet of the 1960s, high in monounsaturated fats, offers enormous health benefits. And it convincingly proves, in comparison with the Chinese low-fat consumption, that it is the type of fats, rather than the quantity of fat, that is the distinguishing factor in healthy diets.
Poor Fat Sources
When we consume excessive amounts of carbohydrates (especially the processed, devitalized, no-fiber varieties), we end up with a diet that produces saturated fat. Even though we are consuming zero-saturated fat from animal sources and are following a low-fat diet, we are storing saturated fat from our high-carbohydrate intake.
Eating excessive amounts of “junk” carbohydrates is the single deadliest feature of the American diet. Everything from devitalized grains to sugary soda and candy, foods that are not real foods at all are the products Americans crave most. Yet they are advertised as “fat-free” items in order to convince us that we should include them in our low-fat diets. This is one of the reasons we have become a nation of sick people who are getting sicker.
At the other extreme, a high-protein diet can be equally as harmful as a high-carbohydrate diet. We need adequate protein, but too much protein also makes us sick. Physical activity does have a bearing on the amount of protein the body requires. If we consume more protein than we require daily, it is converted to body fat when our energy requirements have already been met by other dietary components.