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Some of The History Behind The “Low Fat Diet”

By Mikhaila

I’ll start with a quick overview:

Unsaturated fats:

  • Monounsaturated fatty acids have one double bond and polyunsaturated fatty acids have two or more double bonds.
  • Foods like vegetable oils are high in polyunsaturated fats.
  • Unsaturated fats will be liquid at room temperature because of the double bonds in the carbon chain.

Saturated fats:

  • Saturated fatty acids have no double bonds in their molecular structure.
  • Food like animal fats are high in saturated fats.
  • Saturated fats will be solid at room temperature because there are more hydrogens in the carbon chains.

The medical community is switching over on their view of saturated fats. Right now they seem to be slowly being viewed as healthy. That’s great! It’s slow though, and most medical institutions still tell you saturated fats cause heart disease.

How did the view that a low-fat diet prevented heart disease begin? 

One guy who didn’t do his studies properly. Story of modern medicine. Ancel Benjamin Keys was an American physiologist in the 1950’s. He was the one who postulated that saturated fat caused high cholesterol and that high cholesterol caused heart disease. He did a study (The Seven Countries Study) that looked at a number of different countries, and then chose the countries where there was an increased risk of heart disease and a diet high in saturated fats. Then he wrote a paper and told everyone that it was the saturated fats causing the heart disease, ignoring the countries where the information didn’t work. Chile had high rates of heart disease and diets low in saturated fat. And Holland and Norway had low rates of heart disease and diets high in saturated fat. Those countries were left out. This led to the conclusion that unsaturated fats were healthier than saturated fats and that’s when everyone started eating margarine over butter, and the war on meat really began.

Here’s a YouTube video that probably does a better job than I did explaining it.

Here’s a good article also explaining it better than I. And here’s some more information.

My “beef, salt, and water” diet is incredibly high in saturated fats (animal meat will also have some mono and polyunsaturated fats, but not nearly the majority). I’m getting about 80 percent of my calories from mostly saturated fat. Don’t be afraid of saturated fats!!! It’s outdated, and the original information was based on lies.

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  1. Oh and should i be worried about small particles of non-gluten getting onto my food?

    like i recently cut up a whole chuck roll but there might have been some residue of tobacco on my hands because i rolled cigarettes before that, of course i still washed my hands but there could have been residue stuck between my nails or something, i guess even if that got onto the meat it wouldn’t cause a 30 month horrible reaction i think?

    1. Ok, i guess i am being overly paranoid about these minute things, or like accidently eating a miniscule piece of plastic or foam from the packaging.

      I will definitely give up smoking when i start feeling stable again, it’s day 21 now and i haven’t been depressed or suicidal for days now but i still have anxiety/paranoia/uneasyness like i just can’t ever feel comfortable and massive brain fog

    2. Yeah i will! even before smoking i felt this way, since i ditched all foods but meat it’s getting better, i will definitely drop the smoking if i’m still not functional at day 30.

      but it would be easier to quit if i didn’t feel so bad all the time, that’s why i’m kinda waiting it out

    3. Yeah that’s what i hope 🙂

      it’s already a big difference though, i’d say i’m at a 5/10 whereas 20 days ago it was 0/10. with 10/10 being normal again like before i got sick.

      I wonder, do you use lipstick or makeup? do these pose dangers for reactions? not that i use these because i’m a guy but i kissed a friend on the cheeck as a way of greeting and i started to wonder if i should avoid that if they wear makeup

    4. Hi Fabian, as you’ve likely heard already, exercise is the best anti-depressant there is, for moderate depression, at least. Are you getting out for some brisk walks and such? We don’t have to do anything too strenuous since that can stress the body somewhat, but hopefully, you’re keeping up with some exercise every day to treat the depression. It’ll also help keep your lungs strong to fight off the effects of the smoking. Better to do the big things right (like diet, exercise and sleep) than obsess too much over the tiny things right now. You’re coming along well by the sounds of it though, so keep it up and stay strong! 🙂

    5. teedee126 thank you for the tips, but there is a difference between emotional sadness and full blown auto immunity induced nightmare depression, it’s a shame people often throw them in the same pot, but if you have never been this sick yourself i can understand it might be hard to relate.

      thx though!

    6. I can relate all too well, Fabian. I started having problems with suicidal depression at 14 and everything was tried with me, including electro-convulsive therapy in my 40’s (the very last option available to psychiatrists). I’m 61 now and have learned a fair bit about what works and what doesn’t work for me, but of course, as much as we’re all the same in many ways, we differ in what works for us. Take care and all the best.

  2. I was wondering if you had any recommendations for what I can do to increase saturated fats in my diet if I don’t eat meat. Since I am Indian I don’t have a primarily carnivorous diet, and I think as a result of that when I tried to eat some meats frequently, my stomach did not react well to it. It messed up my whole system and I had stomach aches for weeks. I have two autoimmune disorders, both of which have been in remission for a year now thanks to a great deal of change in diet and exercise, and a lot of medication of course (Crohn’s and lichen planus).
    However, I still struggle with every day energy levels, constant burning in my stomach and oesophagus, lethargy. I was a little depressed but seem to have managed that decently so far.
    I am not, however, intolerant to gluten, so I don’t understand if eliminating carbs from my diet will be beneficial to me. (I was gluten free for some time but that left me with even less energy than I have now). I feel a little lost about what my options are at this stage or where to even begin.

    1. There is no way that having gluten in your diet could be beneficial with all that we now know. If your energy was worse when you were gluten-free, I suspect it was something else entirely as gluten and lectins are usually the culprits when someone has gut pain and burning, bowel problems, etc. Carbs are ‘not’ essential to the human body, but some people can tolerate a moderate amount and enjoy them. As for more saturated fats, have you tried coconut oil or ghee? Both can be healthy fats if you tolerate them well.

  3. Mikhaila is there anything to watch out for that is not food related?

    like could kissing someone with makeup on cause a reaction depending on the ingredients?

    or accidently inhaling airbourne gluten flour?

    1. Flo, hopefully Mikhaila can find time in her super busy schedule to answer your question, but I just want to mention that from an etiquette standpoint, we’re not supposed to kiss someone right on the face when we greet them so as to prevent messing up their make-up if they’re wearing it. It’s different if you know the person isn’t wearing it, but that’s where the “Hollywood air kiss” comes from. As for those you may kiss on the mouth as a greeting, maybe best to avoid if they’re wearing lipstick, but only if you’re super sensitive, but then you’d likely not be the type to kiss on the lips anyway.. As for inhaling things like gluten flour, etc. I would think that anyone with celiac or gluten/lectin sensitivities would always want to avoid hanging out in bakeries or in a friend’s kitchen while they’re using it. Other than that, just do the best you can in general because obsessing over all the possibilities causes as much stress to the body as many of the things you’re trying to avoid. That’s been proven.

    2. Yeah i’s a good idea to do the air kiss!

      I guess i’m lucky my mom doesn’t bake a lot, i’m just trying to know what to watch out for 🙂


  4. I found this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhzV-J1h0do

    It says a lot about the history of the “low fat diet”. I went through medical school and residency starting 1981 and was involved in distance running before that and every running magazine touted a high carb low fat low protein diet, so I lived through this period and was paying attention. It shows the politics in science. Metabolic syndrome is the end stage of the typical american diet but it shows up as early as middle school. I searched metabolic syndrome and RA and found a significant correlation. I searched depression and MS and found also a significant correlation. MS is normally related to diabetes and heart disease, but the end stage of these take decades to develop. This may be the reason your RA was not classic RA but an expression of early stages of MS. MS is a state of insulin resistance and is treated best IMHO with a low carb keto kind of diet consistent with carnivore. When I listen to your dad’s symptoms they are of a more end stage kind of MS presentation and likely would have progressed without dietary intervention. Thanks for asking this question it led me to some interesting conclusions.

    1. Great info. I found with type 2 if you have poor blood glucose control it pokes the fight or flight response. The more this happens the more chance of depression. 🙁 I can attest to this as N=1. at least.

  5. Hey! I bought fat in bulk from a butcher, but I found that the fat that I bought is waaaaaaay too chewy to eat. It must be from a bad part of the animal. It causes issues in my stomach as well.

    Do you ask for a specific part of the animal when you buy fat?

    Thanks! 🙂

  6. Hi! I have tried going high fat and meat diet a few times and struggle every time with bad breath (aka keto breath or dragon’s breath) even after weeks and all I find as a treatment is to up the carbs. It is really upsetting to my partner. Did you have that problem? Did it go away? Or do you have a way to address it?

    1. I think it’s part of the die off symptoms. A microbiome change up can do that. I had a terrible taste in my mouth for a while. It does go away. You need 4-6 weeks to transition over.

    2. If you can hang in there for 3-5 weeks, your body will adapt and you won’t have to worry about it. In the meantime, keep your mouth extra clean so that the keto breath won’t be worsened by regular odors. Some will add a few carbs back in, but that can kick you out of ketosis, so it’s not necessarily the best path. But in the end it’s your choice, as always. Good luck 🙂

    3. Thank you for the advice, much appreciated as it is such an embarrassment! The last time I added the carbs back but I really want to stay in ketosis. I’m just glad to hear that it should go away.

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