4 Big Fat Lies That Are Sabotaging Your Health

February 1, 2016

By Anna Varriano

Although a lot of valid research has emerged over the past several years that has busted many of the long-term myths we’ve held about fats, I’m often surprised by the amount of confusion that many people still seem to have on this topic.

Given that February is Heart Month, and many people associate eating fats with cardiovascular health, I thought I would share the 4 big fat mistakes that many people are still making when it comes to certain foods due to all the big fat lies that still surround these foods.

Mistake # 1: Choosing margarine over butter.

Here’s an interesting diagram that I first saw at a presentation I attended during a Weston A Price Foundation conference years ago.

margarine flow chart
So, when someone asks me if margarine is healthier than butter, I ask them two questions: #1 – Can you make margarine in your kitchen? It’s not likely, unless you have a chemistry lab in your kitchen. #2 – Can you make butter in your kitchen? Absolutely! Just shake, and shake, and shake, and shake some cream in a jar, and voila! I don’t know about you, but I’ll choose can-be-made-at-home vs can-be-made-in-a-lab any day of the week!

While most health associations and government food agencies continue to promote polyunsaturated fats such as margarine, and demonize saturated fats such as butter, a 2013 meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal made a startling conclusion. It was as follows, and I quote [note my inserted comments are in the square brackets]:

“Substituting dietary linoleic acid [for example, margarine] in place of saturated fats [for example, butter] increased the rates of death from all causes, coronary heart disease, and cardiovascular disease. An updated meta-analysis of linoleic acid intervention trials showed no evidence of cardiovascular benefit. These findings could have important implications for worldwide dietary advice to substitute omega-6 linoleic acid, or polyunsaturated fats [like the ones commonly used to make margarine] in general for saturated fats [like the ones naturally found in butter].”

[Bottom line: butter is better!]

Mistake #2: Avoiding eggs/egg yolks.

For years we’ve been told that eggs are full of cholesterol and that we should only eat them once a week, or better yet, use the liquid egg whites that you can buy by the carton in the grocery store. no eggsThe truth is that eggs are Mother Nature’s perfect food, loaded with nutrients, and offering the perfect balance of healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. In terms of cholesterol, the truth is that cholesterol is essential to good health – including heart health! In fact, cholesterol is so critical to our overall health, our body will produce it if we don’t get enough from the foods we eat! Research has shown that the average healthy person makes about 85% of their blood cholesterol and only 15% comes from food. If we restrict our intake of dietary cholesterol, the liver will compensates by making more of it. If we increase our intake of dietary cholesterol, our liver will produce less. Research has shown over and over again that there is no correlation between heart attacks and dietary cholesterol.

Mistake #3: Avoiding fats and eating low-fat foods to lose weight.

fat free yogurtNorth Americans have been avoiding fat and eating low-fat foods for decades, yet obesity rates climb every year. The truth is that the fat we eat is very different from the fat we store in our body – and that we need to eat fat (healthy fat) to lose fat. Eat foods the way Mother Nature gave them to us, for example full-fat dairy (and dairy products) and whole eggs. Some examples of healthy fats include coconut oil, cold-water fish, meat/dairy/eggs from pastured animals, avocados, and raw nuts and seeds.

Mistake #4: Thinking olive oil is the healthiest fat there is and using it almost exclusively for cooking and food prepping.

ALL_cooc_2014_cmykWhile olive oil is a healthy oil, the problem is that not all olive oils are created equal – including the gold standard, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Some time ago, a news story broke informing us that most EVOO sold is ‘fake’, as it is cut with cheaper oils. This is a problem because the cheaper oils are usually ones that are easily denatured by heat; that is, they get oxidized – and oxidized fats cause havoc to our health. So how can you tell if your olive oil is ‘the real stuff’? Many sources say you can tell by doing a ‘fridge’ test (e.g. put 2-4 TBSP of EVOO in a sealed glass jar, then refrigerate it for 24 hours. If it solidifies, it passes the test); however, olive oil experts say this test is not conclusive and suggest that consumers look for quality seals on the bottles, such as the one from the California Olive Oil Council. In addition, a big part of healthy eating is VARIETY. While olive oil does offer numerous health benefits, many other oils offer equally important health benefits that olive oil doesn’t! The take away here is to know where your olive oil comes from and how it’s made – a good guideline to follow with all food! (FYI, Terra Foods is a locally run Ottawa-based business that imports and sells olive oil from Greece. The oil is single sourced from the first extraction of cold-pressed olives. It is not refined, filtered or mixed with other oils. Nothing is added and nothing is taken away.)


PR 2These 4 Big Fat Lies are just the tip of the iceberg, and that is something to be concerned about because being misinformed on the topic of fats is one of the biggest hazards to your health, potentially increasing your risk of weight gain, heart disease, and numerous other health issues. The good news is that right now, for just $20, you can own my “Skinny on Fats” webinar, so you can protect yourself from other big fat lies that may be sabotaging your health. Click here for a full description of the webinar. It is one of the best investments you can make towards a healthier you.

Take control of what you can.


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