Leyla Weighs In: Fat—our primary fuel

| By Leyla Muedin MS, RD, CDN

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Keto diet product at white wooden table. Salmon, olive oil, avocado, eggs, nuts and vegetables.

At this point in time, and in science, we know that low-fat diets aren’t helpful. Indeed, they’re harmful. The Dietary Guidelines which encourage the substitution of fats with carbohydrates have caused our rampant epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

And now, emerging as a third epidemic, is Alzheimer’s disease. Did you know that Alzheimer’s is characterized as diabetes of the brain, or type 3 diabetes?

Benefits of a ketogenic diet are many: Improvements in metabolic syndrome, diabetes, PCOS, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, gout, and cancer. There is even research to suggest improvements in the microbiome, which is likely due to beta-hydroxy-butyrate, a ketone. Butyrate is beneficial fuel for the colon and microbiome.

Truth is, we’re simply not genetically hardwired to be consuming all these carbohydrates. In fact, we are not meant to be in a chronic glucose-burning metabolism either. We’re meant to be in lipolysis/ketosis, also known as fat-burning metabolism.

Fat is our primary fuel, not carbohydrates. Think about it: Our Stone Age ancestors were in ketosis all winter long when there wasn’t anything to eat other than the animals they killed. In warm weather, when fruit was plenty, they would eat and fatten up for the upcoming famine.

And let me be clear: There is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate, but we would not survive without fats and protein.

It’s not a coincidence that my Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism textbook from grad school lists organ meats such as liver and animal protein as the most potent sources of nutrition anywhere. They are also the best sources of the critical micronutrients L-carnitine and CoQ10. Our Stone Age ancestors instinctively ate organs.

USDA Dietary Guidelines are VERY different from what we’ve learned as part of our nutritional training. That’s due to the lobbying efforts of Big Food and Big Agriculture. Politics anyone?

By the way, as you’re reading this, you’re burning primarily fat. Unless you just had a low-fat, carb-rich meal, then you’ve just put yourself in fat-storage mode for at least the rest of the day.

You’ve got your work cut out for you at the gym later.

To your health!

Leyla Muedin, MS, RD, CDN


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