Don’t Fall For The High Fat Diet Fad

March 10, 2017

Take it from me, a former diehard believer.

I had been a Paleo/High-Fat disciple for many years with nothing to show for results. I tried my hardest to make it work but nothing was happening long term. Before Paleo, back in the day, I was of course an Atkins aficionado. Also dabbled in Ketogenic diets.

(There’s actually no diet I haven’t tried, except the one I’m currently on, mentioned below.)

The past few years, high fat diets have become very mainstream.

I’ve read The Perfect Health Diet by scientist Paul Jaminet, PhD (who I like). He recommends we get 50-60% of our calories from fat.

I’m also familiar with The Paleo Solution and The Primal Blueprint. Good Calories, Bad Calories. The Bulletproof Diet. And of course recipe books like Well Fed, Well Fed 2, and Nom Nom Paleo. I’ve been through tons of paleo podcasts, videos, and blogs. Paleo folks usually recommend up to 60-75% of calories from fat. More the better.

Even proper doctors like Mark Hyman, M.D. (who I also like) are now on board, with his book Eat Fat, Get Thin.

Thus, the conventional wisdom these days is that fat is good for us and carbs/fruit/starches are bad. And all these books have great reviews and a lot of testimonials of folks losing weight and improving their health.

Genetic Testing
I told you recently that I had my genetic data analyzed and that it showed that I have “abnormal fat metabolism.”

SNP: rs1801282(C;G)

You may have an abnormal fat metabolism. When people with the genotype (C,G) or (G,G) have a low polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat intake and a high saturated fat intake then their obesity and type 2 diabetes risks are dramatically increased….

Saturated fat is found in fatty beef, pork, butter, cheese, and other dairy products.

and another genetic marker…

SNP: rs1121980(C;T)

This genotype, is associated with a roughly 1.67-fold
increased risk for obesity, particularly in the context of a high saturated fat and low polyunsaturated fat intake

I did not even know these things existed until recently, that people had genetic issues processing saturated fat! In all my years of research, not one expert or doctor had mentioned that as being a possibility.

So in my case, and possibly yours, it could be that high fat diets are not good for you!

If you’re doing very well on a high fat diet, then great.

But if you’re not succeeding on a paleo/high fat diet, it may not be your fault at being strict enough. It could just be that your body needs/prefers a very low fat diet. We were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole all this time.

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with a high carb, low fat vegan diet. Also known as whole-food plant-based diet. Keeping my fat intake super low, below 10% of daily calories, and more recently around 5%.

That means a lot of fresh fruit, and starches like potatoes and rice. And veggies. No animal products. No oils. I’m even staying away from avocado, coconut oil, nuts and seeds.

More on this later…

(Caveats: I’ve also read that just because you have a gene for some issue does not necessarily mean you will have that problem. The gene has to be activated by environmental factors and blah blah blah. Epigenetics and such. But in my case, for some reason, those genes seem to be activated.)