Don’t Forget The Fat

Don't Forget the Fat
Don't Forget the Fat

Any healthy diet provides adequate amount of the three macronutrients protein, fat and carbohydrates. But it doesn’t provide them as macros-in-thirds.

We shouldn’t consume one-third of our calories from each. Yet — at least in America — we seem to favor fat and protein over carbs to a very unhealthy degree.

According to this New York Times article, we consume twice the protein we need. As for fat? This NutritionFacts video estimates it constitutes 33 percent of the Standard American Diet.

However, leading plant-based experts such as:

  • Dr. Neal Barnard

  • Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn

  • Dr. T. Colin Campbell

recommend we get about 10 to 12 percent of our calories from fats.

Look around. How many Americans appear to radiate good health? At the time my great-grandparents were born, only 3 of every 100 American adults were obese. Today, says the CDC, 40 of every 100 are.

Given that figure, is encouraging people to consume 2 tablespoons (240 calories pure fat) of olive oil every day at all helpful?

Yet the Women’s World article referenced in my two previous posts suggests that drizzling the olive oil over a serving of carotenoid-rich vegetables may add up to two healthy years to our lives.

Its basis is a study showing that olive oil doubles the carotenoids’ bioavailability, so our bodies absorb more of them.

My thought? The veggies are what really give us up to two more healthy years. So why not just double up on them and forget the oil?

In this video on fat-free salad dressings, Dr. Greger answers that question:

“Because many of the phytonutrients in salad are fat soluble, and so our body needs fat to absorb them. The bioavailability of nutrients is higher when you take in fat.”

He reviews research that measured phytonutrients still in the bloodstream 10 hours after eating salads with fatty and reduced-fat dressings:

“This is … the amount of this nutrition you absorb from a fat-free salad… essentially nada, zero. Why did we even eat it to begin with? Again, the fat helps suck up the nutrition.”

So yes, definitely toss your salad and eat your veggies with a healthy source of dietary fat. Just be sure to stick to a proper balance of macronutrients.

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