One of the most common mistakes people make when starting out on the Wheat Belly lifestyle is to remain fearful of fats. They continue to hold onto old misconceptions such as “fats raise cholesterol,” or “fat causes heart disease,” or “fats are calorie-dense and therefore make you fat.” None of this is true, no more true than “healthy whole grains” are a key to overall health. (The rationale dashing all these misconceptions is discussed in detail in Wheat Belly Total Health.)
This accounts for why some people, even after removing the gliadin-derived opiates that come from wheat and related grains, continue to experience hunger or cravings—it’s due to not taking in enough fats. The solution: get more fats and oils.
We avoid oils sourced from grains, of course, especially corn oil, since there will be corn protein residues that can mimic some of the effects of wheat gliadin, not to mention modern humans are so miserably overloaded with the omega-6 fraction/linoleic acid of oils (though linoleic acid is one of the essential fatty acids–avoiding it entirely is fatal, but you can get plenty from meats, nuts, and non-grain seeds). We avoid mixed vegetable oils, soybean oil (like corn, it can have protein residues, although the fatty acid composition is not that bad), canola (increasingly related to health problems, such as hypertension, possibly due to the high trans fatty acid content created by the high-temperature process used to remove the erucic acid toxin), grapeseed oil (high omega-6).
Here are some strategies that can help add back the healthy fats you may be lacking:
- Buy fatty cuts of meat–Ribeye steak, for example, over sirloin tip or round cuts. T-bone and skirt steak are moderately fatty. When buying ground meat, don’t buy the lean (e.g., 90% or 95% lean); buy the fattiest you can find (70% lean). (Make the fat even healthier by buying organic, non-factory farmed meats.)
- Don’t trim the fat off your meat–Eat it! Some people, especially the ladies, will say “Yechhh! The fat is gross!” Just imagine what your grandma would say if you made such a declaration in her presence: You’d earn a rap on the ear for it. Everyone prior to the last 50 years ate the fat and enjoyed it–modern aversion to meat fats, as with organ meats, is a recent mistake. Just like eating Doritos, tarted up in a laboratory to intensify addictive flavors, not eating fat is a perversion of human behavior.
- Save the fats/oils from cooking meat–If you prepare bacon or other meats, save the oils and store in a jar in the refrigerator to use for cooking. You will appreciate the deeper flavors they provide over, say, something bland and awful like corn oil. You can also purchase lard and tallow, but be sure they have not been hydrogenated.
- Use more butter–Dairy products are not without their own set of problems. But the problems originate with the proteins (casein beta A1, whey, others) and sugars (lactose mostly), as well as hormone content and antibiotic residues. Contrary to popular opinion, this makes butter (and ghee) among the least problematic forms of dairy, as it is mostly fat. Yes: fat is the healthiest component of dairy, despite the silly preoccupation with low-fat and non-fat dairy products.
- Use more coconut oil–Coconut oil is a staple around here. I use coconut oil in my cooking, baking, make Fat Blasters/Fat Bombs out of them (recipes in Wheat Belly Total Health; I shall also post some here in the Wheat Belly Blog in coming weeks), even use it as a skin and hair moisturizer (just rub it on). You can even make chocolate enriched with coconut oil with my Chocolate for Adults Only recipe. Look for organic and cold-pressed and be careful of refined (often involving organic compounds for purification, among other issues); I’ve found good choices at Costco and Trader Joes. Tropical Traditions is another excellent brand.
- Pour oils over foods–T0p off your Wheat Belly Pizza with additional extra-virgin olive oil. Use more butter, bacon grease, lard, tallow, or coconut oil with your fried or scrambled eggs. Add some melted coconut oil to your (low-carb) smoothie. Most Wheat Belly recipes can readily accommodate increased oils.
- Eat more avocados–With around 30 grams of fat in an average-sized avocado, you can get a nice wallop just by eating one . . . or two. Avocados added to your smoothie will thicken it substantially while providing a healthy dose of fat.
Getting sufficient fat in your diet is satiating, cuts off cravings and eliminates impulsive eating behavior, accelerates weight loss from visceral fat, helps reduce blood sugar and triglycerides, raises HDL, helps get rid of small LDL particles that lead to heart disease (not cholesterol, part of the semi-fiction of the lipid-heart hypothesis), subdues the after-meal (postprandial) flood of lipoproteins into the bloodstream, helps reverse fatty liver, and is part of the overall strategy to maintain brain health.
So go on: Go and have yourself a fat fest.