Will The Fat In Pie End Up On My Thigh?
It all started back in the late 90's when my teacher held up a mock pound of cellulite and said (insert geeky nasal toned voice) "this is what ends up on your thighs when you eat fat." Not backed by science, these ignorantly bold statements may be part of the obesity epidemic in America.
Healthy teens, like me, converted from eating the natural fats found in meats, dairy, and butter to eating synthetic frankenfoods with hydrogenated vegetable oils and artificial sweeteners. In college I searched out "Fat Free" foods that were made with toxic ingredients and immediately ballooned up 15 pounds.
Fat free cookies are OK right? Fat free ice cream, wait how can ice cream be fat free anyway? When you read the labels, you see that instead of natural saturated fats as one might expect in cream, fat free products often use hydrogenated vegetable oils, increased sweeteners, and salt to make up for the loss in flavor. This is explained beautifully in the book Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss.
Not all fats are equal
Before you go throwing out the baby with the bath water let's take a look at fats. Synthetic fats such as hydrogenated canola oil and cottonseed oil are not recognizable to our bodies. In fact, I'm pretty sure cottonseed was never meant to be eaten.
When food is unrecognized by the liver, the liver feels burdened because like a busy mom, it has to stop the 450 tasks it's completing and figure out what to do with this foreigner. To be safe, the liver fills up fat cells with the unknown toxin and we end up packing on the pounds.
You need to eat fat to lose fat.
Remember in high school when we learned that each cell was outlined with a phospholipid bilayer? Well lipids are fats. Think of your cells like bricklayers seeking strong butter bricks to build healthy cell walls. Instead you hand them foreign margarine mud. Unable to use the mud, the body stores it away as fat and misses out on key nutrients found in those strong butter bricks.
It was a huge misconception to believe that the mock cellulite my teacher was holding was the same as the real butter used to make a pie crust. Thankfully articles such as the Time magazine cover "Eat Butter" are emerging more and more to debunk this myth. But if it's not the fat...
...then what is ending up on my thigh?
Trans fatty acids, processed foods, and sugar, the same culprits that age the face, clog up arteries, cause joint pain, obesity and disease. We must replace these frankenfoods with healthy fatty acids that come from real food.
Our bodies need heart healthy fats such as coconut oil, grass-fed butter, extra virgin olive oil and cold water fish to provide healthy essential fatty acids (EFAs). These EFAs create cell membranes, fuel the heart, convert sunshine into Vitamin D, slow down the absorption rate of carbs, control inflammation in the body, and absorb vitamins.
There are so many more reasons to eat healthy fats, but ultimately we need fat to satiate our appetite so we don't overeat troughs of pasta and breadsticks for dinner.
What can I do?
Three Steps to Make Sure Your Pie Doesn't End Up On Your Thigh
- I wrote the Food Foundation Detox to help people reset back to real foods full of healthy essential fat. If you want to rid the body of toxins, lose weight, and learn about the essential fatty acids your body needs, check out the Food Foundation Detox. Our winter detox begins January 11, 2016.
- If you're not ready for a full blown detox but you want to break up with unhealthy fats now, I've got your back. You can replace the shortening in your recipes with butter, lard, or coconut oil and still create amazing pies. Here's my favorite pumpkin pie recipe to get you ready for the holidays.
- Cook like your great grandmother cooked with real fats available from butter, olives, duck, bacon, etc. Remember that it's not the fat that was in the homemade pie that ended up on your thigh. It was most likely the refined vegetable oil, the artificial sugars, and the processing that converted your real food to a "frakenmess."