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Why You Need Fat and Cholesterol
by Sharon New
Because I advocate eating animal fats (and lots of them), I am often asked what I think about a plant-based diet alone.
I am not an advocate of a solely plant-based diet because I think we were made to consume meat. The one caveat to that is I want the animal I eat to be allowed to be in its biological distinctiveness; i.e., a cow on a grass, a chicken grazing outdoors, a pig rootin’ around in oak trees. My personal conviction is that I don’t eat meat from an animal whose biolology has been manipulated for profits. For example: a confined chicken kept in light 24/7 so they continue to lay eggs or a dairy cow that is fed hormones so it can be milked 600 days straight and then die. I want no part of that. But there are (now) hundreds of farmers who are committed to raising animals on pasture (grass fed), feeding them a diet that is appropriate to their kind, and killed humanely – and that is the kind of meat and dairy products I consume and purchase.
I am often asked a lot about the book The China Study in which the author, T. Colin Campbell, states: ”Eating foods that contain any cholesterol above 0 mg is unhealthy.”
If you know anything about brains and neurons, you should find that statement downright frightening. Our brains are 25% cholesterol and 60% fat and our nervous system depends upon fat and cholesterol. In fact, we can’t even make Vitamin D (which is a steroid hormone as well as a vitamin) nor can we make our sex hormones unless we have cholesterol. (To read more about how cholesterol and your hormones and adrenal system all work together, read this.)
In fact, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology looked at 52,087 individuals between the ages of 20 and 74. After adjusting for factors like age, smoking and blood pressure, researchers found women with high cholesterol (more than 270 mg/dl) had a 28 percent lower mortality risk than women with low cholesterol (under 193 mg/dl). Risk for heart disease, cardiac arrest and stroke also declined as cholesterol levels rose.
Further, Researchers at Louisiana State University found that eating eggs for breakfast resulted in greater weight loss and better energy levels than eating two bagels, even though the number of calories was about the same. And one more: A prospective study from Australia, which looked at adults over a period of fifteen years, found that people who ate the most full-fat dairy products had a 69 percent lower risk of cardiovascular death than those who ate the least.
I know this is true because I lost 25 lbs in 2010 eating a full-fat, nutrient dense diet and have not gained one pound back.
Please join us on Saturday, November 12th for the Real Food for Real Health Workshop and learn more about what is REALLY making us fat and what to do about it.
Related: Is Skim Milk Making You Fat?