Eating Fat Won't Make You Fat, But Don't Try Explaining This to Your Mom

butter bakingIf you grew up in the '80s and '90s, it's quite possible you have at least a vague recollection of the many diet fads that were all the rage in those shiny, neon, cassette- and CD-playing days. In short, losing weight meant swapping out anything remotely "fattening" and eating all manner of non-fat or low-fat substitutes -- from cheese to cookies. Much of this stemmed from science that said all fat is evil and raises our risk of heart disease and early death! Well, about that ...

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Researchers are now saying, "Oops, J/K!!!" Okay, not exactly, but in a paper published in the online journal Open Heart, experts say that the warning about fat consumption -- which came out in the US in 1977 and advocated reducing overall dietary fat consumption to just 30 percent of your total daily calories and saturated fat (like butter ... mmm, butter) to 10 percent -- was not backed up by solid research evidence, and as a result, the advice should never have been released. Wow.

Way to go and mess up a whole generation of weight-conscious, yo-yo dieting women! I'm not kidding. There's absolutely NO way to get it out of my mother or mother-in-law's minds now that fat is evil.

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Regular text conversations with my mom took a turn for the argumentative recently when I told her I was using coconut oil in my baking and grass-fed butter in my cooking as part of my Paleo routine. Her response: "Those are fattening."

Yes, they are. But they're not gonna kill you, Mom! We even know now that there's no link between saturated fat and heart disease, according to a recent review of 72 studies.

What's more, the new report points out that all this time we've been pointing the finger at fat, we've failed to look at other culprits of weight gain and heart disease, like simple carbs (soda, white bread, candy, etc.).

It's all sorts of galling to think that because these researchers made a big FAT mistake some 30-odd years ago, people have been missing out on the pleasures of foods like butter (grass-fed, optimally, which packs more nutritional bang for your buck!) and guacamole.

Turns out, those are foods that are actually incredibly welcome in our diets as long as we're trying to eat mostly whole foods, lean proteins, lots of veggies, and really minimal processed carbs. You know, the Mediterranean diet.

I know, we'd love to have our sugar and fat, too. But if our moms' generation learned anything over their many decades of yo-yo diets, it's that going too far in any one direction -- too low-fat, too low-carb -- simply isn't sustainable. Everything in moderation! And yes, everything can now include ... butter. Mmm!

What do you think about this news? Do you eat saturated fats in moderation ... or steer clear?

 

Image via iStock.com/kzenon

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