Newsflash: Fat Does Not Make You Fat

Correlation does not create causation. Let me explain.

In nearly every situation in which a baby has pooped his pants he or she is also crying -- therefore, crying causes you to poop your pants.

Wait. No. That’s not right.

How about this?

You’re late to work every time it’s raining outside -- therefore, being late to work causes rain to fall from the sky.

No. That’s nonsensical as well.

One more. There have been very few times in your life that you have thrown up and NOT been in the bathroom hanging over a toilet -- therefore, going near any toilet will make you throw up.

Nope. Not true.

What I’m giving examples of is the fact that just because two things are correlated does not create a line of causation going either direction between the two things. Sometimes things that are correlated do have a causation factor, but it’s not just because they typically happen at the same times.

This flawed reasoning is the reason that just about everyone I know is absolutely terrified of fat including butter, red meat, and egg yolks.

Back in the 1950s there was a brilliant scientist named Ancel Keys who did a lot of great things in his career (and he lived to be 100). He believed that saturated fats and high cholesterol were the cause of the then-recent increase in heart disease cases and went out to prove his theory.

To make a long story short, he published some studies (which at first he was ridiculed for) showing that there was a correlation between high cholesterol and heart disease.

After a while, the press, public, and politicians bought in, Keys was on the cover of Time magazine with his proven hypothesis, and since that time most Americans have avoided cholesterol and saturated fat like the plague. That was the genesis of the Fear Fat Epoch in American history.

But look what’s happened to the overall health of Americans! Avoiding fats and lowering cholesterol has done zippo in the fight against heart disease. The only thing that has helped heart disease are technologically advanced treatments like bypasses and cath lab procedures. Treatments we wouldn't need if the problem could be prevented in the first place. 

When good, healthy fats are removed from the diet, only two calorie-filled foods can replace the void: protein-rich and carbohydrate-rich foods. Two things which, when eaten in excess or in some cases at all, cause major fluctuation in serum glucose and insulin levels. Which make you fat as I explain here.

We all know about the old food pyramid which had “healthy whole grains” as the foundation of a healthy diet and recommended 60-70% of calories should come from this foundation.

What we know now is that foundation of healthy whole grains has caused our health to collapse around us like a paper mache wall during a hurricane.

FAT does NOT make you fat. Sugars and grains make you fat. Period.

Now, that’s not an excuse to adopt an Inuit diet and only eat red meat and hot dogs from Wal-Mart. Not all fat is created equal in the same way that not all grains and sugars are created equal.

The point is that healthy fats should absolutely be included in your diet (note: diet is a noun not a verb) to attain optimal health. Fats in addition to raw veggies, cooked veggies, safe starches (like white rice and yams), berries, coconut products, some dairy or fermented dairy, and in my opinion dark chocolate and coffee.

What are those healthy fats?

  • Avocados
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Eggs (with the yolk)
  • grass fed red meat
  • grass fed butter
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • extra virgin coconut oil
  • lard or suet from grass fed animals
  • raw cheese, yogurt, kefir, or sour cream (for those who can tolerate fermented dairy)

UNhealthy fats include:

  • any and all vegetable oils (soybean, canola, safflower, cottonseed, etc…)
  • fats from factory-raised meat sources (which covers a HUGE swath of products)
  • trans fats / hydrogenated oils

There are a lot of people out there preaching the message that fats are not the cause of the heart disease and obesity epidemic our nation is facing right now, but there are still even more people who can’t let go of the fact that they’re supposed to only eat egg whites and corn chex or they’ll die. And I don't blame those people since it's something they've heard their entire lives. 

The bottom line is, if you’re suffering from high cholesterol or obesity or any other diet-related disease (which covers nearly all of them), see for yourself if fats are the problem by cutting out sugars and grains, adding in some healthy fats and watching your health improve dramatically.

Couple of resources for you. Here’s one showing that most of the people who end up in the ER for a heart attack have “normal” cholesterol levels.

And here’s a great article written recently by Mark Hyman which inspired this short missive.

Questions? Comments? Anything not make sense? Leave them on the bottom of this article or email me at

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