Doctor James on Health and Wellness

Common sense answers to your most burning health questions

Stay lean, eat fat!!!

Posted by doctorjames on February 12, 2008

As I awake this morning at 3:45 am, I have this burning topic in my head that I need to get out to all of you. I have always been told when you have an idea that hits you in your sleep to wake up and start writing (typing).

There seems to be a fad still existing that low fat foods are good for you! This could not be further from the truth, fat is needed by our bodies to survive. In fact, if we do not eat fat we can even die. Fat makes up 60% of our brain by weight, makes up our cell walls, our nerve sheaths, and our heart actually uses fat as its primary energy source because it burns more efficiently then sugar! So, reduce your fat to a minimum and health problems will occur.

Every time I go to the grocery store, I see women (not that men don’t do this, but women usually buy the groceries, trust me, I don’t mean to be sexist) loading the carts full of low fat items and no fat items and I just want to cringe! And, to top it off there is a 12 pack or 2 or 3 twelve packs of diet soda in their cart! Check out this link if you think diet soda will help you lose weight… http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?cl=6393070

Here is the problem with reduced fat anything…they just add sugar to make it still taste good! Fat, most of the time is what makes a product taste good. I know some of you cook breakfast in the morning (all of you should), and are afraid to use a bit of butter in the pan to make your eggs, so you use that very unhealthy cooking spray with who knows what kind of chemicals in it. But, don’t you notice that your eggs always taste better cooked in a little bit of butter? Adding that natural fat in the form of butter or lard, just gives it that added flavor. On top of this, studies have shown that fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K are minimally absorbed by the body without some kind of fat. Case in point, a salad…how many people do you know who order a “healthy” salad, and put low fat or non fat dressing on it? We probably are all guilty, thinking it will benefit us in some way. It has no benefit. It is full of sugar and has no fat. You end up spiking your insulin levels, and not absorbing the great fat soluble vitamins in that salad. Do you think that salad is that “healthy” now? My suggestion, take the fat and leave out the sugar…

We were sold on this myth in the eighties that if we just would reduce our fat in our diets then everyone would be healthy…WRONG! Don’t you love when the food industry and science does a mass study like this on the general public? To this day we are still suffering from the effects. Heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and obesity has went through the roof since this fad started, and not to even mention the risen health care costs this “study” has caused.

People wonder why they keep putting on weight. Sorry to be upfront and kind of in your face, but it is our lifestyle.It has nothing to do with an underactive thyroid that your doctor can prescribe some thyroid med for. It is simple, it is our diet and lack of exercise! Now, in some cases this may be true, but most cases your thyroid levels are low because your body is overloaded with junk….sugar…disrupting your hormonal balance throughout your body, and creating you to be overweight and suffer all the maladies that come with obesity or being overweight. I have seen many cases of hypothyroid conditions resolve under the correct diet and exercise routine.

The truth is sugar damages our bodies in whatever form you use it in. It also lowers our immunity! So, if you are sick or your kids are sick you have to stay away from unnatural, processed or refined sugars like the plague! You will get over your sickness much faster.

All carbohydrates break down to glucose…I will say this again, all carbohydrates that our body uses breaks down to glucose in our body…hence the blood glucose test for sugar handling issues. When we eat a bunch of refined sugars…chips, sodas, crackers, bread (yes, even wheat bread, rye bread, etc ), donuts, fruit juice, energy drinks, etc., we take in too much sugar for our liver to store. When this happens our body stores the sugar as fat, which starts a downward spiral of weight gain, rises in cholesterol, and triglycerides. My friends, if there is anything you learn from this topic is that fat will not cause you to be fat. Please, please remember this…it will save you so much money in the long run.

Time and time again it has been shown, most notably through Dr. Atkin’s diet, that people can eat fat and protein and produce dramatic weight loss results, cholesterol point drops, and blood pressure normalization (as long as their is no kidney disease).

It seems almost counterintuitive. Eat more fat and protein and lose weight just by staying away from sugar? Yeah, but here lies the problem…Recent studies suggest that sugar is a more powerful addiction than cocaine in laboratory animals. So, I ask you again, is it that simple to subsist on a high fat and protein diet and stay away from unnatural, processed, or refined sugars? The people who do stick with it see dramatic results within one month in their blood chemistry. If you are ever diagnosed with high cholesterol or high blood pressure, please try this diet for one month, avoiding all sugars, and you will watch your cholesterol and blood pressure drop significantly (of course if it is serious, you need to be on a medication, but if it is borderline, why not fix it with diet and exercise!) I have helped many people resolve these conditions with diet alone!

The reason this diet works is because all sugar as I said above gets stored as fat. People are amazed when I tell them they can eat all the steak the want to if they cut out their carbs! It is fine to eat green beans and other vegetables with your steak, but not potatoes. Potatoes are very starchy and immediately cause a rise in blood sugar and fat storage. You cannot eat a steak that is fatty all the time and put a bunch of high sugary foods with it because then your health will deteriorate. You see, there is a fine line to this diet stuff. You either follow it completely and strive for excellence or you fail! It really is that simple. It is a lifestyle change, stay away from bad foods, eat right, exercise, and practice stress reduction. If you need more evidence, see this article just published… http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080212/ap_on_he_me/living_longer

Striving for excellence is different from being perfect. I like to look at my diet and my exercise on a yearly basis. This allows me to strive for excellence because I know life is life, and that I will be tempted by that sugary this or that. So, I eat it here or there, but that is my point, here or there, not everywhere and everyday. Imagine if your diet was good 300 days out of the year. Would you think that is pretty good? That is excellent!!! I would be very happy with myself, but people get caught up in the day to day diet world, and trying to live up to this false perceived sense of self and notion that perfection is the key! Perfection always leads to failure due to emotional upset! You have to get this…there is no magic bullet for weight loss or some magical cure or diet for that matter…it is a lifestyle…LIFESTYLE…which does not mean I am going to follow this for one month, three months, or six months…it is for life! As soon as you realize that you are going to exercise for the rest of your life and eat sensible for the rest of your life…that is when your weight will normalize and your health will be abundant!

Now, I have told you all of that to tell you this, not everyone can be healthy on a low sugar diet. Most people can be, but there are a few of us out there that needmore carbs than protein. And, some of us out there have to have a balanced diet with carbs and protein. It really takes trial and error to figure this out. You have to listen to your body and really feel when your body feels at its best and fully energized. You should not be crashing in the middle of the day and suffering from fatigue. Most people crash during the day due to their high carb breakfast…cereal and toast…it sets your insulin levels and blood sugar on a roller coaster ride. You are doomed from the moment you ate that morning…just think of our poor kids going to school after eating a sugary breakfast…is it any wonder why they act out in class? I would act out too if my blood sugar crashed. I can’t maintain an attention span if I am tired and fatigued…can you? I am sure you know the rest of the story, the teacher calls the parent, says the kid is acting up, and suggests seeing a pediatrician for something to calm the student. Now, do you realize that when these kids go on Ritalin that it is class 2 controlled substance…it is a narcotic and you are willing to put your child on it before you try to change his/or her diet? This is a serious issue and one that I will debate later, but back on to the subject at hand…After you crash from your sugary breakfast, you add coffee because it gives you a good false sense of energy because of the caffeine, and now you start on a whole new thing…caffeine…an excitotoxin! (Russell Blaylock’s book entitled excitotoxins talks more in depth about this). A whole new rollercoaster!

Here are some clues to help you figure out if you are more a protein or carb type. If you feel fatigued and bloated by eating more fat and protein, you are probably not a protein type. If you feel more fatigued and bloated by eating carbs, then you are probably not a carb type. Try it and find out what you are and start following it.

Please understand, fat will never lead to weight gain, and cholesterol laden natural foods(not processed foods)…like eggs, will never raise your blood cholesterol. It cannot happen! So, start eating your egg yolks that are jam packed with nutrients. Your body produces anywhere from 90-95% of its own cholesterol because your body needs cholesterol to function. It makes all of your steroid hormones, cell walls, and helps to make up nerves in you brain! Cholesterol is one of the most important chemicals in our bodies! Now, do you really think you want to take a drug to bring your cholesterol down 100 points? This can wreak havoc on all of your cells, your steroid hormones, and your BRAIN! Out of sudden, the quick fix does not sound so great anymore, does it! And people wonder why it causes muscle cramps…

So, my challenge to you is to shop the perimeter of your grocery store. Anything not on the perimeter is sugar ladened. Also, do not by anything that is low in fat or non fat because they just add more sugar. You are way better off eating the fat! Make fat your friend and you will see you won’t have fat left on your body! Also, buy free range or grass fed meats. Grass fed meats have a better ratio of omega 3 fats to omega 6 fats because they are not fed grain! Grain fattens the cow. Now, if it fattens a cow, what do you think it does to us? As it stands today, our omega 6 to 3 ratio is anywhere from 20:1 to 50:1. Why is this important…because omega 6’s are pro-inflammatory and omega 3’s are anti-inflammatory. The more your ratio is out of balance, the more inflammation in your body…not only do you hurt from arthritis pain or muscle problems, but the real problem is that heart disease is always traced back to inflammation. Inflammation is the start, and all the pathologies of the heart are the end. Now, don’t you think it is worth it for you to spend a bit more on your groceries and a quality omega 3 supplement of pharmaceutical grade (not one from a store shelf)?

One more caveat, there is no gene for longevity, but what they are finding in laboratory animals is one common link…those animals who subsist on a fat only diet…lard…live the longest! Isn’t that crazy…that is what I though too, but the reason they live the longest is due to no increase in insulin levels and what are called leptin levels! So, limiting your sugars can produce a longer life! Isn’t that reason in itself to stay away from these things.

Remember, all sugar is not bad, it is only the form that it is in and if it acts slow or fast in your body. You have to find what works for you. I will be glad to help you with this. Processed grains and sugars will always cause us adverse health problems because it is processed. Keep it simple and only eat things from nature. If it could not have been eaten 100 years ago, chances are it is not good for you! Live by that rule and you will do great! A good book for any of you readers out there on this subject is a book called Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston Price. It is one of the most important nutrition books ever produced. You can also check out a book called Pottenger’s Cats by Dr. Pottenger.

Now, there is still alot to cover on this issue…like why people have so much trouble with certain carbs such as wheat, and why soy is not a health food, but I will leave you all in suspense till the next time! Whatever you do, don’t increase your protein with soy. That will cause even more health problems. I will write on that at a later time. Remember, I am here to help you be as healthy as you can be. If you have any questions, please email me back and I will answer them, or come in for an appointment and I will help you. I even can help your friends and family that do not live here through the internet or phone consultations. Technology is great because it allows me to help more people without actually coming to my office! So, any referrals you want to give to us, wherever they live, I would be honored to help.

Hope you enjoyed this post, and more to come…

Your health and wellness advocate,
Dr. James R. Haakenson

P.S. Thank you again for allowing me to be your doctor

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2 Responses to “Stay lean, eat fat!!!”

  1. connie said

    GREAT post on the low-fat myth!
    i also urge everyone to read dr. weston price’s book – it’s fantastic.

  2. Hi,
    I like the way you write ..Its really different and interesting … keep the momentum going ..I hope tis will really going to help me in future..
    brilliant. .

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