37685127 – person adding butter to black coffee

Have you been intrigued then confused by these headlines

The 3 things you need to do to melt belly fat……..

The 5 fat foods you need to lose weight …..

The one fat you need to add to your daily routine…..

After years of asking people to follow a fat free diet and realizing we have created generations of unhealthy, heavier people, the guidelines are slow in removing their recommendation to completely eliminate saturated fat. The internet and this huge war against traditional medical doctors by providers who have undergone some kind of training in functional medicine has brought to the forefront a new kind of problem. Some very enrapturing recommendations that fly in the face of traditional medicine.

I wanted to delve into some of these as my practice actually is based on individualized medicine and when people come to me having followed a publicly admired or revered personality, it does take education to make them understand why I do not blindly concede to these practices.

So let us look at some of these practices

My pet peeve is “add butter in your coffee”. We hear so much about how this is the best weight loss habit we all need to develop. So obviously it is something that needs a little more research and understanding of the science behind the recommendation, that seems to make many of us happy some of us skeptical.

Yak butter is used in tea by Tibetan monks during winter season to help with thermogenesis or “heat production.” This practice was made famous by Dave Asprey  with his bulletproof coffee. The key there is “grass fed butter” which is difficult to get,  as most animals labelled grass fed may be fed a few months in their lifetime the natural grass at other times they are given processed fodder like soy or grains.

Again there are studies on fat but the practical issues are :

  1. If you have a genetic trait to have high cholesterol checked by testing Apolipoprotein E  trait, consuming daily dab of butter can actually increase the cholesterol particle that causes heart disease called, LDL.

  2. It also increases inflammation in the plaque and blood vessels as seen with blood test for C reactive protein and LP-PLA .

  3. If you have a poor diet overall, adding butter can lead to weight gain. There are studies showed that mice fed exclusively fat tend to have early satiety and weight loss. However in real life we we do not eat fat exclusively, it is not practical. We adopt the lifestyle of eating more than needed calories and adding saturated fats can lead to further increase in calories and yes ultimately calories do matter.

  4. If you have underlying insulin resistance the ability of insulin to work efficiently and push glucose into the cells can be inhibited by saturated fats.

Therefore coupled with all of these missing pieces of vital personalized information you can potentially gain weight and create disease and cause harm.

So should you or should you not eat fat?

There are some studies that do show that adding appropriate fats in the diet can actually improve well being, cell function and metabolism.

These should be foods rich in Omega 3 fats. Omega 3 fats are mostly from plant sources: mostly seeds.

The fish source of omega 3 is more complex to explain. Fish today is contaminated with what is known as persistent organic pollutants (POPS) and industrial wastes including mercury.  Omega 3 actually can be anti-inflammatory . However our foods are so rich in Omega 6 which can lead to chronic inflammation. The ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 is crucial. Traditionally it had been 1:2 and now it is 1: 20 favouring inflammation. The body’s enzymes that create the pro or anti inflammatory products from the omega fats lean toward the fat that is most predominant which is omega 6. This leads to more inflammation. So having fish cooked in corn oil or sunflower oil can remove the benefit of the omega 3 in the fish leading to inflammation than the benefit of healthy fat consumption.

Get more information on the right kind of fish from www.seafoodwatch.org

Therefore understanding the fats and understanding your body is the key.

How would you know if this is not right for you?

If you are adding butter to your coffee and gaining weight or feeling unwell after this ritual or not losing weight then this is not right for you. Get tested to make sure you are not causing unknown inflammation and heart disease like the story about Bob Harper http://www.tmz.com/2017/02/27/bob-harper-heart-attack/ who incidentally was lucky that he survived this. Though he states it is in his genetics it is not as accurate as his mother had a heart attack in her 70’s. Like a cardiologist once said having a heart attack after age 80 is god’s will but before that is medical failure. Bob Harper was medical failure and probably lifestyle.

Remember if diets were so simple disease would not exist. If diet were the only reason we are sick, disease would not exist. Life and health are very complex and needs a lot of accuracy and science and not just fad diets or simple solutions. It really needs a systematic approach and mentoring with a personalized approach. Our bodies have an innate tendency to heal and therefore before any disease becomes apparent it will try and repair itself causing symptoms and problems we may not take seriously, till it is catastrophic. So if you are unhappy at where you are with your health seek a well educated functional medical practitioner who will help you with accurate diagnosis and a systematic approach that is personalized to address you and your longterm health.

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