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The Big Fat Lie

The Truth about Fats in our Diet

Definition of Terms

Lipoprotein: any of a group of soluble proteins that combine with and transport fat or other lipids in the blood plasma.

Fatty Acid: Fatty acids are comprised of hydrocarbon chains terminating with carboxylic acid groups. Fatty acids and their associated derivatives are the primary components of lipids.

EFA: essential fatty acid means that the body does not make these substances but requires them. They must be sourced from food

Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body required for many functions

Big Ideas

1. Healthy Fatty Acid deficiency is epidemic:

  • Musculoskeletal issues

  • Endocrine issues

  • Cardiovascular issues

  • Immune issues

  • Allergies, Skin problems

  • Mental health issues, i.e., depression,

2. Inflammation can be effectively managed with nutritional therapy, therefore reducing healing time

Introduction to Fats

  • Fats compose about 15% of our body weight

  • Animal and vegetable sources of fat provide a concentrated source of energy in our diet

  • Contrary to popular belief, a fairly high percentage of diverse, good quality fats are required for optimum health

Roles of Fats in the Body

  • Provide a slow burning, longer lasting source of energy

  • Act as building blocks for cell membranes and hormones -are building blocks for every cell membrane in the body

  • Aide the absorption of the fat‐soluble vitamins: A, D, E, and K

  • Allow for the proper use of proteins

  • Serve as a protective lining for the organs and joints

  • Help regulate energy absorption by slowing the absorption of food

  • Increase satiety

  • Make food taste good

Normal Function of Fats

Brain anticipates food – stimulates salivary glands Food enters mouth, is chewed and swallowed – esophagus – stomach-small intestines:

  • presence of fat stimulates gallbladder to release bile to emulsify (break up) fats so they can be digested and absorbed

  • stimulates pancreas to release enzymes to breakdown fats into triglycerides for absorption into the lymph and blood stream to be used or stored

Carried by the Lymph System – triglycerides and fat-soluble nutrients (i.e. fat-soluble vitamins – A, D, E, K

  • to cells for energy production and membrane support

  • to muscles and heart for aerobic fuel

  • to liver to make cholesterol and bile

  • to make prostaglandins

  • to adipose tissue for storage


Prostaglandins are hormone‐like substances the body cannot do without. They occur in nearly all body tissues and fluids. They are formed (conjugated) from elongated forms of EFAs and are thought to be synthesized in the cells’ membranes.

  • Regulation the cell’s communication system for doing things like opening and closing channels

  • Providing the fine tuning needed for maintaining homeostasis within the body

  • Increasing blood flow within the kidneys

  • Dilating bronchial tubes

  • Controlling inflammatory function (inflame and anti-inflame)

  • Requires Omega 3, Omega 6 fats and saturated fats (which can contain both 3 and 6)

Cholesterol Roles in the Body

  • Makes cells waterproof to allow different chemistry on inside and outside

  • Nature’s healing substance-repairs wounds, including tears in arteries

  • Gives structure and integrity to cells

  • Precursor to vitamin D which is needed for healthy bones, calcium metabolism, reproduction, normal growth, eyesight, nervous system

  • Pre-cursor to bile salts which are made in the liver and required for fat emulsification for digestion

  • Precursor to vital sex hormones and protective steroid hormones

  • Powerful antioxidant

  • Essential for development and function of the brain and nervous system; needed for proper functioning of serotonin receptors in the brain


The difference between a Good fat and a Bad fat is in the way they are processed not in the inherent nature of their source with the exception of Canola (rapeseed or mustard seed), Soy and Cottonseed Oils

General Fat Consumption Guideline

You need a mixture of healthy fatty acids in your diet to maintain optimal health

The ratio of Omega‐6s to Omega‐3s in the diet should be approximately 1:1. In today’s diet it’s more like 1:20 due to oils in processed foods.

Canola (rapeseed or mustard seed), Soy and Cottonseed Oils should never be consumed or used in cooking

Fatty Acid Dysfunction

Historically, EFA deficiency was not an issue, because the range of foods was much broader - Before agriculture, we ate 300 – 1,000 different foods. Today, we eat 17 – 20

Wild things in their natural form are high in Omega‐3s - Insects, cold‐water fish, flax seeds, grass‐fed beef, etc.

Cooking is a factor that contributes to EFA deficiency. For example, cooking fish destroys most of the Omega‐3 oils

Industrialization is another contributing factor - Grain‐fed beef is completely void of Omega‐3s, whereas grass‐fed beef is not

Fats to Avoid

  • Hydrogenated Fats

  • Partially Hydrogenated Fats

  • Highly processed Vegetable Oils

  • Fried Fats

*Trans Fats are a by‐product of the hydrogenation process (toxic)

These fats are toxic and interfere with the essential roles fatty acids play within a healthy body

Supermarket Oils

  • Living fats/oils are very sensitive to light, heat, and oxygen and become rancid easily

  • The more unsaturated the fat, the more unstable it is

  • Unstable oils are the ones most important to our health in terms of EFAs

  • Cannot be heated

  • Cannot be exposed to light

Therefore, supermarket oils in clear, plastic bottles shelved under bright light and not refrigerated are not supporting life

Label Reading

Look for “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”. Even if it says, “no trans-fats”. They are the same thing and are toxic to the body.

Be wary when you hear/see saturated fats lumped in with trans fats. Saturated fats are healthy and trans fats are poison.

Vegetable oils are highly refined and usually made from genetically modified plants. They are most likely rancid before bottle is opened.

The refining process, which is meant to extend shelf life, involves high heat, chemical solvents, bleaches, deodorizers (to cover up the rancid smell), and clarifiers. These break down the fragile oils into substances which the body doesn’t recognize as food and treats as a toxins which create inflammation.

Recommended Reading/Viewing

  • YouTube video: The Oiling of America by Sally Fallon Morrel

  • Put Your Heart in Your Mouth by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride

  • Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Mary Enig, PhD and Sally Fallon Morrel

  • The Big FAT Surprise by Nina Teicholz


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