The concern over the environmental impact of fossil fuels has caused a rapid, though largely unsuccessful, shift towards wind and solar options. It is unsuccessful in that fossil fuels still are the majority energy production source, by far. We are discovering that it takes a lot of mechanism, in the case of wind farms, and a lot of hard-to-mine rare earth elements for solar, to get enough energy to power a small town, much less an entire city, while petroleum products pack a lot of energy with less infrastructure.
This presents a big challenge for those wishing to stop using oil and natural gas: they can’t get enough energy from renewable sources without excessive infrastructure. Plus, wind levels and light levels are highly variable, so if the energy produced is not immediately used, it must be stored, requiring more infrastructure and mining of special elements for banks of batteries to retain the excess energy. Basically, the energy density of fossil fuels far exceeds that of wind and solar alternatives, making them hard to beat as an energy source. There is one more option that has even greater energy density: nuclear power. That option greatly beats fossil fuel energy concentration, but carries risks that some find unacceptable.
Our bodies require energy to run. Sugar and simple carbohydrates are the low energy density option. They burn quickly, usually producing a temporary excess of energy which must be either stored or lost, and a lot of them are needed to fuel the body. Protein is a decent energy density option, and many consider it to be a great alternative to carbohydrates. But the highest density choice is often shunned by many as too risky — that option is fat. Ounce for ounce, fat packs more energy, over twice that of protein.
The nuclear option
Unlike nuclear energy, raw and living fat energy has no possible or potential negative side effect. Why is fat usually considered risky? There are harmful fats, but often when someone states that fat is bad for you, there is no differentiation of the type of fat. There are monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fats; there are fats from animal sources, from plant sources, and fats that are cooked or artificially modified which are different from those which are raw. Some believe that since fat packs so much energy per ounce that makes it actually causes weight gain.
Here is something that may surprise you: our bodies are designed to want fat and to run very well on it. As published in Nature, researchers have uncovered a pathway that specifically detects and favors fat in the intestinal tract. In animal studies, they were able to cause genetic silencing of this pathway and found that the modified animals stopped preferring fat. This pathway worked post-ingestively, meaning that it was not triggered by taste, but rather during digestion, indicating a gut-to-brain pathway.
Preference itself, as we know with sugar, is not necessarily a good driver of health. The study also found a gut-brain sugar circuit, as well as the obvious sugar taste circuit. But what happens with sugar versus fat digestion is quite different. Sugar requires little processing to create glucose, which is required by the body, so it is digested very quickly. Gut bacteria also ingest sugar voraciously, and many of the most harmful gut flora are aggressive sugar eaters, so sugar drives gut flora imbalances. Just like solar energy, the sugar excess needs to be stored, because the body keeps, if it can, tight controls on glucose levels in the blood to prevent runaway cell damage. Excess sugar is stored as fat, because fat is so energy dense that the body can store energy in fat very effectively. In contrast, ingested fat is broken down slowly: the digestion process is more involved. Since it breaks down slowly, it releases energy much more evenly, not requiring insulin spikes like sugar does. So the natural desire for fat is health-promoting, while desire for sugar, when sugar is as readily available as it is in modern society, is dangerous. In the wild, this would not be so, because sugar is not so easily obtained there, but with processed foods which are the mainstay of most people, sugar spells trouble.
So if fat is a good fuel source, should we eat fat regardless of its source or type? Not at all. Again, in the wild, unprocessed and uncooked plant fats would be available, and those are almost universally healthful. Thanks to modern society, we’ve made dangerous food alternatives readily available, and even the natural desire for fat can lead us into trouble. Trans-fats are artificially created forms of fat which deceive the body into using them like any other fat, but the trans-fat molecule has a slightly different shape which, when used to build cells, produces an inferior cell membrane. Animal fats carry a special risk: because they are high on the food chain, animals concentrate the toxins that they ingest from lower portions of the chain. Animal fats carry those toxins to the top of the food chain — you. Plus, they are primarily saturated fats, not a healthy mix of fats.
A number of studies correlate high intake of saturated fat with increased LDL (the “bad” cholesterol), thereby potentially increasing risk of blood vessel plaque buildup that can lead to strokes or heart attacks. “Potentially” is the correct term, because plaque does not necessarily build up in vessels, especially if the vessel walls are very smooth and healthy; plaque is used to patch damage in blood vessels due to inflammation. However, high LDL levels provide the potential for fast plaque buildup when vessels are unhealthy, so keeping a lid on LDL levels is considered safer; but if done with drugs, the underlying problem is not addressed, which is inflammation.
Is there a straight line between eating saturated fat and cardiovascular disease? Conventional opinion says yes, but research does not confirm this. A review of twenty-one studies on this subject, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, does not find that correlation. Researchers at the Oakland Research Institute in Oakland, California reviewed studies from a massive total of 347,747 subjects, comparing their saturated fat intake levels against later development of stroke or detected cardiovascular disease. They found “intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of CVD (cardiovascular disease), stroke, or CHD (coronary heart disease).” They did not, in this study, compare inflammation levels against cardiovascular risk, where a correlation would be highly likely, as other studies have consistently shown.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are non-controversial, so long as they are not processed or cooked. Avocados — perhaps the best single source of high quality fats on the planet — contain about 15 grams of monounsaturated fat, 4 grans polyunsaturated, and 3 grams saturated per average-sized avocado. Plus they contain advantages common to many plant-based foods: they are high in fiber and they feed good gut bacteria. Nuts and seeds also have these benefits and are good fat sources.
Published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, a study of 68,786 women and 41,701 men found that those with higher avocado intake had a 16% lower risk of CVD and 21% lower risk of CHD over the low or zero intake group. Those in the low avocado group usually got their fat from butter, cheese, and processed meats, and those in the study who increased their avocado intake usually replaced those other sources with equivalent amounts of avocado. The source of the fat is critical.
Plant fats also have another advantage: protein conservation. When we take in a lot of protein, the body gets lazy and won’t try to recycle old proteins which are damaged. And in the absence of fat and protein intake, the body may break down muscle to get energy. But it doesn’t want to do that: since protein is a decent store of energy, the body will turn to burning it if necessary, but dietary fat serves as an even better energy source. This frees the body to keep the muscle while scrounging for garbage protein. Fat is thus a great exercise companion, providing sustained energy without cannibalizing protein.
The Fat Pitch
We are designed for fat intake. Sugar is a lousy energy store, meant instead for immediate use. Protein, in excess, promotes a high acid and inflammation environment in the body. Fat, in its natural state and from plants, gives energy without the downsides of protein and sugar. The way fats can lead to weight gain is if they are overeaten. This is not natural: when you eat avocados, nuts, or seeds, you feel full quickly thanks to the fiber content, and you are not likely to overeat. But combine fat with sugar, and your taste for sweetness can indeed lead you to overeat the fat along with the sugar. Taste is pre-ingestive, and we often succumb to sweet tastes, to our detriment.
The best rule is: eat from the plant kingdom, don’t cook the food, and make sure some of the plants you eat are high fat. You get a broad range of nutrients, plenty of energy, fiber to keep you from overeating, and if you are overweight, this high fat diet is likely to cause you to lose some pounds.
Dr. Nemec’s Review
Your body was programmed from birth to burn fat almost exclusively for energy, but it has to be the right fat — it has to be a living or raw fat, and the most accessible raw fats to adults are raw plant fats, especially avocados, seeds, nuts, and olives. These are ideal fat sources if not cooked or processed in any way and are consumed fresh in the raw whole state. So the adult diet should get most calories from raw plant fats, and get second-most calories from raw carbohydrates in green leafy vegetables and vegetables in general that have not been cooked or processed in any way. Protein is never an issue: there is plenty of protein in the raw plant fats and raw plant carbohydrates to sustain growth but not to kick you into protein burning, which then turns into muscle wasting and toxicity. How do you think an elephant gets to be so big and strong with huge muscles and dense bones by only eating leaves and grass? Clearly there is enough protein and calcium in the living leaves and in the grass to sustain all growth, reproduction, maintenance and repair functions of its body.
You came into this world as a fat burning child. Mother’s milk calories are predominantly fat, and this is what the baby eats exclusively for at least the first six months of life. End of the story. The original design is always the best plan in life. With this high fat diet that the newborn baby develops the brain perfectly, it develops the organs perfectly — and this fat is a living fat, meaning it has not been processed with heat, chemicals, preservatives or stored any length of time so there is no oxidation or free radical formation. This is just like eating a cucumber while it’s still growing on the vine. This is even better than raw food. This is classified as living food which has the highest enzyme levels and the highest biophoton levels. That is why mother’s milk is the ideal food source for a human being.
So what is the ideal food once we stop breast-feeding? Well let’s ask what is not the best food: cow’s milk, because it is pasteurized which means it has been cooked. This alone denatures any usable protein: it causes the healthy fats to become oxidized and free radical-forming; it has a tremendously higher protein to fat ratio which makes it too protein rich, which not only leads to over-acidification of the body, but also more protein burning, which leads to muscle wasting along with kidney stress and insufficient macro nutrients for the brain and neurological development.
So as these studies have shown your intestinal tract and your entire body is wired genetically for living raw fat and when you eat this from living and raw unprocessed plant sources you have the ideal food for life. There is no downside to an avocado. It only brings health and life.
Here are the ways we can help you in your health journey:
- Outpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-has the most benefit of teaching, treatment, live classes and personalized coaching. This program has the most contact with Dr. Nemec with 3- 6 month programs that can be turned into a regular checking and support program for life. This is our core program that has helped so many restore their health and maintain that restoration for years.
- Inpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-is our four-week intensive inpatient program for those that are not in driving distance, usually over 4 hour drive. This is the program that is an intensive jumpstart with treatment, teaching, live classes and coaching designed for all our international patients along with those in the US that do not live in Illinois. This program is very effective especially when combined with our new membership program support.
- Stay at Home Program-is offered to continental US patients who cannot come to Total Health Institute but still want a more personal, customized plan to restore their health. This program also includes our Learn Membership Program.
- Membership Program is our newest program offered for those that want to work on their health at a high level and want access to the teaching at Total Health Institute along with the Forums: both Dr. Nemec’s posts and other members posting. And also, to have the chance to get personalized questions answered on the conference calls which are all archived in case you miss the call. The Membership Program has 3 levels to choose from: Learn, Overcome and Master. The difference is at the Overcome and Master levels you received one on one calls with Dr. Nemec personalizing your program for your areas of focus.