Ancestral Fats | endo-diet basics
"The concept that fat is the best of foods has been universal in all lands and climates. When Christianity spread northward beyond the Mediterranean, the Biblical phrase "to live on the fat of the land" was readily understood in Greece, Italy, and France, in Britain Sweden, and up among the Lapps. In English speech, fat food was called rich food, which was the highest praise. The fattest was best among men and gods, in most religions and in all countries" (Vilhjalmur Stefansson)
Ancestral fats have been the basis of human health for millions of years, a source of nutrients and energy that was revered and worshiped across cultures, literature, and religions. Our ancestors knew the value of these foods: healthy fats that acted as a delivery sources of fat-soluble vitamins to fill you up with nutrients, offer slow burning energy to regulate your blood sugar, grow healthy children, and offer the foundational building block to each cell in your body. Now they're known to help heal your endo.
So what are ancestral fats? Easy, it’s the fats and oils peoples have relied on for millennia. They include items like butter, ghee, lard, tallow, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, nuts and seeds and their cold-pressed oils. Food sources include egg yolks, cream, the fatty cuts of meat, drippings from roasts, oily fish and fish eggs. Do any of these give you the heeby jeeby’s? Hopefully they won’t by the end of this :)
Modern, industrial oils, on the other hand, are incredibly damaging to your body. They include the obvious trans-fats, but also the lesser realized refined vegetable oils like canola, soy, corn, grape seed, safflower, sunflower, or plain old vegetable oil. If you’ve heard these are good for you, that's intentional on behalf of these companies: their marketing arm is incredible, with a lobbying force to be reckoned with! Unfortunately like many other industries with huge marketing campaigns (processed grains, processed milk, vegetable oil), these guys should be in your trash by the end of this post.
The truth is: fat is absolutely necessary to the diet, as long as it's the right kind of fat. Your body was made to run on fat as your majority fuel, and doing so will immediately help bring your cortisol levels down. Moreover, your body has trillions of cells, and they’re all coated in something called a lipid-protein bilayer. It’s a fatty coating with some protein mixed in, and your cells depend it being made from really high quality fats in order for your cells to function properly. If there’s a fat shortage in your diet, or a poor-quality fat source, your cells will directly suffer (imagine legos being made of powdery chalk). Not to mention your skin, your energy, your brain function, and your overall quality of life.
So hang with me while we talk about fat! I’ll take you through the good, the bad, the ugly, and the truly healing. I want to help you understand that fat on your lips is not fat on your hips — it can actually be the opposite with the right approach, that saturated fats are not going to cause heart disease, that cholesterol will not clog your arteries, and that despite all those government recommendations you’ve heard for 5 decades, science is now way ahead of the US Government's food recommendations and is in agreement with what our ancestors knew all along: eat the fat.