Health, Weight Loss and Fats: Surprise! It’s Not What You Think

Avatar photo Staff December 5, 2010

butterHealth, Weight Loss and Fats: Surprise! It’s Not What You Think

by Jerry Gore, M.D.
Part One

One of our terrific patients recently referred me to some reading material about healthy weight loss ideas. We discussed the idea that a person could lose weight by eating more fats, not less! As unbelievable as it sounds, it’s true. By staying off refined sugars, and keeping carbs to a reasonable level and eating healthy, organic, grass fed saturated fats, a person can lose weight and enjoy the process and feel satisfied (not depressed or deprived) and look forward to their meals. “But fats and cholesterol” our minds scream out and “what about weight gain, and heart disease.” Well, surprise! It’s not what you think!


First, the idea that fat and cholesterol can be good actually comes about from scientific studies.


Surprise # 1:Dr. Bruce Fife in his book “Eat Fat Look Thin” points out that in the 60-year period from 1910 to 1970, heart disease went from being rare to the number one killer it is today. Take note during that time:

  • The use of animal fat and butter decreased markedly.  
  • The intake of cholesterol stayed approximately the same.  
  • The use of vegetable oils in the form of margarine, shortening, and processed oil increased 400%!

How is it possible that we did not increase our cholesterol intake (actually up 1%) all those years and heart disease goes from nil to the number 1 killer? “Uh Oh” you say. What about vegetable oil i.e., the use of corn oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, soy oil, margarine, shortening etc. up by 400%! This makes total sense when you consider that the chemical structure of the unsaturated vegetable oil allows it to take in unstable oxygen (termed oxidation). This is what happens when a cut apple turns brown – do you really want to eat the brown part? Of course not because you can see it’s oxidized and you instinctively know that something in it is not right. When this happens to polyunsaturated vegetable oil, this rancid, brown-like oxidized fat now affects all the food it touches – breaking down cell membranes and affecting the DNA in the cells – and does the same thing to your cells when you swallow this now-oxidized food…leading to heart disease, cancer and symptoms of aging.


Surprise #2:  The famous and often quoted Framington Mass heart study, sponsored by the government, studied over 5000 people over a 40 year period and found:

  • Almost one half the people with heart attacks had low cholesterol and that people whose cholesterol had decreased, had a higher risk of dying! 
  • A 1989 study published in the renowned medical journal “Lancet” stated that women with a very low cholesterol level had 5 times the death rate of those women who had “normal” cholesterol.

So what’s going on? As it turns out, cholesterol is very important to our normal functioning.
According to Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon who wrote “Eat Fat Lose Fat”, the cholesterol molecule:

  • Helps make up the structure of our cell membranes and saturated fats help to keep these membranes sturdy and actually make up 50% of the membrane.
  • Is the precursor for sex hormones, stress hormones, and DHEA.
  • Allows the formation of vitamin D and helps bone, nerve and muscle tissue. 
  • Form bile salts to help digest fats.
  • Is rich in mothers’ milk.
  • Acts as an antioxidant to protect us from oxidation induced cancer and heart disease.

Dr. Fife says it’s not the unoxidized cholesterol that is the problem; it’s the oxidation (browning) free radical activity caused by vegetable oils and other factors such as overcooking, leaving food out in the air too long, powdered milk and cheeses, etc., and highly processed meats like bologna, salami, etc. that allows oxygen to harm the food.


  • I would not recommend cooking with vegetable oils such as canola, peanut, safflower, corn, and soy.  
  • I would not use hydrogenated vegetable oils or margarine in any form.
  • I would recommend cooking with olive oil at low temperatures or coconut, sesame oil or clarified butter at regular temperatures because they are more saturated and less likely to become oxidized.Once we are no longer worried about unoxidized cholesterol, then we can move on to discuss the beneficial effects of saturated fats from grass fed animals like milk, butter, cream, eggs cheese (yum), chicken and beef including where to find them and how to use them. (Click here for Part 2)                   � 

Stay tuned for future info from me or Dr. Bisceglie, our nutritionist.



To your health,
J. Gore, M.D.


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