I love good food. I mean, my favorite movies are Big Night, Chocolat, Julie and Julia. So when it comes to quality, I have a difficult time getting past the low-fat paradigm. As far as I’m concerned: fat is where it’s at. Now, not all fats are the same. Think of the distinction between a Dunkin Donut doughnut and my Sunday homemade buttermilk waffles, drenched in maple syrup and raw spring butter. One is fried in weeks old soybean or canola oil, the other is made with real butter from my local farmer whose cow’s name is Priscilla. Can there be any comparison?
Butter, Butter, Butter and Lard
The notion that saturated fats causes heart disease is not only facile, but just plain wrong. Do you remember the Framingham Heart Study? Well, if not, you ought to know that it is the mainstay of the advocates of the low-fat paradigm. Yet its hypothesis has been turned on its head. In hindsight, some 40 years after the study became public, the director of the study confessed that “the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person’s serum cholesterol… we found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active”.
Can we deduce from the director of the lipid theorists flagship study that arterial sclerosis has little to do with cholesterol and fat consumption? It certainly appears we can. But there’s more to it than a study; there’s physiology as well.
Interestingly, arteries that are clogged are not choked with saturated fats, but with calcium deposits akin to lime. This is not what we have imagined all these years. Instead, we’ve been visualizing the fats from a juicy, marbled steak with buttered potatoes to practically travel from the mouth, to the stomach and then directly into the arteries. It simply isn’t so and there’s plenty of evidence to substantiate this. Despite repetitious conventional medical mantra and unsound pop culture advice we might reconsider the last 40 years of fat phobia to be a wash.
So, if butter, tropical fats, cod liver oil, whole milk, lard and other animal fats in general don’t cause heart disease, then what does? We know that deficiencies of vitamins A, E and D are one cause. Where are these vitamins found? Why, in butter, lard, tropical oils and animal fats….the very food we’ve been directed to eschew!
B vitamins and mineral deficiencies are also contributors to heart disease. These occur as a result of eating foods of commerce, such as soda, preservatives, additives and enhancers, instead of whole, homemade fare. Vitamin B happens to be abundant in red meat and in organ meats.
There’s no doubt that stress contributes to heart and artery pathology. The very nutrients that accompany traditional foods are depleted at such times. Hence, during periods of stress, it’s prudent to take in more than the usual amount of nutrient dense foods that provide the greatest amount of animal and tropical fats.
Butter and lard, because of their antioxidants, protect us against free radicals and are therefore, preventatives for diseases such as cancer, heart disease, depression, infections and reproductive disorders.
I remember 6th grade science where we were taught that Vitamin D, the brain vitamin is found via three main sources: cod liver oil, lard and the utilization of sunshine. In addition, Vitamin E, the heart vitamin is found chiefly in butter. So if we want to benefit the heart and brain, the two most vital organs, how would we do this if we didn’t eat these perfect foods?
In colonial America, where people lived hearty lives often stretching to the 100 year mark, it was simply understood that saturated fats were a mainstay of daily life, particularly in the cold months. These people lived agrarian or at least semi agrarian lives so they had whole, healthy foods available as daily fare. Beef tallow and pork fats were rendered after the slaughter in the fall. Then these products were used to make biscuits, piecrusts and the like. Which when consumed, would fend off the blues, respiratory infections and build robust bodies. Organ meats such as liver, sweetbreads, kidneys and heart were a weekly fare.
Growing up in Buffalo, New York, we had liver every Monday night and as Italian Americans we enjoyed tripe or squid in homemade red sauce regularly. We drank whole un-homogenized milk, plenty of fresh cheeses and beef or lamb regularly. Today, spring butter is still prized in Europe because of its high concentration of nutrients. It’s reverently stored and preserved in the form of special cultured butter and cheeses for use in later months. The Intuits who had lives of extended longevity until the last century, ate a daily ration of whale blubber. Germans still eat a generous coating of lard on their whole grain rye bread with a slice of onion and the French enjoy ham with the accompanying fat daily. Yet these cultures have low heart and cancer rates; or at least a great deal lower than modern Americans. The connection? traditional fats, traditional artisan methods, traditional meals.
How can we reinstate these time-honored fats into our diet? Simply eat like an age old European, like an old time American farmer and prepare like the finest gourmet restaurants in the world. Unearth your great grandmother’s old-world recipes, toss out the canola oil, vegetable oils and buy a traditional cookbooks or learn the easy way, via my audio Secret Spoonfuls . It’s where the answers get easier because it covers my own methods, tips and tricks that lightened my efforts to get authentic, gourmet foods into my family.
Get happy! Ward off hot flashes, heart pathology, allergies, fatigue, and spring infections. Eat like a true gourmet. Include butter, coconut oil, organ meats, fresh milk and in plentitude. Then go outside and take a walk. Your brain, heart, lungs and even your arteries will thank you.
Joette has mastered the art of getting healthy foods into her children. If you want to read more download her Digital CD; Secret Spoonfuls Confessions of a Sneaky Mom – Get Healthy foods into Kids without getting caught. .
Nutrition and Physical Regeneration, Dr. Weston A. Price
Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary Enig
Photo courtesy http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Osias_Beert_(I)_-_Still-Life_with_Oysters_and_Pastries_-_WGA01569.jpgTo help support the free educational materials and activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my recommendations and/or link to any products or services from this blog.