Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...Tell Me More
If you read that in Homer Simpson’s voice, you’re doing it right. You see, science is starting to admit more and more often that Homer Simpson may have had it right in at least one dietary area: his fat consumption. A recent study suggests that (duh) fat can actually reduce appetite, curb hunger, and help you lose body fat. It’s nothing we didn’t already know, but the idea of mainstream science tossing a fatty wrench into the well-lubed gears of conventional dietary wisdom was too good to pass up. Before your less enlightened brethren and sistren, however, start wrapping waffles around sticks of butter or eating blocks of cheese like apples, implore them to take a moment and read the fine print.
The study release starts by pre-empting its own line of attack with this juicy bit of CW-pandering: “Fatty foods may not be the healthiest diet choice, but those rich in unsaturated fats – such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil…” We think we know where they’re going with this. That popular term for edgy nutritionists living life on the razor’s edge, “good fats,” will surely be mentioned. We like to make fun, of course, but it’s true that avocados, nuts, and olive oil technically are “good fats.” It’s just that by feeling the need to preface with “good,” scientists do all fats a great disservice via a latent implication that other fats are “bad.” We have the same issue with the phrase “good dog,” but that’s for another post (or blog altogether?). Anyway, as we’ve established before, fat is generally a healthy, nay, the healthy source of fuel for all followers of the Primal Blueprint. So why bring this study up?
Well, according to a group of UC Irvine pharmacologists, unsaturated fats foster satiety and curb hunger. They do so by triggering production of a certain compound in the small intestine that basically tells our bodies we’re full. Oleic acid, a fatty acid derived from certain fats, begins production of oleoylethanolamide (OEA) which gets absorbed into nerve endings. The nerve endings shoot off the “all done!” message to the brain, and the brain tells your hand to drop the bacon. Or so goes the idea. This stuff all took place in a lab; there were no human subjects. But you gotta admit this sounds pretty promising. Scientists sure think so. There are already plans to create a new class of anti-obesity drugs incorporating OEA.
Conveniently, all of this fits quite neatly into the Primal Blueprint way of approaching life. Mark often talks of lower calorie consumption as an auxiliary benefit rather than a goal; that is, our goal as Primal Blueprinters is not to count calories or obsess over fat content. Instead, by eating the stuff our bodies are made for, we end up being sated with far less than if we were to go back to the standard western diet. Lower caloric intake doesn’t just mean we’ll lose weight. It has also been linked to longevity and general long-term health. Oh, and if you need less food to get full, your wallet might thank you.
Fat makes up a big part of that Primal eating plan. We love fat, and we’ve always known it plays a key role in our diet. This is just more fuel for the fire, so to speak.