Monday, November 4, 2013

Get Your Fats Straight

I have been reading Sarah Pope's blog for over a year now and I regularly check out her You-Tube Videos to find out how to implement the ideas in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, so when her book came out I was keen to read it. Sarah's book Get Your Fats Straight is easy to read and very helpful in helping you know what you can do to apply the truth about fats in your own life. Her writing style is conversational but her facts are well researched and right on the money as far as I am concerned. I have also read Mary G. Enig's book entitled Know Your Fats which is more scientific  and definitely thorough, sound and well researched book, however not as easily read as Sarah's book which is why I am so excited about it. In Sarah's book you will clearly see what the good fats are and why they are good for you and how to use them in your daily life.

In Get Your Fats Straight you will learn about three main fats that everyone should try to incorporate in their every day diet: virgin organic coconut oilbutter made from cow pastured on green grass, and cod liver oil. Sarah will also talk about other less know fats that are great super foods to add to your every day diet as well: eggs, fish roe, liver and Since I can not digest butter yet or eggs I lean heavily on preparing fish roe and liver and eat them together to get all the best nutrients (vit. A, K and D) in one fell swoop. I am known to have homemade liver pate made with coconut oil on my sprouted bread toast spread thick with coconut oil and stuffed with organic spinach and a tablespoon of caviar. If not that I spoon out 1 T fish roe or caviar and 2 T frozen liver pellets and eat them like pills with some chia seed coconut pudding and slice of fresh papaya with lime.

Get your fats straight is such a great name for this book and so apropos for where I am at on my path towards better health. It was only last year that I realized I really knew very little about all the various fats out there and just what benefits they offered to my health over all. The misinformation I had and the ignorance of the roles that fats play in the healthy body delayed my healing and may have ultimately caused my ill health. 

For starters when I found I had a 1.3 cm  gall stone I assumed right off the bat that it was the Nourishing Traditions diet which was so pro butter and animal fats that had caused the gall stone, as just abut all mainline doctors will tell your this. I followed this advice for a year or so eating a vegan sea food diet and some olive oil or sesame oil and severely cutting back on any food I knew to contain cholesterol. After all I did not want my stone to grow. But it did grow, our next ultra sound measured a stone of 1.5 cm and the next 1.9 cm. It could be my stone is not round so the variant place on an uneven circular or bean like object could account for the increases in the gall stone measurement but I wasn't happy to just leave it at that. 

At about the same time I began to have issues with my hormone balance and went to a ND for help. I did a saliva test and discovered my cortizol levels were way off the charts and backwards, my adrenals looked like they were fatigued to the point of exhaustion and my melatonin was absent though I still slept through the night my hormones were a mess. I was put on a hormone jump start for six months-to a year with the prognosis estimating it would likely take a good year to sort them out. The jump start included putting three different hormones as drops under my tongue three times a day, and melatonin at night before bed. 

For the gallstone I was already taking Beta TCP, phosphatidylcholine, peppermint gel caps, magnesium, fish oil, vitamin D3, high dose of vitamin C, Vitamin E in a gel cap, and a multivitamin. I often struggled to digest all this plus my food so after six months of this regime and not being able to digest all the pills on a regular basis I began to look around the internet and talk with people to see if I could learn something more about my gall stone. I also prayed. I have been putting my health in God's hands for years and as I research I listen for His leading and that is when I discovered the truth about fats.

I learned that my low fat diet before the gallstone and before my transition to the nourishing traditions diet most likely is what formed the gall stone. Missing good fats in my diet allowed the gall bladder lie unused and thus the bile created by my liver laid stagnant in the gall bladder and became thick. Thickening bile leads to gall stone formation. Years of this disuse most likely formed the stone. Also the liver needs cholesterol to make bile so as I lowered my cholesterol with the phosphatidylcholine and my low fat/cholesterol diet I unwittingly did not give my body any build blocks from which to make what I needed for digestion, bile. My hormones need cholesterol for building blocks to keep them functioning well, so as my dietary cholesterol lowered my body began to cry out for the cholesterol it was lacking via the hormone issue the gall stone issue. The best source of cholesterol in your diet is from healthy good saturated fats: butter, sea food, eggs, fish roe, liver, coconut oil, coconut milk, animal fats like lard, and tallow, and full fat dairy products preferable raw and organic.

I am still not completely certain as to why it took three years for the stone to get in the way of the new full fat diet, however, I suspect that it took a while for me to fully transition from the Dr. Sears Zone low fat diet to the new full fat traditional diet of the traditional peoples of the world. By the time I had added more and more of the nourishing traditions diet into my daily life I began to have more difficulty digesting the fats with less bile stored up in the gall bladder due to the stone. My past was catching up, but my understanding still had a ways to go before I would put two and two together and see that what appeared to be the culprit the full fat diet was going to be the cure in the end.

Last year I learned that though I can not digest butter, eggs or meats and animal fats I could digest coconut oil and palm oil and palm shortening. As these are saturated fats they have many of the same great benefits as the butter and the animals saturated fats and they contain lueric acid one of the beneficial ingredients in egg yolks. Also coconut oil is not stored up like other fats and thus it does not put on the pounds as do the fats like olive oil. It can also withstand heat so I can fry in it and not worry. I learned from Sarah's this year that I can also fry with cold pressed sesame oil too!

I am also unable to digest full fat dairy so I switched to full fat coconut milk and began to make my own ice cream, yogurt, puddings, milk for drinking etc.  I put coconut milk in my soups, and in my smoothies. I no longer ate any fruit, bread, vegetables or lean meats without adding some sort of fat to it. I made an effort to eat liver every day at least 1 T as frozen liver pills, and more shrimp and dried sardines as sea food is also full of good fat.

As I incorporated these good oils into my diet I began to have more energy, my mind was more clear, and I had stamina for a full day of work. Six months later, my second salvia test showed drastic improvements, the ND said that she had expected it to take me one full year to recover but after six months my report was like one who had never had any issues with their hormones at all. She was astounded!

I learned that not all doctors believe that gall stones are created by too much cholesterol in the diet but just the opposite, some doctors are finding that actually it is the absence of cholesterol due to the low fat diet that causes gall stones, as well as the disuse of the gall bladder thus allowing the bile to remain stagnant and thicken and thus stones to form. As most foods high in cholesterol are also foods that require bile to digest eating these foods will help the gall bladder gall stone dilemma. So how can the foods that I can not digest heal me so I can eat them, sounded like a catch twenty two to me. I emailed Dr. Cowan as he seemed to have the best blog post about this and he concurred that if I could eat raw (because they digest easier) good fats like butter, lard, raw milk cheese etc. then I could by degrees recover my gall bladder system and avoid surgery. I have been following his advice for about 9 months now. I plan to get a scan soon so I'll post again with results whether it is larger or smaller. In my gut I know that his advice is more on track than most info out there in the gall stone formation and how to get rid of stones if you get them. Once mine is gone I will know for sure how to never get one again.....I will have my fats straight.

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