Think and Go Raw
Listen to Deborah's Question Answered
Why Eating Low-Fat is Healthy and How to Get the Right Ratio of Omega 3 Fatty Acids in Your Raw Food Diet
My question is: How much raw fats would I need daily on this diet and how would I get them? Essential fatty acids and the like? I weigh right now about 98 pounds and approximately 5 feet tall. Thanks for your help
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The question of how much fat is ideal and how we can get enough Omega 3’s is a controversial one in the field of nutrition and especially in the raw food community.
The reason for that controversy among raw foodists is that many raw foodists eat more fat than people on any other type of diet. Even people on the standard American diet eat less fat, at about 40% of total calories. Vegetarians and Vegans eat about the same.
But raw foodists often end up consuming 50 to 80% of their total caloric intake coming from fat. This overeating of fat is one of the main reasons people fail on a raw food diet.
If we followed the dietary habits of our closest primate relatives the chimpanzees and bonobos, we would be eating a low fat diet. If we lived out in a tropical area, were naked, had no tools and had to forage for wild food, fat would not be something we could have easy access to.
Nuts and seeds aren’t available year round, and they would be hard to get because you would need to open them without metal tools. You wouldn’t have a bag of shelled nuts or sunflower seeds and you wouldn’t have a Vitamix and dehydrator to make your nut pâté, sun burgers or flax crackers.
You’re access to overtly fatty foods would be much less than what we raw foodists tend to eat. This means that if you are eating a lot of fatty foods you may be eating a raw diet, but you aren’t eating a natural or healthy diet.
For certain tropical birds a high fat diet is ideal for them. I saw a species of parrot that lived exclusively off of macadamia nuts. They can easily crack open macadamia nuts with their beaks. I dare you to try cracking macadamia nuts open with your mouth. Those nuts are very hard to crack and I use a heavy-duty, nutcracker to open those up. So it seems to me that a high fat diet might be right for some animal species but they aren’t best for humans.
A high fat diet is a man made creation. Even a diet high in raw vegetable fats is not much better than a diet high in cooked fats.
According to Dr. Douglas Graham, a high fat raw diet can lead to several severe health problems including, diabetes, candida overgrowth, hypoglycemia, chronic fatigue, heart disease and cancer.
Too much fat in the blood leads to a higher level of blood sugar and to less oxygen availability throughout the cells in your body. This means that when you eat too much fat your body will become more acidic, which isn’t a good thing for your health. Some researchers believe if there is no fat in the bloodstream, you would need no insulin at all to get the sugar out of your blood and into your cells.
There have been several studies repeated on medical students over the last 40 or 50 years and they always get the same results. They did the study in two parts. First they would feed medical students an ultra high fat diet for a week. But after a week they had to stop because the students all showed signs of being diabetic.
Then they took those same students and fed them an ultra high carbohydrate and low fat diet. Those same students never showed signs of being diabetic after 11 weeks. A high fat diet is a much bigger culprit in creating blood sugar problems than a high carbohydrate or high sugar diet.
In Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book, “Fasting and Eating for Health,” he talks about just such a study on page 129. “In one study, healthy young medical students were fed a very high fat diet containing egg yolks, heavy cream, and butter, and within two days all of the students had blood sugar levels high enough to be labeled diabetic. Complex carbohydrates have been shown to have the opposite effect.”
Many raw foodists have experienced terrible health problems on a high fat raw diet. So just because it is raw doesn’t mean you can go overboard with raw fats.
Members of my website: How To Go Raw.com, have access to my audio interview with Dr. Douglas Graham called “Fruit or Fat: Scientific Reasons Why a High Fat Diet is Dangerous and a High Fruit Diet is Optimal.”
If you really want to know the all the scientific reasons behind what I am saying, you’ll want to listen to that interview. I also give you several low fat recipes and raw food principles to help you succeed at and enjoy eating a low-fat, raw food diet.
Now let me answer your question about Essential Fatty Acids:
Even if you don’t eat any overtly fatty foods like nuts, seeds or avocados, you’ll still be getting from 5 to 10% of your calories from fat. Fat is in most fruits and in even higher quantities in vegetables.
The key with essential fatty acids is in getting the right ratio of Omega 3’s to Omega 6’s. Most people get too many omega 6’s and not enough omega 3’s in their diet.
When you eat a high fat raw diet you are very likely consuming an overabundance of Omega 6 fatty acids. Up until the advent of commercially available vegetable oils, 100 years ago, most people had a healthy 1 to 1 ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids. Also heart attacks weren’t the main killer of humans as they are in this day of the miracle of modern medicine and processed foods.
Some researchers believe that up to a 4 to 1 ratio is still healthy. The idea then is to eat a low fat diet and maintain a healthy ratio of the essential omega oils.
If you eat a low fat diet of 10% or less of your total calories coming from fat, you won’t need high quantities of omega 3’s. You can get all the omega 3 fatty acids you need by eating lots of leafy greens. You can also eat 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds per day to increase your intake of Omega 3’s. Flax seeds are one of the richest sources of omega 3 fatty acids.
Beware that you don’t want to overeat omega 3 fats either. The key is maintaining the right ratio and in general consuming a diet that is 15% or less of your total caloric intake coming from fat calories.
You can measure the percentage of protein, carbohydrates and fats consumed in your diet by getting a free account at www.FITDAY.com.
There was a famous heart study done in Lyon, France. They divided a group of people who had heart attacks into eating two diets. One group ate a Mediterranean Diet and the other group the official American Heart Association Diet. The key difference between the effects of these diets was the ratio of Omega 6’s to Omega 3’s in their body.
The Mediterranean Diet test group had a 4 to 1 ratio of essential omega oils. They had a 75% decrease in deaths due to heart attack and a 50% decrease in deaths from cancer. The Mediterranean Diet is rich in fruits and vegetables and the only oil they were only allowed to use was olive oil.
Olive oil doesn’t have any omega 3 or 6 oils. This is what brought down the ratio. Just the elimination of other vegetable oils that are very high in omega 6 fatty acids.
The other group on the American Heart Association diet had a 20 to 1 ratio of these essential oils. They decided to stop the study after a year because it wasn’t ethical to continue letting the other group to eat a diet that wasn’t improving their health.
The key is not for you to now eat a Mediterranean Diet, but to realize that you won’t have ideal health results if you have an inbalance between the omega 3’s and omega 6’s fatty acids in your diet.
If you eat a big salad or two daily with leafy greens and have an occasional avocado or small quantities of nuts and seeds you’ll be fine. You can also add in an extra tablespoon of ground flax seed powder a day to your diet.
If you start consuming more than 10 to 15% of your calories from fat than you’ll need to consume even higher quantities of ground flax seed powder to keep the ratio in line.
The best suggestion is to avoid using any oils in your diet at all. Even olive oil is not at all a health food but an ultra refined food with hardly any nutrients except fat and a little vitamin E.
Ok Deborah, I hope this helped you out.
Think and Go Raw
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