Since part of my “job” as a blogger promoting healthy, balanced living is to keep an eye on new books and resources about health and nutrition, there are a few that I’ve been itching to share with you.
Today, I’m reviewing Dr. Mark Hyman‘s new book, Eat Fat, Get Thin: Why the Fat We Eat Is the Key to Sustained Weight Loss and Vibrant Health:
I first learned about Dr. Hyman when he wrote The Blood Sugar Solution in 2012, but at the time I was fully into the strict plant-based protocol and resistant to the idea of adding animal protein to my diet. Since then, I’ve expanded my approach and my ideas about nutrition have once again been turned upside down as I experiment with what works best with my medical history of metabolic and hormone dysfunction, as well as patterns of disordered eating.
Anyway, I heard an interview that Dr. Hyman did recently with Dave Asprey and was blown away by how knowledgeable, kind, and open-minded they are (both former vegetarians and vegans, respectively, by the way, but who maintain full respect for those who choose not to use or consume animal products as part of an ethical stance).
I was so drawn into this interview that I immediately contacted Dr. Hyman’s publisher to get my hands on this new book (full disclosure: I received a complimentary copy). Specifically, I was curious to read more about the new thinking on saturated fat, plus the issues of fat and its relation to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Some of the topics and points of discussion that are covered in detail include:
- the history of nutritional recommendations for fat intake
- how eating the right kinds of fat with the right kinds of foods does not make you fat
- the latest research on the connections between fat intake and heart disease
- the latest research, or the lack thereof, on the link between meat consumption and cancer and heart disease
- why most vegetable oils found in processed foods are inflammatory, and
- which fats, how much, and what other foods should we be eating as one way to pursue optimal health?
Does all of this go against the idea of a whole foods, mostly plant-based approach? No way! In fact, my big takeaway from this book is to eat even MORE vegetables (Apparently, the go-to answer in the health world is always “eat more vegetables.”). Ha. Like broccoli:
Dr. Hyman also spends quite a bit of time discussing Dr. Dean Ornish’s research on low-fat, plant-based diets, and you can read some of it right now on his blog, because he had to amend some of what he wrote in this book.
Also, I should note that this discussion of fat and its possible healthfulness is not an invitation to just start pouring on oils and slabs of butter on your food, especially if the bulk of the volume of what you’re eating is not vegetables. These are only my opinions, you should consult your healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet.
My interpretation is that it can be a healthy and possibly optimal choice to increase healthy fat intake, including saturated fats, when the rest of the diet is mostly vegetables, low-glycemic fruits, “good” carbs, protein, and other anti-inflammatory foods. In fact, Dr. Hyman has coined the term “pegan” referring to the ideal combination of Paleo and vegan approaches.
What does this look like for me and my similar “plant-strong paleo” approach? I’ve been including healthy fats from avocados, nuts, and seeds in my diet since the time I discovered Dr. Fuhrman’s work. I’ve become less concerned now about eating other types of fat including egg yolks and saturated fats from grass-fed meat and coconut products, as long as I’m getting the high intake of vegetables and plant-based foods, such as these luscious artichokes seen at the farmers’ market this past weekend:
As with any good diet book, Dr. Hyman has created a plan laid out in 3 stages, along with recipes, tips on healthy food shopping and cooking, and a full resource section.
In conclusion, I encourage you to buy a copy of Eat Fat, Get Thin, or enter to win the copy I’m giving away! One winner will be randomly selected on Monday, 4/18/2016. Entrants must have an address within the continental U.S.; all restrictions apply:
P.S. I also have a Carrie on Living Amazon affiliate store where I list all of my favorite beauty items, kitchen devices, books, and other cool stuff that supports my lifestyle. Your purchase of any item on Amazon helps support my blog so thank you in advance. Note: there may be some affiliate links within this post.