Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Thoughts About Fat

When I was a freshman in high school I took my first ever chemistry class. One of the things I learned about was chemical reactions, transformations, and that basically you can't destroy matter, nor create matter. You can only transform matter; which immediately made me think about how can people eat the same foods they always did and gain weight simply by lifting weights? Doesn't that mean they have to eat more to get bigger and that people shouldn't worry about "bulking up" by lifting weights? Why are there so many worried women afraid to lift weights when weights won't make them big, its the food that they eat that will make them big??? But that's a topic for a later time.

So chemical reactions, science, I love it. I love science and logic. I also love health, but health was telling me something different, and a lot of times health didn't seem to be in line with science. It could also be that the people talking about health the most, and with the loudest voices were not scientists but personalities.

One of the things I kept hearing was, eating fat will make you fat. We've all heard it, so nearly all people who try to lose weight will cut out fat first.

But something didn't sit well with me, which was chemical reactions and transformations of matter. It was strange to me that we could eat fat, and the fat we ate went through very little to no chemical reactions, stayed in its same state, and went straight to our fat cells... No conversions, or very little it seemed.

It met with water, oxygen, our saliva, our stomach acid, enzymes, etc and yet didn't break down and stayed in its same state. Or maybe it did break down and converted back into fat again? What also didn't make sense was, no matter how much a person ate of fat, it was still a smaller portion of their diet in comparison to protein and carbs. So where was all this extra weight coming from? If they gained 5lbs of fat in a week, there was no way they ATE 5lbs of fat, they ate 5lbs of a blend of foods. So where did the fat come from when fat turns into fat?

Also does that mean if we ate lots of protein, it will automatically turn into muscle? What the heck does carbs turn into then? And why do I know so many people who love protein who have very little muscle? And so many people who hardly eat fatty pieces of meat, or meats at all who have a weight problem? How come people trying to get lean and buff drink so much protein (eg protein will turn into protein) and cut out fat (because fat turns into fat) yet they do not get any leaner or buffer? But the ads keep telling me it will work!

Also during the 80s, the world went no-fat low fat crazy! Yet that's when the epidemic boomed even bigger. And why did soda make us so fat when there's no fat in soda?

So as a boy I looked at a piece of meat and saw the fat around it. And I asked myself, if I eat this fat, this will turn into fat in my body. Then where did the fat from the meat come from? Did livestock eat fat to get this fat? What were they eating? Why were they so fat?

This isn't just a thought I've had and it's something people in evolutionary biology, anthropology, endocrinologists have known.

How did livestock get fat on a low to no fat diet? It made no sense. There's hardly any fat animals in nature, what were our livestock eating? It wasn't fatty pieces of meat (though there were reported cases but over all it was rare and not the industry standard). So what was up? What was making our animals fat?

Then I looked at their food, then I wondered how similar our diets were to the diets of livestock? They ate mostly corn, soy, and wheat (with barley, cereal, hay, oats, and rare occasions alfalfa and grass). But wait, most of our diet consists of that as well, actually even ground meats are also made partially (or more than partially at some places) with corn, soy, and wheat. I looked at snack bars, candy bars, cereals, pre-packaged foods, breads, pasta, microwave meals, and the list of ingredients we would use to cook at home as well. It was all so similar.

Not only that, but the version we eat has been so processed and refined it is basically sugar molecules. So there was a chemical reaction and conversion after all! Could it be that fat isn't immune to chemical conversion and it was things like processed carbs, sugars, and refined versions of corn, wheat, soy was turning into fat in our bodies??? If the first part of cardio is the fat burning zone, then wouldn't the fat we consumed be used as fuel first? If so why would we store that fat first? Wouldn't we store other things first as fat? Like sugar? The thing that would spike our blood sugar that we had to get rid of right away?

It's time to look again and re-examine your diet. Fat isn't your enemy. The stuff that converts into fat in your body is the enemy.
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