Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig

Last week, I was too overwhelmed to write an effective Cellulite BOTM review for this month’s selection, Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig.  As I go back over my notes to try and tackle the subject for the second time, I can feel that same overwhelmed feeling creep back in. This book is just that revolutionary.

I’ll try my best to do it justice. Dietary fat is key evidence in our investigation.

Saturated Fat: Friend or Foe?

The most shocking argument in Eat Fat, Lose Fat is that saturated fat is not the villain it is made out to be. Instead, the authors assert that most of us are actually fat-deficient because we avoid eating saturated fat.

When we eat a low-fat diet or a diet high in polyunsaturated fats from industrial vegetable oils (i.e. McDonalds french fries), our bodies aren’t getting the nourishment they need.  This leads to cravings, binges, or just a nagging feeling of hunger between meals.  On the other hand, a diet rich in traditional saturated fats nourishes the cells and satisfies hunger.

What Are Traditional Saturated Fats?

Non-industrialized societies went to great lengths to include healthy saturated fats in their traditional diets.  These are the kinds of saturated fats the authors recommend in Eat Fat, Lose Fat:

  • butter from cows that graze on pasture
  • whole fat dairy products from cows that graze on pasture, *fresh*
  • grass-fed meats like beef and lamb
  • eggs from chickens who are free to roam outdoors
  • cod-liver oil
  • tropical oils, especially coconut oil

The reason they emphasize coconut oil is because it is easier to digest.  Many saturated fats are composed of longer-chain fatty acids that require bile salts (secreted by the gallbladder) for digestion.  If you’re not accustomed to eating saturated fats, your gallbladder might not produce adequate amounts of bile salts to digest them. This will improve in time as your body adjusts to the change in diet. However, coconut oil is composed of medium-chain fatty acids that do not require bile salts for digestion.

How can I start adding more saturated fats to my diet?

“Want a surefire way to escalate weight loss?” the authors ask on p. 110.  ‘Yes, please,’ I hear you answer.  Here is their reply:

Twenty minutes before each meal, take some coconut oil!  By mealtime, coconut’s satiation effect will be in full force, so that you won’t feel hungry.  You may even feel full before finishing your meal, so that you eat less and lose weight.

The easiest way to take your coconut oil is to make a Coconut Infusion: place 1 to 2 tablespoons of softened coconut oil into a mug and add hot water (or hot herbal tea), allowing the oil to melt before drinking.

[This is what Coconutty Professor described in her Cellulite Story. It’s working for her. Is anyone else seeing results with coconut oil?]

Part Two of Eat Fat, Lose Fat is filled with more ideas for adding coconut oil and other saturated fats to your diet.  The authors offer three separate meal plans –one for weight loss, one for people who are healing from a medical condition, and one for everyone else.

Recipes are included in Part Three (think: coconut rice, chicken with coconut peanut sauce, and coconut carrot cake).  Of course, not every recipe contains coconut oil.  Eat Fat, Lose Fat provides instruction for preparing a foundation of traditional foods, from chicken stock and oatmeal to pate and kombucha.

What are your thoughts on this month’s Cellulite Book-of-the-Month?  Do you find yourself eating more butter these days?  Or are you still worried that saturated fats are edible cellulite?

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Comments

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Liz says:
3/16/2010

I'm hesitant to speak up, but I actually think I am seeing results with the coconut oil. It's been almost 4 weeks and I've taking in 2 – 3 tablespoons each day, typically about 20 minutes before mealtime.

I have exercised faithfully for several years, including both cardio and weight training, yet I've struggled to lose belly fat that appeared quickly at the time my thyroid took a dive a few years ago. Now, although my weight is only down a couple of pounds, I've lost a half inch from my waist and one inch from my hips. My tummy is firming up and I'm feeling much better about my body.

The only change I have implemented is the coconut oil. Right now, my plan is to keep taking the oil and hopefully get rid of the rest of this belly. I am 47 years old and have been experiencing hormonal changes for years. I was starting to feel powerless to change my body, but now I'm feeling powerful and hopeful.

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Wonderful news!! Thanks for sharing, Liz! I know how you feel about being hesitant to speak up with these kinds of things. I've found that when you are working to heal your body the right way, from the real source of the problem, change is slow and subtle. It took me several weeks to admit to ANYone that I thought avoiding fluoride was improving my acne. I knew it just wouldn't make sense.

That last line you wrote brought a huge smile to my face. Thank you!

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Matt Stone says:
3/16/2010

It is highly probable that cellulite, as well as many other health problems, stems from the fatty acid composition of our fat cells. The vast majority of Americans for example, have nearly 10 times the omega 6 polyunsaturated fat concentration of people considered to be in ideal health. Coconut oil is the greatest weapon in the fat category (palm oil might be even better), and is simply excellent for raising body temperature (the key to burning fat more effectively) and replacing polyunsaturated body fat, which approximates the corn and soy oil that is so pervasive in the food industry, with more metabolically-active saturated fat. I would think the ultimate diet for reducing cellulite would be a close approximation to the Kitavan diet, which contains roughly 2-3 grams of total polyunsaturated fat per day, coconut oil as the only substanial fat source, and lots of unrefined carbohydrate and warm-climate seafood (also extemely low in PUFA).

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Awesome, Matt! I know you've done unhuman amounts of research into polyunsaturated fats, so thanks for contributing your expertise to our cellulite investigation. I'll have to look into the Kitavan diet, haven't heard of that one before. My college roommate grew up in Papua New Guineau — I'll have to ask her about the traditional diet there (one of my favorite questions to ask people from other parts of the world). Thanks for the lead!

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parentingBYdummies says:
3/16/2010

Coconut oil eh?! As I'm a hot mess I'm willing to try anything. Plus my BFF says you're a cellulite-busting genius so I'd better listen. Thanks for sharing!

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parentingBYdummies –I don't know who your BFF is but I really, really like her 🙂 Thanks for stopping by the Cellulite Investigation. Please let us know how it goes with the coconut oil if you do end up giving it a shot!

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Nancy says:
12/12/2010

I just wanted to tell you what happened when I changed my diet drastically in an effort to stop chronic yeast infections. That means cutting way back on simple carbs. I also began working at an amazing restaurant that is not afraid of animal fat. Began eating lots of grassfed beef, free range eggs, butter, etc. Coconut oil is purported to be antifungal, so I began putting some in my yogurt in the morning. I noticed after a few weeks on the diet that my skin got softer. I’ve always been on the thin side of average, but for years have had some cellulite on my thighs. Recently I looked in the mirror and, to my surprise, noticed a significant difference in my cellulite. It’s almost unnoticeable! I should also add that I’ve been doing a little bit of stretching and toning for my physical therapy, but I’ve always been pretty active.

I read The Oiling of America, an article on trans fats and saturated fats by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon Morell. I decided the change must be due to saturated fats. I looked it up and here’s the proof!

Reply

Nancy, this is such exciting news! Can I ask how long you’ve been on the new diet?

Experiences like yours validate the conclusions we’ve reached here at The Cellulite Investigation. All the theory in the world won’t do any good if it’s not producing real results. So thank you so much for sharing! I hope your experience will provide much-needed inspiration to women who are feeling defeated by the dreaded blight.

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Laurie says:
5/5/2011

Thank you Melissa for putting together a great website with so much info on cellulite. It’s encouraging to know that there are others out there who are trying to figure out this frustrating phenomenon!

I have another idea for coconut oil…

You know how they talk about caffeine being good for reducing cellulite (when applied topically)? It seems to be the main ingredient in anti-cellulite creams, and even those special cellulite pants contain it. I’ve tried scrubbing with coffee grounds in the shower, but it is kind of messy business. So instead, I’ve made my own ‘lotion’. I gently heated some coconut oil in a saucepan and added a few tablespoons of fresh, unused coffee grinds. I let that steep a little, then strained it through a fine mesh strainer (a few grinds managed to get through anyway, but I didn’t worry about it. I suppose you could use some cheesecloth to get it all out) and poured it into a container. I put that in the fridge to ‘set’. The result is a very yummy smelling lotion that I put on after my shower (and dry skin brushing of course). I’ve just started using it, so I can’t say that I’ve seen results yet, but thought it might be a good idea to share with others.

Fingers crossed it works! I’ll keep you posted 🙂

You could add some essential oils as well to help things along…

Reply

Laurie, this is a fantastic idea! I think a lot of our cellulite investigators would be interested in trying this! Do you mind if I re-post it on the blog tomorrow? I love the idea of making your own anti-cellulite cream. The industry will be so mad if this works!

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Laurie says:
5/5/2011

Not at all, post away! 🙂
Oooh, how I’d love to make the industry mad… they’ve ripped us off for too long!

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Pheebie says:
11/7/2011

Hi, there. I just found your site today & thought I’d add my two cents.
I’ve never been overweight & have always been an avid exerciser and very into nutrition & health, but I’ve been plagued with cellulite on the backs of my thighs. Over the past few years, I’ve begun to develop small “pooches” on the outer, upper thigh area – very distressing and depressing.
Recently I’ve cleaned up my diet even more (eating “primally,” i.e., no wheat, lots of veg, meat, eggs, butter, etc.) I’ve also begun eating coconut oil a few times a day (1TBSP or so in the a.m., afternoon & evening.) The other day, I noticed the poochi-ness on my thighs appears to be going away. I thought I was imagining it, but I”m not ~ I’m thinking it’s the coconut oil I’ve been eating. Just wanted to share this with others. I’ll keep eating my CO & hopefully will continue to see even more results.

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This is fantastic news, Pheebie! Very promising! Coconut oil has been a highlight here at the Cellulite Investigation and we’ve heard from several women who saw improvement or even lost all their cellulite completely when they added healthy saturated fats like this to their diet. Thanks for contributing to the case. Please keep us updated with your progress. I would love to add your experience to our list of cellulite success stories!

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Lora says:
12/12/2011

I made a butter from a sheep butt fat … My Mom says that it is vary healthy …. I just started using it …Hope I can see results 🙂

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Your mom sounds wonderful, Lora! Where did she grow up? It sounds like she is holding onto some of that traditional food wisdom.

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Michelle Briseno says:
3/3/2013

What brand of coconut oil should I buy?

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