I consider myself a healthy eater, and I am very conscious about what I put in my body (or even on my body for that matter). I find it interesting, however, that for the vast majority of people I talk to when I mention eating “healthy” they bring up chicken breasts and salads. Of course, I know that this is the mainstream media’s ideal of a low-fat, high fiber “healthy” meal.
But it’s not mine. That surprises a lot of people. For one thing, consuming protein without an adequate amount of fat (read: boneless/skinless chicken breast) is actually toxic to your body. We need fat to assimilate the protein. Did you know that traditionally, in times of plenty hunters would harvest just the organs of a hunted animal, leaving the muscle meat for the scavengers? Only if times were lean would they also take the muscle meat. They knew intuitively that the organs are the most nutrient-dense parts of the animal. And the organs generally include a lot of fat. Of course, if you’re eating industrially farmed (read: non-organic) meat, by all means don’t eat the fat: all of those toxic hormones and chemicals get concentrated there.
But if you’re sourcing your meat well (as you should be)—organic or pastured from a local farm—the fat is a very healthy, healing food that will actually help you to lose weight. There’s lots of research on this—but it isn’t until recently that it’s beginning to seep into the mainstream nutritional media.
What about saturated fat, cholesterol and heart disease? I don’t touch animal fat with a 10 foot pole! I don’t want to die! Again, the secret is in the sourcing. If you’re eating industrially farmed animals—you’d expect to get sick eating sick animals, wouldn’t you? So do your best to source high quality, organic meats, and pastured meats from a local farm whenever possible. And eat that fat!