Isaiah 54:10 “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”
Fat, the word we are literally born with cemented into our brains as being the evil, weight gaining cause behind all of America’s health problems. Commonly known as the precursor of high cholesterol, heart attacks, and eventually death, fat always gets a bad rap. Some chose to forget it completely by following a low-fat diet, while others are just plain confused.
As many of you might know, the PK Protocol emphasizes a diet high in fat, in order to support the IV and oral supplements that I take. Most assume this is because I, as well as other patients, are skinny and simply need some “fattening up.” Yet this is far from the real reason behind my low carb, high fat consumption, as I will explain in the posts to come.
Cholesterol: Companion or Culprit?
This type of lipid, otherwise known as a fat, has many important roles in helping the body function properly. 75 % of the cholesterol in our bodies is produced by the liver, while only 25% is the product of the foods we eat. Due to the close regulation the body makes of this waxy steroid, lowering our intake of cholesterol rich foods causes the body to naturally make more (and vice versa). As for blood levels, the lipoprotein LDL (usually deemed the “bad” guy) is actually cholesterol’s vehicle to any site in need of healing, while lipoprotein HDL is the one that takes it away. Through this transportation, cholesterol is able to fight against infection by binding with toxins, which then inactivates dangerous bacteria. Ultimately, without cholesterol, we would be unable to build and produce cells, hormones, bile, vitamin D, serotonin, or let alone have brain power. It is no surprise then, that conditions associated with inadequate amounts include severe memory loss, chronic disease (cancer, heart, etc…), suicide, premature death, stroke, hormone imbalance, and much more. In the end, no study has ever proven cholesterol to cause heart disease, clog arteries, or kill us. Though Ancel Keys sought to prove this hypothesis right in 1963, he eventually admitted in 1997 that “cholesterol in the diet doesn’t at all matter unless you happen to be a chicken or a rabbit.”
Polyunsaturated “Phat” vs. Saturated Fat
If high dietary and blood cholesterol are not America’s reason behind the rise in heart disease, what is? As pointed out earlier, LDL is cholesterol’s vehicle to any inflamed part of the body that has called out for help. However, this lipoprotein does not just carry cholesterol, but also other materials including polyunsaturated fats. The problem occurs when these compounds become oxidized, which then lead to inevitable damage throughout the body.
Backing up to the late 1960’s after Ancel Key’s “Seven Countries Study” tricked the public to believe saturated fat was clearly linked to heart disease, the food industry took hold of this false proclamation and ran with it. Instead of butter and lard, the USDA promoted margarine, shortening, and other various vegetable oils as being the “heart healthy” substitute in cooking and baking. Because polyunsaturated fats are molecularly unstable to begin with (meaning they have 2 or more unsecured links in their fatty acid chains), transforming them into “edible foods” through the process of extreme high heat, oxygen, chemicals, deodorization, impurity refinement, degumming, and bleaching, turns them into oxidized free radicals. When consumed, these damaged fatty acids ultimately destroy our cell membranes, causing premature aging, cancer, heart disease, DNA damage, and various other health conditions. See the correlation?
That being said, not all fats are this dangerous, but rather proven to be incredibly beneficial and necessary to living a healthy life. Saturated fat (coconut oil, lard, tallow, butter, ghee, duck fat, etc…) and monounsaturated fat (olive, avocado, nuts, & seeds) are stable to begin with and thus free from any oxidization. They also contain natural antioxidants, minerals, nutrients, and essential fat soluble vitamins,that are not only necessary for strong, happy cells, but also eye, bone, heart, skin, reproductive, immune, lung, and emotional health. Examples include vitamin A, D, and K2, all of which are found in animal fats, oily fish, egg yolks, and liver. In the end, real, stable fats are truly super-foods.
Dietary Fat vs. Body Fat
Despite whether a fat is nutrient dense or not, most people are still afraid that eating too much will cause them to blimp out like a balloon. While this might be true for processed vegetable and crop oils (margarine, canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, etc…) it is not necessarily true for the healthy fats (organic bacon, chicken skin, grassfed butter, tallow etc…). Because fats have more calories per gram than any other food on the planet, over-eating is incredibly hard, and thus “getting fat” becomes almost impossible. However, the opposite is true when processed foods ladened with vegetable oils, sugar, and chemicals, are frequently consumed. This is due to the fact that our bodies desperately want and need us to feed them nutrient dense, cell supporting, energy fueling foods, and if we don’t, cravings skyrocket.
The Membrane Stabilizing Therapy
In a nutshell, the PK Protocol I am receiving is ultimately to heal my damaged cell membranes that, through the years of chronic oxidative stress from illness, have become damaged and dysfunctional. Without getting into specifics, my oral supplements and weekly IV infusions are to rid my cells of the harmful fatty lipid rafts that are “hanging around” and preventing me from healing. Because the treatment is detoxing at a cellular level, it is incredibly important to be on a high fat, moderate protein, very low-carb (ketogenic) diet, as a way to support the rebuilding of my cells and prevent any relapse. As I discussed earlier, cells are literally made up of fats, so you can see why this is crucial in proper healing. There is an abundance of science behind this treatment that I will get into some other day, but for now you can read more about it here if you wish. Until then, as Liz Wolfe, author of “Eat the Yolks” says, “eat whole sources of fat, not some of them but ALL of them, fearlessly and appreciatively”