August 2

The Value of High Fat Foods

Filed under Raw Vegan Video Blog by Frederic Patenaude

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Now when people hear the term, “high-fat” or “fatty”, they almost inherently associate that food with the word “fattening” as well. We hear all about good fats, bad fats, and even really bad fats, but most people are used to either fully embracing or completely eschewing fatty foods.

Low-fat foods and overall lower-fat diets do tend to allow people to live longer, healthier lives. But one thing that most people fail to recognize is that even though you may eat an overall low-fat diet, that doesn’t mean you can’t include fatty foods and get all the benefits from them.

Although I recommend avoiding oils and eating a low-fat diet in general, it doesn’t mean the total exclusion of high-fat foods such as avocados, nuts and seeds. I eat those foods on a regular basis and recommend including them in most people’s diet.

Check out this video by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of, “Eat to Live”, and you’ll discover:

• Why a one-size-fits-all diet approach doesn’t necessarily work for everybody
• How in some cases a diet too low in fat can actually cause health issues
• Why we should start considering our MICRO-nutrients (vitamins and minerals, enzymes, antioxidants) just as much as our MACRO-nutrients (carbs, fats, proteins)
• In what instances taking individual supplement pills may actually increase your risk of getting sick
• How different types of fat impact your health in radically different ways

My answer to the question of “how much fat?” is: it depends. For most people on a plant-based diet, especially if weight loss is a goal, lowering fat content to 15% is a good target. And just like Dr. Fuhrman mentioned, more fat may be appropriate for active people who need more calories. If you’re an endurance athlete, it will be difficult to get all the calories you need from a 10% fat diet.

In practical terms, for many people it will mean restricting total fat intake to about half an avocado a day plus one ounce of nuts. More active people can have several ounces of nuts, or an entire avocado.

For more information, check out the Raw Health Starter Kit by clicking on the ad below.

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11 Responses to “The Value of High Fat Foods”

  1. Charlotte says:

    For the first time, I have success with raw food and I feel happy eating this way, not at all restricted…Well I do eat a few percent of cooked things like tomato past (100% tomato) to make a savory sauce in my salad, so I´m maybe around 95-99% raw, not 100%, but well I feel great…Before I would always try to stay under 10% and fail…Now I´m more flexible and it works really well.I´m not implying eating high fat diet is healthy, but at 15-20%, I feel way better than I did at under 10%. And to be really honest, I find that some of those people eating 90/5/5, eating fat 1-2 in a month don´t look that great…well that´s my opinion anyway, I don´t pretend to know the truth, but for me this works great like that. Thank you Frederic for helping me with your posts ( I received one of them many weeks ago in another newsletter that was also about fat percent) to open my horizon and stop trying to be “pure and perfect”.

  2. Hey, Fred! I tend to avoid most nuts, largely because of their omega-6:3 ratio. With the exception of English walnuts (4:1), the rest are almost universally skewed toward the omega-6’s … Not good news. In particular, the much-revered almond is astronomically high in the unwanted inflammatory omega-6s … check it out:

    7:1 – Macadamia
    21:1 – Pecan
    51:1 – Pistachio
    89:1 – Hazelnut
    118:1 – Cashew
    305:1 – Pine nut
    933:1 – Pistachio
    2028:1 – Almond

    I’m curious about your take on this.

    LAURIE MASTERS | Freelance Editor | Precision Revision
    “I turn what you wrote into what you meant!”
    creator of the 80/10/10 Success Guide

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Dr Fuhrman’s recommendations are different from yours as he does not subscribe to a division of macro-nutrients into percentages, as such (at least in this video).

    In the book I am currently reading, “Vegan for Life”, they make a good point that a 10% fat diet is most likely too low. I am having trouble at that low amount too. Fat soluble nutrients need help and as vitally important.

  4. Frederic Patenaude says:

    Hi Laurie! Good point! However, I don’t think the ratios matter that much if you eat 1-2 ounces only. Those amounts of fats are quite small!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Frederick!

    I am so enjoying your blog, newsletter, books.

    In terms of fat, I find when using the Cron-O-Meter that I, eatting 80/10/10 lean more towards higher Omega 3 and need to up the ratio of 6. What are your thoughts on that? I find myself adding almonds just to get the ratio even close to right (which I can’t seem to do).

    Do you think the Cron-O-Meter is lacking in that it is not taking into account how well these nutrients are absorbed?

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Ooops! Sorry, one more question.

    Do you have a recommendation as to what part of the day the fats should be eaten, when they should be eaten in terms of last fruit or sugar meal, etc? When they should be eaten in terms of best fat soluble nutrient absorption?

    I have never been able to get that figured out.

  7. Frederic Patenaude says:

    Elizabeth, why would you want to “up the 6?” Generally speaking, if you eat one ounce of nuts a day, you’ll get enough 6. I don’t think Cron-O-Meter takes into account anything but the actual nutrient content of food. It’s meant to be a basic reference, that’s it. For the rest, trust your instincts.

  8. Frederic Patenaude says:

    It doesn’t matter but most people find that it’s best to avoid them in the morning. I like to eat them with a salad or greens.

  9. Frederic Patenaude says:

    Charlotte, sounds like a great plan! Last year, I followed 95-5-5 for over a month, as an experiment. (Not added fats at all, not even avocado). My weight remained the same. Didn’t lose an ounce, and I didn’t find any benefits.

  10. Kukai says:

    Macro ratios are definintely a “listen to your body” experience, because there’s clearly no one right number for “everyone”.

    In my case, doing 80/10/10 makes me visibly sick, and drives my insulin crazy, despite being petite and althletic. I tend to sit at about 25-30% fat, and aiming for 1g/kg of protein is around 15-20% for me. Due to the way I cook/eat, I have no trouble meeing all my micro requirements even on a 100% plant-based diet (but that takes a little knowledge and practice). Not everyone can afford cheap avocados every day, either – ideal diet is definitely an individual thing!

    But, overall, focusing on micros is way more important to me than the macros. If I make sure I hit all my micros, the macro percentages tend to just fall in place automatically. Dietary Vit D is the only thing I really struggle to get without fortified non-dairy, but I make up for it with a lot of daily outdoor activity, so my actual intake is better than average.

    (I love Cronometer too, but it absolutely needs to be balanced with introspection. Hime-versus-nonhime iron is a good example. It doesn’t keep track of such things…maybe some day!)

  11. Jolie says:

    Laurie makes a good point of reminding us about the high amount of Omega 6’s in the most eaten nuts, especially almonds.

    Fredric responded by saying””…Hi Laurie! Good point! However, I don’t think the ratios matter that much if you eat 1-2 ounces only. Those amounts of fats are quite small!”

    Which is true when people eat only 1-2 ounces. However it is not the case for most of us raw foodists, vegans, or people replacing dairies with almond milk, and such. In addition most popular vegan cheeses, pates, desserts, dressings, energy bars, etc are heavily either cashew, almond, and cheap coconut oil. And often time a combination of them all to bring down the cost of production.

    So, at the end of the day and week, most people on such diet if they do not consciously monitor their intakes of nuts end up with way too much of it. That’s what I have noticed for myself and most people around me.

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