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On Eating Healthy

In Eat Fat Get Thin Dr. Mark Hyman challenges the popular idea that fats are bad for us. His new science of fat has over 500 references. His research confronts the question: Why has obesity overtaken 75 percent of Americans and contributed to heart disease? Hyman shows that contrary to popular knowledge if you eat fat, you actually lose weight, end craving, boost energy, reverse heart disease, reverse diabetes, feel nourished, and more. The key to being truly nourished, he claims, is to eat healthy fats which are in eggs, nuts, oils, avocados and other “super-foods.”

Here is an excerpt from a live Mark Hyman lecture on the new science of fat. Hear directly from the author!

Mark Hyman: Tonight what I want to do is share with you what I discovered in writing the book, which is what is the real story about fat? I was agnostic when I went in. I haven’t spent my life defending a particular point of view, that we should be low fat or high fat or anything. I want to know what the truth is and I’m willing to change my opinion. In fact, if you look at some of my earlier books, I’d say very different things than I say now because the science has evolved.
But the science is kind of confusing because science is imperfect. When I graduated medical school, I thought if you did a study, that was it. That was science and it was perfect and there was no controversy. But the truth is, who funds the study, how is it designed, what kind of study was it, was it a population study…there are just so many variables that determine the quality of the research. So you have to sift through all that.
So Oscar Wilde said, “The truth is rarely pure and never simple,” and I think that’s no more true than with fat. So we’re going to talk about how we got in this big, fat mess. We’re all confused and we’re all fat and sick. What the perfect storm was that got us there. What is the biology of obesity? How do we actually gain weight and lose weight? Wouldn’t that be be good to know? Because it seems like we’re in trouble.
What is the science of fat? And what about fat and heart disease? What about saturated fat and what about cholesterol and statins and what about Omega-3 oils and Omega-6 oils? And what about meat? What about eggs and coconut and all this stuff and what should you end up eating at the end of the day? So that’s what we’re going to talk about in an hour. Sound good?
Audience: Yes.
Mark Hyman: Okay. So big surprise, we’re all overweight in America. Seventy-five percent of us are overweight, 40% are kids. I call this the United States of Dia-besity, which is the spectrum of pre-diabetes all the way to type 2 diabetes. It’s a little bit of belly fat that actually is driving so much of the problem of heart disease.
Does eating fat make you fat? Well, why not? Because fat contains…I mean, yeah, my book is called “Eat Fat Get Thin” so you know that it’s not. But the fat contains nine calories per gram, and carbs and protein contain four. It’s twice as many calories. So if you want to lose weight, you have to cut the calories, count the calories, eat less, exercise more. So the best way to eat less is to eat less fat. But the problem is metabolism is not a math problem. In fact, there’s very different things in your metabolism in sugar. It’s actually the carbs that are killing us because it’s fat that actually speeds up your metabolism and carbs that slow it down.
Let me explain. All of this, by the way, is in my book. I see many of you got my book. If you want to know the studies, the science, there’s 500 references in there. It’s all in there. So here’s the idea. Obesity is not driven by calories. It’s driven by composition of your diet, the quality of your diet. Because if food is information then it matters what information you’re eating and how that regulates your metabolism. So the old idea was that you just eat less and exercise more. It’s all energy balance, calories in, calories out, then everything would be fine. But eat less, exercise more, that’s the most ridiculous fad diet I’ve ever heard of. Well, it is actually a really bad idea because although it is the first law of thermodynamics, you’re going, “My god, Dr. Hyman, you are contradicting the first law of thermodynamics. Who do you think you are?” Well, I’m not.
Definition is, energy is conserved in a system, closed system. So if you take 1,000 calories of broccoli and 1,000 calories of Pepsi and you put them in a lab and you burn them, guess what? They both release the same amount of energy. They’re exactly the same. But if you eat them, they’re different. So think about lead and feathers. If you take a pound of feathers and a pound of lead and you drop them in a vacuum, which drops faster? No, they drop at the same rate. That was a trick question. But if you take them to the George Washington Bridge and you drop them, which drops faster? The lead. Why? Air. You can’t see it, you can’t smell it, although some days you can. Basically air is like your metabolism. It’s invisible but it actually affects how those things go through it. Very, very important.

Mark Hyman, MD, is dedicated to tackling the root causes of chronic disease and developing a healthy world. He is a family physician, bestselling author, and leader in his field. Hyman is director of the Cleveland Medical Center for Functional Medicine, and the founder and director of the UltraWellness Center. He has advised the White House on disease prevention as well as other leaders in the field.
Check out the rest of this inspiring lecture here.

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