Eat Fat Lose Fat
by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon
Book Review

Eat Fat Lose Fat: The Healthy Alternative to Trans Fats (Plume, 2005), by Mary Enig, PhD, a biochemist specializing in lipids (fats), and Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions and president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, contains three programs that show how to use healthy foods for weight loss, for improved health, and for everyday meals.

The authors explain why obsessive food cravings derail both weight loss efforts and good intentions:

"You experience cravings when your body isn't getting the nutrients it needs from food."

It's not just that cravings come along with inefficient dieting. No, "obesity is actually a symptom of nutritional deficiencies."

The solution is to eat:

  • Real food: nutrient-dense food
  • Nutrients: in real food and a few healthy superfoods
  • Healthy fats: the fats that promote health and restore deficiencies

This book provides specifics on how to do that and supplies a lot of information about foods and metabolism.

Healthy Fats

The authors explain that low-fat diets are a disaster when they cause a deficiency of healthy fats.

  • Healthy fats make up the structure of the body.
  • The body uses healthy fats to absorb and use other nutrients.

Without healthy fats, the body builds tissues and organs that don't function properly and that can't use the nutrients from food.

A deficiency of healthy fats causes obesity, low energy, abnormal hunger, cravings, blood sugar problems, and thyroid problems—all very familiar modern problems.

The trick is to distinguish between necessary healthy fats and harmful fats.

The authors examine the evidence: Do healthy fats cause heart disease? They conclude that they certainly do not. It's specific harmful fats that cause heart disease.

The most harmful fats are:

  • Trans fat, also known as partially hydrogenated oil. This is an artificial fat that is foreign to the human body. It's used by food manufacturers and at home as solid fats such as margarine.
  • Refined vegetable oil, such as corn oil and soybean oil, also used by food manufacturers and at home for cooking. These are polyunsaturated oils.

Healthy Saturated Fats

However, the body needs healthy saturated fats and uses them in a healthy way.

Saturated fats make up much of:

  • The brain
  • Tissues around the heart
  • Fluids of the lungs
  • Cell membranes

The body uses saturated fats to get calcium into the bones, to protect the liver from toxins, for kidney function, and to make hormones.

When the body doesn't get enough saturated fats, it uses whatever comes to hand. It will use trans fats and polyunsaturated fats as a substitute.

A mainstay of the Eat Fat Lose Fat program is coconut oil, a healthy saturated fat and superfood. It's used in cooking, to replace unhealthy fats, and as a supplement. Coconut oil has special properties that assist weight loss. It is tasty and satisfying enough to fulfill dieters' need for "satiation." It is health-promoting enough to also be a major part of the Health Recovery program.

Healthy Eating Programs

Eat Fat Lose Fat contains three programs:

  • Weight Loss program
  • Health Recovery program
  • Everyday Gourmet, a healthy eating program for everybody

The principles are simple:

"Core Principles of Quick and Easy Weight Loss

  1. Eat three meals per day, and always eat breakfast.
  2. Eat traditional fats, including coconut oil.
  3. Eat nutrient-dense foods, particularly those supplying calcium and vitamins A and D.
  4. Restrict calories moderately."

"Core Elements of Health Recovery

  1. Correct metabolic fat disturbances through upgrading your fat intake.
  2. Emphasize nutrient-dense foods."

Each program has

  • Instructions on how to start
  • Shopping lists
  • Meal plans:
    Weight Loss program (two fourteen-day meal plans)
    Health Recovery program (one fourteen-day meal plan)
    Everyday Gourmet (one fourteen-day meal plan)
  • Recipes:
    Traditional (nutrient-dense real food) recipes
    Coconut recipes

Eat Fat Lose Fat has the most sensible weight loss plan I have ever seen. It's based on up-to-date biochemistry and common sense. No one will be hungry or have yo-yo weight fluctuations with this program.

The Health Recovery program is also based on sound nutrition. It has the potential to turn around the health of those whose illnesses stem in part or whole from subclinical malnutrition.

See Eat Fat, Lose Fat at Amazon