Here we have an excerpt on fats and oils from the book Food as Medicine by Todd Caldecott. It is a superb book for the modern physician and recommended reading for my patients.
“While sweet foods like fruit most surely delight the senses, it is fair to say that what the body really craves is fat. Perhaps the reason is that compared to proteins and carbohydrates fats are a more abundant source of energy. With our comparatively huge brains, 60% of which are made entirely from fat, our evolution as a species can be defined by our drive to acquire this nutrient. Imagine if you were sitting around a campfire 200,000 years ago with an empty belly – what food would most satisfy your hunger? Sure, fruits and vegetables have their appeal, but if you don’t want to spend all day chewing vegetation, what food fills your stomach best, and then gives you energy to do other stuff? Beyond any other food, fat was prized by traditional peoples all over the world, and as the rendered essence of an animal or a plant, was a kind of valuable currency that could be stored and traded for other goods. In Ayurveda, fat is the most nourishing of foods, and in Hinduism is equated with the goddess Lakshmi, the bringer of wealth, beauty and abundance. Everyday in India millions of people massage their bodies with oil to keep them youthful and healthy. Fat protects, comforts and soothes. Fat is like money in the bank.
Despite the traditional auspiciousness of fat there is perhaps no better example of a group of foods that have been so clearly targeted and maligned …”
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