Before you pour on that dollop of low-fat salad dressing on your chopped veggies or opt for a boring dinner of plain steamed brown rice and lean chicken breast, did you know…your brain actually craves saturated fat?
Yes. Your brain needs saturated fat to transmit nerve signals and fight off infections.
The brain represents only 2% of the body’s total mass but utilizes 25% of the total cholesterol.
When you eat a low fat diet, you rob your brain of the essential raw materials it needs to help you keep your brain healthy and your memory sharp.
Eating fat does not make you get fat. That 50-year-old lie is the result of the corn, wheat, and soy lobbyists, spreading false information. The tide is finally turning and the bad rap that fat got, is giving way to the truth about fat: Fat can heal your body and keep your brain healthy.
Here are just a few reasons why saturated fat is the ideal brain food:
1. Improve Your Mood & Sense of Calm
Let’s be honest there’s a reason why comfort foods taste delicious. It’s because they’re full of FAT.
Fat is why you get happy when eating a bowl of chocolate ice cream or a juicy ribeye steak. When you eat fat – the pleasure centers of your brain are triggered dopamine and serotonin are released. Your brain reacts in the same way as if you took heroin.
But don’t worry we aren’t telling you to eat a bowl of macaroni & cheese.
With the right kinds of saturated fats, your brain releases another feel good neurotransmitter called GABA that helps keep you calm and relaxed. GABA deficiency is linked to anxiety or panic attacks.
When fat is metabolized into ketone bodies and used for fuel instead of glucose (carbohydrates) your brain retains a higher GABA content.
2. Boost Memory & Reverse Cognitive Decline
A study from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati randomly gave 23 older adults with mild cognitive impairment a high fat / low carbohydrate or high carbohydrate diet / low fat diet for 6 weeks.
In the high fat ketogenic group, inflammation was reduced and neurocognitive function was improved.
These results were supported by another study from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York. In this study, 185 subjects over the age of 84 and without dementia were evaluated.
Higher total cholesterol and higher LDL cholesterol was associated with higher memory scores on tests. The researchers’ conclusion: “high cholesterol is associated with better memory function.”
3. Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s & Dementia
Recent studies have uncovered that both fat and cholesterol are severely deficient in the Alzheimer’s brain.
Inflammation or free radical production is what causes much of the damage in the brains of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
Dr. Suzanne de la Monte and Dr. Jack Wands confirmed Alzheimer’s disease is Type 3 diabetes and inflammation clearly occurs in 2008 in a study by Rhode Island Hospital Departments of Pathology and Clinical Neuroscience and Brown University.
In fact, inflammation has been linked to so many serious diseases at this point in the medical community – by researchers all over the world – that it is shocking there isn’t more outcry from the general population on what causes it and how to stop it.
What causes inflammation?
- Sugar – It’s in every processed food, it may be hidden in the labels, but look closely at the foods you eat and you’ll find cane sugar, agave nectar, crystalline fructose, and high fructose corn syrup. It may be sugar by a different name, but it is still sugar.
Sugar sets you on a roller coaster of emotions, plays chaos with your energy levels, and changes your immune system, hormones, and gut. Most importantly, it alters your cell membranes and creates the ideal environment for total body inflammation.
- Food intolerances – Gluten (wheat), soy, and corn are highly allergenic foods. With hybridization, these three crops are the most genetically modified foods (GMOs) on the planet. It’s no wonder that your immune system can’t recognize them. Once digested, these foods can create inflammation in your brain and immune system that sets off chain reactions in every cell.
Try a simple diet overhaul.
Eat grass-fed meats, grass-fed butter, wild fish, pastured eggs, fruits, tree nuts, and vegetables. Stay away from corn, legumes, soy, processed dairy, and grains for 30 days. Choose organic whenever you can.
Find out how you can add the right kinds of healing fats to your diet.
Think of it as a jumpstart for your brain… by giving it the saturated fat it needs to restore the balance and nutrients that it’s been starved of…. Within a few days, you’ll notice clarity and energy you’ve probably been lacking for years.
Ancient cultures knew the benefits of saturated fat, and science is just now beginning to understand the brain boosting and neuroprotective effects of saturated fats.
In fact, one of the last populations on earth had dietary habits that remained unchanged for centuries. The native islanders of Kitava in Papau New Guinea were studied extensively in the 80’s and 90’s in a study known as the Malinowski study.
Of the 23,000 people, there was not a single instance of dementia, cancer, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, or diabetes. In fact, their diet consisted of 30-60% fat.
As Western society struggles under the epidemics of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and dementia, there are places in the world – small pockets of people – that experience little to none of these health conditions.
Erecińska, M., Nelson, D., Daikhin, Y., & Yudkoff, M. (n.d.). Regulation of GABA Level in Rat Brain Synaptosomes: Fluxes Through Enzymes of the GABA Shunt and Effects of Glutamate, Calcium, and Ketone Bodies. Journal of Neurochemistry, 2325-2334.
Krikorian, R., Shidler, M., Dangelo, K., Couch, S., Benoit, S., & Clegg, D. (n.d.). Dietary ketosis enhances memory in mild cognitive impairment. Neurobiology of Aging, 425.e19-425.e27.
Monte, S., & Wands, J. (n.d.). Alzheimer’s Disease is Type 3 Diabetes–Evidence Reviewed.Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 1101-1113.
West, R., Beeri, M. S., Schmeidler, J., Hannigan, C. M., Angelo, G., Grossman, H. T., … Silverman, J. M. (2008). Better memory functioning associated with higher total and LDL cholesterol levels in very elderly subjects without the APOE4 allele. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry : Official Journal of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 16(9), 781–785. doi:10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181812790