Welcome to another round of The Healthy Blogger Book Club! Whether you want to get my take on a certain book or you’re looking for inspiration for a new read, thanks for joining the virtual meeting (you can see all of our previous reviews here). Today’s book is called Smart Fat and is all about nutrition and dietary fat which is such a hot, hot topic in the health world right now.
I first learned about this book when I heard one of the co-authors, Jonny Bowden, interviewed on Bulletproof Radio (here’s the link to that interview). Jonny is a veteran of the nutrition industry and teamed up with another highly qualified clinician and researcher to write this book, Steven Masley, M.D.
If you’re still holding onto the concept that all dietary fat is bad and must be strictly avoided, then this is the book for you. However, if you’re a bit confused about what types of fat to eat and how much, then this book is also for you (and for me)! Turns out, it’s not as complex as it might seem. While everyone is different and it might take some experimenting and monitoring to figure out how much fat you need to feel and perform your best, a good starting point is to make sure that you aren’t choosing toxic fats.
What are toxic fats? It’s probably less about saturated and unsaturated, and more about whether the fats are rancid or from contaminated sources. For instance, a soybean oil that has been cooked at high temperature is most definitely less healthful than an animal-based fat that is stable when cooked at a high temperature. Even further, an animal fat that comes from a pastured, grass-fed animal is going to be a lot healthier than fat that comes from an animal raised in a feedlot and fed antibiotics and grains. In other words, it starts with the source.
This book is written in a practical and understandable way. You don’t have to be a nutrition expert to understand it, and it doesn’t come across as preachy or presumptive. This book makes sense to me in so many ways. I love the analysis of the Pritikin plan (so low-fat and deficient in protein that most people can’t stick to it long-term) and the Atkins plan (deficient in fiber and phytonutrients with no regard to the source of protein and fat), plus the description of the Standard American Diet as a combination of the worst of Pritikin and Atkins (due to adding in refined carbohydrates).
So what exactly are smart fats? The authors describe them as ones that decrease inflammation and ones that balance hormones. The book goes into more detail, obviously, but with just enough information to help us make better choices. Some decidedly good fat sources would be avocados, dark chocolate, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish.
In addition to the practical information about fat, this book comes along with a 30-day meal plan and information about supplements and lifestyle. I found it to all be helpful. This book earned its place on my bookshelf. If you want to check it out, buy your copy on Amazon today here. And, don’t forget to check out my book club co-host’s review of this book, too!
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