Fat doesn’t make you fat

So the world of nutrition has realised one of the many things the real-world people already knew. Butter isn’t bad for you at all.

In fact, the advice to cut fat from your diet and replace it with carbohydrate is now (finally!) recognised as being a major cause of obesity. Well, those of us who worked closely with pigs – real ones, I mean, I was never a politician’s assistant – were well aware of this. I worked on the gut bacteria of many pigs (also sheep, cows, humans and earthworms) and part of the work obviously involved their diet. How did farmers fatten them up for sale? The faster they reach selling weight the better, since the longer they are on the farm, the longer the farmer has to feed and house them and the less space he has to fatten up new ones.

To make pigs put on weight quickly, the farmers did not feed those pigs fat. They put a lot of cereal in the diet. So all this ‘high carbohydrate diet is good for you’ was actually known to be nonsense from the start. By everyone except the nutritionists. Possibly by them too, if they were supported by Big Artificial Butter…

When you eat fat, it does not become fat in you. It can’t. Your fat is stored in fat cells and is human fat. Beef or pork fat is not human fat and the cells it’s in are dead. Fried or grilled or roasted too. Your body has to digest that fat and in order to make it into human storage fats, would have to take it apart and put it back together. A waste of metabolism. Your body isn’t going to do that. It’s going to burn that fat for energy and make its own storage fat from far simpler compounds. Carbohydrates.

Too much fat is bad for you, sure, but not because it’s fat. Because there’s too much of it. The same goes for anything, even vitamins and water.

I’ve always preferred real butter, never could get a taste for the plastic stuff and yes, I can believe it’s not butter, thank you! I fry things in butter sometimes, I like toast with butter, but even so a half-pound of butter can last me a month. I don’t use it every day.

The downside of that is that I have to keep my butter in the fridge. Which does mean having to cut thin slices and leaving it on the toast (longer on raw bread) until it melts enough to spread. But, well, butter doesn’t come in smaller packets. There are those little restaurant packs but for home use they are unreasonably expensive.

The fat from roast beef is one of the greatest things ever. Pork chops with that crispy rind – wonderful. And bacon… need I say more?

Yet I know people who will not eat the fat part. They even take the skin off cooked chicken ‘because it’s fat’. A barely visible fat layer and they think they’ll put on weight by looking at it too hard.

It’s not just obesity that the War on Fat has caused. Have you noticed how many miserable buggers are around now? They are restricting their intake of food because the food they are eating is fattening and they eat no fat, which isn’t. They deny themselves pork crackling and lovely, fatty duck. They never experience that freshly roasted beef fat. No wonder their lives feel empty – it’s because they are.

Too much fat and you do indeed risk arterial plaques and you don’t want that. You don’t need to eat a pack of lard at every meal, but the total removal of fat from your diet will make you fat and miserable. I remember someone who scoffed at my purchase of extra-virgin olive oil – ‘that’s just a bottle of pure fat’. Yes it is. It’s also amazingly antibacterial and actually good for your heart. That bottle will last me a while. I’m not going to pour it into a glass and drink it.

There’s one thing missing from that article. One important thing. Something that occurred to me at once as I read it and yet the journalist didn’t seem to register it at all.

‘If they got that advice so very wrong, what else have they been getting wrong?’



For the record, my current trouser-belt goes down to a 34″ waist and I’ve had to make extra holes in it. If I lose much more weight I’ll have to wear black robes and carry a scythe. Once I had a 36″ waist but changed to a more active job. I eat what the hell I please and it is very often fried in olive oil or butter. Even the curries start out that way…


50 thoughts on “Fat doesn’t make you fat

  1. It took them long enough, even in the 60s/70s I knew if I wanted to lose a few lbs just cut out most of the carbs. Thankfully I ignored all the diet advice except when I stopped smoking for three months and gained 2 stone. That was it for me as I had never been overweight I was horrified and returned to smoking rapidly with two months on Atkins to get it off quickly.. I honestly don’t know how people ignore the evidence of their own eyes about smoking and dieting but they do.


    • Declining smoking… rising obesity (also asthma and several other lung problems never heard of before) and an increase in self-important idiots.

      Odd, that. Someone should study it – but I bet they’d never get funding.


  2. I’m fortunate enough to live in a country which is a major producer of olive oil, and in my opinion produces the best oil in the Med. The wife and I buy a 5 litre tin of extra virgin oil from Kalamata about every six weeks. We use it for everything, cooking and salads. All my sauces start with a generous sloosh of olive oil in the pan.

    I’m 5’10”, have a 31″ waist and weigh in at about ten and a half stone (67 Kg). Apart from my waist increasing from 28″, I’ve remained (with some slight fluctuations both ways) pretty much the same weight for the past 45 years. I eat whatever takes my fancy, when I fancy. I only buy real butter, and anything that is marked ‘Lite’, ‘Lo-Fat’, ‘semi-skimmed’ or similar gets nowhere near my shopping basket. I’ve got no time for that tasteless crap.


      • Agreed. I’ve never understood why people rate Italian olive oil so highly, either.

        The oil from the Kalamata area is dark green and tastes fresh, herbal and peppery – I can happily make a meal of fresh Greek bread dipped in good olive oil and with a sprinkling of salt and lemon juice. Maybe a few pieces of Feta, also bathed in oil and with a sprinkling of oregano and cayenne. Washed down with a well chilled cheap Retsina (Malamatina is my preferred brand ). Sitting under the shade of a grapevine on a hot afternoon looking out over the tranquil waters of the Mediterranean.. Heaven!

        Liked by 1 person

        • *sigh* you are making me nostalgic, Nisaki-mou! Our olive oil is (was) delivered from a local farm, where we watched their own olives being cold pressed separately in the local collective olive oil processing plant while we drank glass after glass of local wine and warmed ourselves by the olive wood-burning stove. It can be bloody cold in the winter up in the mountains!
          And Malamatina – those little 500ml bottles! Did you ever work out why the cartoon on the front shows a man with a large key in his stomach? If so, please tell me.
          Only ever used pure olive oil and butter for years now.


          • Did you ever work out why the cartoon on the front shows a man with a large key in his stomach?

            Heh! No, I never did. To be honest, by the time the second bottle was upended, labels were the last thing on my mind! However, now you’ve mentioned it, I shall endeavour to find out! 🙂


  3. In the 60’s my parents would ditch carbs if they felt they needed to lose a pound or several. I gave the Dukan diet a go a couple of years ago and it worked pretty well indeed.

    There is a question though. How did humans start to eat bread? Wheat wasn’t easy to grow, it takes a lot of energy to get to the flour stage and then it makes us fat. I’ve no doubt that big wheat would be involved pushing their products as a way of making money and gaining more control for the Kings/Pharos/despots etc. etc. etc.


    • Spelt was used before wheat. Some (health nutters mainly) say it’s better for you than wheat and does not cause the same bloating, irritated bowel problems (as Coeliac disease), etc.


      • Oats don’t cause the same gut problems as wheat because it doesn’t have the lectins (gut annoying proteins) of wheat. I suspect most of the wheat problems are not so much wheat intolerance as wheat overload. It’s in so many things now.

        I tried gluten-free bread once but it was dreadful. Must try making my own out of oat spelts. Coincidentally, I have a couple of bags of that in the lab…


  4. Fat doesn’t make you fat

    I thoroughly enjoyed the desperate spinning of the doctor on BBC news, she was pulling out all the stops, repeatedly calling it a bizarre little study with a misleading headline, smiling brightly and confidently.
    It was a joy to watch as she defended her beliefs.

    FAT is the key to living longer: Previous diet advice was WRONG, say experts

    “A DIET of “real food” containing plenty of natural fat could be the key to living a long and healthy life.”

    “Guidelines on fat intake were introduced in the 1980s. They currently suggest limiting overall fat consumption to 30 per cent of energy intake, and saturated fat to 10 per cent.”

    “Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: “This paper is not critical of current advice on saturated fats but suggests the advice was introduced prematurely in the 1980s.”

    Oh really?

    It didn’t start in the 80’s, the advice given in the 80’s was just the product of a cascade of misinformation that started in the 50’s from a man who cherry picked the studies that suited his theory and became so powerful in the world of nutrition that all dissent was stifled.

    Now it’s a huge industry and having repeated this dietary advice as gospel, it’s only natural that some doctors would want to defend it.

    The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease

    “Our distrust of saturated fat can be traced back to the 1950s, to a man named Ancel Benjamin Keys, a scientist at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Keys was formidably persuasive and, through sheer force of will, rose to the top of the nutrition world—even gracing the cover of Time magazine—for relentlessly championing the idea that saturated fats raise cholesterol and, as a result, cause heart attacks.”

    I always thought that scientific progress was made by putting up a theory and giving the opportunity to others to shoot it down, so you could be sure that you hadn’t missed anything.
    How wrong I was.


    • Perhaps fortunately, Rose, I never read that advice on fat consumption. I’ve always been the one at the table who dived in to the pork crackling and the beef fat (well, it was the tastiest bit..). As a lad, I used to hassle my mum for bread and dripping after the Sunday roast – loved it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Just goes to show – some ‘top’ doctors are far more interested in their reputation than your health.

      Science only makes real progress when the smug and powerful idiots die. Then it stops again when the next round of smug idiots become powerful


    • I just eat stuff. There’s no formula. If I get too chubby I’ll eat less. At the moment I’m burning calories fast so I’m taking advantage and eating whatever the hell I please. It’s great.


  5. But, but… I can’t believe it’s not Science! 😉

    I have never fallen for this bollocks. A chemist friend of mine explained to me once how Margarine is made (because it is very much made). My reaction was that they were having a laugh trying to kid us that the stuff was in any way healthy, let alone a substitute for real butter. My whole family live into their 90’s and eat exactly what they feel like, full cream milk, cheese of all countries, we consume so much dairy produce we practically Moo.

    Same with Decaff Coffee too. What they do to that to take the Caffeine out, you really don’t want to know about.


    • Back in the 70s, I used to drive articulated trucks long distance in Australia, and when I was on the Melbourne – Adelaide run, a regular pick-up was 20 tons of Flora margarine to take to Melbourne. The stink from the factory was almost unbearable – rancid and rotten. And the guys that worked there told me they wouldn’t eat the stuff even if they were starving. Needless to say, Flora has never been on my shopping list, either.


      • My brother’s family – to my shame – uses that muck.
        My sister-in-law is a typical shiela – very shrill and in favour of the nanny state, while my brother is a typical (for these days) Australian man – he does what she says.
        Count yourself lucky, Nisakiman, that you escaped before it went tits up


      • There’s an ad currently on the telly for Flora Pro-activ with ecstatic 60 pluses raving about how their cholesterol was lowered in 3 wks. Although the ad shows them pounding the hills and there is a soupcon of suggestion that diet is important, the clear message is that it’s Flora wot done it (and it doesn’t look appetising even in the ad!).


    • Making butter involves separating the cream and agitating it until it goes lumpy. Then take off the excess buttermilk and compress the lumps into butter.

      Making margarine looks like a chemistry experiment.

      As for decaff… the day they make decaff espresso is the day I won’t buy any. It’s like alcohol-free booze. Might as well have a lemonade, which is cheaper and tastes like what it really is.


  6. Dear LI. Yet another fact packed and brilliant post by you. Struck every chord with me.
    BUT BUT BUT factor in the current advice given to diabetics and life does get a touch more complicated. Advice from the medical industry is very scant unless you go along with “don’t forget your carbs with every meal” I am almost sure they know that carbs will make your blood sugar rise and fall alarmingly so they can say “there you are you see —you really must stick wih all these lovely pills we make a fortune out of”
    The medical industry works for the people in it. And their American drug company friends.


    • Type 1 diabetes needs insulin injections but most type 2 diabetes cases can be controlled through diet, with no drugs. Also, what they never tell you is that if you only have the type 2 diabetes, it is possible (not in all cases, but most) to get better.

      Telling you that is verboten. You might stop adding to Pharmer profits…


      • I know several people who suffer from Type 2 diabetes, and oddly enough they all developed it within a few years of giving up smoking. Coincidence or connection?


        • Connection

          Quitters face an almost doubled risk of developing diabetes in their first three smoke-free years.

          “Researchers from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, studied 10,892 adult smokers, none of whom had diabetes at the start of the study.

          The participants were studied for nine years during which time, 1,254 developed type-2 diabetes.

          In the first three years after giving up, new quitters were 91 per cent more likely to develop diabetes. This decreased over time and after 12 years quitters had no excess risk.”

          There are various theories on why this should be.
          They used to pass it off that food suddenly tasted so delicious that new quitters started stuffing their faces and that’s why they put on so much weight, but now it appears that the weight gain is caused not by overeating but by systemic inflammation and a dramatic decrease of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

          I have only heard from one person who got ulcerative colitis after quitting, but that’s another one to watch out for.


  7. When I turned 60, a couple of years ago, I went into my doctor for a full MOT as it were. The kidney’s, liver, heart, etc were fine, so I’m just about to leave when my doctor says… hang on a sec, I’ll just give you a script for Statins. Er… why Doc, you just told me I’m in fine fettle? Oh it’s just a precaution, they will save you from Strokes and heart attacks. Well like I said earlier, my clan all live to their 90’s, and there has not been one who snuffed it from a stroke or a heart attack. But my doctor is a nice lady, so I thought I’d take them just to be polite.

    Suddenly, from being very active, I started to get aches and pains in my joints and decreased mobility. I felt like I had been given little old man pills, not to prevent it but to cause it. I packed them in instantly, and am fine again now.

    Statins are being doled out like Smarties, like they are some kind of miracle cure-all magic potion, to the glee of the Drug companies, and on our taxpayers money. Statins are going to be the next big scandal, mark my words.


    • I started to get aches and pains in my joints and decreased mobility

      That sounds very familiar

      I’ve been keeping an eye on statins since 2007.

      NHS will offer heart ‘wonder drug’ to all
      24 June 2007

      “MILLIONS of people are to be prescribed cholesterol-busting drugs on the NHS in Britain’s biggest mass medication programme for adults.
      The government’s drugs watchdog is expected this week to recommend the systematic screening of all adults at 40, 50 and 60 for heart disease.

      Those found to have a 20% chance of developing it over the next 10 years will be prescribed statins, the cholesterol-lowering “wonder drugs” that have had dramatic results in preventing heart disease.

      New research suggests that as many as 14m – half of all adults aged 40 or over – could be eligible for the drugs even though they have no symptoms.”

      Note the date, I had assumed they were trying to contrive some sort of Heart Miracle to justify the Smoking Ban that started seven days later.

      I also realised that I was well within the target age range.

      Seven years on from the Wonder Drug announcement –

      Doctors refusing to prescribe statins

      “Two in three family GPs refuse to follow NHS advice to give statins to 40 per cent of adults, survey finds”

      “Many of the GPs said they were not prepared to be “bribed” to put more patients on the drugs, with others saying the recent advice was “bonkers,” and “simplistic”. “You won’t bribe me with payments to hit statin targets,” said Dr Sanjeev Juneja, a GP from Rochester, Kent. “I have seen havoc caused in some patients with this drug, so Nice pressure is not so nice.”

      ” Arguments have raged about the side effects of statins. In May the British Medical Journal withdrew statements which had said that one in five of those on the drugs suffered from ill-effects such as muscle pain, tiredness and diabetes, saying the claims were wrong.

      But some doctors believe such problems have been under-reported.

      Dr May Cahill, a GP partner in Hackney, east London, said she was not convinced of the benefits of prescribing drugs with “horrific” side effects. She said: “Why give something to a patient that you would not take yourself nor recommend a family member or friend to?”

      Dr Andrew Green, chairman of the BMA’s clinical and prescribing subcommittee for GPs, said no doctor should automatically prescribe the drugs based on a “slavish devotion” to advice from Nice.

      Until July, GPs were advised to offer statins to anyone with a one in five chance of heart disease within a decade. The new advice halves the threshold to one in 10.

      Even before that change, Britain was the “statins” capital of Europe, with the second-highest prescribing levels in the Western world for the drugs.”

      Ever felt that we are under siege?


    • They can prescribe whatever they like. I’ll flush the lot.

      Some years ago a doctor offered me Champix because ‘we have to do something about your smoking’. I am doing something about it. I’m growing tobacco.

      He offered me Champix. I said ‘If you want to prescribe them, and if they’re free, I’ll flush them away and smoke while I do it’.

      I haven’t seen that doctor again.


  8. Regarding the hard butter in the fridge, it spreads very easily but only if it’s strictly for me and if there’s no-one about to behold the method.
    I…ermm.. chew it up before applying it to the toast.


      • The downside of that is that I have to keep my butter in the fridge. Which does mean having to cut thin slices and leaving it on the toast (longer on raw bread) until it melts enough to spread.

        Just employ a small butter dish – even a small plate. Cut a few thin slices and place out on dish 10-20-30 mins at room temp before intended use. Or if in a hurry, warm the dish & butter a bit -in the sun, on top of the coffee machine, even on the toaster;-) (as long as the bread’s not so high it’ll bump it off!)
        Or bain-marie it (warm water), or a few seconds under a grill that’s just turned on.
        The trick is having fairly thin slices so it softens through evenly and quickly.

        I used to be very wary about leaving (a portion of) butter at room temp in the pantry, even overnight, for fear of rancidity… but now am much more relaxed about overnight or even a couple of days at room temperature. Cheers!


        • Now that you mention it, I remember restaurants providing butter as a series of curls on a little plate. Maybe they kept theirs in the fridge too.

          I’d have remembered sooner if I still went to restaurants… but they don’t like smokers.


  9. Just as a (sort of) aside, I’ve often noticed that whenever I’ve eaten one of these low-fat thingies, I never feel full up afterwards and can always eat another helping of whatever “it” is, whereas when I’ve eaten something full-fat I only ever want one small helping and that’s enough. So it occurred to me that maybe the reason why the nation is getting weightier (apart, of course, from the fact that so few people smoke any more – something which is always glossed over in these “obesity epidemic” scares), might be because although we are eating plenty of calories in a helping of something or another, we don’t feel as if we’ve had enough – so we go back for more – with the accompanying extra calories. We’ve always got “room” for another helping, because although we’ve eaten something, we don’t feel satisfied. I can very often tell if I’ve eaten something low-fat even if I didn’t know beforehand, because I’ll still feel like eating something else afterwards.

    Just a thought that a gut-expert like yourself might like to mull over, Leggy …


  10. A couple of final bits from me;
    1) One of the most appalling things about this low fat stuff is the wrong advice given to diabetics for decades. How many amputations, cases of blindness, kidney failure and death have been caused?
    2) A whole range of essential minerals (e.g. A, D) are fat soluble.
    3) The other day I was searching for real Greek yogurt at a large well-known supermarket. The only Greek brand that I can find easily in the UK is Total – ‘greek style’ is not at all the same thing. They only stocked Total 0% fat version. What is the bloody point of fat-free yoghurt?


    • It’s almost as bad in Vasilopuolos these days, Lys. You have to search through all the dozens of different yoghourts to find a tub of full fat. The majority are ‘reduced fat’. And if you’re looking for a tub of fruit yoghourt, forget it. They are ALL ‘0% fat’, or at best, ‘2% fat’. WTF? This is Greece, ferfuxake!


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