Improve Your Metabolic Health With a High-Fat Diet

October 22, 2018 | 4,454 views

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High Fat Food

By Dr. Mercola

The notion that a low-fat, high-carb diet, together with calorie counting and more frequent exercise routines, can help you lose weight is a piece of misguided advice that’s been around for decades.

Mounting evidence suggest that these conventional dietary guidelines, which may have been manipulated for the benefit of the processed food and beverage industries, are actually to blame for the rising epidemics of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer, as they hinder healthy mitochondrial function.

In 2015, the British National Obesity Forum (NOF) and Public Health Collaboration (PHC) released a controversial report on obesity after an analysis of 43 studies, stating that the current dietary guidelines promoting a low-fat, high-carb diet are deeply flawed and must be overhauled. The key findings in their report include:

  • Eating fat does not make you fat — A high-fat diet is shown to be more effective than a high-carb diet for maintaining healthy weight. A diet that is high in carbs can cause your body to accumulate fat by activating the enzyme fructokinase.
  • Saturated fat is not the culprit behind heart disease — A re-analysis of the 40-year-old study that linked saturated fat to heart disease showed that there’s actually no evidence to support this notion. The findings show that there’s a lower risk of a heart attack in people who consumed saturated fat than those who consumed vegetable oil.
  • Simply counting calories is not effective — Calories from different sources have varying metabolic effects, so there’s no use in counting them. What you should do, instead, is to limit your meal frequency. I recommend eating only two meals per day, either your breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner, within a six- to eight-hour window. Avoid snacking or eating at least three hours before bedtime.
  • You can’t make up for poor diet through exercise — You can’t just eat unhealthy foods and try to outrun its negative effects by increasing the amount of your workouts. A healthy diet is necessary to address metabolic dysfunction and lower the risk for obesity and other chronic illnesses.

The NOF/PHC report concluded that a low-carb, high-fat diet may be the solution to obesity. If you want to optimize your health, start removing high-carb meals from your diet and replace them with high-fat foods, as fat is your body’s preferred source of fuel.

How Exactly Do Healthy Fats Help Improve Your Health?

When you stop or limit your carb intake, your body will eventually be able to burn fat for fuel. This causes your liver to create ketones, which are water-soluble fats that not only burn more efficiently than glucose, but also create less reactive oxygen species and free radicals, which could damage the cell membranes, proteins and DNA. Ketones may also help improve glucose metabolism and decrease inflammation, which has been linked to various chronic health problems.

In order for your body to start burning body fat for fuel, 50 to 85 percent of your daily calories should come from monounsaturated and saturated fats, which can be obtained from:

Grass fed meats


Coconuts and coconut oil

Raw cacao butter

Organic, pastured eggs

Animal-based omega-3 fatty acids such as krill oil

Grass fed butter, ghee, lard and tallow

Certain seeds and nuts

Olives and olive oil

Beware of Harmful Fats!

Not all fats are great for you — the man-made ones, such as trans fats and highly refined polyunsaturated vegetable oils, are particularly damaging to your health. Trans fats can induce oxidative stress, while vegetable oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which are susceptible to oxidative damage once they reach your cellular and mitochondrial membranes.

These harmful fats may increase your risk of gut inflammation, disrupt the blood flow to your brain arteries, impair brain development and attack the nerve cellular architecture. Make sure your diet only contains healthy fats to promote optimal health. For more information about the advantages of healthy fats over carbs, read “Fat Versus Carbs — Higher Amounts of Dietary Fat Actually Improve Your Metabolic Health.”

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