Five Healthy Fats You MUST Have in Your Kitchen

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist healthy fats, Healthy Pregnancy, Baby & ChildComments: 249

coconut oilWhen folks ask me for advice on how to change their diet for the better, I tell them that the quickest way to improve their health and just feel amazingly better in general (like, feel better tomorrow – that’s how fast this works) is to get the right healthy fats into their diet and the wrong (factory) fats out.    Eating organic fruits/vegetables and grinding their own flour/making their own bread are usually the two changes that people want to do first, but the truth is, while important, these two things will have the least impact on your health in the immediate term.

I am very much a results oriented kind of gal, so I try to tell folks what will give them the most bang for the buck right away.   Making significant changes to your diet with minimal impact on how you feel everyday is very discouraging.   That is why I tell people to get the fats right from the get go.   The sad truth is that most folks have the fats totally wrong, even if they claim to eat healthy.   Another eye opening truth is that you have absolutely no chance at health if you don’t have the fats right! This is the critical first step toward your best health.

Get the healthy fats right and even if you continue to eat conventional produce and meats (I don’t necessarily advocate this – I am just trying to make a point), your health will blow away anyone who eats everything organic and has the fats wrong!   I know this from personal experience.   Getting the fats right was the single change that I made almost ten years ago that finally made me feel terrific after years of eating organic fruits/veggies and meats and still feeling pretty lousy much of the time.

Surprised?  Well, consider this.   The cell wall of every single cell in the human body is made up of fat.   Our very brain is made up of approximately 60% fat.   Don’t those two factoids right there indicate in flashing neon lights the incredible importance of getting the right fats into our diet and how devastating eating the wrong ones can be?    I hope anyone reading this blog isn’t still under the incredibly dangerous notion that eating a lowfat diet is a healthy thing to do.    If you are new to Traditional Eating and haven’t yet had your bubble burst about this, then please make sure to check out my blogs on Why Skim Milk Will Make You Fat and The Untold Story of Butter.

With that, I will now reveal the Five Healthy Fats that you MUST have in your kitchen – assuming vibrant health is your goal, of course.


Ah, what can I say about butter?   It is one of the most perfect foods on this planet.   Like Julia Child, I have discovered over the years that you simply can’t eat too much butter (and if you think you’re eating too much butter, you can always substitute cream, as Ms. Child was rumored to have said!).   I like to joke with people that the more butter I eat, the slimmer I get!   If you are a butter lover as I am, you know from experience that there’s quite a bit of truth to that statement!

Deep yellow/orange butter from cows eating rapidly growing spring grass was considered a sacred food by the Traditional Swiss culture, a culture with young men so perfect and pleasing in physique, strength, and character that the Vatican favored these young men over all others to serve as the Papal Guard at the Vatican.  Want your children to have strong, robust physiques and healthy bone structure?   Eat lots of butter when you are pregnant and load up their food with it while they are in their growing years.    Ignore the lowfat nonsense and see and feel the results for yourself.   Eating lots of butter stabilizes the blood sugar and significantly reduces or even eliminates sugar cravings.   Overconsumption of all things sweet and starchy and Factory Fats are the real villains for those with ill health, NOT whole, healthy fats like butter.

The cell wall of every cell in the human body is supposed to be composed of saturated fat, the wonderful fat that is so abundant in butter.   Replace the real thing with margarines or butter substitutes and the body will incorporate these inferior fats into the cell walls instead.    With the wrong type of fat making up the cell wall, intercellular communication breaks down and the cell itself is weakened.   Skin cells whose cell walls are composed of the fats from polyunsaturated vegetable oils (the main fat in the Western diet) instead of the much stronger saturated fats like in butter are more prone to damage from the sun, and (can anyone say) BROWN SPOTS?   If, for no other reason than vanity, switch to butter and throw out those nasty vegetable oils.   Your brown spot-LESS skin will thank you.


Coconut oil is loaded with medium chain saturated fats which are utilized by the body for immediate energy!   Want to feel better and have more energy?   Incorporate this wonderful, healthy fat into your diet in copious amounts.    Coconut oil is a highly stable oil, so much so, that you can keep it unrefrigerated in your pantry for years and it will not go rancid (I have a 5 gallon bucket in my garage .. it stays perfect through the long, hot, humid Florida summers!)   It remains stable even at very high heat, so it is the ideal cooking oil.   I use coconut oil anytime a recipe calls for cooking oil or shortening.    Coconut oil used in your baked goods will result in cookies, cakes, and pastries so moist – you and your family will be delighted.

Pepperidge Farm used to use coconut oil in their line of cookies years ago, only to replace it with very unhealthy, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (aka, Factory Fats) when saturated fats became erroneously regarded as heart unhealthy.   Coconut oil, however, is now known to be extremely heart healthy .. the Traditional Cultures that consume coconuts and coconut oil have some of the lowest rates of heart disease in the world (not to mention are some of the slimmest people in the world).

Physiologically, coconut oil stimulates the thyroid gland, so is a fantastic addition to the diet for those that tend toward hypothyroidism (by some estimates, some 80% of Westerners over the age of 25 fall into this category).

Lauric acid, a very important medium chain saturated fatty acid, is found in abundance in coconut oil.   Lauric acid is highly antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal.    And guess what?   The human mammary gland produces lauric acid and it is contained in breastmilk!    Anyone with candida issues of any kind should be regularly consuming coconut oil in their diet.   Rubbing coconut oil into the scalp and then shampooing out is a wonderful home remedy for dandruff, a fungal infection of the skin.

If you have an allergy to coconut, try palm oil or palm kernel oil, two other healthy tropical oils.

Please see my resources page for where to buy quality coconut oil products.


olive oilWithout a doubt, extra virgin olive oil is the best of the healthy fats to use for salad dressings.   Why don’t all salad dressings at the store contain this wonderful Mediterranean oil?  What’s up with the Annie’s brand of salad dressing at the healthfood store using canola or soybean oil?   Has this company lost its mind?   Yes it has and you guessed the reason.   Canola and soybean oil are cheap oils and increase the profit margin for companies that use them instead of extra virgin olive oil.   In case you haven’t noticed, extra virgin olive oil is rather expensive in comparison.   You trade a cheaper price on low quality oils with your health, so make sure you buy only extra virgin olive oil and not the cheap, highly processed vegetable oil substitutes like soybean, canola, cottonseed, corn, and safflower.

Best to make your own salad dressing at home using olive oil, used traditionally for centuries for just such a purpose!  Oh, and please don’t use olive oil for high heat cooking!    Olive oil is a delicate oil and is best used unheated, or at most, in a very low heat saute.    NEVER fry with it.   It’s nutritional value is lost this way and the oil becomes damaged and unhealthy to consume.

If, by chance, you are one of the folks who has trouble with olive oil and tends to put on weight quickly when you consume it, then try another traditional oil such as sesame or peanut oil with a tsp or two of added flax oil for your salad dressings instead.

Please see my resources page for where to source quality extra virgin olive oil.


Animal fats such as chicken, goose, duck, tallow, and lard have nourished Traditional Cultures for centuries.   Most people don’t even realize that McDonald’s used beef tallow to fry it’s french fries until the sea change in the restaurant industry some 30 years ago in favor of partially hydrogenated fats caused the unfortunate switch to these very unhealthy Factory Fats!

When I make homemade chicken, beef, or duck stock, I freeze in one quart containers and then easily peel off the fat that freezes on top to use for cooking.    Animal fat imparts valuable nutrition and wonderful flavor to roast vegetables.   The reason many kids won’t eat veggies is because they are so tasteless!   Roasting organic vegetables in a bit if chicken fat makes them absolutely delicious.    My kids frequently ask why the veggies in restaurants are so tasteless and why the ones cooked at home are so yummy.    Now you know the secret that Traditional Cultures always practiced!

Beef tallow can’t be beat for making healthy homemade french fries!   Whoever thought that healthy eating could taste so fantastic! Liberal use of traditional animal fats in the kitchen makes this possible.

For more on healthy fats from animals, refer to the articles how to render tallow and how to render lard.


cod liver oilRounding out the Five Fats you must have in your kitchen is Granny’s favorite, cod liver oil.     Cod liver oil contains omega 3, essential fatty acids which most Westerners are severely deficient in. Deficiency in these delicate omega 3 fats invites inflammation in the body which leads to innumerable conditions and illnesses.   Unlike plain fish oil, cod liver oil also contains vitamins A and D in their natural state.

Vitamins A and D, when taken together in a whole food like cod liver oil, work synergistically to improve the function of every system in the human body!I wrote a blog a few months ago about my favorite brand of cod liver oil, the completely unheated, fermented cod liver oil from Green Pastures (purified by centrifuge). The importance of Vitamin D in cod liver oil cannot be underestimated with regard to its positive effects on health.     For more information, please refer to my blog: Flu is Vitamin D Deficiency Disease.

Well, there you have it.   The Five Fats that when incorporated into your diet will most certainly improve your health and vitality.  Once you throw out the Factory Fats you are currently using such as butter substitutes and vegetable oils and replace them with the Five Healthy Fats described in this blog, you will very likely begin to feel improved energy right away.   The most striking change that occurred immediately for me when I got my fats right was a rapid reduction in sugar cravings!

Getting the fats right is the only way I have ever found for people to reduce and eventually eliminate their sugar addiction.   Any other approach is temporary at best and relies solely on will power rather than the body being nourished and not needingthe sugar (remember that the body converts sugar to saturated fat, so if your diet is low in saturated fat, you will be plagued with sugar cravings that cannot be controlled).     If this is your experience as well, I would love to hear about it as well as any other improvements you’ve noticed in your health once the fats get fixed.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Related Information

The Many Shades of Palm Oil

How Vegetable Oils Make Us Fat

Comments (249)

  • Rick

    GREAT article. I will be sharing this one with a lot of people.

    April 6th, 2010 12:39 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    I have personally experienced the same thing. About 3 months ago I discovered Nourishing Traditions along with many great websites that adhere to NT principles and I changed my eating habits, mostly in the milk and fats I consume. I have effortlessly lost the last 5 pounds I have been struggling with and eating more of these 5 fats than ever, and LOVING the food. Thanks for a GREAT article.
    BTW – after my vacation next week, I am going to try kombucha, thanks to your videos.

    April 6th, 2010 12:49 pm Reply
  • Margaret

    Hi Sarah, great article! I've got 4 out of the 5 down, so feeling good about that. I have a question for you though regarding the cod liver oil. I buy the Green Pastures brand in capsules. I'm newly pregnant and don't want to even try the liquid right now! Anyway, do you know how many of the capsules I should take a day? The bottle recommends two 500 mg capsules a day and I wonder if that is enough. Thanks for any insight you might have.

    April 6th, 2010 2:11 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Margaret, first of all, congratulations on your pregnancy! What a wonderful time of life. Enjoy every minute of it! Regarding the Green Pastures cod liver oil, the Weston Price Foundation recommends 1 TBL of cod liver oil during pregnancy and lactation. Correct me here if my math is wrong, but it is my understanding that 5000 mg equals one TBL. That would mean 10 capsules per day if each capsule contains 500 mg. I would split the dose – 5 in the morning, 5 at night.

    April 6th, 2010 2:30 pm Reply
  • Lavanya

    Hi Sarah,
    Great article. I think "Ghee" – Clarrified butter is also another fat that is very good for your health. It is very easy to make and can with stand high heating w/o losing any of it qualities.

    Heat 1 or 2 lbs of butter(raw) in a thick bottomed pot on medium heat until you see a clear Ghee simmering with some golden brown residue on the bottom of the pan. The Golden residue can be used in cake or cookie recipes. It is delish and healthy.

    April 6th, 2010 4:23 pm Reply
  • Margaret

    Thank you :)

    April 6th, 2010 4:32 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    YES! Ghee is fantastic, a traditional healthy fat from India derived from butter! Thanks for adding that.

    April 6th, 2010 4:48 pm Reply
  • true blessings

    H! Which coconut oil do you recommend? So right now I am obese..should i still consume a high-fat diet? Thank you~Gaby

    April 6th, 2010 10:14 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Gaby, I use Tropical Traditions expeller pressed coconut oil and Green Pastures virgin coconut oil. The expeller coconut oil has no coconut taste, so is better for cooking or baking. I use the virgin coconut oil for skincare and other therapeutic uses.

    Obese folks obviously have blood sugar issues – switching the diet away from refined carbs, sugars, and starches to healthy fats like butter and coconut oil stabilizes blood sugar and helps the weight start dropping off. If healthy fats are consumed without eliminating the refined carbs, limited progress will be made.

    April 6th, 2010 10:37 pm Reply
  • Pinky’s Cottage

    I am definately going to put a link to your blog on my blog. Very informative and will be back to read more. Thanks for supplying all this good info.

    April 7th, 2010 2:11 am Reply
  • Anonymous

    My wife and I love butter, EVOO, Coconut oil, and who doesn't like Pork Fat! But Cod Liver Oil, COME ON, you're killing me!

    We love our morning coffee and CoffeeMate makes it taste the absolute best. Cream and Half/Half just doesn't have the same flavor. I'm talking four heaping tablespoons each morning in our coffee. Am I killing myself for my cup of Jo?

    April 7th, 2010 12:51 pm Reply
    • Ambry

      Just a thought, I also must have my morning coffee prepaired just so, and half n half does not cut it anymore. I have been using a splash of heavy whipping cream and it is such a treat! I could not have dairy for a few months because my breastfed baby was sensitive to it, and I tried every other creamer substitute available and all of them were sub par, and full of fake fats and MSG products.

      January 7th, 2011 4:00 pm Reply
    • Dawn

      Dear Anonymous,

      I used to love CoffeeMate too, until I discovered raw cream! I won’t use anything else now in my coffee. If you can get fresh, healthy raw milk where you are get some then let it sit in the refrigerator a couple of days so the thick, heavy cream rises to the top then skim it off and use that for your coffee. While you are sipping on your delicious coffee, read the label from your CoffeeMate container…that should answer your question on whether or not you’re killing yourself for your cup of Jo (;

      August 15th, 2011 6:16 am Reply
  • true blessings

    Hello ! Sarah,I am buying the expeller pressed and the virgin coconut oil,my question is if you recommend the organic one or if there's no big difference besides price wise?Thank you so m uch for the info.And I know you provided the food journal links ,however those are old and none of them mention coconut oil,since they had not yet realized the benefits of it,so will you please post a sample menu pretty please with a cherry on top?Thank you~

    April 7th, 2010 2:27 pm Reply
  • Nickname unavailable

    As for the cod liver oil capsules, they may be more concentrated. I would read the dosing information and compare it to the dose recommended by the WAPF. (especially note any doses for pregnant and nursing mothers, and based on your sunlight exposure and other things) They aren't necessarily equal when you consider the vitamin content! and get your vitamin D tested!!!!!

    April 7th, 2010 3:11 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    I personally do not the organic coconut oil, as coconuts are basically a low to no spray crop. There is quite a difference in price, so you're basically paying for a certification, not a superior product in most cases, I think.

    My personal diet only includes coconut oil for cooking as I do not need it for thyroid or weight loss .. I will post a sample food log at some point, but not right now as I am not eating grains at all for the time being – perhaps for up to 6 months more(I think grains are a wonderful food, I am just not eating right now for a particular reason which I will blog about sometime in the future when the time is right.

    April 7th, 2010 4:34 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    I really don't think it's possible to achieve your best health without cod liver oil in the diet, unless you eat liver several times a week, which for most folks, would be worse than taking the cod liver oil!

    I am not a big fan of coffee at all. It kills the adrenals and I have just not ever met anyone without a bunch of health issues who drink it on a regular basis. A cup occasionally is not going to be a problem, but if you need it to start your day else you can't function, then something must be addressed as the coffee is obviously being used as a crutch for some underlying health issue.

    April 7th, 2010 4:37 pm Reply
  • Michelle Malmberg

    Great summary, thank you.
    I would love to quote facts and forward information. Do you have a reference for the sugar-turns-to-sat-fat in the final paragraph?

    April 7th, 2010 6:44 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Michelle, I have read this information in many places over the years .. if you google it you will find many sources. The body easily converts sugar to adipose tissue (body fat) for storage; here's one ref I found just a moment ago that discusses this specifically:

    Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig also goes over quite well the chemistry involved in the body regarding fat metabolism.

    April 7th, 2010 7:02 pm Reply
    • Tom

      This not a scientific source. This is a “question and answer” page with a brief, surface level explanation of merely one specific aspect of metabolism. Also, it says EXCESS sugar is converted to fat.. not sugar in general.

      October 7th, 2011 12:47 am Reply
      • Laura

        Tom, I’m with you! Not only is this source extremely weak, but it states that excess sugar will be turned into fat. This is true of anything eaten in excess! Including fat and protein!

        This is close to common knowledge, but here’s a reliable source:
        Krause’s Food & Nutrition Therapy by L. Kathleen Mahan and Sylvia Escott-Stump 13th Edition, 2012

        February 6th, 2012 5:30 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    One other thing came to mind, Michelle. Saturated fat is the preferred fuel for the heart – yes its true! ( so if the diet is low in saturated fat, it is no wonder the body experiences sugar and carbohydrate cravings as the body feels compelled to convert excess sugars to body fat as the body goes into "famine" mode. If you eat a good amount of whole, saturated fats like butter, the body does not need to store white adipose tissue (body fat) from excess carbohydrates/sugars as the body is being nourished with plenty of these fats already.

    April 7th, 2010 7:35 pm Reply
  • THendren

    Hello Sarah, I have a few questions for you if you dont mind. I see high oleic sunflower or safflower oil in some foods. Is this a bad oil? Also, where do you get the tallow you use. Dont you have to render it first. Also, do you just use the fat from homemade meat dinners? I am a bit confused about this. Thanks for your answer

    April 8th, 2010 9:34 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Safflower oil as used in processed foods is not going to be a healthy oil to consume. Safflower is not a traditional vegetable oil and using such a oil in processed foods would denature it and it would become quite difficult for the body to deal with if consumed. It is usually used in refined carbs anyway, which should be a food that is avoided. The WAPF 2010 Shopping Guide for only $1 plus shipping has a list of small farms where you can mail order tallow(order the Shopping Guide at The animal fat I use for cooking primarily comes from the fat that comes to the top after homemade broth cools. I have a video on this blog from November 2009 if you want to take a look at how this is done.

    April 8th, 2010 10:26 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    Hi Sarah, I've read that pesticide resides and other toxins accumulate in the fats of animals, and thus we shouldn't eat them. What do you think about this? Thanks.

    April 9th, 2010 4:05 am Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Great point. Of course you should try to get your animal fat from animals that are treated humanely and live in as nontoxic of an environment as possible. However, trying to avoid toxins by not eating nutritious foods is not the way to do this. If your body does not get the nutrition it needs, health will be compromised even if no toxins are ingested. Better to get the nutrition you need as the body can handle toxins if it is well nourished. Small farms are the best source of meats/animal fats as the animals are raised in a nontoxic environment for the most part.

    April 10th, 2010 10:17 pm Reply
  • Louise


    I have hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue. I eat a tablespoon of coconut oil at every meal. I use butter and not margarine and Olive oil. I have the nagging 12 ish lbs that I cannot lose due to the hypo. I will, bleck, add the cod liver oil. This is necessary as flax aggravates my thyroid issues. In your opinion, should I add more coconut oil?


    April 13th, 2010 4:29 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Louise, what is your grain consumption like? Cutting your grains completely out even if properly prepared (even rice) for a few weekds will drop your weight rather quickly in many cases. Then, you can add the grains back slowly and observe at which point eating a certain amount causes weight gain.

    April 13th, 2010 4:38 pm Reply
    • Ambry

      I think what you eating and how you exercise go hand in hand. Calories in vs. calories out. Especially with a sluggish metabolism. Consistent exercise is what of the greatest determining factors of a healthy weight.

      January 7th, 2011 4:07 pm Reply
      • Elin

        This is definitely not the case. Case in point: look at the average weight of Americans in the 50s. Women weighed around 115 pounds, eating meals full of saturated fat, and essentially never exercising. “Calorie in/calorie out” thinking is mechanistic and useless.

        January 22nd, 2012 12:24 pm Reply
  • Louise


    I have pretty much stopped grain with the exception of the bowl of, now gluten free, cereal in the morning. I do not have grains at lunch or any snack during the day. On occasion I will have rice at dinner–a tablespoon or two. But this is easily eliminated.

    I really need to figure out a good breakfast as I cannot stand to eat eggs in the morning! I suppose I could eat the organic plain full fat yogurt with nuts and fruit.


    April 13th, 2010 7:27 pm Reply
    • Eric

      Make sure you are getting enough Iodine. I cannot stress this enough. If in doubt – especially if you suffer from hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism and have probably been told a lot of conventional thinking on Iodine, Selenium and the Thyroid, such as the Wolff-Chaikoff study (or half of it, actually) – you should watch this:
      You will not get enough Iodine from your diet.
      Illumodine from Dr. Cousens is an incredible liquid-form, which unlike tablets, allows you to increase the amount you take gradually. That’s important, as Iodine is the largest of the Halogens and will displace all of the other smaller ones, like Chlorine, Flourine and Bromine and their displacement from your body’s cells will generally make you feel terrible while it’s happening.
      So, start by increasing your Selenium intake to deal with the Hydrogen Peroxide buildup and also add Magnesium and Zinc and then after about a month of that, start with 1 drop of Illumodine in water three times a day and then increase every day until you reach 15 drops, 3x a day for 3 months, then drop to a maintenance dosage of 5 drops 3x/day.
      Please watch that video, maybe several times and do your research. I think you will find your weight and hypothyroidism won’t be issues after a while. I hope that helps!

      October 9th, 2013 10:43 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    I have a question about tarrow. Can't it be processed by water bath or pressure canner to make it shelf safe?

    April 15th, 2010 12:12 am Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Do you mean taro, the root vegetable? It is my understanding that simple cooking will destroy the toxic calcium oxalate.

    April 15th, 2010 1:20 am Reply
  • evision

    i have gone through this blog. i found it really interesting fot my job and my future career

    online business

    April 15th, 2010 5:04 am Reply
  • sofiadiablesa

    Can you expand on coconut oil use in the hair? I have dandruff but only when I don't shower every single day (which is opposite of how most people observe their dandruff). Now that you mention it is fungal, my situation makes more sense. How long before washing out do you rub in the coconut oil? How much do you use (visibly greasy or similar to applying lotion to skin)?
    Besides baking, what else do you use your coconut oil for?

    April 15th, 2010 2:01 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Sofia, just rub in enough coconut oil into the scalp so that it feels like you've used enough. You don't need to get the hair greasy. Leave in for 20 minutes or so and then wash out. You should only have to do this every month or two, not every time you shampoo unless you have a really entrenched infection.

    Coconut oil is great for a mild sunburn .. takes the red right out. Very nice as a moisturizer and a very weak sunscreen (SPF 2 or so) if you're going to do a bit of yardwork and don't want to burn. That is all I personally use it for, though there are other uses. Folks with weak thyroids can take it as a supplement to strengthen this gland. Also great as a supplement for those with candida issues in the gut.

    April 15th, 2010 2:13 pm Reply
  • Shannon

    Hi!!!!! I'm here from FF! I'm excited to check your blog out! I had no idea about some of those fats! Interesting…
    If you get a chance, head over to mine. we are helping a baby girl in China (who happens to be an orphan) to get a life saving heart surgery so that she can hopefully find a family!!!!
    Blessings on you!

    April 17th, 2010 2:00 am Reply
  • Twee Poppets

    Stopping by a bit late from Friday Follow. I'm following you now! Hope you can stop by and follow me, too. :)

    I have a couple great giveaways going on right now! One is for a $10 gift card to the Sweet as Pie Creations Etsy shop, and the other is for a two-pack of Snappi diaper fasteners. I hope you'll enter! :)

    April 19th, 2010 6:07 am Reply
  • Anonymous

    How much cod liver oil should one take? (adult) I just got my order from Green Pastures and the serving size is 2 ml. Is that all you need for a day? And would it vary depending on time of year and amount of sun exposure? Also, which cod liver oil from Green Pastures do you recommend? Would you give children less based on weight? I just discovered your blog last week with this article. I've been browsing through archives–spending way too much time on the computer. :) Thanks for your work here!

    April 19th, 2010 5:45 pm Reply
  • Bonnie

    Are expeller pressed and virgin coconut oil equally good for you? Virgin oil is not well liked in our house. I would like to replace it with expeller pressed. Also can you fry with the virgin oil? I have been frying eggs in it. What are the appreciable differences between them health wise?

    May 12th, 2010 6:49 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Bonnie, virgin coconut oil has more antioxidants in it as it has not been heated at all during extraction process from the coconuts. Expeller pressed CO has been heated to extract the oil and the heat destroys the coconut-y flavor and some nutrients. We don't care for virgin coconut oil in our home either due to the coconut taste, so I use it medicinely only .. off the spoon or on the skin. I use expeller pressed coconut oil for cooking.

    May 12th, 2010 8:00 pm Reply
  • Alina

    I do not mind the coconut flavour in my food but I was wondering that if I was to use the virgin CO then it would get damaged by cooking anyway. Is it correct? Putting the flavour aside which type of coconut oil is better for cooking?
    I have been using Alpha brand but it is very expensive. I am thinking of switching to Nutiva. Have you heard of them and what do you think of them? Any other brand names that you like ( I know that you use Tropical Traditions and Green Pastures)?
    Thank you.
    I love your blog.

    June 10th, 2010 9:47 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Alina, cooking with the virgin coconut oil does not damage it .. coconut oil maintains its integrity with even high heat cooking. Virgin is a bit more healthful than expeller coconut oil, but not by much. I use Nutiva virgin coconut oil myself for medicinal uses in my home. I use expeller for cooking. I'm not sure there is much of a difference between brands except with price! So glad you are enjoying the blog!!

    June 11th, 2010 12:03 am Reply
  • Anonymous

    And ghee!


    June 14th, 2010 3:37 am Reply
  • Kelsey

    Hi Sarah! Great post! I just got some cauliflower in my CSA box and wasn't too excited to eat it as it is not my favorite vegetable, but now that I know I can slather it with butter I'm excited to eat it! My husband will be happy too. :) I was looking on the Green Pastures site for cod liver oil – what do you think of their Butter Oil/Fermented Cod Live Oil blend? I thought it sounded interesting and was thinking of trying it, but was wondering if anyone has tried it and has any thoughts on it. Thanks!

    June 30th, 2010 1:02 am Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Kelsey, I LOVE the FCLO/BO blend from Green Pastures. I actually use the capsules for traveling and the gel too. The gel is tough for some folks to take – texture issues. Might want to go for the capsules if you are texture sensitive.

    June 30th, 2010 1:35 am Reply
  • Alissa Jansen

    Sarah, thank you so much for this blog. I have started on the right path, now to finish the journey. Thank you so much for your email today. You are truly a God-send!! In the interest of getting well now, and a very limited budget, the only thing I am missing is the Cod Liver Oil. Quite strange I was talking about it with a friend yesterday in regards to her daughter.

    Anyway, do you think it would be okay to start out with the Walmart, Spring Valley brand of CLO to start with until I can afford to go to a more natural brand, or should I save up to get a better one? I need healing ASAP!!

    July 1st, 2010 2:02 am Reply
  • Joy

    Hi Sarah,

    I have to say this article has totally changed my whole thinking about eating, and it has helped me so much. I have completely changed my eating because of it and because of that. So thank you very much for sharing.

    I am just wondering… I have trained myself to count calories and such, so I am wondering if the whole calorie counting thing is a hoax or if I really should be practically starving myself so that I can eat my alotted amount of fats per day?

    August 25th, 2010 3:54 am Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Joy, not all calories are created equal where weight loss is concerned. You can eat more calories and gain less if those calories are healthy fats and protein. Grain based and sugar calories (particularly fructose) will cause a quicker weight gain. My breakfasts are frequently 1000 calories but are mostly fat and protein so it doesn't move my weight and keeps me full until lunch – if I ate this same breakfast as white flour pancakes soaked in fake maple syrup (made with corn syrup), my backside would be bigger every morning!

    August 25th, 2010 6:33 am Reply
  • Cetelia

    If EVOO shouldn't be used for cooking at very high temperatures like frying, what kind of oil do you recommend? BTW, loved the article and have already shared it with others.

    September 27th, 2010 1:29 am Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Cetelia, expeller pressed coconut oil works beautifully for frying as it is a very high heat oil. Glad you enjoyed the article and thank you for sharing it around!

    September 27th, 2010 1:31 am Reply
  • Savannah

    Would you recommend this to people who have PCOS. I keep getting mixed advice and am really confused as to what is best for someone like me.

    October 14th, 2010 5:59 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Savannah .. I feel for you here. There is so much conflicting advice out there it is hard to know what to do. I used to feel this way also until I realized that traditional societies didn't have things like PCOS .. so eat like them which is exactly how I describe in this blog and other posts on this site. Good luck to you!

    October 14th, 2010 6:02 pm Reply
  • Margaret

    I totally enjoyed these articles, yes we used to
    eat all that fat on the farm as kids mom used to
    save the chicken fat off broth and use it for fry with etc. So appreciatative of all these articles.

    November 19th, 2010 3:37 am Reply
  • Joan

    Sarah, Wow, thanks for this article and your site in general! Just found it this week. I'm 55 and obese and live with and take care of my diabetic 85-year-old mom. We have been using butter forever and evoo for a while and just switched to coconut oil. Now it looks like I need to get clo, too. I am anxious to see if increasing these good fats will do something for her intense sugar cravings. And I'm trying to cut down on carbs, but I am a carbaholic. We have been drinking only raw milk since moving to TX, belong to a CSA and eat mostly local, grass-fed meat. Her last general and eye checkups were great and she doesn't have the cold that all her friends are suffering from right now. Thanks, keep up the great work!

    November 19th, 2010 10:27 pm Reply
  • Jon

    Thats really wise information. I think all those saturated fats are making you very brainy.

    December 14th, 2010 10:29 pm Reply
  • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    Jon, that is really funny! Thanks for the laugh. What I can say is that I get really crabby when I don’t have my fats! Blood sugar destabilizes which makes anyone a grouch. Don’t marry anyone who eats lowfat, that’s for SURE!

    December 14th, 2010 11:21 pm Reply
  • Margaret Iverson

    I have been actually studying your blog and find it very helpful, Coconut oil is also good for High Blood pressure, right??? I use the Garden of Life – Living foods brand, and its organic and does not have coconute taste of smell, very good .

    December 20th, 2010 12:34 am Reply
  • Raquel

    I am so glad I found your site!! I was wondering about butter. I am lactose intolerant and allergic to dairy. I get huge painful pimples from dairy. I’m pretty sure I have a problem with the casein and the whey. Do you think I would react from butter?

    December 25th, 2010 2:05 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Raquel, try ghee instead. Folks who are allergic to dairy and butter usually have an easier time with ghee. Also, if you tried raw butter you may be fine as well as it is easier to digest than pasteurized store butter. Glad you found me! Welcome to the other side!

      December 25th, 2010 6:15 pm Reply
      • Rashell

        Sara, I laughed out loud when I read, “Welcome to the other side!”

        August 8th, 2011 2:55 pm Reply
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  • Kristie Mobley

    Hi Sarah! I have been learning about nourishing traditions for a few months now, due to working on my health. I had IGG food testing done and came out with only one allergy-milk. I scored a five (the highest score!). So, my dr. told me no dairy at all (not even goat’s milk yet). It looks like I do not have candida according to the tests. My amino acids were also all wrong-with a very high need for arginine. So now we are trying to figure out if it is mercury, lyme’s disease or who knows?! I was wondering if my milk allergy would ever heal enough to try ghee or whey. I soaked 2 cups oatmeal in 2 cups water and almost 4 tbsp. apple cider vinegar and my girls won’t eat it! Too strong! Would it be safe to use only 1 tbsp or less of the vinegar?

    January 15th, 2011 9:04 am Reply
  • Kristie Mobley

    I thought of one more question. I am eating mostly coconut oil (due to not being able to have butter). Also some high quality olive oil, and a tsp. or two of cod liver oil. Are my fats balanced? I will be passing along your wonderful site to my friends who are interested in this new way of eating!

    January 15th, 2011 9:07 am Reply
  • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    Kristie, you need 1 tsp per day of fermented cod liver oil (there is only one brand that I recommend:

    And since you can’t eat butter, you must get your whole, unprocessed saturated fats from meats besides coconut oil. Make sure when you get a good grassfed steak that you eat all the fat with it too. And, when you make homemade broth, reserve the fat that comes to the top for roasting veggies. Well done! :)

    It’s an old way of eating that is “new” again, isn’t it? We are rediscovering that the traditional ways of eating really were the best and factories can’t improve on nature.

    January 15th, 2011 9:29 am Reply
    • Wilbur

      Sarah, this is so good to be learning all this. Please help me get it, perhaps because I have been brain washed. Can I eat animal fat and not have to worry about heart disease and high cholesterol which runs in my family? Is this truly okay? And the hamburger too?

      A second question, cod liver oil, have heard warnings about fish oils going rancid and to not take them. Any validity to this?

      Thank you.

      November 1st, 2011 4:16 pm Reply
  • J

    Hi, Sarah–I’m thrilled to have just found your website! Thank you… it’s right up my alley :) Reading down your list of top 5 recommended fats, I was surprised not to see HEMP OIL listed and am wondering what your thoughts are on it and how you think it compares to the five you listed. Thanks so much!

    January 20th, 2011 8:15 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi J, hemp oil is not a traditional oil and as such didn’t make the cut for a fat that one must have in the kitchen. In fact, in traditional cultures, hemp was only used in times of starvation. Here is a link for you to check out the history of hemp as food:

      Hemp was not traditionally used as a food except during periods of starvation as seen in the book, The Year 1000: What Life was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium — An Englishman’s World, by Robert Lacey. In a chapter called “July: The Hungry Gap,” he writes about the period of near starvation that would occur every summer for poor people before the August harvest was ready. You’ve probably heard of the LSD-like mold that grew on rye. But he also writes, “This hallucinogenic lift was accentuated by the herbs and grains with which the dwindling stocks of conventional flour were amplified as the summer wore on. Poppies, hemp and darnel were scavenged, dried and ground up to produce a medieval hash brownie known as ‘crazy bread.’ So even as the poor endured hunger, it is possible that their diet provided them with some exotic and artificial paradises. ‘It was as if a spell had been placed on entire communities,’ according to one modern historian.” (p.102)

      January 21st, 2011 12:07 pm Reply
  • Nancy

    This is such a helpful article. I will be sharing this with many friends. I plan to use the coconut oil to cook my root vegetable stir-fry tonight.

    January 21st, 2011 1:30 pm Reply
  • D.

    My husband is a big fan of organic popcorn, made the old-fashioned way (stovetop). I pop it in a mixture of rendered lard (if I have it) and just a tad of butter (saving melting butter and pouring it on later – anything to save a dish or pan!) and we add a bit of gray sea salt. If I don’t have home rendered lard on hand, I use a combo of avocado oil and butter. It is to die for! Ya gotta try it. It’s a good combo, as well, for homemade fries.

    I have a question. Does good beef tallow have to come from a specific part of the beast, or can I call my butcher and just say I’d like some tallow for cooking? It seems as though everyone needs specific instructions these days. Even when I call him for dog bones, I have to specify if I want marrow or meaty, etc., and I basically have to tell him what part of the animal I want to take the bones from, as though he could do it wrong! Our world of food is not as simple as it used to be. I suspect he is recording our conversations so as to be sure and do what I ask. Maybe there are too many lawsuits going on these days or something. Scary.

    February 15th, 2011 1:05 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi D, beef tallow is the special fat around the kidneys. Most butchers would throw it out, so you should be able to ask for it to get some. Just be sure to find a local butcher who knows where the beef is coming from .. you don’t want tallow from a CAFO animal.

      February 15th, 2011 9:15 am Reply
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  • Diann

    Excellent article! I will note for those who want to substitute palm oil for coconut oil: vast areas of Indonesia/Malaysia are being deforested for the sole purpose of planting palm trees for palm oil. The subsequent extinction of the orangutan (as well as other species) is in sight.

    March 3rd, 2011 6:45 pm Reply
  • Erica

    Could you give any advice for someone who gets gallbladder pain & referred pain after trying to eat more animal fats? I’ve tried on & off for some years, but I always give up. I try to only eat grass reared meets & eggs. Egg yolks cause horrible pain – I can only cope with one or two eggs a week, but don’t even really like them. Also I could never eat the fat around meat – I’d be sick. I’ve tried using lard to cook with, but it always makes me ill. I also react badly to iodine, kelp & anything where shellfish has snuck in the recipe – this is since being injected with it often as a small child as a contrast agent for many x-rays. Allopathy has harmed me much, but I do my best to heal. If carageenan (from seaweed) is used in a capsule I react to that too. My face & throat blows up red with itchy vesicles. I was treated with mass antibiotics as a child and they have affected my thryroid/endocrine system. I also can’t eat fish – I just utterly hate it, but also the iodine. Do you think the cod liver oil the WP foundation recommends would be something I could use more of – increasing steadily so my body gets used to it? I drink full fat jersey milk raw or vat pasturised if I can’t get the raw. I eat grass fed cow’s butter. I eat coconut oil & extra virgin olive oil (but probably not enough going by this blog). Thanks in advance.

    March 6th, 2011 4:50 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      You can try herbal bitters which help stimulate the liver to secrete bile to digest the fats. This may help.

      March 6th, 2011 7:59 pm Reply
      • Erica

        Thanks! Its interesting to me that bile is bitter & in order to stimulate it we need bitter foods in our diet. I had forgotten this! I qualified recently as a homeopath & homeopathy has the Principle that “like cures like”. I find examples of this in nature & traditional cultures often.

        March 7th, 2011 4:22 am Reply
        • Ninian

          This is probably a bit late, but I wan’t to recommend Lecithin for your gallbladder problems. Some lecithin (like a teaspoon) every time you eat fat, will help with the pain by easing the digestion of fat. And remember that fat does not cause gallbladder stones, lack of fat does. =)

          February 21st, 2013 12:02 pm Reply
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  • Bess

    Now that I am cooking with lots of good fats, I am having a problem getting all of my dishes clean ( they are either greasy or fishy smelling from my fish stock.) As I hand wash all my dishes, I was wondering what kind of soap would be the best and safest.
    {ps What is the best & safest way to clean my dutch oven, as I have burnt the bottom. }

    March 23rd, 2011 3:15 pm Reply
  • Vaclava

    Hi, your articles are amazing, really.. great information in each one of them.
    Just wanted to ask about a coconut oil..I am using it for a while but only for cosmetic purposes (hair,skin) and been really impressed so far.. But i really don’t know how to use it in cooking. Shall i use it as normal veg.oil for frying, etc.? what about on salads? or any other ideas? thanks.

    March 25th, 2011 12:56 pm Reply
  • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

    Hi Vaclava, expeller coconut oil has no taste and is great for frying up pancakes, baking etc. It is not good for salad dressings as it hardens at 76F.

    March 25th, 2011 1:01 pm Reply
  • Ben

    Great article. Thanks so much! Question: What kind of butter should I use? Should I use regular old Kroger brand salted butter or do I need to buy an organic butter?

    March 26th, 2011 10:02 pm Reply
  • Jami

    Thanks for such a great resource site! I recently started taking fermented cod liver oil and found that I have much more energy throughout the day. The first day I started taking it I gave some to my 17mo old and she had the same reaction (didn’t get tired at the usual nap time). Is this a common ‘side effect?’ or was I just badly missing some omega’s in my diet? I find it odd that fish oil would give me more energy… Just wondering. Can’t wait to start incorporating more real food into my diet. YUM!

    April 9th, 2011 10:41 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Jami, more than likely the fermented cod liver oil is just helping everything else in your body to work better and more efficiently. Yes, I find I have excellent energy and stamina as well .. remember that the Roman soldiers had a ration of fish oil each day to give them stamina for long marches!

      April 10th, 2011 8:40 am Reply
  • Margie

    This is a great article. I’ve just started making these switches. We have been drinking raw milk for a month now. One of my daughters has a seizure disorder and I’m starting to find information related to good fats and the brain. Do you have any suggestions in this line of thinking?

    My main question: Butter–does it have to be raw? I just can’t afford that right now. I’ve been making raw butter from my raw cream but we (6 of us) eat too much butter for me to keep up. I suppose if I baked ONLY with coconut oil and reserved my raw butter for other uses, I might have enough. But is cultured organic butter a good substitute?

    April 19th, 2011 1:03 pm Reply
  • Brenda

    I’m so glad I found your blog. I love coconut oil and have been using it for years in most of my cooking. I have even been called the crazy coconut lady by my chiropractor since I was the one who introduced the idea to him. But recently I found out I have a food sensitivity to coconut. I am totally bummed about it because I have also started using coconut in it’s many forms in a lot of my cooking since it is so good for us. Now I don’t know what fats to use instead. I can use butter/ghee which I also use often but I would like another choice.

    I guess that is one bad thing about always eating the same foods……people can develop a sensitivity to them. I have read that rotating our foods is good for avoiding these problems but I don’t like it. I think if I am eating healthy……I don’t deserve to develop problems.

    I also am confused as to what oil to use when making a salad dressing. Olive Oil is very strong tasting and I don’t always want to use it. Do you have any suggestions. I need something that doesn’t turn hard in the frig.

    On another note I am confused about Olive Oil because I see chefs and healthy cooking demos where they use Olive Oil for sauteing and but I keep reading that it doesn’t do well when heated and turns rancid. I have read that the Italians actually only added Olive Oil toward the end before serving. I don’t know if that is true but that doesn’t help with the cooking process. Any opinion?

    I look forward to reading more of your blog……..I love all the community of help on the internet!!!

    April 24th, 2011 1:28 pm Reply
  • Gem

    What are your thoughts on grapeseed oil? I use the organic cold expeller pressed variety. I like that its with stands high heat and has a mild flavor. I use it in lieu of other oils for baking.

    April 26th, 2011 6:22 pm Reply
  • A

    Splitting hairs here but, animal cells don’t have cell walls, only plants do. I believe you meant cell membranes

    May 25th, 2011 5:52 am Reply
  • S.

    How much butter do you personally believe is too much butter to use on any given day?
    For example – on a medium sized baked potato, how much do you use? Just curious. In terms of tbsp. Even if I use one tbsp, the potato is still too dry. I can’t stop worrying about my arteries getting clogged even though, within the past month of switching to butter, I’ve lost 7 lbs! Something that bad for me can’t help me lose weight (even my skin looks better – it glows and looks smoother) can it? (unless we’re talking about diet pills but butter is not an artificial means of losing weight)

    May 27th, 2011 10:35 pm Reply
  • Kelly

    How do you feel about hempseed oil? (organic, cold-processed) I’ve been using it in combination with olive oil for salad dressing, and put the hulled seeds on the salads too.

    June 18th, 2011 3:16 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I’m a bit uncomfortable with it Kelly because historically hemp was only ever used for a food during times of starvation from what I understand hence I feel that there must be a good reason for that and a better alternative would be sesame oil or something like that that is a traditional fat.

      June 18th, 2011 4:09 pm Reply
      • Kelly

        Thank you Sarah! I need to research it more, I didnt know that about it being used when people were starving! Maybe it’s because it’s so easy to grow and has a quick harvest. Who knows, but I will try to find out!

        June 19th, 2011 12:04 pm Reply
  • Julie

    Hi Sarah! LOVE your blog so much! It is my favorite place to spend any extra time to learn all the info you share! Thank you!
    I did have a question, I have been using Nutiva’s organic extra-virgin coconut oil for years in cooking, baking, smoothies, etc…and just read where you said you only use the expeller-expressed kind for cooking and baking? So basically if I switch to the same kind we are still getting all the wonderful attributes of CO without paying twice as much? I am needing to order more and before I do, wanted to see what you say. I didn’t realize I could be saving money and still getting the benfits of CO in my family’s diet! What are the situations that the more expensive oil are best for? I got so confused as what to order from the Tropical Traditions site that I thought I might better ask you first…we have been buying gallons of Nutiva, but I think the 5 gallon TT brand would be more economical. They have so many kind to choose from there…would love to hear what you think is best to purchase…THANK YOU SO MUCH!!
    Again, can’t tell you how grateful I am to have found your site- amazing! thanks!

    June 22nd, 2011 1:26 pm Reply
  • Daphney


    Is it ok to use refined organic coconut oil for cooking( for instance, Spectrum organic) instead of virgin coconut oil? I have tried cooking with virgin coconut oil and I just cannot stand the taste of coconuts in my food. Its wonderful to bake with, but it doesn’t go well with foods such as eggs. I need a little help making an informed choice.

    Thank you,

    July 1st, 2011 4:44 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yes, I used expeller pressed coconut oil myself for cooking as we don’t like the coconut flavor of virgin coconut oil.

      July 1st, 2011 7:09 pm Reply
  • Brenda

    My family likes to occasionally have a fondue night. I was told by a chef once to use Spectrum’s shortening that is made from palm oil for prolonged heating in this situation. I have been doing this but have two questions (1) is quickly cooking meat in hot oil healthy? and (2) if the answer to this question is “yes” than what kind of fat is best for this? I normally do use butter and coconut oil for most of my cooking and olive oil in salad dressings since I have heard it is not good to heat olive oil. (I see conflicting information on the heating olive oil.)

    Also I just starting taking the Green Pastures cod liver oil. A friend ordered a variety and I ended up with some emulsified and some regular to try. I don’t understand what the emulsified is and how it compares to the regular. I wrote the company and they gave a vague answer, something about cellulose fiber and improving taste. I don’t understand why someone would want fiber in their cod liver oil?

    Thanks for your blog,

    Brenda W.

    July 5th, 2011 2:21 pm Reply
  • beth

    I just want to support what Sarah is saying in this post about fats. If you want to lose weight and keep a stable blood sugar level, this is the key. After I had my twins, I was still carrying an extra 55 pounds around, even after 1 year. My chiropractor advised me to stop eating all grains/starches and up my intake of good healthy fats (like the ones Sarah is talking about). I was shocked at what happened. I lost those 55 pounds and it was unbelievable how easy it was. I honestly didn’t even exercise AT ALL. I had twin toddlers, so there was no time for exercise. The pounds just fell off and I was actually wondering if I was going to get “too skinny”? The best part was that I was satisfied for long periods in between meals and I often had to remind myself that it was time to eat. Cutting out the grains and starches really kept my blood sugar levels stable and I wasn’t experiencing those hunger swings. Eating enough healthy fat was keeping me satiated between meals and helping my metabolism to function properly. There is a fabulous chapter in the book “The Cholesterol Myth” about eating a high fat diet and how it stabilizes your blood sugar. The book was talking about a study that they did where they fed hogs a high fat diet vs. a high grain/starch diet. Hogs are NEVER satisfied and will eat and eat and eat and they will grow to be pretty big/fat. When these hogs were fed a high fat diet, they actually were satisfied and didn’t return to the trough as often. These hogs also stopped putting on weight (which is what hogs do). Anyway, I thought that was a super interesting story and actually described how I was feeling on a high fat diet. I also recently heard about a study where Alzheimer’s patients were being given medicinal doses (like 3 tablespoons a day) of coconut oil and it was actually reversing the Alzheimer’s symptoms in many of the patients. Coconut oil is pretty amazing stuff!

    July 5th, 2011 11:40 pm Reply
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  • Natschultz

    It’s true! REAL, NATURAL fats do NOT make you fat – SUGAR DOES!

    I’m a 5’9 35 year-old female and I weight 117-123 pounds (my weight literally changes that much from when I wake up until night). I am a vegetarian since the age of 12, but have always eaten eggs and butter. The only oil in our house is Extra-Virgin Olive, and we cook with that and butter. However, I did live on a pasta-based diet until the beginning of this year. I have avoided white “bread” since forever (YUCK), and rarely eat sugar or sweets. I am a coffee addict though, drinking over 8 cups a day, very strong with lots of Half-and-half (5-6 quarts a WEEK), with NO SUGAR added (YUCK!).

    I have always had low cholesterol levels, but I have a family history of extreme autoimmune disease, and I’ve had Arthritis since age 2 (cause by a tick / Lyme Disease). I also have Neuro-Cardio Syncope and the Cardiologist told me to increase my water and salt intake (and I was ALREADY drinking more than 8 glasses a day, and I’m of Euro-descent, so I eat a TON of salt, REAL pickles and sauerkraut). I have bad Varicose Veins in one leg, caused by poor lower-body circulation since childhood and exacerbated by a botched foot surgery during which I contracted Staph and the doctor refused to treat me for 3 whole MONTHS – even when my entire leg from the knee down turned purple and swelled to twice the size! I also have Excema and VERY sensitive skin. So, while I’m not the “healthiest” person on the planet, most of my problems are auto-immune / genetic (VERY BAD ear infections = deaf in one ear). I’ve never been overweight or diabetic, and NEVER had heart / cholesterol problems even though I always ate traditional fatty / salty European foods (my grandparents only ate homeade meat and full-fat dairy).

    The only time I ever gained weight was over 3 years of living at college – vegetarian options were limited, so I basically lived on Taco Bell, BK Whoppers without the meat, Pizza and orange soda – I was 125 pounds when I moved in and 3 years later I weighed over 150 pounds! I’ve always been “skinny,” and all my weight naturally goes to my belly – I have no butt and no boobs, but after those 3 years I had a big butt and was a full cup-size larger. Needless to say, after moving back home, over a few years I lost all that weight (without even trying) and then some, and I stopped drinking soda completely even before I left school. At home we ate mostly pasta, but outside of my college days I’ve only ever eaten fast-food maybe 10 times in my entire life.

    This year I started to wonder if I could add on some “good” weight by eating more natural fats. So I started reading a lot of W.A.P. and I decided to eat a LOT more butter and eggs, switched to WHOLE milk (was drinking 2%; Skim milk was invented when I was a kid and I spit it out back then and it was never allowed in our house since), and reduced my reliance on pasta and potatoes. This was back in February 2011. So far instead of eating pasta 2-3 times a week we now eat it about once every 2-3 weeks. I started adding a half-stick of butter to my porridge (either Irish oatmeal, millet or quinoa) (with only a pinch of sugar – never had a “sweet tooth”) and using whole milk or half-and-half in it. Otherwise I would eat 3 eggs fried in a bit of olive oil and a half stick of butter with one slice of WHOLE GRAIN or Rye toast smothered in salted whipped butter. Since May I’ve upped to 4 eggs a day. I’m also drinking a glass (8 oz) of Coconut Milk a day. I have yet to buy Coconut or Palm Oil, but I plan to.

    The result? I have not gained a single pound! NOT ONE POUND! I eat the same amount of food as before, just replaced the pasta (carbs) with eggs and butter. I still consume 1-2 pounds of cheese a week (I’m a cheddar / Brie addict). I STILL weight 117-118 pounds in the morning and 122-123 pounds at night. Go figure!

    It’s funny – about a week ago someone said that I had to stay for breakfast (my usual when eating out is an omlette with tomatoes, peppers and cheese with Rye toast and “real” butter) because I am “too skinny.” HA! I said – “I eat 4 eggs and a half-stick (4 TBS) of butter every day! Fat doesn’t make you fat – all that sugar in your coffee is what makes you fat!”

    July 15th, 2011 8:14 pm Reply
    • Tom

      Fat might not make you fat externally, but I would recommend you go have your arteries checked for dangerous clots. Do you know nothing about basic nutrition? I’m not going to discuss intricacies of metabolism with someone who types “I weight” instead of “weigh”, but just know that a half stick of butter ever day is not good for you.

      October 7th, 2011 12:51 am Reply
  • Leah

    could you clarify more what would constitute as carbs? I know that includes pasta, bread, crackers…anything with wheat, but does that include potatoes too? I’d like to try cutting out the sugars/carbs, but I don’t know where to draw that line at really. I don’t buy processed crackers for my kids (like goldfish) or anything, but we do eat pasta, potatoes, rice, and bread. Bad, I’m sure.

    July 17th, 2011 1:57 pm Reply
  • Dismayed American

    I’ve been reading that the recommended dose for coconut oil is 3 tablespoons a day. Is this correct even if I were consuming all the other fats in my diet too?

    August 5th, 2011 9:19 pm Reply
  • Rachael

    Do you consume mayonnaise? I use mayo to make my own ranch dressing and usually make a homemade mayo. I make it with organic safflower oil. What would you recommend?

    August 28th, 2011 4:58 pm Reply
  • Mel

    I had read that macadamia nut oil was very good for you, do you agree? I use mostly butter and evoo, but need another oil that can be heated to very high heat. I have never used coconut oil but will certainly be trying it now!

    I also am very interested to hear what oil you use to make mayo.

    September 9th, 2011 8:53 pm Reply
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  • Keria

    I’m curious about your opinion of grapeseed oil. I’ve read many reports of it being even more heart healthy than olive oil so I am just curious what your take on it is.

    October 18th, 2011 10:55 am Reply
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  • Amanda

    Hemp oil & seeds contain the perfect ratio of omegas & essential fatty acids amongst other good things. I don’t understand why someone wouldn’t eat something because it was “only used in times of starvation”. I’m not even sure if that’s completely accurate. I’m guessing someone is cocnerned that hemp will get you high – it’s just not true! The cannabis flower bud will, but there are different strains that don’t contain this flower. The history of hemp:

    October 24th, 2011 2:46 pm Reply
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  • Jamie

    2 questions- 1. I am searching for Raw butter in my state Raw dairy is illegal in NJ) but in the meantime, can one still benefit from pasture fed butter that is not raw? and 2. There are two types of pasture fed butter at whole foods one is a limited edition where the cows were fed on rapidly growing grass in the spring through fall. It is yellow and delicious. The other is a whipped butter from natural by nature and is grass fed but not yellow, much more white. I am worried my family will get the “butter” benefits in the winter when only the natural by nature kind is available. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    December 3rd, 2011 10:56 pm Reply
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  • Amanda

    Which bones/parts are best for making broth/tallow? Are there certain pieces I should request from the butcher?

    December 9th, 2011 6:24 pm Reply
  • sadhu vedant muni jain

    article is very informative and how to save your health. i am disagree on animal fats like beef tallow. some one are using pigs fat in their edible products like maggi . we are purely vegetarians and conscious about our health and present the edible products manufacturers are using unwanted products which are harmful and not accepted by orthodox . indirectly we are taking non vegs items those are not acceptable s. kindly expose those items containing non vegs items. those are harmful for health and our cultures.

    December 14th, 2011 12:20 am Reply
  • marsience

    “The cell wall of every cell in the human body …”

    To clarifi – mammals have cell membranes, plants have cell walls.

    December 14th, 2011 3:30 pm Reply
  • marsience

    sorry – clarify

    December 14th, 2011 3:31 pm Reply
  • Flo

    I just ordered the cod liver oil capsuls. I bought it for my whole family my husband two kids and myself. My question is how much should the kids take a day compared to how much my husband and I should take?

    January 18th, 2012 1:42 pm Reply
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  • Heather

    As someone who suffers from severe coconut allergies, I have to comment on the statement “If you have an allergy to coconut, try palm oil or palm kernel oil, two other healthy tropical oils.”

    True coconut allergies are extremely rare (although many have sensitivity to coconut), and those of us who do suffer from them are meticulous in avoiding fatal interactions. Everything in our house is made from scratch from whole ingredients- not just food but also soap, cosmetics, toothpaste, laundry detergent (because they all contain coconut derived ingredients) etc. Eating out is next to impossible. No processed foods at all (which is actually a good thing)- but because of palm oil- which you recommend above, which is found in all of them.

    In the US, coconut oil can be generically labeled as Palm Oil (as a generic for tropical oils). Research shows that up to 40% of products whose labels state “PALM OIL” can actually contain trace or full coconut amounts- even trace amounts can cause death. I’ve had anaphylactic reactions to this mislabeled ingredient (for the record, I do NOT have a Palm Oil allergy in addition- only coconut). The ONLY truly safe tropical oils (unless expressed themselves, which is highliy unlikely) are PALM FRUIT or PALM KERNEL OIL. This is labeled differently that generic Palm Oil.

    January 27th, 2012 8:15 am Reply
  • Helen

    Hi Sarah,

    is pressed palm oil okay? In recipes that call for shortening, that is what I have been using.

    January 29th, 2012 3:59 pm Reply
  • Laura

    Could you take some time and post and/or send me some references to where you are getting all of these ideas/”facts” and where you do your reading? It sounds great, but it is hard to believe. I’d love some reasons to believe you!


    February 6th, 2012 2:08 pm Reply
  • Diane

    Hi Sarah,
    Great article but would love to ask a question about traditional foods since I keep reading on many sites which promotes the traditional foods (tallow to make french fries) correct me if I am wrong but fried food are bad food, and also dead depleted food. right?
    Thank you

    February 7th, 2012 1:06 am Reply
  • spinal

    Keep up the great work fellow blogger, your tough work is definitly going to pay off.

    February 7th, 2012 10:33 am Reply
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  • Vikki Kay

    Hi, I’m also interested in whether palmolein is comparable to palm oil. It seems to be replacing Vegetable Oil or Sunflower oil on the ingredients list of a lot of potato chips and corn chips recently.

    February 29th, 2012 2:39 am Reply
  • Ariel

    Extra Virgin Olive oil – CHECK! (No dish is complete in our kitchen without a drizzle over the top)

    Coconut oil – CHECK and CHECK! (we have 2 kinds in our pantry, virgin and expeller)

    Animal fats – CHECK! (Three enourmous jars of pastured bacon fat on the counter)

    Cod liver oil – CHECK! (It’s cod, it’s liver, AND it’s fermented! Are we crazy to actually EAT this stuff? YES! But do we feel all the healthier for it? ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, YES! 😀 )

    Butter – CHECK! (How would we LIVE without it?)

    March 3rd, 2012 4:07 pm Reply
  • ArizonaEscapee

    Sarah, I have started buying pastured meats from a local source near my home and I was wondering: can I save the bacon fat that liquifies when bacon cooks and use it again for cooking other things? Or once it is heated does it become unstable and therefore should not be used again? I would appreciate your advice, I cook 4 slices of bacon and have nearly 2 ounces of liquid fat to deal with!

    April 3rd, 2012 11:29 pm Reply
  • Jessie Negri

    Great piece of information! May I reference part of this on my blog if I post a backlink to this webpage? Thanks.

    April 6th, 2012 12:12 pm Reply
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  • Angelina

    Hi Sarah,
    I live in China right now, and these things pretty much all cost a small fortune here, so we can’t eat them as much as we’d like….question for you though; peanut oil is better for you than vegetable oils such as corn oil?

    May 12th, 2012 10:35 pm Reply
  • Ambrosia

    This article is awesome. I guess I was running the complete opposite because I had started staying away from all of these oils. Thank you for this information.

    So I seem to be lactose intolerant. Every time I eat anything with butter I get the runs and throw up. How do you suggest I work about that and/or is there a substitute oil out there that I can use.

    May 17th, 2012 10:47 am Reply
  • Ellen


    My son and I used your article in a report to his science teacher b/c she told the class that coconut oil causes heart disease. Although we did not covert her, it was great to have your article about fats. BTW, she noticed you said “cell wall” in your section under Butter, instead of “plasma membrane”, as humans do not have cell walls as plants do. :0)

    May 21st, 2012 4:02 pm Reply
  • M

    Hi Sarah,

    I don’t fry extra virgin olive oil but I do put in my oatmeal which is hot and most times I don’t even eat it right away. I’ll put it in a thermos and eat 20, 30 minutes later or a few hours later. My question is does the oil lose its nutritional value every time I do that?

    June 5th, 2012 2:06 am Reply
  • M

    Hi Sarah,

    I’ve taken your advice and this is wild. I’ve made more changes (i.e. organic, from no milk and back to milk, organic when possible vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, legumes) over the past 15 years and even more recently this year and nothing seemed to really help. The only thing is even though it seems to be working I feel like I might be doing something wrong and I’m kinda of at a plateau. The first day was great and 2nd even better. Actually I guess the only thing I need is some animal fat. So is it possible to get it like coconut oil? I also switched to a different butter but it’s supposed to be organic and grass fed. Or could it be a slight lack of fruits and veggies at times? I hope I hear from you and thanks for this blog.

    June 10th, 2012 11:00 pm Reply
  • Minda

    Just a simple correction. Animal cells have no cell walls; plant cells do. It is the cell membrane that is made up of phospholipid bilayer.

    July 6th, 2012 12:14 am Reply
  • Rolf

    Hi good folks. It was interesting to read your inputs in this great “eat yourself to health” debate. Personally, I eat (or try to, because sometimes I cheat) two times a day. Breakfast and lunch. My breakfast is divided into a bed part and an out of bed part. Speaking first about the bed part of my breakfast. Water is consumed, after waking up (5.30-6) and putting a big pillow under my head, from a plastic water-bottle that is waiting for me on the bedside table. 20-30 minutes later a fruit, usually an apple, which I get from the fruit-bowl in the kitchen, is consumed in the bed, which I have consequently returned to from the kitchen. Turning now to the out-of bed part of my breakfast. Entering the kitchen I prepare myself a bowl of muesli, (which long ago was mixed with such healthy stuff as rolled oats, all-bran, sesame seeds, linseeds, almond pieces, goji berries, etc.). A bowl of muesli consists of two scoops of the muesli mixture and a big splash of skim milk. I also have a half glass of grapefruit juice, a cooked egg white with iodine salt, and a cup of black light roasted coffee. Thus, this was my breakfast. Turning now to my lunch. My lunch is huge and is divide into four smaller parts. These four parts are approximately eaten 9.30, 11.30, 1.30, and 3.30. Part one consists of two hard bread (ryvita) sandwiches, one with sugar-free nut-butter and the other with spreadable (eg. gorgonzola) cheese. With these two sandwiches I drink 400ml skim-milk. Part two consists of a small hot chips and a chicken strip (or a chicken bbq-stick). Part three is the snack part and consists of a small bag of the flat crunchy kind of chips (or salted peanuts) and a can of “coke zero”. Part four is the same as part one. I try not to eat after four o’clock since I have been indoctrinated with the adage that one should eat ones last meal four hours before putting ones body into a horizontal position. And I try to do this between 8 and nine. I then read myself to sleep, which usually happens just before 10 o’clock. I also have to mention that I drink 2-3 litres of water during the day. This is what I consume on a normal winter day at the moment. So, what is wrong with my way of eating. The first thing that comes to mind is that I eat too little veggies during the day. Although, I do get my C-vitamin from the grape-fruit juice I drink in the morning. I get my B-vitamins from my muesli and sandwiches. I get calcium from milk and cheese. I get fibre from muesli and sandwiches. I get protein from skim-milk, egg-white, gorgonzola cheese, nut-butter, and chicken-strip/bbq-stick. Where do I miss out?

    July 10th, 2012 8:28 am Reply
    • Rolf

      Cod liver oil may be good for one’s health. One thing, though, that I have slowly come to understand is that one’s health, and longevity, very much depend on being able to cope with all the toxins that hide in foods and drinks. To not speak about the toxins that we consciously consume. Toxins like alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, etc. I have come to believe that we could extend our life-length enormously if we cut out, or drastically minimize the intake of these toxins into our our bodies. This also apply to hair dye, and to a lesser extent shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste., etc. The chemicals in these head applications can and and do seep into our heads and poisons vital body functions, leading to premature ageing and early death.

      Some people who regularly drink alcohol like to take a, so called “white week” from time to time. A “white period” is also wise to take in terms of caffeine, and nicotine intake. The best is, of-course, to quit it all together. Personally so do I only drink coffee and tea during the three winter months of the year. I have, consequently, a 9 months “white period”. (although sometimes I have a few cups around Christmas and New Year). I wish you all happy health hunting.

      August 9th, 2012 6:56 am Reply
    • Jessica

      Hi Rolf,
      Seeing as you are asking for advice, and, since you posted this question on a Traditional Foods blog, I am going to give you traditional foods- style advice.
      If you read this article again, and follow its advice, you will have a good start.
      You have very little healthy fat in your diet, obviously. Keep your yolk in the egg, drink whole milk, not skim. Raw, if possible. Get rid of the nut butter and use real butter. And don’t eat hot chips and fried foods(they are almost always cooked in unhealthy, processed, vegetable oils).
      Obviously, stop eating packet chips or drinking soft drink.
      Or is your question rhetorical?

      May 10th, 2013 12:10 pm Reply
      • Rolf

        Hi Jessica.

        Thank you for your kind reply. I am not afraid of eating egg-yolk, but try to limit my consumption to two egg-yolks a week. Some times I eat more than two and sometimes less. I do however eat more egg-white than egg-yolk. I do this by old habit, due to the classical saturated fat scare; because I like the taste of a whole egg more than the taste of just the egg-white. In terms of milk, the main reason I have focused on skim-milk is because I feel bloated after other fatter alternatives. I like to drink soy-milk, which I think is a healthy alternative to milk, but find it too rich. My favorite “milk” drink is, therefore, a mixture of half skim and half soy milk. I like the taste of real 100% butter, but again find it too rich for my mid-section, and therefore prefer i lighter alternative. I agree completely with what you say about chips and fried foods and try to avoid them, although sometimes I do have a little taste of them. I also agree with your view about soft drinks. If I ever have a soft-drink nowadays it’ll be a can coke zero, which apparently has less chemicals than Pepsi-Max (which I do like more). I, however, do not agree with you regarding nuts. The nut-butter I am using is a, non-sugar, peanut butter. That sugar is a big crock I have, like so many other here, also concluded this. Sometimes I have a bit to enhance the taste a bit of something, but it is not doing my body any good. If I indulge in chocolate I get a bit numb in my right leg., so I have to be careful with that. Finally could you, please, explain to me why my nut-butter is no good. Thx.

        May 14th, 2013 6:55 am Reply
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  • Joyce

    My grandmother used cod liver oil for EVERYTHING! :) She lived to be 97! Would have been 98 this year.

    August 7th, 2012 11:13 am Reply
  • Raynan @ Health

    I guess coconut oil is a very misunderstood oil. Many would go for the high-priced oils for thinking they are the best and healthy one when a coconut oil will do, plus it is much cheaper.

    August 16th, 2012 11:04 pm Reply
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  • dennis price

    Great article. Wanted to make a few points: with butter, a lot of people cannot tolerate casein or lactose, but you can buy Ghee which is butter that is melted so that the casein and lactose are removed.

    Two missing SUPER fats: Avocado & Macadamia Nuts

    Also seeds are not super fats. They are marketed as having more Omega 3’s than 6’s which is true. sort of. The body uses EPA and DHA but the omega 3’s in seeds are ALA and LA. The body can only convert about 10% of ALA and LA to EPA and DHA. So lets say theres 6 omega 3 units and 3 omega 6 units or 2:1. 6 x 10%=.60 and so therefore your body is really geting a 1:5 omega 3 to omega 6 ratio which is not good. You should limit your seed take to a small amount. The best one I know of is pumpkin seeds because of their magnesium and zinc content.

    August 29th, 2012 11:45 pm Reply
  • Michael

    i ordered by first bottle of FCLO – the problem with GP is that not only is the product high – but the shipping was 16 bucks! that makes a 50 dollar bottle 66. i can understand 5 – 6 – but 16 bucks? come on.

    September 12th, 2012 11:51 am Reply
  • Rolf

    Sarah. You said that: “The reason many kids won’t eat veggies is because they are so tasteless!” . I agree with you about the somewhat lack of zing in most vegetables. However, I have found that sprinkling a moderate amount of salt on them enhances the flavours in the vegies. The only fat I use on my raw salad comes from olives and fried dried onion flakes. Very easy to prepare. Don’t need to muck around with animal fats.

    September 13th, 2012 6:33 am Reply
  • Rolf

    The salt on my raw salad comes from the olives and capers. It is on my steamed vegies that I sprinkle a moderate amount of salt. (iodine salt)

    September 13th, 2012 6:36 am Reply
  • Ilir

    I have read some of your articles with interest however one thing that concerns me is that I very rarely see references to back your opinions in these articles. Whilst I can see the logic behind some of your statements I find some others very hard to digest (no pun intended). Statements such as “you simply can’t eat too much butter” sound extreme. Just because the walls of our cells and 60% of our brain is made up of fat doesn’t mean that we have to stuff butter down our throats as if we’re a goose ready to be roasted. These sort of statements are very similar to those made by Atkinson’s diet (and we all know how much of a fad that was).

    The majority of the diets out there endorse reducing the consumption of sugars and fats and doctors do the same. Surely all these people are not wrong?

    There’s a saying in a Mediterranean country which is roughly translated “put salt in your stew but make sure it’s measured”. Which means that all foods we eat have both positive and negative effects on our bodies. The problem lies with humans today binge eating, eating processed junk and eating unbalanced diets (too much of anything is a bad thing). At the same time our life-styles are less and less active as we indulge ourselves increasingly in the modern commodities (sitting behind a desk or in front of TV, using the car for everything, etc). Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the insane stress levels which citizens of modernized Western societies face on a daily basis. As far as “organic” goes? Well, don’t get me started on that farce.

    September 13th, 2012 4:42 pm Reply
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  • caroline

    I recently went to see Udo Erasmus who I think is the guru of fats
    Udo said that there is no safe fat to fry in including Ghee and any fat with a supposedly high heating point
    He said we need to cook with water otherwise fat once heated becomes toxic to the body

    October 1st, 2012 8:53 am Reply
  • Chey

    I love cream! so happy to find your blog! I don’t digest butter or oil can I still do a traditional diet and just eat the less concentrated fats like cream,whole eggs and fatty meats without the oils or butter?

    November 13th, 2012 4:48 pm Reply
  • Judie

    One question:
    I always thought the only reason the Swiss army was the Vatican’s choice was that Switzerland had never been to war.
    Are you saying that is wrong? Or that there was more than one reason?

    November 20th, 2012 9:56 pm Reply
  • Geri

    I am giving coconut oil for a Christmas gift this year and including this great information! Thanks

    December 4th, 2012 4:16 pm Reply
  • johnjohn

    “The cell wall of every cell in the human body is supposed to be composed of saturated fat, the wonderful fat that is so abundant in butter.”

    December 7th, 2012 1:00 am Reply
  • Cassie

    I have a question about grinding your own wheat flour. I know you can buy the grinding mills but can you use a food processor (as I have a really good one) or does it have be a grinding mill? Also where can you get the wheat berries? I’m new at all this!

    December 9th, 2012 7:15 pm Reply
  • Des

    Hello Sarah, love your website!

    Does coconut oil, due it’s highly anti microbial properties, kill good bacteria along with the bad in the gut? I’m trying to keep my gut flora in harmony. Thanks

    January 4th, 2013 11:53 am Reply
  • Wendy

    I just found your website through the Healthy Mouth summit. I am interested in adding fermented cod liver oil in my family’s diet. I have a baby and a toddler. What product do you recommend for the kids (the nutrition is important, but taste is just as well!), and do you agree with the Weston Price Foundation recommended dosage for kids 6 months-3 years of 2 teaspoons a day?

    Thank you for your help.

    January 15th, 2013 3:43 am Reply
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    January 17th, 2013 2:10 pm Reply
  • Dennis Malcolm Gedye via Facebook

    Plus it’s mostly made from GMO Canola!

    February 16th, 2013 12:09 pm Reply
  • Jill Tyndall Dial via Facebook

    thanks, didn’t know!

    February 16th, 2013 12:09 pm Reply
  • Timothy Donald Jeffrey via Facebook

    canola is also GMO

    February 16th, 2013 12:09 pm Reply
  • Janet

    I have a huge problem with this article which makes me believe you don’t have a clue what you are talking about. The human body does not contain any cells that have a cell wall!!!! All animals/humans lack cells with a cell wall. We only have cell membranes!

    February 16th, 2013 12:16 pm Reply
  • Rebecca

    This week is the first time EVER that I can say I have all 5 of these fats in my home. (I just got my first order of Green PAsture’s Fermented Cod Liver Oil 3 days ago!)

    I rendered my own beef tallow last fall for the first time, and buy coconut oil by the gallon.


    February 16th, 2013 12:21 pm Reply
  • Alternative Health Solutions via Facebook

    Canola is GMO, which should NEVER be eaten.

    February 16th, 2013 12:23 pm Reply
  • Jill Bryant via Facebook

    Thank you for breaking this info down for us – my doctor told me a couple of years to make certain to avoid canola.

    February 16th, 2013 12:23 pm Reply
  • Patricia Hope via Facebook

    Thanks for the explanation. I knew it wasn’t healthy but didn’t know exactly why.

    February 16th, 2013 12:27 pm Reply
  • Angela W. Rogers via Facebook

    Great article! We are 5 for 5 on healthy fats in our house! Yeehaw

    February 16th, 2013 12:37 pm Reply
  • Tamaira Wagner via Facebook

    What other oil do you recommend using for cooking (veggies, sauté,etc) other than the animal fat? Since that is the only fat I don’t have in my kitchen at the moment!

    February 16th, 2013 12:45 pm Reply
  • Shielagh Thompson Clark via Facebook

    coconut –^

    February 16th, 2013 12:58 pm Reply
  • Christa Sabin via Facebook

    Grapeseed oil has a pretty good smoke point, you can cook it at high temps. I did not know this about Canola oil, so I obviously dont know if grapeseed is a problem too, but I have heard it is healthier.

    February 16th, 2013 1:06 pm Reply
  • Marilyn Geiszler Huttunen via Facebook

    Fantastic article! I have been eating the healthy 5 fats for years, but I’ve also used canola oil for cooking at times. The canola oil is now going in the trash!!

    February 16th, 2013 1:07 pm Reply
  • Melissa Mcdonald via Facebook

    I have a silly questioned, What is Ghee?

    February 16th, 2013 1:10 pm Reply
  • Roseann Ligenza-Fisher via Facebook

    I love this article….and you’re so right about cooking the veggies in the fat from making broth. It adds so much flavor as well as extra nutrients. I cook eggs in bacon grease..nothing better!!

    February 16th, 2013 1:12 pm Reply
  • Shayna Adams via Facebook

    I have caught grape seed oil on fire before when sautéing veggies. Flared right up and singed my eyebrows! Since then I have always used coconut oil for high temp cooking.

    February 16th, 2013 1:21 pm Reply
  • Brent

    Great article. I guess I didn’t eat enough butter? Is there anything I can do about the brown spots on my skin?

    February 16th, 2013 1:30 pm Reply
  • Amy Keller Culp via Facebook

    Gotta get some cod liver oil!!!

    February 16th, 2013 1:44 pm Reply
  • Belle Miller via Facebook

    I’m totally on board with no canola, but I’m pretty sure not all canola is GM. It is a hybrid that was created in the 60s or 70s but that is different than GM. Again, we don’t eat it in my house and there are lots of reasons not to, but I think there is some misunderstanding about GM food.

    February 16th, 2013 2:10 pm Reply
  • Josie Balasbas Fernandez via Facebook


    February 16th, 2013 2:17 pm Reply
  • Cassidy Holdsworth via Facebook

    What oil do you suggest to cook with? I recently read we shouldn’t cook with evoo so I chose grapeseed oil.

    February 16th, 2013 2:19 pm Reply
  • April Brecks Parker via Facebook

    Thanks for that bit of info. Does it go bad if you keep it in the fridge?

    February 16th, 2013 2:22 pm Reply
  • Sherry Cushman via Facebook

    Plus, Canola is GMO form the rapeseed plant! Use raw organic coconut oil. Very good for you and does not go rancid when frying.

    February 16th, 2013 2:23 pm Reply
  • Michele Fairman via Facebook

    a friend posted this exact article several months ago on her Facebook. I threw out all canola, soft margarine, already used stick butter and I can’t believe how much better my gall bladder problems are. it doesn’t bother me at all now.

    February 16th, 2013 2:28 pm Reply
  • Ti Bergenn via Facebook

    My holistic Dr. Marcey Shapiro told me 10 years ago to avoid canola oil. I like organic coconut oil for cooking, in general, and organic butter. But I like organic olive oil for non-cooked purposes, and occasionally throw it into a smoothie.

    February 16th, 2013 2:31 pm Reply
  • Amy Kilpatrick via Facebook

    I didn’t know this. I think I have a grapeseed, canola, olive oil mix. Do you agree with mixes like that? I love grapeseed oil!

    February 16th, 2013 2:35 pm Reply
  • Sariah May Toze via Facebook

    Gotta give up my Food should taste good corn chips, but looking forward to buying some Honest Chips you posted about before and making my own with sprouted corn tortillas!

    February 16th, 2013 3:02 pm Reply
  • Debbie Konichek via Facebook

    I’m a huge fan of walnut oil, but be careful if you take certain scripts with it.

    February 16th, 2013 3:21 pm Reply
  • Elizabeth D’Ettorre via Facebook

    I understand that cod liver oil might be good for do you get it passed your nose. I just find it in eatable . Is there a trick to I jesting it?

    February 16th, 2013 4:09 pm Reply
  • Fran Vacante Papaleo via Facebook

    Many people do not realize this. I use coconut oil to cook with and olive oil to drizzle on cooked veggies. Thanks for sharing!

    February 16th, 2013 4:41 pm Reply
  • Alicia Cousineau-Ingram via Facebook

    Maybe a stupid question….but why would I want my chicken or veggies to taste like coconut? Not appealing to me.

    February 16th, 2013 6:17 pm Reply
  • Crystal Leanne Flowers via Facebook

    Research canola oil and learn why it shouldn’t be in your kitchen.

    February 16th, 2013 6:19 pm Reply
  • Lux Louisa via Facebook

    We used a ton of canola oil – it was supposedly *better* for us. [Not the only thing I did for my family so we could have “better health,” which has ended up causing us all to have severe health issues. ]

    February 16th, 2013 7:22 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Bondelid via Facebook

    Lana Harlow Bania, have you read my favorite food blogger?

    February 16th, 2013 7:25 pm Reply
  • Annette Fluit via Facebook

    Melissa Mcdonald, ghee is butter that is heated at a very low heat and once it is all melted, there will be a fat that floats to the top, maybe 1 or 2 Tbsp. Skim that off and throw it out. What is left over is ghee. It tastes nut-like. It’s so easy to do yourself.

    February 16th, 2013 7:49 pm Reply
  • Lorraine Roberts via Facebook

    I did work testing grain for one of the largest grain processors in Canada and most of the canola is GMO round up ready. There were very few organic samples that came through.

    February 16th, 2013 8:09 pm Reply
  • Debbie Banks via Facebook

    Avoid all polyunsaturated oils, such as corn, soy, safflower, flax, cottonseed, canola, peanut, sesame, nut and fish oils.They are all highly prone to oxidation. Instead, use saturated fats like coconut oil (expellor pressed is flavorless) ghee, grassfed or raw butter, tallow…

    February 16th, 2013 9:01 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    Consider that almost all restaurants … even the organic ones use a cheap olive oil/canola blend to cook their food. This is why I won’t eat at most restaurants. Even Chipotle uses soy oil last I called and checked. Who cares if the food is local and organic if the oil used to cook the food is garbage?

    February 16th, 2013 9:35 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    Chipotle uses sunflower oil for the chips which is a big no-no .. you can’t fry in a polyunsaturated oil. They use soy oil for everything else.

    February 16th, 2013 9:36 pm Reply
  • Annette Fluit via Facebook

    Why are so many oils write-offs?

    February 16th, 2013 9:50 pm Reply
  • Annette Fluit via Facebook has the differences between olive oil and safflower oil. I know that cold-pressed oil is beneficial to the body.

    February 16th, 2013 10:14 pm Reply
  • Cheryl Denny via Facebook

    Ok I’m confused. All the “heart healthy” nutrition gurus say to stay away from saturated fats, especially animal fats, as they contribute to high cholesterol and heart disease. What is the truth?

    February 16th, 2013 11:52 pm Reply
  • Garney Barnes via Facebook

    All canola & soybeans from Canada is Monsanto GMO Toxic. USA soon to follow?

    February 17th, 2013 3:32 pm Reply
  • Kirstin Lanway via Facebook

    @Cheryl here is a good video to watch on that very subject. Its lengthy but worth it.

    February 17th, 2013 5:57 pm Reply
  • Rolf

    Light cream cheese, (good source of protein with an acceptable tiny amount of fat), with Vegemite (good source of B-vitamins, but spread sparingly if you have high blood pressure due to high salt content) on toasted whole-wheat bread (good source of fibre and B-vitamins). To be eaten with a glass of half skim-milk (calcium/protein/c-vitamin), half malt-free soy-milk (protein). Not many other meals beats this meal-combination right now.

    February 19th, 2013 8:27 am Reply
    • -K-

      Gee, I think you missed the WHOLE point of this FULL FAT article.

      Eating full fat foods has changed my life. I feel better than I have ever felt. I lost four sizes too. Amazing!

      March 11th, 2013 5:33 pm Reply
      • Rolf

        Ghee : ) You must be from Venus. I am from Mars, you see. The more fat I eat, the fatter I get. To lose weight I boost metabolism by drinking half a liter of water the first thing in the morning when I wake up, jogging for 15 minutes in front of the the TV, just eating apples before 8am, and not eating after 4pm. I also watch my caffein intake, reducing it to just a small milk coffee at around 11am, and a small chocolate bar around 3pm. Between 8am and 4pm I try to eat low G.I., low sat-fat foods (vegies, sardines, fish, eggwhite, skim milk, sugar-free peanut butter). I also try to drink as much water as I can. Moreover, I also try to fast for 24 hours every weekend, from noon saturday to noon sunday. (sometimes I “cheat”, and suffer the consequences with weight-gain). This works for me. If eating as much fat as you can works for you, then by all means stick to it.

        I have come to understand that we need a certain amount of protein, as well as fibres and vitamins/minerals. What too much empty calories, like fat calories, does is to crowd out the good stuff.

        I am on a journey to health and vitality, and may need to adjust my way of thinking. So, thank you for your challenging input. It makes me to rethink what I am doing. That can not be wrong.

        March 12th, 2013 5:53 am Reply
        • Rolf

          (low G.I. bread, vegies, sardines, fish, eggwhite, skim milk, soy milk, sugar-free peanut butter, etc.)

          March 12th, 2013 6:07 am Reply
        • Rolf

          On the other hand. The less fat I eat the slimmer a get. But I have to be very careful with sugar also. Chocolate is probably not something that I should eat. It is very addictive and not particularly healthy. A small, tiny piece of dark chocolate is probably not bad, but who can keep it to just a small piece. To my experience it is easier to overdo something addictive that is accessible. For this reason I prefer to stack our fridge and cupboard with healthy stuff, instead of a mixture of staples and treats.

          I don’t claim to understand it all. The article annoyed me a little bit as far as saturated fats are concerned. My understanding, so far, was that the saturated fat in butter was unhealthy. The saturated fat in chocolate has been claimed to be of a healthy kind of saturated fat, although the case that it is always mixed with a part of unhealthy sugar makes it undesirable.

          My favourite treat at the moment is a hot-cross-bun with skim milk. I feel better after such a snack than after a cup of coffee with a chocolate bar.

          March 28th, 2013 6:59 am Reply
  • Rolf

    Add to this 3-4 tawed frozen brussel-sprouts and you can not go wrong.

    February 19th, 2013 8:29 am Reply
    • Rolf

      Hi good folks. A little update in the eat yourself to health debate. Milk, or no milk? That is the question. Recently I came a cross some interesting stuff about dental caries. As far as I understand, dental caries is caused by acid, produced by plaque. Plaque is an undesirable coating on the teeth, which mainly contains the bacteria: ‘lactose streptococcus mutant’. This bacteria thrives on sugar in all its forms (exceptions exists; eg. maltitol), and produces tooth enamel destroying acid when being fed it. Now, as most people know, the Latin word lactos is milk in English. I will not elaborate further, but is grateful for some input by you truth-seeking people. Is milk healthy, or should we stop consuming it when we lose our milk teeth.

      April 30th, 2013 5:07 am Reply
      • Rolf

        Some individuals of the population (3%) never get dental caries. They lack the bacteria Lactobacilli in their saliva, and in their intestines. Below is where I got this information from.

        At the turn of the century W.D. Miller advanced the hypothesis that an acidogenic substance in the saliva was responsible for the initial de-calcification of enamel. He demonstrated that this substance was bacterial in origin. Miller thought that a variety of organisms were responsible for the breakdown of carbohydrates in the mouth, and the cause of caries. The problem was, however, that acid-producing bacteria also were found in the mouths, and saliva, of caries free individuals. It was eventually proven, however, that a specific group of bacteria – Lactobacilli – had a causative link to caries, and that caries increased and decreased in direct relation to the quantity of Lactobacilli in the saliva.

        It was also confirmed that about 3% of the population never get any tooth decay. The difference between these and the ones who gets tooth decay is that the former does not have any Lactobacilli living in their mouths, and saliva. This small group of people can have sugary foods and sweet treats without getting tooth decay.

        It was also found that the people who did have the Lactobacilli bacteria in their saliva could control dental caries by controlling their carb consumption, especially their sugar consumption.

        Am J Public Health Nations Health. 1938 June; 28(6): 759—761
        Lactobacillus Acidophilus and dental caries: Philip, Jay, D.D.S: School of dentistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.

        May 2nd, 2013 6:19 am Reply
        • Rolf

          There are contradictory info about Maltitol on the net. So be careful with it and don’t eat it every day, and only in small quantities.

          May 8th, 2013 6:45 am Reply
          • Rolf

            The above comment was ment as a warning. I have, personally, probably eaten too much of it with bad consequences following. A lot of internal wind and probably also some skin tissue damage in my face. I have now stopped eating it. I obviously did not eat it on its own, but had it as a sugar substitute in chocolate. So, be really careful with it.

            May 8th, 2013 7:03 am
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  • Riel-la

    Thank you sooooo much for your excellent articles. I am so excited to start changing my diet with these simple and clear ways that you’ve written about… starting with the fats first. Although I have been health conscious my entire life, largely due to my health conscious mother, I was never clear about the most important aspects (like healthy fats). I have had low energy, irritability, and lack of clarity for as long as I can remember.
    In fact, I was feeling pretty bad while reading this article. And so I just ate a big salad with half an avocado and lots of extra virgin olive oil and I already feel so much better! This is obviously the key that I have been missing!!! Thank you! I look forward to reading the rest of your articles and most importantly, feeling energized and clear for a sustained amount of time.

    March 26th, 2013 8:52 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    Hi Sarah,
    I am confused with the smoke point of fats. In your table about smoke points of oils, olive oil has a higher smoke point than coconut oil, tallow and lard. So why do you recommend not using olive oil for high heat frying, but you recommend coconut oil, or tallow, or lard? Can you explain this? Thanks!

    April 4th, 2013 8:24 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    What about the long-taught fact that fats clog your arteries? I get a bit nervous for the health of my heart thinking about eating so many fats.
    You had also mentioned that you didn’t have to worry about weight loss. What if we are concerned for weight loss? Is this amount of fats healthy to keep up?

    April 29th, 2013 12:31 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    What about the long-taught fact that fats clog your arteries? I get a bit nervous for the health of my heart thinking about eating so many fats.
    You had also mentioned that you didn’t have to worry about weight loss. What if we are concerned for weight loss? Is this amount of fats healthy to keep up?

    April 29th, 2013 12:31 pm Reply
  • archie tucker

    Hey, enjoyed your article. However, you really need to do some checking up on your biology. I’ve been teaching biology for years; human cells have NO cell walls. Plants and some bacteria have cell walls and cell membranes. In plants the cell wall is made of cellulose. In bacteria much of the cell wall is made up of peptidoglycan; just how much depends on whether it is gram negative or positive.

    Human cells have no walls; the cell membrane is a double layer of phospholipids, with protein channels and various types of pores to facilitate crossing of the cell membrane. But, there is no cell wall.

    May 5th, 2013 3:07 pm Reply
    • Naomi

      SEMANTICS. Probably just a slip of the tongue. The point is: that wall/sack thingy around our cells that hold everything together? It’s made out of fat.

      June 1st, 2013 12:25 am Reply
  • Debbie

    Wondering…..I am allergic to dairy products. What do you suggest as a butter substitute? Is there such a thing?

    May 7th, 2013 12:30 pm Reply
  • Angel

    Ok. It looks like you aren’t answering comment from this post anymore but I just wanted to ask about grapeseed oil. Ever since I found out about the toxicity if EVOO at high heat I’ve been using grapeseed. It does have a slightly sweetish taste but it goes with everything well. Do you consider this to be a healthy fat?

    Also, what kind of sat fat is there in butter, and how does it affect the body. I like the modicum chain fatty acids for all their benefits but I know that coconut oil is unique in this.

    Besides canola, safflower and soy, what other oils would you suggest we stay away from?



    May 8th, 2013 2:09 pm Reply
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  • Jessica

    Hi Sarah,

    Great post!
    I had been giving my kids Barlean’s total omega swirl in orange cream flavor and they love it, but I really wanted them to be taking Green Pasture butter oil / FCLO blend. I bought the chocolate cream gel…and they think it’s pretty disgusting. Any suggestions for getting a six and three-year-old to take FCLO?



    May 20th, 2013 6:54 pm Reply
  • Angelique

    Is the fat in cheese (good, real cheese, not something industrial) similar to the fat in butter ?
    Also, what do you think of walnut oil (for seasoning) ?

    August 25th, 2013 6:12 am Reply
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  • Kathy

    You say don’t do high heat cooking with olive oil. So what fat are we suppose to use for cooking if canola oil is not good for us?

    May 14th, 2014 5:18 pm Reply
    • Cathy’s

      I wondered the same, but then thought of coconut oil. I would imagine if it can be stored in a garage in Florida, then it can be used in high heat cooking.

      July 9th, 2014 7:31 am Reply
      • LB

        To answer both of your questions
        yes coconut oil can be used in cooking foods and butter and animal fat and ghee and lard 😉 hope that helps

        January 8th, 2015 8:39 pm Reply
  • Javier

    I don’t understand if people are against polyunsaturated oils why is
    fermented cod liver oil ok?

    Polyunsaturated oils are VERY unstable, oxidizing quickly when
    exposed to oxygen, light and heat—even just sitting in a bottle, but
    also when they go into our bodies—and turning rancid. (including
    omegas) Also Fermented foods require a glucose source to create
    (metabolize) a by-product e.g. lactic acid that prevents the food from
    decomposing. The result is a pleasant sour taste that one would find
    with sauerkraut, pickles, yogurt, etc. Cod liver oil has no glucose
    and cod livers have very little glucose (mostly protein, fat, water
    and some minerals). The livers and the oil simply go from fresh to
    rancid in a short period of time. If left to continue decomposing the
    oil will become putrid leaving a foul smell and taste.

    Furthermore, Cod, like Shark, are long-lived fish. As they go about
    living for years and years, and during that time, they accumulate
    environmental toxins.
    And the toxins are most concentrated in the livers. So when you drink
    Cod liver oil, you should expect environmental toxins! That just makes

    Sadly, atlantic Cod is an over-fished and threatened species.

    Why not just eat more fish and liver and gain similar yet better
    benefits since it’s a food source?

    September 16th, 2014 11:06 pm Reply
    • LB

      I wouldn’t heat pure cod liver oil because it’s so needing taking straight away and I do recommend the brand above because it’s not processed and is pure good fats taken carefully from the inside of the fishes liver the most purest form out there you are ever to get
      I hear a lot of aggression and attacks on honesty of other oils being not good for heating
      We are brought up by a lot of deception
      biggest one is fat is bad for us
      but why don’t you try having these oils cold to mes and heating up high temperature sustainable fats like butter coconut oil etc ones that you can see for yourself remain the same whether heated or not
      your health and your choice

      January 8th, 2015 8:34 pm Reply
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  • Louis

    Hi Sarah! Love this website and really appreciate your voice!

    You mention at the bottom of the article that excess sugar turns into saturated fat??? I don’t think that right…..Tags maybe?? Isn’t that what you meant?

    August 3rd, 2015 1:37 pm Reply

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