The title of this post seems a little ileistic. Honestly, I did not know the word, illeist, until I looked it up, because I didn’t want to say “the title of this post sounds like a douchebag who talks about himself in the third person.” Apparently there are a lot of illeists and not all of them douchebags— Elmo, for one. Have you noticed that he only calls himself Elmo? Sure, he’s got a hand up his butt but he’s definitely not a douchebag. Nixon did this too. Maybe he had the same problem as Elmo.
The point is I love fat.
That right there, is fighting words for some. Probably because our society is super obsessed with fats demise. (Except for us millenials apparently. I got this image in a free stock gallery entitled “Things Millennials Love.” It was one of five avocado pictures. There was also a lot of Netflix logos and laughing faces. Whoever said millenials are the worst is just plain wrong. We have netflix, laughs, and guacamole. Eat that, old people!… No seriously, eat that. Avacados are good for you. They’re just full of good fat.)
Fat seriously has a bad wrap, though. And oddly enough, it is because of those same old people. Old people, yes, you’ve heard of them. The same people who brought us healthy mentholated cigarettes and several financial depressions and recessions. (Let’s not forget the housing collapse! Never forget the housing collapse. It’s like our generation’s Alamo. I can say that, I’m from Texas.)
Although curiously, it was an old person who truly helped me understand the saga (dare I say, conspiracy) of eating fat. It was my Dad.
I like this picture of him because you can see where I got my swarthy good looks from, and my anxiety.
(He would be the first to admit this, and thankfully, unlike my Dad, I didn’t have to grow up in the 1950’s— birthplace of both the seven countries study and toxic masculinity. At least I come by my anxiety honestly, as they say.)
My Dad is a diabetic. There is a lot of jargon that comes with this, the type and the practice (insulin, sugar surfer, T1, T2, ketogenic, whatnot,) but mostly I would call him an angry diabetic. That is because he has suffered through the worst forty years of medical advice in modern medicine. ( I say modern medicine because I imagine eating the anus of a rooster on a full moonlit night, an actual medieval prescription for Rabies, might be a little more fool hardy. My Dad might disagree. Like I said, he’s pretty pissed.)
To describe his full medical background would be long and arduous, not to mention probably breaking some kind of hipaa law, but suffice it to say, he was misdiagnosed. Through bad medical advice and misguided low fat diets, including a long-suffering stint with vegetarianism, my Dad pretty much destroyed his pancreas.
(The pancreas is very important. You can tell because when the pancreas falters, as in Pancreatitis, it decides to take your whole body down with it. Starting with all the pain receptors in your upper right side. Can you tell I’ve had Pancreatitis? I’ve had. And the only good thing about it was the drugs. From my understanding, the pancreas is also very important in the production of insulin and subsequent regulation of glucose or blood sugar. So, diabetics= sad pancreas.)
This situation of sad pancreas and bad medical advice took quite a toll on my Dad, fortunately among his many good qualities he is a stalwart researcher. Sifting through all the data on the internet, which we can all agree is a lot, and not always good, he found the right choice for him: the ketogenic diet.
For those not in the know:
Ketogenic diets are powerful metabolic tools that help your body switch from burning sugar (carbs) to burning fat. The result of that switch in fuel is an improvement in all sorts of health conditions. In practice, you get to eat real foods in the form of natural fats and protein (meat, fish, poultry) but severely restrict the amount of carbohydrates (sugars and starches) you eat each day.
This is super controversial for a lot of health nuts. If you look it up, half of the articles are all about how the ketogenic diet will kill you. No joke, I saw an infographic where the ultimate con was “Death.” They seriously weren’t beating around the bias bush there. This is where the conspiracy part kicks in too. You find all these amazing studies refuting low fat diet advice and you wonder why it’s not common knowledge. Then you start thinking, who would have the most to gain from the suppression of this information? And then you don your fabulous aluminum foil hat and glare suspiciously at your web cam because who knows might be watching from the American Heart Association.
But then you have to remember this is humanity to a tee. We absolutely know everything until we absolutely know something else. Just ask Galileo or those women who put radium in their facial lotion to get “a healthy glow.” People don’t like to admit they are wrong or even remotely fallible.
I can only really tell you what works for me. And as most ketofolks will tell you, my Dad especially, no two bodies are alike. I am not actually on the more strict ketogenic diet like my Dad. I am on a more low key, low carb/high fat or LCHF diet. Atkins is a decent example of this and my sometimes guide (I don’t do everything Atkins, but I like their net carbohydrates trickery. It feels illicit and sneaky in the best diet cheating way— you know without actually cheating.)
Why am I on this diet? To lose weight and finally become a person like society tells me I must? Hell, no! I eat this way because it helps my anxiety, bottomline. Bacon fat makes me less crazy. No joke. I also have found a lot of relief in eliminating soy and vegetable oils, or the fake fats.
As for my Dad? He’s doing a lot better. He could tell you a lot of jargon that proves this. (And he just might. You can find him on twitter @fineartsdad his name is Bruce Burkhalter, and he’s kind of my hero.) Suffice it to say, I think this is the most himself he’s ever been. The least tortured and the most healthy. That’s all we can ask for, right?
So, if you too are eating low carb, high fat, and someone says, “you know that’s not good for you.” Do what I do, ask them to pass you the bacon.
Places to start, according to my Dad:
Ketogenic Diet Resource https://www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com
Diet Doctor https://www.dietdoctor.com
Nutrition coalition https://www.nutritioncoalition.us/
Two keto dudes http://2ketodudes.com/
Savory Institute https://www.savory.global
Also, if you have Netflix (or even youtube) check out The Magic Pill. It’s got some very cool moments.