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How A High Fat Diet Will Shorten Your Life

Written by: Heidi Jennings, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


“My best friend just lost 10kg!”

“I love this meal plan – bacon for breakfast, chicken for lunch and steak for tea!”

“No! Don’t eat that banana, it’s bad for you!”

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (or a hefty beast ready to be drawn and quartered for your dinner), you will be familiar with the latest diet trend taking the world by storm; the Keto diet.

We all know someone who is on it, considering going on it, or was on it and now isn’t because, well… we’ll get to that in a minute.

Over the past several decades, there has been an endless wave of health professionals searching for the ‘perfect’ diet. We’ve seen everything from cutting out processed food to low protein diets, to high protein diets, and everything in between.

The high fat, low carb diets that are on trend at the moment have been repackaged with different names and fancy marketing strategies over the years but are essentially all the same. A few more greens have been thrown into the mix, fruit has become the enemy because there’s ‘too much sugar’ and a few people are seeing weight loss and a reduction in their niggly symptoms, mainly due to the reduction in processed food.

Let me explain the problems with this approach.

When carbohydrate (the body’s primary fuel source) intake is low, the body pumps out stress hormones such as adrenaline to meet the demands of its busy schedule. You become edgy, irritable, may not sleep properly and inevitably you’ll crave salty or sweet carb-dense foods.

Eventually, even the most dedicated and committed people on a high-fat, low-carb diet will succumb to the body’s need for natural sugars. The body desperately needs glycogen from carbohydrates to keep the brain, liver and other vital organs strong. When the body becomes deprived of glycogen, it becomes desperate and will result in binges on foods like pizza, chips and sugary chocolate bars. This is why people who successfully lose weight in the beginning, end up putting all their weight back on (and more).

Low-carb intake also leads to a drop in blood sugar levels, resulting in the adrenal glands having to step in to produce extra cortisol to pull glucose out of the muscles and liver. This creates low energy levels, sugar cravings and fat storage.

Simultaneously, the liver starts to struggle. One of the liver’s most important functions is to receive blood in huge quantities and then clean, filter and process it. If your blood is thick, due to too much saturated fat and too little hydration in the diet, not enough oxygen can reside there. If there is not enough oxygen in the blood reaching the liver, the liver will weaken and become fatty. It is unable to disperse and eliminate fats the way it is supposed to and will start to break down and become sluggish. It is unable to draw nutrients from the blood and many of the nutrients end up trapped in fat cells. Toxins also get trapped in the fat cells surrounding the liver and eventually, the liver becomes caked in fat, ultimately leading to fatty liver disease.

High-fat diets are a killer (literally) for the heart. Its ability to pump blood effortlessly around the body is severely impaired when the blood is thick with saturated fat. High levels of saturated fat also lead to clogged arteries, high cholesterol and eventually, heart disease.

The fear of fruit on a high-fat, low-carb diet is misguided and frankly, an utter disaster for our health. Fruit is essential for the human body because it strengthens the immune system, which then has the capacity to fight against toxins and pathogens in the body. The natural sugars from fruit are crucial for all our organs and will provide a turbo-boost in the healing department for those who are unwell. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.

If you are tempted by a high-fat, low-carb diet because of all the hype and spin and the best friend who has lost 10kg, be sure to keep your wits about you. Long term your body will not thank you in the slightest for following this craze and will rebel in the form of chronic disease.

My advice for a long and healthy life?

Pick up a banana and put down the bacon.

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Heidi Jennings, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Heidi Jennings is a Holistic Health Coach specializing in Plant-Based Nutrition. After a health crisis left her bedridden and disillusioned with conventional medicine, she embraced a holistic approach to help her heal. She now runs her business alongside her husband Steve, and together they deliver holistic coaching programs to their clients. They specialize in chronic pain, anxiety and depression, stubborn body fat, menopause symptoms, autoimmune dysfunction, and sleep issues by focusing on the five pillars of health; nutrition, exercise, gut health, sleep, and managing stress. Heidi is also a guest speaker and is currently authoring her first book. Her mission is to change the lives of 500,000 people around the world by empowering them to take control of their health and happiness.



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