HOW MUCH FAT is HEALTHY? || Weight Loss, Hormones, Nutrient Absorption & more

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With so much contradictory information floating around on the internet, how can we know who is “right” about what constitutes “healthy” fat intake? And once we “know” what’s healthy, how does that translate into a daily diet?

One of the only consistent findings in nutritional science is that whole foods are best, so I think it’s wise to eliminate processed/refined foods (like oils) as much as possible and practical. Another consistent finding is that foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are incredibly healthy for humans and populations who eat predominantly these foods are generally much healthier than those eating a “standard western diet”. If you eat a whole plant food diet made up of predominantly the foods listed above, you’ll naturally have a low-fat diet. How low you choose to go, however, is your choice.

Many healthcare professionals in the plant-based movement advise those who are trying to reverse chronic conditions stick to a diet around 10% of calories from fat. That was my experience when recovering from severe hormonal imbalances.

I use cronometer.com when I keep track of my calories, macros, and micros.

Links to resources/articles mentioned in this video:
What Causes Insulin Resistance: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/what-causes-insulin-resistance/

Institute of Medicine Fat Intake:
https://www.nap.edu/read/10490/chapter/10

WHO Recommendations:
http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/42665/WHO_TRS_916.pdf;jsessionid=384DADEEF8F9092A599228910BF3C0E8?sequence=1

Serum Estrogen and Dietary Fat:
https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/91/6/529/2549361
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00365519009085798

Ornish: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1973470
Esselstyn: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/1873/6a96956fdcda27c289186b587fa84cbb623f.pdf
Barnard: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/29/8/1777
McDougall: https://www.drmcdougall.com/2014/10/20/research-effects-of-7-days-on-ad-libitum-low-fat-vegan-diet/

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Low fat plant based has literally wrecked my hormones. I had to eat mostly raw fruits because I’m intolerant to grain, beans, soy, corn, wheat. My insulin would spike and drop drastically even at 5% fat. I’ve also been getting horrible infections from small injuries. I’m severely underweight and haven’t had a period for 1.5 years. Low fat doesn’t work for everyone. I think gut health is more important than high fat vs low fat and food intolerances play into that. Now I’m eating higher fat and focusing on greens and low carb vegetables. I think ultimately eating so many greens over the past two years has led to nutrient deficiencies but I refuse to eat animal products and my diet is so limited. I wish I could eat the diet you eat, Lily, but unfortunately with my current gut health it’s not possible.

  2. My next biggest question regarding pcos that confuses the crap out of me: high carb or low carb?

    Thank you Lily! You are like female the Dr Greger to me. You explain everything so well.

  3. I think I may give chronometer a try. I hate counting calories or anything because of my bad relationship with food (eating disorders) my whole life but I am not losing weight anymore and find there are so many foods that I feel sick from. I need to see if I am getting all the nutrients while keeping my fats lower.

  4. I was wondering what you use for birth control? I want to get on birth control but I'm so overwhelmed with the options and heard horror stories from all of them. I already know that a high hormone BC does not work well with my body, I also have very irregular periods and I have had that most of my life. When my body finally had a good Rhythm going with it I got pregnant. Its been 1 year and 4 month sense I had my son but my body is back to its old ways, I also would like not to get pregnant again lol. do you know of a BC that wont mess with your hormones as much?

  5. I am also a massage therapist. Typically I use a lotion, but depending on modality and allergies, I on occasion use oil. Do you know if the oil fats are absorbed through the skin?

  6. Thanks for this video, it was very interesting. At the end of the video you said that if you're overweight you don't have to worry about fat. Does that mean that I could potentially eat 5% fat and not worry about my fat intake at all?

  7. I know B-12 has been discussed many many times but wondering how you keep track if your ok, blood tests or just how you feel? Thank you

  8. I know that you've mentioned previously that soy is okay. What are your thoughts on non-GMO organic tofu? Being that it's technically processed, would you say use it in moderation? It's a delicious staple food in my home.

  9. We all have different genes and therefore it seems likely there isn't one diet that will fit everyone. I was a HCLF (about 15% fat) vegan eating completely whole plant foods for 2 years and my hormones just wouldn't regulate. I was having horrible acne especially around my chin and neck areas and really irregular periods. I tried upping my nut, seed, and avocado intake and wasn't seeing any benefit. I got desperate and found some information about how saturated fat is actually beneficial for some people to regulate hormones. Being a vegan, I wasn't willing to go down the animal product path, so I started taking a tablespoon of MCT oil everyday. Seriously changed the ballgame completely. I have the best skin I've ever had and my period comes right on the dot every month. It's crazy. I know it's not a whole plant food… but I can't believe how much it has helped. It makes me think we shouldn't focus so much on what's the best diet. We should look at each individual and help them with their specific lackings instead.

  10. We all have different genes and therefore it seems likely there isn't one diet that will fit everyone. I was a HCLF (about 15% fat) vegan eating completely whole plant foods for 2 years and my hormones just wouldn't regulate. I was having horrible acne especially around my chin and neck areas and really irregular periods. I tried upping my nut, seed, and avocado intake and wasn't seeing any benefit. I got desperate and found some information about how saturated fat is actually beneficial for some people to regulate hormones. Being a vegan, I wasn't willing to go down the animal product path, so I started taking a tablespoon of MCT oil everyday. Seriously changed the ballgame completely. I have the best skin I've ever had and my period comes right on the dot every month. It's crazy. I know it's not a whole plant food… but I can't believe how much it has helped. It makes me think we shouldn't focus so much on what's the best diet. We should look at each individual and help them with their specific lackings instead.

  11. Hey Lily! I have been vegan for 3 years!. Your videos have helped me so so much!. Very intellectual and well studied information! Thank you for your dedication!. I am 8 weeks pregnant! After four years of " trying" no medical intervention, just giving it to God. But anyways, I know you have not had a full pregnancy, but I wanted to know if you had any tips or thoughts on vegan pregnancy!!!! Thanks again!
    -Raquel ♥️

  12. What’s the science behind lower fat intake and weight loss? Is it just the principle of calorie density? I’ve been told that if I lower my fat intake that much (still always consuming whole plant foods) that I’d get essential fatty acid deficiency…when you have a low fat intake, does your body utilize more of the fatty acids it has stored in your adipose?

  13. Hi Lily! I just wanted to comment on the hormone issue. Since you are into research and anti-aging I want to recommend a youtuber called menopause taylor. She is a vegan doctor who knows her stuff on hormones and is helping women understand the misconceptions of estrogen. She is almost 60 and has beautiful skin. More importantly she's dispelling the whole estrogen is bad thing. If you want to be healthy and look youthful into old age you will most likely want to supplement with hormones. I'm sorry to say once our estrogen says goodbye we say hello to weight gain, wrinkles, osteoporosis, bone loss, poor memory, low sex drive, mood swings, and more. Plant based diet and hormone replacement therapy is the ticket to graceful aging….you don't want low hormones you want balanced hormones.

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