Category: Nutrition


Exposing the Secret of Healthy Fats

One of the myths I’m always trying to dispel is that fat is unhealthy. Most people think those high-fat foods are the reason their pants are fitting a little tighter. They’re not far off, the diet of the average American does contain a lot of unhealthy, high-fat foods, but also a lot of carbohydrates. In this type of diet, the body breaks down the glucose found in carbs and stores the fat from these fatty foods. However, the ketogenic diet, which eliminates nearly all carbohydrates, champions the consumption of  “healthful” fats, and rightly so.

This article, from Better Nutrition Magazine, identifies those fats that you should make sure to incorporate into your diet. Some tips:

  • Skip inflammatory oils like canola or corn oil. Instead, reach for alternatives like coconut or extra virgin olive oil
  • Incorporate only grass-fed meats into your diet
  • Occasional fruit consumption is a-ok. Reach for apples or berries.
  • To get more omega-3s in your diet, reach for supplements like DHA, ALA or fish oil.

For more information, visit:

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  • mary kerr

    I have been using an organic canola oil that claims an ALA of 1200 mg per serving. Would this be acceptable as long as I include a variety of the other recommended healthy fats?

    • David Perlmutter

      I’d avoid canola oil, as it’s a source of those unhealthy omega-6 fats.

  • Aristotle

    Olives are grown widely in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean
    Sea, and as such olive oil was the major source of calories in the
    traditional dietary patterns of that geographical region, now known
    collectively as the Mediterranean diet. Populations that followed this
    style of eating had reduced rates of death from coronary heart disease
    and certain cancers. Although these health benefits are often
    attributed to olive oil alone, it is the overall dietary pattern that
    was health promoting – the prevalence of unrefined plant foods like
    vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and grains and the smaller amounts of
    meat.1 This foods provide the bulk of the omega-3 fatty acids,
    antioxidants, phytochemicals and minerals in the Mediterranean diet, not
    the olive oil.

    • David Perlmutter

      Thanks for your comment Aristotle. You’re right, it’s all about finding those Omega-3 fatty acids!

  • Ward

    After reading grain brain I had the cyrex labs array 4 done. Milk Butyrophilin was “equivocal”. While this protein in certainly found in butter, do you know if it is also present in ghee.

    Great book, thanks for your work.

  • Seamus Ryan

    Hi David, can you please point out to your readers that if the oil is not unrefined or extra virgin then it is heavily processed and treated with harsh chemicals. This includes the oils that you state are ok such as rich bran oil etc. go to http://www.udoerasmus.com and he gives a very good breakdown of how ALL oils are processed except for unrefined and extra virgin.

  • Diane

    I found the above link to be really helpful. Thanks!

  • Brian M

    Dr. Perlmutter – I just finished Grain Brain (Great book!) and have already made huge dietary changes (you don’t want to know how much sugar I was consuming before) and begun with the supplements. I’m not finding myself battling big cravings at all, which surprises me. Little ones, yes, but I can deal with those. Question: Why are butter and most cheeses ok but whole milk and cream are on the “moderation” list? Thanks!

  • mike e

    Dr Perlmutter,
    I am gluten, soy and egg sensitive but have no overt symptoms. I now know that this does not mean that I am not being affected and I am going to be more diligent in avoiding these foods. My specific question is whether or not there are degrees of effect from these sensitivities. In other words, is eating a cracker once a week just as bad as biscuits three times a day? I am 70 years old and my weight is normal (5’8″ / 167 pounds).
    Thank you.

  • richard gruberg

    Dr. Perlmutter:
    Perhaps you can clear up some question I have concerning omega-3 vs. omega-6 fatty acids. We’re told to avoid canola oil because of the omega-6s, but a half cup of walnuts have just about as much omega-6s as a half cup of canola, and I’ve never heard anyone say, “Don’t eat too many walnuts because of the omega-6s.” Is this because the omega-6s in nuts are a different kind of omega-6 than what is found in canola oil, or is it something else? Am I putting myself at risk by eating my cup of mixed nuts every day?
    Also, I should mention that although I avoid canola oil (because of what I’ve read concerning the omega-6s), olive oil worries me as well, mainly because of the study done by RA Vogel back in 2000 showing that it reduces brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilation by over 30%, and these results seem to have been replicated by other researchers. Is this anything to worry about?
    I hope you can shed some light on all of this seemingly conflicting information.

  • Robin

    Dr. Perimutter,
    Does this way of eating have any positive affect on Sjogrens Syndrome ?

    • Donna

      Sjogrens. Does the perlmutter way of eating help this?

  • Kschorr

    Okay…I have been told that in Canada it is impossible to get exclusively grass fed meat. Due to our climate. I am waiting for a email back from one more farm. it may be impossible. What do I do then?

  • Silvia Regina

    Dr. David, surfing the wave, I have access to virgin and edible cocoa butter, is it ok? Or the Omega 6 and 3 relation in it is bad?

  • Amar

    Dear Dr. Perlmutter,
    I am interested in oil safety and was curious to know if olive oil specifically is safe to cook at such high temperatures as instructed in your book. I was wondering if olive oil would turn to trans fats when heated at high temperatures. I was also wondering what oils would be healthiest and safest to use at higher temperatures for baking and grilling. In addition, I was wondering if refined oils are any less healthy than unrefined ones.
    Thank you for your time, Amar

  • Shawn T.

    Dr. Perlmutter – Thank you for your great book, and for the citations to peer reviewed research which has allowed me to continue my learning on my own.

    I am a 46 (nearly 47) year old woman. I was diagnosed Celiac 5 years ago, after a lifetime of anxiety disorder, fatigue, infertility with very early menopause symptoms, endometriosis, random hives and rashes, and nearly daily stomach pain and diarrhea. At times I have been as much as 20 pounds over weight, but have always been very active and have been mostly fairly fit.

    I played the “mostly GF” card for 3 years, but have been very strict the last 2 years. In spite of that I was still having digestive disturbance issues and anxiety issues. In the last few months I have started to realize that ANY form of grain causes digestive issues and increases my anxiety. After reading you book, I cut grain out of my diet completely and greatly increased my fat intake (for most of my life I subscribed to the low-fat diet in an effort to keep my weight down). I’ve only been grain-free for two weeks and already having the best BM’s of my life (sorry if TMI)! And the anxiety is nearly gone.

    My question is – how much cholesterol is okay/ideal on a daily basis? I track all of my food intake and see that eating this way I take in between 600mg and 800mg of cholesterol per day (eggs, cheese and beef). This is obviously way above the US RDA, which I understand is too low. But how much is too much?

    Thank you kindly,
    Shawn T.

  • Cindy

    I just read an article in Prevention magazine about the New Nordic Diet which stated that canola oil had a better omega 3 to omega 6 ration than olive oil. That doesn’t sound right, so how could they say that?

  • Donna

    Sjorens. Does this way of eating help

  • Dianne


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