The word gluttony means to eat in excess while others go hungry. It does not mean, as we tend to use it, that someone eats too much and gains weight. Gluttony is a Santa-Claus-type guilt trip about food inequality, yet many people still go hungry while those more fortunate actually give up food in an attempt to lose weight. If you really believe calorie deprivation makes good aesthetics, switch socioeconomic classes.
But poor people are often overweight even when they go hungry. I once heard someone claim that poor minorities with obesity drank too much orange juice. Like they could afford it.
Fat as macronutrient is the densest source of calories we can eat. At 5% cow milk has nearly the same saturated fat content as human milk (store-bought whole cow milk has less fat than human breast milk, having had the cream removed). Saturated fat is claimed to be the root of much disease, and obesity. This is why more than three quarters of all infants are considered obese.
No they’re not. Are you actually reading this? If saturated fat causes obesity then why are babies not considered obese? Why aren't they dying of heart disease? If saturated fats truly are the cause of much human illness then babies should be the prime reflection of those illnesses. They are pretty slovenly after all. They can’t even wipe themselves. Harp seals, whose milk-fat is almost 50% are even more lazy, sunning on ice flows all day, hardly spending much time in the freezing salt water to hunt.
If fat is bad then why is it in the natural food for our most precious and fragile babies? Why don’t baby harp seals have a heart attack the instant they drink mother’s half-fat milk?
When I was ten years old I noticed my body for the first time. I saw the lines of my little boy muscles and felt proud — until one of my sisters happened by and loudly wondered why I was looking at myself in the mirror, as if I had been doing something naughty. It was a downhill slope from there, a mine-field of religious and cultural reasons to mistrust and deplore my body. Yet as a human male I am severely perceived or admired based on my body, and the quality of my health can improve or destroy my social and economic situation. My body is who I am and how I experience life, and everything the body does has a purpose.
Fat is not an unfortunate defect of life, but a reason for it. It saves the body from death. This is why the baby harp seal needs to be fat. Fat is what saves it from a harsh environment. Human babies’ fat saves them from death by cold as well, even though they don’t sit on ice flows. Fat insulates from heat loss, while also generating heat from its metabolism. If you don’t think fat saves a human adult from death by cold, you don’t understand thermodynamics. Heat constantly moves toward cold, from inside our bodies to out. The reason we have metabolism is to generate energy and heat. 94 degree weather will make anyone wilt, but if your body temperature ever dropped to 94, you would go into a coma and die. Fat prevents this.
One balmy evening after swim practice I joined my friends for dinner. There was a very handsome guy with them (who would one day propose marriage, but that’s a different story). We ordered food. I don’t remember what I had, probably something sensible. When his dinner came I was surprised to see a gigantic hamburger, fries, a side of macaroni and cheese and breadsticks yet beneath his snug fitting t-shirt was a taut waist and thick muscles. “How do you have a body like that when you eat this?” I asked, pointing to the dripping burger. He blushed, and replied that he believed in having everything he wanted, and saved what he couldn't eat for later (oh if I had read the subtext!). It seemed I was doomed to exhaustion just to maintain my waist size while others with six-packs casually lap up burger drippings with buttery garlic bread. Any pause in physical exertion or diet and I’d blow up, forget indulging my massive appetite.
When people choose a low-fat diet (or low calorie diet), they often decline foods high in fat, which tend to be healthy fats like butter and instead choose foods which contain a minimal amount of fat like a skinless chicken breast, but which fat is very harmful to human metaoblism, so the person experiences a decline in health with repeated dieting, eventually running low on precious and stabilizing good fats, and an eventual or cyclical rebound of excess weight to compensate for the reduction in metabolic rate from dieting (or excessive exercise). Fat accumulation serves as a safety measure to spare heat, both by insulation and by generation. But before the body resorts to fat storage it amps up its stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which can keep a person lean and heat high and creates an illusion of good health or fast metabolism, when really they are only running on stress (these are always people who appear healthy and active, though gaunt or drawn, and have an "inexplicable" health episode such as a heart attack). As a calorie source fat storage is a secondary purpose, metabolically expensive, unnecessary for well fed adults, and inferior to sugar oxidation. Fat also serves a structural role within cells, as part of the scaffolding and internal machinery that actually makes up the inner workings. Our cells are designed to use saturated fat in these structures and when deficient, cells break down and function poorly like a car with old motor oil. Visible adult fat accumulation is a reflection of health stress, as an adult in good health will have little visible body fat. Conversely this does not mean if you are skinny you are in good health. There is much evidence that adults who don’t gain fat are more likely to die, because fat is a response to the body’s need to handle stress, to prevent death. It is a reflection of other biological developments and not itself a disease. Fat is your friend.
So if fat is protective for the body, how can we prevent its accumulation in a healthy way? Do you even want to? The short answer is to improve overall health. If you have unwanted body fat, even a little, it means you are doing something to reduce the efficiency of your cellular respiration, by calorie deprivation, inappropriate foods, excessive exercise, consumption of alcohol, and even many prescription drugs. There are many other factors in which the body reacts with fat to protect us from death, but the types for fat accumulation on the human adult can be pared down to two actionable categories: SIMPLE, and PERSISTENT.
SIMPLE WEIGHT GAIN
Simple weight gain can be remedied easily, with improvements seen as soon as efforts and changes are made, even if they aren’t the healthy way to do it (though the healthy way is longer lasting). Eating a good diet, sustaining blood sugar, going sober for a short time, even thyroid disease sufferers on thyroid medication should have responsive results in line with improvements. The fat responds right away and there is not a significant struggle against it, results appearing in mere days and resolving in a few months. [EDIT: my new article, Chewing Causes Weight-Loss, details how your saliva affects weight gain and how you can lose weight by chewing thoroughly]
PERSISTENT WEIGHT GAIN
If there is a significant struggle for weight loss, or suffer from obesity you have a persistent weight gain problem. This kind is characterized by rebounding fat stores no matter the effort or healthy changes made. There is a significant reason for this, and that reason is IRON.
The reason iron causes persistent fat storage is twofold. High body/dietary iron is a huge oxidative burden on your metabolism. Iron is unstable and difficult for the body to shed. It displaces copper in many metabolic processes, where copper is the better option. Though high iron itself wouldn’t cause fat gain, the high iron also feeds intestinal bacteria. It is literally like throwing gasoline on a fire, since bacteria thrive in high iron environments. Their toxic waste stimulates the liver to produce protective fat to save you from death by endotoxin (bacteria waste), but the high body iron makes it difficult for the body to even reduce the level of iron. This association of dietary iron and bacteria is why milk is so low in iron, to prevent intestinal proliferation of bacteria in infants. Reducing dietary iron can be enough for most people with persistent weight gain to have less difficult health maintenance (not to mention ridding acne and improvements in hair quality). The two main sources of dietary iron are red meat and wheat (because by law a form of iron is added to wheat flour). Drinking alcohol, or having high stress hormones causes MORE iron to be absorbed during digestion, compounding the weight problem. Because iron is so difficult to get out once it’s in the body, it can also be the hardest to remedy.
Cilantro is cheap and effective at removing excess body iron. From what limited experience I have with this process I think that cilantro removes iron from the intestinal system as it passes through, since it’s not fully digested, pulling more iron toward the intestines from deeper tissue. This process is repeated with repeated administration and over time the level of iron can gently be brought down to healthier levels. Taurine, Vitamin B1, B6, milk, and coffee are all substances that can help reduce iron and also protect from excess absorption. I drink coffee with every meal just for this purpose. *if you search for cilantro chelation on the internet, you will see advice to pair it with chlorella. DO NOT DO THIS. Chlorella itself is one of the highest sources of iron in nature, and it will poison you with iron instead of removing it. It is important to get a diet high in other minerals since cilantro can also deplete some others, though at slower rates than iron.
Ironically a diet which contains saturated fat can help protect against weight gain from the destructive properties of iron and bacteria excess. Queen bees live more than twice as long as their lowly counterparts, and queens have an almost exclusive saturated fat profile in their diets. The first person to tell me the health benefits of butter was a female personal trainer who had abs like I never will. She said she ate half a stick of butter a day. I liked the sound of that, but I hesitated to eat much of it as I still hung onto hold ideas of fat. Thankfully butter is finally being recognized again as a health food, with products like bulletproof coffee. Yet people shrink from butter while eating copious amounts of inferior fats, mostly in premade and restaurant food, as if there are no consequences to that behavior. More information on healthy weight loss can be read in my article Permanent Weight Loss.
Fat is what makes us young and robust. Greatly increasing saturated fat in your diet can restore your youth, shrink your waistline, and heal metabolic diseases like insomnia, hair loss, fatigue, etc., because it is the most compatible fat for our physiology. Dairy is the only source of fat which is high enough in good fats to be reliable. Pork and chicken fat contains a high amount of bad fats, and shouldn't be used to increase saturated fat. Worst of all are inferior cooking oils. So throw out the corn, canola, and soy oils and bring back cream and butter.
GOOD DIETARY FATS (RAISE METABOLIC RATE)
BUTTER AND DAIRY FAT (ESPECIALLY GRAS-FED)
GRASS FED TALLOW (NON-GRASS FED IS FINE)
NEUTRAL FATS (NOT GOOD BUT NOT BAD EITHER)
BAD DIETARY FATS (LOWER METABOLIC RATE)
OTHER SEED OILS