The #1 Diet Mistake Women Still Make

August 20, 2015
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

It’s a matter of fats vs. fiction…

because it’s been a big fat lie.

Eggs…cheese…butter and bacon have been unfairly demonized for decades now.

And the truth is, that it’s all because of faulty science that was promoted in the 1950s by Ancel Keyes, PhD who was the first to link saturated fat with heart disease. We now know his research was seriously flawed. But, that didn’t stop the American Heart Association in 1961 from proclaiming the country’s anti-saturated fat guidelines, officially launching the big fat lie that many health experts are still promoting.

If you look back in cookbooks from the beginning of the century you’ll see that animal fats always prevailed. My mentor Dr. Parcells even used lard for cooking. My grandmother Clara favored “schmaltz” (chicken fat).

The no to low-fat, high carb diet has failed miserably.

Not only are we obese (a whopping 69% of us at least), but type 2 diabetes has skyrocketed and the British Medical Journal reported in 2013, “recent studies have not supported any significant association between saturated fat intake and risk of cardiovascular disease. Instead, saturated fat has been found to be protective.”

It turns out that my good friend, the late Dr. Atkins was right all along.

The carbs and starchy vegetables, grains, sugars and pastas are especially fattening because they promote the production of insulin, the kingpin of all hormones that socks away fat. And let’s not forget high fructose corn syrup or all the fructose in fruit which are notoriously for raising triglycerides, a blood fat that has been dramatically connected to heart disease.

So it’s time to forgo your dressing-less salads, broiled chicken breasts and card board-like rice cakes. Swap out those crackers for almonds or cashews. Get rid of the canola oil and use coconut oil, butter or ghee for cooking. The more organic, the better. And do consider a piece of brie instead of all that fruit you’re overly consuming. Just remember that higher fat foods are much more appetite-satisfying.

My 1999 book, Eat Fat, Lose Weight was the first to discuss how certain fats, especially the omega 3s, 6s and 9s from flax, fish and olive oils, avocados, nuts and seeds, can not only rev up your metabolism to help you lose weight, but can also help lower the risk of heart attacks, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, breast cancer, and even menstrual irregularities from PMS to perimenopause and beyond.

Now, with the latest research, you can add an extra dose of satiety to your diet with a little saturated fat—no longer a heart health no-no.

So, put saturated fats back on the table.

In addition to being cardio-friendly, they are blood sugar satisfying, helping to cut down on hunger and cravings. They also support and strengthen cell membranes and raise HDL (high density lipoproteins).

Just remember to get your saturated fat from the cleanest sources like grass-fed beef, butter, cream, omega-3 eggs, and coconut oil.

And, make sure you’re digesting them.

If you’re going to be adding more saturated fat to an already omega-rich Fat Flushing diet—one to two tablespoons of coconut oil, a couple of pats of butter, a tablespoon of cream—then by all means, do make sure you’re digesting it properly.

For most efficient absorption, assimilation and weight loss, you might consider adding lipase. This is a digestive enzyme secreted by the pancreas which breaks down fats and oils into small particles. In my testing, lipase is one of the most highly deficient enzymes for just about everybody.

Many of my clients who find that oils and fats repeat on them and have not been able to lose weight previously find that one to two capsules per meal is all it takes to budge the scale downwards and stop excess bloating and digestive distress. If this sounds like you, then you might want to call the good folks at UNI KEY Health (800-888-4353) who keep several extra bottles on hand for my clients and me. Lipase is not available online.

For those of you with gall stones or for those without a gallbladder, Cholacol would be my choice to provide the missing bile salts to help emulsify fats. This is a Standard Process product which UNI KEY can order for you if you cannot find it elsewhere. Cholacol contains a proprietary blend of 700 mg of bile salts with Collinsonia Root. It is considered a “must” for all of you that have had your gallbladder removed.

And of course there are still others that are deficient in bile. With protein meals that contain fat, HCL+2 would be my recommendation. The “Plus” refers to 50 mg of an ox bile extract.  The hydrochloric acid component triggers the gallbladder to dump bile, so less bile would be needed in the presence of hydrochloric acid than the straight bile salts.

It’s time to get smart about fat. I predict it will be the new mantra of all the latest diet books that are coming out in 2016.

One of my favorite healthy-fat recipes.

Avocados are not only a healthy source of saturated fat, but deliciously satisfying! And, as a bonus the flaxseed oil provides a hearty dose of omega-3s, too.

Zesty Avocado Dip

Zesty Avocado Dip

  • 1 small avocado, peeled, pitted, and mashed
  • ¼ cup scallions, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil
  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Reference: Malhotra, A. “Saturated fat is not the major issue.” Bmj 347 (2013): F6340.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Anne Ferreira

    Can you recommend foods or easily obtained supplements that work well to help effectively digest the healthy fats?

    • liz

      Anne, I think Ann Louise just made excellent suggestions for helpful fat digesting supplements. It’s easy to order from UNIKEY. They have both the lipase and the Cholacol, along with the HCL+2. If you order from them today you will have it in only a few days.

  2. Team ALG

    Thanks for your post. Lipase works well to digest the healthy fats along with plenty of Daikon radish in your salads. UNI KEY carries lipase to ALG’s clients.

  3. Alesea

    I understand that what you inquire is why after baning fats in diet and introducing low-fat strategies, people’s health didn’t improve. However, my question is whether they actually followed those recomendations? Did their health go down because they were eating low-fat or because given the health advices, on their own they didn’t seem to follow though. In my country (Romania) everybody knows America eats high fat…


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