Good fat

Are you one of the many that is confused about good fat?

I received this email from Donna in Portland, Maine.

“Roger I’m enjoying your Ask Roger posts. I’ve subscribed to your daily blog for a number of years. I appreciate your heart and down-to-earth approach. I can tell that you really do care.

I know that you believe that a low-fat diet is best but you were the topic of a robust Thanksgiving conversation. My Mom and my sister-in-law are adamant that I need to be eating good fats. I tried to tell them that I didn’t but now they have me questioning fat or no fat.

My question is, are they right? Don’t I need good fat?

By the way – they are both overweight.

Thanks so much and please keep your posts coming.


Portland, Maine”

Fat fad diets

Hi Donna. Thank you for your very kind words. They mean a great deal to me.

There is a lot of controversy about fat. The fad diets use the buzz phrase “good fat” as part of their marketing hype.

I am frequently asked this same question by people I meet. A question that I ask of them is, “Do you or someone you know have a fat deficiency?” Unless there is an illness or eating disorder, the answer for the past 20 years has always been, “no.”

For about 67% of Americans, the issue is too much fat.

I am not a dietician and I am not a nutritionist. I have studied nutrition for over 20 years and based on the evidence from the past 100 years, I do support a low-fat high-carbohydrate plant-based diet.

Fats, good and bad

In my book, Becoming Slender For Life, I have a section titled, Fats, good and bad.

“Minimize your use of butter and all oils, including olive, safflower, peanut and corn oil. Oil is simply a liquid form of fat.

Despite misinformation to the contrary, margarine is the worst offender of all, since it is partially hydrogenated.

Don’t I need good fat? Yes—you do need some fat in your diet—for survival, all you really need is about 3 to 4 percent of your total calories. A healthful amount for daily intake would be about 10 percent. That’s all! Most people in Western countries get ten times that amount. A total of 68 percent of the population of industrialized nations dies of fat-intake illnesses, including heart and circulatory diseases. You will get all the fat you need from a diet of vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains. Your body can synthesize the fats you need from the foods you eat. The safest and healthiest way to get your essential fatty acids is in their natural forms. Beans, vegetables and fruits have trace amounts of fat and are rich in alpha-linolenic acid. In this form, fats are found in the correct amounts in protected environments surrounded by vitamins, minerals, fibers, antioxidants and other phytochemicals to make them balanced nutritionally.

Fish oils have been popularized as an aid against everything from heart problems to arthritis. The bad news about fish oils is that omega-3s in fish oils are highly unstable molecules that tend to decompose and, in the process, unleash dangerous free radicals.

Research has shown that omega-3s are found in a more stable form in vegetables, fruits and beans.

You should also minimize nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and soybean products (including tofu, soy cheese and soy milk). Soybean products are high in fat, unless they have been specially processed, but low-fat varieties are also not recommended. Processed soy foods such as soy burgers and soy cheese may increase your risk for cancer, impair function of your thyroid, immune system, brain, as well as cause bone loss and reproductive problems. Consuming a small amount of tofu in a stir fry or a small amount of soy milk in your oatmeal is not a concern. A new issue, though, is that more and more of the soybeans grown today are being genetically modified, which puts products made from them into the non-food category, since your body will not recognize them as real foods.”


Donna, I invite you to get the book Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall, and to go to Dr. McDougall’s website, and in the search box type “good fats”. A number of articles will come up that address this issue. I will include links to some these articles in the blog post that accompanies this video.

You can also check out the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine ( and Dr. Michael Greger’s website,

There are many other resources as well, but these will get you started and keep you occupied for a short while.

Ultimately, this is a decision that you, and you alone, must make. When other’s try to tell you that their way is better, smile, nod your head, tell them that you are happy that it is working for them and what you are doing is working for you. And then change the subject – start talking about the weather.

Got a question?

If you have a question for Ask Roger, please email it to me. If you would like to schedule a session with me, we can meet here in my Seattle office or in my office on Bainbridge Island or world-wide online from your own home, office or hotel room. Call me at 206-903-1232 or send me an email.

Your Hypnosis Health Info Hypnotic Suggestion for today:

I effortlessly remove fat from my body by eating only fat-free foods.

Since January 2, 1997
Learn more about Slender For Life™ Weight Loss Hypnosis.
Call (206) 903-1232 or email for more information.

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