Dr. Neal Barnard Is Wrong. Fat Does Not Make You Fat …

by Lenny

So, here I was browsing along and minding my own business when I came across Dr. Neal Barnard’s work.


I found it a bit contradictory to what I’ve learnt, researched and have found to be true. In fact, I suppose the title of this post is a bit strong considering Dr. Barnard is a respected expert in his field and I’m merely just another regular chap educating myself on how to lose my belly fat and get six pack abs. So how is it that I, a totally unknown in the nutritional come out with such a statement?


Before I get into my reasons, you have to first check out what triggered this post …


Now, it’s more or less common knowledge that fats contain 9 calories per gram, proteins 4 calories per gram and carbohydrates 4 calories per gram, so theoretically it’s easy to see why cutting out on fats makes sense, however there are some really important points I feel that Dr. Barnard left out.


What did you think about Hillary & Bruce? They were the couple shown on his clip?


Pretty amazing hey. I thought so anyway. Unlike your typical ‘before and after’ photoes, I suppose because this was a video clip it actually made more of an impact on me. I honestly thought their weight loss story was phenomenal and quite inspirational!


Anyway, back  to the post. In the next few lines I will go over what I believe Dr. Barnard left out starting with …


Fats Are Essential For Healthclick to tweet     


Although I agree that a lot of animal based fats are bad for you and your weight loss efforts, I believe this is more to do with the way the oils are processed rather than with the amount of calories they contain. In addition, fats are essential for a healthy body and going on a fat free diet WILL do you more harm than good …


The health benefits of consuming a sufficient amount of fat in the right forms and proper proportions has been shown to be immensely important in an endless number of areas impacting the state of body and mind. Among other things, it can strengthen the immune system, enhance brain and nervous system function such as mood, intelligence and behavior, greatly reduce cardiovascular disease, increase energy and performance, grow healthy skin, hair, and nails, regulate body weight, and improve organ and gland function find out more about how fats are essential for you


One other thing pointed out by Mike Geary in his Truth About Abs Program is that there are numerous cultures such as Eskimos, Masai warriors, Hawaiians etc who live on diets that are predominately animal fat and yet remain slim and trim. There are of course other factors at play, but it should be clear that you can still remain lean even on a high fat diet!


Proteins Can Seriously Boost Your Metabolism, Burn Fat And Result In Weight Loss


Dr. Barnard spoke about the ‘invisible fat’ surrounding cells and how it can slow down metabolism. I really liked his analogy on revving a motor, that was really neat!


When it comes to metabolism consider the following:


The body at rest uses up energy (the resting metabolic rate). This is generally the energy required to maintain normal functions i.e pumping of the heart, moving of the muscles i.e the intercostal muscles while breathing etc.


Hey, while on this subject did you know that the brain alone uses up to 20% of your energy? I was gobsmacked that such a small organ could be using so much power! Gives me ideas on how to lose more weight by thinking more ;-)


Back to basal metabolic rate, so while you’re at rest, you’re still burning calories. However, the bigger and stronger your muscles are, the higher your Basal or Resting Metabolic rate. So, to lose more weight it makes sense to increase your muscle mass.


English: Postprandial thermogenesis by type of...

Fats Really Do Not Make You Fat! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Now, plant protein is all good and fine and I for the most part believe that plant based protein is the best, however, I also feel we should mix our protein sources.


It has been argued that animal based protein, meat in other words takes much longer to digest and that it cannot be easily used by the body. In fact a common argument is that it can take up to FOUR DAYS  to process a piece of pork and that meat actually ROTS in the stomach!




That’s enough to put anyone off meat for good, however I’d argue that some plant based foods aren’t easily digestible as evidenced by the contents of the loo on some days!


I’d also like to take this opportunity to mention the thermionic effect of food. Different foods use up different amounts of energy/calories during processing and as you can imagine, animal based products typically are hardest to process and hence have the highest TEF (thermionic effect of food).


One article I found pretty educative on animal protein was Mark Sissons piece on why we need meat. Click through and check it out for further reading …


Vitamin D Is A Fat Soluble Vitamin


Yes, I know. We get our vitamin D from sunlight, however, besides sunlight the only other source of this essential vitamin is animal based products.


It is true that if you live a healthy lifestyle and get out often, you shouldn’t have any issues, however, by avoiding meat I feel you put yourself at unnecessary risk.


All in all, Dr. Barnard presents a sound argument for going on an animal free diet, but I believe it is flawed and that he is wrong about fats being the cause of gaining weight. One of the best resources I can recommend is Mike Geary’s truth about six pack abs ebook in which he presents a very strong and convincing counter argument.


Another resource worth checking out is Steve Holman’s first step on reversing the ageing process. In it he advocates for ditching low fat diets and he does make a strong argument …


If you enjoyed this post, please leave a comment and any tips or ideas on what else you like me to write about. I read all comments and am genuinely interested in any feedback.

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