Could a diet that is high in good fats be the most healthful diet of all?Let the debate begin. Gary Martin is challenging the way people think about losing weight. Naturopath and co-founder of Queensland’s world-renowned health retreat Living Valley Springs, Gary is a supporter of the high fat diet.
“You can lose weight by eating more fat while controlling consumption of carbohydrates,” says Martin. “I believe and follow the motto of eating like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch and a pauper for dinner.
“The king’s breakfast is ideal for diabetics or those trying to lose weight. It consists of a Greek salad with an olive oil and lemon juice dressing, two or three organic eggs and/or an organic lamb chop. Be sure to include olives, feta and avocado to increase the fat”, says Martin.
For decades fats have been blamed for atherosclerosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, cancer and increased mortality. Martin believes most fats are actually beneficial and even essential for optimal performance and general wellbeing. Saturated fat particularly has been maligned as public enemy number one over the last 60 years, but according to Martin, it is has been a major component in longevity diets for millennia.
The French boast the lowest death rate from Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) in the world. In 2000 the number of French who died of CHD was 82 per 100,000 population, compared to 144 in Australia. Only 11% of French adults are considered overweight, compared to 66% in the USA. A low 7% are obese compared to 31% in the USA. It is interesting to note that the French consume more fat than any other nation, ingesting an average of 170 grams per person per day, against a world average of 78 grams. In 1992 Bordeaux University determined that saturated fats make up the greater part of the French diet.
Martin also points out that in 1920 the average consumption of butter in the USA was 18 pounds per person per year, while death by heart attack was an insignificant statistic. By 1960 butter consumption had plummeted to four pounds per person per year, while death by heart attack had soared to 37% of deaths.
“Gone are the days of living off just fruit and vegetables and avoiding the fats such as butter, cheeses and other animal fats in fear of putting on weight or developing a health problem. We need the fats for optimal health”, says Martin.
Living Valley Springs is a not-for-profit organisation which is located amongst 180 acres of lush green hills, valleys and pristine countryside in Noosa Biosphere Reserve, which pride themselves on empowering people to take charge of their life and live in the best health.