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Smart Fat  by Steven Masley, MD & Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

We were happy to see these two great authors collaborate on a message essential to the improvement of health. Jonny Bowden eloquently distilled a huge amount of low carbohydrate writings in his book Living Low Carb which primarily focuses on weight loss. Steven Masley illuminated a practical path to reverse atherosclerosis in his book The 30-Day Heart Tune Up.


Americans consume more calories than the majority of human earth inhabitants; particularly pasta, white rice, bread, sweetened fat-free yogurt and granola bars (sugar) which constitutes the largest caloric portion of the Standard American Diet (SAD). Fifty seven percent of Americans are trying to lose weight but only 5-10% keep it off. Previously demonized by our own government, consuming healthy fat is essential to the Path to Health. Metabolic Syndrome is the 21st Century Black Plague. Smart Fat improves your hormonal balance and lowers inflammation. The cause of heart disease, cognitive decline and memory loss is inflammation. It is linked to obesity, asthma and Alzheimer's Disease. In the SAD anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats have a ratio of inflammatory omega-6 fats of 1:16 when it should be 1:1. The simple diet solution for success is Fat, Protein, Fiber and Flavor. Drs. Bowden (Dr. Jonnny for you Californians) and Dr. Masley have created a simple




Smart (Good) Fats

*Olives and Olive Oil


*WHAPPM Nuts Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Almonds, Pistachios, Pecans (NOT peanuts) and Macadamias

*Some Seeds: Flax, Chia and Pumpkin

*Dark Chocolate

*Coconut, coconut oil and medium chain trigylcerides


Dumb (Bad) Fats

*Trans fats “embalming fluid” “liquid plastic”

*Toxic animal fats – shot full of chemicals hormones and pesticides

*Nutritionally deficient foods high in omega-6s


Neutral Fats – may not improve health, but won't cause harm

*Palm Oil

*Grass Fed Beef

*Organically Raised Animal Protein


The Standard American Diet (SAD) causes metabolic syndrome through insulin resistance, leptin resistance and chronically elevated cortisol. Not surprisingly, Dr Masley is an advocate of a high fiber diet to reverse atherosclerosis. Fiber improves the gut bacteria, cholesterol profile, lowering appetite, inflammation, blood pressure, toxins and insulin spikes. Fiber rich beans are the most effective food ever studied to block tissue oxidation. Flavor is important for long term diet success, the authors noting the health benefits of herbs commenting that “the cure is in the Spice Rack, Not in the Medicine Cabinet”. Garlic, Green Herbs, Rosemary Sage, Thyme and Oregano. Also Cardamon, Cinnamon, Ginger and Turmeric (curcumin).


What Not To Eat is basically carbohydrates and sugar. They touch on American food containing antibiotics, dioxins and Round-Up (glyphosate – to which Stefanie Seneff at MIT {Statin Truth} and Anthony Samsel are pointing to troubling associations). They note healthy 100% grass fed beef has a healthy omega-6 to omega-3 ration of 1.5:1 compared to grain fed beef 7.7 to 1. Health on a budget should include canned wild Alaskan salmon and frozen vegetables and berries. Organic, cage free, omega 3 enriched eggs are awesome.


How did we get into this mess? As readers of any of our other recommended books know, Ancel Keys cherry picked 7 out of 22 countries data in the Seven Countries Study which supported his dietary fat – heart disease hypothesis which led to the U.S. Dietary Goals of 60% carbohydrates, supported by the American Heart Association, which was completely refuted by John Yudkin. This, of course, created the metabolic syndrome epidemic today. Interestingly, prior to this horrible dogma, we knew carbohydrates were responsible for obesity. In his 1892 The Principles and Practice of Medicine, William Osler recommended people should “reduce sugar and starches” to avoid obesity. So trans-fats replaced healthy grass-fed butter and high fructose corn syrup became the primary caloric food source in the SAD just as the car culture reduced our physical activity. A “workout” was searching for the TV remote just in time to see a commercial “More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette”. Drs. Bowden and Masley estimate that 2/3 of apparently healthy people have some combination of these lethal risk factors of metabolic syndrome:

*Expanding waist line >40” men >35” women

*High blood pressure >130/85

*High triglycerides >150mg/dl

*Inflammation: elevated C-Reactive protein

*High fasting blood sugar >100mg/dl

[Dr. Stingl would like to add that checking fasting insulin is extremely important since many metabolic syndrome individuals with normal blood sugar will be dead before their blood sugar goes high, especially if they are on a statin.]


HDL good, LDL bad is too simplistic...

HDL-2 good LDL-a good (fluffy)

HDL-3 bad LDL-b bad (like BB – small, dense)


Modern dwarf wheat is especially dangerous as amylopectin A has a higher glycemic index than table sugar. No, “whole grain” baked goods are NOT healthy.


The beauty of the Smart Fat Solution is it's simplicity. Daily get 5-5-10. Be sure to get the Good Stuff, avoid the Bad Stuff. The neutral stuff doesn't count. Simple.

*Five servings of Smart Fat

*Five servings of Clean Protein

*Ten servings of Fiber [ Dr. Stingl notes it is hard to ignore beans when looking for 10 servings of fiber -Twice soaking dry beans overnight and 8 more hours, dumping the water reduces lectins.]


Although Dr. Jonny does juice they correctly note most fruit juice is almost the same as soda. Artificial Sweeteners have concerns beyond just glycemic index and carbohydrate load. There may be some use for xylitol, erythriol (Truvia) and Stevia (licorice aftertaste) but Dr. Stingl would like to point out that consumers of artificially sweetened drinks have a higher incidence of diabetes than consumers of high fructose corn syrup drinks. What is effect on the gut biome and how is our brain affected by getting “faked out” by artificial sugars? Dr. Stingl believes that one of the tests to see if you are on the Path to Health is if you are using Celyon cinnamon to sweeten your diet – it will if you avoid sugar!


As our volunteers know, Criticism Does Not Work. The authors point out the counter-productiveness of criticizing others diet choices. The book contains practical suggestions for dining out.


The Enviromnental Working Group (EWG) uses USDA data on pesticides to come up this their “dirty dozen” and “clean 15” in deciding which fruits and vegetables to purchase organic.


Food Diary- may seem like a hassle but the National Weight Control Registry notes they help with long term diet success. In addition, it is extremely helpful in calculating supplements especially Iron and Calcium which you do not want to overdo.


Smart Supplements – it is impossible to have optimal health without supplements.

The authors correctly note that everyone is different with regard to diet, exercise and supplements.

They consider the core supplements to be: Multivitamin, Magnesium, Vitamin K, Omega-3, Vitamin D, Probitoics and green tea for weight loss. They recommend choosing:

*Not Beta Carotene, choose Mixed Carotenoids

*Not Alpha Tocopherol, choose Mixed Tocopherol [Dr. Stingl: avoid synthetic dl-alpha tocopherol]

*Not Magnesium Oxide, choose Magnesium citrate, glycinate or malate (or chelated Mg++)

*Not Folic Acid, choose Mixed Folates especially 5-methyltetrahydrofolate

*Plan for a Zinc to Copper ratio of 10 to 20 (a healthy diet can contain enough copper)

Dr. Masley's chart on page 177 is worth the price of the book!


They note Vitamin K2 being better than Vitamin K1 in green leafy vegetables by decreasing arterial calcification and increasing bone calcification. It makes you want to try Japanese natto.


Omega-3 supplements are essential as only about 5% of dietary ALA is converted to EPA or DHA. They don't give any extra credit for conjugated ALA in grass fed products though.


Vitamin D3 from sheep wool is more potent and absorbable than D2 from irradiated yeast.


EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) in Green Tea Extract improves thermogenesis if you don't get at least 4 cups of green tea a day. It is not hard to brew a big pot daily, cooling it and Americanize it over ice.


Both authors use a curcumin supplement noting that it is poorly absorbed as turmeric (although epidemiological studies show turmeric consumption is protective).


CoQ10 is essential and useful absorption is limited. Critical if you are depleted from a statin.


Better than most books they point out the advantages of resveratrol (especially trans-resverarol).


Hmmmm... Citrus Bergamot? Who likes the taste of Earl Grey tea?


Smart Living – don't skip this chapter. Exercise: Walking, Interval Training, Weights; Stress Reduction; Sleep; Relationships (Insomnia? Try red-orange glasses 2 hours before bed)


Some common denominators in Dan Buettner's Blue Zones: No processed food- high fiber diet. Strong social fabric.


Our volunteers will recognize:

Japanese ikigai (a purpose or reason for being)


People want to contribute.

They want to make a difference.

They want to have meaningful lives.

They want it to matter that they were here.

They want to do good.

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