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Eat Fat, Lose Fat: The Healthy Alternative to Trans Fats

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Based on more than two decades of research, Eat Fat, Lose Fat flouts conventional wisdom by revealing that so-called healthy vegetable oils (such as corn and soybean) are in large part responsible for our national obesity and health crisis, while the saturated fats traditionally considered “harmful” (from such foods as coconut, butter, and meat) are essential to weight loss and health.

Just in time for the FDA’s new mandatory trans fats labeling, the three programs in this book, which features delicious recipes, show that eating healthy fats is the answer to losing weight and achieving good health for a lifetime.

“If permanently losing weight while improving your health is a real goal, I highly recommend Eat Fat, Lose Fat.”—Dr. Joseph Mercola, bestselling author of The No-Grain Diet

“Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon are two of the most important voices in the wellness revolution. Eat Fat, Lose Fat is a must read.”
—Jordan S. Rubin, author of The New York Times’ bestselling The Maker’s Diet

304 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2004

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About the author

Sally Fallon Morell

28 books158 followers
Sally Fallon Morell is the co-founder and president of The Weston A. Price Foundation. According to the WAPF, she received a B.A. in English from Stanford University and an M.A. in English from UCLA.

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5 stars
490 (39%)
4 stars
405 (32%)
3 stars
271 (21%)
2 stars
44 (3%)
1 star
29 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 74 reviews
Profile Image for Nichole.
48 reviews10 followers
February 26, 2011
This is the best book on nutrition I've ever read and I've read dozens. Nutrition is my passion and everyone needs to learn about saturated fats, and how the government has manipulated the american diet for financial gain of oil companies (corn, canola, safflower, sunflower, etc.). Though this book can be used as a diet book, there are also sections on healing and just eating well, not losing weight. If you do nothing else, incorporate coconut oil, at the very least, into your diet.
Profile Image for Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all).
2,019 reviews186 followers
December 18, 2014
I had begun adding coconut oil to my diet before picking up this book. I had heard from a reputable source about the effects of coconut oil on memory loss, early-onset Alzheimers etc. so I was curious to see what this book had to say. I wasn't interested in yet another "miracle" diet, but in the science behind it. All of the studies cited are documented, chapter and verse, and anyone with access to JSTOR can check them out if they are so inclined. Yes, the writing style is repetitive, but having worked closely with professors of various scientific disciplines over the years, I recognise this as a symptom of academic writing for peer journals etc: abstract, article and conclusion always repeat the main points--probably because academics skim before reading to see if they really want to give it the time.

The diet described is very much for the author's US audience, and does not contemplate cuisines which originally used the coconut oil--no curries, stir-fries or Asian dishes. They also recommend all-organic foods, "available at high end supermarkets." High end means "expensive", which puts it out of the power of people on fixed incomes. Besides, here in S. Europe, raw milk is unavailable to the average person, and "organic" usually means "three times the price, but not necessarily really organically produced." And I won't discuss my opinion of the author's thoughts on olive oil. She has a product and a diet plan to sell after all. But being an experienced cook I use my common sense, take what I can from the book and leave the rest.

I began using coconut oil (2 Tbsp per day) about 2 months ago, at a time when my short-term memory had become frighteningly bad and my doctor was just saying, "It's a menopause thing, it's a low-thyroid thing (but she insists my thyroid levels, in spite of having Hashimoto's disease are "low but normal"), it's an age thing, as long as you're worried about it, it's nothing to worry about" (meaning if you're aware of it, it's not Alzheimer's.) After about a month, I began to lose some of the thyroid weight, slowly but surely. Two months in, my memory has improved markedly, I have less word-confusion, I've lost 10 lbs without calorie restriction, my incipient double chin is gone and the cellulite is nearly gone from my thighs. I am no longer freezing cold all the time, my hair and nails are much healthier, and I'm not starving 15 min after a meal, which would indicate that coconut oil does indeed stimulate metabolism and support thyroid function.

Since reading this book, I have added cod liver oil capsules to my diet as well, though not in the amounts they stipulate--again, in the US such things are much cheaper and available in bulk, so I take the amount I can afford. I can't see myself making my own sauerkraut in this tiny apartment, or fermenting my own kefir, but the oils themselves are a valuable resource.
Profile Image for Jodi.
Author 5 books74 followers
April 8, 2012
This book deserves all the high ratings it has been given. I've read dozens of books on diet but this one really stood out.

Part of the book was about weight loss but the bigger part was about health, and very useful.

This book is probably the book I would recommend if you could only buy one book containing practical information about what to eat. We need to eat real food!

I can't afford to follow every suggestion (grass fed organic meats only etc.), but I have already made changes to my diet that I know will be benficial to my health. (I'm just going to ignore the bits about eating grains and legumes though as they are not for me.)

The only improvements I would suggest are a simplified list of what to eat and how much roughly of each food type that DOESN'T assume you'll eat nothing but their recipes, and more information on what to do if you are allergic/intolerant of dairy, eggs, wheat and are not eating all grains or legumes for health reasons and because high carb foods such as grains and legumes don't agree with you.

I am going to try some raw milk though, to see if I can tolerate it.

I got this book out from the library and ended up actually buying a copy because the recipes at the back all looked so good and useful. I almost never do that! But it really is just a 'keeper' in my opinion. Ignore the flashy cover and the title this is a solid book about health and diet.

Profile Image for Angela Boord.
Author 8 books90 followers
July 25, 2009
While I think this book has something important to say and more people should hear the basic message -- i.e, vegetable oils and trans-fats are the real culprit in heart disease,obesity, etc., not saturated fats from animals or coconut oil (in other words, real food) -- and Mary Enig's discussion of how her research was covered up various food corporations was a real eye-opener... I was disappointed that this book fell into the "nutrionism" trap, too. In other words, I don't think that people normally eat up to 6 tbsp of coconut oil a day, off the spoon or dissolved in tea. I can barely do one tbsp in a smoothie because it makes me nauseous. And I really don't have any desire to take ox bile to stimulate my bile production since I had my gall bladder removed several years ago.

That said, I think the common sense messages that can be extrapolated from this book are good ones:

Coconut oil is good for you. Incorporate it into your diet when you can.

A diet with plenty of healthy fats will help you feel satisified longer, which will in turn help you to lose weight because you will eat less.

Don't eat industrial food.

Eat more fish!
Profile Image for Sue.
105 reviews23 followers
September 25, 2012
I want to take this book down to my doctor's surgery and lock them all in until they have read it and researched it and come to some sensible conclusions for a change!

If you think polyunsaturated fats and oils are the future if you want to live a healthy life, you MUST read this book. If you aren't throwing your Sunflower Oil, your Corn Oil and a few others into the dustbin along with your margarines by the time you are half-way through, you must be crazy.
Profile Image for josey.
17 reviews3 followers
July 12, 2008
This book is a great addition to my library for a healthy diet. I prefer to take bits and pieces of information from many different diet types to create my own diet that works for me, and Eat Fat, Lose Fat provides a lot of healthy alternatives to our (unfortunately) normal gamut of foods that contain trans fats or other low-quality fats.

I also appreciate Enig and Fallon's views on the important role of saturated fats (as also expressed in Fallon's book Nourishing Traditions), and this book has helped me integrate the all-around healthy and delicious coconut oil into my diet while providing a deeper understanding of how it improves our overall health!
Profile Image for Shirelle.
43 reviews7 followers
March 18, 2009
I read this book several years ago, and still base a lot of my eating habits on the author's ideas. She examines the lipid hypothesis, where we get the idea that saturated fat causes heart disease, obesity, etc. She looks at the recent history of the American food industry and talks about how the theories about carbohydrates and fats have been quietly disproven. I don't follow everything she says in the book in my own diet, but I do follow the basic premise that fat is not bad for you. I've recently lost forty lbs., and I still eat real butter on a daily basis :)
Profile Image for Shiloh.
448 reviews7 followers
May 25, 2009
This book was recommended by a friend and it had a lot of good information. Personally though, I am tired of all the diet/ nutrtion books that contradict each other continually. Partly which is why I refuse to diet. That and lack of will power and love for food. High fat/low fat, high protein/low protein, high carbs/low carbs, fasting/no fasting, cooked/raw, drink lots of water/you don't need that much water, caffeine/ no caffeine, eat these foods/avoid these foods, and the one thing they all seem to have in common - no sugar. Impossible.
7 reviews1 follower
April 12, 2009
This book is written by the founder of the Weston A. Price foundation and Mary Enig who is a leading researcher of fats. It is based on a traditional diet- unprocessed whole foods and animal prodcuts. It has some very important information about fats that run counter to popular ideas about nutrition. It has completely changed the way I eat and I feel it is a "must-have" for someone trying to re-claim their health.
Profile Image for Vivian.
460 reviews1 follower
July 9, 2014
This book gave me the final push I needed to fully commit to a healthier way of eating. An amazing resource with lots of recipes I want to try. Highly recommended.
4 reviews
February 7, 2012
I decided to read this book because I want to know which healthy fats I should add to my diet. The book should've just been titled "Cocunt Oil and Cod-Liver Oil" since those are the two fats emphasized throughout the entire book, especially coconut oil. The beginning of the book begins with a look at past and current research egarding the good and evils off dietary fat, with Enig and Fallon clearing up misconcpetions about saturated fats that are found in animals, dairy, nuts, and especially cocount oil. The authors also describe how these healthy fats positively effect different body systems. Another chapter deals with their nutritional approach to weight loss. Before doing so, the most popular diets are analyzed (ie: South Beach, The Zone, Ornish, Weight Watchers) with Enig and Fallon concluding that these diets are lacking in fats, calcium, or essential nutrients such as Vitamin A, B, and D. While the Atkins diet was favored somewhat, the authors state that the old Atkins was better and that the new Atkins is too high protein with not enough fat. Keep in mind that this book was published in 2005. In 2010 the book "New Atkins for a New You" came out, and the authors cleary state the new Atkins is NOT high protein. Anyway, Enig and Fallon finally get into their weight loss plan that is supposed to help you quickly lose weight with suggested menu plans, which contain cocount. What I basically got from the book is that 1 tablespoon of coconut oil before meals will help with satiety, too much olive oil is bad for you, and soy is definetly bad for you. I can't see myself preparing foods with coconut as a constant ingredient. And a lot of the recipes in the book are time consuming and contain exotic ingredients that are hard to find. It's just easier to take the tablespoon of coconut oil.
9 reviews1 follower
February 11, 2009

The authors quickly debunk the saturated fat myth and focus on the how's and why's the food industry has perpetrated the mythology of saturated fats being unhealthy for you and have substituted in other synthetic and liquid fats which have created long term health problems in people trying to "eat right" and "eat low-fat" diets. These diets are actually starving your bodies of stuff you need to be healthy. You can be 200 lbs overweight but still malnourished. Also, they explain how using the correct foods can entirely eliminate certain chronic health conditions- like hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, etc.
I would suggest this book to anyone interested in maintaining long term good health.
Profile Image for Kendahl.
11 reviews
October 30, 2010
Good stuff. Breaks down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, but breaks down fats in great detail. Turns out saturated fat can be quite good for you, depending on the source. Our ancestors have been eating healthy, saturated fats for a long time. Feel free to eat eggs all you want, as long as they are from pastured chickens. Have plenty of organic coconut oil, raw cream and whole milk and tallow from pastured cows, etc.

Eat like your ancestors, and your health will benefit. You also might lose some weight along the way. (I have lost 5 pounds so far, and I have been healing my hormone imbalance and adrenal fatigue as well.)
Profile Image for Akehia.
9 reviews
February 19, 2013
This was a good quick read since I've already read through Nourishing Traditions. If you have read NT and/or if you already understand that fat is not a "bad" thing, then I don't seem much purpose in this book UNLESS you want to try one of their weight loss plans. This book gives a couple of different menu options (with recipes from NT) for how to lose weight over a couple of weeks. I didn't like that, in many cases, chunks of text was taken directly from NT. It was a lazy work on the authors' parts in my opinion.
Profile Image for Cassie.
60 reviews
December 16, 2009
Very interesting take on the good ol' lipid hypothesis (a.k.a: saturated fat will cause heart disease). I think Enig and Fallon did a super job of debunking the myth that saturated fat causes athersclerosis. They carefully reviewed the evidence, including the famed Framingham study, and one by one showed how these studies do not show a link between saturated fat and heart disease. Hmmm... I think I'll go eat a boiled egg slathered in butter and salt.
74 reviews
November 24, 2010
The book is a little repetitive, not only within the book, but also in reference to the author's previous book "Nourishing Traditions" and I actually just skimmed through some of the background information.

The way the book is organized is a little confusing and seems thrown together, however the theory behind the diet plans included (there are 4 different plans in the book) was explained well.
Profile Image for Katie.
76 reviews
January 4, 2011
Eat Fat, Lose Fat is a sensible and nourishing approach to weight loss based on traditional foods principles. The book is engaging and interesting to read, with just the right amount of technical information to leave you informed, but not bored. The menu plans are simple and easy to follow, as is the plentiful recipe section. Highly recommend this for anyone looking for a "diet" that nourishes their body instead of depriving it!
Profile Image for Wendy.
33 reviews6 followers
July 12, 2012
Tremendously helpful book. Does a great job of explaining how we need to eat and why whether someone needs to lose weight or not. I did not give it 5 stars merely because some of the recipes are only so-so but there are alot of great recipes out there now that follow these principles. For that matter, there are alot of recipes I already use that I could merely tweak and they became alot of healthier! Must read!
2 reviews2 followers
October 29, 2009
Excellent book about losing weight and becoming healthy with natural, traditional foods. It's surprising how much information this book has to offer! Learn the truth about which fats are healthy and what foods can set you on the right path in your journey to weight loss and health. Highly recommended!!!
187 reviews
August 2, 2012
The main premise is cutting processed food from one's diet (makes perfect sense) and eating real food- with a specific spotlight on coconut oil. This is not the first time I have read about the benefits of coconut oil and having just picked up a bucket (yes, a bucket) of virgin organic coconut oil, I will be giving this a try.... Both inside and out....
Profile Image for Racheal.
1,016 reviews83 followers
January 23, 2016
I hesitated to even put this on Goodreads because it's the first nutrition book I've read that sounds like a weight loss gimmick. I'm kind of embarrassed! but I'm reading it for the info on coconut oil :P
Profile Image for Jennifer.
43 reviews5 followers
October 9, 2019
One of my favorite books to re read when I need to heal my body again.
Profile Image for Teresa.
1,543 reviews17 followers
June 22, 2020
Ive been Keto / Low carb for two years, this is not the best book on the subject of “good fats” but it was well written and worth the read.
Profile Image for Doris Jean.
191 reviews29 followers
January 31, 2017
Love this book. It's a way of eating for a healthy life. Mary Enig was a world-class oil chemist. (She and Sally Fallon Morell previously wrote a wonderful cookbook called "Nourishing Traditions which is accurately based in nutrition for good health.)

In Part One of "Eat Fat, Lose Fat...", there are four chapters called "The Truth About Fats"and they focus on dietary fats and explain why we need to eat fats, especially animal fats. We have been bullied and shamed out of eating fats by the diet dictocrats of corporations who profit by selling us their unhealthy soy, canola, corn and other vegetable oils. The book discusses health, fat fears, history, politics, acne, emotional problems, diabetes, colitis, skin wrinkles, fasting, vitamins, asthma, allergies and much more. It bares some of the corporate cover-ups.

This book explains some of the chemistry, such as the difference between cis-fats and trans-fats and saturated and unsaturated, etc. You will learn about the importance of the ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 fats and how to add flax oil to sesame oil for the proper balance. Food certainly affects the metabolism of the body. Food and animal fats have a tremendous effect upon our glands and hormones, especially the adrenals and the thyroid.

Part Two is "Real Foods – for Healing and Health". It also contains four chapters. The first chapter discusses "real food" and vitamins, enzymes and minerals. Real food together with healthy fats such as butter, cream, coconut and coconut oil and cream, fatty fish, cod liver oil, caviar, eggs, liver, organ meats all interact and are synergistic. I like fermented fish sauce (garum, liquamen) and I find the bitters (Angostura or Swedish) are effective to promote digestion of fats. The next three chapters are three diet plans which are overlapping, so choose one eating plan and skip the other two. One can decide whether their personal focus is quick weight loss, or health recovery, or everyday meals. My plan is the "Everyday Gourmet". Each eating plan includes a discussion of its particular core elements, what to do and what to avoid for that specific eating plan, a detailed shopping list specific to that plan, followed by tailored daily specific meal plans for that goal.

Part Three is three chapters of healthy recipes and resources for obtaining things such as ferments that a busy person might want to buy from a good source. I want to keep this book for the recipes. One chapter is dedicated to recipes using coconut and another chapter is recipes with a variety of traditional healthy recipes using various healthy fats and oils.

Throughout the book there are enlightening comments about fermented foods, enzymes, fish oils, , herbs, cravings, constipation, psychology and the gut, autism and all manner of health issues relating to food. I personally notice a major difference as I eat this way over time. I believe that any person following this way of eating would improve their health.
Profile Image for William Nist.
329 reviews9 followers
May 26, 2013
This book is about healthy eating through Coconut oil, fish eggs, liver (and other products), as well as cod liver oil supplements. It is sort of an Atkins diet with these products added. There are many recipes included.

I guess I will have to make a decision at some point about low-carb and high-fat diets for health and weight control. The authors present compelling reasons why the standard dietary advice is wrong. It falls in with some other reads that I have recently completed. This is a major decision for anyone, since the approaches are almost mutually exclusive. (Except for eliminating Fructose and its aliases, which is common to almost all dietary regimes).

I must admit that I have just lost 23 pounds on the Adkins, and that I have added some coconut oils to my diet; but these authors go further in both the amounts of coconut products necessary and their types.

The Cod liver oil, I can easily do by substituting one of my Omega 3 fish oil tablets for some Cod Liver.

Maybe at 65, my worries are trifling; a younger person would have to eat this way for many more years than faces me--with more significant benefits and/or dangers.

Anyhow, its another broadside challenge to our low-fat, high-carb official recommendations that we get from the Government, Heart Association, Cancer Foundation, etc.

Boun Appitito

Profile Image for Dave Riley.
Author 2 books11 followers
April 11, 2012
Top of the fat eating pile...comes to me recommended. Essential read if you want to move your gut into radical edge of the dietary war zone . It's like committing incest: sleeping with saturated fats. Nonetheless, there wasn't much for me to take away as I find it far too much formatted by guru speak despite the science. Put me right off. Makes you think you are born again rather than simply fed. But I did learn about the joy of the coconut and especially coconut oil. And my penchant to embrace preserved stuff --as in pickling -- was given a bit of a nod. So the hype undermined its message and when the claims list of efficacy gets longer than my arm, I began to switch off.On the other hand Nourishing Traditions which I am reading now is much better: the arguments are more consistent and more carefully managed.
Profile Image for Holly.
66 reviews15 followers
April 7, 2010
I used this information when I began switching from low-fat/high carb to high fat/low carb. A lot of the recipes are simply wonderful. The information in the first half of the book is priceless. I gave the recipe book four stars because some of the recipes that were presented were a little too high in carbohydrates and made me hungry shortly after we ate. I think that doesn't help weight loss if you're hungry shortly afterwards.
Profile Image for Kristin.
242 reviews
August 19, 2011
This book has some great information, especially on the role of saturated fats (particularly coconut oil) in our diets. The first several chapters are well worth reading, but the book gets a little diet book-ish after that. However, if you are interested in learning more about using coconut oil in your daily diet this is definitely the book you've been looking for. And, there are some really amazing recipes at the end.
440 reviews3 followers
March 4, 2015
1 head Napa cabbage
1 bunch green onions
1 c carrots
1/2 c daikon radish
1 T ginger
3 cl garlic
1/2 t dried chile flakes
1 T sea salt
1/4 c whey

Pound. Let sit. Pound. Stuff into jar. veg 1 inch below surface. cover tightly room temp 3 days. fridge.

Miso Soup w/ Cabbage
1 qt fish stock
1 T soy sauce
2 T miso
1 onion
2 c cabbage (or Chiense)
1 T fish sauce.

Stock to boil, whisk in miso. Add ingred. simmer 10 m

Profile Image for Nicole.
22 reviews1 follower
July 30, 2012
This book is vey good explaining problems with a lot of the oils we cook with today. It is very coconut driven, but if you read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, you will see more of the animal fats in there. This book is geared more to helping you loose weight or heal when your body systems are messed up. Nourishing Traditions is a cookbook but each section has a few pages of explanation before it gives recipes. And the beginning of the book has a lot of important information.
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