I’ve made a discovery – Starbucks carries heavy cream. They just don’t put it out for everyone to dump into their coffee. But they have it. Obviously it’s probably not the highest quality, organic, grass fed cream, but it’s still heavy cream. I’ve really settled into drinking my very rare coffee black, but if I’m 100% honest, I loooooove coffee with heavy cream. Not milk. Not half and half. Not Coffeemate Vanilla Caramel Chai Toxin creamer. Heavy cream is so divine.
So yesterday I stopped into Starbucks for a Grande-decaf-iced-americano-with-extra-heavy-cream. I watched as the barista poured a solid inch of heavy cream into the cup on top of the coffee. As it swirled delightfully down I noticed another lady watching. Well, more like gawking. I happily took my coffee/fat concoction and said “I just love heavy cream!” The gawking onlooker said “Oh not me. I accidentally got half and half in my coffee once and I could just feel all that fat sticking to the roof of my mouth. It’s just not healthy to have that much fat and you’re probably going to keel over and die at any moment.” Ok, so she didn’t actually say that last sentence, but she said it with her eyes.
At this point, I really wanted to a) pull my hair out, b) shake her and say “that low-fat blueberry muffin is making you fatter than my 1/4 cup of heavy cream!” and c) show her my latest bloodwork.
I eat a fair amount of fat. In general, I eat a lower carb paleo diet, because that’s what my body does best with. That means I eat a lot of fat. About 60-65% of my diet comes from healthy, paleo fats. My favorites are butter, animal fat from well-raised not-lean cuts of meat, avocado, heavy cream (obviously), and tons of coconut milk and oil. Read: I consume way more saturated fat than most people.
Now I understand how one might think that fat in my diet would translate to fat in my blood and on my body. Hence the whole low fat movement.
One would think. But in reality it’s not true.
Let’s talk about my body fat. I walk around at between 17-19% body fat. That’s not that high. It’s not that low either, but how I control that is by lowering my carbs not my fat intake.
Let’s talk about my “blood fat”, also known as triglycerides. Here’s are the parameters for triglycerides WebMD blesses us with:
Normal triglycerides means there are less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
Borderline high triglycerides = 150 to 199 mg/dL.
High triglycerides = 200 to 499 mg/dL.
Very high triglycerides = 500 mg/dL or higher.
I got my blood work done recently for a health challenge at work. Everything was great – especially my triglycerides.
My triglycerides were 38.
I want to shout it from the mountain tops. “I EAT 60% OF MY DIET FROM FAT AND MY TRIGLYCERIDES ARE 38!”
I’m not going to rehash why this is, because way smarter people have already done so. Like here. And here. And here. But I just wanted to give my little testimony to how a high dietary fat does not (necessarily) equal high body fat or triglycerides.
That’s all – happy Friday!