The Skinny on Fat
By R. D. Flavin


The “Venus of Willendorf,” a statuette from ca, 28,000 BCE, Lesley “Twiggy” Hornby named “the face of 66,” and pics of model Kate Upton. 

And the kohen shall cause it to [go up in] smoke on the altar, consumed as a fire offering, [with] a pleasing fragrance. All [sacrificial] fat belongs to the Lord.
The Tanakh (Masoretic Text) – Leviticus (Hebrew: ויקרא‎, Vayikra/Wayiqra) 3:16

And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire for a sweet savour: all the fat is the LORD'S.
King James Bible – Leviticus 3:16

     So, G*d loved the smell of burning fat, we seem to LOVE fat in all its forms, and have a difficult time 'burning' off the fat we consume. The skinny on fat is it's necessary in an average diet, but a little goes a long way. Unless, of course, one chooses not to be 'average' and takes the extreme approach of either obesity or the ultra-thin gaunt look popular among certain fashion models and most unpopular among those who are starving. We've long heard the advice of “All things in moderation,” yet we seldom do what we're told...

     Fat, preeminently essential for a 'balanced' diet, are divided into a nutritional version of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – Unsaturated fats which include Monounsatureated fats, Polyunsaturated fats, Trans fats (some with the 'Omega numbering of ω-3, ω-6, ω-7, and ω-9), Saturated fats, and Interesterified fats. Some are present as solids, others in liquid form, and are consumed through the digestion of oils, dairy products, meats, nuts, and as both natural and artificial additives in a variety of desserts, condiments, gravies, and salad dressings. According to a recent National Health and Nutrition Survey, more than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese, more than 1 in 3 adults are considered obese, more than 1 in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity, about one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese, and more than 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be obese. And, it follows, Dunkin' Donuts are beginning to sell a bacon maple doughnut and a “Deluxe Bacon Donut,” because while “America Runs on Dunkin’” may be a clever marketing slogan, the sad truth is ...after a few of these doughy porcine delights, EMTs will be likely running 'you' to the nearest hospital.

Dunkin' Donuts new "Deluxe Bacon Donut."

     In most 'Archaeology 101' courses it's taught we evolved our humanity because we're the species who cared for the young, the old, the disabled, and the sick or wounded. It's also taught the invention of agriculture ca. 10,000 BCE was one of the most tragic events in human history, as spinal problems begin to appear because of the 'back-breaking' work of maintaining a field of crops, as well as a profound difference in human teeth, as significant wear begins to show due to bits of sandy rock being present in grain after it was pounded into a managable fineness, but unfortunately some residual rock-bits remained which wrecked havoc on our teeth. Oh, and though many have chosen to hate and despise plants so much they pick a diet in which ONLY plants are killed and consumed (the so-called 'vegetarians'), bioarchaeologists have long described the shape and function of our teeth as befitting omnivores, that is, those who eat meat, plant-stuffs, bugs, or just about anything which won't poison or make one puke... Our ancestrial transition from scavanger to hunter/gatherer may have happened a long time ago, but with dumpster-diving and enjoying roadkill making a comeback, it seems all those quasi-brainy quotes regarding “history repeats itself” could be more than allegories about burping or farting.

     So, besides issues with fat, there's a vertible cornicopia of nutrional problems before us. For the last couple of years I thought I was doing the correct thing by avoiding sugar or high fructose corn syrup soda and consuming diet (yeah, the stuff with the aspartame, cyclamates, saccharin, sucralose, and all the other questionable fake sweeteners which in wicked large doses can do all types of bad things). Yeah, 2 liters of diet ginger ale a day was a thing for me, though now I read produces a 'wrong' type of fat (Fowler et al. 2015). Ever reminded of W. C. Field's comment about why he avoided drinking water, and KNOWING chugging massive amounts of any fruit juice is just as bad as regular soda (or 'pop' or 'tonic', depending on where you live), it looks like herbal tea is my destiny.

     Folks have been doing 'fad' diets for centuries (and probably millenniums, as well). We've got recent suggestions to resist the 'fat free' diets and embrace our inner-hefty (Mozaffarian & Ludwig 2015), maybe combine eggs with raw veggies (Campbell et al. 2015), and my personal pick for acrobatic academics, a diet which promotes consuming bread and carbs at the END of the meal, as opposed to those baskets of bread-sticks, chunks of bread to be dipped into a plate of seasoned olive oil, and related biscuits and stuff (Aronne et al. 2015).

     And, finally, we've a new diet which encourages a mild-ish 5-day 'fast' once a month for three months. Plus, the diet and fast comes with a claim of some partial re-generation of ...things (Longo et al. 2015). The skinny on fat is that our opinions change faster than a New England weather forecast... Oh, and apparently we'll all soon be munching on bugs as opposed to them munching on us. This is going to take a lot more than chocolate to convince the anti-insect crowd.


Aronne et al. 2015. “Food Order Has a Significant Impact on Postprandial Glucose and Insulin Levels.” By Louis J. Aronne, Alpana P. Shukla, Radu G. Iliescu, and Catherine E. Thomas. Diabetes Care. 38: e98-e99. DOI: 10.2337/dc15-0429.

[Note: And, without laughing, there's this at via]


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Campbell et al. 2015. “Effects of egg consumption on carotenoid absorption from co-consumed, raw vegetables.” By Wayne W. Campbell, Jung Eun Kim, Susannah L. Gordon, and Mario G. Ferruzzi. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. First published online May 27, 2015. This trial was registered at as NCT01951313.

Fowler et al. 2015. “Diet soda intake is associated with long-term increases in waist circumference in a biethnic cohort of older adults: the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging.” By S. P. Fowler, K. Williams, and H. P. Hazuda. Journal of the American Geriatric Society. 63, 4: 708-715. doi: 10.1111/jgs.13376. Epub 2015 Mar 17.

Longo et al. 2015. “A Periodic Diet that Mimics Fasting Promotes Multi-System Regeneration, Enhanced Cognitive Performance, and Healthspan.” By Valter D. Longo, Sebastian Brandhorst, In Young Choi, Min Wei, Chia Wei Cheng, Sargis Sedrakyan, Gerardo Navarrete, Louis Dubeau, Li Peng Yap, Ryan Park, Manlio Vinciguerra, Stefano Di Biase, Hamed Mirzaei, Mario G. Mirisola, Patra Childress, Lingyun Ji, Susan Groshen, Fabio Penna, Patrizio Odetti, Laura Perin, Peter S. Conti, Yuji Ikeno, Brian K. Kennedy, Pinchas Cohen, Todd E. Morgan, and Tanya B. Dorff. Cell Metabolism. Publication stage: In Press Corrected Proof. After Vol. 21, Issue 6 – DOI:

Mozaffarian, Dariush and Davud S. Ludwig. 2015. “The 2015 US Dietary Guidelines Lifting the Ban on Total Dietary Fat FREE.” Journal of the American Medical Association. 313, 24: 2421-2422.

weighing my choices between a cheesesteak and a steak and cheese,

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