lately, it seems like fat has become all the rage.
paleo dietitians and fitness enthusiasts have been flooding the interwebs with all sorts of articles and scientific studies which sing the praises of blubber. in its stead, this year’s dietary scarlet letter has been sewn to the frock of carbohydrates, specifically gluten. dozens of first hand accounts seem to indicate that a fat-rich diet high in animal proteins and low in sugars can make us healthier human beings. shaky nutritional data is being tossed around like gluten-free hot cakes.
and honestly, i couldn’t care less about any of it.
at the risk of sounding like a hipster, i was into eating a high protein/high fat diet before some dietitian suddenly decided it was healthy last year. i didn’t stop eating fat when dietitians told me it was bad, and i certainly won’t start eating more now that they are telling me it might actually be good. it isn’t that i don’t trust dietitians. fat just means more to me than a bunch of numbers displayed on a graph or a scale.
the truth is, i eat fat because it is good for my soul.
i don’t eat bacon because it brings me one step closer to realizing a ketogenic diet. i eat bacon because the sizzling grease reminds me of my home. that smell brings back memories of my stepdad cooking breakfast for dinner. that crispy texture conjures memories of dark wheat toast, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and home-cured thick cut bacon.
i don’t eat over-easy fried eggs because of their protein to calorie ratio. i eat over-easy fried eggs because they remind me of my brother. every time i break the yolk, i remember sitting side by side with him eating a big bowl of penne in garlic butter sauce topped with an over-easy fried egg and cold prosciutto. once finished, i fondly recall both of us moving to the leather sofa to recline whilst wearing our xxxl t-shirts (which we wore to bed every night), and my brother complaining because i kept putting my tiny little cold feet on his legs to keep warm.
i don’t choose the dark meat from the turkey because it has more zinc, thiamine, selenium, folate, and fat than white meat. i choose the dark meat because it reminds me of my mom. when i savor that rich flavor, i think of her brandishing a fork and endlessly stirring the thanksgiving gravy, making sure no lump of flour escapes unharrassed. when i feast on that crispy, fatty skin, i picture her throwing together a leftover turkey sandwich as she runs out the door to catch her first appointment of the day.
i don’t eat a high fat diet because some guy in a lab coat told me it might prolong my life. i eat a high fat diet because my mother raised me right, and because my russian father stuffed me to the gills every opportunity he got. i eat a high fat diet because i was a shrimpy child weened on vitamin d whole milk. i eat a high fat diet because i’m a hungry boy who was raised in missouri, a magical land rife with ham and pork steak. i eat a high fat diet because i love my family, i love my home, i love to cook, and i love to eat.
each morsel of super greasy goodness brings with it an equally sweet memory of my childhood. each tremendous mouthful reminds me of a loved one waiting for me back in the states.
i’ve been a diehard fan of fat since before a bunch of scientists thought it was healthy. does that make me a high-fat hipster?
then so be it.