The ‘fat’ secret
In fact, Bikman says that increasing the consumption of healthy fats may be the most important change you can make, supporting metabolic health, brain health and more.
“Our ancestors knew that fats were the most nutrient-dense substances they could eat,” said Bikman. “They provide you with needed nutrition, help you feel satisfied, curb your desire for sweets, and even help train your body to burn excess body fat.”
Bikman emphasizes that not all fats are created equal. Processed seed oils from soy, corn and canola are particularly harmful, while fats from olives, coconuts, cocoa butter, ghee and more are uniquely beneficial.
“It’s important to get a wide spectrum of healthy fats, from short-, medium- and long-chain sources,” said Bikman. “It’s not about taking a shot of MCT oil or a big pat of butter and calling it a day.”
Power of protein
Bikman is also surprised at the confusion over protein. Some people advocate for very little, others consume it to excess, while others simply make poor protein choices.
“You have competing mindsets on protein, with very little legitimate science behind the arguments,” said Bikman. “Protein is essential, especially as you age, but it needs to be consumed in conjunction with fat, just as is found in nature.”
Bikman is equally concerned with the plant-based protein trend, which he emphasizes is not based on good science, but clever marketing.
“This isn’t meant to be provocative, but unless you have a real allergy, you should NOT be consuming plant protein,” said Bikman. “You get very little nutritional benefit from plant protein due to the anti-nutrients and incomplete amino acid profile, plus concentrating the incredible amount of plant matter to isolate the small amounts of protein also concentrates unhealthy levels of heavy metals, which can devastate your health.”
The best types of protein, according to Bikman, are whey, egg whites and collagen. He emphasizes that those have the highest biological value, offer the most complete essential amino acid profile, and support lean and toned muscle, healthy joints, cartilage and bone health.