Nutrition Foundation

Excessive fat


Natural fats that come as part of whole real foods are well tolerated by most people. However, a sudden large intake of fat will create a short-term increase in insulin resistance for 12-24 hours. This may not be a problem if sugar and refined carbohydrates are avoided at this time. But combining a large intake of fat with a large intake of sugar and other carbohydrates can be more problematic – this triggers large amounts of insulin to be released thus increasing fat storage, leading to insulin resistance.

Interestingly, there are very few foods in nature that are high in both fat and carbohydrate. The only natural foods where this occurs is nuts and milk. Both nuts and milk are likely to drive weight gain when consumed in larger amounts, as nature may have intended.

Some people may follow a diet that is lower in carbohydrate. In this case, it may be possible for the body to tolerate a higher fat intake without causing an insulin resistance problem.

To improve health consider

  • Be cautious when adding pure fats to foods, the total amount being consumed may need to be reduced.

  • If eating a large amount of fat avoid eating a large amount of carbohydrate at the same time or soon after.

  • Be cautious about many ultra-processed and packaged foods. Many of these have a high combined fat and carbohydrate content.


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