Ask Dr. Salerno

Why Dr. Salerno Recommends Saturated Fats for Weight Loss

Your New Year’s Resolution: Losing The Excess Weight

With the new year here, my office at Patients Medical here in New York City is filled with patients who want to start their year off with an effective reducing diet. Who can blame them? According to recent government studies, with more than 62 % of Americans categorized as overweight, and a whopping 37 % actually falling into the obese category (BMI over 30) these concerns are widespread and they are real.

When a patient comes in to see me, I do blood work to determine if they have elevated blood sugars and a thorough 3 to 4 hour long glucose tolerance test to check their insulin stats, then I weigh and measure them to determine their BMI, which is your body mass index.  Actually, a quick search of the internet will get you to a source for an online BMI test you can do at home ( , and some honest assessment will tell you if you’ve gained 10 pounds or more during the last year, in which case you know you need to go on a diet.  Another quick test you can do yourself is the waistline measure. If you are a woman, and your waistline is above 35”, you are definitely overweight, and possibly obese. If you are a man and your waistline tops 40”, you’ve got to acknowledge that you need to do something about it.

But which diet? The internet is flooded with choices, and the bookstores and magazines are overflowing with suggestions.

Here’s what I advise my patients to do. Jumpstart your new year’s diet by detoxing your body with a cleansing fast. For more recipes and suggestions, see
Ugh, you say. What a horrible idea. I do not want to suffer.

Wait a minute, I’m talking about a full fat fast. Eat 5 small meals a day consisting of meat, cheese, eggs and fish. Intersperse these with snacks of nuts or jerky. What you are fasting from are carbohydrates. All of them. No processed carbs, no unprocessed. No high glycemic items, no low glycemic items.  You’ll be eating between 1000 calories and 1400 calories a day of nutrient dense foods that will give you a burst of energy, and will begin to make your hair shine and your skin supple within days. You will not be hungry. You will not have attacks of cold sweaty palms, or shaky hands. You will not have hypoglycemia. You will never have that ravenous feeling that leads you straight into the cookie jar.

But won’t my cholesterol go through the roof, you ask? No. Counter intuitively, your cholesterol will go DOWN. Studies show that cholesterol is regulated by controlling the processed carbohydrates we put into our bodies, NOT the natural fats.

You can turn your body into a fat burning machine by eating a high natural fat diet. And I’m talking about JUST natural fats, saturated fats, not industrial man-made vegetable oils and solid fats. Quite simply this means choose butter, extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed expeller nut oils. Coconut oil, red palm or palm kernel oil, lard from pigs, animal fats from organic beef, chicken, goose or duck fat.

What you should avoid are new fangled vegetable oils, including any and all hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats, margarines, industrially processed liquid oils including soy, corn, safflower, cottonseed, and canola oils as well as all processed foods that have any form of these man-made fats in them.

You’re going to become an ardent label reader.

For a source of reliable, sustainable organic food products, check out This is a virtual gourmet market of foods that will help you lose weight. To learn more about fats, read Dr. Mary Enig, the original scientist who sounded the alarm about the vegetable oil business in this country nearly 30 years ago and the co-founder with Sally Fallon of the Weston A Price Foundation. See

This may sound confusing at first. We’ve been bombarded by bad information and junk science for more than 30 years about the dangers of animal fats and the praise of man-made vegetable oils and solid fats including Crisco, Canola, Wesson and all the other brands you see in the grocery store.

The net result of this huge marketing campaign is a country that’s growing increasingly obese and unhealthy. You can stop this for yourself. Choose full fat cheeses, pates, nuts, steaks, chops, wild caught fish fillets, shrimp, crab, lobster. All the nutrient dense foods that will nourish your body and satisfy your appetite.

But isn’t it unhealthy NOT to eat fruits and vegetables, you say?

Consider this. Mankind has only had fruits and vegetables 12 months a year for less than 200 years. Before that, most of mankind went through the winter eating mostly animal fats and protein. Your kidneys, liver, and pancreas will get a much needed rest from the assault of the so-called Western diet by choosing a full fat fast. How long you need to stay on it depends on how overweight you are. I had one gentleman who came into my office weighing nearly 400 pounds. He stayed on the fast for 55 days. His weight came down 45 pounds and his blood sugars went down, his other health markers began to normalize. Ultimately, after months on the marathon where he now eats organic proteins, natural fats, and 9 servings of organic vegetables, fruits and whole grains, he weighs about 182 pounds and plans to continue the Marathon phase of the diet for life.

Like I keep saying to him, “Jack, you’re not half the man you were when you came in here.”

I wish for you a happy and healthy new year. This time you can really do it. And I’ll show you how to introduce organic fruits and vegetables and whole grains back in the step-wise fashion we call the Marathon which will keep you healthy for the rest of your days.