Skip to main content


Of the overt fat sources (foods which derive 50% or more of their calories from fat), we here at the Paradigm Diet endorse avocados and olives over traditional staples like nuts and oils. The reason is simple. Oils are not whole foods. They are extracted from whole foods, leaving the vitamins and minerals behind and sticking you with pure fat, which if eaten in excess sticks to problem spots like the cheeks, thighs, neck, arms, waist, hips, and buttocks. And nuts derive a large percentage of their calories from pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats which are already overemphasized in the standard American diet. Besides, nuts too often come roasted and salted and are simply too easy to overeat.

By contrast, olives and avocados are fruits eaten in their raw and minimally-processed state to provide an abundance of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in addition to fiber and vitamins and minerals. And they are delectable.

But avocados can be expensive and have a relatively short shelf life. Also, once mixed into a salad, they tend to oxidize rapidly, turning an unbecoming shade of brownish black and giving off a funky odor and taste. Spritzing some lemon on them can alleviate some of the funk, but still avocados are best eaten within an hour or two after preparation. But if you are looking for an additional fat source with a longer shelf-life and comparable nutrition, try coconut butter.

Coconut butter, in contrast to coconut oil, retains the pulp of this beloved fruit, which lowers the fat content per serving and increases the fiber content. And you will love the creamy, nutty taste. Coconut butter is reasonably priced, a 16-ounce container can be purchased for around $10; and it is available at both health food stores and traditional Ralphs/Vons type supermarkets.

In lieu of avocado, simply mix 1 or 2 tbsps. of coconut butter into your favorite green salad - kale, spinach, lettuce, etc. It's oh so delicious. Dairy eaters will find it tastes like cream cheese! Remember that coconut butter is predominantly fat - two tbsps. is equivalent to 1 small avocado - so be sparing. And much of the fat found in coconut butter is of the saturated variety, a nonessential fat which can elevate cholesterol in amounts exceeding 20 grams per day. Two tbsps. of coconut butter provides 16 grams of saturated fat, but keep in mind that a vegan diet is generally low in saturated fat,  since this type of fat is found mainly in animal foods including milk, eggs, and meat products.

Of course, all saturated fat is not created equal. A study in a recent addition of the Journal of Nutrition showed that saturated fat derived from animal sources (milk, butter, cheese, etc) is inversely associated with telomere length, making it a biomarker of aging. Telomeres are the ends of DNA strands, which get shorter as the cells divide. Cells have a finite ability to divide, meaning the shorter there telomeres, the more they have divided (likely due to cellular damage/stress), and the closer they are to death. In short, the more saturated fat you eat, the more quickly you lose leukocytes. Leukocytes are white blood cells. They are your body's immune cells. You want to keep those buggers around. And if they're dying, chances are other cells are dying in the oxidative environment created by excessive ingestion of the wrong types of fats, causing you to age rapidly.

Interestingly enough, the 1 short-to-medium chain saturated fatty acid NOT associated with aging was the 12-carbon lauric acid. Where is this fatty acid found? You guessed it: coconuts, half of whose saturated fatty acids are of this variety. Bottom line: when eating saturated fat, choose vegetable sources. That is, if you want to live long and look young.

A note on caloric content. Coconut butter has 110 calories and 10 grams of fat per tbsp., which is less than the 120 calories and 14 grams of fat found in oil (coconut, olive, etc.). To reduce fat content even further simply skim off the layer of oil that collects on top of the butter. To distinguish, note that the oil is bright white compared to the butter's yellowish hue. You'll find that you can easily skim off 5 or 6 tbsp., which reduces the amount of calories and fat found in coconut butter to 80 and 7 respectively. The oil works great as a moisturizer. Spread some on today.


Popular posts from this blog


I was watching the TV show Naked and Afraid last night as I sometimes do. The show teams together two strangers, a man and a woman, who attempt to survive on their own for a period of 21 days in some remote and isolated region. Some of the locales featured include the Australian Outback, the Amazonian rainforest and the African Savanna. The man may have a military background, or be an adventurist or deep sea fisherman. Sometimes he's an ordinary dude who lives with mom. The woman is a park ranger or extreme fitness enthusiast or "just a mom" herself. Sometimes the couple quarrel, sometimes one or both "tap out" (quit) in a fit of anger or illness. It is satisfying to see them actually make it through the challenge and reach their extraction point. The victors are usually exhausted, emaciated, begrimed and bare ass naked. 

Even more satisfying, at least for me, is the occasional ass shot, snuck in at strategic intervals to boost viewership, of course. It's co…


I hereby proclaim that June is meditation month. And July and August and some of September too. For me at least. During the hundred days that comprise summer, give or take, I have taken it upon myself to "assume the position" for approximately one hour each day, usually divided into two 30-minute sessions. During this time I sit in front of a candle flame, let my breathing subside, and with it my mental activity, and literally count the seconds.

The reductive tendency that is emblematic of science has penetrated schools of meditation, and there are many, each of which advertises its particular breed as, if not being the best, at least boasting novel or specific benefits not found in other forms of meditation. 

For example, there is mindfulness, which is the monitoring of thoughts. There is concentration or focus, as on an object or the breath. There is transcendental meditation, which uses the inward repetition of a phrase, or mantra, to "allow your active mind to easily …


To be spontaneous or systematic, that's the question. Or SOS, as the Police sing. Within me these two opposing characteristics are ever at war. I suppose we're all born more of the former. What child is not up for a trip to the candy store on a whim? But our educational system drums in the systematic approach to problem solving. You must progress from number 1 to 10 on your test. Each class is 50 minutes long. Etc. And indeed having a schedule and being methodical can lead to greater material success. If you only do what you feel like you may never study math, or organize your closet. But enslaving yourself to a ritual can suck all the fun out of life. To reconcile the two approaches we've evolved the weekend, which is basically a short vacation from the rigid workday, a time to play in an unstructured way. The athlete has his rest days, a time away from play. The family has the trip to the Bahamas. There are semester breaks in school, though having an entire summer off is…