Fat: Good, Bad or Ugly?

Submitted by Doctor GP - Click on image to view presentation

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19-22 June, 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organization, no. 2, p. 100) and entered into force on 7 April 1948. The Definition has not been amended since 1948WHO definition of Health

Obesity continues to be of concern in Barbados. Government continues to spend a significant percentage of its annual budget on healthcare but the question remains: Has the Ministry of Health developed a health and wellness message which is resonating with Barbadians?

It is interesting to note thin people can be fat!


  • We should be using more unprocessed coconut oil for cooking and eating and less of the polyunsaturated oils like canola and corn oil etc.

    Years ago coconut oil got a bad rap as it was considered a saturated fat and the thinking was that consumption of coconut oil would lead to increased cholesterol levels as occurs when people consume too much saturated fat from animal sources. However, there is now a lot of research available to show that coconut oil is not like an animal fat and has multiple beneficial and health promoting effects on the body. It appears you can actually burn body fat and loose weight by increasing the consumption of coconut oil in your diet due to coconut oils content of MCTs or medium chain tryglicerides, a type of fat the body uses as fuel.

    MCT–medium chain triglycerides–are fats that are naturally found in coconut and palm kernel oil. MCT’s are more easily and rapidly digested than other types of fats, as they require lower amounts of enzymes and bile acids for intestinal absorption. MCT’s are metabolized very quickly in the liver and are reported to encourage an increase in energy expenditure, while decreasing fat storage. Numerous studies suggest that substituting MCT Oil for other fats in a healthy diet may therefore help to support healthy weight and body composition.

    MCT’s have been shown to be a good addition to anyone’s way of eating. It promotes weight loss. Improves appetite control. Is beneficial in for exercise and athletic performance. Improves thyroid function. Improves heart health. Improves your immunity. Improves brain health when used in conjunction with a ketogenic diet. Jump starts ketosis when following a typical Atkins’s type diet. Thus decreasing the induction side-effect of the dreaded “Atkins Flu”. Assists in calcium, magnesium and amino acid absorption in people with malabsorption issues–think WLS.


    For more detailed information on the health benefits of consuming unprocessed coconut oil, go here: http://www.coconutoil.com/research.htm

    I had a hard time finding coconut oil in the stores (except pricey stuff in health food stores), but now I see Emerald City is carrying extra virgin coconut oil from Belize on the shelf with their other oils and at a more reasonable price. The cool air from the AC in the store gives it a white cloudy look, but once you get it home out of the air conditioning it liquefies again and turns into a clear, pourable oil.

    The main drawback is that the oil does have a noticeable coconut flavour and if you don’t like the taste of coconut then you probably won’t like coconut oil, especially used raw as that is when the coconut flavour is most pronounced.

    Tip for a delicious salad dressing with coconut oil: Sweeten some apple cider vinegar with honey to taste (I keep some pre-made in an old plastic honey container) then pour some of that over your raw salad with a couple spoonfuls of extra virgin coconut oil – Sweet fuh days.

    I use to be a real bacon and eggs man for breakfast, but not any more.
    Try stirring a couple spoonfuls of coconut oil into your morning oatmeal along with some raisins and chopped fruit and you will see why.


  • Recent research has shown that bajans are way to fat and it is causing big problem for the health institutions. An average of two limbs per day is cut off from bajans’ body, couple this with heart attacks and stokes which are both on the increase in this country. It just goes to show that bajans have lost the desire to eat good home cooked food and are supporting the fast food joints daily. You should see the amount of families who buy their Sunday lunch from Emerald City Supermarket and Super Centre Warrens, even week. A cardiologist told me recently that this problem is causing much strain on the QEH because it is reaching epidemic level.


  • @The Scout

    A case of lifestyle trumping good sense, read commonsense?


  • Annonymous

    I really enjoyed your post.


    May I humbly ask you some questions arising from your post above?

    Can you cite the References for the recent research that indicate that Bajans are obese and that this is causing problems in our health institutions?

    Are you saying that the research has indicated that the increasing incidence of obesity is directly related to the fact that Bajans “lost the desire to eat good home cooked food and are supporting the fast food joints daily”?

    Did the research also indicate that the amputation of two limbs daily is a result of obesity, or was this due to uncontrolled diabetes and other causes of peripheral vascular problems?

    Did the research show that the increasing incidence of heart attacks and stokes were due directly to obesity, or were they other contributing factors?

    What do you think is the cause of the increased incidence of obesity, besides eating at fast food joints rather than eating home cooked meals, as was the former cultural norm.

    There is a good reason for these questions.


  • Is diabetes ccaused not only by excess sugar or by the inability of the pancreas to produce enough insulin, but also sometimes by the inability of the body to utilise the processed sugar, due to the fat content of muscles or lack of lean muscle etc?

    I.e. this would support Scout’s assertion.

    On my own readings on diabetes, that is the impression I took away, that the muscles must also be able to actually utilise the processed sugar, so the fault is not always the pancreas, but obesity can be just at fault.

    By the way, how about exercise?

    Bajans habits are not good, you know people are laxy when the minbus stops every fifteen yards to drop someone off.

    I mean, literally fifteen yards, just ridiculous, because the people who get out are often not disabled, but appear well bodied and capable of walking.

    Years ago bajans used to walk, not now.

    There are obviously a few exceptions, as in anything.

    Problem is, we grow up running about as children (or used to, not these children nowadays, some obese too), then as we get adult, stop.

    Sports such as road tennis, walking, hiking, swimming, ball games should be a part of life, not something you did ‘when you were a child’.


  • G.P
    I would like to answer your questions but I will have to be very careful not to name the source since I was not permitted so to do . However, here are the information that was given to me; quite recently Dr Hennis was on the electronic media given some insight and figures on the problem/s that arise out of non-communicable diseases of which those I mentioned were among those named. as for GOOD home cooking, check out the fast food joints and you would see many families , the affuent and the not so affuent patriating these places on a daily basis. Emerald City “cook shop” and Super Centre’s are at this minute filled with long lines of average bajans who every Sunday go there for their family lunch. Since these joints are open quite late on mornings, the little delis at the service stations, especially the one in Wildey by the “Y” are filled with parents grabbing lunch for their children for school. Even at special occasions like Christmas,many families are no longer baking good house baked breads and cakes but would prefer to tear off each other blouses to get commercially baked stuff from these fast food joints. Most amputations according to very reliable source, are a result of diabetes which is in turn is causes by obesity that is the reson for many bad eating habits that have become the morn in Barbados. It is not uncommon to see people includinbg school children on their way to work on morning drinking a coke and eating a jam puff for breakfast. Gone are the days when workers and children would leave home with a solid breakfast of cornmeal pap or some other good cereal plus some bakes and eggs and a hot cup of “green tea”, cocoa or some similar drink. Finally G.P I belkieve the main cause of obesity in Barbados along with those mentioned , is the lack of excercise. We have become a “house” people, many people don’t even go into their backyards to do a little kitchen gardening or even clean up but would pay some little fellow to do it for them. Sit at the T.V or comp or Tel for hours and while there munch on a few bars of chocolate or some icecream or cookies or potato chips or maybe a few beers. I hope I have in some way answered your queries


  • @ Scout

    Good post, but you should have left out the bakes. Man, I have not had one of those in ages. Anyway, I got some stone ground whole wheat flour upstairs. Breakfast tomorow? Yes! Then off to the gym for a two hour work out. Cant eat all that oil and sit down.


  • Here’s a bit of interesting stuff
    now we have ‘a banana a day, keeps the doctor away?’….The fully ripe banana produces a substance called TNF, which has the ability to combat abnormal cells.

    So don’t be surprised very soon the shop will go out of stock for

    As the banana ripens, it develops dark spots or patches on the skin. The more dark patches it has, the higher will be its’ immunity enhancement quality.

    Hence, the Japanese love bananas for a good reason…

    According to a Japanese scientific research, banana contains TNF, which has anti-cancer properties.

    The degree of anti-cancer effect corresponds to the degree of ripeness of the fruit, i.e. the riper the banana, the better
    the anti-cancer quality…

    In an animal experiment carried out by a professor in Tokyo U comparing the various health benefits of different fruits, using banana, grape, apple, water melon, pineapple, pear and persimmon, it was found that banana gave the best results. It increased the number of white blood cells, enhanced the immunity of the body and produced anti-cancer substance TNF.

    The recommendation is to eat 1 to 2 bananas a day to increase your body immunity to diseases like cold, flu and others.

    According to the Japanese professor, yellow skin bananas with dark spots on it are 8 times more effective in enhancing the property of white blood cells than the green skin version


  • @Dr. GP

    I used to like freckled bananas and kept them until they became freckled. However, lately, I have found that I get cramps when I eat freckled bananas. Why is this? Is it that the TNF is not agreeing with me?


  • Scout

    Bear with me while I respond to some of the issues you raise.

    What is GOOD home cooking? Is that we had in the 50’s & 60’s or there after when we became more affluent and started eating more meat?

    When we were growing up


    B WE ATE MORE ROOTS like potatos yams and we also ate more breadfruit
    C WE DID NOT EAT AS MUCH CHICKEN ETC – that was reserved for Sundays only.

    As we got more affluents as a people we have been EXERCISING LESS. Less walking, less riding bicycles etc

    RE B whats so good about the root crops we ate. Is that not all starch? Not really? Some plant material like that is not so easily digested because we c ant break alpha 1-4 bonds in cellulose. Sp vegetables and most plant foods with cellulose (so called roughage) fills our stomachs, provides fibre and roughage and fewer calories than FOODS WITH SIMPLE CARBOHYDRATES.

    A whole plate full of breadfruit has in less carbs than even a little of much of what we are eating today even in our homes (we don’t have to go to the fast food joints for it either! This includes THE STUFF WITH ALL THE MAYONAISE, and BUTTER & OILS!

    We can avoid the fast food joints. But some folk are preparing and eating lots of the same types of things at our homes.

    C Here is to thing that has struck me by thinking more deeply about GLUCONEOGENESIS! This will interest Pat and those struggling with weight problems or pre diabetes or diabetes.
    What is gluconeogenesis? It is the making of sugar in the body from carbon skeletons of protein metabolism.

    Historically as folk become affluent they eat more! This may be sugars or fats or proteins.

    If we eat a lot of fat we will store the acetyl CoA units produced as fat. So if we eat lots of fats from fat food joints or if we prepare it at home it’s the same.

    If we eat lots of simple carbs we will convert glucose or fructose or galactose to acetyl CoA units via pyruvate and store these acetyl CoA units as fat.

    If we eat lots of proteins eventually the carbon skeletons of protein metabolism will eventually become excess acetyl CoA via gluconeogenesis and be stored as fat.

    Cholesterol is also made starting with excess acetyl CoA units.
    When you become prediabetic or diabetic insulin does not promte the removal of glcose into cells from the blood stream.

    The cells- though there is lots of glucose in the body cry out GIVE ME GLUCOSE I HAVE NO GLUCOSE. And GLUCONEOGENESIS which is a process which the body uses to ensure that in fasting or starvation that the brain and red blood cells and all the tissues that must have or prefer glucose as its fuel have glucose.

    Now this is normal process is good for normal folk . BUT FOR PREDIABETICS AND DIABETICS, GLUCONEOGENESIS IS REALLY NOT GOOD

    THEORETICALLY the only way to solve the situation is to go back to
    B EATING MORE ROOTS like potatos yams and we also ate more breadfruit

    THE COD LIVER OIL (omega 3 fatty acids)
    They say that green tea is good.
    The cocoa has a lot of fat in it—was OK when we walked and ran a lot!

    Too many bakes not good for the prediabetic or diabetic and obese TO REACH THESE STATES IS LIKE THE LOTTERY YOU REALLY GOT TO WIORK HARD TO SURVIVE.

    Hope there is something above that helps. In a few weeks I will try to set up a ppt on gluconeogenesis to see if I cant help the bright sparks like Pat who are into diabetes research etc. to understand this better.

    But it has dawned on me recently that gluconeogenesis is working against the obese pre diabetics and diabetics.


  • Pat

    It might not be the TNF.
    You might be having problems with your disaccharidases.

    Do you get the cramps with other fruit- or sweet things containing sucrose or other disaccharides.

    But TNF is a relatively new big thing in Cell Biology and Biochemistry. I need to study it more, but I doubt very much that TNF is causing your cramps. More later.


  • @GP

    Not sure how to ask this question.

    Given the fact we know of a human body being able to adapt to conditions present, is it fair to think that a human body will react differently today compared to the way it would have 50-60 years ago?


  • David

    I am not sure I understand the question properly.

    Are you asking if our bodies would handle breadfruit and yams in 201o as they did in 1960? If so I dont see why not?

    But then we might have evolved! LOL!

    Back then we were probably metabolising faster because we were exercising more. It is thought that if you use your biggest muscles (the legs) a lot that even whenyou are at rest that they are still metabolising. This is reasonable and can be shown by the Alanine Glucose cycle.

    Dont know if this helps


  • @ Dr. GP

    No, I only have the cramps with ripe bananas. In fact, I have cramps when they are not freckled but ripe. So, I have resorted to eating them half ripe or ripe but firm, not stainy.

    In your next post, could you explain the below statement:

    “But it has dawned on me recently that gluconeogenesis is working against the obese pre diabetics and diabetics.”


  • Pat
    Do you have problems with milk or other foods that contain sucrose or maltose?
    Re gluconeogenesis, I hope I can get David to post something in a while.

    But basically gluconeogenesis is the process by which we make glucose from remnants of fat or protein or even carb metabolism, in states like fasting or starvation and diabetes. These three states as you know from the ppts I sent you are similar.

    We also do it between meals to regulate our blood sugar.

    But recall that in diabetics it is difficult to get glucose into cells because of insulin lack or deficiency. So the cells of diabetics sort of starve in the midst of plenty.

    In the attempt to get glucose into their cells they break down thier fats and proteins and do gluconeogensis to make glucose- even though glucose is around.

    But I am wondering if prediabetics and obese folk who may also have difficulty in glucose metabolism are not doing extra gluconeogenesis.

    More on this later. I am a bit busy now but this has started to bother me lately. lOL .


  • G.P
    Eating balanced diets is the key. Gone are the days when I would cover a big plate of food (mainly rice) with a big pork chop or beef stake. Today I eat about 4-6 ozs of lean meat with my meal, which is further balance with just about 3 table spoons of BROWN rice and vegies, either cooked ( but firm) or raw. Tomatoes is my favorite vegie. Further I don’t drink immediately after I eat, i give the natural juices in my stomach enough time to digest the food before I drink a glass or two of water. I know this is not bajan tradition but I know this method works for me. I must also add that I try hard not to eat anything too solid after 6 P.M.


  • G.P
    i should also add that I LOVE to drink a good “cornmeal pap” with gratered coconut in it, as my cereal at lease once per week. Some good bajan cornmeal


  • @ Dr. GP

    You may be on to the diagnosis. I have a mild lactose intolerance. Before I was diagnosed I thought it was IbS. Now I drink lactose free/reduced milk. I also notice that I have an affinity for the less sweet fruits like blue berries, blackberries, persimons, grapefruits, etc.


  • Yes it seems that you may have a disaccharidase deficiency, Pat.


  • Woke up this morning
    With a funny funny feelin’
    And that feelin’
    Was an unusual feelin’

    Inna my bone yeah
    It inna my blood
    Inna my toes
    Coming up to my brain

    Went to the doctor
    To check out what’s matter
    I Went to the doctor
    To find out the matter

    Doctor said son
    You have a Reggaemylitis
    I said,”What”
    Doctor said son
    You have a Reggaemylitis
    Reggae Mylitis

    Is it contagious
    Is it outrageous
    Is it vicious
    Or is it dangerous

    Inna mi bones
    Inna me blood
    From my toes
    Up to my brain


  • A man is asked to get off Southwest airlines because he was too fat to fly.


  • I had the experience of sitting next to someone who was obese and they took up almost half of my chair.


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