Another Blog Article by David E. Smalley, M.D.

This article is on a principle of pain relief that is covered much more in depth in the book, The Miracle of Pain.  The content is educational and should not be used as medical advice.
The original photos below emphasize the wonders of nature around us, which reflect the miracles within us.
May 30, 2020 — Is a Fat-free Diet Wise?

Pain control is better with control of our diet.  Obesity affects the wear and tear on our joints, and it can contribute to pain.  A chronic lack of enough vitamin D is a widespread problem in our world.  It is associated with many varied problems, and I have noticed it often in unexplained pain syndromes in muscles that were not injured.  It can cause muscle pain, weakness, spasticity and muscle tightness.

A lot of advertising has been used to promote fat-free, low-fat, reduced-fat and light food products, yet each term is different, and it is difficult to remember what they mean.  A careful reading of the food labels may help discern the differences, but is going fat-free wise?  Too much or too little of any good thing, such as fat, meat or water for that matter, creates many adverse effects.

Fat is a normal part of out diet.  Without it, food tastes bland.  Because it does not taste good, food with reduced fat often has added sugar or other sweeteners, thickeners and more calories.  To compare accurately, notice the serving size on the labels.

A piece of meat with more fat than meat on it does not look appetizing.  A huge piece of meat with no fat, similarly, should not look appetizing.  Our appetite is a built-in regulatory mechanism for our body.  However, our habits can gradually override that safety mechanism by overindulging.  Portion control, common sense and listening to our appetites will always help.

2% Milk with reduced fat compared to Whole Milk with 3.25% milkfat

Cottage Cheese with 2% Milkfat

Light Sour Cream with 50% less milkfat

Light Sour Cream with 50% less milkfat

Fat has nutrients we need, including essential fatty acids our body does not make.  Fat also helps provide other nutrients we need, such as vitamins.  Because Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, if there is no or less fat than normal in the intestine, less is absorbed.  Instead, it passes through the gut and is eliminated.

Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble.  Vitamin A supports vision and our immune system.  Vitamin D helps bone strength, muscle relaxation and our immune system.  Vitamin E supports our immune system, blood flow, vision, nerve and muscle health.  Vitamin K helps the body’s clotting system to function correctly.

Each vitamin can cause problems for us if we have too little or too much of them.  Without them, severe illness develops which is called a vitamin deficiency.  An insufficiency is less than a normal vitamin level, but a higher level than a deficiency.  It can still cause significant problems.  An overdose of a vitamin is called a hypervitaminosis.  They also have significant symptoms and can be fatal.

Without sun block on our skin, sunlight helps our body make vitamin D.  Vegetables, dairy products, meat, nuts, oils and fat in our diet is an excellent source for most of these vitamins.  Animal based fats are important sources for them as well.  A strict vegan diet, obesity and lack of sun exposure are common accentuating factors contributing to a vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency, but it also can occur without any of those factors.

In this era of the Wuhan coronavirus disease (COVID-19), several observers are noticing a relationship to vitamin D.  Severe illness and deaths associated with COVID-19 are higher with vitamin D deficiency compared to mild illness.

Olive Oil (darker) and Vegetable Oil (lighter)

Olive Oil (darker) and Vegetable Oil (lighter)

Roasted unsalted Peanuts in shell

Two Sugar Snap Pea Pods

Watching Blue Sky and White Clouds

Watching Blue Sky and White Clouds

A balanced, reasonable diet which includes some fat is a powerful defense against many health problems.  If you have questions, check with your medical doctor or a registered dietician.  We are not all built the same, so there are many exceptions and variations.  However, with care, our bodies will function better and with less pain.

* * * * *

7-foot tall Giant Sunflower