Studies suggest that the brain needs animal fat to function properly — at a time where mainstream narratives seek to tarnish the consumption of red meat as “unsustainable,” “immoral,” and “environmentally unfriendly” due to the carbon footprint left behind by cattle rearing.

There are several dietary and lifestyle habits that can permanently damage your brain, such as sugar in your adolescence or low testosterone levels potentially wrecking your mental health.

Within this short article, we will explore as to why animal fat consumption is crucial for a healthy brain.

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Why The Brain Needs Animal Fat

sugar and the brain

Despite recent anti-meat propaganda, the fact remains that around two-thirds of the brain consists of fat and requires a fat molecule known as DHA or docosahexanoic acid, which is an evolutionary throwback stretching as far as 500 million years ago for vertebrates.

In addition to the recent bovinophobic messaging, mainstream scientists have (wrongly) urged the public to reduce their consumption of saturated fat.

A Harvard study actually claimed red meat and butter were bad for the brain [R].

This push, in turn, has led consumers to seek “healthy” fat sources from nuts, avocados, and seeds instead of animal sources — with oily fish such as salmon way out in front for optimal brain health.

The Brain’s Favorite Fat: DHA

DHA Molecule
DHA Molecule

DHA is an irreplaceable PUFA (Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid) that cannot be synthesized through fats in plants, yet DHA comprises up to 20% of the brain [R]

Other fats the body requires, but cannot be consumed from plant sources include the Omega-3 anti-inflammatory PUFA EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and the pro-recovery Omega-6 ARA (arachidonic acid).

But, returning to DHA, Psychology Today reports:

DHA’s job description is a lengthy one. Among many other functions, DHA participates in the formation of myelin, the white matter that insulates our brain circuits. It also helps maintain the integrity of the blood-brain barrier, which keeps the brain safe from unwanted outside influences.

Perhaps most importantly, DHA is critical to the development of the human cortex—the part of the brain responsible for higher-order thinking. Without DHA, the highly sophisticated connections necessary for sustained attentiondecision-making, and complex problem-solving do not form properly. It has been hypothesized that without DHA, consciousness and symbolic thinking—hallmarks of the human race—would be impossible.

Most alarmingly, the DHA levels in vegetarians, on average, is 31% lower than omnivores, while vegans tend to have 59% less DHA than their meat-eating peers.

Around 80% of Americans tested have sub-optimal levels of DHA in their system [R].

Having said that, the only way to measure for DHA is via a blood test and not straight from the brain itself.

Between the third trimester of pregnancy and the age of two, it is believed that the infant’s exposure to DHA — or lack thereof — can determine the child’s mental health for the remainder of its life.

Certain diagnosed psychiatric disorders such as Autism and ADHD have been linked to reduced levels of DHA.


Brain: DHA in food
Brain: DHA in food (via Psychology Today)

Be sure to fill your diet with a diversity of animal fats from red meat, dark meat, and not forgetting oily fish.

Don’t be afraid to chow down on some sushi every now and then to get everything firing correctly.

Although DHA can be bought in supplement form, we advise consuming your share of this fat as nature intended as some supplements can market products lacking in bioavailability.

If you need some inspiration when it comes to the kitchen, we recommend that you check out our nutrition bundle that includes an illustrated cookbook with dozens of recipes.

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A video on DHA and the brain

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