Fat for Fuel

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Fat for Fuel: A Revolutionary Diet to Combat Cancer, Boost Brain Power, and Increase Your Energy

For over a century, we’ve accepted the scientific consensus that cancer results from genetic disease due to chromosomal damage in cell nuclei. But what if cancer isn’t a genetic disease after all? What if scientists are chasing a flawed paradigm, and cancer isn’t a disease of damaged DNA but rather of defective metabolism as a result of mitochondrial dysfunction? What if that startling truth could revolutionize our understanding of other diseases as well—and show us a radical new path to optimal health?

In this groundbreaking guide, the first of its kind, New York Times best-selling author and leading natural-health practitioner Joseph Mercola explains how nearly all disease is caused by defective metabolic processes. Then he reveals what’s really causing your metabolism to go haywire: damage and dysfunction in the mitochondria, thousands of which are at work in nearly every cell in your body, generating 90 percent of the energy you need to stay alive and well. When mitochondria become damaged in large numbers, it is impossible to stay healthy.

Dr. Mercola shows you that you can to take control of your health simply by giving your body the proper fuel—and it’s not what you’ve likely been led to believe. A ketogenic diet, very low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats, is the way to optimize the biochemical pathways that suppress disease and support healing. And the benefits can be astonishing—not only in treating or preventing serious illness, but in boosting your brainpower, increasing your energy, helping you lose weight and keep it off, and much more.

As you read this book, you’ll learn in clear, rational terms how your body works at a molecular level. You’ll finally understand the type of fuel it’s designed to burn in the most efficient way possible. You’ll find detailed guidelines for starting and sticking with a ketogenic eating plan. And you won’t have to wait a decade or two for metabolic mitochondrial therapy to make its way into the mainstream. You can build a healthier body and brain at the cutting edge of this exciting new discipline, starting right now.


I have been passionate about learning about health for the last 50 years. I hope my story will prevent you from making some of the same painful and foolish mistakes I have made along my journey toward optimal health. It is my experience that it is far easier and less painful to learn from others’ mistakes.

My commitment to a fitness routine started in 1968. Dr. Ken Cooper’s book Aerobics catalyzed my interest in health, which eventually led me to enter medical school 10 years later. Sadly, like most health enthusiasts during the late ’60s and early ’70s, I fell in line with the low-fat, high-carb diet that has been popularized by the mass media for decades. This type of diet is the polar opposite of what I now understand as necessary to prevent chronic disease, manage cancer, and optimize health.

Seven years of medical school and family practice residency solidified my brainwashing into the conventional drug-based medical model that exists primarily to treat the symptoms of disease. Virtually none of my seven years of training ever addressed the root cause of common chronic illness. Rather, it focused on managing symptoms through the use of pharmaceutical products and medical procedures. In 1995, my understanding made a radical leap in evolution. I met Dr. Ron Rosedale in a room with a few dozen other physicians at a meeting of the Great Lakes Academy of Medicine. Little did I realize then how fortunate I was to be one of the first physicians inspired by Dr. Rosedale’s wisdom on clinical metabolic biochemistry.

Dr. Rosedale lectured for over three hours on the critical need to control high insulin levels in order to prevent nearly every chronic degenerative disease that is rampant in our modern culture, including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and neurodegenerative diseases. You may have had a similar epiphany in your life when you knew you were encountering a foundational truth. In this case I knew it could impact the health of hundreds of millions of people who desperately needed help.

For the next ten years I used the principles Dr. Rosedale taught me along with other information I had gained from attending many dozens of postgraduate courses on nutrition— a subject, suffice to say, never taught in medical school— to continually refine my understanding and use of food as medicine. (Even today most medical schools fail to provide even the most rudimentary basics of nutrition. 1) I was fortunate to have the privilege of using these principles to care for more than 25,000 patients in my clinical career. It was enormously rewarding to be able to provide solutions for most of my patients, many of whom had been seen but not successfully treated by some of the leading physicians at some of the finest institutions in the country.

It wasn’t that I was any smarter than these other physicians— far from it. The difference was that I stayed disciplined, open-minded, and diligent in pursuing the truth about the underpinnings of health. My unfair advantage was elemental: I had a better understanding of how the body healed itself because I had made a decision to stay at arm’s length from pharmaceutical interests. That perspective helped me focus on looking for and remedying the cause of disease rather than mitigating the symptoms. Although I was aware of the importance of limiting refined carbs and processed foods and replacing them with healthier choices, I was relatively clueless about the importance of eating plenty of high-quality fats and activating the body’s natural ability to burn fat for its primary fuel instead of glucose. I didn’t realize that I still had to look further. WE’RE LOSING THE WAR ON CANCER BECAUSE WE’VE BEEN FIGHTING THE WRONG ENEMY…….

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Joseph Mercola