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Any cases where saturated fat is unhealthy..

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  • Any cases where saturated fat is unhealthy..

    as CW says it is?

    I've really upped the sat. fat in my diet over the past few weeks. Yesterday I had half a can coconut milk, bacon, eggs and beef. Probably more than double what my body's been used to over the years. I'm wondering though, since it's such a misunderstood topic, whether there's any circumstances where we should curb our intake of saturated fat. Yesterday I did a 6 mile hike so I think I needed the fat for the energy, but saying I had an injury and couldn't exercise for a few weeks, would it be wise to cut down on the saturated fat?

    Also I have a fair amount of carbs and sugars in my diet in the form of starchy veggies, fruits and dark chocolate (I've cut the grains). Is sat. fat healthy for us primals only if we're on low sugar/low carb diets and getting plenty of exercise?

  • #2
    I think you should cut the carbs before cutting out sat fat.


    • #3
      Yeah. Really, you only need read the first line of your post - 'as CW says it is' - and you've got your answer. But do watch the starchy veggies and fruit. In the presence of too much carbohydrate, high fat consumption can be dangerous.
      The Primal Journey of Mr and Mrs Fist


      • #4
        I believe in a balanced approach, ala perfecthealthdiet. There is some need for glucose in the body, granted you can get it from protein, but it is not an efficient method. Please read the number of articles by Paul on Low Carb diets at
        There is a need for protein. There is also a lot of need for micro-nutrients. Its not like fat contains minerals or water soluble vitamins. Fats in my opinion is not much different from potatoes. They both are source of little nutrients compared to calorie content. I would think potatoes will come out higher than fat.

        I like Pauls recommendation of 1:2 protein+carb:fat ratio. Remember this ratio is valid during maintenance periods. If you are eating less to lose weight, protein+carb should remain were it should be and only fat should go down. Obviously you will get the remaining fat from your body fat stores.

        Remember this is not a low fat recommendation it is nearly 70%fat diet.

        Protein should be at a minimum of 1.5gm/Kg/day of LBW when losing weight. It can be lower during maintenance.
        Carbs should be a minimum of 50gms. Can go higher but no higher than 100gms for weight loss. If you are very active this recommendation will naturally increase the carb and or protein requirement. I don't think going beyond 1.5gm/Kg/day during maintenance phase makes any sense. For special needs like highly insulin insensitivity, cancer, or mental issues, protein + carbs should be restricted to 150gms.

        You can reduce the carbs if they are higher and you want to lose weight. But it does not seem like you need to.
        Regarding Saturated Fats. They are the most neutral forms of energy. They are also a very big requirement structurally. Don't worry about them unless your fats are higher than 70%. I do think you should eat eggs/liver if saturated fat is higher, due to increased choline requirement.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Anand Srivastava View Post
          Fats in my opinion is not much different from potatoes.
          Oh dear.

          Originally posted by Anand Srivastava View Post
          Regarding Saturated Fats. They are the most neutral forms of energy.
          What? You get your info from some very strange places.
          Last edited by Primal Fist; 02-23-2011, 04:26 AM.
          The Primal Journey of Mr and Mrs Fist


          • #6
            "Is sat. fat healthy for us primals only if we're on low sugar/low carb diets and getting plenty of exercise? "

            It's up to you to find out! That's what most of us here are all doing, I suggest!

            I would just say; don't use 'CW blood tests' to judge 'results'. Just generally adapt your lifestyle choices and food intake by noting just how your body feels; the gradual tendency to leanness and how you are maintaining/increasing general strength.

            Recompose! Don't decompose!
            activate the rhythm, the rhythm that has always been within


            • #7
              Originally posted by Primal Fist View Post
              Oh dear. I thought I had problems mistaking cloves for garlic cloves, but that is really something else.
              I enjoy being a contrarian ;-).

              So lets talk about micro-nutrient contents of fat versus potatoes.

              I am not saying they are not healthy, but if fill yourself up with only fat you are going to lose out on other things that are also required.

              When you get fats with real food as in meat or fibrous veggies, it is all good its not empty calories. I hope you know that fibers convert to fat.

              Fats added to foods are an entirely different story. They are nearly empty calories. So be vary of too much added fats.

              What is so wrong in saying saturated fat is very neutral. It causes the minimum possible damage. Everything else protein, carbs, MUFA/PUFA are all more capable of oxidation than SFA. SFA only oxidizes when oxidized by the mitochondria.
              Last edited by Anand Srivastava; 02-23-2011, 04:36 AM.


              • #8
                I guess if you look at each isomer there could be instances that might be considered negative..........but we don't eat isomers we eat food. I've read that palmitic acid can have deleterious effects, but when eaten with stearic acid those effects are minimized or eliminated.......and just about any food that has palmitic in it also has stearic....... mother nature, go figure.
                Whether you think you can..... or you think you can't..... your 100 % correct.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sue View Post
                  I think you should cut the carbs before cutting out sat fat.
                  Why is this the case? Having a BMI of 17 I don't want to lose any weight (not concerned with gaining either). I agree with the idea that grains are an inferior source of energy and nutrients, but I'm still cautious to eat 80 grams of saturated fat a day, because CW tells me not to go above 20 grams. I've read Marks post 'Is saturated fat healthy', but I'd like to do some further reading on how it impacts the body, especially for someone who has a low BMI and still eats starchy vegetables and fruit.

                  I'm happy with the carbs I'm eating and don't want to cut down (unless it's in the best interest for health). I'm underweight and insulin sensitive (as far as I know). I like fruit. I like carrots and parsnip and sweet potato, and think that I'd only cease to eat them if I was overweight. What I'd like to know is (presuming sat. fat is good for someone who's trying to lose weight and is eating 50-100 grams of carbs a day) what is it doing for people like me..

                  It seems that the clearest, most obvious improvements to health, after a switch to the primal diet, are seen in those who were overweight, and I sometimes think that I'm in the 'wrong' place in these forums, because my genes respond very differently to the majority of people in the low-carb world. Don't get me wrong MDAs a great resource for me - I enjoy the active lifestyle, and eating unprocessed food is a no-brainer, but what I wonder is that with me having such 'different' genes to most people here, should I be taking a different approach with my diet.

                  Could someone offer me any advice or links to articles that would help me out?
                  Last edited by randallfloyd; 02-23-2011, 07:36 AM.


                  • #10
                    OP, There are people here who are "in-shape", and there are people here who need to lose a few pounds.....but you're not unique, that's for sure. Your body has the same physiology as everyone else.

                    BMI Mean's nada. What's your body-fat percentage? My BF is around 8%. I don't eat most carbs (Grains, Legumes, potatoes, fruit). I didn't discover that wheat was causing my seasonal allergies until I cut it our of my diet. Carbs are an un-needed fuel source, and they don't provide any nutrients that can't be found in meats and green vegetables.

                    If you require carbs to function and perform optimally in your sport or hobby then use quality carbs (Yams, Sweet-potatoes.....maybe some white potatoes). If not, leave them out.....if you don't need them.

                    Read some research here:

                    And BTW Anand, fiber does not convert to fat. LOL!!


                    • #11
                      Please don't worry over 80 grams of saturated fat, I consume close to 150 grams. Saturated Fat is the safest of all the fats. Look around the Whole Health Source blog and/or Paleohacks, lots of discussions and links to studies there.


                      • #12
                        I don't think there is a direct correlation between weight and degree of improvement of health on primal. I think the main factors are how you were eating before, and how badly your body responds to various non-primal foods. I'm very overweight but have seen litle improvement in how I feel so far, but I was already eating a wholefoods, high protein, moderate fats diet without gluten or dairy. Compared to the changes I saw within a week of cutting out gluten 3 years ago, I have seen little change.
                        Gluten intolerance and hypermobility syndrome

                        Eat food. Mostly real. Enjoy life.

                        Health, energy, wellbeing, vitality, joy, LIFE! Health At Every Size

                        "Do not ask what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
                        Harold Whitman


                        • #13
                          I don't think that the fact that you don't want to lose or gain weight makes you unique genetically or otherwise. The Primal diet is lower in carbs (since it includes more fat) than the recommended food pyramid diet, but it doesn't have to be low-carb. I don't think there's anything particularly problematic about your carb or fat consumption, but ultimately that is up to you- what you believe and how you feel.

                          I'm quite convinced that saturated fats are superior to PUFAs since the science makes sense to me, since my skin quality improves eating sat fats and less PUFAs, and since they don't seem to raise my cholesterol too high I don't have to confront the numbers game on whether or not the lipid hypothesis is true. Works for me.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by UndergroundNutritionist View Post
                            And BTW Anand, fiber does not convert to fat. LOL!!
                            Yes it does, partially at least. Some fiber is digested by bacteria in the colon and large intestine and converted to fatty acids.

                            Originally posted by Anand Srivastava View Post
                            I enjoy being a contrarian ;-).

                            So lets talk about micro-nutrient contents of fat versus potatoes.
                            Somewhat annoying when people say potatoes are empty nutritionally. (Change amount to 1 potato)


                            Yeah it's not the motherload of nutrients that liver is, but it ain't bad, and it definitely ain't as empty as fat.

                            Sweet potato isn't too shabby either:

                            Even unenriched white rice has nutrients.


                            • #15
                              Thanks. I'll keep doing what I'm doing as I am feeling healthier since starting on the high fat primal diet. I've read Griff's cholesterol post and believe that the CW with the test results is flawed, etc, etc. Is there anything besides a cholesterol test though, that would give me an idea of where I'm at with the saturated fat? Any symptoms that I'd be having too much?