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Saturated fats bad according to Loren cordain

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  • Saturated fats bad according to Loren cordain

    On "fat levels" of animals that were eaten in the Stone age:
    Because animals had yet to be domesticated, Stone Age hunters could only eat wild animals whose body fat naturally waxes and wanes with the seasons.

    ....in wild animals such as caribou. Note that for 7 months out of the year total body fat averages less than 5.0 %. Only in the fall and early winter are significant body fat stores.

    There is absolutely no doubt that hunter-gatherers favored the fattiest part of the animals they hunted and killed. Not surprisingly, these organs are all relatively high in fat, but more importantly analyses from our laboratories showed the types of fats in tongue, brain, and marrow are healthful, unlike the high concentrations of saturated fats found in fatty domestic meats.
    On fat levels between grain-fed, grass-fed, wild animals:
    We have recently analyzed and compared the fatty acid composition of wild animals, grass-fed beef, and grain-fed beef (Cordain L et al. Eur J Clin Nutr 2002;56:181-91) and have found that the relative saturated fat content within subcutaneous fat (be it from grain-fed cows, grass-fed cows, or wild game) is virtually identical among the three different animals. However, the absolute amount of saturated fat is two to three times higher in the meat (muscle) of grain-fed cows. Consequently, if you would like to reduce your intake of saturated fat (which I believe to be a prudent dietary measure), then excess fat should also be trimmed from grass-fed beef meat (muscle).
    On the fat content hunter-gatherers ate:
    Using computerized dietary analyses of the wild plant and animal foods, our research team has shown that the usual fat breakdown in hunter-gatherer diets was 55-65% monounsaturated fat, 20-25% polyunsaturated fat (with an omega-6mega-3 ratio of 2:1), 10-15% saturated fat (with about half being the neutral stearic acid).
    On canola oil:
    recommend canola oil because it is high in monounsaturated fats (58.9%), low in saturated fats (11.6%) and has an omega-6/omega-3 ratio (2.0) that mimics the ratio found in pre-agricultural diets.

    The erucic acid content of commercially available canola oil averages 0.6%. Numerous animal experiments show that the previous health effects identified with high concentration of erucic acid do not occur at this concentration, and in fact canola oil prevents potentially fatal heart arrhythmias in animal models. There is no credible scientific evidence showing that canola oil is harmful to humans.
    I thought canola oil was bad?

  • #2
    Cordain's position on sat fat and canola oil is pretty well known. He's backed off a little, but he still toes the CW line on fat mostly. Considering that most hunter-gatherer populations eat the whole animal, he's pretty far off the mark. Game animals have a lot of fat, it's just distributed differently. He's comparing muscle meat to muscle meat, but hunter-gatherers don't only eat muscle meat, and the fatty bits are pretty prized.

    Also, see the debunking of the lipid hypothesis for why it's not necessary to worry about fat.

    And yeah, 99% of canola oil is awful, oxidized, chemically processed crap. I'm less worried about cold-pressed, organic canola (which I use! oh noes!) because the properly cold-pressed stuff doesn't have the same heat-processing damage and has a pretty good 3/6 balance, but I don't heat it to high temperatures ever. I use it like I use extra-virgin olive oil.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

    Owly's Journal

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    • #3
      He says that the wild animals that hunter gatherers ate contained very little saturated fat. The fats that were in the organs were the good fats (and omega 3). Also, he says they had periods of famine due to unsuccessful hunts etc.

      He says saturated fats don't pose a problem when consumed under hypocaloric conditions. In normal calorie conditions, saturated fats raise LDL levels.

      He also does say decrease the use of vegetables oils and then goes on to say to use canola oils.

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      • #4
        Archevore - Archevore Blog - Wild vs Grass vs Grain Fed*ruminants

        Dr. Harris has several recent posts on this subject. A later entry pic shows the amount of fat in the stomach cavity of a pastured bison.

        <edit to add> http://www.gnolls.org/715/when-the-c...initely-paleo/
        Last edited by TCOHTom; 04-20-2011, 06:00 PM.
        Retirement has afforded me the ultimate affluence, that of free time (Sahlins/Wells)

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        • #5
          Makes sense to me.

          I'm pretty suss about this whole gorging on saturated fats thing. I still dunno which is true, but obviously there's arguments on both sides of the fence. I think I'll err on the side of caution and stick with my nuts and avocados.

          Comment


          • #6
            Um, you do know that the fat in an avocado is about 17% saturated, right?
            “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

            Owly's Journal

            Comment


            • #7
              But seriously, cap8, I think you need to read more about the problems of the lipid hypothesis (even if you don't want to read Taubes). There are quite a few research studies that debunk the whole notion that saturated fat is the evil it's been made out to be.
              “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

              Owly's Journal

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TCOHTom View Post
                Archevore - Archevore Blog - Wild vs Grass vs Grain Fed*ruminants

                Dr. Harris has several recent posts on this subject. A later entry pic shows the amount of fat in the stomach cavity of a pastured bison.
                A Bison isn't representative of every animal our ancestors would have eaten. A lot of them were probably rats, small deers, insects and the sort.

                Other wild animals (such as the Australian native animals) are all very lean. I buy kangaroo in the supermarket often, and it's an extremely lean meat.

                I really don't buy the argument that we should be eating butter-fried bacon etc. I reckon our paleolithic ancestors probably only consumed a moderate level of saturated fat.

                I posted this in another thread:

                Wild Bison:




                Wild Kangaroo:





                Wild Venison:




                Supermarket farmed cow steak:

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Owly View Post
                  But seriously, cap8, I think you need to read more about the problems of the lipid hypothesis (even if you don't want to read Taubes). There are quite a few research studies that debunk the whole notion that saturated fat is the evil it's been made out to be.
                  I'm fully aware of that. Well - I've seen one or two anyway.

                  I'm sitting on the fence. I don't know if saturated fats are unhealthy or benign. But I also think it's probably best to err on the side of caution. Moderation is best. I'll have an avocado and nuts for breakfast, but don't worry, I won't feel guilty about having half a BBQ chicken for lunch.

                  You won't catch me eating butter fried bacon and cream anytime soon though.

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                  • #10
                    Kurt Harris' arguments have pretty much persuaded me. At this point, I worry more about most nuts than about my grass-fed butter. But Cordain isn't an idiot, and I have a hard time believing that he is merely touting conventional wisdom. I would love to hear Harris and Cordain hash this out sometime.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mwok86 View Post
                      On "fat levels" of animals that were eaten in the Stone age:


                      On fat levels between grain-fed, grass-fed, wild animals:


                      On the fat content hunter-gatherers ate:


                      On canola oil:


                      I thought canola oil was bad?

                      Can you provide a link for this stuff btw? I'd like to read the whole article.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You should read his book.

                        *ducks and runs*
                        “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

                        Owly's Journal

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Are those quotes new or from older information?

                          Here are recent Cordain thoughts on fats:
                          FAQ | The Paleo Diet
                          Meghan

                          My MDA journal

                          Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

                          And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            First off, let's get the record straight. I have never said that saturated fats are the sole dietary cause of "heart disease." Coronary heart disease (CHD) consists of myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) and angina pectoris and accounts for 54% of the deaths from a larger category of heart and blood vessel illnesses called cardiovascular disease (CVD) which accounts for 40.6% of all deaths in the U.S. CVD not only includes CHD, but also stroke, congestive heart failure, hypertension, rheumatic heart disease, congenital cardiovascular defects, artery diseases and others. The physiological mechanism underlying CHD is atherosclerosis, a complex process involving interactions among environmental factors (both nutritional and non-nutritional) and the genome. Environmental factors such as exercise, smoking, and inflammation clearly influence the development and progression of atherosclerosis. Numerous nutritional factors can serve to either (1) promote or (2) inhibit atherosclerosis via modulation of one or more of the steps involved in the atherosclerotic process.

                            Dietary saturated fats are nutritional elements that may promote atherosclerosis. As consumption of certain saturated fatty acids (12:0, 14:0, 16:0, but not 18:0) increases, the number of hepatic (liver) and peripheral low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors decreases which in turn causes serum concentrations of LDL cholesterol to rise (a process called down regulation). Down regulation occurs because internalization of 12:0, 14:0 and 16:0 within cells reduces the expression of genes which code for the LDL receptor protein. At low blood LDL cholesterol concentrations (20-50 mg/dl), LDL cholesterol molecules move freely in and out of the arterial intima (the portion of the artery where atherosclerosis arises). When blood levels of LDL cholesterol molecules rise, LDL molecules tend to become "stuck" in the intima where they undergo oxidation and glycation to become "modified LDL." Modified LDL stimulates arterial endothelial cells to display adhesion molecules which latch onto circulating monocytes and T cells. The endothelial cells then secrete chemokines which bring the monocytes and T cells into the intima where they mature into macrophages. T cells release cytokines causing inflammation and cell division within the artery. The macrophages are different from all other cells in the body in that they display a scavenger receptor which is not down regulated by LDL cholesterol molecules. The macrophages "feast" upon modified LDL cholesterol in the intima and become filled with these fatty droplets and become foam cells. Cytokines cause smooth muscle cells to grow over the lipid core of multiple foam cells forming a tough fibrous cap which becomes the characteristic plaque which defines atherosclerosis. Finally, inflammatory cytokines secreted by foam cells weaken the fibrous cap by digesting the collagen matrix. If the weakened cap ruptures, a substance secreted by the foam cells called "tissue factor" interacts with clot promoting elements in the blood causing a thrombus (clot) to form. If the clot is large enough to halt blood flow, it causes a myocardial infarction (heart attack).

                            Dietary saturated fats do not always elevate blood LDL concentrations. When consumed under hypocaloric (reduced energy) conditions they may improve most blood lipid parameters including total and LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and total triacylglycerol (TG). This phenomenon typically explains why Atkins-like diets (such as recently reported this spring in the New England Journal of Medicine) may be as or more effective than hypocaloric, low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets. However, under isocaloric (normal energy) conditions, studies of healthy normal subjects show increased consumption of saturated fats significantly raises blood LDL concentrations.

                            A further confounding factor in this scenario is the presence of a specific type of LDL cholesterol molecule in the blood called "small dense LDL." The rate of influx of LDL into the intima is not only related to the blood concentration of LDL cholesterol, but also to the size of the LDL molecule. Small dense LDL have a greater flux into the intima than normal LDL and they are more likely to get "stuck" in the intima because of increase binding to proteoglycans. The primary metabolic source of small dense LDL is very low density lipoprotein molecules (VLDL) whose blood concentration is greatly influenced by dietary carbohydrate, particularly high-glycemic-load carbohydrates. Hence foods with high glycemic loads such as those made with refined sugars and grains may also operate synergistically with high dietary saturated fats to promote atherosclerosis. Additionally, high-glycemic-load carbohydrates are positively correlated with plasma concentrations of C reactive protein, an important marker for systemic inflammation, a key element of the atherosclerotic process, as I previously noted.

                            The gold standard procedure for demonstrating cause and effect between diet and disease is called a dietary intervention. Subjects are either fed or not fed a certain food or nutrient and then either presence or absence of a disease or disease symptom is monitored over time. With CHD, the results of dietary interventions in which saturated fats have been lowered, frequently have been unable to demonstrate a reduced mortality from CHD. The problem with the majority of these studies is that they were conducted prior to the knowledge that high-glycemic-load carbohydrates were an important promoting factor in CHD etiology. Further, most of these studies did not control for inhibitory dietary factors such as omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, phytochemicals, antioxidants etc. Hence, the interpretation of whether or not dietary saturated fats cause CHD in these interventions is confounded by a number of crucial variables. In animal studies, including primates, these confounding dietary factors can be completely controlled and atherosclerosis is routinely induced by solely feeding high amounts of saturated fats.
                            From the link Meghan posted.

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                            • #15
                              Yeah, I think he is firmly in the fat is okay if you are low carb, low GI. If you eat high carb, high GI then you need to eat low fat.
                              Meghan

                              My MDA journal

                              Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

                              And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!

                              Comment

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