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Thread: Saturated fats bad according to Loren cordain page

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    mwok86's Avatar
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    Saturated fats bad according to Loren cordain

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    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?

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    Owly's Avatar
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    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.
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    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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    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 at 06:00 PM.
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    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.

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    Um, you do know that the fat in an avocado is about 17% saturated, right?
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    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.
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    Quote 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:


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    Quote 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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    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.

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