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Thread: Loren Cordains views on fat page

  1. #1
    NobleSavage's Avatar
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    Loren Cordains views on fat

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    I'm watching Cordain's lecture 'Origins and evolution of the Western Diet' as i type this and some questions popped up.
    I know he has moderated his view on SFAs but it seems that he still holds monounsaturated fats and PUFAs to be superior to SFAs.
    As i understand it alot of PUFAs are unhealthy? His argument seems to contradict this. It is ofcourse the classic 'wild animals dont have the fat content of domesticated grain fed animals'. He proceeds to demonstrate that despite hunting in the fall (where the animals would be fattest) they still have alot less fat than domesticated animals.
    in short i sense a major disagreement between folks like Cordain and, say, Phinney. My question here is, who is right. I know people here - including myself - hold to a relatively high SFA paradigm but i'm worried we're doing it simply because its comfortable and not because its scientifically correct.

    Can some one shed some light on this?

    PS. Bearing the topic in mind, gras fed is ofcourse the superior option. However, i live in Denmark and there simply is no such thing as 'grass fed'. Is grain fed meat still better than the best possible version of SAD?
    Last edited by NobleSavage; 06-07-2012 at 01:32 PM.

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    My take on it is that the fat in grain fed animals is in no way good. The fat in grass fed ruminants is where the good stuff is but you won't find the fat to be predominantly in the meat. The good stuff is in the offal. Most native diets focused on taking the fat from ruminants and the meat was secondary. This is the stuff that most meat processing factories strip off the meat.

    Grain fed fat is loaded with omega 6's and very little of the good fat soluble vitamins. This is why you are better eating lean cuts of grain fed meats.

    Eating only lean meats though will lead to rabbit sickness. To be healthy you need fat.
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    cordain's views, although they've lightened up a bit, are still weird when it comes to SFA. j. stanton has covered the error nicely, here: When The Conclusions Don’t Match The Data: Even Loren Cordain Whiffs It Sometimes, Because Saturated Fat Is Most Definitely Paleo (Updated) - GNOLLS.ORG

    kurt harris has covered the "lean wild game" myth here: Archevore - Archevore Blog - "Lean" grass fed bison*images

    what pisses me off most about his take on saturated fat, is that he villifies certain SFAs and not others, which assumes that they exist in isolation in certain foods, and we can pick and choose the ones we want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyAl View Post

    Grain fed fat is loaded with omega 6's and very little of the good fat soluble vitamins.
    that's not really true. you take a whole pound of 70/30 (fatty!) ground beef, it will have about 70 grams of fat, of which 1.9 will be polyunsaturated. if you take 1 tablespoon of soybean oil, there's 7.8 grams of polyunsaturatef fat. puts it into perspective...

    *edited to note that this is where i got the figures:
    beef: Show Foods

    soybean oil: Show Foods

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    Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NobleSavage View Post
    I'm watching Cordain's lecture 'Origins and evolution of the Western Diet' as i type this and some questions popped up.
    I know he has moderated his view on SFAs but it seems that he still holds monounsaturated fats and PUFAs to be superior to SFAs.
    Well ... as I said in this thread, in which both of us participated, it seems to me that his views are still shifting:

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread55724.html

    It is ofcourse the classic 'wild animals dont have the fat content of domesticated grain fed animals'. He proceeds to demonstrate that despite hunting in the fall (where the animals would be fattest) they still have alot less fat than domesticated animals.
    Does he? If we're actually talking about the Palaeolithic, then we're talking about large game that could carry quite a lot of fat. This would have meant game such as "Mammoth, sloth, mountain sheep, bison and beaver" as Sally Fallon was quick to point out when making some pertinent criticisms of Boyd Eaton and of Cordain:

    Caveman Cuisine - Weston A Price Foundation

    I think this comment of Sally's quite canny:

    ..., Dr. Boyd Eaton published the Paleolithic Prescription in which he argues that the cave man diet was low in fat, particularly saturated fat, low in salt and rich in dietary fiber from plant foods. His Paleolithic prescription for optimum health is, in fact, very much akin to the so-called prudent diet of the American Heart Association.
    Whoops! IOW, she thinks that what Boyd Eaton was doing was "finding" what he wanted in the past -- what he wanted being the consensus of the time in dietary circles. So current fashion was what was really driving his recommendations. I think that's almost certainly accurate, and pretty much in line with what I've heard Boyd eaton say -- although he expresses the point differently, saying that the more he thought about it the more he realized that Palaeolithic Man would have been doing just what current dietary advice recommended. Hmmm ... in effect that means that what's really the driver is whatever current dietary fashion is. (Rather like looking at an old Star Trek and realizing that it tells you more about the sixties then it ever could about the future.) And remember that current "research" recommendations are always more driven by hunches, assumptions, and fashion than you might think -- as Gary Taubes's old article on salt shows:

    http://garytaubes.com/wp-content/upl...ce-of-salt.pdf

    But i digress. As I said, there was large game around in the Paleolithic that would have carried quiet a lot of fat. The same went for some wild animals in the more recent past -- although perhaps not today, when what's left probably gets killed before reaching maturity (if it's not protected by game laws so that it's not killed at all). You could render something like 15 gallons of fat off a bear -- North American Indians are recorded as collecting enough to last, stored in calabashes, all year. In Canada, Stefansson records 40 lb slabs of back-fat on an caribou he shot. Not everything's lean.

    Hunters can be highly selective in which cuts of meat they take, preferring fattier cuts, when the game is plentiful too -- something that Cordain seemed to deny in a paper from 2000, but that he acknowledged in the video where he's in conversation with Dr. Eenfeldt. As I say, I think he's still adjusting his position.

    A classic archaeological analysis of bone material that demonstrates that is John Speth's bone analysis at the Garnsey Bison Kill Site:

    1983 Speth (Garnsey Bison Kill BOOK) (John D Speth) - Academia.edu


    PS. Bearing the topic in mind, gras fed is ofcourse the superior option. However, i live in Denmark and there simply is no such thing as 'grass fed'. Is grain fed meat still better than the best possible version of SAD?
    Absolutely: grass-fed is superior. When you grain-feed, you get fat in the muscles -- marbling -- rather than around them. The omega-3mega-6 ratio is wrong, too. If you're worried about the omega-3 issue, you could cut any separable fat off and take a little more butter (from grass-fed beasts) or olive oil instead -- or perhaps eat more wild-caught oily fish to make up for it.

  6. #6
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    wouw, great answers everyone.
    And thank you for the very comprehensive response Lewis. I know we both participated in another thread featuring Cordains views - i apologize for what might appear as sloppy reading on my part. I read alot of different stuff on this and apparently i dont have the mental capacity to order it and realize when something i've already read answers a 'new' question.
    Thank you for the links, i recall reading Sally's critique of Eaton along with Harris' observations concerning his own hunting a few weeks back. I really dont know why i didn't take that into account.

    Again, thanks for the comprehensive and swift replies everyone.

  7. #7
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    I find one of the most compelling arguments in favour of SFAs the fact that our bodies store most excess calories as saturated fat in our fat reserves. Why would they do so if SFAs were so bad for us? This is a point that Mark makes in PB.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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    And a tip to the original poster - watch for that nice yellow fat when you are buying your meat, and where possible avoid marbled meat. Whiter fat and lots of fat through the muscle area (the meat) are signs of grain feeding. Note that some breeds of cattle have whiter fat than others but a yellower fat is a sign of grass feeding.
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    I think there's some truth to some wild meat being less fatty than conventional cuts because Australian game meat is extremely lean. But the fat percentage would probably go up a lot if you're eating the whole animal which probably isn't taken into account.

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    Hmmm. I'm in NZ... and I've always noticed our meat is very rarely marbled (when I first saw mention of this on the internet, I didn't even know what marbling looked like) and then I went to America and saw it. The fat here is usually white, from what I have seen.

    And the whole grainfed vs grassfed... you have no idea how long I was baffled by this, because it's not specified here. I later found out it's because the majority of the beef, at least, is grassfed, even supermarket fodder.

    I bring this up because I think that lends credence to the idea that better meat/grassfed is less marbled ... I don't know whether that was considered common sense or not, but anyway.

    Sometimes, as annoying as this country can be, there are many things to be thankful for, like the good quality meat.
    Last edited by nixxy; 06-07-2012 at 05:17 PM. Reason: wrong words
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