Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
6 Jun

Top 7 Most Common Reactions to Your High-Fat Diet (and How to Respond)

A couple weeks back, I wrote about the top 8 most common reactions you get when people hear you don’t eat grains, and I offered up some concise responses to those reactions. It was well received, so I thought I’d do the same thing for “your high-fat diet.” If you thought having to explain your grain-free diet was tough, explaining a high-fat diet – in particular, a high-animal fat diet – may seem even harder. At least with a grain-free diet, you’re merely removing something that many hold near and dear to their hearts. It’s “healthy” and “delicious,” sure, but at least you’re not adding something that will actively kill you. Fat is that deadly thing, for many people. It’s “fat,” for crying out loud. It’s bad for you, practically a poison. Everyone knows it. I mean, have you seen what fat down the kitchen drain does to your plumbing?

Actually, like the grain-free diet, explaining the high-fat diet is not that hard. I’ll even promise you that there are ways to do it, explanations and answers that don’t make you seem like a crazy person who hates his heart (I make no such promises for those of you with a stick of butter with bite marks and a tub of coconut oil with a greasy spoon beside it on your office desk, however). Now let’s get right to their questions and responses you can use:

“Isn’t all that fat gonna glom onto your arteries?”

That isn’t how it works. Atherosclerosis is caused by oxidized LDL particles penetrating the arterial wall, inciting inflammation, and damaging the arterial tissue. It is not caused by fat mechanistically attaching itself to the surface of the arteries like fat in a kitchen pipe. Also, it’s not like you eat some butter and that butter gets directed straight into your bloodstream. Your blood doesn’t have oil slicks running through it, or congealed droplets of grease gumming up the passageways. You are the product of millions upon millions of years of evolution, and I think our bodies can do better than trying to ape modern plumbing.

Response: “My arteries are not pipes. Fat is not solidifying in my blood like it can in the plumbing. Atherosclerosis is a complex process with dozens of factors beyond what’s in your diet, let alone the fat content.”

“Isn’t all that cholesterol gonna raise your cholesterol?”

If I were a rabbit, sure. When you feed cholesterol to an herbivorous animal, like a rabbit, whose only encounters with dietary cholesterol occur in a lab setting, their blood lipids will increase and they will usually develop atherosclerosis. For many years, the “cholesterol-fed rabbit” was a popular model for studying heart disease and gave rise to the now-popular idea that dietary cholesterol also elevates blood lipids in humans (thus immediately condemning them to a heart attack, naturally). Except it isn’t the case. Save for a select few who are “hyper-responders,” the vast majority of people can eat cholesterol without it affecting their cholesterol levels. And even when dietary cholesterol affects blood lipids, it’s usually an improvement, increasing HDL and the HDL:TC ratio while leaving LDL mostly unchanged. As for where all that blood cholesterol comes from, we make pretty much all the cholesterol in our blood in-house, and dietary cholesterol tends to suppress endogenous cholesterol synthesis. Boy, between “staying local” and “only making as much as we need,” our livers are downright green. I bet our HDL is GMO-free and organic to boot (not so sure about those sneaky LDL particles, though).

Response: “Dietary cholesterol does not affect total blood cholesterol. In fact, when we do eat cholesterol, our bodies make less of it to keep our blood levels in balance.”

“Isn’t all that fat gonna make you fat?”

Fat doesn’t make you fat. While you can technically overeat enough fat calories to accumulate adipose tissue, thus getting fat, this is a difficult feat, for two primary reasons:

Fat is very satiating, especially when paired with low-carb eating. Grass-fed pot roast, ribbed with yellow fat, connective tissue, and ample protein is far more filling than some crusty bread spread with butter. You’ll eat a decent slice of the former and be done, but you could easily polish off half a loaf of the latter with half a stick of butter and still be hungry. It’s difficult to overeat on a high-fat, low-carb diet.

Dietary fat in the presence of large amounts of dietary carbohydrates can make it difficult to access fat for energy, while dietary fat in the presence of low levels of dietary carbohydrates makes it easier to access fat for energy. Couple that with the fact that fat and carbs are easier to overeat together, and you have your explanation. In fact, studies have shown that low-carb, high-fat diets not only reduce weight, they also retain or even increase lean mass. That means it’s fat that’s being lost (rather than the nebulous “weight”), which is what we’re ultimately after.

Response: “No. Eating a high-fat, low-carb diet is the easiest way to inadvertently eat less without sacrificing satiation or satisfaction. It also improves your ability to access stored body fat rather than lean mass, which is helpful for fat loss.”

“But Dean Ornish/my mom/Walter Willet/the AHA/my doctor said saturated fat will give you heart attacks.”

They all may say that, and sound pretty convincing as they say it, but the science says differently. I tend to listen to the science, rather than what I think the science is saying:

  • A 2011 study found that “reducing the intake of CHO with high glycaemic index is more effective in the prevention of CVD than reducing SAFA intake per se.”
  • From a 2010 study out of Japan, saturated fat intake “was inversely associated with mortality from total stroke.”
  • A 2010 meta-analysis found “that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD.”

That looks pretty clear cut to me.

Response: “The most recent studies have concluded that saturated fat intake likely has no relation to heart disease, contrary to popular opinion.”

“Where do you get your energy?”

I get my energy from fat, both dietary and stored body fat. At 9 calories per gram, fat is the densest source of energy. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but humans tend to store it on their bodies. That’s not just for show, you know. We actually store it in our bodies as energy for later, for leaner times, for when food isn’t available. Fat is the ideal energy source for life’s daily activities; walking, working, even going for a hike or a light jog all access the oxidative, or fat-based energy pathway. Carbs only really come into play when you’re doing repeated bouts of intense exercise, like sprint intervals or high-intensity endurance training. But for just about everything else? Fat is king.

Response: “Fat is the body’s preferred and most reliable form of energy, which is why we store excess energy as fat on our bodies. Unless you think we accumulate body fat just to make pants fit tighter.”

“But isn’t fat totally free of nutrients? How do you get your vitamins if you’re eating all that fat?”

The richest source of natural tocotrienols (vitamin E), potent antioxidants, is red palm oil – a fat.

One of the richest sources of choline, a vital micronutrient for liver function, is egg yolk – a fat.

One of the better sources of vitamin K2, an oft-ignored nutrient involved in cancer prevention, arterial health, and bone metabolism, is grass-fed butter – a fat.

The best dietary source of vitamin D, a nutrient most people are deficient in, is cod liver oil – a fat.

See what I mean? Also, even when you’re cooking with a fat that doesn’t contain many vitamins, that fat is still going to improve the bioavailability of the fat-soluble vitamins (like A, D, E, K, K2) in the food you’re cooking.

Response: “Certain fats, like egg yolks, palm oil, extra virgin olive oil, cod liver oil, and grass-fed butter, are some of the most nutritious foods in existence. And without fat in your meals, you often won’t absorb all the nutrients that are present in other foods like leafy greens, since many of them require fat for full absorption.”

“Doesn’t the brain run on carbs, not fat?”

Yes, the brain requires glucose. That is true. However, the brain is more of a gas/diesel hybrid. It can run on both fat and glucose. Ketones, derived from fatty acids, can satisfy the majority of the brain’s energy needs, sparing the need for so much glucose. You’ll still need some glucose, as the brain can’t run purely on ketone bodies, but you won’t need nearly as much. And, best of all, your brain will run more efficiently on a combination of ketones and glucose than on glucose alone.

That improved efficiency means you can actually function without food. Since you have ample brain energy stores on your body (even the lean among us have enough body fat to last for weeks), and a high-fat diet allows you to access that body fat for brain energy, you’ll no longer suffer brain fog just because your afternoon meeting went a little long and you missed lunch. Instead, you’ll enjoy steadier, more even energy in mind and body.

Additionally, your body, through a process know as gluconeogenesis, can make up to 150 grams of glucose a day – more than the brain even needs (roughly 120 grams/day).

Response: “While it’s true that the brain requires some glucose for energy, using fat-derived ketones as well can make the brain run more efficiently and reduce its glucose requirements. On top of that, your body can probably create more glucose than your brain even requires.”

Compared to last week’s grains post, there were fewer entries today, the simple reason being that while grains are hyped beyond belief, people have but a few scant – albeit robustly defended – justifications for fearing dietary fat. The backlash almost always revolves around the visceral fear of “fat.” It’s a scary word, after all, but it shouldn’t be. No one should fear something so vital to life, so crucial for nutrient absorption and hormonal function, and so delicious with roasted vegetables.

Hopefully, these responses will help curb some of that fear.

So, what’d I miss? What else have you heard, and how did you respond? Let me and everyone know in the comments!

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You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Yes Mark, thank you for tackling this topic! If I had a penny for every time someone has asked me one of these questions… well I’d have a couple of dollars

    Burn wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • My family will reject anything I say about nutrition just because I say it. Yet I have had the best physical shape due to a mostly paleo diet. And I’ve been hurt significantly in major MVA (2). Don’t waste energy appeasing anyone but u! 😃

      John wrote on June 7th, 2012
    • Thanks Mark for explaining each of these difficult high-fat low-carb diet arguments.
      The saturated fat and cholesterol factoids of the last three decades is very deeply ingrained into popular believe. Once people understand that “fat doesn’t make you fat”, and dietary cholesterol doesn’t raise your internal cholesterol levels, they are more open to learning how to proper fuel their bodies. Great blog.

      Kelly Fitzsimmons wrote on December 28th, 2012
    • fat makes fat, end of story. you need carbs for glycogen unless of course you want to burn amino acids to help oxidise fat.

      Dennis Nowland wrote on March 14th, 2015
  2. Will share this with vegan nurse who freaked out today. Told her I had 8 eggs and a pound of bacon for breakfast and she was practically jumping up and down.

    Knifegill wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • I can picture this in my head… brings a big smile to my morning!

      Rob wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • a pound of bacon? really?

      Thanks for the very useful article Mark! My husband had very high cholesterol and was put on a low-fat diet and statins of course. He gave all that up when we went Primal and he goes for blood work next week. Can’t wait to see the results!

      mars wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Please post them!!

        Ginny B wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Would love to hear the results as I will be going for mine soon.



        Rob Brodie wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • My fasted blood results after going just gluten-free and doing intermittent fasting but not primal. I typically eat lot of rice (definitely more than the 150 gms limit)

          Date – 4/25
          Total cholesterol 129 <200 mg/dL
          Triglyceride 76 40 mg/dL
          LDL Calculated 73 0 – 160 mg/dL
          Cholesterol to HDL Ratio 3.1 1.0 – 4.0
          VLDL (Calculated) 15 5 – 40 mg/dL

          Compared with my results when I was in India (before starting intermittent fasting but was mostly gluten free)

          [LIPID PROFILE – 02-SEP-2011] (before I stopped eating wheat and started using some coconut oil) Cholesterol=180 Triglycerides=151 HDL=40 VLDL=30 LDL=109.8 Total-Cholesterol-to-HDL-Ratio=4.5%

          [LIPID PROFILE – 08-OCT-2011] (one month after eating more meat outside mostly at KFC, the results become worse) Cholesterol=222 Triglycerides=179 HDL=39 VLDL=35.8 LDL=147.2 Total-Cholesterol-to-HDL-Ratio=5.69%

          [LIPID PROFILE – 04-NOV-2011] (stopped eating at KFC and generally fried food outside – also reduce chicken and ate fish/mutton when eating outside – better results) Cholesterol=202 Triglycerides=152 HDL=39 VLDL=30.4 LDL=132.6 Total-Cholesterol-to-HDL-Ratio=5.18%

          [LIPID PROFILE – 20-DEC-2011] (continued the good work of eating more coconut oil but still consumed some gingely oil and sunflower oil while in chennai – better results) Cholesterol=187 Triglycerides=150 HDL=42 VLDL=30 LDL=115 Total-Cholesterol-to-HDL-Ratio=4.45%

          The bottom line is exercise, fasting and SAFA works, bigtime. I use only Ghee, coconut oil and red palm oil now.

          Keerthy wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • Just a word of caution about expectations of lipid panels after being Primal. Your values may be higher than a “normal range”, BUT this is not necessarily a bad thing. I have been primal for years now, but if a Conventional Wisdom Doc saw my cholesterol levels he would have his presription pad out for statins immediately. My total level is high (268), but so is my HDL (113), LDL is 144, and triglycerides are at 56. Take the time to go into the forum on this blog and read through some of the cholesterol posts (especially Griff’s primer). Primal eating won’t automatically give everyone lower numbers even though it can for some people. I wouldn’t consider going back to the SAD with grains, veggie oils, etc… I think I’m healthier now than ever and getting better every day.

          WS wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • Agree with those who say not to put too much faith in the numbers. I have lived the SAD for 46 years. Most of you would run naked through the streets pulling your hair out if you knew my diet for most of my life. Yet, I have never had a cholesterol profile over 200. My numbers have always been “good” according to Dr’s. I just recently started MDA and trying to change my diet to improve my overall health and weight. And, I’m loving it! Thanks, Mark and all of you who share your experiences.

          jwesmc wrote on June 7th, 2012
      • Yes, please post the response. I’ve been on pravastatin for three years now due to “high cholesterol.” Just started going primal this week and quit taking the pills. Can’t wait to see what my blood work is like in October (next physical).

        Scott Van Natta wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • BEWARE! During weight loss and transition to the low-carb lifestyle, blood work numbers can be alarming, rather than encouraging. Preventive cardiologist Dr. William Davis, Author of “Track Your Plaque” and “Wheat Belly” explains here:

          Jeff wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • You may want to visit a few threads/blog posts on related to some detail about Cholesterol if you have an inkling. I think you will be surprised. Unless you got an NMR test you probably don’t know your risk and neither does your doctor. As Mark can probably attest…most physicians know little truth about Cholesterol. especially around diet. Bottom line is that you need to know your LDL-P number to know for sure. So the theory goes. It was very eye opening.

          Tom A wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • Yeah you might be alarmed at what you see… when I began primal my cholesterol shot up to over 400. Super super high, kinda freaked me out. I have genetically high cholesterol but 400 is crazy. I actually increased my carbs a little bit, up to around 150 a day, and it came down a full 100 points to just over 300. The HDL and Trig numbers were always great, just the LDL and total were super high

          Burn wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • As WS wrote: your results may vary and you should NOT put much stake in total cholesterol!

          The key numbers are Cholesterol:HDL ratio (ideally below 3.5:1) and, perhaps more importantly, Triglyceride:HDL ratio (less than 2 is ideal) since this is predictive of LDL pattern subtypes. This is reflected in the current literature and isn’t at all controversial (except with doctors who don’t keep up with the literature).

          In my case, the ratios were 3.3 and less than 1 on a primal diet with lots of saturated fat. Fortunately, my doctor was all on board – especially once I told him my mile time, bench and leg press weights. Then he was asking for details about the diet and training program!

          If you can get a more sophisticated blood test, you’ll want to look at LDL pattern A (large, fluffy LDL) and LDL pattern B (small, dense LDL – this is the key risk for CVD).

          MDBritt wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • You may want to check out the 3 part Podcast that Chris Kresser did with Chris Masterjohn on cholesterol. I think you get an honorary Master’s Degree if you listen to the whole thing, along with learning a ton about cholesterol, saturated fat, etc.

          Rufus wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • i had mine done in march, 3 months going primal. triglycerides came out perfect, HDL increased, LDL increased. doc wanted to put me on statins, I said forget it, I won’t take them :-) I know I am fine. cholesterol is not an issue, the adulterated omega 6 fats ingested with improper diet binding to it and getting a free ride to the cells – that is the real disaster. my cholesterol level can shoot through the roof and I won’t stop smiling.

          einstein wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • It’s interesting to see all these folks posting their warnings about how the numbers won’t necessarily improve and to care about the particle size, etc. I got my numbers done last summer after almost 1 year of primal eating and my total cholesterol was 170ish. My HDL was 55 (I think) and my triglycerides were in the 40s. My LDL was 112 or 115. Anyway, my point being: It can end up pretty good too. Even if you have a history of heart disease and high cholesterol in your family (which I do, though I have never been diagnosed as such, largely because I was too afraid to be tested when I was heavy). My wife had been tested before however and though her cholesterol was never that ‘bad’ her triglycerides dropped off a cliff after the primal/paleo switch.


          Tim wrote on June 7th, 2012
      • BEWARE! During weight loss and transition to the low-carb lifestyle, blood work numbers can be alarming, rather than encouraging. Preventive cardiologist Dr. William Davis, Author of “Track Your Plaque” and “Wheat Belly” explains here:

        Jeff wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • I agree,
          My cholesterol numbers look pretty grim, and according to my doc, I have the worst numbers in the practice. We have agreed not to discuss it for a while, as I feel that my body is still adjusting to my new stlye of life, and she knows I will tear up any prescription that has a statin on it.
          I feel that taking cholesterol in isolation and not looking at all the positive changes in my health is simplistic and formulaic. I can’t test for particle size down here (Aus), so we will test again towards the end of the year. Great article, Mark.

          Heather wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • I was on statins and the ‘low fat’ whole grain diet’ . I became Primal and have stopped my statins and blood pressure tabs. my cholesterol is 5mg so I’m very pleased and thats eating all these ‘fats’!

        cinders wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • Caution, most doctors believe the biased drug company propaganda that the lower, the better. When I went to pharmacy school, 30 years ago, total cholesterol of 250 was considered normal. There was no “good” or “bad” cholesterol. That was in response to, some folks with high cholesterol being healthier than those who artificially lowered their cholesterol with statin drugs.
          If your doctor orders a lipid profile without a type A LDL, tell him NO. Better to be considered a difficult patient than to have “hyperlipodemia ” as a permanent diagnoses on your chart. New studies show that you will live longer with high cholesterol than with low and artificially lowered cholesterol is a free pass to living the rest of your life going to doctors. If your doctor ask what type A LDL is, or why would you want that test, you need to find a new doctor.
          Just because you are living primal, does not mean your cholesterol levels will be low enough for your doctor.
          men total between 200 and 250
          women between 250 and 300
          requirements will increase with age.
          Pharmacist whose life was ruined by lipitor

          Greg wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • I’m w/Greg – lipitor/statins will ruin your life. I’ve seen it again and again. Artificially lowering cholesterol numbers while drastically decreasing energy and overall quality of life at the same time. Misunderstanding of dietary fat/cholesterol is costing millions of lives and diminishing the quality of millions more. All while lots of money is being put into the pockets of pfizer et al. Shameful.

          Kyle wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Probably a pound before cooking… but still.. that is a lot of eggs and bacon 😛 I hope you did some sprints and push-ups later… Vegans… ugh.

        Christina wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • +1

          Ma Flintstone wrote on June 7th, 2012
        • You’re not going to keep that stored unless you keep your insulin chronically high, as you would on carbs. I notice the “primal/Paleo” people making the most noise about counting calories seem to be the ones extolling the virtues of “safe starches.” Let the “safe starches” go and then see how much you gain from a pound of bacon. I would be surprised if you gain any at all. If you could finish it to begin with.

          Dana wrote on June 25th, 2013
        • Yes I’m sorry but I agree – just because you are allowed to eat bacon and eggs does not mean you have to eat most of the dozen pack of eggs or half of the pound of bacon. That’s just ludicrous… It is a bit like saying I will drink a bottle of whisky over an hour instead of over a week just because you said I could !!

          Deborah wrote on September 27th, 2014
      • My cholesterol numbers went crazy after I went primal. I was recommended statins three times by two different doctors. I had no lifestyle factors to tweak – I exercise, am 125lbs at 5’6″ and am under no stress beyond dealing with the school parking lot at pickup time. I insisted on a heart scan.

        It was absolutely free of any sign of trouble and the idea of statins was completely dropped for at least 5 years. Numbers can be misleading. Very misleading.

        Alison Golden wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • Thats hilarious. My doc told me last year to eat more eggs and bacon as my cholesterol was “too low”. This was after being paleo for three months… HA HA lovin it.

      kat wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • super funny!

        Sieuwke wrote on June 7th, 2012
    • Yay! I had 2 eggs and 4 slices of bacon, but I’m trying to lose a few pounds. Put the rest of the bacon in my lunch bag and will snack on it later today.

      Tara wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • That made me smile, too. Sounds like something I would do. When I have eggs I usually throw about 6 in the pan at a time.

      Sterling wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Yeah, I was wondering if it was the amounts rather than WHAT he ate that freaked out the vegan nurse. Even my enormous (not fat) husband couldn’t eat a pound of bacon if you paid him and that man can EAT.

        FLT wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • Yea, there’s like a ton of other stuff you can eat in the paleo diet… why a whole pound of bacon…?
          Is it really necessary to eat that many eggs in a day?

          Sue wrote on December 18th, 2014
    • Really freak out your vegan nurse, I eat 8 raw organic eggs a day. I do eat bacon, but not a pound a day … LOL.

      Werner Kujnisch wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • There was a question posed on these forums a while ago that I never found answered and this reminded me of it. I started primal about a month ago and for the past couple of weeks I’ve had 3 eggs and a few strips of bacon most mornings. I’m feeling great, I’ve dropped a significant amount of weight already, but I still hear that nagging voice of “That’s an awful lot of eggs” in my head from time to time.
        Are eggs good in any amount or is there a limit to how many should be consumed on a daily/weekly/or monthly basis?

        Phoenix B wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • Hey, I went through the same thing and actually have lowered my egg consumption, but only due to injury and lack of exercise. If your truly working out correctly, its really not that bad. I have guys I went to crossfit with eating a DOZEN EGGS A DAY!!! I would never advise that, but I was eating three a day, and then as a snack once or twice a day a couple more. This was when i was very active though. Two kids later, I get around but not as much=). I do one yolk with cheese and ham or whatever I feel like, and then once or twice a week i’ll pop a few over easy or a full omelette. Hope that makes you feel a little better because I remember that “I’m gonna drop dead of a Heart Attack” feeling as I gulped two dozen eggs a week when your all knowing doctor tells you to eat three…three…can you believe that? My grandfather in the service used to eat 7-8 eggs, a day!!! He is now 89 and healthy as an ox so go figure.

          Best regards

          Corey wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • Some people are sensitive to the egg whites, however if you feel fine eating eggs every day, then keep eating them. Listen to your body. Eggs are wholesome, nutritious, and if you’re getting a really good dozen from a trusted local farm, all the better.

          There is no “set amount” of how many eggs a person should eat every day. Just eat to be full and be sure to include plenty of greens in your day. You’ll be just fine. Congrats on your recent primal switch. Welcome to how things are supposed to be. :)

          Christina wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • This is just anecdotal, but I’ve heard about traditional people who encourage their TTC/pregnant/nursing women to eat 2 dozen eggs a day…

          Danielle wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • When it comes to anything you eat, think like Grok. Everything is seasonal except at the grocery store. When I lived on a farm in NE Texas my hens laid eggs in the cooler temps. Some laid through the heat and cold, but most stopped during the extreme temps. Try to eat seasonally – I’ve been reading that for decades now. When the food is available, fill up on it, but lay off the rest of the year (or at least not in high quantity). Grok probably ate all the eggs he could when the birds were laying in the spring, but later in the year there were none to eat.

          W.J. Purifoy wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • Phoenix B,

          My strategy is to just eat as many eggs as I want as often as I want and not analyze it. But that’s just me.;)

          Chris wrote on June 7th, 2012
        • Saw a programme on the BBC only a few weeks ago (Cant remember what it was called) and it was about dispelling myths. The girl on the programme ate 7 eggs a day for about 6 weeks and her numbers improved. Apart from possibly getting bunged up (Not even sure if this applies) and risk of too much Amonia in your system if a massive amount of protein is consumed you can probably eat a fair few. The key is not to use protein for calories. Protein is for building/repairing the body.

          Martin wrote on June 8th, 2012
        • Eggs are good in any amount as long as you’re not allergic to them. Especially the yolks. I can take or leave the whites but the yolks are nutritional gold.

          Dana wrote on June 25th, 2013
      • That seems kinda silly. It’s harder to absorb protein from raw eggs, and the albumin in the egg white can mess with the permeability of the gut when it’s uncooked.

        ajrw wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • You’re only half right.. Although the whites do need to be cooked, the yolks are completely absorbable being raw (albeit getting pasture raised eggs are probably the only eggs I’d eat raw).

          Doug wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • I saw the programme on the BBC too. She had eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner for two weeks and her cholesterol levels were virtually unchanged at the end of it. I think it was a programme about the British diet and what was good in it and what was bad. The conclusion about eggs is that you can eat as many as you want and they will do you no harm and are in fact very good for you.

          Diane Smith wrote on June 8th, 2012
        • Raw whites will interfere with you absorbing biotin from the yolk, also. You can have raw yolks without consequence (assuming no bacteria present–but statistically you are more likely to fall down the stairs), but having raw whites with them will reduce the amount of nutrition you get.

          Dana wrote on June 25th, 2013
    • thanks for the visual image and the chuckle in the middle of the work day!

      Cathy wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • A pound of bacon? Wouldn’t the nitrates and salt do more damage than any carbs?

      Kai Ponte wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Nitrates and salt are as misunderstood as saturated fat. Nothing wrong with either one of them. Here are just two links to view:

        Kathy from Maine wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • Both of these links are biased, and the one from junk food science blog is a well known debunker Sandy Szwarc, BSN, RN, CCP, whose first link is for quackewatch! She would no doubt debunk this Paleo diet as nonsence she is main stream aka the MSM. And the 1st link is by mainstreamer Michael R.Eades. M.D. Who advocates Sous Vide that is cooking in plastic immersed in water. Not a word about gender bending BPA, escaping from heated plastic! Nitrates are dangerous because they have been heated once in processing and usually again just prior to consuming making them carcinogenic!

          Roger wrote on June 7th, 2012
        • Thank you, I had no idea. I simply figured nitrates were not optimal since they were something relatively new. No idea that we generated far more than ingested.

          FWIW, my 77-year-old father-in-law is from England. He eats fried eggs and sausage for breakfast most days. He also eats fried fish for dinner at least once per week. His fat level is around 10% and he still helps us in coaching soccer.

          Now, if only he’d stop eating those salmon and beets buttys.

          Kai Ponte wrote on June 9th, 2012
        • Woah woah woah, Roger… remove the tin-foiled hat!

          If BPA were really that severly estrogenic they’d use it as cheap birth control. It would also have to make so much artificial estrogen that the excess estrogen produced from fat people’s fat cells would have to be relatively insignificant. Even then, because of Sex-Hormone Binding Protein all it would achieve is lowered testosterone in men and cyclical disruption in women. It would mess up your estrogen ratio but I bet most manboobs are caused more by soy and, especially, excess fat + genetic variance than by this stuff.

          But, for people just tuning in some of the estrogen-like compounds in some leechy plastics ARE a problem…. just not that overblown.

          You need to get better critical thinking skills and think less emotionally or else you’ll soon be considered a crackpot.

          Besides, tooo much sodium, while not good for the sodium:potassium ratio balance, doesn’t raise blood pressure. The only confirmed thing that is known to raise blood pressure is elevated insulin in your blood from eating too many carbs. And those nitrates are annoying but can still be detoxed unless your liver is FUBAR.

          Besides, the whole carcinogenic thing almost always only affects populations that are already genetically vulnerable to getting cancer from those toxins plus we already know how to kill malignant cancer cells easily by exploiting the warburg effect (zero-carb ketogenic diet + chemo = starved, dead cancers).
          Animals don’t get cancer unless they eat carby foods they’re not supposed to and cancers are basically by nature too retarded to gather & burn anything but glucose efficiently so they die when you eat evolutionarily appropriate amounts of carbs…

          Also for the record, that “all-natural” celery-bacteria preservative on bacon *IS* nitrates, only they legally don’t have to say it is because it’s “natural” (produced by the bacteria… gee I hope my gut bacteria don’t make too much of those!) so people shouldn’t bother getting those due to the dishonesty

          mm wrote on June 11th, 2012
      • Check out Chris Kresser’s articles or podcast on nitrates. Many vegetables naturally have high amounts of nitrates. Human saliva has really high levels of nitrates. Remember to think for yourself and always take in the context and sources validity into account.

        Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • interesting perspective, are you suggesting that perhaps nitrates are not as bad as they’ve been portrayed? I’ve never heard this, and though I have not read the article, this is great news because I’ve avoided excess salami, bacon, red wine, and all sorts of favorites to reduce nitrate intake. Thanks for sharing the link!

          Kyle wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Please research salt too. Not the boogeyman commonly portrayed. Chris Kresser has a great post on that one.

        Karen P. wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • Not all salts are equal just like not all foods are equal. Most salt that is consumed and served up on tables and processed foods, is made for industry we get the left overs,it has been stripped clean of the micro minerals such as Magnesium, so it does not contaminate Industrial uses! We get this rubbish back with a bit of Iodine mixed back in! Now pure sea salt with its minerals intact and unrefined is a different matter altogether.

          Roger wrote on June 7th, 2012
        • sea salt is not some magical substance that will magically make things all good. It has almost no magnesium, it isn’t fortified with iodine, and it doesn’t really have anything that you can’t get anywhere else. i.e. the pitiful amount of magnesium can be had from eating a few veggies.

          People usually talk about sodium chloride when they mean salt. Sodium chloride is what allows your body to absorb and toss out water, more than any other salt.

          But another useful salt is potassium salt since most people probably don’t get enough potassium. Too bad eating too much potassium all at once on an empty stomach can kill you.

          Some “reduced salt” bacon use potassium and have a good sodium:potassium ratio.

          Worst case scenario if you eat too much salt, just make sure you’re not dehydrated and let your kidneys filter it out

          mm wrote on June 11th, 2012
      • I get nitrate-free/uncured bacon. It is so good, it has actually ruined me for some diner’s bacon (too salty).

        Nicole wrote on June 7th, 2012
      • If you’re scared of nitrates, stop eating vegetables.

        Dianne Sanfilippo (Balanced Bites/ Practical Paleo) has written about the nitrate issue. You know what they do in your body? They turn into nitrous oxide. Your body uses that. Among other things, it lowers blood pressure.

        If you keep your carbs low enough that your insulin can actually drop to normal levels between meals, you don’t have to be afraid of salt either. Your kidneys are supposed to dump any excess you eat. The reason it looks like salt increases blood pressure in people on the Standard American Diet is they often have hyperinsulinism and the excess insulin stimulates their kidneys to retain sodium rather than dump it.

        Yet another reason to not go crazy on “safe starches” or “natural sugars.”

        Dana wrote on June 25th, 2013
    • My nutrition professor told me that she was concerned for my life after I submitted my daily dietary intake. Priceless.

      Kyle wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Nice!

        Nick wrote on June 7th, 2012
    • “She was practically jumping up and down.”

      Your eight eggs and pound of bacon weren’t just healthy for you. They were healthy for her too. They gave her a nice workout!

      There is simply no end to the benefits of a high fat paleo diet.

      Bevin wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • I told my son’s teachers that he eats four eggs scrambled in ghee for breakfast–you could hear their jaws hit the table!!!

      tracyinbarcelona wrote on June 7th, 2012
      • LOL…Beware that some of these people may consider this to be child abuse. Let’s hope they just forget about it.

        Steven JT wrote on June 7th, 2012
    • I’m on board with most of these ideas, but it’s important to still think critically, right? My understanding is that creating ketones for brain energy is sort of a last resort for your body, and the production of ketones has byproducts that can be damaging. So while I fully agree that low-fat orthodoxy is ridiculous, that doesn’t necessarily mean we need to do the opposite extreme.

      Brett wrote on June 7th, 2012
      • If ketones were that bad we wouldn’t have survived the ice ages, nor the fasting period between bedtime and first meal.

        Oddly enough ketones seem to enhance things. Dr. Eades, I believe, pointed out that is makes your heart run more efficiently and it is known to make your brain run more efficiently as well.

        Plus, ketones = low carb = less carby insulin spikes = less excitotoxic glutamate spikes.

        mm wrote on June 11th, 2012
        • Where on earth are you getting your information on excitotoxic glutamate spikes?
          What research have you found that has found that a low carb diet leads to less excitotoxic glutatamate spikes?
          What research has established a connection between excitotoxicity from glutamate (which is usually associated with neural disorders, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.Lou Gehrigs disease)?
          Do you know anything about excitatory tissue and how it reacts/works?
          I’d love to see some of the research that you are (hopefully) deriving your information from.

          K wrote on June 13th, 2012
      • Your understanding is incorrect. We’d have never survived the Ice Age.

        I have more energy and think a lot better, with better moods, when I’m in a state of ketosis. Nutritional ketosis is even better–a certain level of blood ketones which shows up on a glucose meter that measures them. Google it if you’re curious. I don’t remember the numbers off the top of my head.

        Your body can make what glucose it needs through gluconeogenesis. Vegetables, fruits, and nuts can have their place from a nutritional and hormetic standpoint but you won’t die without them.

        Your body dumps any ketones it doesn’t “burn” and, as for the risk of acidosis, if you don’t have high blood sugar and you’re not an alcoholic, you’re at little to no risk of that. Your body is very good at regulating its own pH.

        Dana wrote on June 25th, 2013
    • Very funny! I too am a nurse and advocate a paleo diet for my diabetics! I was almost burned at the stake or steak! Yum….

      annette wrote on June 7th, 2012
      • Dr. Richard K. Bernstein’s book is useful in that situation. Just slap people over the head with that oldest-living, self-treated type-1 diabetic’s book. I mean that literally – the hardcover is thick and thumpy

        mm wrote on June 12th, 2012
    • Nice to know I am not the only one chowing down that for breakfast. Seeing people just FREAK OUT when you tell them, is kind of fun though?

      Anthony wrote on June 7th, 2012
    • 8 eggs and a pound of bacon does seem a little outrageous. Not because it’s bad but because thats a ton of food! Did you eat anything else during the day?!

      Primal Toad wrote on June 8th, 2012
    • Besides the fact that it is way too much food, you may want to replace the bacon with another meat unless you buy it directly from the hogs farm who kills the animals themselves and raise them outdoors on grass, which only comes is a dream. Read on…

      Geo wrote on July 5th, 2012
    • That is so funny! :o)

      norma b wrote on January 18th, 2013
    • A pound of bacon?? Lol, hope you are *really* active 😉
      Thanks,Mark for the full details and succinct follow ups.

      Rebecca wrote on May 9th, 2014
    • Fat thickens blood, prevents oxygen and nutrients from getting into cells. Fat hinders the sugars in your cells from passing in and out of your blood therefore raising your blood sugar/insulin.

      Our bodies and brains run on glucose…our brains cannot be compared to a hybrid!?

      HIGH CARB LOW FAT = lean vibrancy
      fat is missing most of the micro nutrients and antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables.

      cel wrote on August 16th, 2014
    • Hey, at least one nurse is very much pro-high fat Paleo. I’m a cardiovascular ICU nurse who happily eats a high fat/moderate protein/low carb diet…with great results in terms of weigh loss, energy levels, and decreased hunger. Its a “yummy” and satisfying way to eat.

      The science behind all this is starting to finally emerge (“mainstream” scientists can ignore data only so long). Unlike the whole “low fat/high carb” dietary push, the science behind high “fat/low carb” is very solid. It matches with both what we know about human physiology and about the foods our pre-agricultural ancestors ate.

      I predict that in ten years and the food pyramid will look VERY different!

      J Smith wrote on September 25th, 2014
      • I know I am a bit late in my response, but I am hoping you might see this. I was diagnosed type 2 diabetic in May, and my triglycerides are 485. I was told to see the nutritionist (which I did) and she put me on 60 carbs per meal with a 15-20 carb snack if I really required it. She says 2 oz of lean protein per meal and around 6-8 grams of fat per day. I have not followed her recommendations one bit. I have lost 90 lbs since the middle of March. I lowered fat, removed all starches and grains, and upped my vegetable intake. I might get 15-20 of fat per day and no more than 60 carbs per day. I eat fruits such ad blueberries, melon, and sometimes a banana or two drink water and unsweetened tea.

        After hearing all of this, my nutritionist went berzerk and told me I couldn’t do that. She nearly beat me over the head with the food pyramid. Even when I was eating like a “normal” person, I couldn’t fit 60 carbs per meal. I am now so frustrated and confused about food I don’t know what to do. I need some direction but I feel like she is pointing me the wrong way.

        What should I look for when I go out-of-town for a new nutritionist? I live in Oregon, and I feel like OHSU would be a good place to start, even if it is a long drive. I just don’t know what to ask to find out if I am wasting the drive.

        Is there any advise out there for me? I am trying really hard to figure this out and all I find online is contradictory advise. Every web site cancels the last site’s advise out!

        I was also pretty terrified to learn about ketosis and how bad it is for diabetics. I can’t figure it out. I feel like an idiot!

        Please be gentle. I am very frustrated and am trying so hard it hurts.

        Michelle R. wrote on July 22nd, 2015
        • MichelIe,

          I see no one responded yet to you. Have you read KETO CLARITY? This is an excellent resource!!!

          It would seem you are getting confusing Nutritional Ketosis with another similiar sounding one (diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)) these are not the same.

          I am not a nurse but there are drs and others out there that are not brainwashed by big pharma and SAD diet, etc.

          Vicky wrote on February 15th, 2016
    • Love it!!! I’m surprised she had the strength to be angry, let alone jump. Lol

      Tim wrote on April 27th, 2015
  3. Good stuff!
    I enjoyed raspberries with cream as an afternoon snack, not bad at all :)
    And I don’t need to add sugar anymore, like I would have in the past.

    Stefan wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • Berries with full-fat greek yogurt is even better in my opinion.

      Brad wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • I would love to try full fat yogurt. I’ve given up trying to find it in my area, everything is low/non-fat. Which is fine, give me all your fat, i’ll take it!

        Jared wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • I make my own full fat yogurt and ferment it for 24 yours. This takes care of all the lactose and is a great source of probiotics. I also strain it and make greek yogurt as well. It is so easy and you control the ingredients.

          cj wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • Jared, learn to make your own full fat yogurt. Easy and cheap. the methods can easily be found online.

          Julie wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • Fage will show you the stores that sell their various products…

          wi.nick wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • If only they took the fat they skimmed off of the fat-free varieties and released an “extra fat” greek yogurt. mmmmm

          Martine wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • HA HA, I think that is a common problem for many PB followers.

          Lucas wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • Or try Balkan style full fat yogurt, which I like better than Greek.

          Christine wrote on June 7th, 2012
      • Ahh, but strawberries with home made, grass-fed, raw kefir cheese (super easy)is the absolute BOMB!

        Kim wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Haven’t actually tried that, but sounds like it’s worth a try.
        One thing that cream is good for, is if you mash the berries and then the cream mixes with the juices 😀

        Stefan wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Full fat fage is so hard to find where I live. Anytim i come upon it I take as many as I can.

        CMHFFEMT wrote on June 7th, 2012
        • I usually eat 2.5% goat’s milk yogurt. Goat’s milk/yogurt proteins are easier to digest than cow’s milk. Even people that are normally lactose intolerant have no problem with it. I used to eat Greek yogurt everyday but found I started to suffer from a lot of mucus congestion…not sure if that was culprit but I think it was a factor. Actually, I think it was mostly because I just ate so much of it. Probably a cup a couple times a time. Now I eat Goat’s yogurt every couple of days in smaller portions with berries or in a smoothie and it doesn’t seem to bother as much.

          JLeah wrote on June 7th, 2012
  4. Thanks, Mark. Great information, great concise answers.

    Harry Mossman wrote on June 6th, 2012
  5. What’s the reference for: the brain needs “roughly 120 grams/day”?

    What’s the range? What if you’re got a big brain? Seriously.

    Scott wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • an excerpt from GCBC, referencing the IOM recs

      Also, even 130 g carb per day would be less than 1/3 the typical American’s intake.

      Jeffrey of Troy wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • brain needs 120g carb per day when you consume more than 120g carbs per day. Otherwise it will make ketones and once brain gets used to eating ketones you only need about 36g glucose/day… which can be produced by the liver, mostly from protein. So technically you don’t need any carbs… unless you don’t feel like eating that extra protein to compensate…. and also heavy, anaerobic exercise that would deplete muscle glycogen will someone that eats very low/zero carb and doesn’t do a carb refeed physically weaker in anything intense enough to require the use of exclusively anaerobic muscle fibers… obviously…

      mm wrote on June 11th, 2012
  6. I like the post, especially the idea of a bare bones concise response.

    Unfortunately these conversations always end up feeling like I’m in quicksand…the more information I give, the more I need to provide.

    Typically these discussions (for me) happen with two types of people:

    1. Those who haven’t a clue about real nutrition, real exercise, etc etc and who blindly follow very general health advice about 40% of the time, the other 60% they do whatever they want.

    2. Health enthusiasts.

    The first group causes problems because they either don’t listen at all because I’m going against Dr. Oz…or they take it as a free pass to eat fried foods, conventionally raised and/or processed meats, margarine (not butter) etc. Then you have to go through all the caveats. “well it’s not that easy, you have to have quality food…actually cage-free doesn’t mean much in terms of chicken or eggs…actually raw milk is the only milk you should drink…no you can’t buy it in stores in many states”

    The health enthusiasts like the protein aspect…but scoff at the fat and stop listening. The thought that you don’t track your macro ratios and count calories doesn’t jive. You can’t just omit cardio. You can’t skip breakfast, you can’t skip meals, etc etc.

    Not saying I’m giving up the fight…I guess I’m just hopeful for a time when one line answers will at least be enough to incite their own research instead of writing off foreign ideas.

    Danny wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • I just say my cholesterol is sky high yet my recent heart scan was as clean as a whistle. Shuts everyone up.

      Alison Golden wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • Hey Danny…

      Here is my and my husband’s response…quick and simple…”It’s not a competition…it’s just a different way.” And in that different way, we feel like rock stars at just shy of 50. My husband just took second in seniors at a figure 8 barefoot waterskiing tournament. Woohoo!

      Penny wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • I don’t try to explain my eating choices to people. After all, few of them listened when I tried to point out the benefits of vitamin D, so why should they listen to a long-winded monologue on the benefits of a paleo diet?

      People do take note of the fact that I look significantly younger than my age, however, and that I’m trim and healthy with good bones and muscle tone. When they say, “What’s your secret”, I just smile and say, “Good genes, a healthy diet, and plenty of exercise.” All of which is true.

      At some point, they might think about it and say, “Hmmm…” The results speak for themselves, so I guess you could say I explain my food choices without much explanation.

      Shary wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • I used to be hard-core and preach the gospel of low-carb, and even had people jumping on the bandwagon. Then they decided they missed their bread and “all that fat CAN’T be good for you,” gave up low-carb/primal/paleo eating, gained all the weight back and then proclaimed, “See? It doesn’t work!” I’m done preaching.

        I, too, am often told I look 10 to 15 years younger than I am. I’m 57 and most people say I look like I”m in my early 40s.

        When asked my secret, I say good genes (and jeans!) and eating right.

        When they ask what I eat and I tell them, they get wide-eyed and then regurgitate all the stupid notions about this way of eating. That’s when I just look at them and say, “Yup. That’s what they say. Turns out it’s not true. I’ll match all my numbers (cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides) against yours and you’ll see who’s in the Ideal category and who’s not.”

        Kathy from Maine wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • Yes, I used to try to chat people up and explain the method to my madness but then I ran into several hard core self appointed healthy gurus who took it upon themselves to shame me out of my foolish notions about nutrition. Unlike some, I really don’t enjoy arguing very much. So now when people ask me how I lost all that weight (and kept it off for more than two years now) I say it’s because of Gertrude, my seventeen and a half foot tape worm.


          Tim wrote on June 7th, 2012
        • why not tell them you discovered an excellent, science-based way of eating but don’t like to talk about it since people won’t understand? This will also shut them up but will open their minds slightly/get them thinking and if they’re really genuinely curious they’ll ask and persist. If they object/start to argue just send them on their way… then if they really want to learn, they’ll feel dumb for arguing with someone who was trying to teach them

          mm wrote on June 11th, 2012
        • I hate people like that. “I went on this diet and lost all this weight and got off the diet and gained it back so DIETS DON’T WORK!”

          These days I answer with, “Let me guess. When you get home from work and park your car in the driveway, you think it’s broken down.”

          Of *course* a proper change in diet to permit weight loss “works”. It’s going back to the way of eating that made you fat to begin with that’s not working!

          But yeah… you can’t *make* someone think. Sigh.

          Dana wrote on June 25th, 2013
  7. Under “Starvation response” on Wikipedia it says “the production of ketone bodies cuts the brain’s glucose requirement from 120 g per day to about 30 g per day. Of the remaining 30 g requirement, 20 g per day can be produced by the liver from glycerol (itself a product of fat breakdown). But this still leaves a deficit of about 10 g of glucose per day that must be supplied from some other source. This other source will be the body’s own proteins.”

    Lukas wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • Including protein from food you eat.

      Sofie wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • And from the fibrous carbs in all the veggies you are eating.

        Kevin wrote on May 16th, 2014
    • This wikipedia entry is about the response of the human body to starvation and how it keeps alive.

      Starvation is a major stress on the health of a body, so can rarely be advised. The closest anyone on a paleo diet should get is occasional (intermittent) fasting for a lot less than 24 hours. I imagine that the normal muscle breakdown as a side-effect of exercise would contribute to the protein requirement.

      Anyone doing significant quantities of exercise should be consuming sufficient complex carbs to maintain glucose levels. Anyone trying to loose a significant amount of weight would be well advised to consume a low-calorie high-protein muscle sparing diet.

      Steve wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • herp derp…

        people have been eating too many carbs for so long and it’s considered so normal scientists consider the normal effects of your body switching from burning sugar as primary fuel to fat as primary fuel as a form of “starvation response” because for most people that’s the only time they go anywhere near low-carb

        it takes about 72 hours for your body to really start burning muscle tissue until then it just takes protein from your amino acid pool, as long as you replace all lost protein after fasting for more than a day you’ll be fine. More than fine ; your cells got a great opportunity to get rid of damaged and malfunctioning organelles and now they can rebuild brand new ones!

        you don’t need carbs to do exercises unless 1) you’re a carb-a-holic and your muscles don’t know how to burn anything else, or 2) you went anaerobic and are using type IIb and type IIab muscle fibers from lifting very heavy or sprinting hard.

        mm wrote on June 11th, 2012
      • Fat is a fuel. Most of your body can run on it. You can either be glucose-adapted and suffer the consequences of overeating something that destroys your tissues or you can do the work to become fat-adapted and quit worrying about it.

        Most “fitness enthusiasts” do not want to do that work, including many Paleo athletes. That’s their problem, too bad they have to make it everyone else’s with their misinformation as well.

        Dana wrote on June 25th, 2013
  8. Sigh. I get this *all* the time.

    My favorite: “the brain is a gas/diesel hybrid.” Nicely put!

    Anne wrote on June 6th, 2012
  9. This will go over much better than my usual “cause that’s what Mark said” :)

    rabbit_trail wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • That is my “go-to” whenever my wife asks what in the world I’m doing in her kitchen.

      Dugan wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • lol! At times when my patience for explaining this stuff has run out I have given up and said this exact thing. along with, just go read MDA and then we can talk.

      mohill wrote on June 6th, 2012
  10. So, I’m not supposed to have a stick of butter and a tub of coconut oil with me at my desk?

    I’m being facetious, but I really do like to occasionally (once every couple days) just eat about 1 tbsp worth of pure butter. I’m assuming that’s not bad.

    Ash wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • I subscribed to the newsletter 2 days ago, and as I write this I am eating strawberries with coconut oil, the oil from the jar I keep at my desk. Guess this means I’m one of you. :)

      Joanne wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Guess it does. Welcome to the dark side!

        Elenor wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • I too have a jar of coconut oil at my desk. :) Just had some with strawberries too for a snack. Such a delicious combination!

        Brooke wrote on June 7th, 2012
        • Ooh! I’m going to have to try this. I only have blueberries left, but I’m sure it’ll be just as yummy.

          Lisa wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • I do! (Well, not the butter, that’s inside my lunch.) I also have a bottle of good olive oil, tabasco sauce, and vinegar. Makes it easier to bring big ass salads from home without having the dressing leak out, or wilt the leaves.

      raydawg wrote on June 7th, 2012
    • Well I have coconut oil at my desk as well as grass fed butter for my coffee, oops. I love to put a tablespoon of each in a mug of coffee (whirr it up in a blender first) and mmmmmm, no sugar needed. Hope I’m not eating “too much fat” with two of those in the morning instead of food.

      2Rae wrote on June 3rd, 2013
    • My daughter occasionally asks me for a pat of butter, just to eat straight. I never refuse her. She’s normal weight, has a normal level of energy (better than that of many kids, I notice–I don’t understand this whole “how do I get my kid to exercise” thing, it’s not a problem at my house!), and I think I might have even healed a cavity of hers by not refusing her animal fat.

      Seriously. Dentist saw a small cavity at one visit, then six months later didn’t mention it and hasn’t since.

      Dana wrote on June 25th, 2013
  11. And, then there are these:

    Too much fat causes diarrhea and stomach ache.

    Too much fat, and therefore not enough carbs, reduces body temperature causing one to feel cold.

    Too much fat causes insulin resistance and therefore makes individuals more susceptible to diabetes.

    Brad wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • “Too much fat causes insulin resistance and therefore makes individuals more susceptible to diabetes.”

      Anyone who says that must have NO idea what insulin does.

      Purely anecdotal evidence, but a high-protein, high-fat diet has improved my body temperature AND stopped my reactive hypoglycemia altogether.

      Ava wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Yes, yes, yes! My temp regulator in my brain is so happy with me eating primal. No more hot flashes! I can actually feel the temp of the ambient air without hyper-responding with a hot flash or shivering. A little known happy side effect of primal.

        Linda wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Funny you mention the body temperature,

        the whole time I was growing up a ate a diet high in grains as well as refined food, and I was ALWAYS cold. My feet and toes especially were always freezing, and wearing any amount of socks etc would do nothing to solve the problem.

        Switched to eating much less carbs, alot more nuts, low density carbs like veg etc and now my body temperature is actually always quite high, people are always telling me how warm I am to the touch lol : )

        sachi wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Ava, I was merely stating what others state. They are not my beliefs. Just as the myths stated by Mark are not his beliefs.

        Brad wrote on June 7th, 2012
    • There are carbs, and then there are carbs. Sweets and grains are the carbs that should be avoided; vegetables and a little fresh whole fruit are GOOD carbs.

      I eat a lot of fatty meat because I like it and I feel better on it than that tasteless super-lean stuff. It also keeps me from getting hungry. As for too much fat causing diarrhea, stomach aches, and feeling cold, too much of anything can make a person sick, so I guess the salient point is what you consider too much–and more likely, what the fat is combined with.

      With regard to fat causing insulin resistance, no it does not. On the other hand, if you combine fat with flour and sugar (as in cakes, pies, cookies, etc.), then that’s definitely a horse of another color.

      Shary wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Good explanation, I love a piece of fatty brisket. And it takes only a little to be satisfied. I never got any of those side effects (stomach aches etc) from it.

        Gayle wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • I used to feel cold all the time on a low-fat diet, I would even have to sleep with socks on in the middle of summer but not anymore…

      as for fat causing insulin resistance {which I heard a lot of when Paula Deen admitted to having diabetes} I just point out that she doesn’t check her blood fat levels, she checks her blood sugar levels.

      Cherish wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • I can also attest to this. I was on a low-fat mid-range carb diet for a long time, as I was vegan and vegetarian for years. I was always cold. Then one year I started to eat meat and stopped eating sugar. Eventually I went Primal and stopped eating grains, a year ago. I’m always warm. Even throughout the winter I hardly needed more than a sheet to cover myself while sleeping. But what’s even better, is my body regulates my temperature more efficiently and I find that even hot temperature is less difficult to cope with. Something good is goin’ on.

        Christina wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • OOoh… I love that little sound bite there about checking one’s blood fat levels. Very slick. I’ll have to use that myself. The corollary being that not eating sugars (of all kinds, grains included) lowers your blood fat levels (triglycerides) too.


        Tim wrote on June 7th, 2012
      • When I used to eat a lot of carbohydrates, I would wake in the night sweating. My body was burning all those carbs, and I had to sleep with no covers. After the carb burning was done, I would get cold and pull the covers back over me.

        Mike wrote on June 7th, 2012
    • You forgot about gout. That’s a common misconception.

      Yeah, I love how diabetes is blamed on fat … the only macronutrient that does not the affect insulin response in any way.

      Kathy from Maine wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • Oh, so that’s why I’m the coldest person in any room! Thanks! I’ll just tell people that it’s my diet!

      Kathleen wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • heh… actually you can get diarrhea from too much fat but that happens because you caught your gut off-guard with your high-fat antics and it didn’t make enough fat-digesting enzymes

      mm wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • You’d have to eat an astonishing amount of fat to get diarrhea, and this is easily prevented by eating a certain amount of soluble fiber, which slows down gut transit time. You can get that from fruits and vegetables. I find squashes are an excellent lower-carb choice for the purpose. (Pumpkin smoothie is one of my favorite treats.)

      You’re not actually getting insulin resistance when you eat a lot of fat and not a lot of carb, not in the way you get it when you eat a high-carb diet (regardless of fat intake). What’s happening is your body has shifted over to being accustomed to burning less sugar and more fat, and then if you shock your system with a much higher than normal amount of glucose, your body is not yet ready to handle it. This is why they tell you to eat at least 150g of carb daily for several days before a glucose tolerance test. It gives your body time to adjust.

      Dana wrote on June 25th, 2013
    Butter is good too, but doesn’t make as satisfying of a noise when you smack people.

    Nionvox wrote on June 6th, 2012
  13. The battering ram of truth is at the castle of Conventional Wisdom. Accept no Trojan horses.

    Groktimus Primal wrote on June 6th, 2012
  14. What about the purported connection between high fat diets and cancer?

    Andrea wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • Good point, I would like to see Mark comment on supposed finds from sources like The China Study, if he has not already.

      Tasha wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • hi tasha –

        check out the full take-down and grind-out of “THe China Study” by denise minger at raw-food SOS –

        in a nutshell – the china study book is a cherry-picked bundle of nonsense – but please don’t take my word for it – go read and learn – denise is both brilliant and adorable (2nd asset not relevant to this discussion)

        ravi wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • Well, for starters, we know that the heart primarily uses fat for energy and there is no such as thing heart cancer, not to mention fats helps heal the liver.

      Brad wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • “there is no such as thing heart cancer” American’s are quite innovative. Give us enough time and I’m sure we can develop heart cancer. I need a funnel and some GMO Soybean & Canola oil.

        Mike F wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • LOL, nice.

          Sterling wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • Don’t forget the cellulose (wood pulp, and I’ve just seen it on a box of coconut milk in the supermarket as an ingredient), and the ubiquitous “natural flavor”.

          Let’s put corporations in charge of our food. After all, publicly held ones have a singular goal: to increase profit year over year, so their stock price goes up.

          They do this by spending as little as possible on the product they make, making that product such as it has a very long shelf life, which means sterility, and no chance for it to go rancid (no oils), with the least expensive, but addictive ingredients. What could go wrong?

          raydawg wrote on June 7th, 2012
        • raydawg: Cellulose is in all plants. It’s the material making up their cell walls. It just so happens our cheap-a$$ food industry wants to cut corners, hence the wood pulp.

          Dana wrote on June 25th, 2013
      • This is just plain wrong. Heart cancer is very rare, but does exist, and as far as I know fat does not “heal” the liver. If you have a mechanism, or even a suspected mechanism from literature that demonstrates how exactly fat heals the liver I would love to see it, as I have never even heard this assertion made before.

        Tim wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • Tim, the Drs Eades actually wrote in detail in their book about the middle age gut how fats can help heal a damaged liver.

          As for heart disease being a cancer, yes heart disease does exist by is very, very rare. Perhaps i should have made that clearer. But it is so rare to also be non-existent.

          Brad wrote on June 6th, 2012
        • I haven’t read the Eades thing mentioned elsewhere but I do know that cutting carb means cutting fructose, which is the driver for fatty liver disease. And high-animal-fat foods also tend to contain a lot of choline, which definitely heals the liver.

          Dana wrote on June 25th, 2013
    • I thought that was based off factory farmed animals?

      Leigh wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • HFD is already addressed:

      Also, having low cholesterol (probably due to low fat diet?) is actually linked to being more likely to die from cancer if you get it:

      antipodes wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • I think that has been covered. (My MIL died from colon cancer.)

      If you cook fats at high temperatures, they mutate (aflatoxin? i forget) into something nasty. Also this happens with rancid fats and your typical vegetable oils. (I’ve yet to see any vegetables that actually have oils.)

      Also, there are stale/rancid oils that simply have been around too long and then converted over to something nasty.

      My MIL, who was Cuban, used to fry everything. I’m sure she did not use higher-quality coconut or red palm oils.

      Kai Ponte wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • the less saturated a fat is, the more it will oxidize and go rancid. saturated fat is pretty much invulnerable until around the point at which it catches fire. Omega-3 is the most vulnerable and that is why it is removed from canned foods, to increase the shelf life

        mm wrote on June 11th, 2012
  15. Ash – I have at least 1 T of grass-fed butter every day in my morning “bulletproof” coffee. Along with about the same amount of coconut oil. Add a dash of cinnamon, hit it up in the Ninja blender, and enjoy!

    Eating grass-fed butter right out of the foil package is a real treat…something I say we should enjoy daily!

    BKarger wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • I like that coffee idea. I do enjoy my coffee nowadays with some coconut milk in it, but a little cinnamon, butter and coconut oil to go with it might just put it over the top. Thanks for an excellent idea.

      Ash wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Just so you know, ground cinnamon in hot beverages acts as a thickener. I usually steep the stick in the liquid (hot chocolate is my beverage of choice) which does not thicken it. Know it thickens milk, not sure about water.

        Carrie wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • butter doesn’t eat grass, silly!

      Kathleen wrote on June 6th, 2012
  16. OMG…..everyone is all of a sudden concerned with my arteries! I just don’t discuss it any more. ‘yes I’ve lost a little weight, why thank you.’ If they are really interested, I refer them to MDA. You guys do a better job of convincing, after all, I’m living it now and feeling better then I ever thought I would.

    Judy wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • I do the same thing…I always tell them to make sure and check out the success stories. You want a true freek out…tell them you do CT.

      Penny wrote on June 6th, 2012
  17. Thanks! I need to stop by the market after today’s workout, I am out of avocado and almonds. Also, could use some coconut oil.

    Bill Berry wrote on June 6th, 2012
  18. I love these responses almost as much as I love a nice big bite of grass-fed butter. I’m past the arteries and cholesterol questions from most people by now. Although my grandparents still don’t get it, partially due to my grandpa’s past heart attacks and his very low fat diet. The only “are you crazy?” questions I get anymore are when I don’t eat every meal. Occasionally I will fast intentionally, but more often than not I’m not hungry for awhile. My mom thinks I’m starving myself to lose weight despite gaining weight(muscle) and eating like crazy when the fast is over.

    Josh wrote on June 6th, 2012
  19. I may take issue from one point (later) but I loved the article. I currently get about 66% of my calories from different sources of animal fat and oils. 8% from CHOs and never felt better at 18 lbs and 10% less body fat later. I have many of these conversations with laymen. very interesting. I also have these conversations with doctors I come across which is even more interesting. I had a very thorough physical a month or so ago and talked with a nutritionist for an hour. she assumed my percentages of protein, carb, and fat were a mistake. I assured her I could go down several decimal places. (I use carb manager on my iPad to track my food though I don’t count calories.) she told me I should be on statins and I was going to die (I’m paraphrasing but capturing the essence of her missives). I asked if I should eat all fruit instead and she said I would be better off with sugar…

    Now the part I may take issue with. I don’t believe the statement of thermodynamics is correct. i.e. calories in versus calories out. there is too much going on in the body when one consumers different fuels to react the same way. I don’t continue to lose weight but my body fat does continue to drop slightly even though my caloric intake is about 1,000 kCals a day more than before my high fat diet. And no, my exercise has not increased. I think this is a slightly more complex theory that I am sure Mark understands.

    Great blog and great info. Keep up the good work.

    Tom A wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • Hey…the next time someone tells you to go on a statin…send them off to Plug in the med (give Lipitor, Crestor, Boniva, or Fosamax a whirl) and read some of these truly sad sad stories. Will blow your mind. I got a dear friend of ours (83 yrs young…still waterskis with us) to read the site for a while. After reading some of the posts he got enraged. It’s hard to change the mind of an 83 yr old, but I told him to stay away from the sugar and grains and it would do him a world of good. BTW…his cholesterol wasn’t even high…not in my book anyway.

      Penny wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • Judging by other posts, he definitely understands it. But the response he drafted above is a good way to cut people off without adding the “wait, what now??” factor of claiming that calories only matter in certain circumstances.

      Jenny wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • The thing about CICO is everybody keeps forgetting food is not just a fuel. It’s also spare parts. You can eat more calories than you burn and gain muscle mass if the extra calories you’re eating are protein and you do a lot of bodybuilding exercise. I mean, bodybuilders know that. But for some reason most of the rest of us have not caught on.

      Likewise we often use protein and fats to make other things, like hormones and blood and so on. That’s still calories we haven’t burned, but it doesn’t necessarily turn into bodyfat.

      Dana wrote on June 25th, 2013
  20. One more thing, If/When I see a co-worker eating a candy bar or cookie, would it be wrong of me to grab a stick of butter and eat it while staring them down?

    Josh wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • Hahahaha!

      Cam wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • i think that is the only correct response!

      Cathy wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • it’s gonna really depend on how you’re eating the stick and the look in your eye when you’re “staring them down”. but yeah, i’d say giv’er

      jensen wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • Love it! Hear, hear!

      Laura wrote on June 6th, 2012
  21. I am dealing with this on a daily basis. My new doctor gave me the eat-less-animal lecture too. I’m currently looking for a new one.

    zack wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • My doctor told me to cut cholesterol by avoiding avocados! Yikes. Wait until he sees my blood work. Trig down from over 300 to 60. HDL at 60 etc, etc.

      sparkymcgee wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • My aunt brings this up EVERY TIME I EAT AN AVOCADO. For goodness’ sake, woman, your doctor told you that 30 years ago! Things have changed! Even he doesn’t give that advice any more.

        Lisa wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • a new doctor, or a new animal to eat??

      ravi wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Don’t eat the doctor, he’s probably grain fed.

        WalterB wrote on August 30th, 2012
  22. Mmmmm, fat.

    I ate a bacon and avocado sammie (a’la nom nom paleo) for lunch and a few co-workers expressed their concern. My favorite interaction was when a co-worker said he avoids bacon due to high sodium levels; as he was microwaving ramen noodles.

    Irony, thou are palpable.

    Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • Well said.

      Ben Tyson wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • Yeah, and how come WE would be considered rude if WE were to say something to THEM about their chemical-filled processed foods with all that sugar and crap?

      Kathy from Maine wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • The ramen noodles just made me literally laugh out loud.

      Deb wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Hey, don’t knock the ramen. There’s almost no better way to destroy your health at that price level… if that’s part of your cow-orker’s life goal. :)

        raydawg wrote on June 7th, 2012
    • Talk about irony: I remember when I worked in a fast food restaurant when I was younger, a guy came in and ordered the low-carb burger (wrapped in lettuce), with a large fries and a large soda. I was torn whether to laugh or cry. This was before I even discovered paleo/primal, and I knew that was crazy!

      Laura wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Celiac perhaps.

        Pegman wrote on June 9th, 2012
      • Dr. Davis, avoid wheat first? Then he has to say, “avoid the gluten free foods”. Meat, for example, is a gluten free food.

        WalterB wrote on August 30th, 2012
  23. Now, I just point them to this post:

    Update: My Battle with High Cholesterol and How I Avoided Statins

    Alison Golden wrote on June 6th, 2012
  24. Good post but more importantly…

    That butter in the picture looks SOOOO good. Yum, butter :)

    trekfan wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • I know, right?!

      em wrote on June 6th, 2012
  25. I purchased Primal Blueprint a month ago.
    The information – so OPPOSITE of everything I’d ever heard before – really made sense to me.
    I need to sometimes remind myself WHY eating fat is good for us. Trying to explain it to others has not been easy.
    BUT, losing eight pounds (so far) and having no more carb cravings, is plenty of evidence for me to share! I’m jazzed!
    Thanks Mark!

    Linda wrote on June 6th, 2012
  26. “Isn’t all that fat gonna make you fat?”

    My answer: You are right! I wouldn’t want to gain back the 30 pounds I lost this way.

    Nicolas wrote on June 6th, 2012
  27. I wish I could make my family read this and have them believe it!! My Dad in particular frustrates me beyond belief. I really think he thinks I am gonna die for real because of the way I eat!

    Joanne - The Real Food Mama wrote on June 6th, 2012
  28. *looks to the left, at her jar of coconut oil on the desk with a greasy spoon next to it. Looks to the right, at the office fridge with a stick of butter in the freezer with bite marks in it.*


    cTo wrote on June 6th, 2012
  29. Thanks Mark- I am fascinated with the science about the brain running better on a combination of glucose and ketones. I’ve noticed that since I went Paleo 7 months ago my thinking is clearer and more focused. (and that is a major plus for a doctoral student who does a lot of research!)
    Really enjoy that you share the science behind the philosophy because I can truly explain it better to people.

    Reid wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • Reid,

      If you want to know more about the science behind that, I would advise you check out Dr. Peter Attia’s blog, for more information. Full to the brim with the actual science.

      Travis Koger wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Dr. Attia is doing an incredible job explaining cholesterol. It’s all so very interesting….

        Mark wrote on June 7th, 2012
    • Reid, I’m interested in what you were eating before you went Paleo. I went foodie-variant of SAD and noticed a similar clarity of thought.

      Kelekona wrote on June 6th, 2012
  30. On Weight of the Nation, one of the nutritionists claimed more than once that our bodies are programmed to overeat fat because when our ancestors managed to make a kill they needed to eat as much fat as possible to store it for leaner times. Huh???

    Just try to overeat fat–it doesn’t happen. But it’s dead easy to overeat sugar and carb rich foods !! Somebody needs to send that nutritionist a stick of grass fed butter to munch on! She’s obviously unaware of the satiety factor.

    Janknitz wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • No kidding. She said that there’s no switch to tell the body to, “…step away from the carcass.” I just growled in exasperation.

      Joy Beer wrote on June 7th, 2012
    • If you are eating carbs with the fat or worse sugar there is no off switch. Ice cream is my canonical example, but meat and potatoes works very well too.

      I used to routinely finish a half gallon of ice cream is two or three hours.

      These people are eating high carb diets (an likely metabolic syndrome) and, for them dietary fat goes to body fat.

      WalterB wrote on August 30th, 2012
  31. Here’s another blog idea: Aren’t hurting yourself by not eating 3-6 meals/snacks a day. I.e., skipping dinner (or breakfast). Scheduled eating. Eating window.

    That would be a good set of responses to have.

    Karen wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • Yes, please blog this one…because not only do others pressure me to eat three-six meals/snacks a day, but I still have an inner voice that says,”Well you might not get to eat for several hours…so shouldn’t you just eat something now? In this eating window?” I should note that I am a professional dancer…and having a history of an eating disorder, there are many ways in which I’m trying to retrain the way my brain thinks about food. I LOVE the primal blueprint! But dancer CW likes to fight with me sometimes.

      Andrea wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • I’m happy to notice that I’m rarely hungry! I don’t need multiple meals and snacks and I love it! I’ll be working or driving or otherwise doing something, and I’ll notice that it has been many, many hours since I ate — and I just giggle with delight! No, stress, no strain, no ravening hunger driving me to “find food this instant or die!” And when I DO get hungry, I can address it or — if it’s not convenient — just keep going and suffer no ill effects! Being able to say, “thanks, no, not hungry,” is wonderful!

        Elenor wrote on June 6th, 2012
  32. I like the ones that think vegetable oils are good and animal fats are bad.

    I just tell them that your body was never designed to eat that stuff. Man made fats. fake foods (vegetable oils) are actually highly processed, colored and deodorized because they smell so bad, who wants to eat something like that?? YUCK!

    I am sure telling them that doesn’t change there mind but it does make them think about how there “healthy” oils are being processed and maybe gives them some insight that it is not what they think it is.

    Who knows.

    ruth wrote on June 6th, 2012
  33. Some good news…my husband’s cardiologist friend recommends DH find ways to get more grass-fed butter in his diet — because it’s good for his brain, and not bad for his heart.

    Karen wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • Karen could you send me that cardiologists name?

      Falk wrote on June 6th, 2012
  34. I love the idea of this but I am the 52 yo guy with good cholesterol #s low triglycerides, good blood pressure, reasonable shape who had a heart attack 2 weeks ago! Now what? I am disheartened and confused as to where to go especially since I have a young family and really dont want to take a dirt nap

    Falk wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • What you’ve been doing hasn’t been the right answer, has it? Maybe that’s as good a reason as any to try something radically different!
      It is frustrating that paleo/primal theories fly in the face of conventional wisdom, because we’ve been trained to look to physicians and nutritionists for correct answers. But CW made me fat, and now my eyes have been opened to eating good, real food that supports my health and leaves me satisfied (and 40 pounds thinner).

      Kathy wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • My advice is to follow your cardiologist’s recommendations until your situation stabilizes. They are good at acute care. Meanwhile, visit the Track Your Plaque website. You can probably find someone on the forums who has had the same experience as you. Read up on the TYP protocol for supplements (vitamin D3, K2, iodine, fish oil, etc). Your doctors shouldn’t object to this. Eventually, you can start to implement the TYP diet, which you might have more confidence in.

      Best of luck!

      Daryl wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • Are you writing this as someone who has been trying a primal/paleo lifestyle and then had a heart attack, or from the point of view from someone who had a heart attack and is now looking for answers?

      Anon O'mouse wrote on June 6th, 2012
      • Im writing as guy who is around 50 primal in my eating habits (more weston price) but this has only been for the last yr

        I still have 15 lbs of belly fat which is why I thinks I need to go >50 g carbs per day

        Falk wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • Should be proof that the CW on the importance of those measurements is wrong. Lots of information here and on (among other places) about what cholesterol and saturated fat are and what they do. Tom Naughton has some very interesting and humorous videos on Youtube describing the issues as well.

      Joshua wrote on June 6th, 2012
  35. Great post. I appreciate the succinct answers-it’s just a shame that most people I would discuss this with substitute emotion and herd thinking for logic :)

    Kevin wrote on June 6th, 2012
  36. Hi Mark,

    I absolutely love reading your newsletters; they are always full of the scientific details I crave that other nutrition experts and enthusiasts fail to mention!

    However, I need some advice/commentary on this one. I’m not so sure this is a one-size-fits-all kind of lifestyle, b/c it seems to fail to take into account differences in metabolic type. While I enjoy eating a high-fat, low-carb, Paleo diet, I’ve found that I actually can’t get to my leanest and most energetic *without* the dreaded grains! If I eat 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of gluten-free, organic oats each morning, and then grain-free and low-carb through the rest of the day, I experience a real surge of physical energy, it stokes my hunger which I interpret as a boost in metabolism – and, it’s the only way I can shed stubborn water weight and break through the weight loss plateau on which I frequently find myself. I think this is because pure Paleo doesn’t fully address the needs of my specific metabolic type. Since I’ve gone pure Paleo without the grains, and upped my fat intake somewhat to compensate, I’ve actually gained a little weight and feel more sluggish.

    Will you give me special permission to eat the oats?

    N.B. wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • Try a more benign source of carbs, such as white rice or quinoa.

      Aaron wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • You don’t need ‘special permission;’ eat what makes you feel good!! I think you’re confusing paleo with a low carb diet though. You can get plenty of carbs on paleo/primal that are typically better for you than grains, such as potatoes, fruit, and possibly white rice. It’s definitely true that some people do better on more carbs, but I would recommend experimenting with ‘safer’ starches.

      Alyssa wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • @NB

      We as a species are still adapting to the foods of agriculture, and different people are adapted different amounts (depending on how long their ancestors have been farming).

      Jeffrey of Troy wrote on June 6th, 2012
  37. You mention connective tissue in the meal mix when saying fat is very satisfying. I’m interested on your thoughts on connective and its nutritional value. And if this stuff is related to the “pink slime”.

    Samantha wrote on June 6th, 2012
    • The various tissues considered “connective” are indeed nutritious – read up a bit on the benefits of bone broth made with joint cuts for a run-down. Collagen, glucosamine, glycene, proline…
      Pink Slime is just off-cuts (connective bits and skin especially, because they’re not marketable) ground up really fine. That’s not the problem. The problem is that this is a product coming from mega-farm chickens, mass-processing plants, and as such must be hosed down with horrendous chemicals to make it safe to consume. Oh, and then it’s turned into highly-processed breaded and seed-oil deep fried junk.

      Lauren wrote on June 6th, 2012
  38. I usually just tell people that humans have eaten saturated fat for 200,000 years. We only started replacing them with factory made vegetable oils for the last 75 years. Look at the results!

    ValerieH wrote on June 6th, 2012

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