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

The Definitive Guide to Saturated Fat

It’s probably the one thing that prevents people from fully buying into the Primal Blueprint. Almost anyone can agree with the basic tenets – eating more vegetables, choosing only clean, organic meats, and getting plenty of sleep and exercise is fairly acceptable to the mainstream notion of good nutrition. The concept of Grok and a lifestyle based on evolutionary biology can be a harder sell, but anyone who’s familiar with (and accepts) the basics of human evolution tends to agree (whether they follow through and adopt the lifestyle is another question), at least intellectually. But saturated fat? People have this weird conditioned response to the very phrase.

“But what about all that saturated fat? Aren’t you worried about clogging up your arteries?”

In fact, “saturated fat” isn’t just that; it’s often “artery-clogging saturated fat.” Hell, a Google search for that exact phrase in quotations produces 4,490 entries (soon to be 4,491, I suppose). Most doctors toe the company line and roundly condemn it, while the media generally follows suit. The public, unsurprisingly, laps it up from birth. The result is a deeply ingrained systemic assumption that saturated fat is evil, bad, dangerous, and sinful, a preconceived notion that precludes any meaningful dialogue from taking place. Everyone “knows” that saturated fat clogs your arteries – that’s treated as a given – and attempting to even question that assumption gets you lumped in the crazy category. After all, if you start from such a “fundamentally incorrect position,” how can the rest of your argument be trusted? Thus, talk of the superior cardiovascular health of the Tokelau (with their 50% dietary saturated fat intake) or the Masai (with their diet of meat, blood, and milk) or the Inuit (with their ancestral diet of high-blubber animals) is all disregarded or ignored. If they even deign to listen to the facts, they’ll acknowledge the existence of healthy populations eating tons of saturated fat while muttering something about “genetic adaptation” or “statistical outliers.” It’s all hogwash, and it’s infuriating, especially when there’s so much literature refuting the saturated fat hypothesis. If you’re interested in more information on these three oft-cited high-saturated fat groups, check out Stephan’s entries on the Tokelau, the Masai, and the Inuit.

It all started, of course, with the infamous Ancel Keys and his Seven Countries Study, which tracked the fat consumption and heart disease levels of various nations. It was named for the seven countries that saw an increase in heart disease cases correspond with increased fat consumption, but it should have been named the Twenty Two Countries Study for all the data he omitted. Data, I should mention, that demolished his hypothesis of fat intake causing heart disease. The original paper noting Keys’ omissions was largely ignored and is tough to track down, but Peter over at Hyperlipid had access to it and shows the original graph with all the nation data included (with the Masai, Inuit, and Tokelau thrown in for fun represented by the red dots).

Try drawing a straight line through those data points… I dare you! As you can see, there is a faint, weak correlation between fat intake and heart disease, but it’s just that: a correlation. It shouldn’t confirm anything except the need to run controlled experiments to directly measure the effects of dietary fat. Unfortunately, that correlation was enough to get Keys the front cover of Time and widespread acclaim as the father of dietary science. His hypothesis gained traction in the scientific community and mainstream CW, a position it has never really relinquished. Subsequent controlled experiments to measure the effects of saturated fat have been either inconclusive, poorly designed, or completely unsupportive of the saturated fat-is-evil hypothesis, but because the starting point assumes it to be true, those inconclusive or unsupportive results become aberrations while the poorly designed studies become canon. Meanwhile, Keys’ peer, British scientist John Yudkin, was finding even more compelling connections between dietary sugar and heart disease, but his ideas gained no traction and garnered no significant follow up experimental studies. Keys got the cover of Time and heaps of public adulation; Yudkin was relegated to publishing now-out-of-print books, writing letters to scientific journals (PDF) that were only ignored, and languishing in relative obscurity. Americans, as you can guess, got the real shaft. I suspect I’m getting a little off track here, so I’ll just point people toward Good Calories, Bad Calories for a full discussion of the Yudkin-Keys issue.

For a quick summary of the Ancel Keys debacle to send to friends and family worried about your saturated fat intake (who might not be interested in reading a blog post), check out this quick clip from Fat Head.

What is Saturated Fat, Exactly?

Saturated fatty acids (SFAs) are referred to as saturated because all available carbon bonds are tied up with a hydrogen atom. That is, there are no openings for rancidity or spoilage, whereas a polyunsaturated fatty acid containing two or more pairs of double bonds without hydrogen atoms occupying the open space is wide open for oxidation. SFAs are shelf-stable, resistant to heat damage, and essential to many bodily functions. Roughly half of our cell membrane structure is composed of saturated fat, and saturated animal fats, like butter or fatty organ meats, contain huge amounts of essential fat-soluble vitamins (K2, A, D, among others). (Sure, you could just take them in capsule or liquid form, but the very fact that these (universally praised) vitamins naturally occur in evil saturated fat indicates that maybe, just maybe it’s not so evil after all. Researchers were particularly dumbfounded at one study (PDF) indicating high-saturated-fat fermented cheeses containing large amounts of Vitamin K2 actually reduced cardiovascular mortality, but they soon came to their senses and recommended opting for supplements rather than real food. Ridiculous.)

Saturated fat is also a fantastic source of energy, at least if you trust your body to make the right decision – otherwise, why else would we store excess carbohydrates as saturated body fat? In fact, when we burn body fat for energy, either through exercise or through dieting, we are quite literally consuming huge amounts of saturated (and monounsaturated) fat. Body fat is energy to be used for later; dietary fat is energy to be used immediately. Whether you’re burning through your stores of adipose tissue or downing flagons of warm ghee, all that fat goes through the same processes in your body to be converted to energy. Burn your ass flab, take a bite of fatty rib-eye – it doesn’t matter. Your body treats that fat the same way. As Richard and Tom have said before, losing weight is like eating pure lard, which has nearly the same fatty acid composition as human adipose tissue. To vilify saturated fat is to assume that, over the span of our evolution, our bodies have somehow developed a predilection for a deleterious energy source that contributes to cardiovascular disease. That’s absolutely preposterous, unless Darwin and company somehow got it all wrong with the whole natural selection thing. Somehow, I’m leaning toward trusting the millions of years old case study known as evolution.

Where Do They Get Off, Anyway?

Since Keys has been thoroughly discredited (not if you ask most people with any real say in the matter) and there are plenty of examples of groups eating a high saturated fat diet and retaining optimum cardiovascular health (“Those are just outliers!”), how does the outcry against saturated fat continue unabated? Well, it all starts with cholesterol, yet another vilified substance that our bodies naturally produce because, well, it’s completely essential to proper bodily function (though if you listen to the experts, our bodies are suicidal entities who can’t be trusted to do the right thing). Elevated cholesterol has long been fingered as a player in cardiovascular disease, and saturated fat has been shown to increase cholesterol levels, so saturated fat is therefore to be avoided. Sounds relatively sound. So high total cholesterol levels are bad, right? Not so fast.

As I detailed in my last big post on cholesterol, total cholesterol doesn’t tell the entire story, and it doesn’t even necessarily indicate risk for cardiovascular disease. Just take a look at the graph plotting global total cholesterol versus cardiovascular disease. There’s absolutely no positive correlation, and there may even be a negative correlation. Far more likely is that there’s no connection at all.

Nowadays, most “experts” will agree that total cholesterol isn’t everything; they instead move the goalposts and focus on LDL, or “bad cholesterol,” which is increased by eating saturated fat. Eating more saturated fat does seem to increase serum LDL (“bad” cholesterol) in certain cases, but it also increases HDL (“good” cholesterol). Okay, so saturated fat increases LDL, which is “bad.” So global levels of saturated fat intake should predict cardiovascular disease, right? It doesn’t seem to pan out that way. Do you see a correlation? I don’t.

Oh, but saturated fat increases triglycerides, they say, which – even I agree – are a good marker for poor heart health. Except that it doesn’t. Carbohydrate intake increases triglycerides, not saturated fat intake. This is either a blatant lie, or it’s willful ignorance. Maybe even both. Either way, the end result is a continuation of the saturated fat vilification. The average person will go to, read the headline, and skip ahead to the meat: “…eating lots of saturated fat can all add up to higher triglyceride levels.”

As far as heart disease goes, I still have yet to hear a workable process by which saturated fat contributes to it. It increases LDL, but the LDL it increases is large, fluffy, and almost impossible to oxidize. The layman’s notion of saturated fat literally clogging up the arteries like grease in a drain isn’t taken seriously by researchers anymore (who know it’s really all about inflammation and oxidized LDL), but it’s still the most prevalent explanation for why saturated fat is so bad. We now know that the HDL/triglyceride ratio is far more predictive of cardiovascular events than LDL, but still LDL gets all the attention. The “alternative hypothesis” (which is really the one that makes the most sense) focuses more on oxidized polyunsaturated fats and imbalanced Omega-6/Omega-3 ratios rather than saturated fat intake, which (as is pretty obvious by now) doesn’t matter one way or the other. The observational data doesn’t add up, the actual physiological process can’t be explained, and the body seems to prefer saturated fat. I have to ask… if we know that arteries don’t “clog up” from concentrated fatty acids in the blood like bad plumbing and that SFAs aren’t prone to oxidation, just what is the issue with saturated fat and heart health?

They’ve also tried connecting saturated fat intake with various forms of cancer. Breast, colon, pancreatic – you name the cancer, researchers have probably warned against saturated fat intake as a risk factor for it. But every study that suggests a link between saturated fat and cancer is purely observational. These aren’t controlled studies, folks – these are often studies in which dietary information is gleaned from questionnaires asking people about their dietary habits for the last five years. The subjects are often elderly or middle-aged, people busy with life and all its stresses… and they’re expected to remember their exact dietary habits for the past five years? Give me a break. And even if every one of the subjects were to recall their eating with perfect accuracy, what does a correlation with pick-your-cancer really tell us? It tells us that the Standard American Diet, with its massive amounts of grains, sugar, starches, margarines, vegetable oils, and yes, some red meat and artery-clogging saturated fat, is bad for us. The researchers may try to seize on a single aspect of the diet (usually saturated fat), but that only tells us that saturated fat has a bad reputation. Is it deserved? We certainly can’t draw any conclusions from an observational study confounded by dozens of other variables. And yet still the crazy headlines jump out from all angles: “Saturated Fat Linked To Pancreatic Cancer!”; “Colon Cancer And Red Meat: Is Your Burger Killing You?” I think I did a decent job disassembling the latest red meat (read: saturated fat) scare study, as did Dr. Eades.

What About Cordain’s Stance on Saturated Fat?

Although he’s softened his stance a bit recently, Loren Cordain still maintains that saturated fat never formed a significant portion of the Paleolithic diet. He even suggests that because it increases LDL, saturated fat does play some role in cardiovascular disease. While we’re all in debt for Dr. Cordain’s impressive work cataloguing the possible diet of Grok and highlighting the dangers of grains, legumes, and sugars, I believe it’s becoming increasingly clear that he’s got it wrong with his (albeit tempered as of late) condemnation of saturated fat.

To begin with, man has a taste for fat. It’s delicious, and that’s no mistake. Given the choice between a lean chicken breast and a fatty, crispy thigh, most people instinctively go for the thigh. Social anti-fat conditioning might direct a few of us toward the dry breast, but fatty cuts just taste better. I think even Cordain would agree that Grok would opt for the fatty cuts first; where we differ is in our opinion of Grok’s access to such fatty cuts. Cordain believes the fatty acid composition of ancient game was mostly monounsaturated, while I doubt it was so clear cut. According to the WAPF’s Mary Enig and Sally Fallon, the fatty acid composition of wild game available to native Americans varied, with the most prized sources of fat (kidneys) being primarily saturated. In fact, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, hallowed purveyor of pemmican and admirer of the high-fat Inuit diet, spent considerable time with the northern native Americans and noted that they seemed to “hunt animals selectively.” They would specifically pass on the tender calves and go for the older caribou, the ones with huge slabs of back fat that could be rendered and stored. This caribou fat was about 50% saturated. These are more modern animals, but they’re still wild, and I don’t see how the large animals being consumed by Grok would have inexplicably been low in saturated fat.

Cordain himself allows that most (73%) pre-agrarian hunter-gatherers got more than 50% of their calories from animal foods (with some going as high as 70%), and he figures that wild African ruminant fatty acid composition (a basic model for Grok’s game) was similar to that of pasture-raised cattle. I eat a lot of 100% grass-fed steak, and I will tell you: there is a fair amount of fat on certain cuts, including organs. It’s leaner than grain-fed, but not by much. Plus, when you consider that hunter-gatherers (Grok and modern alike) use the entire animal, especially the fatty organs, it becomes clear that saturated fat was consumed in relatively large amounts by many groups of paleo-era humans. Maybe not all of them, but it certainly wasn’t unheard of.

The justification for the anti-saturated fat campaign that has raged on for half a century is largely baseless. Even if saturated fat does increase (large, fluffy) LDL, it increases protective HDL right along with it, and cardiovascular mortality has never been explicitly demonstrated to increase with saturated fat intake. Several studies have been attempted and – though their results were inconclusive – supporters repeatedly cite them as evidence for the connection. The Finnish Mental Hospital study, which the saturated fat critics tend to hang their hats on, has been discredited for its poor control. Most analysis of the Lyon Diet Heart study focuses on the low levels of saturated fat, while the real benefits came from an improved Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio. If you’re interested in more breakdowns of the saturated fat studies, just visit Whole Health Source (or Hyperlipid, or Free the Animal, or any of the many Primal friendly blogs on the interwebs). One of the most important things we can do is band together to undermine the dangerous, counterproductive CW. We may have truth and science on our side, but – as the past hundred years of nutrition research have shown – it isn’t always enough.

I’d love to hear you thoughts, so hit me up with a comment. As a side note, due to the length of this post I almost made it a two-parter. What do you think? Are you okay with the length or would you have preferred receiving this article divided up into more manageable sizes?

Prefer listening to reading? Get an audio recording of this blog post, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast on iTunes for instant access to all past, present and future episodes here.

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. Good article. While was reading this, I devoured a ribeye and some kale.

    Greg wrote on April 15th, 2011
  2. I had a read over the article. Theres some things I need to clarify.

    Saturated fats have no effect on blood cholesterol levels? Yes or no?

    And does blood cholesterol levels have an impact to cholesterol related diseases?

    I just received a blood test result, and I have a cholesterol level of 7.5 (significantly higher than the recommended healthy level of 5). Will this increase my chances of cholesterol related diseases, and if so, how do i reduce my levels?

    For the past two months, I have cut out all wheat and grains from my diet. I eat 1-2 pieces of fruit per day, and lots of veggies and meat. I also eat LOTS of fat from the meat. I also cook all my food with butter.

    Brian wrote on April 18th, 2011
    • Exactly what are cholesterol related diseases? The fact is that most of what we think we know is pure bull. This has been fostered for one reason or another for 50 years. I am willing to bet that in after Nov. the whole issue will change 180 degrees. The reason is that lipitor will become generic. At that point much of the money driving to cholesterol theory and the need for statin will dry up and more logical voices will be heard. You can tell that a shift is occurring if you watch the cardiology literature.

      A large meta-analysis of about 20 diet studies found that cholesterol in your diet had zero influence on your development of heart diesease (Diet and Nutrition journal). Then the Jupiter trial demonstrated that lowering of inflamation with statins had a major influence on disease.

      What is likely the relationship between cholesterol and disease is that those who have a gene defect for control of blood fats also have a genetic predisposition for arterial disease. The disease is one of inflamation and we need to begin to think of it seperate from nutrition.

      david7134 wrote on April 19th, 2011
  3. ” Whether you’re burning through your stores of adipose tissue or downing flagons of warm ghee, all that fat goes through the same processes in your body”

    Really? This is a naive and honest question… But to someone that never studied biology, I believe that having something throw in your blood as happens with the energy from adipose versus starting from scratch in you stomach is very different.

    Also that statement ignores the molecular difference from all the sfa, right? or the very same fat molecule that the human body stores is also what a seal produces in its body?

    Gabe wrote on April 27th, 2011
  4. Coming to this late, but … there’s one thing in that original Ancel Keys graph that makes me pause.

    It’s the UK position where there is a relatively low heart attack rate with a high fat consumption.

    I come from a traditional working class family in the north of England, and I remember how people ate in the 1940s/50s in general. Believe me when I tell you the high fat consumption wasn’t just cooking with a bit of butter, it was lard in everything, eating beef dripping, slathering bread with butter, vegetables served swimming in butter, pork crackling as a snack etc — every household fried with beef drip (fish and chip shops used to fry the fish in beef drip). When I think back to how my grandparents and great grandparents ate, they consumed huge amounts of saturated fat — and everyone around them did as well.

    So I would suggest that our modern notions of a “high fat diet” are worlds away from the real high fat diets of Brits in the 1950s — I think that is worth bearing in mind.

    The other little side point is that my grandfather (born 1913) always told me the way to lose weight was to cut out bread and potatoes.

    Alex wrote on April 28th, 2011
  5. This is a good review, but I’m not sure why you scoff at the “genetic adaptation” argument for peoples like the Inuit and Masai: these are small, geographically restricting populations with very little gene flow with outside groups – all prime conditions for rapid adaptation to strong selection (and only having blubber or blood and milk to eat is pretty strong selection).

    If you look at how lactose intolerance or celiac are distributed in global populations, it’s pretty clear that they are prevalent in populations that were late-comers to milk and grain consumption. I’d argue there are people who are perfectly adapted to eat both with no problems at all – and those for whom that isn’t true.

    Maybe as someone with ancestors who rode out the Pleistocene in Northern Europe You do quite well on a very high fat diet. I’ve even found people doing this diet who have just about given up eating vegetable entirely. That make work for them, but just the thought makes me feel sick.
    As someone of Mediterranean descent I crave vegetables, and love my eggs and fatty, fatty fish, but I’m not that into huge portions of saturated fat from land animals – too much bacon makes me feel pretty gross and unwell and slow.

    My point is, we aren’t all the same. Subpopulations are almost certainly adapted to more particular sorts of foods – and that’s okay. I think we can all agree that avoiding processed non-food and avoiding massive amounts of nutritionless carbs is good for everyone – beyond that, I think it gets pretty individual.

    I say trust your body – it knows what it needs.

    lrc wrote on May 4th, 2011
  6. @lrc Regarding lactose intolerance, you might do well to remember that almost no human (or indeed any mammal) begins life lactose intolerant. But by far most of the adult population, regardless of ethnicity develops lactose intolerance to one degree or another at some point in their lives, and most lactose intolerance is environmentally induced. Cultures that do not consume dairy tend to have the highest percentage of lactose intolerance. (go figure) It therefore becomes a question not of what populations are largely lactose intolerant, but of how quickly they develop lactose intolerance after infancy. Anyone who is lactose intolerant at infancy has a genetic disorder called congenital lactase deficiency. Therefore citing lactose intolerance to support your apparent theory that certain sub-groups have a genetic advantage over others when it comes to diets high in saturated fat renders your argument somewhat less than convincing.

    As to our bodies knowing what they need, that would be well and good, if our minds would not get in the way. For instance, a craving for sweetness is often our bodies telling us we need the vitamins in fruit, but then our brains jump in there with their conditioned response, and tell us what we really want is a candy bar. Likewise, with so many people telling us that fat is bad, most of us are conditioned to be disgusted by anything that tastes or feels like it has a lot of fat in it. And, I might add, though many of my friends and relatives are as fat-phobic as most people, none of them dislike my holiday meals, in which I incorporate plenty of fats. As long as they don’t see me preparing the dishes, that is. If they were to see all the butter I use, for example, I am quite certain their “gross!” response would be triggered. Their conditioning would alter their perception of the meal, which I am pretty certain is what is happening with you when you eat bacon.

    A while back I saw a show that did an experiment with MSG. They got a group of people, and served half of them Chinese food with MSG, and half of them Chinese food without. I found the results quite amusing. Several of the people who had not consumed MSG were nonetheless quite certain they had. They complained of symptoms such as headache, stiffening of joints, and so on. The mind is a powerful thing, especially once conditioned to believe something and respond to it.

    Another good example of this is milk, lactose issues aside. I know people to whom 2% milk is just dandy, but they claim to be disgusted by whole milk because of the (perceived) fat content. And yet for milk to be considered whole milk, it is required that it be at least 3.24% fat, a difference of 1.24%, (of the total volume) which is pretty measly. Again, their conditioned perception is getting in the way of reality.

    For most people, “trust your body” is not enough. Far better to do the research, get the facts, and then work on undoing the conditioning most of us have undergone since childhood.

    Cornelius wrote on May 4th, 2011
    • Hi Cornelius – thanks for responding (I wasn’t even sure anyone was looking at this anymore). I can see from your response that casual conversation isn’t enough around here, so this is the nitty-gritty underlying my above comments:

      As you point out, the gene that encodes lactase (the LCT gene) is ‘turned on’ for the first few years of life. But whether it remains ‘turned on’ (thus allowing an individual to continue eating dairy without problems) isn’t exactly ‘environmentally induced’ – it’s controlled by another nearby gene – and individuals who continue to be able to digest dairy throughout their life have a different version of that control-gene than those who develop intolerance after the first few years. Obviously the interactions between genes and environment are complex, but in this case what we can say with confidence is that that the ancestral trait in humans is a gene that ‘shuts off’ lactase production after the first few years (a trait we share with all other mammals). The allele that keeps lactase production ‘turned on’ is found almost exclusively in northern Europeans, eastern Africans and some southwestern Asians – populations that have been drinking milk for a long time. This ability to digest milk into adulthood even has a name in the literature – it’s called ‘the lactase persistent phenotype.’

      Here are 2 good references that cover it in much greater detail:

      Bersaglieri et al. (2004) . “Genetic signatures of strong recent positive selection at the lactase gene.” Am J Hum Genet 74(6):1111-20.
      Swallow (2003) . “Genetics of lactase persistence and lactose intolerance.” Annu Rev Genet 37:197-219.

      So like Celiac, lactose intolerance is a great example of how human populations (just like all other animal populations) can evolve adaptations to their particular environment: if there are limited food options available, those who can thrive on what is available are going to live and reproduce more than those who can’t. In fact I chose lactose intolerance (although in hindsight lactase persistence might have been a better word choice) and celiac specifically because they are well understood, and have been analyzed in an evolutionary framework.

      My speculation that there may be similar sorts of mechanisms at work in terms of optimal saturated fat intake is just that: speculation. There is no research on the topic. My point was really just that we know the mechanisms of evolution, we know that they apply to human diet/nutrition, so it might not be that huge a leap of faith to think that some of us are better adapted to eating a huge amount of saturated fat than others, and more generally that an individual’s optimal diet may vary depending on their personal make-up.

      I agree people are too freaked out by fat, which is why I’m lurking around here – but I also thought it was important to point out that what make you strong, fast, and happy might not be exactly what makes me strong, fast and happy. It’s too easy to get militant about this stuff.

      As for our bodies knowing what they need – you are right, of course, that this isn’t true for most people. But this is a board populated primarily by people who have already returned to eating food (versus manufactured “food,” which warps sense of taste and causes the same kinds of dopamine response you see in cocaine addicts). In my experience, once people return to eating food their eating is way less disordered, period. I believe we have a pretty good innate sense of what’s good for us and what isn’t as long as we aren’t gumming up the works with junk.

      And last – I didn’t say I was fat-phobic, or that I don’t like the taste of bacon – I said that after eating a large portion of animal fat (in the form of lard, bacon, what-have-you) I feel pretty gross and queasy. With all due respect, I think you’re wrong that it’s a result of conditioning. I don’t worry about how much fat I’m eating but in general I notice I don’t eat nearly as much saturated animal fat as a lot of people doing this – usually big white people descended from Northern Europe, by the way – thus my speculations.

      lrc wrote on May 4th, 2011
  7. Been primal for over a year now and being my own test bunny I have to say this:

    If I eat little meats/fats and make the bulk of my meals vegetation I suffer from constipation and hard stools.
    If I make the bulk of my meals fatty meats, dripping with butter or lard, I have no digestive problems whatsoever. I’ve also noticed that I get healthy gurgles (that sometimes tickle) within my rib cage.
    Doctor told me that would be my gallbladder emptying its bile into the duodenum (spelling?). He also says that this is a good thing because frequent emptying means no gallstones.
    The emptying of the bile in the gallbladder is triggered by guess what? ….saturated fats!

    Primal Palate wrote on May 20th, 2011
  8. Hi Mark,
    This is all cool in a Weston Price kind of way. He proved it a few generations ago. Yudkin and now Lustig are genius too.

    Curious what you think of Barry Sears’ latest “Toxic Fat.” He took his 40-30-30 calculator apart to focus on that last 30. He took apart that last 30 (the fat) to find the optimal percentage of animal polyunsat to monounsat (veg/animal) to satfat ratios. This is a mediocre splanation. He also looked alot closer at EPO sources and their value. Most surprising aspect for me was his rage against veg polyunsats.

    Please let me know what you think.
    Thank you
    ps. also curious about how sat fat is defined or rather recognized – especially in grassfed and/or wild game. The lesson an old guy taught me was that in animal fats, sat fat is solid and white at room temp and unsat fat (like wild salmon) is orange/red/yellow and liquid at room temp. Does that hold with what you know?

    joe wrote on May 21st, 2011
  9. Have you ever heard of or read The China Study? I am interested in your thoughts on their research findings…

    Kelsey wrote on June 14th, 2011
  10. So I understand that animal fat won’t cause me heart disease. But will it make me fat?
    I do eat a low Carb, High protein, High fat diet.

    I need to know if cutting out more of the fat will get me to my desired body-fat level faster.

    Thanks in advance

    Kevin Manthe wrote on June 14th, 2011
  11. Joy Bauer’s Food cures touted a legume and yam salad for diabetics, saying legumes are one of the best sources of protein and fiber and are digested slowly which is good for diabetics. She also said to stear clear of bacon because saturated fats cause inflammation. Since I love beans, I’m sorry you don’t agree with her. Any credibility to the link between inflammation and fats?

    Sarah Abts wrote on June 27th, 2011
  12. I was having a conversation about plantains with a Jamaican woman at the gym … when I mentioned that I sauteed them in lard, she balked and called me crazy. Another woman stepped in to tell me that I was on the fast track to a heart attack and that my diet was going to “catch up with me.” All that saturated fat was clogging my arteries and I was clearly too stupid to realize it. I told her she was being rude; she barked “you’re being rude, child.”

    Of course, I was infuriated. And I came to this post to see how I can better defend myself when this happens again. Thanks.

    Charmaine wrote on July 6th, 2011
    • Late to the part, but this has to be the funniest exchange I’ve read on here. Great delivery.

      Weird, because I thought Jamaican diets were typically high in fat.

      Lisa wrote on November 7th, 2011

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