Why Saturated Fat Is Not the Enemy (& Why We Need It)

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Why Saturated Fat Is Not the Enemy and Why We Need It
Wellness Mama » Blog » Health » Why Saturated Fat Is Not the Enemy (& Why We Need It)

Conventional wisdom (at least for the last few decades) says that saturated fat and cholesterol are bad for you and contribute to heart disease…. but what does the evidence say?

How it Began…

The fear of saturated fat began in the 1950s when Ancel Keys published a paper supposedly linking saturated fat/cholesterol with rising rates of heart disease. The problem, as this article explains, was his cherry-picking of available data:

“Keys based his theory on a study of six countries, in which higher saturated fat intake equated to higher rates of heart disease. However, he conveniently ignored data from 16 other countries that did not fit his theory. Had he chosen a different set of countries, the data would have shown that increasing the percent of calories from fat reduces the number of deaths from coronary heart disease.

And, as illustrated in the featured article, when you include all 22 countries for which data was available at the time of his study, you find that those who consume the highest percentage of saturated fat have the lowest risk of heart disease.

Furthermore, many have now realized that it’s the trans fat found in margarine, vegetable shortening, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils that is the true villain, causing far more significant health problems than saturated fat ever could!”

Big Fat Lies…

Here is a short video that sums it up in two minutes:

Despite evidence to the contrary, the saturated fat/heart disease theory was largely accepted and promoted in the medical and nutritional communities and is widely accepted today.

What if Saturated Fat is Healthy?

Despite the widely accepted idea that saturated fat causes heart disease, there is a lack of evidence proving this, and quite a bit of evidence proving the opposite. For instance (from Chris Kresser):

“If you’re wondering whether saturated fat may contribute to heart disease in some way that isn’t related to cholesterol, a large meta-analysis of prospective studies involving close to 350,000 participants found no association between saturated fat and heart disease. (8) A Japanese prospective study that followed 58,000 men for an average of 14 years found no association between saturated fat intake and heart disease, and an inverse association between saturated fat and stroke (i.e. those who ate more saturated fat had a lower risk of stroke). (9)”

Cultures Around the World That Eat Fat

There is also current data from populations in several areas around the world that confirms this point:

  • The Maasai Tribe in Kenya eats a diet of meat, milk and animal blood (66% saturated fat) and has virtually no heart disease.
  • The Eskimo tribes in the arctic subsist on whale meat and blubber (a diet of 75% plus saturated fat) and have very low or no rate of heart disease.
  • The Tokealu of New Zealand consume a diet of 60% saturated fat from coconuts and fish and again have virtually no heart disease.

Lest anyone think that these tribes are simple pre-disposed to heart health, studies show that when people from these tribes move to other countries and consume a westernized diet, they get heart disease in the same rates as people in these countries.

Studies About Saturated Fat

As this article points out:

  • “A meta-analysis published last year, which pooled data from 21 studies and included nearly 348,000 adults, found no difference in the risks of heart disease and stroke between people with the lowest and highest intakes of saturated fat.
  • In a 1992 editorial published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Dr. William Castelli, a former director of the Framingham Heart study, stated:“In Framingham, Mass., the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person’s serum cholesterol. The opposite of what… Keys et al would predict…We found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active.”
  • Another 2010 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a reduction in saturated fat intake must be evaluated in the context of replacement by other macronutrients, such as carbohydrates.When you replace saturated fat with a higher carbohydrate intake, particularly refined carbohydrate, you exacerbate insulin resistance and obesity, increase triglycerides and small LDL particles, and reduce beneficial HDL cholesterol. The authors state that dietary efforts to improve your cardiovascular disease risk should primarily emphasize thelimitation of refined carbohydrate intake, and weight reduction.”

Chris Kresser sums it up well

Eating saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease.

There. That’s it. That’s really all you need to know. But if you’d like to read more about it, John Briffa wrote a great article about it that can be found here.

Agree that fat isn’t the problem but think that cholesterol could be the culprit instead? Check out this article.

Reasons to Eat MORE Saturated Fat

There are many convincing reasons to consume for saturated fat, such as…

Make the Heart Happy

Turns out that eating saturated fat may actually be important for preventing heart disease… As Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades, MD explain:

“Though you may not have heard of it on the front pages of your local newspaper, online news source, or local television or radio news program, saturated fat plays a couple of key roles in cardiovascular health. The addition of saturated fat to the diet reduces the levels of a substance called lipoprotein (a)—pronounced “lipoprotein little a” and abbreviated Lp(a)—that correlates strongly with risk for heart disease. Currently there are no medications to lower this substance and the only dietary means of lowering Lp(a) is eating saturated fat. Bet you didn’t hear that on the nightly news. Moreover, eating saturated (and other) fats also raises the level of HDL, the so-called good cholesterol. Lastly, research has shown that when women diet, those eating the greatest percentage of the total fat in their diets as saturated fat lose the most weight.”

To Lose Weight

Eating fat makes you fat? Not so much..

There are whole books dedicated to the subject (affiliate) but in short (from Mark Sisson):

“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.”

For Liver Health

According to the Drs. Eades:

“Adding saturated fat to the diet has been shown in medical research to encourage the liver cells to dump their fat content. Clearing fat from the liver is the critical first step to calling a halt to middle-body fat storage. Additionally, saturated fat has been shown to protect the liver from the toxic insults of alcohol and medications, including acetaminophen and other drugs commonly used for pain and arthritis, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, and even to reverse the damage once it has occurred. Since the liver is the lynchpin of a healthy metabolism, anything that is good for the liver is good for getting rid of fat in the middle. Polyunsaturated vegetable fats do not offer this protection.”

Improved Healthy Brain

The brain is made largely of fat and the majority of the fat in the brain is saturated. The Myelin Sheath that surrounds the nerves in the brain and ensures their proper function is also largely made of saturated fat and cholesterol. As such, consuming saturated fats is extremely important, especially during pregnancy and nursing as these are times of rapid brain development for babies.

For Healthier Skin

From a previous article:

“At the same time that Omega-6 oil consumption has risen, consumption of saturated fats and Omega-3 fats has declined. We’ve seen how well that’s worked out for us, but it turns out that it could have a pretty big impact on skin health too.

The body needs healthy fats, including saturated fats, monounsaturated fats,  and Omega-3 fats, to regenerate skin tissue, and these fats are the preferred building blocks in the body. If the body doesn’t get these fats (and many people don’t these days), it will use whatever it has available, including Omega-6 fats, which are not the preferred fat for building skin and collagen and can cause mutation (cancer).”

Immune Health

Saturated fats are also important for keeping the immune system functioning properly. From this post:

“Saturated fats found in butter and coconut oil (myristic acid and lauric acid) play key roles in immune health. Loss of sufficient saturated fatty acids in the white blood cells hampers their ability to recognize and destroy foreign invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Human breast milk is quite rich in myristic and lauric acid, which have potent germ-killing ability. But the importance of the fats lives on beyond infancy; we need dietary replenishment of them throughout adulthood, middle age, and into seniority to keep the immune system vigilant against the development of cancerous cells as well as infectious invaders.”

Additional Reading

7 Reasons to Eat More Saturated Fat – Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades at the blog of Tim Ferriss.

What if Bad Fat is Actually Good For You? – at Men’s Health

Saturated Fat- Will I Get Fat and Die?

Four Reasons Saturated Fat is Healthy

The Seven Most Common Reactions to Your High Fat Diet

Is Saturated Fat Healthy? at MarksDailyApple.com

What if It’s All Been A Big Fat Lie? (Gary Taubes interview by Dr. Mercola):

Saturated fat and cardiovascular disease: the discrepancy between the scientific literature and dietary advice.

Where do you fall on the Saturated Fat debate? Share below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


36 responses to “Why Saturated Fat Is Not the Enemy (& Why We Need It)”

  1. Ashley Avatar

    In the podcast with Mark Wyman, you talk about how some people need to limit their saturated fat for a specific reason and mentioned you’re one of those people. What makes this so? Is it related in any way to Lp(a)? Curious so I can do more research. Thank You!

  2. Jessica Avatar

    Hi Katie! I love all the information here. I am having a difficult time locating an article or study with suggestions on HOW MUCH we should be shooting for a day. Any way you could provide me with a trusted article on this? Thank you for all you do and all the information you provide your followers.

  3. Hogan Carney Avatar
    Hogan Carney

    THIS IS AMAZING!!!!! PLEASE DO MORE STUFF LIKE THIS WELLNESS MAMA!!! me and my wife have been doing keto and low carb for a bit over a month and we feel amazing!! she is loosing weight quickly and I have great mental clarity!! I eat this stuff up like grassfed organic butter!!! and I will show it to ALL my friends!!

  4. Anthony Avatar

    The studies cited in your article are industry funded. I tried to use a low carb high fat diet to loose weight over the summer vacation (I’m a teacher). I also went into a caloric deficit and exercised. I did not loose an ounce. After the summer was over I ditched the low carb and went plant based. I did a lot of research on the matter and I watched moves like Plantpure nation, What the Health, and Cowspiracy on Netflix. I also read the China Study. I started doing the absolute opposite of what you are teaching people to do and the pounds started to drop. I’ve lose 30 lbs of pure fat since August of 2017. I eat lbs of potatoes every day, sweet or white, I eat rice, oatmeal, beans, and corn, mostly organic. Studies have shown when people take out the saturated fats and olive oils out of their diet they reverse their heart disease, diabetes, and so on. It never happens on a high fat diet that does not satiate the stomach. I could go on and on but I would kindly ask you to do some more research on foods and disease. Saturated fats (animal products) along with additives like so called natural olive oil damage the endothelial wall of the arteries and cause heart disease. People with endothelial damage may not have have high cholesterol or blockage but can have heart attacks anytime. Please become one of the good guys and promote a diet that is kind to the heart, kind to the environment, and kind to the animal kingdom, a plant based diet!

  5. Paul Peterson Avatar
    Paul Peterson

    In 1905 Crisco (trans fat) was invented and within 10 years or so it revolutionized bake sales-no more would church moms have to slave on the day of the sale-heck-their pies would last weeks.

    Then something happened on the farm-COMBINES-that “shell” corn to the kernels. No longer would ears of corn be AIR-DRIED-that was just as old fashioned as lard, right? tHEY STILL HAD TO DRY IT THOUGH-Lots of hot air-which-you guessed it-turns the omega 6 in corn to trans fats.

    Then those vegetable oil farmer figured out they could make mar-gar-ine but the lard and butter lobbies wouldn’t let margarine be colored so for a decade homemakers had to ADD THEIR OWN COLOR TO MARGARINE.

    Apparently there is one more wrench in the works. The livestock industry relies on one main flawed study which led them to believe omega 6 is the only EFA necessary for healthy growth of their guests. Of course, corn is king in North America. So most American beef is heavily overbalanced with Omega 6 and trans fats.

    Trans fats “steal” the amides used to produce feel-good chemicals (variously). They also block absorption of all EFA’s-and remarkably, they can also block the blood-brain barrier.

    I am an independent-self-taught biochemist and found by rebalancing EFA’s and removing trans fats-I increased production of these amide chemicals-to the point I could feel a “buzz” factor and others felt it too. It took years to discover why others were flat as a pancake after dinner. How did I figure this out? Momma made some cookies-with butter-but she burned a batch and told me to eat da burned ones first-4 cookies and I didn’t feel my buzz FOR A WEEK.

    Oh-by the way, the chemicals probably are the “endocannabinoids” which trigger the so-called “cannabinoid” receptors-which would account for why marijuana is such a “drug epidemic” capish?

    On top of all the other major man-made disasters (in dietary snafus) in 1937 the USA took away legal access to that last chance source for good brain chemicals so there.

    Meanwhile, drug companies like these imbalances-they grew up with all these man-made diseases and found how to profit from them. Oh-and when I was doing patent research, I actually found a recent patent-issued to a guy that claimed by ADDING OMEGA 6, BEEF IS FIRMER AND EASIER TO CUT AT ROOM TEMPERATURE. End of story? By the way, I like how you allow sometimes wrong dissent here-nice touch. Paul Peterson, Storm Lake, Iowa

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      Dr. Mercola and I both quoted from the same original article from Drs. Eades but I certainly did not copy his article. For future reference though, Mercola copies many articles from other sources and just adds his comments at the bottom and then republishes them.

    2. Sandra Avatar

      My husband has been reading Mercola for years. Whilst I have agreed with nearly everything he said and hubby had changed his diet it has taken me a long time to catch up and only recently have finally taken a permanent change with Katie’s blog. Why? I can relate, I understand it better. It is written for me. I am her audience. I was at a cross point. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Sometimes unfortunately people need a TIA before they will take action to prevent a stroke, unstable angina to prevent a heart attack. The more bloggers out there, the better to compete with corporate marketing.

  6. EvelynU Avatar

    I am reading Big Fat Surprise, which contains much of this same information, and I would like to suggest a scary hypothesis–could low-fat and lo-saturated-fat diets be responsible for the autism increase? I think the time periods match very well, and since it is known that fat is crucial to brain health, it could involve the diet of pregnant and pre-pregnant women, the fat content of their breast milk, the fat-profile of baby formulas, and the low-fat, low-saturated-fat diets of young children.

    Essentially no studies have ever been done on the effects of fat-restriction for growing children and their rapidly growing brains. It is also widely noted that upper-middle-class families have a higher incidence of autism than poor families, again possibly related to the stronger adherence of well-educated parents to low-fat and minimal saturated-fat diets.

    This is my hypothesis, and I hope that some studies will be done!

  7. Mike Aus Avatar
    Mike Aus

    Growing up in the UK in the 1940s I was surrounded by great grand parents and great aunts in their 90s who had grown up on a diet of meat, veg, lard and butter. Heart attacks were very rare and in fact that word was never used – what we now call a heart attack was referred to as “a thrombosis” which suggests that it was a fairly recent phenomenon that didn’t yet have a colloquial name.
    When I was 8 I drank a small bottle of olive oil kept in the bathroom to remove ear wax. My mother rushed me off to the doctor in terror.
    Major cause of death in the family was the Second World War, traffic accidents and industrial accidents (coal mining family). If you managed to survive all that, you lived to your late 90s.
    As I grew older I got sucked into the low fat / food pyramid lies and ended up hugely overweight with psoriasis, a couple of mini strokes and basically waiting for God.

    Since ditching grains, margarine and all veg oils apart from cold pressed olive oil and going onto a diet rich in butter, ghee, coconut oil, fish and good vegetables I have a new lease on life. Probably to the displeasure of Big Pharma and their misguided medical acolytes who cause and then prey on ill health.

  8. Wendy Bottrell Avatar
    Wendy Bottrell

    Great article Wellness Mama! I eliminated wheat,grains and gluten a few years back and added in more good fats like coconut oil, pastured butter. I feel like a different person as I have reduced my weight by 25lbs have more energy and think more clearly! Best Regards, Wendy

  9. Kelly B. Avatar
    Kelly B.

    If you’re an over-absorber, however, you’ll still have to watch how much saturated fat you eat. Lots of research with genes has been done on this, and that research has helped us with our 7 year old. Those with an ApoE-4 gene allele require a low saturated fat, mostly plant-based diet, to avoid CAD, Hypercholesterolemia, and Alzheimer’s. We had our five year old daughter on an all organic, modified Paleo, WAPF-friendly diet, come to find out that her cholesterol was over 300, 200 of it LDL. For the general population, yes, saturated fat is very important, but too much for my daughter could mean an early end to her life. For my daughter, we use “better butter”–1 part ghee mixed with 1 part EVOO and have been warned to reduce coconut oil as well. Also, tests show that she processes and utilizes complex carbohydrates (gluten-free) quite well. Bottomline, the Paleo diet and its fats are not the best diet for all due to genetic variations. For some, they will thrive on it, and for others, they may end up with early CAD from built-up cholesterol, plaque, and fatty liver. By the grace of God, we found an N.D. to give us answers early for our daughter, who is now 7 and thriving. So, Saturated fat, in and of itself, is healthy, but how much and for whom is an IMPORTANT variable that just not enough people know about. I’m sorry but due to the reasons I’ve just explained, many sections of your article are downright dangerous!

    1. Kelly Avatar

      I appreciate your comments – I was following the Paleo diet for a year and just learned that I have the same genetic variation and need to greatly reduce my fat intake. You’re very right – advice like this really does not apply to everyone, and it’s dangerous when writers act like it does.

  10. Sarah Avatar

    Thanks for posting this article! I just watched a great documentary called Fat Head which I would recommend.

    I am a herbivore and am now a bit worried about my saturated fat intake, but I oppose meat/dairy for ethical reasons, and because I don’t feel well after I have eaten them. Could anyone give me some advice/point me in the right direction to find out HOW MUCH saturated fat we should eat? I already use coconut oil, how much should I try to ingest daily?! I can’t find very much on the internet because everyone is about avoiding saturated fat!

    Thanks again & greetings from Hastings, England!

    1. Raine Avatar

      Really, it depends. On how much fat you function the best off, and how much is natural to your body. I’d recommend gradually upping your coconut oil intake, and seeing what feels the best to you. (For most people it’s two to four.) Personally, I consume two to three tablespoons of coconut oil a day; average. (Usually in coconut flour pancakes or melted into morning tea.) However, I also eat meat and dairy. About the meat and dairy thing- I, too, oppose the production of meat if the meat is from inhumanely treated animals. For that reason, I don’t consume conventional meat. But I do like meat and dairy, and feel like my body needs it to function optimally, especially during winter. I compromise by eating only meats from pastured animals and raw or full fat dairy. I find these things at farmer’s markets, local butchers, and farms around you. Granted, eating only pastured meat and raw dairy means that I eat less of them, mainly because it’s pricier than regular meat. But I am a firm believer in quality over quantity, (I mean, look at the French!) and I’d rather eat a bit less of nutritious meat than more unhealthy meat. Hope this helps!

  11. Allison Smith Avatar
    Allison Smith

    Please reconsider advocating (and ingesting) saturated fat. Our bodies have no need for saturated fat, only polyunsaturated fats (omega 3 & 6 found in plants). Coconut oil is no
    panacea, it has virtually nothing in it but artery clogging saturated fat. I have to wonder if you have any way of personally verifying your claims of healthfulness. Do we have your word that your Doctor(s) also agree that you’re in robust health? Do we have your word that you have a healthy BMI? I just can’t imagine that anyone’s blood work can come back normal after ingesting a 1/4 cup of fatty oil each day. Bad medical advice is flooding America, and we are the worse for it. Our number one killer is heart disease. America didn’t get this way by avoiding oil and embracing their vegetables and starches! Just the opposite, oil consumption has risen rapidly in recent decades. Let me just leave you with a thought: if oil is such a necessity, than how did the human body evolve for so long without it? Industrial oil presses are a rather recent invention in the grand scheme of things.

      1. Allison Smith Avatar
        Allison Smith

        According to the CDC, heart disease has been the number one killer in the US since 1921. That’s almost a hundred years! Not much has changed in the American diet since then (we’re still very much a meat and potato country), but there have been reductions in cigarette usage and major advances in medical care. To suggest that saturated fats are responsible is laughable. I don’t advocate ingesting anything that isn’t a whole plant food. I do not recommend eating olive oil, only olives; nor orange juice, only oranges. Same would go for coconut oil, only the coconut meat should be consumed. These whole foods are perfect as they are, and it is rather unnatural to manipulate and process them before consumption.

        I also don’t understand how humans could think it wise to ingest a substance that is meant to nurse and grow a baby cow. Milk, no matter which species it comes from, has evolved specifically for the weening of that same species. Humans shouldn’t ingest cows milk, just like cows shouldn’t ingest human milk. Our two species have different protein needs. Cows milk contains 3.3 grams of protein per 100 ml and the calf doubles in size in 47 days. Human milk contains 1.2 grams of protein per 100 ml and the child doubles in size in 180 days. Each species’s milk has the proper amount of protein for that species. Humans are over nourished with cows milk, and if cattle was fed human breast milk, it would no doubt be malnourished.

        1. Estra Avatar

          You have no clue what you’re talking about Allison. No offense. The body produces saturated fat every day on it’s own whether you eat it or not. You really think the body is going to adapt to allowing the entire structure of the body as well as brain to run on a poisin? If cholesterol is bad why does the body produce such profound amounts of it per day without your choice? 2,000 mg per day of cholesterol, and saturated fat are produced whether you like it or not. The whole structure of the body including brain is cholesterol, and saturated fat without eating any whatsoever. So the body produces a poison for itself to function or else it dies without that poisin.. yea that makes a whole lot of sense. Stop reading pseudo science produced by those who don’t want us healthy. Go take some classes on the makeup of the body.

        2. Daniel Avatar

          I concur that you have not a clue! People that tell me “doctors” blah blah blah are reminded that only 60 or so years ago doctors advocated smoking their favourite brand of cigarette or convincing young mothers that formula milk is superior to breast milk.

          There are doctors, albeit a minority that support a low carb, high fat diet!

      2. Ang Avatar

        Some vegetable oils undergo hydrogenation. This is when hydrogen is added to an unsaturated fat to make it saturated. However, the chemical structure is in the trans configuration, rather than the cis which is natural to our body. Trans fats are terrible and I am sure you can find a wealth of information on why.

        So please do not confuse ALL vegetable oils as bad. Olive oil, flax oil, fish oil are all great for you. They RAISE HDL and can, overtime, combat the negative effects of a high saturated fat diet. They are also your only sources of essential fatty acids, which are fatty acids that your body NEEDS and cannot make itself.

        So you NEED to consume UNsaturated, healthy OILS and whoever tells you differently is very wrong.

        1. Rob Avatar

          I find that the best way to combat the effects of a high saturated fat diet is to avoid such a diet in the first place. A little saturated fat is ok but we really don’t require much and certainly not in the amounts that the LCHF people would have us believe.

    1. Dr. Wheatstone Avatar
      Dr. Wheatstone

      Actually Katie is correct. If you look at her research in a previous report about vegetable oils, you will notice how the timeline correlates to American society obesity and illness. These many problems started not too long ago. The so-called “health awareness” movement between government and an agenda driven ilk have brainwashed too many into thinking what is natural is bad. Money also has corrupted industry providing imitation substitutes for human food. A recent heart surgeon has exclaimed that saturated fats are good for us. Yet it is the unnatural man made fats that are doing the harm.

    2. Scrot Avatar

      Nope! Just plane wrong. I don’t care what any “study” says… I look at cultures that have been around for 100’s, or 1000’s of years and not their traditional diet… Usually, these cultures have very few cases of modern diseases, the likes of which we suffer today. People are blinded by their perceived intelligence and think that these “studies” are the secret… Nonsense! The best study is the one that looks at most appropriate population. Inuits have thrived on whale fat and meat for a long time… Pacific Islanders have thrived on coconut products for a long time. Open your eyes and learn! Read the book, “Why we get fat and what to do about it” by Gary Taubes. You may experience learning. Keep an open mind and keep asking questions. The notion that saturated fat is anything but good for us, is founded on really bad science. Also, follow the money and you’ll see who really writes the studies!

  12. Nina Brooge Avatar
    Nina Brooge

    i follow a low fat high carb vegan diet and I have never felt better. Low carb is stupid. Your body runs off of carbs.

    1. Jenny Penrod Avatar
      Jenny Penrod

      … Unless you’re like me. I’m insulin resistant and at high risk of developing diabetes because of a genetic disease (PCOS) and family medical history. On top of that, I’m allergic to wheat (I’m 32 and I just found this out like 2 weeks ago). So is one of my best friends. My doctor told me to stop eating most grains. I still eat beans & whole grains like corn, oats and wild rice, but not every day, and mostly because it’s what the food bank gives us. In the 1st 4 months I started eliminating white rice, white potatoes and white wheat from my diet, I lost 40+ pounds. Honestly, the carbs/sugar (processed into fat by my liver) that I’ve consumed in the last 32 years and my body hasn’t utilized (see the afore mentioned insulin resistance and PCOS) is likely to be enough to last a lifetime. The human body processes and utilizes protein, fat and fiber (veggies!) much more efficiently than it does grains/carbohydrates. Did you ever notice how fields birds go after grass seeds (grain) like it’s candy? But they have gizzards. Last I looked, we don’t. Please don’t assume your way is the only way or the “right way” to eat, or that what works for you will work for everyone or anyone else.

      Katie, any advice on dealing with insulin resistance, PCOS, and Fibromyalgia from your vast stores of knowledge (especially on a really tight budget) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all the awesome information you share with all o’d us.

      1. Nina Brooge Avatar
        Nina Brooge

        This frustrates me. There is a difference between low carb and gluten-free/wheat free/grain-free. Carbohydrates does not just mean bread. Potatoes, rice, and fruit are all carbs. I eat a very high fruit diet. I agree with you that refined sugars and white wheat (or really any wheat) are not the best for out bodies. The body will turn excess of anything into fat. The body prefers to run off of carbohydrates. This is common knowledge. If you don’t eat enough carbohydrates, the body will turn the protein and fat that you do eat, into to glucose. So it is easier for the body to run off of carbohydrates from the start, than it is for the body to convert the fat and protein into carbohydrates. Turning protein into carbohydrates requires the removal of nitrogen from the protein. That eventually has to go through your kidneys and is excreted into the urine. That is very taxing on your kidneys if you eat a high protein diet. You can also get ketosis from turning fat into glucose. So I believe that eating carbohydrates is healthy. It can be brown rice and sweet potatoes if you are trying to stay away from the white stuff. Advice for a really tight budget. Cooking beans from scratch and brown rice. Really cheap.

        1. Nina Brooge Avatar
          Nina Brooge

          P.S. Never said that low fat high carb vegan is for everybody.I stated what works for me, my opinion of eating low carb, and a fact.

        2. Daniel Avatar

          What you say is not strictly true; the body will not turn fat into glucose. Through a process known a gluconeogenesis the liver can turn protein into glucose. This process is important for certain cells in your body that lack their own mitochondria.

          As for the rest of the cells in your body, once adapted they are more than capable of converting fat into fuel for your body. You can live a very long, happy and healthy life with ZERO vegetables if you compensate sufficiently with organ meats.

          Do not spread confusion regarding ketosis (a very natural state for the body) and ketoacidosis (a dangerous condition affecting type 1 diabetics in which the body has high ketones levels concurrently with high insulin/blood glucose levels.)

          As you can probably guess I eat a low carb diet, plentiful in vegetables and some fruit, completely devoid of grains, legumes and starchy veg lacking the nutrient dense profile the body needs (such as white potato.) The modern take on the low carb/primal/paleo diets are not high protein, most sensible plans are MODERATE protein, dependant your lean body mass.

          1. Rob Avatar

            Ketosis, while natural, is anything but desirable. The body prefers glucose and especially the brain. Anyone that would willingly put themselves into ketosis long-term is a bloody fool.

        3. Mike Avatar

          I know this post is old but I’d like to clear things up for anyone still thinking that way.

          *The body prefers to run off of carbohydrates.*
          No it doesn’t, it does burn it however because high levels of glucose in the bloodstream can cause problems (glycation, insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, among other things.)

          *If you don’t eat enough carbohydrates, the body will turn the protein and fat that you do eat, into to glucose.*
          If you are fully adapted to ketone bodies, the amount of glucose needed will be very low. You’re body would only make enough to feel the areas of the brain that lack mitochondria (about 5% of the brain) and that requirement can be filled by adequate dietary protein.

          *That is very taxing on your kidneys if you eat a high protein diet. You can also get ketosis from turning fat into glucose.*
          If you have even one healthy kidney that isn’t a very big deal, it can function normally without too much trouble. You’d be too satiated anyway far before you reach that point.
          What does ketosis have to do with glucose? It is the burning of body fat and dietary fat into ketone bodies to be used for energy when glucose is scarce. I think you’re doing the very common mistake of confusing ketosis for diabetic ketoacidosis so I’ll clear up the differences.
          Ketosis: A benign metabolic state characterized by the breakdown of fatty acids into ketones for energy, concentration range from 0.5 to 2 mmol/l and with extreme exercise can go up to 5 mmol/l… completely safe since the basal insulin rate won’t let it exceed this limit and glucose levels are stable.
          Ketoacidosis: A complication that only occurs in type 1 diabetes. Characterized by increased levels of ketones (12-15 mmol/l) AND increased levels of glucose in the bloodstream, making the blood acidic (low pH). The cause of this is the complete absence of insulin. It’s a double whammy since insulin stabilizes blood glucose levels and don’t allow ketones to go above 5 mmol/l. .
          Now you know the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis. Let the two never be confused for each other again!

          Something else, there are no essential compounds found in plants that cannot be found in animal products with an even better bio-availability. Check out the USDA’s breakdown of nutrients in butter, eggs, meat and offal if you don’t believe me.

  13. Mike Heseltine Avatar
    Mike Heseltine

    Alzheimer’s disease came to light in 1978. The low fat diet had been espoused by Ansel Keys since at least the late forties and it took that long for the damage to the brain to become endemic. Butter, ghee, homemade lard and tallow are my primary fats for cooking. Raw beef fat and butter are used in my paleo diet. The benefits are noticeable. I tried Dean Ornish’s diet and saw great weight gain and misery over four months. Listen to your body and avoid Allopathic medicine is my rule and I have never felt healthier. (Avoid processed lard and render your own. Raw lard can be found in Asian meat markets.) Check out Sally Fallon at Weston A. Price Foundation.

    1. Brenda Avatar

      Hi Mike. I recall you commenting about borax in another blog post, and was wondering if you or anyone else had thoughts on preventing root calcification? From what I have read online, it can happen as you age. Calcium deposits fill in the root area, blocking nerve signaling and blood supply. Typically root canal or extraction is what is recommended. Is there a way to get rid of the calcium deposits naturally and prevent root calcification? Do you think borax could do this?

  14. Darryl Fuller Avatar
    Darryl Fuller

    thanks for the tip of this article..I been trying to keep a low-fat diet and what it does is deprive the cushion between muscles , organs and blood vessels.jogging and sprint running not only open up unseen muscles but burn the fat between them and hard to get back ..You feel tired , fatigue , muscles cant relax cause their not fat to cushion ..I learn my lesson and a low fat diet is not always the best thing especially if you have a high speed metabolism anyway ..

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