I came on here to make a new question about butter and cream (actually "dairy" in general). So I did a search first like a usually do before posting a question.
This led me to the below 2 threads by Travis Culp and Todd, which I read through both entirely, including all comments.
First... some interesting points about dairy and it's place in the Paleo world...
Who supports eating significant amounts of dairy, including butter and heavy cream and ghee?
Dr. Kurt Harris
Certainly the entire WAPF
They all know butter, especially grass fed butter, contains significant levels of palmitic and myristic acid. And from nearly every single thing I've read about this, that is perfectly fine, and in fact, there's quite a bit of research that has shown some strong positive benefits to myristic acid.
Are they all wrong? Have they all been terribly fooled and overlooked something critically important about how our bodies handle this food? Highly (very highly) unlikely.
Personally, since upping my butter and cream and ghee significantly, I have lost flab weight, gained significant muscle and strength, and I love food more now than ever before. However, my LDL has gone up too. Also, ROB mentioned in one of these threads that he felt a 'pain' near his heart on several occasions. I have felt something like that myself. I even made reference to this in Kamal's post about "What if we're all wrong?". Am I too proud, too high up the 'wrong ladder' to consider being 'wrong'? No way Jose. I'll ditch butter and cream faster than a Supra Turbo if I become of the mindset that it's no good. Life is too important.
But sometimes studying numbers can get a bit dizzying. Sometimes we forget that we shouldn't become slaves to what the numbers might represent. I don't think butter and cream are bad for humans to eat. It's pretty well shown at this point that there are many good reasons to consume both, so doing a complete elimination is not on the horizon for me any time soon. I don't want to unfairly give high quality dairy a sudden and possibly unjustified bad rap. I believe there is great value in it as a healthy, whole food.
I would submit this idea though. Perhaps the dose is important. What if we're just eating a bit too much? What if a good solution is to simply cut your dairy intake in half? (or whatever... you get the idea.. lower it significantly). Think about it. The vast majority of people feel that good butter and cream fell straight out of heaven. I know I sure do. So when we all learn that it's fair game to eat "as much as you like"... might we have taken that idea too far?
asked byJack_Kronk (18472)
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on May 27, 2011
at 05:18 PM
Eating sticks of butter and drinking pints of heavy cream is no more "natural" than cooking with vegetable oil. (not that natural implies healthy) Paleo eaters seem to have a lower evidence threshold for things that paleo gurus support. Like you said, the dose makes the poison. I would imagine that no single fatty acid is going to kill you--keep in mind the plethora of fatty acids in our body and the wide variety of roles they play.
I love butter and cream, but don't eat it with the purpose of getting enough "good saturated fats". I eat it in order to avoid bad polyunsatured fats and to displace some sugar calories. Meat provides plenty of saturated fat without supplementing with tons of dairy fat.
There was a thread a while back saying something like "I just ate a stick of butter and I feel incredible!". Placebo at work?
on May 27, 2011
at 06:48 PM
The reason why I say that you might have low copper levels is that.
Paleo diets can indeed be low in copper. High in zinc and iron and naturally low in copper, it is plausible.
High LDL can be the result of a copper deficiency as Paul Jaminet illustrates http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=2547 Eating butter with damaged arteries will raise your LDL. I count it as a good thing since it is repairing the damage. The bad thing is that the damage is there in the first place.
CHD and copper from Whole Health Sources. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2010/04/copper-and-cardiovascular-disease.html
That's my reasoning. Again, I don't know if this is you are not but it is my hypothesis, There are people who eat plenty of butter and have low LDL.
on May 27, 2011
at 06:02 PM
That myristic and palmitic acids raise LDL is indisputable. You can find a bunch of studies on Google Scholar that compare it to other fats. That coconut vs butter one I put in that other thread is really interesting and as I said, butter is twice as potent as an LDL-raiser compared to coconut oil. On top of that, there are plenty of anecdotes in the paleo community of people who were told that any amount of pasture butter is A-OK and the result was sky-high LDL. I've seen at least 10 of them on various sites.
If you check out the latest comments on that PHD thread about LDL that you posted in: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=2547&cpage=1 You'll see that a fellow cut back on his butter and cream intake and dropped his LDL by 29% in 2 months. I had a similar reduction.
So, what I know is that more dairy fat = more LDL-C and that it can be reversed by cutting it out. I've personally witnessed it alongside many others.
What I don't know is if it actually matters. Massive amounts of butter are certainly not evolutionarily appropriate, but all of the constituent fatty acids occur in tallow, just in different ratios. Then again, we get linoleic acid in small amounts in ancestral diets.... I've seen a few animal studies that counter-intuitively showed that diet-induced hypercholesterolemia in rats and rabbits caused decreases in testosterone. You'd expect testosterone synthesis to be upregulated, but having LDL-C outside of a particular range leads to hypogonadism, probably because the lipoproteins are less able to dock with the leydig cells or offload their contents. I'll try to dig those studies up.
What troubles me about super-high LDL-C is not the lipid hypothesis, but things like this:
And that's only if you're around 200 mg/dl. If I plot my initial 391 on that chart, it's quite unnerving.
on May 27, 2011
at 08:04 PM
Something else that may make a difference is raw grass-fed butter vs pasteurized grass fed butter.
Organic valley and kerrygold both offere pasteurized grass fed butter that is tasty, but I find that it makes me a bit'phlegmy' and feel not as good in general.
Mainly I use grass fed raw cultured butter, and I can eat a ton of it with no ill effects.
Because I use both (pastuerized stuff for cooking) its hard to tell what its doing to my LDL but I wouldn't be surprised if there is a difference. My total cholesterol is 241, LDL 138, HDL 93, triglycerides 49.