6

votes

Types of fat and heat production.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 18, 2012 at 8:21 AM

Hi hackers,

I've conducted a small personal experiment and only ate one type of fat along with my meals - each for 2 weeks. Using cornometer, I made sure the calories were virtually the same.


Results:

Olive oil: Great energy, warm hands

Lard: Energy okay, body doesn't emit so much heat, but hands still warm

Ghee and coconut oil: no energy, cold hands, freezing all the time


What's the deal? I thought especially the MCTs in coconut oil are supposed to be thermogenic? And why does olive oil make me produce so much heat?

I know ghee and coconut oil are the better choices, but I don't like the cold hands at all. Any ideas?

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:02 PM

Well, it looks like the effect on thermogenesis was due to norepinephrine and uncoupling protein. It could be that thyroid function was lowered, but not enough to lower the total effect on thermogenesis. I can't say I've read much about PUFA=lower thyroid though. Maybe you could send me a link?

D07a525f9021f8d72bf6aaa52893c795

(1011)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:31 PM

Fat make up of cocoa butter (ie in chocolate) SF 62%, PUFA 3%, MUFA 35% - quite similar to ghee :)

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26

(2384)

on July 18, 2012
at 03:13 PM

Well, I had no laboratory conditions and no wash out period either, but the changes were really noticeable. Since day 2 of the ghee test period I was freezing, but when I later reintroduced olive oil, energy came back.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 18, 2012
at 02:20 PM

Oops, missed the two week part.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 18, 2012
at 02:20 PM

How long was your study? did you have a wash out period? My guess is that they are much less related than your assumptions.

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26

(2384)

on July 18, 2012
at 01:31 PM

Sry, typo.. but a funny one :-)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 18, 2012
at 01:03 PM

Cornometer is not paleo...

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26

(2384)

on July 18, 2012
at 12:00 PM

Definitely! I'll try to get my hands on a bottle of macadamia oil and report.

D07a525f9021f8d72bf6aaa52893c795

(1011)

on July 18, 2012
at 10:45 AM

Become a Macadamia addict! SF 18%, PUFA (n6:n3 6:1) 4%, MUFA 78% Would at least be interesting to assess them for thermogenesis - or the oil?

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26

(2384)

on July 18, 2012
at 10:22 AM

Great answer! But one thing still confuses me: Ray Peat writes about PUFA heavily blocking thyroid function. AFAIK this should lead to lower thermogenesis as well. And MUFA always come with some PUFA as well. How does this fit together? Just a hypothesis: MUFA and PUFA mainly occur in cold climates, so the body might "think" it's cold outside and uses those fatty acids for heat production...

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26

(2384)

on July 18, 2012
at 10:11 AM

It's lard from a nearby farmer and I guess it's rather good quality, even though the pigs there eat some grains.

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26

(2384)

on July 18, 2012
at 10:10 AM

SInce I'm on the paleo autoimmune protocol and check every piece of my food twice, I can nearly assure all other (food-)parameters were constant. Don't take any mediaction either and workout routine was the same during test weeks. Okay it really seems that MUFA are thermogenic and SFA not so much. But there are no natural sources of MUFA without a high PUFA burden. And PUFA again rather inhibits thyroid function and thus lowers thermogenesis.. I'm *really* confused..

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:23 AM

I'm curious about the source of the lard. It probably doesn't matter that much in this context, but the pigs diet influences fatty acid comp.

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2 Answers

4
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 18, 2012
at 10:05 AM

Assuming all variables were controlled (like mindmt asked) I think a possible explanation for this result is the greater effect of oleic acid on thermogenesis.

First of all, I think the effect of medium chain triglycerides as consumed in coconut oil and butter on increasing metabolism/thermogenesis has been overblown by many. Such an increase likely occurs, but it appears to be short lived.

Anyway, It's been shown in rats that oleic acid appears to increase thermogenesis relative to saturated fat and linoleic acid (here and here). In humans, oleic acid seems to increase thermogenesis relative to saturated fatty acids (here and here), but compared to linoleic acid it's about the same (here and here)

Of course, another factor that could be involved is the potential thermogenesis increasing phenolic compounds in olive oil, as this study suggests.

So that's my theory. Interestingly enough, my own observations put butter on the top of my heat list, but I tend to eat a lot butter because, well, I just love the stuff. I guess that would be a confounding variable.

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26

(2384)

on July 18, 2012
at 10:22 AM

Great answer! But one thing still confuses me: Ray Peat writes about PUFA heavily blocking thyroid function. AFAIK this should lead to lower thermogenesis as well. And MUFA always come with some PUFA as well. How does this fit together? Just a hypothesis: MUFA and PUFA mainly occur in cold climates, so the body might "think" it's cold outside and uses those fatty acids for heat production...

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:02 PM

Well, it looks like the effect on thermogenesis was due to norepinephrine and uncoupling protein. It could be that thyroid function was lowered, but not enough to lower the total effect on thermogenesis. I can't say I've read much about PUFA=lower thyroid though. Maybe you could send me a link?

1
D07a525f9021f8d72bf6aaa52893c795

(1011)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:13 AM

Better write a thesis on MUFA being the optimal fat for thermogenesis?... and looks like Sat fat inhibits, maybe. Nevertheless, I'm not inclined to binge on olive oil (or lard) due to the significant PUFA payload. Have you scientifically controlled all other variables/potential confounding factors?

Olive Oil: 14% (Saturated Fat); 9% (PUFA); 77% (MUFA)

Lard: 41% (Saturated Fat); 12% (PUFA); 47% (MUFA)

Ghee / Clar Butter: 66% (Saturated Fat); 4% (PUFA); 30% (MUFA)

Coconut Oil: 92% (Saturated Fat); 2% (PUFA); 6% (MUFA)

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26

(2384)

on July 18, 2012
at 12:00 PM

Definitely! I'll try to get my hands on a bottle of macadamia oil and report.

D07a525f9021f8d72bf6aaa52893c795

(1011)

on July 18, 2012
at 10:45 AM

Become a Macadamia addict! SF 18%, PUFA (n6:n3 6:1) 4%, MUFA 78% Would at least be interesting to assess them for thermogenesis - or the oil?

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26

(2384)

on July 18, 2012
at 10:10 AM

SInce I'm on the paleo autoimmune protocol and check every piece of my food twice, I can nearly assure all other (food-)parameters were constant. Don't take any mediaction either and workout routine was the same during test weeks. Okay it really seems that MUFA are thermogenic and SFA not so much. But there are no natural sources of MUFA without a high PUFA burden. And PUFA again rather inhibits thyroid function and thus lowers thermogenesis.. I'm *really* confused..

D07a525f9021f8d72bf6aaa52893c795

(1011)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:31 PM

Fat make up of cocoa butter (ie in chocolate) SF 62%, PUFA 3%, MUFA 35% - quite similar to ghee :)

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