4

votes

What is the argument for the claim that we are designed to burn fat?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 02, 2013 at 1:01 AM

Pretty straight forward questions, I'm especially interested in any md or biologists perspective on the issue. The end of this article by Mark Sisson mentions fat burning improves mitochondrial efficiency, I find this very interesting. So, in your opinion, why are we designed to burn fat?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

No one is taking shots at anyone. Those are your words. I am telling you that fat burining is built in a pathway that models how life began at the ocean floor. Most of you have rarely heard about this pathway from your leaders. EMF 4 will show you why it is in your blind spot and why you think what you think about macro's. I am also quite sure some of the people who train using this pathway will chime in. Many elite athletes are learning about it now from folks like me.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 13, 2013
at 03:44 AM

Dude get real. Paleo forgot about this pathway........and you should have spoken up if you were so smart before EMF 4 broke it open. Your leaders were sleeping on it.......and in my next three blogs I am going to kick some more serious ass.

E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on February 12, 2013
at 08:12 PM

-1 for not stating its the pentose phosphate pathway. Would down vote more for not explaining what this is and what regulates it.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 12, 2013
at 05:29 PM

I picked this as best answer because it illustrates that being in a fat burning state is the most chemically reduced state and that is why we should be in said state. Also it was shown here that simply eating vlc, while it is true you are technically burning fat, it doesn't necessarily facilitate a body that burns through fat (ie body recomposition, low bf%). I think this is the best way to answer the question as it says why it's important and that there's more to it than just diet (in the discussion mainly).

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 11, 2013
at 10:00 PM

Anatta suggested earlier that Northern Amerinds tribes grew corn to supplement the hunt-and-gather nomad diet. In the Northwest it was a little different story...Swan (ca1855) reports intentionally set forest fires. This has two benefits: clears land for open vegetation by berries, and improves feed for deer and elk. Paleo agricultural technology would be hard to practice today. But we've always been opportunists doing things as easily and cheaply as we can. Yesterday's forest fires are today's groupons.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 11, 2013
at 09:52 PM

It's not even 9/4 ratio because glycogen is bound with a lot of water. I'd guess that it's more like 10/1. If you were to gain the equivalent of 50 lbs fat as glycogen you'd have to gain 500 pounds.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 11, 2013
at 12:46 PM

Yes, the brain runs on glucose, but that's the only thing that really needs it. So the first 200 calories of your diet needs to be carbohydrate, about 50 grams. After that point, you've met your brain's needs for nutrition the rest can be whatever really.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 11, 2013
at 04:23 AM

Thanks for your in depth reply, Annata. I guess I don't agree with your idea "we can actually live without carbs, but in no way can we live without fat". I think we can live without either as long as we're eating real, natural food. Our ability to synthesize carbs and fat even in their absence speaks to me of their importance and utility. Given this information, I actively eat both (as many indigenous people do). You may not agree, but that is my how I see it.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 11, 2013
at 02:14 AM

Thanks for your in depth reply, Annata. I guess my main qualm is that I don't agree with your idea "we can actually live without carbs, but in no way can we live without fat". I think we can live without either as long as we're eating real, natural food. Our ability to synthesize carbs and fat even in their absence speaks to me of their importance and utility. Given this information, I actively eat both (as many indigenous people do). You may not agree, but that is my POV.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 10, 2013
at 11:28 PM

Paul Fridlund's book The Conquest has a lot of detail on Salish diet. You have to read it through for these, which as in Parkman are incidental to the story itself. I got the impression of a semi-nomadic life lived between the points of seasonal abundance.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 10, 2013
at 11:16 PM

Washington coast.

518986dd6efbaedf24b0d1106b910c17

(60)

on February 10, 2013
at 09:43 PM

@thhq - they certainly didn't, you're correct - seems to be the same with our inflated availability of food vs. indigenous eating patterns. Whereabouts are you in the Salish area? Oolichan (hooligan is way better IMO) is indeed smelt, I believe.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 10, 2013
at 09:32 PM

It's probably in that same insulin resistant state that we start to have problems related to fat such as gout.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 10, 2013
at 08:44 PM

Concerning the hooligan (aka smelt?) I remember how good the were smoked but had trouble digesting them due to the oil. I remember wondering whether I could put a wick in one and burn it as a fish candle

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 10, 2013
at 08:32 PM

No doubt these meats contained fat. However Amerinds did not run rendering works and dairies to create a large fat supply. They had no ability to create an artificially high fat OR carb diet the way we do.

518986dd6efbaedf24b0d1106b910c17

(60)

on February 10, 2013
at 07:42 PM

Last thing: @thhq - I live around the Salish as well, funny coincidence! Not certain I agree about either the Salish or Sioux have deficit of carbs/fat. Salish peoples ate a plethora of fat from salmon, bivalves, and small fish, particularly the oolichan, T. Pacificus (which is an incredibly rich source of fat). The Sioux appear to have cultivated maize and legumes on a limited basis; however, to the best of my knowledge they ate a ton of fat in the form of pemmican, and supplemented this with tubers, pumpkins, and other veg.

518986dd6efbaedf24b0d1106b910c17

(60)

on February 10, 2013
at 07:27 PM

@Mscott (last one, I promise)... I think someone also touched on this before - I especially like Megawatts' post in this thread - http://paleohacks.com/questions/165090/why-does-a-kitavan-style-diet-work-for-kitavans-but-would-probably-kill-someone#axzz2KWPZlDib. In this sense, Paleo isn't entirely about imitating our ancestors, but working with the template they lived/ate by to find out what works for us as individuals. This may mean eating more yams for some, more coconut for others - In the end, it still makes sense that the body is meant to burn fat more efficiently, at least to me.

518986dd6efbaedf24b0d1106b910c17

(60)

on February 10, 2013
at 07:24 PM

@Mscott (cont'd)... and we can actually live without carbs, but in no way can we live without fats. All that being said, I was very impressed with this article by Chris Kesser - http://chriskresser.com/beyond-paleo-moving-from-a-paleo-diet-to-a-paleo-template - and, in my mind, it connects nicely to what you said. Historically, there have been indigenous groups that have used carbs (albeit, tuber/root/veg based) as a large percentage of their energy, amongst ample sources of fat. The Kitavan dietis a great example of this, and is heavily split between carbs and saturated fat.

518986dd6efbaedf24b0d1106b910c17

(60)

on February 10, 2013
at 07:21 PM

@Mscott: You bring up an excellent point (which I think ties into a larger aspect of the Paleo diet), but I'm not certain that I'm convinced about the plethora of carbs during our evolutionary history. Fat is more energy dense than carbohydrates; our body can more efficiently utilize fats for energy, and for a greater period of time; our body is adept at making glucose, not getting rid of it; fat isn't stored as fat - carbs are; historically, very few hunter-gatherer societies have had access to a multitude of carbs with no major sources of fat (at least, not that I know of)...

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 10, 2013
at 06:44 PM

http://library.untraveledroad.com/Ch/Parkman/Trail/Mountains.htm At the end of this chapter Parkman discusses the return to Fort Laramie. Bread, after 3 weeks of buffalo hunting, is "a most welcome novelty". In other sections of the book fatty meat is held in high esteem compared with the usual fried buffalo steaks and dried jerky.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 10, 2013
at 06:24 PM

No hard evidence of 80% just a theory from what I read in Parkman's 1846 buffalo hunt plus a collection of reports by Swan and Meeker from the coast at about the same time. Plenty of protein, with scant seasonal carbs. Fish, mollusks, crustaceans and buffalo are not high fat foods. Smoking and drying would help hold fats, but open fire cooking would not.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 10, 2013
at 05:03 PM

80% protein? What evidence do you do you have of that?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 10, 2013
at 03:53 PM

Take it up another notch...what if both fat and carbs were scarce? I can see evidence of that where I live...the coast Salish had an abundance of protein. The upper plains Siouxans were similar. For peoples living on 80% protein, both fat and carbs would be the most sought after, rewarding foods.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 10, 2013
at 02:21 PM

thhq ... roflmpo

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 10, 2013
at 05:45 AM

Just to play devil's advocate here: what if we store more fat because it was a limited resource during evolution and don't store as much carbohydrates because we had easy access to them and rarely needed a bodily store to draw from?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 09, 2013
at 05:58 PM

I can't read Jack Kruse steam of consciousness...

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 09, 2013
at 01:16 AM

Jack Kruse's new blog post, he posted it above earlier today.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 09, 2013
at 12:24 AM

What's this EMF-4 stuff?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 08, 2013
at 11:26 PM

But for the metabolically and mitochondrially f*cked, yes the body will preferentially store fat @August.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 08, 2013
at 11:23 PM

Yea, for people whose mitochondria are optimally functioning the body is gonna burn fat up and build muscle, one of the best ways I've seen yet to hook up my mitochondria is via intensity, high intensity exercises are key. I think that's how forever young gained a lot of muscle and not fat, of course at gaining 100 pounds of muscle, I'm sure the steroids didn't hurt either ;).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 08, 2013
at 11:10 PM

I gained nearly 100lbs with no gains in body fat percentage.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 08, 2013
at 11:08 PM

I still don't buy it. Fat is preferentially stored because it is more compact. It's a matter of efficienctly packing up energy to be used later.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 08, 2013
at 11:04 PM

I'm asking for the argument behind why we are fat burners. If you know for a matter of fact that we are NOT fat burners but the polar opposite then you must know the argument for why some people think we are fat burners, and you must know why that argument is wrong. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to make your claim with any conviction by only knowing one side of the coin. Having said that, I'd appreciate if you edit your response accordingly and attempt to answer my question.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 08, 2013
at 11:02 PM

I wouldn't say the body "preferentially stores fat". If you ate a fatty steak and a potato when you really didn't need to, all of it, will be converted to fat, one way or another. When you eat fat, digestion can begin in the mouth where lingual lipase breaks down some short chain lipids into diglycerides. The presence of fat in the small intestine produces hormones that stimulate the release of pancreatic lipase from the pancreas and bile from the liver for breakdown of fats into fatty acids. Complete digestion of fat (a triglyceride) results in 3 fatty acid molecules and 1 glycerol molecule

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 08, 2013
at 11:01 PM

Actually we're designed to eat bananas.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 08, 2013
at 11:00 PM

Interesting, Ty.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 08, 2013
at 10:55 PM

I'll upvote the downvote just because your last sentence is right. I don't think burning fat is purely survival, tho.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 08, 2013
at 08:53 PM

Another good source of RS is green bananas. A very green banana has 15g RS which is reduced to zero when very ripe. Don't take my word for any of this, though--just Google: Resistant Starch and Obesity

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 08, 2013
at 08:52 PM

Another way to get RS in your diet is to eat cooked and cooled potato or rice. Cooling it retrogrades the soluble starch back into RS. Look at it this way: 1 raw potato contains 35g RS. Cook it and it now contains 3g. Let it cool to refrigerator temp and it now contains 6g. I eat at least 1 potato a day, while peeling and cutting it up, I eat a few slices raw. I cook it and some days eat it hot, some days allow it to cool and eat it cold, or do a mixture of the two. In this manner, I probably get about 10g of RS most days.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 08, 2013
at 08:47 PM

Want to get some of this RS? There are several ways: The SAD produces about 5g/day RS. You could eat plenty of starchy foods. Problem is you would have to eat a LOT of starchy foods to equal SAD levels. RS disappears when it is heated, it turns into soluble starch. Many studies say the optimal amount is 30g/day. The only way most people will ver get there is with modified corn starch products, like Hi-Maize. Good news, though! A whole raw potato, .5 lbs, contains about 38g of RS. A few slices of raw potato can quickly add up to 5-10g.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 08, 2013
at 08:46 PM

Fat is energy dense and doesn't require a lot of associated water. This makes it the most compact fuel to store, but that has nothing to do with whether it is a better fuel. In a similar sense, AC power is difficult to store, whereas DC power can be stored readily. Both are easily converted into energy on demand.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 08, 2013
at 08:38 PM

Raw white potato is over 75% by weight resistant starch. Resistant starch feeds the bacteria in the colon, who then produce butyrate (short chain fatty acids). There are specialized cells in the colon called colonocytes--these guys form the gut/blood barrier in the colon. Colonocytes feed specifically on butyrate. Look it up, fascinating stuff! How Quilt can think an optimum gut is formed by a ketogenic diet is beyond me. Starving every cell in the colon for want of ketone bodies in the brain is very backward. Since adding starch and some raw potato to my diet, I feel 100% better!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 08, 2013
at 08:18 PM

I was attempting to produce a coherent statement and failed! Particular since I didn't like any of the other answers here. I'm wanting to downvote myself for such a messy answer... I'll continue to think about it.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 08, 2013
at 08:06 PM

Thanks for the input, +1.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on February 08, 2013
at 07:52 PM

@Jeff Actually, I take it back; that's an estimate for triaglycerols, i.e. energy from adipose tissue. I misspoke. Good to see that number jives with what others have said here, though. Muscle glycogen is greater than liver glycogen but at <500g and <100g stored respectively (numbers via PHD/Jaminet), that's about 2000Cal total, not just from liver glycogen, but both liver and muscle.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 08, 2013
at 07:22 PM

Lol akman, did you post in the comments that you eat raw white potatoes? I'm intrigued by that what exactly is the reasoning behind it? Also I call BS on the 2 year thing, you can start burning fat real quick doing HIIT, it has to do partially with the dramatic comparative increase in cytochrome c that's correlated with intensity. Jack is right about getting into the fat burning zone but because he's exercise phobic the simple truth that HIIT encourages your mitochondria to be exponentially more efficient is sitting in his blind spot.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 08, 2013
at 07:06 PM

great article. But, as someone who routinely consumes post workout carbs, are you insinuating that everyone who consumes carbs post workout is metabolically inefficient?

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on February 08, 2013
at 06:08 PM

why would your body store it, if it weren't meant to be burned when needed

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 08, 2013
at 05:57 PM

At one point I had 150,000 calories of fat in storage, which are now gone. Having all that fat is not proof that it was a preferred fuel, only that it was easy for me to store.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 08, 2013
at 05:49 PM

So in order to be a fat burner you need to drink the bullet proof Koolade?

E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on February 08, 2013
at 04:16 PM

What is the "most reduced pathway in biochemistry" and which are its "three major functions"?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 08, 2013
at 04:01 PM

Also, it's clear we're not actually lions or gazelles (we're omnivores), so isn't likely that some combination of both direct glucose consumption and the PPP is what we're made for?

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on February 08, 2013
at 03:51 PM

Where do you get a number like that for muscle glycogen? Please send a link

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 08, 2013
at 03:46 PM

and by normal diet I mean typically 3 meals per day with a serving of fruit or starch in my post workout meal.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 08, 2013
at 03:30 PM

and by "normal diet" I mean 3 meals per day with starchy carbs in my post workout meal.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 08, 2013
at 03:28 PM

As someone who routinely consumes carbs post workout, but does not have screwed up hormones and does not use stimulants, how would you recommend best getting off the MUSCLE glycogen carb replenishment wagon (I bold muscle because in your article you talk about liver glycogen providing the force, when most people who engage in HIIT would say that it is muscle glycogen stores that matter- hence the preference for starch and not fruit)? Would continuing my normal diet but dropping post workout carbs and using supplemental d-ribose for a while help?

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on February 08, 2013
at 03:01 PM

@Jeff - mostly agreed, but that's not the full story: yes, we store ~2000kcal of energy as liver glycogen but >100,000kcal of energy as glycogen in muscles (and of course, even in lean bodies, a great amount in fat).

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 03, 2013
at 07:32 PM

Here's my qualm, you said: "The problem is Mark and the rest of paleo dont live in that pathway too often". But Mark himself has rightfully pointed out: "It’s not an on-off switch. It’s not either-or. As biological systems, we are fluid things existing on continuums, and so we’re always using a mix of glucose, fatty acids, and ketone bodies". I hope you get where I'm coming from with this.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 03, 2013
at 05:57 PM

That tells me we are designed to burn carbs but can go without them for a long time, living on our fat reserves. We don't need to eat fat to get huge reserves of body fat.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on February 03, 2013
at 03:08 AM

Thanks Quilt, whomever downvoted I'd love to see a reason

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 03, 2013
at 01:26 AM

you can.......you just cant see the performance i mentioned over a year ago in CT -6. In EMF 4 I should you the biochemical pathway that makes CT 6 go.......and no....Mark is not in it often. I bet some of the comments after it comes out you will here from some of elite athletes to refute the paleo dogma.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 03, 2013
at 12:34 AM

The beast comment was meant to be humorous. You can absolutely eat carbs and be a fat burner, but you can't really eat lots of fat and not be using the fat metabolism pathway unless you're storing it all (or, I dunno, pooping it all out).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 10:55 PM

@ Mscott- But about your first comment in regards to Sisson being a fat burning beast. if you'll recall, he has always been lean and certainly admits to spending the majority of his life in perpetual carb binge. Despite that, he was still a fat burning machine otherwise he would not have developed a lean and well muscled body. Which reinforces my point about insulin sensitivity and fit people always being fat burners regardless of their macro-ratio.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 02, 2013
at 09:01 PM

Yo FV, I'm no fan VLC. I'm just pointing out quilt is taking shots at Sisson without explaining why. If he wants to be vague he shouldn't act like he has superior knowledge.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:58 PM

Listening to a bunch of out of shape (sometimes diabetic) people spout off like they're experts on fat burning is akin to a 1940s mechanic who failed his flight test yet claims he's a better pilot than a WWII Ace

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:57 PM

Listening to a bunch of T2 diabetics spout off like they're experts on fat burning is akin to a 1940s mechanic who failed his flight test saying he's a better pilot than a WWII Ace.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:56 PM

Listening to a bunch of T2 diabetics spout off like their experts on fat burning is akin to a 1940s mechanic who failed his flight test saying he's a better pilot than a WWII Ace.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:54 PM

Listening to a bunch of T2Ds spout science and act like they know about fat burning is like a mechanic who failed his flight test claiming his a better pilot than a WWII Ace because he "knows the science of flight"

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:42 PM

P.S. sorry quilt for commandeering your comments section.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:42 PM

Please stop peddling the high fat vlc primal BS that's back by half truths and pseudo-science.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:40 PM

You see, I (and many other fit people) can eat whatever macro-ratio we desire or would stumble upon in the wild, and still maintain healthy body composition (essential for survival), think with complexity and deliberation, as well as run from predators or forest fires or whatever. Someone who has no choice but to eat fat all day could not do any of those things efficiently. Hmm, kind of makes sense that Eskimos use sled dogs and fish for food. While the Khun! use no dogs, walk and chase predators with bows and arrows.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:36 PM

That is, healthy people don't have to eat a diet that's bad for system II brain function, athletic performance, and body composition and still be fat burners. Fat sick people have to eat a very high fat, very low carb diet that is bad for system II brain function, athletic performance, and body composition in order to be fat burners. That, sir, is the difference. One is clearly better than the other.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:32 PM

Sick people eat carbs and end up with high blood sugar (because their muscle cels are not insulin sensitive), which has to be burned off before they can burn fat again even when their sitting on their asses.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:31 PM

@ Mscott- Technically you are right. Eating predominantly fat will give you no choice but to burn fat. However, healthy people can eat carbs, sit on their asses, and still burn fat. Why? Because they are insulin sensitive and the carbs go right into stored muscle glycogen to be used for energy during high intensity activities.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:20 PM

Unless you're eating your caloric needs from other macronutrients, if you eat fat you burn it, making you by definition in the fat burning pathway. *That's* biochemistry 101, your ramblings aren't. If you think I'm wrong, explain to me why, but I'm guessing you won't be able to do that.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:07 PM

Obviously we're supposed to be able to burn both. -1

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:58 PM

+1 Quilt and Monte. Agreed 100%.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:58 PM

+ 1 Quilt and Monte.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:57 PM

Monte and Quilt are 100% correct- simply eating a lot of fat is not going to turn you into a fat burner. (I've been saying that since day 1).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:54 PM

There also would be no way that fit people could drop into the very low single digits of body fat while still eating a hefty portion of starchy carbs every daily.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:53 PM

delude themselves into thinking that Bulletproof coffee is turning them into a fat burner. Elminating carbs and gorging on fat is absolutely not going to turn one into a fat burner (hence, there would be a lot more fitness models and athletes touting the benefits of bulletproof or very high fat, very low carb diets...There are none).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:51 PM

Given our nomadic history, if we could not burn fat we would not have been able to traverse such vast distances by foot and continue on as a species. This is because it is inefficient to burn glucose during low intensity activities. If we couldn't burn fat we would run out of glucose quickly, collapse, and be eaten by predators. Likewise, if we could not burn glucose, we could not sprint away from the saber tooth tiger and would be eaten then. Healthy human beings can burn both depending on the type of activity and which fuel source is most fitting. People with broken metabolisms cannot and

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:47 PM

Agree with Quilt. Monte is right. I've been saying that since day 1.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:39 PM

You can definitely eat carbs and be a fat burning machine, and you can certainly eat no carbs and binge on fat and be a fat ass who obviously can't partition fuel well at all.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:38 PM

I would say that because burning fat is more efficient than burning glucose at low intensities. We had to be efficient human beings to be so nomadic in our evolutionary past and survive until today. Glucose is more efficient at high intensities. A fit human being can use both forms of fuel when most desirable.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:36 PM

Agreed with Quilt. Monte is spot on.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 02, 2013
at 04:58 PM

Jeff please do not inject logic to pop their bubble.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 02, 2013
at 04:57 PM

Dont be amused........become curious as to why you might be missing something basic. I know I was 7 years ago until I cracked a book and tied things together.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 02, 2013
at 04:56 PM

Monte is spot on.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 02, 2013
at 04:56 PM

EMF 4 will expand a lot on why you all really think you need what you do and why most are not in the fat burning pathways. All biochemistry 101

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 02, 2013
at 04:37 PM

The biology perspective is that we are not "designed" to do anything. We have evolved. Then the argument is simple, we have evolved to burn anything for energy that we can burn for energy. Because, very simply, that's how we survived as a species.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 02, 2013
at 03:35 PM

Yes, translation: our preferred storage macro is saturated fat because it's the cleanest source of energy for us to burn and creates far less ROS than anything else.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:40 AM

Don't act like that's inferable from such esoteric phrasing, Monte.

6d64cd6dc98d6ab763bd03678a317964

(2177)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:26 AM

It's not just about eating a lot of fat guys...

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:06 AM

Isn't that true of most mammals though? Even the ones that eat mostly carbs or protein?

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on February 02, 2013
at 05:00 AM

Care to expand your claim?

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 02, 2013
at 03:36 AM

You're really saying Mark "fat burning beast" Sisson doesn't live in the fat burning pathway? I'm amused by this.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 02, 2013
at 03:28 AM

lol, informative and humorous, thanks.

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13 Answers

best answer

3
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 02, 2013
at 01:31 AM

When you understand that fat burning requires the most reduced pathway in biochemistry and it only serve three major functions......it is a pretty easy claim to stake. The problem is Mark and the rest of paleo dont live in that pathway too often.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on February 02, 2013
at 05:00 AM

Care to expand your claim?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:47 PM

Agree with Quilt. Monte is right. I've been saying that since day 1.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:54 PM

Listening to a bunch of T2Ds spout science and act like they know about fat burning is like a mechanic who failed his flight test claiming his a better pilot than a WWII Ace because he "knows the science of flight"

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:36 PM

Agreed with Quilt. Monte is spot on.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:58 PM

+ 1 Quilt and Monte.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:20 PM

Unless you're eating your caloric needs from other macronutrients, if you eat fat you burn it, making you by definition in the fat burning pathway. *That's* biochemistry 101, your ramblings aren't. If you think I'm wrong, explain to me why, but I'm guessing you won't be able to do that.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 02, 2013
at 09:01 PM

Yo FV, I'm no fan VLC. I'm just pointing out quilt is taking shots at Sisson without explaining why. If he wants to be vague he shouldn't act like he has superior knowledge.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:36 PM

That is, healthy people don't have to eat a diet that's bad for system II brain function, athletic performance, and body composition and still be fat burners. Fat sick people have to eat a very high fat, very low carb diet that is bad for system II brain function, athletic performance, and body composition in order to be fat burners. That, sir, is the difference. One is clearly better than the other.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:31 PM

@ Mscott- Technically you are right. Eating predominantly fat will give you no choice but to burn fat. However, healthy people can eat carbs, sit on their asses, and still burn fat. Why? Because they are insulin sensitive and the carbs go right into stored muscle glycogen to be used for energy during high intensity activities.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:40 AM

Don't act like that's inferable from such esoteric phrasing, Monte.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 03, 2013
at 12:34 AM

The beast comment was meant to be humorous. You can absolutely eat carbs and be a fat burner, but you can't really eat lots of fat and not be using the fat metabolism pathway unless you're storing it all (or, I dunno, pooping it all out).

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 02, 2013
at 04:56 PM

Monte is spot on.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:42 PM

P.S. sorry quilt for commandeering your comments section.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 02, 2013
at 03:36 AM

You're really saying Mark "fat burning beast" Sisson doesn't live in the fat burning pathway? I'm amused by this.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 02, 2013
at 04:56 PM

EMF 4 will expand a lot on why you all really think you need what you do and why most are not in the fat burning pathways. All biochemistry 101

6d64cd6dc98d6ab763bd03678a317964

(2177)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:26 AM

It's not just about eating a lot of fat guys...

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 10:55 PM

@ Mscott- But about your first comment in regards to Sisson being a fat burning beast. if you'll recall, he has always been lean and certainly admits to spending the majority of his life in perpetual carb binge. Despite that, he was still a fat burning machine otherwise he would not have developed a lean and well muscled body. Which reinforces my point about insulin sensitivity and fit people always being fat burners regardless of their macro-ratio.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 03, 2013
at 01:26 AM

you can.......you just cant see the performance i mentioned over a year ago in CT -6. In EMF 4 I should you the biochemical pathway that makes CT 6 go.......and no....Mark is not in it often. I bet some of the comments after it comes out you will here from some of elite athletes to refute the paleo dogma.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

No one is taking shots at anyone. Those are your words. I am telling you that fat burining is built in a pathway that models how life began at the ocean floor. Most of you have rarely heard about this pathway from your leaders. EMF 4 will show you why it is in your blind spot and why you think what you think about macro's. I am also quite sure some of the people who train using this pathway will chime in. Many elite athletes are learning about it now from folks like me.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:42 PM

Please stop peddling the high fat vlc primal BS that's back by half truths and pseudo-science.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 03, 2013
at 07:32 PM

Here's my qualm, you said: "The problem is Mark and the rest of paleo dont live in that pathway too often". But Mark himself has rightfully pointed out: "It’s not an on-off switch. It’s not either-or. As biological systems, we are fluid things existing on continuums, and so we’re always using a mix of glucose, fatty acids, and ketone bodies". I hope you get where I'm coming from with this.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:58 PM

+1 Quilt and Monte. Agreed 100%.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 02, 2013
at 04:57 PM

Dont be amused........become curious as to why you might be missing something basic. I know I was 7 years ago until I cracked a book and tied things together.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:32 PM

Sick people eat carbs and end up with high blood sugar (because their muscle cels are not insulin sensitive), which has to be burned off before they can burn fat again even when their sitting on their asses.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:40 PM

You see, I (and many other fit people) can eat whatever macro-ratio we desire or would stumble upon in the wild, and still maintain healthy body composition (essential for survival), think with complexity and deliberation, as well as run from predators or forest fires or whatever. Someone who has no choice but to eat fat all day could not do any of those things efficiently. Hmm, kind of makes sense that Eskimos use sled dogs and fish for food. While the Khun! use no dogs, walk and chase predators with bows and arrows.

E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on February 08, 2013
at 04:16 PM

What is the "most reduced pathway in biochemistry" and which are its "three major functions"?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 12, 2013
at 05:29 PM

I picked this as best answer because it illustrates that being in a fat burning state is the most chemically reduced state and that is why we should be in said state. Also it was shown here that simply eating vlc, while it is true you are technically burning fat, it doesn't necessarily facilitate a body that burns through fat (ie body recomposition, low bf%). I think this is the best way to answer the question as it says why it's important and that there's more to it than just diet (in the discussion mainly).

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 13, 2013
at 03:44 AM

Dude get real. Paleo forgot about this pathway........and you should have spoken up if you were so smart before EMF 4 broke it open. Your leaders were sleeping on it.......and in my next three blogs I am going to kick some more serious ass.

E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on February 12, 2013
at 08:12 PM

-1 for not stating its the pentose phosphate pathway. Would down vote more for not explaining what this is and what regulates it.

7
E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on February 02, 2013
at 02:08 AM

This is an ongoing story as new research indicates that when one aspect of mitochondrial efficiency is impaired it has beneficial effects - at least in mice.

The mechanism seems to be that if a single mitochondrion is inefficient (in the way induced in the lab animals) it causes the cell to increase its mitochondrial production resulting in more mitochondria per cell - creating a "Jason Bourne" type mouse.

The problem is that the mice keep on escaping, causing all sorts of strife and finding their way with other mice to tropical destinations.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 02, 2013
at 03:28 AM

lol, informative and humorous, thanks.

5
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 08, 2013
at 06:35 PM

We're hybrid vehicles, we burn both fat and carbs - and that varies with a host of factors, but primarily with diet I think.

I ran across this study while reading about protein sparing modified fasts. Interestingly they calculate what they're oxidizing (I don't know the methodology, you can read the paper for more info). But they had oxidation rates calculated at baseline and at 6 weeks. Baseline oxidation as percentage of total metabolism was: 34% carbohydrate, 51% lipid, 15% protein. They do not mention the baseline diet composition, but I'd wager it's probably a little heavier in carbohydrate and light in lipid than that. Interestingly after the PSMF, the ratio changed to 13% carbohydrate, 72% lipid and 15% protein (a diet of 50P/40C/10F). Looking at the grams of carbs and protein in the PSMF, the metabolism lines up nearly perfectly with these values.

What I take home from this is:

  • Protein and carbohydrate are necessary for nitrogen balance.
  • With minimum protein and carbohydrate needs met, the rest of your diet can be whatever.
  • Unless you're trying not to, you will eat enough protein and carbohydrate for minimum metabolic needs.

I'm sure there are better studies out there that illustrate something similar, more clearly.

You can argue either way that fat or carbohydrate is preferred after that point, but reality is that we run best on a blend.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 08, 2013
at 08:18 PM

I was attempting to produce a coherent statement and failed! Particular since I didn't like any of the other answers here. I'm wanting to downvote myself for such a messy answer... I'll continue to think about it.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 08, 2013
at 08:06 PM

Thanks for the input, +1.

4
518986dd6efbaedf24b0d1106b910c17

on February 10, 2013
at 05:18 AM

Hey Stephen,

There are some really great posts on here already, all of which seem to be touching on your proposed question. I'm neither a doctor nor an biochemistry student - I actually study Buddhism - but I might be able to contribute something based on what I know.

As I understand it, the body actually can't store much glucose for energy, beyond a limited amount of glycogen. Then we get into the wonderful world of too much glucose in the bloodstream, and the corresponding toxicity of too much insulin being pumped in to attempt to deal with it. This, in turn, predisposes us to store nearly any excess calories as fat, not to mention other deleterious affects of low blood sugar and muscle gluconeogenesis.

In the end, if we regularly refill our glycogen stores and continue feeding our body glucose, our bodies will certainly adapt - we basically begin to down-regulate those systems used for burning stored fat and utilizing dietary fat as energy, and up-regulating those that promote carbohydrate oxidation and fat-storage. The point is that our bodies can actually burn fats more efficiently and for a greater period of time - in fact, our survival has actually depended on this ability, if you take a look at the typical Mongolian or Inuit (more specifically) diet. You can survive perfectly well eating nearly 0 carbohydrates, assuming that you consume enough protein and fat to balance it out. As mentioned previously, the brain runs on glucose; well, not entirely. The brain can actually function just fine on a mix of ketone bodies and a minimal amount of glucose, and this may even be a more optimal balance. In this sense, plenty of ancestral eating patterns thrive on virtually 0 carbs, but cut out protein and/or fat to the same degree and it just doesn't work.

In terms of evolutionary biology, it seems absurd to suggest that we're built to thrive on glucose. I mean, think about it: our ancestors ate so few carbs that we actually developed 4 different ways of making our own glucose, and only one way of ridding our body of any excess we consume. When you look at how small our glycogen reserves are it, it seems impossible that humans could have existed using glucose as the primary fuel. At a high estimate, this numbers around 600-700gm's of glycogen, split between the liver/muscle tissue, compared to the nearly 100,000gm's (or much higher in many people) storage capacity for fat. Evolution doesn't work by emphasizing those functions that are inefficient; in the case of humans, with our amazing fat storage ability, generous access to fats, gluconeogenesis, ability to use and produce ketones, we actually didn't/don't need very much glucose.

The body is able to make enough glucose as needed, supplemented by a small amount of dietary intake (and sometimes none). Humans can be fueled almost completely by fats and/or ketone bodies, but can draw on glycogen stores if needed (for fast, short bursts of energy). Fat cells are designed to release stored energy as needed. All of these are emphasized in a traditional hunter-gatherer diet.

In the end, I'm fairly convinced that the body runs much more efficiently on fat - if not from my perception of the science, then from the results of me body on a high-fat diet. Regardless, I look forward to reading your responses, Stephen, and those of anyone else interested in exploring your question. Thanks for reading!

518986dd6efbaedf24b0d1106b910c17

(60)

on February 10, 2013
at 07:27 PM

@Mscott (last one, I promise)... I think someone also touched on this before - I especially like Megawatts' post in this thread - http://paleohacks.com/questions/165090/why-does-a-kitavan-style-diet-work-for-kitavans-but-would-probably-kill-someone#axzz2KWPZlDib. In this sense, Paleo isn't entirely about imitating our ancestors, but working with the template they lived/ate by to find out what works for us as individuals. This may mean eating more yams for some, more coconut for others - In the end, it still makes sense that the body is meant to burn fat more efficiently, at least to me.

518986dd6efbaedf24b0d1106b910c17

(60)

on February 10, 2013
at 07:42 PM

Last thing: @thhq - I live around the Salish as well, funny coincidence! Not certain I agree about either the Salish or Sioux have deficit of carbs/fat. Salish peoples ate a plethora of fat from salmon, bivalves, and small fish, particularly the oolichan, T. Pacificus (which is an incredibly rich source of fat). The Sioux appear to have cultivated maize and legumes on a limited basis; however, to the best of my knowledge they ate a ton of fat in the form of pemmican, and supplemented this with tubers, pumpkins, and other veg.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 10, 2013
at 11:16 PM

Washington coast.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 11, 2013
at 02:14 AM

Thanks for your in depth reply, Annata. I guess my main qualm is that I don't agree with your idea "we can actually live without carbs, but in no way can we live without fat". I think we can live without either as long as we're eating real, natural food. Our ability to synthesize carbs and fat even in their absence speaks to me of their importance and utility. Given this information, I actively eat both (as many indigenous people do). You may not agree, but that is my POV.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 10, 2013
at 08:32 PM

No doubt these meats contained fat. However Amerinds did not run rendering works and dairies to create a large fat supply. They had no ability to create an artificially high fat OR carb diet the way we do.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 10, 2013
at 05:45 AM

Just to play devil's advocate here: what if we store more fat because it was a limited resource during evolution and don't store as much carbohydrates because we had easy access to them and rarely needed a bodily store to draw from?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 10, 2013
at 11:28 PM

Paul Fridlund's book The Conquest has a lot of detail on Salish diet. You have to read it through for these, which as in Parkman are incidental to the story itself. I got the impression of a semi-nomadic life lived between the points of seasonal abundance.

518986dd6efbaedf24b0d1106b910c17

(60)

on February 10, 2013
at 07:21 PM

@Mscott: You bring up an excellent point (which I think ties into a larger aspect of the Paleo diet), but I'm not certain that I'm convinced about the plethora of carbs during our evolutionary history. Fat is more energy dense than carbohydrates; our body can more efficiently utilize fats for energy, and for a greater period of time; our body is adept at making glucose, not getting rid of it; fat isn't stored as fat - carbs are; historically, very few hunter-gatherer societies have had access to a multitude of carbs with no major sources of fat (at least, not that I know of)...

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 10, 2013
at 06:44 PM

http://library.untraveledroad.com/Ch/Parkman/Trail/Mountains.htm At the end of this chapter Parkman discusses the return to Fort Laramie. Bread, after 3 weeks of buffalo hunting, is "a most welcome novelty". In other sections of the book fatty meat is held in high esteem compared with the usual fried buffalo steaks and dried jerky.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 10, 2013
at 06:24 PM

No hard evidence of 80% just a theory from what I read in Parkman's 1846 buffalo hunt plus a collection of reports by Swan and Meeker from the coast at about the same time. Plenty of protein, with scant seasonal carbs. Fish, mollusks, crustaceans and buffalo are not high fat foods. Smoking and drying would help hold fats, but open fire cooking would not.

518986dd6efbaedf24b0d1106b910c17

(60)

on February 10, 2013
at 07:24 PM

@Mscott (cont'd)... and we can actually live without carbs, but in no way can we live without fats. All that being said, I was very impressed with this article by Chris Kesser - http://chriskresser.com/beyond-paleo-moving-from-a-paleo-diet-to-a-paleo-template - and, in my mind, it connects nicely to what you said. Historically, there have been indigenous groups that have used carbs (albeit, tuber/root/veg based) as a large percentage of their energy, amongst ample sources of fat. The Kitavan dietis a great example of this, and is heavily split between carbs and saturated fat.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 10, 2013
at 03:53 PM

Take it up another notch...what if both fat and carbs were scarce? I can see evidence of that where I live...the coast Salish had an abundance of protein. The upper plains Siouxans were similar. For peoples living on 80% protein, both fat and carbs would be the most sought after, rewarding foods.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 10, 2013
at 05:03 PM

80% protein? What evidence do you do you have of that?

518986dd6efbaedf24b0d1106b910c17

(60)

on February 10, 2013
at 09:43 PM

@thhq - they certainly didn't, you're correct - seems to be the same with our inflated availability of food vs. indigenous eating patterns. Whereabouts are you in the Salish area? Oolichan (hooligan is way better IMO) is indeed smelt, I believe.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 11, 2013
at 04:23 AM

Thanks for your in depth reply, Annata. I guess I don't agree with your idea "we can actually live without carbs, but in no way can we live without fat". I think we can live without either as long as we're eating real, natural food. Our ability to synthesize carbs and fat even in their absence speaks to me of their importance and utility. Given this information, I actively eat both (as many indigenous people do). You may not agree, but that is my how I see it.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 10, 2013
at 08:44 PM

Concerning the hooligan (aka smelt?) I remember how good the were smoked but had trouble digesting them due to the oil. I remember wondering whether I could put a wick in one and burn it as a fish candle

3
E253f8ac1d139bf4d0bfb44debd1db21

on February 11, 2013
at 07:05 AM

"why are we designed to burn fat?"

We are "designed", i.e. have evolved, to extract and transform the molecular energy from all 3 macronutrient substrates - carbohydrates, lipids and proteins.

I suppose the question really being asked: which of these substrates - based on our knowledge of physiology and biochemistry - are we most suited to metabolising?

To make things simpler we can exclude proteins as it is fairly obvious that the comparison is to be between carbohydrates and fats.

To answer the implied question we need to consider what metric we are to apply in comparing the 2 macronutrients.

  • Storage? Fat is superior as it can be stored in a far more compact manner.

  • ATP yield? Fat is superior as it yields more energy.

  • Accessibility? Both fat and carbs can be considered to be equally accessible (retreivable from their storage depots) but vary in terms of physiological context, i.e aerobic vs non-aerobic requirements

  • Usability? Cells appear to obtain energy from both carbs and fats equally well.

Can you think of other metrics?

3
Fcb15bf6344b1f3ba8f395599642ddcf

on February 10, 2013
at 10:59 AM

Humans can burn both glucose and fat just fine. It's only when we become insulin resistant and sick from the western diet that glucose starts to become a problem.

Our cells have elaborate mechanisms for turning both the carbon skeletons of glucose and fatty acids into energy.

They both end up as Acetyl-CoA which feeds into the citric acid cycle and then into the oxidative phosphorylation pathway. Eventually, the energy from the carbon skeletons gets turned into ATP.

I think it's wrong to say that we are "designed" to burn fat. We are "designed" to burn whatever natural sources of energy we have in our environment. The Inuit thrived on high-fat, zero carb while the Kitavans thrive on low-fat, high-carb.

What all these populations that thrive on different macronutrient ratios have in common is that they eat real, unprocessed foods. They don't eat anything refined.. sugar, refined grains, vegetable oils, trans fats or any unnatural additives.

So... I don't think you're ever going to find a convincing argument that we're designed to burn fat more than we are designed to burn glucose, because we are designed by evolution to burn both quite efficiently.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 10, 2013
at 09:32 PM

It's probably in that same insulin resistant state that we start to have problems related to fat such as gout.

2
7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

on February 08, 2013
at 07:37 PM

I don't think we are

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 08, 2013
at 11:01 PM

Actually we're designed to eat bananas.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 10, 2013
at 02:21 PM

thhq ... roflmpo

2
61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 08, 2013
at 06:39 PM

In reading EMF-4, you will see that it can take 1-2 years before you are doing it right. Too bad we didn't know about this first, before we spent 2 years trying to reset our leptin, which apparently, can't be done without heeding advice in EMF-4.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 09, 2013
at 01:16 AM

Jack Kruse's new blog post, he posted it above earlier today.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 08, 2013
at 07:22 PM

Lol akman, did you post in the comments that you eat raw white potatoes? I'm intrigued by that what exactly is the reasoning behind it? Also I call BS on the 2 year thing, you can start burning fat real quick doing HIIT, it has to do partially with the dramatic comparative increase in cytochrome c that's correlated with intensity. Jack is right about getting into the fat burning zone but because he's exercise phobic the simple truth that HIIT encourages your mitochondria to be exponentially more efficient is sitting in his blind spot.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 08, 2013
at 08:53 PM

Another good source of RS is green bananas. A very green banana has 15g RS which is reduced to zero when very ripe. Don't take my word for any of this, though--just Google: Resistant Starch and Obesity

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 08, 2013
at 08:47 PM

Want to get some of this RS? There are several ways: The SAD produces about 5g/day RS. You could eat plenty of starchy foods. Problem is you would have to eat a LOT of starchy foods to equal SAD levels. RS disappears when it is heated, it turns into soluble starch. Many studies say the optimal amount is 30g/day. The only way most people will ver get there is with modified corn starch products, like Hi-Maize. Good news, though! A whole raw potato, .5 lbs, contains about 38g of RS. A few slices of raw potato can quickly add up to 5-10g.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 08, 2013
at 08:52 PM

Another way to get RS in your diet is to eat cooked and cooled potato or rice. Cooling it retrogrades the soluble starch back into RS. Look at it this way: 1 raw potato contains 35g RS. Cook it and it now contains 3g. Let it cool to refrigerator temp and it now contains 6g. I eat at least 1 potato a day, while peeling and cutting it up, I eat a few slices raw. I cook it and some days eat it hot, some days allow it to cool and eat it cold, or do a mixture of the two. In this manner, I probably get about 10g of RS most days.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 09, 2013
at 05:58 PM

I can't read Jack Kruse steam of consciousness...

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 08, 2013
at 11:00 PM

Interesting, Ty.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 09, 2013
at 12:24 AM

What's this EMF-4 stuff?

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 08, 2013
at 08:38 PM

Raw white potato is over 75% by weight resistant starch. Resistant starch feeds the bacteria in the colon, who then produce butyrate (short chain fatty acids). There are specialized cells in the colon called colonocytes--these guys form the gut/blood barrier in the colon. Colonocytes feed specifically on butyrate. Look it up, fascinating stuff! How Quilt can think an optimum gut is formed by a ketogenic diet is beyond me. Starving every cell in the colon for want of ketone bodies in the brain is very backward. Since adding starch and some raw potato to my diet, I feel 100% better!

2
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on February 02, 2013
at 05:26 AM

How bout the fact that we can store 2000 kcals of carbs and 80000 kcals of fat. Which do you think our body is designed to burn?

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 02, 2013
at 03:35 PM

Yes, translation: our preferred storage macro is saturated fat because it's the cleanest source of energy for us to burn and creates far less ROS than anything else.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 03, 2013
at 05:57 PM

That tells me we are designed to burn carbs but can go without them for a long time, living on our fat reserves. We don't need to eat fat to get huge reserves of body fat.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 02, 2013
at 07:07 PM

Obviously we're supposed to be able to burn both. -1

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on February 03, 2013
at 03:08 AM

Thanks Quilt, whomever downvoted I'd love to see a reason

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 02, 2013
at 04:58 PM

Jeff please do not inject logic to pop their bubble.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on February 02, 2013
at 06:06 AM

Isn't that true of most mammals though? Even the ones that eat mostly carbs or protein?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 08, 2013
at 05:57 PM

At one point I had 150,000 calories of fat in storage, which are now gone. Having all that fat is not proof that it was a preferred fuel, only that it was easy for me to store.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on February 08, 2013
at 06:08 PM

why would your body store it, if it weren't meant to be burned when needed

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on February 08, 2013
at 03:01 PM

@Jeff - mostly agreed, but that's not the full story: yes, we store ~2000kcal of energy as liver glycogen but >100,000kcal of energy as glycogen in muscles (and of course, even in lean bodies, a great amount in fat).

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 08, 2013
at 08:46 PM

Fat is energy dense and doesn't require a lot of associated water. This makes it the most compact fuel to store, but that has nothing to do with whether it is a better fuel. In a similar sense, AC power is difficult to store, whereas DC power can be stored readily. Both are easily converted into energy on demand.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on February 08, 2013
at 03:51 PM

Where do you get a number like that for muscle glycogen? Please send a link

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on February 08, 2013
at 07:52 PM

@Jeff Actually, I take it back; that's an estimate for triaglycerols, i.e. energy from adipose tissue. I misspoke. Good to see that number jives with what others have said here, though. Muscle glycogen is greater than liver glycogen but at <500g and <100g stored respectively (numbers via PHD/Jaminet), that's about 2000Cal total, not just from liver glycogen, but both liver and muscle.

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 11, 2013
at 01:49 PM

Sort of late to the party, but here's my 2 cents.

The reasons we can store more fat than glucose is not sufficient evidence that fat is the preferred fuel. Adipose is the most energy dense of the macro nutrients and it can be burned efficiently. For these reasons it makes sense of the body to prefer to store it. If you could store 9 units of energy for every 1 unit of storage or 4 units of energy for every 1 unit of storage, which would you choose to store?

Also, the fact that the body burns carbohydrates before fat is not sufficient evidence that carbohydrates are the preferred fuel either. Hell we will burn alcohol before carbs, and I doubt many would assume alcohol is our preferred fuel. Again, if you had three gallons of fuel that you had to use in the next week or you'd loose it, and you had three gallons of fuel that will last for years, which would you use first?

My theory is that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. There is significant evidence that our bodies prefer to store fat and burn carbs due to basic economic and electrical principals -- supply and demand; path of lease resistance -- respectively. I think the real advantage to the species comes from having metabolic flexibility, that is, not preferring one fuel to the other, and being able to accept whatever nature (or the weekly sale flyer) offers and using it appropriately to your physical situation.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 11, 2013
at 09:52 PM

It's not even 9/4 ratio because glycogen is bound with a lot of water. I'd guess that it's more like 10/1. If you were to gain the equivalent of 50 lbs fat as glycogen you'd have to gain 500 pounds.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 11, 2013
at 10:00 PM

Anatta suggested earlier that Northern Amerinds tribes grew corn to supplement the hunt-and-gather nomad diet. In the Northwest it was a little different story...Swan (ca1855) reports intentionally set forest fires. This has two benefits: clears land for open vegetation by berries, and improves feed for deer and elk. Paleo agricultural technology would be hard to practice today. But we've always been opportunists doing things as easily and cheaply as we can. Yesterday's forest fires are today's groupons.

0
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on February 08, 2013
at 10:30 PM

The fat stores exist. I remember Nikoley doing a post a long time ago- he said all diets are high fat diets. This is because you are burning your fat stores. Even in thin people, plenty of fat stores exist, especially when compared to glycogen stores. It is a massive struggle to create more muscle (and therefore presumably more glycogen storage), but trivial to put on more fat. Indeed, most of the guys who manage increased muscle mass tend to do so by gaining both muscle and fat, and then taking the fat off later.

Wouldn't the thing the body preferentially stores be the thing it can burn the easiest?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 08, 2013
at 11:08 PM

I still don't buy it. Fat is preferentially stored because it is more compact. It's a matter of efficienctly packing up energy to be used later.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 08, 2013
at 11:23 PM

Yea, for people whose mitochondria are optimally functioning the body is gonna burn fat up and build muscle, one of the best ways I've seen yet to hook up my mitochondria is via intensity, high intensity exercises are key. I think that's how forever young gained a lot of muscle and not fat, of course at gaining 100 pounds of muscle, I'm sure the steroids didn't hurt either ;).

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 08, 2013
at 11:26 PM

But for the metabolically and mitochondrially f*cked, yes the body will preferentially store fat @August.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 08, 2013
at 11:10 PM

I gained nearly 100lbs with no gains in body fat percentage.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 08, 2013
at 11:02 PM

I wouldn't say the body "preferentially stores fat". If you ate a fatty steak and a potato when you really didn't need to, all of it, will be converted to fat, one way or another. When you eat fat, digestion can begin in the mouth where lingual lipase breaks down some short chain lipids into diglycerides. The presence of fat in the small intestine produces hormones that stimulate the release of pancreatic lipase from the pancreas and bile from the liver for breakdown of fats into fatty acids. Complete digestion of fat (a triglyceride) results in 3 fatty acid molecules and 1 glycerol molecule

-3
7a61bbf955ff91c2e7c10f30cf2ba073

on February 08, 2013
at 10:06 PM

we're not supposed to burn fat, we're supposed to burn carbs. end of discussion. burning fat is PURELY a survival mechanism and only takes place when the body is in a stressed state due to STARVATION...brain runs on glucose, limiting carbs is insane.

61a27a8b7ec2264b1821923b271eaf54

(3175)

on February 08, 2013
at 10:55 PM

I'll upvote the downvote just because your last sentence is right. I don't think burning fat is purely survival, tho.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 08, 2013
at 11:04 PM

I'm asking for the argument behind why we are fat burners. If you know for a matter of fact that we are NOT fat burners but the polar opposite then you must know the argument for why some people think we are fat burners, and you must know why that argument is wrong. Otherwise you wouldn't be able to make your claim with any conviction by only knowing one side of the coin. Having said that, I'd appreciate if you edit your response accordingly and attempt to answer my question.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 11, 2013
at 12:46 PM

Yes, the brain runs on glucose, but that's the only thing that really needs it. So the first 200 calories of your diet needs to be carbohydrate, about 50 grams. After that point, you've met your brain's needs for nutrition the rest can be whatever really.

-3
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 08, 2013
at 02:30 PM

Here ya go folks.....http://www.jackkruse.com/emf-4-why-might-you-need-carbs-for-performance/

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 08, 2013
at 07:06 PM

great article. But, as someone who routinely consumes post workout carbs, are you insinuating that everyone who consumes carbs post workout is metabolically inefficient?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 08, 2013
at 03:46 PM

and by normal diet I mean typically 3 meals per day with a serving of fruit or starch in my post workout meal.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 08, 2013
at 04:01 PM

Also, it's clear we're not actually lions or gazelles (we're omnivores), so isn't likely that some combination of both direct glucose consumption and the PPP is what we're made for?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 08, 2013
at 03:28 PM

As someone who routinely consumes carbs post workout, but does not have screwed up hormones and does not use stimulants, how would you recommend best getting off the MUSCLE glycogen carb replenishment wagon (I bold muscle because in your article you talk about liver glycogen providing the force, when most people who engage in HIIT would say that it is muscle glycogen stores that matter- hence the preference for starch and not fruit)? Would continuing my normal diet but dropping post workout carbs and using supplemental d-ribose for a while help?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 08, 2013
at 03:30 PM

and by "normal diet" I mean 3 meals per day with starchy carbs in my post workout meal.

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