8

votes

Anyone doing a lower sat-fat paleo-diet?

Answered on September 02, 2015
Created June 21, 2012 at 12:56 PM

I find it interesting that most paleo and LC advocates vigorously maintain the position that high saturated fat consumption is harmless. In spite of the fact that lots of people continually pop up on this forum with high cholesterol levels, apparently brought about by their high sat-fat intake.

Of course the usual reply to this fact is that it's the benign large-fluffy LDL which is rising, so no harm done, even if your high LDL numbers freak out your lipophobic doctor.

And yet...

It is my understanding that most of the HG's studied have had LOW LDL levels? Perhaps why Cordain and Wolf do NOT agree with high sat-fat intake. In fact, Cordain references two separate "autopsies" done on ancient Intuit "mummies" which showed they had seriously clogged up arteries. (Though their high intake of POLY-fats may also have played a role in that?)

Another disturbing trend I notice among LC/Paleo folks is high fasting blood sugar levels. Some even being diagnosed as "pre-diabetic" while on the very diet that is supposed to CURE high blood sugar!

I'm aware of the 'physiological insulin resistance" theory which is supposedly the body's way of ensuring the brain gets enough glucose while on LC diet. But I truly wonder if perhaps high sat-fat intake is causing insulin resistance in folks?

So all in all, I'm currently a bit wary of a high sat-fat version of LC/Paleo. As is Cordain, Devaney, and Wolf, so I'm in good company.

I'd love to be proved wrong on this, as I LOVE fatty meats and cream in my coffee. (<:

But I'm curious if any of you follow a lower sat-fat version of paleo for any of the reason I've cited above, or for other reasons?

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 21, 2012
at 09:57 PM

http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Does-Cholesterol-Cause-Heart-Disease-Myth.html

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 21, 2012
at 09:56 PM

You can check out cholesterol and health by Chris Masterjohn for a more enlightened take on cholesterol than the mainstream view http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 21, 2012
at 09:54 PM

eliminate dairy fats.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 21, 2012
at 09:54 PM

If cholesterol goes higher because of poor clearance then that is probably bad. Or because you need more cholesterol to repair your damaged tissues, then that's bad. But more synthesis of cholesterol is probably a good thing. That being said Travis Culp may come along and point out that in some people dairy fats can cause huge increases in cholesterol (although in some people they only cause a small increase that means nothing) and that large increase may actually be indicative of poor LDL metabolism and more time in the blood and more chance to oxidize. So those people may be right to...

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 21, 2012
at 09:52 PM

Paul on cholesterol in hunter-gatherers: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/07/serum-cholesterol-among-african-hunter-gatherers/ It's not uniform. It's not advantageous, and probably indicative of chronic infection. And there is no saying that the blood tests of hunter-gatherers can tell us much, because of confounders like pathogens and exercise levels. That's one piece of the puzzle. I don't think that anything that raises your LDL levels increases your risk for heart disease because it doesn't work like that in the body, it has more to do with oxidized LDL and arterial inflammation...

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 21, 2012
at 09:49 PM

Paul says that calories should be reduced, because, duh. But his reasoning is that his diet already suggests the lowest carbohydrate and protein intakes that he's comfortable with, so the only thing that you can reduce on his diet is fat. But suppose you're not on his diet, then things might be different for you. You might end up reducing carbohydrate because you were already eating more carbs.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 21, 2012
at 09:44 PM

Yeah. Another thing I like abotu eating carbs is that it's really easy to keep my overall PUFA intake incredibly low.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 21, 2012
at 07:08 PM

Nice one. Middle path of sorts. I go a similar route, eating the fat that comes with my meat and call it a day there. I just can't find a reason to purposely add fat other than that to my meals. I'd rather eat more other things like more meat, potatos, oatmeal, rice etc. I enjoy those items far more than fat, which is usually a liquid.

A2e73b869061fc20067e4ef8f26f83f0

(140)

on June 21, 2012
at 06:00 PM

I haven't had my own cholesterol tested in years, but my husband just had his tested and his numbers were also perfect. He eats what I make, which is isn't puposely "high fat" but I don't go out of my way to lower the fat that is in meat, etc. I don't particularly like gnawing on the fatty bit of a pork chop or chicken skin that isn't really crispy, so I'll give those bits to my husband and he wolfs them down. He eats chunks of pure animal fat. Relatively frequently.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 21, 2012
at 05:36 PM

Both higher than western recommendations, he proposed that was a good "normal" range for cholesterol.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 21, 2012
at 05:35 PM

HGs don't have uniform cholesterol levels. Masterjohn on Kresser's podcast mentioned the Massai at 150ish and the Kitavans at 220ish.

892d177f50b16f118152219229870e4e

(776)

on June 21, 2012
at 05:14 PM

If I recall that thread correctly,it seemed that the saturated fatty acids in butter/dairy had more powerful effects in raising cholesterol,at least in certain people.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 21, 2012
at 02:48 PM

I eat butter and ice cream sometimes when I go out, but I don't keep that stuff in my kitchen usually. I also get saturated fat if i overeat on carbs, but that's pretty hard to do.

0a0afca93a127c82ec4192a2e99647f4

on June 21, 2012
at 02:41 PM

I have read his book, and my recollection is that he has a nuanced view of sat-fats. Some being benign, some perhaps not so benign. Though he is certainly not so across-the-board anti sat-fat as Devaney.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 21, 2012
at 02:36 PM

I think a calorie surplus with the combination of saturated fat and carbs is perhaps the most obesigenic combination because BOTH serve as storage and once you've topped off your glycogen stores, any calorie excess will go to fat and over time your body will lose its ability to use fat stores as energy.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 21, 2012
at 02:29 PM

@ mxrdnan- carbohydrates are protein sparing, so you'll have an easier time maintaining muscle if you're eating carbs in place of fat. UNless you are taking steroids to preserve muscle mass when dieting (steroids increase both anabolic hormones and gluconeogensis efficiency), (controlled) carbs are your friend.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 21, 2012
at 02:26 PM

@ mxrdnan- carbohydrates are protein sparing, so you'll have an easier time maintaining muscle if you're eating carbs in place of fat.

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on June 21, 2012
at 01:31 PM

I was worried about maintaining lean muscle, but at the same time wanted to get my body more efficient at using fat stores for energy...haha epic fail...but to each their own :) it's all a big n=1

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on June 21, 2012
at 01:23 PM

I think that Paul Jaminet is correct when he says for people trying to lose weight, fat calories should be reduced.

599feb9ad716266e8eb5030cd82d5dcd

(229)

on June 21, 2012
at 01:17 PM

Ive been on VLCarb, high fat, moderate protein for 6 months. Lost tonnes of body fat, got much stronger, my fitness has skyrocketed. My daily energy levels are stable and good, and I am generally in a good mood and do not get stressed throughout the day anymore. My skin has also cleared up perfectly. I even seem to have got smarter, but thats just because my brain is running better and feels "cleaner". Thats just my experience anyway, there it is. Also FYI, youre not supposed to eat high amounts of protein when going low carb. Read about mTOR pathway, it's in "Primal Body, Primal Mind"

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 21, 2012
at 01:11 PM

My meals are usually protein and carbohydrate for lunch and dinner. Low fat. Then for dessert we usually do a bar of dark chocolate which is the bulk of the fat in my daily eating. I think chocolate fat is saturated but I'm not too sure. I think my fat is about 20-25% of daily calories after that chocolate bar.

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11 Answers

7
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on June 21, 2012
at 05:32 PM

I don't think we can lump all saturated fat in the same category because different saturated fats have different effects on the body.

The trend with a spike in cholesterol numbers and blood sugar I've noticed around here has been with people using dairy-based saturated fat to make up a large portion of their calories, which is insulin spiking (and could speak for the difference in its own right), and unless consumed only raw and collected during times of natural calf feeding is filled with hormones that could be detrimental to lipid profiles. Drinking pints of cream does seem to have gotten a few people into weird lipid territory and high fasting blood sugar, whereas cooking with tallow and lard hasn't from what I've observed here.

Several people I've seen on here, to improve their numbers have experimented with swapping out the cream for tallow and other animal body fats, and their numbers have returned to normal 200's, down from 350+ in some cases.

Cordain's interpretation of the mummy autopsies doesn't tell the whole story either. There are many reasons for clogged arteries, and until recently in our history (and still in many 3rd world kitchens) smoke exposure from cooking without good ventilation was a prime candidate. Viral infections can also be a culprit.

Personally, my numbers only seem to keep improving with a diet that leans more towards a ratio of 60+% animal and coconut fat, with modest amounts of butter, and a spoonful of cream here and there, moderate protein and carbs, and eating to satiety. When I was on a calorie restricted supposedly health conscious doctor prescribed diet, my cholesterol numbers were in the high 300's (with hdl in the 40's), and now are in the low 200's (with hdl in the 60's).

7
3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on June 21, 2012
at 01:06 PM

Ahhh I tried the high fat/high protein LC paleo thing ... went to the doctor and had really high cholesterol levels, and also put on like 10kg .... this did not improve my previous state at all... I have now reduced my fat consumption of sat-fats and actually increased my carbs, but still high protein and have lost 4kg in a month, my cholesterol is back to perfect too!

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on June 21, 2012
at 01:31 PM

I was worried about maintaining lean muscle, but at the same time wanted to get my body more efficient at using fat stores for energy...haha epic fail...but to each their own :) it's all a big n=1

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 21, 2012
at 02:26 PM

@ mxrdnan- carbohydrates are protein sparing, so you'll have an easier time maintaining muscle if you're eating carbs in place of fat.

599feb9ad716266e8eb5030cd82d5dcd

(229)

on June 21, 2012
at 01:17 PM

Ive been on VLCarb, high fat, moderate protein for 6 months. Lost tonnes of body fat, got much stronger, my fitness has skyrocketed. My daily energy levels are stable and good, and I am generally in a good mood and do not get stressed throughout the day anymore. My skin has also cleared up perfectly. I even seem to have got smarter, but thats just because my brain is running better and feels "cleaner". Thats just my experience anyway, there it is. Also FYI, youre not supposed to eat high amounts of protein when going low carb. Read about mTOR pathway, it's in "Primal Body, Primal Mind"

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 21, 2012
at 02:29 PM

@ mxrdnan- carbohydrates are protein sparing, so you'll have an easier time maintaining muscle if you're eating carbs in place of fat. UNless you are taking steroids to preserve muscle mass when dieting (steroids increase both anabolic hormones and gluconeogensis efficiency), (controlled) carbs are your friend.

5
276a5e631b62f8e0793987c0496364bb

(1644)

on June 21, 2012
at 01:25 PM

There was a thread a while back on how butter caused some people's TC to spike. I don't remember if it was specifically butter, or all saturated fats, though.

The solution? If you're worried about TC and you are one of those people, don't eat as much of what makes your TC spike. I'm not one of those people, and a large portion of my fat intake (which is a large portion of my food intake) is saturated, and my cholesterol levels are perfect, even by outdated risk markers (such as TC).

892d177f50b16f118152219229870e4e

(776)

on June 21, 2012
at 05:14 PM

If I recall that thread correctly,it seemed that the saturated fatty acids in butter/dairy had more powerful effects in raising cholesterol,at least in certain people.

A2e73b869061fc20067e4ef8f26f83f0

(140)

on June 21, 2012
at 06:00 PM

I haven't had my own cholesterol tested in years, but my husband just had his tested and his numbers were also perfect. He eats what I make, which is isn't puposely "high fat" but I don't go out of my way to lower the fat that is in meat, etc. I don't particularly like gnawing on the fatty bit of a pork chop or chicken skin that isn't really crispy, so I'll give those bits to my husband and he wolfs them down. He eats chunks of pure animal fat. Relatively frequently.

4
22fd82abf435768244f8d074430cd1e6

(590)

on June 21, 2012
at 01:44 PM

Robb Wolf is not against sat-fat consumption.

0a0afca93a127c82ec4192a2e99647f4

on June 21, 2012
at 02:41 PM

I have read his book, and my recollection is that he has a nuanced view of sat-fats. Some being benign, some perhaps not so benign. Though he is certainly not so across-the-board anti sat-fat as Devaney.

2
B514acafd0a6cc251279b6cb21b48941

on June 21, 2012
at 05:14 PM

I've done the high sat-fat paleo version before, and I cut that back because I didn't lose any weight on it. If anything, I gained a few pounds. I also just felt crappy and heavy. I feel better when I get my protein from leaner sources. I'd say that I currently eat a moderate sat-fat diet, moreso than a low sat-fat. Most of my fat comes from olive oil, eggs, almonds, 90/10 beef and lean cuts of pork. I don't eat butter or fry anything, so there's no lard in my diet. I do eat more bacon than I should, but still far less than the average bacon fan. Like bachcole, I don't avoid saturated fats per say, I just don't care for most of them.

2
F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 21, 2012
at 05:01 PM

I know I read somewhere that many of the HGs that had lower cholesterol numbers also had parasites and thus the ideal we are supposed to reach may be skewed since we modern folk have fewer parasites. Also if my memory serves, HGs with fewer parasites have TC levels in the 200s like modern folk.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 21, 2012
at 05:35 PM

HGs don't have uniform cholesterol levels. Masterjohn on Kresser's podcast mentioned the Massai at 150ish and the Kitavans at 220ish.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 21, 2012
at 05:36 PM

Both higher than western recommendations, he proposed that was a good "normal" range for cholesterol.

2
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on June 21, 2012
at 02:04 PM

saturated fat is a long term energy source and stored as body fat. YOu can either eat saturated fat from food directly, or if you eat excess carbohydrates your liver will convert them to saturated fat for storage as adipose tissue. There likely is no famine coming any time soon, so I prefer to eat enough calories from carbohydrates to fuel my daily activities because muscle glycogen stores are depleted rapidly and serve as short term energy storage. I don't hibernate and have daily access to an abundance of fresh produce in the form of fruits, roots, and greens. I like to take advantage of these facts of life.

I use butter and ice cream sometimes when I go out, and I use a little bit of coconut oil here and there too, but for the most part it's lower fat, but the majority of the fat I do eat is probably saturated. Everyone is different and to each his/her own.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 21, 2012
at 09:44 PM

Yeah. Another thing I like abotu eating carbs is that it's really easy to keep my overall PUFA intake incredibly low.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 21, 2012
at 02:36 PM

I think a calorie surplus with the combination of saturated fat and carbs is perhaps the most obesigenic combination because BOTH serve as storage and once you've topped off your glycogen stores, any calorie excess will go to fat and over time your body will lose its ability to use fat stores as energy.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 21, 2012
at 07:08 PM

Nice one. Middle path of sorts. I go a similar route, eating the fat that comes with my meat and call it a day there. I just can't find a reason to purposely add fat other than that to my meals. I'd rather eat more other things like more meat, potatos, oatmeal, rice etc. I enjoy those items far more than fat, which is usually a liquid.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 21, 2012
at 02:48 PM

I eat butter and ice cream sometimes when I go out, but I don't keep that stuff in my kitchen usually. I also get saturated fat if i overeat on carbs, but that's pretty hard to do.

0
21926d9ae0d285b6d316053fada60f99

on September 02, 2015
at 09:05 PM

My cholesterol went through the ceiling on the Paleo diet. My LDL doubled, my HDL dropped 10 points, and my total cholesterol nearly doubled. In order to make things better, I cut out butter, eggs, fatty meats, and switch to Turkey, chicken, and lots of deep water fish. Hopefully this modified approach or bring my numbers back to normal. I guess I'm one of those who could not do the Paleo diet like most others. I'm due for another VAP test in 3 weeks will let you know what those numbers look like

0
68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on September 03, 2012
at 08:40 PM

The biggest mistake, as per usual, is being so liberal with the term "saturated fat."

Type and quality is huge. Gorging on every possible saturated fat is stupid. So is avoiding any possible saturated fat.

0
5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on September 03, 2012
at 08:40 PM

I do the high fat, medium protein thing most of the time my cholesterol numbers are perfect!

I eat lashings of coconut oil, chorizo, broth, bacon and sausage...

Check out Taubes blog where he actually posted his cholesterol numbers and also check out

Peter Attia

http://eatingacademy.com/how-a-low-carb-diet-affected-my-athletic-performance

It's not one size fits all..

0
F31d10b54b31428e189d9b771bf7b1d1

on June 21, 2012
at 02:26 PM

Heavy duty fat just doesn't appeal much to me, except perhaps butter, which I use as a dip for my celery "dessert". I have to eat avocados just to make sure I get enough fat. I eat raw salmon, well-cultured kefir for my fat. So, I guess I don't qualify as a test subject for high saturated fat. I don't avoid it. I just don't eat it much because it does not appeal to me.

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