2

votes

Can I really eat as much fat as I want?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 15, 2013 at 9:22 PM

Hi there,

I have a question about fat. I've been trying the Paleo Diet on and off for about 4 months and I've had great results and reduced my visible Chron's symptoms %100. I want to commit to eating Paleo, a very strict version of the auto-immune protocol, from now on.

The only drawback has been losing about 16kg in body weight. I want to put this back on, so far I've been eating a lot of sweet potatoes but I want to switch to organic beef/lamb fat to increase my calories and lower the carbs.

Can I really tuck into a slab of saturated fat without holding back until I put on weight without having a heart attack?

I feel great after eating fat, my digestive system feels really calm and soothed and I know everyone says this is fine, but please bear with me as I have been brainwashed by the demonisation of fat over the last 40 years.

Thanks a lot

8894ece18cd108655ed18f2056172c1c

(250)

on March 17, 2013
at 06:14 PM

I have been stressed, yes, but not unusually so. The only variable that's really changed since my last physical--during which my cholesterol level came back excellent--is diet, in particular saturated fat consumption. With that in mind, it seems far more likely that the culprit is that variable rather than a hormone or nutrient deficiency, especially given that I have no history either. Nonetheless, I plan on speaking with my doctor about it again tomorrow, so I'll bring up those points.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 17, 2013
at 05:14 PM

I'd say the best thing to do is just monitor your weight and waist measurements after the change to make sure it isn't exceeding maintenance calories. If either starts to creep up consistently, you'll need to make an adjustment. The implied magic of high fat eating simply isn't true.

165202196ea111b32114ef2804a7dd94

(174)

on March 17, 2013
at 05:10 PM

Have you asked your doctor to check if you have nutrient and/or hormone deficiencies? Because cholesterol is used in many reactions and mechanisms in the body, a lack of a certain nutrient can mean, leave the cholesterol "reservoir" untouched. And have you been under "more stress than usual" lately?

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on March 16, 2013
at 09:10 PM

thanks james. yeah, it's been a battle for sure. i was very strict with AI protocol for 2.5 months but didn't see any differences. now i just eat regular paleo but also SCD, too. i do all grass fed, wild animals even though it's breaking the bank- i love bacon, too! i cook with bacon fat all the time. my main thing is the bleeding. i think it's in my small intestine so i'm gonna ask my doctor for a pill cam endoscopy. i'm just super anemic/low hemoglobin and have been relying on blood tranfusions for months now.

F823371a5c530abf36eab29b7ce3ee2a

(50)

on March 16, 2013
at 10:35 AM

I also think sticking to grass-fed animals is really important. As pork and chicken fat is way higher in omega-6 fats which are inflammatory as you may know, although I LOVE bacon! I am sure you can get things under control, you just have to find what works for you and oh yeah, a bit of raw onion and garlic is great for cleaning up the bacteria in your gut.

F823371a5c530abf36eab29b7ce3ee2a

(50)

on March 16, 2013
at 10:30 AM

Hi there, Thanks for your answer. Really I just started with the auto-immune protocol on Rob Wolf's site and adapted it to fit my needs. The best thing I ever did was start eating a SHED LOAD of leaves and oily fish, plus the organic, grass-fed meat/fat I've been talking about. I read this great guide to healing auto-immune diseases with Paleo and since I followed that it's really helped. check it out it's a bit more specific to IBS, etc. http://paleodietlifestyle.com/dealing-with-autoimmune-diseases-and-digestive-problems/

F823371a5c530abf36eab29b7ce3ee2a

(50)

on March 16, 2013
at 10:19 AM

Hi Travis, Thanks so much for your very informative answer. I'll certainly get my LDL levels checked from now on. I should have mentioned I'll be weight training as well so maybe that would prevent excess fat accumulation? Thanks again, James

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 16, 2013
at 04:49 AM

Because coconut oil could displace other relatively more nutritious foodstuffs? (And the OP wants to gain weight: I'm informed that long chain fats will be more useful for that than what's in coconut oil...)

  • F823371a5c530abf36eab29b7ce3ee2a

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7 Answers

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6
Medium avatar

on March 15, 2013
at 09:34 PM

Depends, really. Some people, like myself, are genetically susceptible to ridiculous LDL elevations as a result of saturated fat (specifically from butter and cream). Other people hyper-respond to dietary cholesterol. If that took your total cholesterol to 250, who cares? But if it takes it to 390 like it did with me, you're deep in the land of speculation. At that point you have simulated familial hypercholesterolemia via diet, and we know those people don't fare well. At some point you have to acknowledge that you have a massive pool of LDL that could be subject to oxidation.

These days, I tend to lean more toward most heart disease being the result of several nutrient insufficiencies (magnesium, vitamin k2, antioxidants) converging with a high intake of synthetic trans fats and oxidative stress (smoking, pollution etc.), but even so I'm sure as hell not gonna roll the dice with an LDL in the 200s.

But yeah, if you eat loads of it and it doesn't affect your lipids at all, then there really isn't another mechanism by which it's going to harm you unless, I suppose, you gained a bunch of visceral fat, which would elevate triglycerides and predispose you for metabolic syndrome.

F823371a5c530abf36eab29b7ce3ee2a

(50)

on March 16, 2013
at 10:19 AM

Hi Travis, Thanks so much for your very informative answer. I'll certainly get my LDL levels checked from now on. I should have mentioned I'll be weight training as well so maybe that would prevent excess fat accumulation? Thanks again, James

Medium avatar

(39831)

on March 17, 2013
at 05:14 PM

I'd say the best thing to do is just monitor your weight and waist measurements after the change to make sure it isn't exceeding maintenance calories. If either starts to creep up consistently, you'll need to make an adjustment. The implied magic of high fat eating simply isn't true.

2
048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

on March 16, 2013
at 10:57 AM

In addition to James smart advice, I'd like to give some more. You asked how much, and as for now that hasn't been answered. Whereas I think (as most people here) that fat has gained too much bad reputation, I don't think It will we wise also to overdo on it. There has been recent research showing that a slightly hipocaloric diet with some eating restriction is known to give lots of benefits on the body and longevity.

We are not supposed to eat a feast everyday I guess. Paleo says to have around 60% of calorie intake as quality fat. Ok, so if the other 10% is carbs and the rest is 30% protein, and we know a more or less decent quantity of protein would be between 1 and 2 gr per kg body weight. You can do your calculus. It will depen, do you strengh training? If yes, maybe go for the 2 gr. Are you sedentary? Go for 1 gr. Average? 1.5 gr should do.

For me, a 63 Kg person doing endurance running and strenght training, I like to be in 2 gr per kg body weight. That means 63x2 = near 130 grs. If that is 30% of protein calories (130x4=520 kcal), a 60% would be 1040, which is 1040/9 = 115 gr of fat.

Although I guess it's true that not a calories is just a calorie and that carbs are insulin stimulating which in the end triggers the "store fat" switch, I also thing that overall overeating stalls weight loss. So if you manage to be in slightly less calories than mantaining base with quality food, I think you are on the good side of things.

I'd suggest to alternate grass-fed animal fat with plenty of good vegetable sources like olive oil, macadamia nuts, coconut oil, lots of fish fat prefered over meat and dairy, game and turkey/chicken, etc rich in omega 3 but totally avoid other vegetable oils and nuts high in omega 6.

Having variety, moderation, sligthly under caloric and avoiding omega 6, trans fats and processed carbs and grains should be the key.

1
8894ece18cd108655ed18f2056172c1c

(250)

on March 17, 2013
at 04:33 PM

Funny, I posted yesterday about my recent blood test results. I've been Paleo for a year and have been eating copious amounts of saturated fat without much concern. On Friday I found out that my cholesterol skyrocketed from around 180 to just over 270. Now, I'm in the process of altering my diet to reduce saturated fat intake some to bring the number back down, hopefully to the 200-220 range. So the answer--at least for me--is no; I cannot eat unlimited saturated fat without compromising my cholesterol levels. That said, I still plan on eating things like pastured eggs and grass-fed beef, just not every day and certainly not multiple times a day. I also still plan on adhering to the tenants of Paleo--no grains, diary, legumes etcetera--because since incorporating them into my diet I feel better, and I dropped my body fat to below 10% while putting on a ton of of lean muscle. Of course, there are some people that can eat pastured butter, bacon and coconut oil all day long without impacting their blood work, but I have no idea whether you are one of them or whether you're more like me. You have to monitor your blood work to find out what works for you.

165202196ea111b32114ef2804a7dd94

(174)

on March 17, 2013
at 05:10 PM

Have you asked your doctor to check if you have nutrient and/or hormone deficiencies? Because cholesterol is used in many reactions and mechanisms in the body, a lack of a certain nutrient can mean, leave the cholesterol "reservoir" untouched. And have you been under "more stress than usual" lately?

8894ece18cd108655ed18f2056172c1c

(250)

on March 17, 2013
at 06:14 PM

I have been stressed, yes, but not unusually so. The only variable that's really changed since my last physical--during which my cholesterol level came back excellent--is diet, in particular saturated fat consumption. With that in mind, it seems far more likely that the culprit is that variable rather than a hormone or nutrient deficiency, especially given that I have no history either. Nonetheless, I plan on speaking with my doctor about it again tomorrow, so I'll bring up those points.

0
6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

on March 17, 2013
at 10:23 AM

As someone with the opposite problem who only has to look at food to put weight on, I think you certainly can eat more fat. I eat a lot of fat and nuts. I suppose if you want to put weight on then look at those of us who find it very hard to lose even a pound. I often eat large amounts of nuts and raisins, sometimes I eat cheese although my body doesn't really like it. I eat a lot of stir fry meals probably with about double the portions most people eat of veg and meat and lots of fatty meat. I don't really exercise.

0
Ac3794d2c89d5c0877de01a8a7e18190

on March 17, 2013
at 06:16 AM

So if 1 tbsp of oil holds 120 kcal, then 1040 = 8 tbsp. This is half a cup!! Can I eat this much?? I am 40 kilo female, stay home mom, struggle to gain some weight.. (This is a question to Albert, but I did not figured out yet how to post it under his answer)

0
89985542ffc00c296552951369fe809a

on March 16, 2013
at 04:18 AM

This is phenomenal news! PHENOMENAL! If you feel fantastic, go for it! Saturated Fat gets bad press for no reason. It's actually quite healthy for you. Why not load up on coconut oil :)

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on March 16, 2013
at 04:49 AM

Because coconut oil could displace other relatively more nutritious foodstuffs? (And the OP wants to gain weight: I'm informed that long chain fats will be more useful for that than what's in coconut oil...)

0
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on March 15, 2013
at 11:03 PM

james, what is your secret to putting your crohn's into remission?? i just have to know since i am also an ibd sufferer. doctor told me today that surgery is pretty much necessary since my blood loss is so severe.

with this disease, at a MUCH as you want. i'm serious. we need to always have extra padding for flares. i eat as much as 8 T of fat a day either as coconut ,avocado, or bacon fat and then my fatty meats. i love it.

F823371a5c530abf36eab29b7ce3ee2a

(50)

on March 16, 2013
at 10:30 AM

Hi there, Thanks for your answer. Really I just started with the auto-immune protocol on Rob Wolf's site and adapted it to fit my needs. The best thing I ever did was start eating a SHED LOAD of leaves and oily fish, plus the organic, grass-fed meat/fat I've been talking about. I read this great guide to healing auto-immune diseases with Paleo and since I followed that it's really helped. check it out it's a bit more specific to IBS, etc. http://paleodietlifestyle.com/dealing-with-autoimmune-diseases-and-digestive-problems/

F823371a5c530abf36eab29b7ce3ee2a

(50)

on March 16, 2013
at 10:35 AM

I also think sticking to grass-fed animals is really important. As pork and chicken fat is way higher in omega-6 fats which are inflammatory as you may know, although I LOVE bacon! I am sure you can get things under control, you just have to find what works for you and oh yeah, a bit of raw onion and garlic is great for cleaning up the bacteria in your gut.

089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on March 16, 2013
at 09:10 PM

thanks james. yeah, it's been a battle for sure. i was very strict with AI protocol for 2.5 months but didn't see any differences. now i just eat regular paleo but also SCD, too. i do all grass fed, wild animals even though it's breaking the bank- i love bacon, too! i cook with bacon fat all the time. my main thing is the bleeding. i think it's in my small intestine so i'm gonna ask my doctor for a pill cam endoscopy. i'm just super anemic/low hemoglobin and have been relying on blood tranfusions for months now.

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