2

votes

Coconut based diet....and the overconsumption of saturated fats?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 20, 2011 at 3:52 PM

I am currently consuming a high calorie diet to keep up with my activities and never much bothered to track my daily food intake until yesterday. First thing I noticed is that I am consuming a total of 130-150 grams of saturated fat most of it coming from coconut oil. I can't handle dairy much so I rely on coconut oil to get the bulk of my fat intake. Is there any potential problems with a diet solely based on coconut and as saturated as mine is?

Don't get me wrong, I know how good saturated fat is but is there a limit. Browsing on various paleo/primal forums has brought me to the realization that what many consider a high saturated fat intake usually contains only about 70-80 grams of saturated fat.

Would I be better off sourcing my fat intake from something like suet, or could I potentially stick with coconut oil with no undesirable effects?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 09:14 PM

@Ikco, I have read a little of Ayers because of my interest in gut health. I find it tough to get things out of reading him, though. Do you have favorite posts of his you could recommend? (Don't know if you'll ever see this comment, but thought it was worth a try.)

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on February 21, 2011
at 01:03 PM

^^^^^^^^Sexy. It's interesting that Art Ayers (Cooling Inflammation) idea "saturated fat might be bad if one has inflammation" when he started his blog but now he totally supports saturated fat.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on February 21, 2011
at 12:55 PM

^^^^^^^^^^Sexy.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 07:14 AM

Also, Walkabout is the best paleo movie.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 07:13 AM

Ok, you win! Let me know if there are any developments on the website idea. You can reach me through the blog.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:56 AM

What's Inception? I don't follow normal movies much, just paleo movies. lolololol

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:56 AM

What's Inception? I don't follow follow normal movies much, just paleo movies. lolololol

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:48 AM

Excellent ... I feel like those guys in "Inception." You have been "incepted" ...

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:48 AM

Excellent ... I feel like those guys in "Inception." I have *incepted* you with an idea ...

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:05 AM

Hmmm...not a bad idea. Funny enough, that is what my current job is (evidence-based medicine trial reviews). Lemme ponder a bit. Okay, I've upgraded it to "good idea". Now lemme ponder some more...

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 21, 2011
at 05:57 AM

coconut and macademia are the only nuts worthwhile nutritionally. Cases can be made for others until you look at the PUFA content. Then you realize the risk.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 21, 2011
at 05:55 AM

if you want to put weight on......eat whey. It causes huge insulin spikes and that is how one puts it on fast. If your looking for muscle weight you need to first make sure your leptin sensitive. If you are then your muscles can be built fast with whey, protein, raw milk

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 05:04 AM

Has anyone ever done this: Make a website with a big chart of all the studies that support either one side or another on each of the major controversial questions. And each study could be described with respect to its features (observational, double-blind, etc.) and also ranked according to its strength. And you (you?) could find some way to get trusted users involved, either suggesting more studies to be evaluated, or doing some evaluating of their own. Not exactly a blog, but would be a tremendous resource. Thoughts?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 21, 2011
at 03:47 AM

Truthfully, I choose which paleo blogs to read based on well-crafted sentences and use of the oxford comma, which it looks like your blog employs. My old roomie had an MFA in "creative non-fiction writing", and was very good, although rambly, at getting his point across. I'm guessing lots and lots of writing helped that. No blog for me until an interesting idea comes around. Controversies in paleo? Paleo philosophies? Paleo for prisoners?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 03:12 AM

Ha ha, you flatterer! If only I had time to post something more than once every 7-10 days. I also have plans, but no time, to start up a "sister blog" with long theoretical posts on all my favorite topics -- you know, forcing myself to write to try to get my ideas in order and figure out which things I need to try to learn next. When you articulate things you realize better what you do and don't know ... We're all still waiting for your blog. You can re-unleash the brashness of your early days on paleohacks.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 21, 2011
at 02:26 AM

Maybe your writing prowess could be extended from your blog to a paleo newsletter. Although that would put you even further behind in normal-world news coverage.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 01:59 AM

I had to google Watson because despite spending a lot of time on the internet I don't really keep up with the news. Just the "paleo news." E.g.: Richard Nikoley's shoulder has been feeling better.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 01:57 AM

I had to google Watson because despite spending a lot of time on the internet I don't really keep up with the news. Just the "paleo news."

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 21, 2011
at 01:33 AM

Excellent recall! You should take on Watson.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 01:09 AM

I guess I'm with Kamal more or less. I upvoted his comment after all. But look, I have a thread for everything: http://paleohacks.com/questions/10307/is-it-worse-to-have-increased-fats-if-you-are-still-consuming-grains If you're eating more saturated then you're probably (hopefully) eating less polyunsaturated. But of course grains and other things are still an issue.

0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110

(1146)

on February 21, 2011
at 12:28 AM

....so saturated fat in the absence of inflammation is healthy but could be potentially dangerous if inflamed....aw crap hopefully my inflammation levels are low. I do follow a pretty anti-inflammatory diet, so I am hoping for the best.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 20, 2011
at 11:46 PM

Here are the two biggest arguments for and against this higher level of saturated fat, that I can tell. For: The latest meta-analyses (Siri-Tiriano, 2010) showed no different in CVD risk between high saturated fat and low saturated fat intake. Easily explicable by the paleo rationale of LDL as simply a marker not a causative agent. Against: Modern day paleos who are zero or low carb may eat substantially higher levels of saturated fat than our ancestors. Saturated fat still downregulates the LDL receptor. This is no big deal unless you have excess inflammation. But what if you do? Bum bum bum

0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110

(1146)

on February 20, 2011
at 11:32 PM

Wow that is very reassuring. I thought I was the only one who consumed that much saturated fat, because no one else seems to, at least no one I know hahah.

0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110

(1146)

on February 20, 2011
at 05:34 PM

Thanks Dr.K for the info, sadly I am doing this diet untested because of lack of health insurance. Also weight loss is the last thing I want, I am in need of putting on a couple pounds.

9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on February 20, 2011
at 05:34 PM

Do Pacific Islanders live off coconut fat? I would figure they'd be eating loads of fish, crustaceans, sea turtles and turtle eggs, sea bird eggs, seals, whatever small mammal critters they brought over to the island with them, etc. Which is to say my hypothesis would be that they have a much more varied fat profile than just coconut fats. While I realize we're addressing sat fats specifically, everything I listed would be available on most islands and have sat fats. Fresh fish, turtle eggs and coconut sounds like good eats to me.

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3 Answers

5
47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 20, 2011
at 11:11 PM

Well, I eat around 3500 calories a day. At 60-70% fat that's 2100-2450 calories from fat. Most of that is from eggs, butter, meat, and coconut. So I'm probably getting 100-150g from saturated just like you. I am not the slightest bit worried about it.

I think there are plenty of people here on paleohacks who do very much the same.

Why do I not worry? I have never seen any convincing evidence that there's anything wrong with it. And since it is not all that far off from presumed paleolithic standards (I still use that word and that concept, when appropriate) I assume that my body is constructed in such a way to handle it.

Yes, ruminant meat is generally about half monounsaturated and half saturated, and we are skewing that somewhat with heavy butter consumption -- and the short-chain saturated fat in coconut (12 carbons or fewer, basically; sometimes people say medium sometimes people say short) is a different thing altogether. But I'm still not worried.

For some classic Paleohacks-style discussion on the topic, see this thread.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 21, 2011
at 02:26 AM

Maybe your writing prowess could be extended from your blog to a paleo newsletter. Although that would put you even further behind in normal-world news coverage.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 21, 2011
at 03:47 AM

Truthfully, I choose which paleo blogs to read based on well-crafted sentences and use of the oxford comma, which it looks like your blog employs. My old roomie had an MFA in "creative non-fiction writing", and was very good, although rambly, at getting his point across. I'm guessing lots and lots of writing helped that. No blog for me until an interesting idea comes around. Controversies in paleo? Paleo philosophies? Paleo for prisoners?

0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110

(1146)

on February 21, 2011
at 12:28 AM

....so saturated fat in the absence of inflammation is healthy but could be potentially dangerous if inflamed....aw crap hopefully my inflammation levels are low. I do follow a pretty anti-inflammatory diet, so I am hoping for the best.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 01:59 AM

I had to google Watson because despite spending a lot of time on the internet I don't really keep up with the news. Just the "paleo news." E.g.: Richard Nikoley's shoulder has been feeling better.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:56 AM

What's Inception? I don't follow normal movies much, just paleo movies. lolololol

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 05:04 AM

Has anyone ever done this: Make a website with a big chart of all the studies that support either one side or another on each of the major controversial questions. And each study could be described with respect to its features (observational, double-blind, etc.) and also ranked according to its strength. And you (you?) could find some way to get trusted users involved, either suggesting more studies to be evaluated, or doing some evaluating of their own. Not exactly a blog, but would be a tremendous resource. Thoughts?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 03:12 AM

Ha ha, you flatterer! If only I had time to post something more than once every 7-10 days. I also have plans, but no time, to start up a "sister blog" with long theoretical posts on all my favorite topics -- you know, forcing myself to write to try to get my ideas in order and figure out which things I need to try to learn next. When you articulate things you realize better what you do and don't know ... We're all still waiting for your blog. You can re-unleash the brashness of your early days on paleohacks.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 07:13 AM

Ok, you win! Let me know if there are any developments on the website idea. You can reach me through the blog.

0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110

(1146)

on February 20, 2011
at 11:32 PM

Wow that is very reassuring. I thought I was the only one who consumed that much saturated fat, because no one else seems to, at least no one I know hahah.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 20, 2011
at 11:46 PM

Here are the two biggest arguments for and against this higher level of saturated fat, that I can tell. For: The latest meta-analyses (Siri-Tiriano, 2010) showed no different in CVD risk between high saturated fat and low saturated fat intake. Easily explicable by the paleo rationale of LDL as simply a marker not a causative agent. Against: Modern day paleos who are zero or low carb may eat substantially higher levels of saturated fat than our ancestors. Saturated fat still downregulates the LDL receptor. This is no big deal unless you have excess inflammation. But what if you do? Bum bum bum

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:05 AM

Hmmm...not a bad idea. Funny enough, that is what my current job is (evidence-based medicine trial reviews). Lemme ponder a bit. Okay, I've upgraded it to "good idea". Now lemme ponder some more...

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 01:09 AM

I guess I'm with Kamal more or less. I upvoted his comment after all. But look, I have a thread for everything: http://paleohacks.com/questions/10307/is-it-worse-to-have-increased-fats-if-you-are-still-consuming-grains If you're eating more saturated then you're probably (hopefully) eating less polyunsaturated. But of course grains and other things are still an issue.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:48 AM

Excellent ... I feel like those guys in "Inception." I have *incepted* you with an idea ...

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 01:57 AM

I had to google Watson because despite spending a lot of time on the internet I don't really keep up with the news. Just the "paleo news."

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:48 AM

Excellent ... I feel like those guys in "Inception." You have been "incepted" ...

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 07:14 AM

Also, Walkabout is the best paleo movie.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on February 21, 2011
at 01:03 PM

^^^^^^^^Sexy. It's interesting that Art Ayers (Cooling Inflammation) idea "saturated fat might be bad if one has inflammation" when he started his blog but now he totally supports saturated fat.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 21, 2011
at 06:56 AM

What's Inception? I don't follow follow normal movies much, just paleo movies. lolololol

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on February 21, 2011
at 12:55 PM

^^^^^^^^^^Sexy.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 21, 2011
at 01:33 AM

Excellent recall! You should take on Watson.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 21, 2011
at 09:14 PM

@Ikco, I have read a little of Ayers because of my interest in gut health. I find it tough to get things out of reading him, though. Do you have favorite posts of his you could recommend? (Don't know if you'll ever see this comment, but thought it was worth a try.)

2
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 20, 2011
at 03:59 PM

you can live off the saturated fats of coconut as any tribe in the pacific has.....but if your able to move between fat sources you should if can but it is NOT a must. Personally I use mostly coconut, pastured butter, Ghee, bacon fat, Palm Oil, and the "cold oil" are EVVO and Macademia nut oil......I also think before you start you should get base labs to see how bad your cell membranes are. I usually get omega six/three indexes on patients with Vit D and Cardiac CRP levels to baseline assess how much and how rapid the change in the diet should be. I have also found that weight loss become fastest when your eating a ton of omega threes, no fructose and your leaky gut is completely treated.

9f9fa49265e03ddd2bf2bba5477a556b

(3184)

on February 20, 2011
at 05:34 PM

Do Pacific Islanders live off coconut fat? I would figure they'd be eating loads of fish, crustaceans, sea turtles and turtle eggs, sea bird eggs, seals, whatever small mammal critters they brought over to the island with them, etc. Which is to say my hypothesis would be that they have a much more varied fat profile than just coconut fats. While I realize we're addressing sat fats specifically, everything I listed would be available on most islands and have sat fats. Fresh fish, turtle eggs and coconut sounds like good eats to me.

0adda19045a3641edac0008364b91110

(1146)

on February 20, 2011
at 05:34 PM

Thanks Dr.K for the info, sadly I am doing this diet untested because of lack of health insurance. Also weight loss is the last thing I want, I am in need of putting on a couple pounds.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 21, 2011
at 05:55 AM

if you want to put weight on......eat whey. It causes huge insulin spikes and that is how one puts it on fast. If your looking for muscle weight you need to first make sure your leptin sensitive. If you are then your muscles can be built fast with whey, protein, raw milk

1
Medium avatar

on February 20, 2011
at 08:35 PM

There's no reason to worry about that level of saturated fat intake. It will make your large LDL particles (harmless) increase, your HDL will increase to around 100 I would guess (good) and you will just have a low amount of appetite and probably feel fine. I'm allergic to all nuts, which somehow includes coconuts, but if I could I would eat tons of it as you do.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on February 21, 2011
at 05:57 AM

coconut and macademia are the only nuts worthwhile nutritionally. Cases can be made for others until you look at the PUFA content. Then you realize the risk.

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