32

votes

Could we modern paleos be eating too much saturated fat?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 21, 2010 at 4:17 AM

We all love eating saturated fat. Saturated fat is stable when heated and tastes great. Saturated fat is unfairly blamed for a lot of things. Kurt Harris eats a ton of saturated fat, and he has forgotten more than most of us will ever know.

BUT...

Saturated fat is often compared to eating too many carbs or too much PUFA. I already know that carbs and PUFA aren't great in high amounts, but how does saturated fat stack up against MUFA? I have seen many more peer-reviewed articles pointing to saturated fat detriments than MUFA detriments. Part of this is due to publication bias, but part of it is real research. I'm not talking dumb cohort studies, I mean well-conducted trials that show some detriment with high saturated fat diets or individual meals, with regards to inflammation, carcinogenesis, etc. Of course, the evidence goes both ways, but it it not 100% pro saturated fat.

MORE IMPORTANTLY...it did not seem like ancient paleos ate quite as much saturated fat as we do. We douse our veggies in butter, pan-fry things in ghee and coconut oil, and savor whole cream and coconut milk. Paleos probably ate game meat, muscle and organ, with some tubers, fruit, veggies, etc. That menu appears to contain more MUFA and less saturated fat than our typical modern paleo diets. I'm not talking a lean-meat diet like early Loren Cordain, but I don't imagine they pan-fried stuff in added fat as much as we do.

Has anybody delved more into this? Except for the occasional population who ate tons of coconut, I can't see that many areas where people ate as much saturated fat as I do on a daily basis. Some genotypes may be more susceptible to things like familial hypercholesterolimia, and I wonder if some of us are eating too much saturated fat for our genotype unwittingly. Especially if epigenetic changes, or even normal genetic changes, have made our response to saturated fat different in the last 10,000 years. I'm reminded of that dubious saying that has a kernel of truth...you are what your grandparents ate.

Bac49edb31092c3d6db9d461485cb310

on February 12, 2014
at 02:08 AM

Good question, Kamal. I've seen this asked at the Bulletproof Exec forum too, no answers.

Medium avatar

(624)

on October 31, 2013
at 10:54 PM

MUFA are not very oxidizable compared to SFA...

This graph comes from perfecthealthdiet.com

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/PUFA-relative-peroxidizability.jpg

The #:0 is SFA's, the #:1 is MUFA's, and the #:2+ is PUFA's .... As you can see, almost no difference in oxidizability between MUFA and SFA....

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Not that much fat in the average wild boar compared to a domestic pig.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 11, 2012
at 02:38 AM

saturated fat doesn't oxidize. therefore it does not get burned as readily for energy.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on April 11, 2012
at 02:34 AM

@ patrick. We do not live in the stone age any more, and there is no famine coming. Studies show that the body burns MUFA and omega 3s more readily after exercise. IF you are insinuating that the fat in our bodies is mostly saturated, then why the hell would you want to eat the stuff if you want to be lean and healthy?

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 23, 2011
at 05:47 PM

@Jack - I'm curious, in light of your lipid numbers that you discussed, what are the significant dietary changes you've made. Details please :-)

6c42b0de336c7b074acf731f4b5dfa87

on June 19, 2011
at 05:48 PM

Ha, I'm busted I guess. :-D . I hope so but I can see this could easily become a gigantic time sink hole so I'll have to take care.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 18, 2011
at 10:30 PM

No problem! If my local sources are correct, I'm thinking you might have an interesting perspective on some of these questions.

6c42b0de336c7b074acf731f4b5dfa87

on June 18, 2011
at 09:00 PM

(sorry for putting this in two places - I am still learning how to do this.) Thanks for putting the reference link in Kamal. I'll do that next time.

6c42b0de336c7b074acf731f4b5dfa87

on June 18, 2011
at 08:57 PM

For an academic review/discussion of differing views on the saturated-fat-in-relation-to-CVD issue see the March 2010 issue of AJCN - several papers/editorial commentary on what the literature indicates.

6c42b0de336c7b074acf731f4b5dfa87

on June 18, 2011
at 08:52 PM

Consider also genetic variation - or, different strokes for different folks (pun not intended but appreciated).

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 18, 2011
at 08:04 PM

Too bad no hunter-gatherers post on paleohacks :(

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 18, 2011
at 08:03 PM

Yeah, this gets complicated. I'm not sure if fat rendering was around way back when, when pottery and storage vessels were not really around. Also, some fat drips when cooking over a fire. And apparently, some animals have tasty fat while some have gross fat. And who knows how meat was shared (well, someone does probably).

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 18, 2011
at 07:55 PM

I would assume most of the viscera weight is from stomachs and intestines (full of fermenting plant matter and poop) which are discarded. You can't get exact numbers, but I think I got pretty close here. Also consider that unless it's frozen outside or your people make jerky/pemmican like crazy, a lot of that muscle meat will go to waste if you're feeding a smaller group of people.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 18, 2011
at 07:43 PM

Now we're getting somewhere! Although...the field weight comes from removing the viscera. I'm presuming they would eat some of the viscera, which is fairly protein rich. The visceral fat is already included in the above bodyfat estimate, I believe.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 18, 2011
at 07:36 PM

Looking up modern stats for how much usable muscle meat you can get from an elk, I found this handy calculation: Whole weight = 1.42 x field-dressed weight, Field-dressed weight (viscera and feet removed)= 0.70 x whole weight, Skinned carcass weight (skin and head removed) = 0.83 x field-dressed weight, Boneless lean = 0.50 x field-dressed weight. So for our 600 lb elk with low body fat you're getting about 210 lbs of lean meat, or roughly 380,520 cals of lean protein (of course this will depend on how much marbling is present in the meat). And that's a lean ungulate!

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 18, 2011
at 07:35 PM

I did some math. Say a lean elk, at 600lbs/10% body fat. 60 lbs of body fat is around 244,620 calories if I did my math right.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 18, 2011
at 07:29 PM

Even my Indian brethren, living in very warm climates, eat a good amount of ghee and yogurt. Until they come here and are told to stop.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 18, 2011
at 07:22 PM

It's also interesting to think about how many of the cultures which developed after the main migration out of Africa and in colder climates, domesticated animals and made dairy fat a main calorie source!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 18, 2011
at 07:13 PM

Exactly. Humans have been in Europe for about 30,000 years. They've been in Africa for at least 200,000 years, and way before that for our ancestors. If we base our paleo diets largely on what paleo people ate, I don't know why African game are only lightly scrutinized. No matter how many pictures of visceral fat I see, I can't see how a relatively low body fat percentage in game meats translates to how many of us eat.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 18, 2011
at 07:03 PM

Large mammals who have to survive harsh winters are a very different story re:body comp than African large game. According to Yellowstone scientists, for an elk to survive the winter it has to build up to about 20% body fat, and they are emaciated by the spring. Also for an elk cow to go into heat, they must again be up to around 20% body fat by the mating season (late spring, because everyone must gorge and fatten again to grow antlers and get fertile).

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 18, 2011
at 06:56 PM

Nobody really "thinks" anything with regards to what paleo people ate, there are just different levels of evidence for different regions, and some rampant speculation. It's not really a matter of opinion. However, there are some points intermixed in the above discussion about the fat content of various wild animals. Often (usually?), fat is not the main source of calories, by total body weight. I can't exactly recall, but something like an elk has around 10-15% bodyfat. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Either way, I'm not coming from the standpoint of "lean meat" paleos, just curious.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 18, 2011
at 06:54 PM

Nobody really "thinks" anything with regards to what paleo people ate, there are just different levels of evidence for different regions, and some rampant speculation. It's not really a matter of opinion. However, there are some points intermixed in the above discussion about the fat content of various wild animals. Often (usually?), fat is not the main source of calories, by total body weight. I can't exactly recall, but something like an elk has around 10% bodyfat. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Either way, I'm not coming from the standpoint of "lean meat" paleos, just trying to be accurate

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 18, 2011
at 06:28 PM

Ah yes, the issue that signaled the crumbling of the lipid hypothesis. "A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD." I edited your answer to embed a link to that issue.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 26, 2011
at 05:29 AM

Mark Sisson sticking to his guns: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/a-metabolic-paradigm-shift-fat-carbs-human-body-metabolism/

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 20, 2011
at 06:47 PM

start taking up more glucose. But if I recall correctly, when Stephan was defending the (evil) Kitavans he said that they still had high glucose after meals, but no long-term insulin resistance. So my point would still hold: why not just do without the glucose? But now I see there could be a middle ground: you get your body used to running more on glucose and you eat *somewhat* more glucose, but not so much to make a big spike? But then we'd have to do some calculation about how much each body part can run on how much glucose, etc.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 20, 2011
at 06:44 PM

Well I am somewhat influenced by the idea that it just takes a few days to switch back and forth. So of course a fat-eater like myself won't tolerate higher glucose, not because I'm resistant to insulin in a pathological way, but because various things in my body have been readjusted -- e.g., my muscles aren't as sensitive to insulin because they are used to leaving glucose for my brain (Peter's "physiological insulin resistance"). So the idea would be that it would just take me a few days to get my body used to the higher amount of glucose and then the muscles would [Continued]

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 20, 2011
at 06:16 PM

Yeah, Don's sample diet, and his post in general, were a little unexpected. Funny, because his post seems to have disappeared in the interim. I too can relate to the glucose-minimization feeling. When you tell people that it's possible to have steady energy levels, it's like talking to a brick wall. A brick wall who thinks that you're being an annoying evangelist. I do wonder though, if it just takes a long while to adjust to a paleo diet, and then eating a moderate amount of carbs doesn't have as big of an effect. Although that doesn't logically make sense.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 20, 2011
at 05:23 PM

And now I see that Melissa had already brought up her elands right here on this thread ....

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 20, 2011
at 05:22 PM

stops my adipose from releasing fat fuel, etc., and then the BG goes down eventually. But why send it up in the first place? Why do that if you don't have to? Longevity? And anyhow you have to eat sooner afterwards. Did you see Don's sample menu for a day's food on that post? Goodness, I would starve on that. My reaction was: "Where's the food?" And who eats four times a day? Guess I'm just set in my KGH-style-paleo ways ....

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 20, 2011
at 05:20 PM

Yo what's up Vitamin K. My thing with the fat/carbs issue is the same thing it's always been: I just feel completely, qualitatively different eating LC. I'll eat more rice/potato/squash PWO (I eat basically zero fructose) but the principle stays the same: I never eat much more glucose than that minimum amount my body needs. To me everything feels completely different when I go into glucose-burning mode, and it feels worse -- *even though I am* (or at least I think I am) *insulin sensitive*. So there's a glucose spike, and it goes away because my insulin turns off my liver and [Continued]

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 20, 2011
at 03:44 PM

Hey, what's up my main man? Good link. I'm very interested in how this argument develops. I wonder if the fat content of ancestral diets would effect the baseline for elimination diets?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 20, 2011
at 07:55 AM

Melissa M. is already on top of this: http://huntgatherlove.com/content/great-and-mighty-eland Look for the clever placement of the link to Don's post. Though to be fair Melissa ends with a note of skepticism. Good comments, including one from KGH.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 14, 2011
at 02:06 AM

..((upvoted))..

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 14, 2011
at 02:05 AM

Eww! Okay, no marrow experiment. Thanks for saving me $1.00 (bones are expensive here).

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 14, 2011
at 12:24 AM

once it's been exposed to air, breakdown happens. I've had it grow mold...

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 13, 2011
at 10:46 PM

What if I replace "leaving on the counter" with "leaving in a butter tray in a dark cupboard"? I'd imagine a similar fatty acid content to butter, but more moisture? Maybe moisture is the killer there...

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 13, 2011
at 09:35 PM

nooo, don't do that. Once the bone has been split/cut, it is exposed to air and light and will oxidize.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 13, 2011
at 09:29 PM

Oh yeah, THOSE elands. Funny though...I didn't think there were many cliffs in the savannah in South Africa. That's where I lived as a toddler (apartment, not savannah), and I very vaguely recall wide open plains. I'll try to leave some marrow on the counter and see how long before it gets funky.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 13, 2011
at 09:22 PM

anthropologists believe elands were hunted by driving them off cliffs. Marrow preserves for quite some time and can be scavenged from kills that have been abandoned for a long time as long as bone-crushing scavengers like hyenas don't get there first.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 13, 2011
at 09:04 PM

Chasing elands sounds like persistence hunting. One thing I've been wondering...after a long hunt, if you feast on the meat/offal/bits, how long do you have before the marrow goes bad? I might not feel like breaking bones that day, but maybe marrow is "preserved" inside bones to a degree.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on April 13, 2011
at 08:33 PM

great comments tartare

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 13, 2011
at 08:29 PM

problem is, this natural gas drilling practice is happening all over the place, in places we might consider "pastoral" - the Pennsylvania countryside, the rockies and in the main agricultural center on the US. So, its mostly about water... even a fastidious farmer can't control whats going on outside of his land. We pay a premium for grass fed beef, and we assume its healthy. I guess it opened my eyes to the need to set stricter environmental policies about this kind of thing, even though I've always had an environmentalist mindset.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 13, 2011
at 08:25 PM

yeah, i guess i was talking about human stupidity and the thing is, sometimes toxins do get stored in fat. Obviously I'm not going vegan anytime soon and I agree with you. I buy the best available meat raised in the healthiest way whenever I can. My husband and I had an "Oh shit" moment recently watching this movie "gasland"- to sum it up, these insane airborn and water pollutants were being released right next to a bunch of grass fed cattle that were going to be sold. What could the farmer do? he needs to make a living. But obviously no healthy animal could filter out that much pollution.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on April 13, 2011
at 08:06 PM

here's the thing though. if that's our world, then that's what we have to live with. if you are talking about manmade pollutants, then if the animals that we are eating are not properly filtering the unnatural 'environmental pollutions' that they are getting in their natural habitat or in healthy raising, then we can just chalk up the 'toxins' from that to one big giant human stupidity. as for me, I choose to eat the best animal meat available and count it good. what's the alternative? vegan? no thx.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on November 02, 2010
at 07:39 PM

Comment much after the fact: Re: my answer below. I see now that something very relevant was staring me in the face all along. One of KGH's earliest posts, in fact: http://www.paleonu.com/panu-weblog/2009/6/22/fats-and-oils.html It appears that for him it is as I suspected in my answer: that the biggest issue, all other things being equal (a phrase that can cover a lot of course), is oxidation. That's why saturated is the best.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on October 23, 2010
at 07:33 AM

But doing so would endlessly complicate matters through introduced variables. Are you somehow using the exact same food with variable fat levels? How have those fat levels been varied? You can't compare someone who tops their salad with EVOO with someone who uses CCO - they're totally different oils with differing nutritional qualities. You might get "an idea" but it's unlikely to be a valid one.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 23, 2010
at 05:53 AM

YOu can't test for 100% sat fat, but you can compare higher levels of various types of fat, saturated, mono, PUFA, etc. That should at least give you and idea if one might be better or worse than another.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 22, 2010
at 03:18 PM

WCC Paul--I think it would still be digestible. Coconut oil is like 90% saturated, and melts around room temperature. When it hits your tongue, it will deliciously melt. On the other hand, a 100% carbon matrix with no impurities will not digest (diamond).

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 22, 2010
at 03:14 PM

There is a paper about the importance of food storage for hunter-gatherers that is not freely available: Testart 1982, "The Significance of Food Storage Among Hunter-Gatherers". I strongly suspect that food storage was important throughout pre-history. When you can't predict weather, animal migration, sickness, etc, then you need food storage to survive, right?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 22, 2010
at 03:06 PM

It's not favoring fat that's the issue, it's adding additional fat that has a higher saturated:MUFA ratio than natural meat fats do (e.g. coconut oil and butter).

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 22, 2010
at 02:35 PM

Along the same lines: If there were such a thing as 100% saturated fat with no impurities then it would be a solid, indigestible block. No?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 22, 2010
at 01:34 PM

You know what I don't understand? Why do paleos never talk about membrane fluidity? That's a purported benefit of PUFA and MUFA vs saturated fat. Yes, PUFA oxidizes easily, and MUFA more easily than SFA. But is membrane fluidity only a problem if you are on SAD, but when you're a paleo than it doesn't provide a benefit when weighed against oxidation?

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on October 22, 2010
at 07:26 AM

That's my point. It's practically impossible to test whether sat fat is the culprit, short of artificially separating fats so that you can consume types individually.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 22, 2010
at 05:46 AM

Oh, and this should take care of "palmitic acid causes insulin resistance": http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2009/09/physiological-insulin-resistance-and.html It kind of shows, actually, a positive benefit for saturated fat such as I'm asking for ... (Palmitic is a kind of saturated.)

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 22, 2010
at 04:22 AM

Can't wait to see the sources! Really, I have yet to see many good studies on it. Most of the ones I see have multiple changed variables and are not well controlled. They end up blaming things on sat fat that could be the fault of other changed variables. And of course, if sat fat comes out looking good, then they just sweep that under the rug..

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 22, 2010
at 04:07 AM

I think favoring fat is totally natural and instinctive. Nothign weird about it. I am sure our paleo ancestors did the same. That is why they spent all that time smashing bones to get at bone marrow. The real question is can it be overdone? I would suspect that in lush tropical environs, we may have once had the option of choosing our favorite parts to eat and leaving the muscle meat to the dogs.. (as the innuit say)

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 22, 2010
at 04:01 AM

How can you eat 100% sat fat diet? Even coconut oil has some percentage of not saturated fats. All natural fats do.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 22, 2010
at 03:59 AM

What kind of moron does not attempt to save and store food if he/she has more than can be stuffed down at that moment? I mean, assuming our paleo ancestors had two brain cells to rub together, then they did too store food! The only reason I could imagine for not storing food is if food was so plentiful and easy to get that it was not necesary.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 22, 2010
at 03:30 AM

Thanks Matthew, I've been looking for something like that. I wish Loren Cordain was my uncle, then I could just throw questions at him "Hey Uncle Loren, how much MUFA is in bone marrow??"

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 22, 2010
at 02:19 AM

Luckily we aren't recreationists. I personally eat my part of my pig grilled the other part baconed and cook eggs in the fat, but even my pork chops give off great fat grease... If I choose to cook veggies with it or eat it with the meat is similar enough metabolically.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 21, 2010
at 11:39 PM

Kamal, here is a couple of studies on marrow fat if you are interested. http://www.asas.org/western08/proceedings/08W0207.pdf http://www.tuarc.trentu.ca/~emorin/Morin-JAS07.pdf

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 21, 2010
at 11:06 PM

The vultures would have loved you in the paleolithic :) you'd have had them following you around everywhere...

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 21, 2010
at 11:04 PM

The vultures would have loved you in the paleolithic :)

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 21, 2010
at 11:01 PM

I know its not the paleolithic but if you do any reading about pretty much any plains indian tribes of north america you'll see that while being pretty much allBison in their diet, they did indeed make jerky consistently, at every kill. two cents.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 21, 2010
at 10:56 PM

80 grams of oil supplements per day...

Efc949694a31043bfce9ec86e8235cd7

(970)

on October 21, 2010
at 10:52 PM

BRAAAAIIIIINNNNSSS!!!! - Obligatory Zombie Reference

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 21, 2010
at 10:50 PM

How about two boars. (We're rehashing the standard Cordain debate, in slow motion.)

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 21, 2010
at 09:36 PM

Sure there is -- locked up inside pork bellies.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 21, 2010
at 08:50 PM

Not much bacon grease in the wild.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 21, 2010
at 06:03 PM

Aha. Well I'd say bacon and bacon fat count as "chowing down on the fatty parts" -- favoring the fatty parts of the animal at the expense of the muscle meat. I think I would still feel hungry if I grilled all my meat. But I also think there are genuine differences between people in the level of fat intake needed for fullness.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 21, 2010
at 05:49 PM

Also, if you're study-hunting, check out the links I put into the comment after Eva's post; might give you some leads? I comment here because it'll alert your account -- may as well err on the side of loquaciousness. Assuming the community will tolerate it if it is in service of the truth, ha.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 21, 2010
at 05:44 PM

I use butter for veggies, most meats go on the grill or cook in their own fats. Bacon grease gets used to cook eggs in, but I'm eating the bacon same time...

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 21, 2010
at 05:42 PM

I'm not denyin' it. Also your previous comment shows that even if the composition of the adipose did correspond directly to what we ate, it might be different now than it was pre-agricultural/pre-industrial. But I posted the Richard link because 1. it is amusing, 2. it at least shows that if you lose the fat you have you'll be digesting a lot of SFA (which doesn't prove that it's good of course--trumped by your two considerations in your two comments) and 3. Richard gives a different number (35) than you gave (30).

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 21, 2010
at 05:36 PM

So you don't ever use butter or tallow? How do you get full? Or are you always eating nose-to-tail and cooking things in a slow cooker to get all the goodies out into the broth? Or just chowing down on the fatty parts?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 21, 2010
at 05:35 PM

Or just chowing down on the fatty parts?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 21, 2010
at 05:35 PM

So you don't ever use butter or tallow? How do you get full? Or are you always eating nose-to-tail and cooking things in a slow cooker to get all the goodies out into the broth?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 21, 2010
at 05:32 PM

Tallow versus lard look here: http://www.chowstat.com/nutrition-facts/nutrient/204/total-lipid-fat?grams=100 These are probably not pastured animals (obviously not in the case of the tallow), but you can get the gist: your answer is in the PUFA, not the MUFA or SFA. Lard has more PUFA. That's why I prefer tallow, and also why I eat much less pork than ruminants. Also because it never tastes as good. Probably because of the PUFA, ha.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 21, 2010
at 05:26 PM

WCC Paul- the composition of our adipose tissue may not be directly correlated with what we should eat. I believe that PUFA and MUFA can be converted to SFA for storage purposes, and I'm sure that carbs and protein can be. In addition, there's fat in other places, like cell membranes and the brain. But, most probably, the bulk of our fat is in our adipose tissue.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 21, 2010
at 05:14 PM

No evidence for jerky?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 21, 2010
at 04:57 PM

I don't think there is any archaeological evidence for any food storage or saving of any kind in the paleolithic....

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 21, 2010
at 04:56 PM

I wonder what the quality of olive oil was...

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 21, 2010
at 03:49 PM

Here's the thing...I can't find that many examples of high sat fat diets in tribes other than equatorial islanders. Few if any of us are equatorial islanders, and I wonder if that makes any difference. 10,000 years in Europe was enough for Europeans to adapt to lactose, so I wonder if Islanders adapted to high sat fat from coconut-heavy diets...and that's why Kitavans are healthy nowadays (maybe they had selection pressure when they were introduced to this diet many thousand years ago?)

9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

(3690)

on October 21, 2010
at 03:39 PM

As for MUFAs vs Sat. fat, I can't really say, but what I can say is that I think tallow is healthier than lard, but not because lard is higher in MUFA. I think that there is no problem with high MUFA consumption, but I really can't say about long term high sat. fat consumption, but my biased opinion is that it's beneficial. Maybe the Kitavans are so healthy on such high carb because of all the protective effects of high sat. fat from coconuts.

9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

(3690)

on October 21, 2010
at 03:35 PM

I probably concluded that while our modern Paleo diets are probably much higher in sat. fat, it could be beneficial from health perspective. Biologically, sat. fats seems to be beneficial even in high amount, but not protein and carbs. Proponents of high fat nutrition like Kurt Harris, Peter from Hyperlipid, Barry Groves, Nora Teresa Gedgaudas, the WAPF and the guys from the perfect health diet convinced me that fat at around 70-80% of the diet is the best way for health even if caveman had more protein than that. Maybe a way to be even healthier than caveman, who knows...

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 21, 2010
at 03:20 PM

Oh yeah...I wondered why this question was giving me deja vu. Did you conclude anything based on the answers?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 21, 2010
at 02:48 PM

Here's the gist of it: Many of us cook our meat and veggies in butter, ghee, or coconut oil. Those things have higher saturated:MUFA ratios than what our ancestors ate or cooked with (for the most part). Not many of our ancestors had access to unlimited coconut oil and butter, so there's a bit of a disconnect in our fatty acid profiles compared to our ancestors. Not saying that's bad, just that introduces an element of unknown. Lots of historical precedent for high-fat diets, but only select tribes had high sat-fat diets.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 21, 2010
at 02:33 PM

On the composition of our own adipose tissue let's not forget the great post from Richard, "Losing Weight is Pretty Much Like Eating Lard": http://freetheanimal.com/2009/04/losing-weight-is-pretty-much-like-eating-lard.html The number he has for saturated is 35; gets it from Tom Naughton, http://www.fathead-movie.com/?p=183 who doesn't give the reference I don't think.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 21, 2010
at 02:32 PM

Butter IS Better

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 21, 2010
at 02:25 PM

@Kamal, here's Stephan's early reviews of the saturated fat literature: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2008/10/saturated-fat-and-risk-of-death-brief.html and http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2008/10/saturated-fat-and-health-brief.html And here is another of interest with some studies: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/07/diet-heart-hypothesis-stuck-at-starting.html

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 21, 2010
at 01:30 PM

Brain fat has lots of PUFA and MUFA. The breakdown is about 20% saturated, with the rest being MUFA, PUFA, and natural trans fats. I don't know about marrow though, could never find that online.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 21, 2010
at 01:27 PM

You know, I wondered about how much cavemen reused fats. On the one hand, there was probably more slow cooking that didn't involve as much reused fats, and on the other hand, it makes sense to conserve fats to prepare for lean times.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 21, 2010
at 01:25 PM

Eva, it was too late at night to get sources. I will hopefully at some point today. This is definitely not a case of "everybody knows"...my day job is reviewing clinical trials!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 21, 2010
at 01:23 PM

Patrick- great question. Adipose tissue saturated fat ranges around 30%, MUFA around 60%, and PUFA around 15%. See here...http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/reprint/50/2/288

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on October 21, 2010
at 07:58 AM

@ Patrik, I've got no hard data on this, but I would have assumed that we are or are supposed to be somewhat akin to other healthy mammals and all the grassfed/wild meat I've looked up has been roughly equal portions of MUFA/SUFA, so that seems a fair rule of thumb.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on October 21, 2010
at 06:26 AM

@Kamal -- what is the composition and make-up of the fat we store on our bodies?

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

(1288)

on October 21, 2010
at 06:18 AM

Yes I totally agree - I think its very healthy to question - and I do wonder if more sat fat is available to us than back then - I wonder if Rosedale http://www.drrosedale.com/healthplan.htm has it tweaked a little better???

Af842c68e3d07fa0e35b4274f3acaeec

on October 21, 2010
at 04:38 AM

I think you are definitely onto something. Though I think that saturated fats from coconut oil are less worrisome, since lauric acid hasn't shown the same slight insulin desensitizing effects of palmitic acid. Still, you'd have to eat a lot of coconuts to get the same amount of fat in one can of coconut milk...

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21 Answers

15
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on October 21, 2010
at 02:37 PM

Why focus on eating Sat Fat or Mufa? Eat animals that ate what they were supposed to.

I think artificially inflating fat is about as helpful as a multivitamin.

The whole point is "Eat Real Food"

I think sometimes we forget this and get excited about reading things to our diets.

Ideally a metabolic advantage would have to be shown to justify extra sat fat for me. Until then, I'll enjoy my Wild Food.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 21, 2010
at 10:50 PM

How about two boars. (We're rehashing the standard Cordain debate, in slow motion.)

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 21, 2010
at 05:35 PM

So you don't ever use butter or tallow? How do you get full? Or are you always eating nose-to-tail and cooking things in a slow cooker to get all the goodies out into the broth?

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 21, 2010
at 05:44 PM

I use butter for veggies, most meats go on the grill or cook in their own fats. Bacon grease gets used to cook eggs in, but I'm eating the bacon same time...

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 21, 2010
at 08:50 PM

Not much bacon grease in the wild.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 21, 2010
at 09:36 PM

Sure there is -- locked up inside pork bellies.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Not that much fat in the average wild boar compared to a domestic pig.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 21, 2010
at 06:03 PM

Aha. Well I'd say bacon and bacon fat count as "chowing down on the fatty parts" -- favoring the fatty parts of the animal at the expense of the muscle meat. I think I would still feel hungry if I grilled all my meat. But I also think there are genuine differences between people in the level of fat intake needed for fullness.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 21, 2010
at 05:36 PM

So you don't ever use butter or tallow? How do you get full? Or are you always eating nose-to-tail and cooking things in a slow cooker to get all the goodies out into the broth? Or just chowing down on the fatty parts?

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 21, 2010
at 11:06 PM

The vultures would have loved you in the paleolithic :) you'd have had them following you around everywhere...

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 22, 2010
at 03:06 PM

It's not favoring fat that's the issue, it's adding additional fat that has a higher saturated:MUFA ratio than natural meat fats do (e.g. coconut oil and butter).

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 21, 2010
at 05:35 PM

Or just chowing down on the fatty parts?

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 21, 2010
at 11:04 PM

The vultures would have loved you in the paleolithic :)

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 22, 2010
at 04:07 AM

I think favoring fat is totally natural and instinctive. Nothign weird about it. I am sure our paleo ancestors did the same. That is why they spent all that time smashing bones to get at bone marrow. The real question is can it be overdone? I would suspect that in lush tropical environs, we may have once had the option of choosing our favorite parts to eat and leaving the muscle meat to the dogs.. (as the innuit say)

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 22, 2010
at 02:19 AM

Luckily we aren't recreationists. I personally eat my part of my pig grilled the other part baconed and cook eggs in the fat, but even my pork chops give off great fat grease... If I choose to cook veggies with it or eat it with the meat is similar enough metabolically.

15
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 21, 2010
at 06:51 AM

Where are any good studies that show saturated fat to be a detriment? I've seen some that found it neutral and I've seen some that found it protective, like from alcoholic liver damage. I haven't seen any that have found damage or negative effects. Instead, what I often see written are words like 'Everyone knows' or 'Studies suggest' and then there are no citations to back it up. And I don't count cross cultural epidemiological studies as decent evidence. They've been working hard to show saturated fat is bad for you. If it's true, by now there should be plenty of causal data! Yet I have not seen it. Please save me some time and cite your sources.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 21, 2010
at 01:25 PM

Eva, it was too late at night to get sources. I will hopefully at some point today. This is definitely not a case of "everybody knows"...my day job is reviewing clinical trials!

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 22, 2010
at 04:22 AM

Can't wait to see the sources! Really, I have yet to see many good studies on it. Most of the ones I see have multiple changed variables and are not well controlled. They end up blaming things on sat fat that could be the fault of other changed variables. And of course, if sat fat comes out looking good, then they just sweep that under the rug..

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 21, 2010
at 02:25 PM

@Kamal, here's Stephan's early reviews of the saturated fat literature: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2008/10/saturated-fat-and-risk-of-death-brief.html and http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2008/10/saturated-fat-and-health-brief.html And here is another of interest with some studies: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/07/diet-heart-hypothesis-stuck-at-starting.html

9
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on April 13, 2011
at 08:24 PM

I often wonder this. Many of us eat our fair share of butter and coconut oil and beef fat and bacon and ghee and cream. all good fats. I eat all of those myself. but is 70% fat intake REALLY ok long term? I eat salads and veggies and fruits and safe starches too, but the amount of fat I consume on purpose is quite high.

I am extremely fit and strong as a bull. I am very fast, have lots of energy, and physically I feel 19 still. BUT sometimes I do have a burning sensation in my chest. I had a fairly bad case of heartburn when I switched to low-carb paleo. It's mostly subsided now, but not completely gone. Honestly it's an unsettling feeling at times. And I've also felt the 'fast heartbeat' that I've heard some others talk about before. I often wonder if the high fat consumption will prove to be incorrect years from now, when it's too late for many of us. This was at the crux behind my post of Incessant Gorging.

We all love the satiety of the good fats. It is a very satisfying food, no doubt, and we all look to multiple sources for sound info, but are we placing too much trust at the hands of the people that we believe wholeheartedly have this figured out?

We live once. This is a great question Kamal.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 14, 2011
at 02:06 AM

..((upvoted))..

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 23, 2011
at 05:47 PM

@Jack - I'm curious, in light of your lipid numbers that you discussed, what are the significant dietary changes you've made. Details please :-)

3
6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on April 11, 2012
at 01:38 AM

I don't know anyone that goes out of their way to eat extra saturated fat, but if we replace all of our cooking oils from seed oil to saturated fats, I think that is not going overboard with the saturated fat. I'm just glad I can eat butter now without any guilt.

3
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on June 18, 2011
at 06:43 PM

Why do you think humans in the paleolithic era preferentially ate muscle and organ meat, when the main source of calories from big game is body fat, to the tune of hundreds of pounds?

If body fat was discarded in preference of muscle and organs, why did paleolithic humans so often expend the effort to crack open large, weight-bearing bones in order to get at the marrow (mostly fat)?

To me it is a matter of common sense that any predator is going to consume a kill as fully as possible. That applies to every other species of predator I have ever heard of. Additionally, most of them first go for the most nutrient-rich sources (organs in the abdomen and head) and then for the main calorie source (fat). Muscle meat being the lowest priority.

I can't think of any reasonable explanation for humans who hunted to live and feed their children expending the insane effort needed to track, hunt, kill, butcher, and transport an animal and then discarding most of the payoff. Of course they ate lots of fat. And unlike muscle meat and organs, saturated animal fat can be refined, stored, and reused safely without refrigeration for some time.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 18, 2011
at 07:35 PM

I did some math. Say a lean elk, at 600lbs/10% body fat. 60 lbs of body fat is around 244,620 calories if I did my math right.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 18, 2011
at 07:43 PM

Now we're getting somewhere! Although...the field weight comes from removing the viscera. I'm presuming they would eat some of the viscera, which is fairly protein rich. The visceral fat is already included in the above bodyfat estimate, I believe.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 18, 2011
at 08:04 PM

Too bad no hunter-gatherers post on paleohacks :(

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 18, 2011
at 07:22 PM

It's also interesting to think about how many of the cultures which developed after the main migration out of Africa and in colder climates, domesticated animals and made dairy fat a main calorie source!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 18, 2011
at 08:03 PM

Yeah, this gets complicated. I'm not sure if fat rendering was around way back when, when pottery and storage vessels were not really around. Also, some fat drips when cooking over a fire. And apparently, some animals have tasty fat while some have gross fat. And who knows how meat was shared (well, someone does probably).

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 18, 2011
at 07:36 PM

Looking up modern stats for how much usable muscle meat you can get from an elk, I found this handy calculation: Whole weight = 1.42 x field-dressed weight, Field-dressed weight (viscera and feet removed)= 0.70 x whole weight, Skinned carcass weight (skin and head removed) = 0.83 x field-dressed weight, Boneless lean = 0.50 x field-dressed weight. So for our 600 lb elk with low body fat you're getting about 210 lbs of lean meat, or roughly 380,520 cals of lean protein (of course this will depend on how much marbling is present in the meat). And that's a lean ungulate!

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 18, 2011
at 07:03 PM

Large mammals who have to survive harsh winters are a very different story re:body comp than African large game. According to Yellowstone scientists, for an elk to survive the winter it has to build up to about 20% body fat, and they are emaciated by the spring. Also for an elk cow to go into heat, they must again be up to around 20% body fat by the mating season (late spring, because everyone must gorge and fatten again to grow antlers and get fertile).

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 18, 2011
at 07:55 PM

I would assume most of the viscera weight is from stomachs and intestines (full of fermenting plant matter and poop) which are discarded. You can't get exact numbers, but I think I got pretty close here. Also consider that unless it's frozen outside or your people make jerky/pemmican like crazy, a lot of that muscle meat will go to waste if you're feeding a smaller group of people.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 18, 2011
at 07:29 PM

Even my Indian brethren, living in very warm climates, eat a good amount of ghee and yogurt. Until they come here and are told to stop.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 18, 2011
at 06:54 PM

Nobody really "thinks" anything with regards to what paleo people ate, there are just different levels of evidence for different regions, and some rampant speculation. It's not really a matter of opinion. However, there are some points intermixed in the above discussion about the fat content of various wild animals. Often (usually?), fat is not the main source of calories, by total body weight. I can't exactly recall, but something like an elk has around 10% bodyfat. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Either way, I'm not coming from the standpoint of "lean meat" paleos, just trying to be accurate

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 18, 2011
at 07:13 PM

Exactly. Humans have been in Europe for about 30,000 years. They've been in Africa for at least 200,000 years, and way before that for our ancestors. If we base our paleo diets largely on what paleo people ate, I don't know why African game are only lightly scrutinized. No matter how many pictures of visceral fat I see, I can't see how a relatively low body fat percentage in game meats translates to how many of us eat.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 18, 2011
at 06:56 PM

Nobody really "thinks" anything with regards to what paleo people ate, there are just different levels of evidence for different regions, and some rampant speculation. It's not really a matter of opinion. However, there are some points intermixed in the above discussion about the fat content of various wild animals. Often (usually?), fat is not the main source of calories, by total body weight. I can't exactly recall, but something like an elk has around 10-15% bodyfat. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Either way, I'm not coming from the standpoint of "lean meat" paleos, just curious.

3
6c42b0de336c7b074acf731f4b5dfa87

on June 18, 2011
at 06:22 PM

For an academic discussion of differing views on the saturated-fat-in-relation-to-heart-disease issue see the March 2010 issue of AJCN - several papers/editorial commentary on what the literature indicates.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 18, 2011
at 06:28 PM

Ah yes, the issue that signaled the crumbling of the lipid hypothesis. "A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD." I edited your answer to embed a link to that issue.

6c42b0de336c7b074acf731f4b5dfa87

on June 18, 2011
at 09:00 PM

(sorry for putting this in two places - I am still learning how to do this.) Thanks for putting the reference link in Kamal. I'll do that next time.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 18, 2011
at 10:30 PM

No problem! If my local sources are correct, I'm thinking you might have an interesting perspective on some of these questions.

6c42b0de336c7b074acf731f4b5dfa87

on June 19, 2011
at 05:48 PM

Ha, I'm busted I guess. :-D . I hope so but I can see this could easily become a gigantic time sink hole so I'll have to take care.

3
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 19, 2011
at 05:38 PM

Don at Primal Wisdom is rapidly building his arsenal against high-fat paleo:

http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2011/05/who-said-paleo-diet-had-high-fat.html

Expect fireworks!

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 20, 2011
at 03:44 PM

Hey, what's up my main man? Good link. I'm very interested in how this argument develops. I wonder if the fat content of ancestral diets would effect the baseline for elimination diets?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 20, 2011
at 05:22 PM

stops my adipose from releasing fat fuel, etc., and then the BG goes down eventually. But why send it up in the first place? Why do that if you don't have to? Longevity? And anyhow you have to eat sooner afterwards. Did you see Don's sample menu for a day's food on that post? Goodness, I would starve on that. My reaction was: "Where's the food?" And who eats four times a day? Guess I'm just set in my KGH-style-paleo ways ....

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 20, 2011
at 06:44 PM

Well I am somewhat influenced by the idea that it just takes a few days to switch back and forth. So of course a fat-eater like myself won't tolerate higher glucose, not because I'm resistant to insulin in a pathological way, but because various things in my body have been readjusted -- e.g., my muscles aren't as sensitive to insulin because they are used to leaving glucose for my brain (Peter's "physiological insulin resistance"). So the idea would be that it would just take me a few days to get my body used to the higher amount of glucose and then the muscles would [Continued]

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 20, 2011
at 05:20 PM

Yo what's up Vitamin K. My thing with the fat/carbs issue is the same thing it's always been: I just feel completely, qualitatively different eating LC. I'll eat more rice/potato/squash PWO (I eat basically zero fructose) but the principle stays the same: I never eat much more glucose than that minimum amount my body needs. To me everything feels completely different when I go into glucose-burning mode, and it feels worse -- *even though I am* (or at least I think I am) *insulin sensitive*. So there's a glucose spike, and it goes away because my insulin turns off my liver and [Continued]

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on May 20, 2011
at 06:16 PM

Yeah, Don's sample diet, and his post in general, were a little unexpected. Funny, because his post seems to have disappeared in the interim. I too can relate to the glucose-minimization feeling. When you tell people that it's possible to have steady energy levels, it's like talking to a brick wall. A brick wall who thinks that you're being an annoying evangelist. I do wonder though, if it just takes a long while to adjust to a paleo diet, and then eating a moderate amount of carbs doesn't have as big of an effect. Although that doesn't logically make sense.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 20, 2011
at 07:55 AM

Melissa M. is already on top of this: http://huntgatherlove.com/content/great-and-mighty-eland Look for the clever placement of the link to Don's post. Though to be fair Melissa ends with a note of skepticism. Good comments, including one from KGH.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 20, 2011
at 05:23 PM

And now I see that Melissa had already brought up her elands right here on this thread ....

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 20, 2011
at 06:47 PM

start taking up more glucose. But if I recall correctly, when Stephan was defending the (evil) Kitavans he said that they still had high glucose after meals, but no long-term insulin resistance. So my point would still hold: why not just do without the glucose? But now I see there could be a middle ground: you get your body used to running more on glucose and you eat *somewhat* more glucose, but not so much to make a big spike? But then we'd have to do some calculation about how much each body part can run on how much glucose, etc.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on May 26, 2011
at 05:29 AM

Mark Sisson sticking to his guns: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/a-metabolic-paradigm-shift-fat-carbs-human-body-metabolism/

3
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 13, 2011
at 08:34 PM

or example, Andrew (Anders) Sparrman (1785), a Swedish naturalist, provides an interesting and fairly detailed early

description of the importance of the male eland as a rich source of fat: " This animal [???Cape-elk??? or eland] has a great deal of fat, especially about the heart: from an old male which we gave chase to and shot, we got such a quantity of fine and tender fat, as we could with difficulty get into a box that would hold about ten pounds of butter. As at the commencement of our journey homewards through the desert, the hounds we had with us had unluckily devoured our stock of butter, a farmer, who still accompanied us, showed us how to prepare the fat from about the heart of the elk, and to use it for dressing victuals with, and for eating on bread in the same manner as is generally practised with goose-grease and hogs-lard. The taste of it also was very similar to these, and to the full as good; and, indeed, if I may be supposed to have been able to form any judgment of the matter at a time when we were so sharp set, and in absolute want of any thing else of the kind, it was rather better.The breast is likewise extremely fat, and is always looked upon as a great delicacy. The flesh is universally of a finer grain, more juicy and better tasted than that of the hart-beest."

Sparrman (1785:207???208)

"The male elks [elands], which are rather aged; and consequently slow and tardy keep apartfrom the rest of the herd; and are generally so fat and heavy, as, in case of being chased, to tire immediately on the first onset. And indeed, of the elk species, the males are always the fattest and largest in the herd, and have evidently a fuller neck than the others; it is likewise these, that the hunter singles out and is sure to come up with first. I have been assured by several people, that some of the younger and fleeter, but at the same time fatter sort of bucks, will sometimes, when they are hard run, drop down dead during the chase; and, that melted fat, as it were, together with the blood, would at that time gush out of their nostrils."

Sparrman (1785:209)Sparrman (1785:209)

From John D. Speth: The Paleoanthropology and Archaeology of Big-Game Hunting: Protein, Fat, or Politics?

Elands are very common in paleolithic deposits and there is indication they were preferentially targeted.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 14, 2011
at 12:24 AM

once it's been exposed to air, breakdown happens. I've had it grow mold...

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 13, 2011
at 09:22 PM

anthropologists believe elands were hunted by driving them off cliffs. Marrow preserves for quite some time and can be scavenged from kills that have been abandoned for a long time as long as bone-crushing scavengers like hyenas don't get there first.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 13, 2011
at 10:46 PM

What if I replace "leaving on the counter" with "leaving in a butter tray in a dark cupboard"? I'd imagine a similar fatty acid content to butter, but more moisture? Maybe moisture is the killer there...

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 13, 2011
at 09:04 PM

Chasing elands sounds like persistence hunting. One thing I've been wondering...after a long hunt, if you feast on the meat/offal/bits, how long do you have before the marrow goes bad? I might not feel like breaking bones that day, but maybe marrow is "preserved" inside bones to a degree.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 13, 2011
at 09:29 PM

Oh yeah, THOSE elands. Funny though...I didn't think there were many cliffs in the savannah in South Africa. That's where I lived as a toddler (apartment, not savannah), and I very vaguely recall wide open plains. I'll try to leave some marrow on the counter and see how long before it gets funky.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 13, 2011
at 09:35 PM

nooo, don't do that. Once the bone has been split/cut, it is exposed to air and light and will oxidize.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 14, 2011
at 02:05 AM

Eww! Okay, no marrow experiment. Thanks for saving me $1.00 (bones are expensive here).

3
873c095a7f019c108ce62afc3aa23683

on October 23, 2010
at 12:10 PM

The transition from paleolithic to neolithic coincides with the end of a 100,000 year long ice age, so our ancestors were creatures of a cold climate. At least those of European ancestry. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ice_Age_Temperature.png Cold climate hunter-gatherers eat a lot of fat. The mega fauna of neolithic Europe and North America, cave bears, ground sloth, mammoth probably would have all carried a fair amount of body fat as would marine mammals, seal, walrus, etc. . It seems likely to me that they would have saved fat for times of poor hunting in the form of pemmican, dried blubber etc. as cold climate hunter gatherers generally have done in historic times.

3
47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 22, 2010
at 05:44 AM

I'm going to answer with another question, and hopefully keep the conversation going. When Jimmy Moore interviewed Kurt Harris, Jimmy asked him at some point why he hadn't put up a post about saturated fat and its benefits. Dr. Harris basically answered that there were enough other people out there posting about it (presumably Peter and Stephan?) that he didn't have to. But as far as I know Peter and Stephan are mostly defending saturated fat against the claim that it is bad. What Dr. H seemed to be saying, on the other hand, was that saturated fat is not just non-bad, but also specifically a positive good. He said something like this (paraphrase): "It's just so obvious to me, as a physician and a nutrition enthusiast, that saturated fat is not only not bad for you, but is actually your body's preferred source of fuel" . . . And then he went on to talk about something else -- leaving me yelling: no . . . Jimmy! . . . don't let him move on to another topic! It was like Fermat scribbling in the margins that he had a quick and easy proof of his theorem and then just forgetting about it.

So what is it then? Because I've noticed something about the way we've been discussing this (including myself here of course). If the only thing we can come up with as the positive good for saturated fat is that it doesn't oxidize as readily, both in the pan and in the body, then why are we letting monounsaturated fat off the hook? Because it is also one of our more or less basic beliefs that excess polyunsaturated fat is bad for you, and that it's bad for you because it oxidizes so readily (leading some to even suggest it as the real culprit in heart disease, like Masterjohn; PUFAs are just more "reactive"). But if this is the case, then, to put it crudely, isn't monounsaturated fat just somewhere between polyunsaturated and saturated? (In that there is one pair of carbon atoms without two hydrogens bonded on each instead of two pairs, or three pairs, or whatever.) And if this is so, why are we asking if we're eating too much saturated fat? Shouldn't we be asking if we're eating too much monounsaturated fat?

Is it just because we think we have evidence from good research showing us why saturated is bad? Is it just the anthropological/ecological evidence about what an animal's body usually contains? Couldn't the "just so obvious" argument that Dr. H never gave us overrule this? Couldn't my argument about oxidation overrule this? Bring it on.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 22, 2010
at 05:46 AM

Oh, and this should take care of "palmitic acid causes insulin resistance": http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2009/09/physiological-insulin-resistance-and.html It kind of shows, actually, a positive benefit for saturated fat such as I'm asking for ... (Palmitic is a kind of saturated.)

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 22, 2010
at 03:18 PM

WCC Paul--I think it would still be digestible. Coconut oil is like 90% saturated, and melts around room temperature. When it hits your tongue, it will deliciously melt. On the other hand, a 100% carbon matrix with no impurities will not digest (diamond).

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 22, 2010
at 01:34 PM

You know what I don't understand? Why do paleos never talk about membrane fluidity? That's a purported benefit of PUFA and MUFA vs saturated fat. Yes, PUFA oxidizes easily, and MUFA more easily than SFA. But is membrane fluidity only a problem if you are on SAD, but when you're a paleo than it doesn't provide a benefit when weighed against oxidation?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 22, 2010
at 02:35 PM

Along the same lines: If there were such a thing as 100% saturated fat with no impurities then it would be a solid, indigestible block. No?

Medium avatar

(624)

on October 31, 2013
at 10:54 PM

MUFA are not very oxidizable compared to SFA...

This graph comes from perfecthealthdiet.com

http://perfecthealthdiet.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/PUFA-relative-peroxidizability.jpg

The #:0 is SFA's, the #:1 is MUFA's, and the #:2+ is PUFA's .... As you can see, almost no difference in oxidizability between MUFA and SFA....

3
3c7ae2aec385cb1e2cdbf18fed30c0fe

on October 21, 2010
at 08:39 AM

Don't forget marrow fat & brains.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 21, 2010
at 01:30 PM

Brain fat has lots of PUFA and MUFA. The breakdown is about 20% saturated, with the rest being MUFA, PUFA, and natural trans fats. I don't know about marrow though, could never find that online.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 21, 2010
at 11:39 PM

Kamal, here is a couple of studies on marrow fat if you are interested. http://www.asas.org/western08/proceedings/08W0207.pdf http://www.tuarc.trentu.ca/~emorin/Morin-JAS07.pdf

Efc949694a31043bfce9ec86e8235cd7

(970)

on October 21, 2010
at 10:52 PM

BRAAAAIIIIINNNNSSS!!!! - Obligatory Zombie Reference

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 22, 2010
at 03:30 AM

Thanks Matthew, I've been looking for something like that. I wish Loren Cordain was my uncle, then I could just throw questions at him "Hey Uncle Loren, how much MUFA is in bone marrow??"

2
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on April 13, 2011
at 06:37 PM

Here is an exhaustive answer provided by Kurt Harris:

http://www.archevore.com/panu-weblog/2011/4/9/jousting-with-the-atlantic.html

Basically, it says that a relatively high fat diet (~60% kcals from fat) jives with ancestral meat consumption, vis a vis fat content of wild game.

2
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 21, 2010
at 12:34 PM

I used to think olive oil was healthy - thanks to media propaganda. Lately, I just thought it was neutral - until I read this over at Hyperlipid:

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2009/09/palmitic-acid-based-food-vs-olive-oil.html

"They had three comparable groups of heart attack victims. One third were left alone to eat eggs, cream, sausages etc, you get the message. I was there in the 1960s in England and we ate that sort of stuff all the time, it was just food. Olive oil was a novelty and I'd never heard of corn oil. The other two groups got oil supplements."

"Fascinatingly they had two cases of diabetes, one in the olive oil group and one in the corn oil group. Both occurred on adding the oil and ameliorated on withdrawal. BUT BUT BUT you gasp, saturated fat, PALMITIC ACID for crying out loud, causes insulin resistance. Lovely oleic acid, darling of Dr Clegg's massive project, does not cause insulin resistance. Surely diabetes is insulin resistance caused by saturated fat? Well, it's your life. Clegg says oleic acid is the health nectar of the gods. Rose has noticed a reversible diabetes trigger and has a body count. Your choice!"

"Finally my view about olive oil:

Not as bad as corn oil but butter is better!"

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on October 21, 2010
at 02:32 PM

Butter IS Better

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 21, 2010
at 04:56 PM

I wonder what the quality of olive oil was...

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 21, 2010
at 10:56 PM

80 grams of oil supplements per day...

6c42b0de336c7b074acf731f4b5dfa87

on June 18, 2011
at 08:52 PM

Consider also genetic variation - or, different strokes for different folks (pun not intended but appreciated).

2
1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on October 21, 2010
at 07:47 AM

Have there been any studies that have examined the health effects of eating a 100% sat fat diet? Or even a 100% fat diet? Everything has to be considered in context. Were the fats eaten raw? If cooked, how long for, at what heat? Could you give us some links, mayhaps?

AGEs have been getting a lot of air time lately - it does seem that perhaps it's not a matter of the MUFA/SFA breakdowns that matter, but the context within which they are consumed.

But since we have probably only uncovered about 10% of everything there is to know about nutrition, it makes sense to follow evolution as closely as possible.

Personally, I've used food trackers to examine the particulars of my fat consumption, and sat fats really aren't that impressive. I consume mostly MUFAs, not for lack of trying. But since I tend to use leftover bacon grease and other animal fats like lard, then I'm not in the same boat as those taking a more vegetarian approach. I probably should pump up the coconut oil consumption again though - my skin is feeling a bit dry now that we're getting a few lovely sunny days again...

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on October 22, 2010
at 07:26 AM

That's my point. It's practically impossible to test whether sat fat is the culprit, short of artificially separating fats so that you can consume types individually.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on October 23, 2010
at 07:33 AM

But doing so would endlessly complicate matters through introduced variables. Are you somehow using the exact same food with variable fat levels? How have those fat levels been varied? You can't compare someone who tops their salad with EVOO with someone who uses CCO - they're totally different oils with differing nutritional qualities. You might get "an idea" but it's unlikely to be a valid one.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 22, 2010
at 04:01 AM

How can you eat 100% sat fat diet? Even coconut oil has some percentage of not saturated fats. All natural fats do.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 23, 2010
at 05:53 AM

YOu can't test for 100% sat fat, but you can compare higher levels of various types of fat, saturated, mono, PUFA, etc. That should at least give you and idea if one might be better or worse than another.

1
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on April 11, 2012
at 02:29 AM

Yeah, man. THis is where I feel like paleo is a major faleo.

1
Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 13, 2011
at 07:24 PM

I would say my only true concern is environmental pollutants that an animal might store in its fat. Watched "Gasland" recently and it was pretty mind blowing. I do think it could be something of a concern given how prevalent it is, particularly when it comes to animals' drinking water. The benefits outweigh the risks I'm sure, and obviously it's not the fat's fault but it is a consideration.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 13, 2011
at 08:25 PM

yeah, i guess i was talking about human stupidity and the thing is, sometimes toxins do get stored in fat. Obviously I'm not going vegan anytime soon and I agree with you. I buy the best available meat raised in the healthiest way whenever I can. My husband and I had an "Oh shit" moment recently watching this movie "gasland"- to sum it up, these insane airborn and water pollutants were being released right next to a bunch of grass fed cattle that were going to be sold. What could the farmer do? he needs to make a living. But obviously no healthy animal could filter out that much pollution.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on April 13, 2011
at 08:33 PM

great comments tartare

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on April 13, 2011
at 08:06 PM

here's the thing though. if that's our world, then that's what we have to live with. if you are talking about manmade pollutants, then if the animals that we are eating are not properly filtering the unnatural 'environmental pollutions' that they are getting in their natural habitat or in healthy raising, then we can just chalk up the 'toxins' from that to one big giant human stupidity. as for me, I choose to eat the best animal meat available and count it good. what's the alternative? vegan? no thx.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 13, 2011
at 08:29 PM

problem is, this natural gas drilling practice is happening all over the place, in places we might consider "pastoral" - the Pennsylvania countryside, the rockies and in the main agricultural center on the US. So, its mostly about water... even a fastidious farmer can't control whats going on outside of his land. We pay a premium for grass fed beef, and we assume its healthy. I guess it opened my eyes to the need to set stricter environmental policies about this kind of thing, even though I've always had an environmentalist mindset.

1
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on March 20, 2011
at 12:10 AM

I say yes because he are part of the food chain that has been over fed grain. Evrything was leaner before easy cheap grain was used to fed people and animals. But I'm not worried about too much because on a whole, I eat far less- better quality food - more veggies (real ones) than ever before - and never any wheat. I feel gooooood !

1
9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

on October 21, 2010
at 02:50 PM

I started an interesting discussion on the subject asking about Robb Wolf's coverage of fats in his book:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/11183/anybody-else-seeing-a-problem-with-robb-wolfs-coverage-of-fats-in-his-new-book#axzz130N5uzrx

9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

(3690)

on October 21, 2010
at 03:39 PM

As for MUFAs vs Sat. fat, I can't really say, but what I can say is that I think tallow is healthier than lard, but not because lard is higher in MUFA. I think that there is no problem with high MUFA consumption, but I really can't say about long term high sat. fat consumption, but my biased opinion is that it's beneficial. Maybe the Kitavans are so healthy on such high carb because of all the protective effects of high sat. fat from coconuts.

9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

(3690)

on October 21, 2010
at 03:35 PM

I probably concluded that while our modern Paleo diets are probably much higher in sat. fat, it could be beneficial from health perspective. Biologically, sat. fats seems to be beneficial even in high amount, but not protein and carbs. Proponents of high fat nutrition like Kurt Harris, Peter from Hyperlipid, Barry Groves, Nora Teresa Gedgaudas, the WAPF and the guys from the perfect health diet convinced me that fat at around 70-80% of the diet is the best way for health even if caveman had more protein than that. Maybe a way to be even healthier than caveman, who knows...

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 21, 2010
at 03:49 PM

Here's the thing...I can't find that many examples of high sat fat diets in tribes other than equatorial islanders. Few if any of us are equatorial islanders, and I wonder if that makes any difference. 10,000 years in Europe was enough for Europeans to adapt to lactose, so I wonder if Islanders adapted to high sat fat from coconut-heavy diets...and that's why Kitavans are healthy nowadays (maybe they had selection pressure when they were introduced to this diet many thousand years ago?)

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 21, 2010
at 05:32 PM

Tallow versus lard look here: http://www.chowstat.com/nutrition-facts/nutrient/204/total-lipid-fat?grams=100 These are probably not pastured animals (obviously not in the case of the tallow), but you can get the gist: your answer is in the PUFA, not the MUFA or SFA. Lard has more PUFA. That's why I prefer tallow, and also why I eat much less pork than ruminants. Also because it never tastes as good. Probably because of the PUFA, ha.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 21, 2010
at 03:20 PM

Oh yeah...I wondered why this question was giving me deja vu. Did you conclude anything based on the answers?

1
0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

on October 21, 2010
at 02:16 PM

http://www.head-smashed-in.com/. I'd love to tour that site. Just the name shows the fat-lust for brain and marrow. There is mention of rendering pits to boil down fat.

But to the original query, it is certainly difficult to pin down a perfect Paleo diet. But only to operate in metabolic parameters we evolved with. We have incredible abundance, and that would mean artificially high levels of dreamy sat fats! I err to the high fat side, but only natural fats, mainly animal sourced.

1
7f7069fc4d8d2456cec509d0f9e9bb34

(865)

on October 21, 2010
at 06:02 AM

cavemen conserved fats and reused them. Sure. like we hold onto drippings and add the to other food to make it taste better(and be more healthy). It is not like they were camping all of the time. They were camping for the long term. Like prisoners do now in federal joints. You figure out how to get the things that you want, and paleo peeps wanted secure stores of food. And they got it from making lard, jerkey and suet. This is what they lived on, in addition to the deity supplied salad/tuber jam. But meat and fat is what they couldcount on. just my 2 speculative cents

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 21, 2010
at 05:14 PM

No evidence for jerky?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 21, 2010
at 11:01 PM

I know its not the paleolithic but if you do any reading about pretty much any plains indian tribes of north america you'll see that while being pretty much allBison in their diet, they did indeed make jerky consistently, at every kill. two cents.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 22, 2010
at 03:59 AM

What kind of moron does not attempt to save and store food if he/she has more than can be stuffed down at that moment? I mean, assuming our paleo ancestors had two brain cells to rub together, then they did too store food! The only reason I could imagine for not storing food is if food was so plentiful and easy to get that it was not necesary.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 21, 2010
at 04:57 PM

I don't think there is any archaeological evidence for any food storage or saving of any kind in the paleolithic....

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 21, 2010
at 01:27 PM

You know, I wondered about how much cavemen reused fats. On the one hand, there was probably more slow cooking that didn't involve as much reused fats, and on the other hand, it makes sense to conserve fats to prepare for lean times.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on October 22, 2010
at 03:14 PM

There is a paper about the importance of food storage for hunter-gatherers that is not freely available: Testart 1982, "The Significance of Food Storage Among Hunter-Gatherers". I strongly suspect that food storage was important throughout pre-history. When you can't predict weather, animal migration, sickness, etc, then you need food storage to survive, right?

0
Ba20b502cf02b5513ea8c4bb2740d8cb

on August 14, 2013
at 04:35 AM

I'm not sure, and I'm not an expert on what amount of fat is generally "good for me" but if I feel good and have high energy levels than I will continue to eat bacon on a daily basis.

Please pass the pork.

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