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What is Robb Wolf's stance on saturated/animal fat?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 07, 2011 at 6:02 AM

It seems just from reading a few things from Robb Wolf, he advocated "lean meats". Along with Loren Cordain. It seems that would reduce overall fat intake quite a bit as well. It seems he's quite a respected guy in the paleo community, but why "lean meats?"

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 07, 2011
at 11:53 PM

The omega-imbalance in CAFO beef is really overstated. Beef isn't a high omega-3 food to begin with, grass-fed or not! It's low in PUFAs so any ratio to be had there, has minimal effect on diet when compared to other dietary sources of PUFAs.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on December 07, 2011
at 11:42 PM

I'm interested to see Cordain's new book, to see exactly what he has to say about the matter.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on December 07, 2011
at 10:59 PM

That "holy cats" deal gig schtick is off the hook, Raydawg.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on December 07, 2011
at 09:50 PM

Yup, exactly what he said. He also says "Holy Cats!"

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 07, 2011
at 06:10 PM

Cordian merely qualified his view on SaFA. SaFA is still atherogenic. Will it kill you if you do Paleo and SaFA, probably not, but it's still inflammatory and causes atherosclerosis.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 07, 2011
at 06:08 PM

Cordain has not revised his view on saturated fat. He still thinks it's inflammatory and causes atherosclerosis. What he said is that SaFA is worse when taken with higy-glycemic and processed carbs, not as bad when consumed as part of a Paleo low-glycemic diet. But still bad since it's atherogenic and specifically, inflammatory -- the same way he still abjures grains, including white rice.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on December 07, 2011
at 01:00 PM

This is exactly right. The problem isn't with fat per se, it's with the way the animals are raised. Conventionally produced meats (which are the choice of about 97% of the US population) are way out of whack with a terrible omega 6/3 ratio. There is also the issue of toxins and such being stored in the fat tissues. If you are eating 100% grassfed/pastured meats (or wild game), enjoy your fats. If you are buying your meats from the grocery store, choose lean cuts and get your fat in other places.

Db4ad76f6f307a6f577e175710049172

(2297)

on December 07, 2011
at 07:52 AM

I remember hearing "lean meats" with conventional meat, and it makes sense, since that's where all the bad stuff is. Also conventional fat tastes bad.

Medium avatar

(10663)

on December 07, 2011
at 06:33 AM

Yes he says eating wild meat will naturally be less in saturated fat and omega-6.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on December 07, 2011
at 06:24 AM

If you put "lean" in front of "meat" then people will be less terrified. Robb endorses eating fatty meat, it seems to be a semantic thing.

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5 Answers

7
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on December 07, 2011
at 06:28 AM

If you put "lean" in front of "meat" then people will be less terrified. Robb endorses eating fatty meat, it seems to be a rhetorical thing.

He has also said that he thinks that if people are eating commercial meats to choose leaner cuts to reduce toxins, I think. Somebody correct me if he didn't. Either way it seems to be mostly rhetorical.

Medium avatar

(10663)

on December 07, 2011
at 06:33 AM

Yes he says eating wild meat will naturally be less in saturated fat and omega-6.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on December 07, 2011
at 10:59 PM

That "holy cats" deal gig schtick is off the hook, Raydawg.

Db4ad76f6f307a6f577e175710049172

(2297)

on December 07, 2011
at 07:52 AM

I remember hearing "lean meats" with conventional meat, and it makes sense, since that's where all the bad stuff is. Also conventional fat tastes bad.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on December 07, 2011
at 09:50 PM

Yup, exactly what he said. He also says "Holy Cats!"

3
B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on December 07, 2011
at 06:19 AM

If you read Rob's book, listen to his pod casts or read his blog, you'll quickly learn that he has no issue with saturated / animal fats - with the proviso that the animals are pasture raised / wild to maintain its correct fatty acid profile.

In fact he often brings up the point that Loren Cordain as adjusted his stance on saturated fats and is now more accepting of them.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 07, 2011
at 06:10 PM

Cordian merely qualified his view on SaFA. SaFA is still atherogenic. Will it kill you if you do Paleo and SaFA, probably not, but it's still inflammatory and causes atherosclerosis.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on December 07, 2011
at 01:00 PM

This is exactly right. The problem isn't with fat per se, it's with the way the animals are raised. Conventionally produced meats (which are the choice of about 97% of the US population) are way out of whack with a terrible omega 6/3 ratio. There is also the issue of toxins and such being stored in the fat tissues. If you are eating 100% grassfed/pastured meats (or wild game), enjoy your fats. If you are buying your meats from the grocery store, choose lean cuts and get your fat in other places.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on December 07, 2011
at 11:42 PM

I'm interested to see Cordain's new book, to see exactly what he has to say about the matter.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 07, 2011
at 11:53 PM

The omega-imbalance in CAFO beef is really overstated. Beef isn't a high omega-3 food to begin with, grass-fed or not! It's low in PUFAs so any ratio to be had there, has minimal effect on diet when compared to other dietary sources of PUFAs.

2
Medium avatar

(10663)

on December 07, 2011
at 06:28 AM

Mark Sisson and Gary Taubes are also well-respected here but they advocate saturated fats and cholesterol. Heck, Sisson even encourages eating chicken skin which most people here are afraid of because of the omega-6 content. Sisson recently posted an article of why we should eat more animal fats: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-eating-animals-makes-everything-easier/
And I second what Rhubarb said: Robb Wolf has posted on his blog that it's more important to avoid things that cause inflammation such as lectins. When we eat Paleo, abstain from smoking and excessive exercise, minimize alcohol, and lower stress, "we do not need to be so caught up with saturated fats." He also highly criticizes the Ancel Keys study showing that saturated fats cause cardiovascular disease.
And if you didn't know already, Cordain has revised his views on saturated fats as well as Andrew Weil and agree that it doesn't pose a health problem.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on December 07, 2011
at 06:08 PM

Cordain has not revised his view on saturated fat. He still thinks it's inflammatory and causes atherosclerosis. What he said is that SaFA is worse when taken with higy-glycemic and processed carbs, not as bad when consumed as part of a Paleo low-glycemic diet. But still bad since it's atherogenic and specifically, inflammatory -- the same way he still abjures grains, including white rice.

1
94a4a87e3d2e1e9160b6ed77678b4bea

(1311)

on December 07, 2011
at 10:51 PM

I think there is a post on PH somewhere which puts this to bed - that basically when we say "lean" meat we actually mean as natural as possible ie. grass fed and better Omega-3 ratio therefore closer to a natural state of being for the animal and how "Grok" would have eaten if you like. This is opposed to grain fed with high Omega-6 and what I would call almost a franken-fat. In other words "lean" is not referring the amount of fat on the cut of meat but rather the type of fat.

0
2db7df180a680f63671e8b315ec3d468

on December 07, 2011
at 11:49 PM

I suggest you read this post from MDA: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/lean-meat/

In it he talks about Cordain's view on saturated fat/fatty meats. Basically, fatty meat is delectable. Get in on it. The reason why people say "lean" is because most of us are still getting our meat from grocery stores that only stock grain-fed animals. As a result, these animals are higher in Omega 6 fats which is bad for us. So we should eat the lean cuts of this commercial meat to avoid the Omega 6s. BUT, if your meat is grass-fed eat all the fat you want and don't worry about it. Fat = friend!

Another good article about lean meat is Hunt Gather Love's post about the "Faileo Diet": http://huntgatherlove.com/content/are-you-faileo-diet

Hope this helps!

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