8

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Is saturated fat ever a bad thing? Or...can it be made to do bad things?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 29, 2010 at 1:50 PM

So, I just referred to this in another thread, and someone asked a similar question on this forum, but I'm still looking for a more detailed answers.

I know that saturated fat is a good thing, but all good things can be perverted by bad circumstances. I'm wondering when our well-meaning love of saturated fat - whether it be shots of bacon grease or cream with a dash of coffee - can actually harm us.

The obvious one is overeating. Overeating anything is bad, but, I wonder, is there anything especially dangerous about overeating fats rather than carbs? Most carbs, after all, seem to be more "easily digestible."

The one I have the most problem with is quality. I just flat-out cannot afford grass-fed beef, and learning to take advantage of our plentiful deer supply is far off for me. Same for pastured dairy - can't afford it. The best I can do is with local eggs that are from this woman who feeds her chickens "laying mash" - still mostly grains, but at least they do get some bugs, being outside and all. So my sat fat supply is mostly from industrial sources.

I've decided I'd rather be present at the one meal our family eats together, so I'm not avoiding industrial meat anymore either. Should I take Art de Vany's advice and "trim the fat" from those cuts?

And, as I asked in my other thread, can any of the dark horsemen of the SAD - sugar, vegetable oil, gluten - er, possess, or zombify the sat fat and make it do evil deeds? I've heard a few things about fat living up to the danger hype when it is accompanied by high levels of fructose.

Thanks, -Jeff

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on June 30, 2010
at 08:12 PM

Hmm Jeff, I dunno, CRP tends to drop like a stone on LC/HF even with lots of sat fat at the beginning. I'd like to see what Dr. Ayers is basing that on.. although he is pretty much on the ball with most things, I would take it on faith had it not directly contradicted my own experience.

8c5fba7747aef48ee472e082334054e7

(120)

on June 30, 2010
at 08:22 AM

Dr. Art Ayers also says something similar on his page: "Saturated fats appear to be problematical primarily if chronic inflammation is established. Saturated fats are healthy in the absence of inflammation." http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.com/search/label/anti-inflammatory%20diet Which brings me to wonder: if someone, having eaten the SAD their entire lives and suffering the inflammatory consequences, switches suddenly to a high-fat diet, could they be doing themselves some harm? Would it be best, then, to ease off the sugars and grains first and gradually up the fat intake?

8c5fba7747aef48ee472e082334054e7

(120)

on June 30, 2010
at 02:51 AM

Sorry Scott, I guess I meant processed carbs, as Stephen-Aegis managed to intuit below... I guess my thought process was that the only upside to them being so easily digestible was that in the event of a binge, at least it wouldn't take too long for your system to do the extra work to get it through. But what the hell do I know. I second that kudos on the article, Felix. But it makes me even more convinced that you do kind of have to pick sides at some point, that graduality of implementing Paleo has its limits. If you want to eat tons of eggs and meat, then you can't have the bread too...

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on June 29, 2010
at 09:29 PM

Whoa, Felix! I hadn't seen that article yet. A wealth of info and insight. Thanks.

3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on June 29, 2010
at 04:30 PM

I guess you mean this one? http://www.meandmydiabetes.com/2010/03/24/loren-cordain-caution-on-saturated-fats-disaster-with-grains-will-be-public-after-march-25th/

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on June 29, 2010
at 02:42 PM

I believe I somewhere read that saturated bad can live up to the hype when accompanied with high amount of carbohydrates.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on June 29, 2010
at 02:37 PM

I don't have a good answer for you, Jeff, but I wonder where you heard this: *Most carbs, after all, seem to be more "easily digestible."*

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6 Answers

3
3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on June 30, 2010
at 07:23 PM

Hey Jeff,

I don't personally eat a TON of sat fats like those of northern European or Inuit descent but I do consume a high sat fat diet 25-50% from calories total. On days of intermittent fasting, coffee + coconut milk = 97% saturated fat!! This is WAY higher than CW 8 to 10 % saturated fat intake. My cholesterol intake is extremely high too in the form of 2-3 egg yolks on average most days and never cutting the fat off of pork, beef, lamb and eating straight coconut milk, coconut oil and GHEE/cultured butter...

Here are some studies showing the benefits of saturated fats for health and preventing coronary artery disease: http://drbganimalpharm.blogspot.com/search/label/Benefits%20of%20High-Saturated%20Fat%20Diets

Oh I go low fat on high carb days otherwise high carb makes me fat and high carb + high fat makes me REALLY fat. We are not ordained genetically to burn both carbs and fat simultaneously I don't think...

Hope that helps...! G

2
1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on June 30, 2010
at 02:33 AM

Paleo foods might not be as expensive as the impression you have been given.

Grass fed bison is carried at $5 a pound in most of the supermarkets around Boston. A $1.69 can of coconut milk from whole foods provides 72 grams of saturated fat, 720 calories.

These are two of the cheap staples of my diet.

2
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on June 29, 2010
at 02:47 PM

My weak understand lies in potential complications if you also have a leaky gut

Potentially as you addressed, fat soluble crap that industrial meat is eating too

Trimming up industrial meat is sound advice, I think when it comes to grainfed, lean is definitely preferred

Processed food is more easily digestible, doesn't make it healthier. Digestion is a whole other topic tho.

When I must eat grainfed, I trim heavily then get fat thru avocado, coconut or other controlled sat fat and supplement fish oil to balance my omegas

1
Df11e66ec4dd4f749eca409633b6a3fb

(595)

on June 30, 2010
at 11:10 AM

Just a few small suggestions on saving money on grass-fed/pastured meats: Costco sells grasssfed ground beef frequently, and you should take a look at the "weird cuts" at a farmer's market (here, they are less than half the price of steak).

1
89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on June 30, 2010
at 06:47 AM

Just some thoughts (inspired by the article linked in the comments):

if saturated fat "only becomes very hazardous when (they) are eaten in combination with grains, beans, dairy, high-sugar foods or other foods that tend to increase inflammation"

then the problem is not the sat fat, but the other stuff, isn't it?

And then, the more you eat saturated fat, the less you will eat that other stuff?

So if you can't eat paleo style, and have to eat the other stuff, you don't have to avoid the saturated fats? Because it is a relative thing, and because of the effects on satiety of fats.

Is my (non-expert) reasoning flawed?

It seems that what Cordain (and some others) said in the quote above, only makes sense if you have believed for a long time that saturated fats were dangerous (the CW position). Now more scientists agree that saturated fats per se are not bad, but it is the combination that seems to bee the problem. We, lipophyles, know better?

PS: I understand and agree that with the saturated fats, you can ingest contaminants from conventionally raised animals, and that these are best avoided. But then again, this is not an argument against saturated fat, but against the contaminents in them.

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on June 30, 2010
at 08:12 PM

Hmm Jeff, I dunno, CRP tends to drop like a stone on LC/HF even with lots of sat fat at the beginning. I'd like to see what Dr. Ayers is basing that on.. although he is pretty much on the ball with most things, I would take it on faith had it not directly contradicted my own experience.

8c5fba7747aef48ee472e082334054e7

(120)

on June 30, 2010
at 08:22 AM

Dr. Art Ayers also says something similar on his page: "Saturated fats appear to be problematical primarily if chronic inflammation is established. Saturated fats are healthy in the absence of inflammation." http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.com/search/label/anti-inflammatory%20diet Which brings me to wonder: if someone, having eaten the SAD their entire lives and suffering the inflammatory consequences, switches suddenly to a high-fat diet, could they be doing themselves some harm? Would it be best, then, to ease off the sugars and grains first and gradually up the fat intake?

0
A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

on June 30, 2010
at 08:19 PM

I really don't think (toxin and antibiotic issues aside) that saturated fat is bad in any context. But I'm open to be proven wrong.

I hear a lot of opinions but can anyone show me some scientific evidence in humans that SAFA in combination with any food is worse than the food alone?

Palmatic acid does create temporary insulin resistance which might lead to glucose hanging around a bit longer in the system, but the overall curve is flatter due to the fat slowing down the digestion of the carb into the bloodstream, so in my head it's a wash.

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