Saturated Fat is not the Devil


Once again the sides line up to do battle. This time the skirmish is about an Editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine:

Saturated fat does not clog the arteries: coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions

There are a huge number of opposition posts  -including this one from Science Alert. I chose that one since it has a number of links to other material.

This battle will continue until real assessments can be accomplished. Even then – how do you control what people eat over a lifetime? How can you set up two groups with only one variable differentiating them – when it comes to eating – and let’s not ignore exercise and other lifestyle activities? 

I eat a substantial amount of saturated fat – if you compare my diet to those who eat low fat and avoid saturated fats. But – they are not eating Very Low Carb – and they are not eliminating processed foods – and they are not limiting added sugar – and they may not be exercising 6 days a week – and – and……….

Still the belief that you can actually determine that saturated fat is always the devil’s spawn goes on.



Fat, Sugar and the Holidays


Great Article from US News and World Report published on Yahoo – entitled: Fat, Sugar and Grandma’s Cooking. That article is by James J. DiNicolantonio. PharmD, one of the authors of the forthcoming paper entitled The Evidence for Saturated Fat and for Sugar Related to Coronary Heart Disease in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, by James J. DiNicolantonio, Sean C. Lucan, and James H. O’Keefe.

The Abstract from that paper states:

This paper reviews the evidence linking saturated fats and sugars to CHD, and concludes that the latter is more of a problem than the former. Dietary guidelines should shift focus away from reducing saturated fat, and from replacing saturated fat with carbohydrates, specifically when these carbohydrates are refined. To reduce the burden of CHD, guidelines should focus particularly on reducing intake of concentrated sugars, specifically the fructose-containing sugars like sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup in the form of ultra-processed foods and beverages.

DiNicolantonio elaborates on the study in the online article.

The problem is not the sugars that are inherent to foods, but the sugars added to them (generally in obscenely large quantities that wreak havoc in our bodies). Think cakes, cookies, pies, candies, and sugary drinks. These items behave more like sugar-delivery systems for some kind of experiment. And the experiment is not going well for our hearts and health.

The potential detriments of big doses of sugar are too extensive to discuss in detail here. But as we explain in our paper, diets high in sugar may induce many abnormalities associated with elevated risk for heart disease. The list includes hormone alterations, liver disease, and changes in cholesterol-carrying LDL (in addition to increased risk for obesity and diabetes). In fact, diets high in added sugars have been found to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease threefold!

I may be a Very Low Carb Guy, but all of the holiday parties that started with Halloween, through Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and ending with New Years, are upon us.  I am going to go to the parties and enjoy.  I am not going to make a pig out of myself.  My Carb Snob Meter is going to work overtime.  Why else do I bother living the life I do, if it is not to enjoy when the opportunity is right.

Happy Holidays!

Soybean & Vegetable Oils – The New Evil.

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Eating a Very Low Carb High Fat (ketogenic) diet meant increasing dietary fats.  The question has always been which fat?

Over the last 40 some odd years – we have been instructed to decrease and limit Saturated fat and replace this with Polyunsaturated fats from vegetables.  Try to buy a product without Soybean Oil.  Almost impossible.

I’ve limited vegetable oils and switched to Coconut Oil and Olive Oil.  Why – because I was concerned with the balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6.  I’ve even switched to Canola oil when I need to deep fat fry or when I want an over-the-counter Mayonnaise. It is not the best – but not the worst.  Now there is a new argument against vegetable oils.  They may be worse than Fructose in negatively impacting weight and diabetes.

Check out this Article in UCR Today:

Soybean Oil Causes More Obesity Than Coconut Oil and Fructose

UC Riverside scientists found mice on high soybean oil diet showed increased levels of weight gain and diabetes compared to mice on a high fructose diet or high coconut oil diet

The scientists fed male mice a series of four diets that contained 40 percent fat, similar to what Americans currently consume. In one diet the researchers used coconut oil, which consists primarily of saturated fat. In the second diet about half of the coconut oil was replaced with soybean oil, which contains primarily polyunsaturated fats and is a main ingredient in vegetable oil. That diet corresponded with roughly the amount of soybean oil Americans currently consume.

The other two diets had added fructose, comparable to the amount consumed by many Americans. All four diets contained the same number of calories and there was no significant difference in the amount of food eaten by the mice on the diets.

The really fun conclusion – eating coconut oil was better than eating soybean oil or fructose.  The mice gained less weight and showed less negative impact:

Compared to mice on the high coconut oil diet, mice on the high soybean oil diet showed increased weight gain, larger fat deposits, a fatty liver with signs of injury, diabetes and insulin resistance, all of which are part of the Metabolic Syndrome.

The actual study was published on July 22, 2015 in the journal POS ONE.  If you are a Science Nerd – enjoy the read.

It is nice to know that my attempt to limit products with soybean oil and other vegetable oils was not for naught. Once again we are confronted with governmental nutrition dictates that have led us astray.