The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Saturated Fat Vindicated?

January 27th, 2010 · 2 Comments · Posted in food news


Not all fats are created equal

Not all fats are created equal

We don’t harbor any prejudices against fat. In fact, we respect fat as an essential macro-nutrient, along with protein. On a low-carb, high-fat and protein diet, I’ve lost a ton of weight and improved my health dramatically by every standard measure. What’s important is not how much fat you eat, but what kind of fat.

We try to avoid polyunsaturated, omega-6 fats such as soybean, cottonseed and corn oil. These fats, although ubiquitous in the modern food chain, especially in prepared and processed foods, until very recently were entirely unknown to the human diet. We try to incorporate more healthy, mono-unsaturated fats in our diet, such as those from olive oil and nuts. (But pork fat is also 60 percent mono-unsaturated.) We also try to eat more omega-3 fats from oily fish (wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines) as well as grass-fed meats, dairy and eggs.

Knowing which fats are best and where to find them takes education, and that you have to do on your own. To learn about which fats to eat and which to avoid, do your homework.

But even people who know a thing or two about fats are leery of saturated fat. Doesn’t that cause heart disease? In fact, the human body is perfectly equipped to handle saturated fats. Enzymes de-saturate them and turn them into more readily usable components.

Even among saturated fats,  however, there are different kinds and much to consider. Most common are saturated fats from animals such as beef and pork. Avoid beef raised on corn in confined animal feedlot operations, or CAFOs. Find a good source of grass-fed meats and stick with that. Coconut oil, which is almost entirely saturated fat, is actually quite healthful. It is composed of rare, medium-chain fatty acids that the body quickly metabolizes for energy. It is 50 percent lauric acid, a proven antimicrobial that boosts the immune system. Not surprisingly, mother’s milk is also high in lauric acid. Ain’t nature grand?

Now comes Michael Eades, the medical doctor and author of low-carb diet books, trumpeting a new meta-study concluding that there is no link between saturated fat and heart disease. Eades does not care for meta-studies much. These are not actual studies, just analyses of studies previously conducted. But this meta-study was conducted by a well-respected researcher, and published in a well-respected journal. Further proof, I say, that you just can’t believe everything you hear from the anti-fat propagandists. This issue really does require careful study, rather than simply following the politically-correct edicts of the herd.

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  • alfredoe

    Thanks for an informative article.

    Alfredo E.

  • Darcy

    Michael Pollan does a great job covering this subject in his book “In Defense of Food”. For those that haven’t read it, I highly suggest it.

    Ed- Thanks for shedding light on this topic and also for your very informative articles on school food. I just recently stumbled upon your blog and am finding it very interesting.