7 Reasons to Eat More Saturated Fat

Photo: Eduardo Amorim

I’ve invited Dr. Michael Eades and Dr. Mary Dan Eades, two of my favorite bariatric (obesity treatment) doctors in the US and the first to introduce insulin resistance to the mainstream, to explain the facts and benefits of increased saturated fat intake…

The sub-headings are mine, and a few edits have been made for space and context. Please see Dr. Michael Eades’ references and responses to questions in the comments.

Mid-Section Fat Loss: Problem Solved?

A couple of generations ago two physicians—one on the East Coast, one on the West—while working long hours with many patients, serendipitously stumbled onto a method to rapidly decrease fat around the mid-section. We’re sure that other doctors figured out the same thing, but these two were locally famous and published their methods. Interestingly, neither was looking to help patients lose weight.

Blake Donaldson, M.D., who practiced in Manhattan, was looking for a treatment for allergies; Walter Voegtlin, M.D., a Seattle gastroenterologist, was trying to figure out a better method for treating his patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Dr. Donaldson got his inspiration from a meeting he had with the aforementioned Vilhalmur Stefansson; Dr. Voegtlin came up with the same idea based on his knowledge of comparative anatomy. Though they came at two different questions from very different angles, they arrived at the same dietary answer. Both solved the problems they were seeking to solve and, coincidentally, noticed that their overweight patients lost a tremendous amount of fat from their abdominal areas while undergoing the treatment. As happened later with us and with Dr. Atkins, word of their success in combating obesity spread rapidly, and before long both physicians were deluged with overweight patients seeking treatment, completely changing the character of their medical practices. In retirement, both wrote books about their methods. Donaldson’s was published in 1961; Voegtlin’s in 1972. And as far as we can tell, although their years of practice overlapped, they never knew one another.

What was their secret? What did these two men independently discover? What kind of nutritional regimen did they use to bring about such great results in their patients?

Both had their patients follow an all-meat diet.

An all-meat diet?

Yes, an all-meat diet. Remember that when these physicians were in practice, there hadn’t been all the negative publicity about saturated fat and red meat that there has been in recent years. At that time, most people considered meat as simply another food, just like potatoes, bread, or anything else. No one worried about eating it. The (misguided) hypothesis that fat in the diet causes heart disease hadn’t reared its ugly head, so telling people at that time to go on an all-meat diet didn’t provoke the same sort of knee-jerk emotions that it does—at least in some quarters—now.

The patients who followed these all-meat diets rapidly lost weight from their midsections and improved their blood sugar and blood pressure problems if they had them. Calculations of cholesterol in all its various permutations was still decades away, but both doctors even used the all-meat diet for their patients with heart disease without problem. The all-meat diet proved to be a safe, filling, rapid way to help patients lose abdominal fat while improving their health. And remember, one of these diets was developed to treat GI problems, the other to treat allergies. The rapid weight loss that followed was a surprising, but welcome side effect.

7 Reasons to Eat More Saturated Fat

In the not-so-distant past, the medical establishment considered all fats equally loathsome: all fats were created equal and they’re all bad for you. Things have changed in that quarter, if only slightly. You have no doubt heard the drumbeat of current medical thinking on fats: some fats are now good for you—olive oil and canola oil*—but others are bad for you—trans fats and all saturated fats. That’s an improvement from the old cry, but far from the truth.

It seems that no matter how the story spins from the denizens of the anti-fat camp, one piece of their advice remains staunchly constant: “You should sharply limit your intake of saturated fats.” The next admonition will invariably be, “which have been proven to raise cholesterol and cause heart disease.” Their over-arching belief is that saturated fat is bad, bad, bad.

You see with just a glance at [our suggested meal plans] that we’ve included fatty cuts of meat, chicken with the skin, bacon, eggs, butter, coconut oil, organic lard, and heavy cream in the plan. Aren’t we worried that these foods will increase your risk of heart disease and raise your cholesterol? In a word, nope. In fact, we encourage you to make these important fats a regular part of your healthy diet. Why? Because humans need them and here are just a few reasons why.

1) Improved cardiovascular risk factors

Though you may not have heard of it on the front pages of your local newspaper, online news source, or local television or radio news program, saturated fat plays a couple of key roles in cardiovascular health. The addition of saturated fat to the diet reduces the levels of a substance called lipoprotein (a)—pronounced “lipoprotein little a” and abbreviated Lp(a)—that correlates strongly with risk for heart disease. Currently there are no medications to lower this substance and the only dietary means of lowering Lp(a) is eating saturated fat. Bet you didn’t hear that on the nightly news. Moreover, eating saturated (and other) fats also raises the level of HDL, the so-called good cholesterol. Lastly, research has shown that when women diet, those eating the greatest percentage of the total fat in their diets as saturated fat lose the most weight.

2) Stronger bones

In middle age, as bone mass begins to decline, an important goal (particularly for women) is to build strong bones. You can’t turn on the television without being told you need calcium for your bones, but do you recall ever hearing that saturated fat is required for calcium to be effectively incorporated into bone? According to one of the foremost research experts in dietary fats and human health, Mary Enig, Ph.D., there’s a case to be made for having as much as 50 percent of the fats in your diet as saturated fats for this reason. That’s a far cry from the 7 to 10 percent suggested by mainstream institutions. If her reasoning is sound—and we believe it is— is it any wonder that the vast majority of women told to avoid saturated fat and to selectively use vegetable oils instead would begin to lose bone mass, develop osteoporosis, and get put on expensive prescription medications plus calcium to try to recover the loss in middle age?

3) Improved liver health

Adding saturated fat to the diet has been shown in medical research to encourage the liver cells to dump their fat content. Clearing fat from the liver is the critical first step to calling a halt to middle-body fat storage. Additionally, saturated fat has been shown to protect the liver from the toxic insults of alcohol and medications, including acetaminophen and other drugs commonly used for pain and arthritis, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, and even to reverse the damage once it has occurred. Since the liver is the lynchpin of a healthy metabolism, anything that is good for the liver is good for getting rid of fat in the middle. Polyunsaturated vegetable fats do not offer this protection.

4) Healthy lungs

For proper function, the airspaces of the lungs have to be coated with a thin layer of what’s called lung surfactant. The fat content of lung surfactant is 100 percent saturated fatty acids. Replacement of these critical fats by other types of fat makes faulty surfactant and potentially causes breathing difficulties. Absence of the correct amount and composition of this material leads to collapse of the airspaces and respiratory distress. It’s what’s missing in the lungs of premature infants who develop the breathing disorder called infant respiratory distress syndrome. Some researchers feel that the wholesale substitution of partially hydrogenated (trans) fats for naturally saturated fats in commercially prepared foods may be playing a role in the rise of asthma among children. Fortunately, the heyday of trans fats is ending and their use is on the decline. Unfortunately, however, the unreasoning fear of saturated fat leads many people to replace trans fats with an overabundance of polyunsaturated vegetable oils, which may prove just as unhealthful.

5) Healthy brain

You will likely be astounded to learn that your brain is mainly made of fat and cholesterol. Though many people are now familiar with the importance of the highly unsaturated essential fatty acids found in cold-water fish (EPA and DHA) for normal brain and nerve function, the lion’s share of the fatty acids in the brain are actually saturated. A diet that skimps on healthy saturated fats robs your brain of the raw materials it needs to function optimally.

6) Proper nerve signaling

Certain saturated fats, particularly those found in butter, lard, coconut oil, and palm oil, function directly as signaling messengers that influence the metabolism, including such critical jobs as the appropriate release of insulin. And just any old fat won’t do. Without the correct signals to tell the organs and glands what to do, the job doesn’t get done or gets done improperly.

7) Strong immune system

Saturated fats found in butter and coconut oil (myristic acid and lauric acid) play key roles in immune health. Loss of sufficient saturated fatty acids in the white blood cells hampers their ability to recognize and destroy foreign invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Human breast milk is quite rich in myristic and lauric acid, which have potent germ-killing ability. But the importance of the fats lives on beyond infancy; we need dietary replenishment of them throughout adulthood, middle age, and into seniority to keep the immune system vigilant against the development of cancerous cells as well as infectious invaders.

Footnotes:

*We advocate the use of olive oil, but recommend against the use of canola oil, despite its widely perceived healthful reputation. In order to be fit for human consumption, rapeseed oil (which is canola oil) requires significant processing to remove its objectionable taste and smell. Processing damages the oil, creating trans fats. Also, the oil is sensitive to heat, so if used at all, it should never be used to fry foods.

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The above post is an exclusive excerpt from Dr. Eades’ newest book, which is directed at people who want to reduce abdominal fat. Despite the title, the principles it details are ideal for anyone who wants to decrease both visceral (internal) and subcutaneous (under the skin) fat in the abdomen.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 500 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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688 Replies to “7 Reasons to Eat More Saturated Fat”

  1. I haven’t read all the posts here so I don’t know if anyone has answered this, but for those wondering, the book contains extensive references. I recommend those concerned over cholesterol or who still have doubts about the safety of saturated fat check out Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes, and The Great Cholesterol Con by Anthony Colpo. The lipid hypothesis (the idea that saturated fat = high cholesterol = higher risk of cardiovascular disease) is not supported by the evidence. There is, however, plenty of evidence that higher saturated fat intake is protective against some types of cancers, including breast cancer.

    While anecdotal, I’ve been recommending similar dietary guidelines to clients for fat loss for years now (higher protein and fat, moderate to low carb, with an emphasis on low-sugar, low-starch vegetables and fruits and little or no grain products) with good results. It has worked very well for fat loss and people generally feel stronger and more energetic despite an overall reduced calorie intake. People’s blood work, bone scans, and other measures of health consistently improve after adopting these guidelines.

  2. As a counterpoint to those who believe we did not evolve as meat eaters, I strongly recommend The Hunting Hypothesis by Robert Ardrey. Not only did our ancestors evolve eating meat, we also ate other primates, and in some instances our own species. It’s been out of print for a while, but there are plenty of used copies available for a good price.

  3. @ A-Ron wrote: “Our appetite isn’t stirred when we see a pasture filled with cattle. …” I only salivate when I see Irish cows and/or lambs in a field. Oh, also bluegills and bass 🙂 You should see me standing in front of the aquarium of live fish at the grocery store. I so admire those fish for their lifeforce and subsequent food value. Admittedly, that is probably more the “animal human” part of me, perhaps somewhat the “chi” part of me likes to absorb or merge lifeforces, but I do admit that there is a “higher being” aspect that sees eating at all as quite degraded (“declasse”). Who am I to listen to? LOL!

    I’ve given up on juicy grasshoppers and meaty grubs from my primate days 🙂 A-Ron, I’d be curious to know what blood type you are? Are you “O” or “A” or “B” — just curious.

    Started my all-meat diet when Tim first put this article out and I noticed and have third party confirmation that my double chin is shrinking. Also, I am happier and more productive than before. But I notice that regular corn-fed beef does not quite help me out as much as the New Zealand lamb. Do they feed their lambs corn — or something else?

  4. @ Colleen K. Peltomaa –

    All New Zealand Beef and Lamb is grass-fed. We don’t have a CAFO system at all in our pastoral farming. I only found out about this horrific practise when I read ‘The Omnivores Dilemma’ by Michael Pollan. Some of our pork is factory farmed – in quite horrific circumstances, but lovely free-range pork is readily available.However, as per the U.S consumers, NZ’ers are now requiring more info about the provenance of their food – hence an increase in farmers’ market sales from single farms and butchery’s declaring the provenance of the meat they are selling – I buy all my beef, lamb, pork and chicken from a great butcher where all the meat has been bio-dynamically and organically farmed. I feel lucky.

  5. I notice that regular corn-fed beef does not quite help me out as much as the New Zealand lamb. Do they feed their lambs corn — or something else?

    They don’t feed grain in NZ — it’s all grass-fed, so your NZ lamb will have a better fatty acid profile than beef jammed w/corn & soya.

    A good reason to hunt down NZ Anchor Butter (as it’s always fromgrass-fed cows), especially when it’s winter in the U.S. (because then you’re eating butter from cows eating spring grass.)

    If you’re looking for grass-fed beef in the U.S., Slanker’s is supposed to be great (and the real deal — not just fed with “organic” grain.) But make sure you really want it — although it’s better for you, grass-fed has a different taste, and it’s leaner and tougher when it’s not grain-fattened for market.

    And you have to shop carefully in this space, or you’ll be sold a bill of goods.

  6. @ Lynda, hi Lynda, well that settles it for me, NZ lamb from now on. I have not seen NZ beef in the stores in Canada, but plenty of NZ lamb. Plus it has just the right proportion of fat on it too, and it does not incite hot flashes in me the way the beef does so I guess it does not have synthetic estrogen in it. I guess I’m a little too far into the city to find a local farmer who would sell to me in small quantities. Thank you for contributing that post 🙂

  7. @Tom,

    Good point about grain-fed beef being different from grass-fed. Grain fed beef certainly has a paler colour and a softer texture – however, providing the beef has been hung properly and aged well grass-fed beef is beautifully tender and tasty. The hanging is an art though and due to the time involved supermarkets tend not to age their beef well enough – that’s why it is important to buy your grass fed beef from a reputable butcher – well aged grass-fed beef as a rule should be a very dark claret colour. Lynda.

  8. @ Linda

    I agree with everything you say. New Zealanders are so lucky that by far the majority of our meat is farmed ethically and as free-range as it can be. I’ve just started a website dedicated to meat and in researching recipes and story ideas I am amazed at how much more processing occurs in meat grown in the USA for example.

    New Zealand still has a long way to go though. We still export too many whole carcasses, instead of adding extra value to our produce. As we lead the world in milk production we could, and should lead the way in the quality of our meat. For such a small country though it’s difficult to compete against the farmers in the US whose industry is so protected. Sadly Americans will continue to eat an inferior product (in my opinion).

    Everyone, come to New Zealand and taste meat like it’s meant to taste!

    BTW Linda, where is your organic butcher? Somewhere in Tauranga obviously. I’m interested in reviewing butchers 🙂

  9. @Alan.

    Hi, yes the butchery is in Tauranga – it is Cambrian Meats – he also has a store in Elliot Stables in Auckland. http://www.cambrianmeats.co.nz. His beef is grown on his own farm in Waihi, lamb is farmed in Wanganui using his methods and pork is all Freedom Farms pork also has chicken, duck and venison. He is a pretty interesting guy and has been hauled through all manner of red-tape because of his methods but has stuck to his guns – a real David and Goliath story (a long one which I won’t go into here). The meat is fantastic and really reasonably priced too for the exceptional quality. Check it out…! Lynda.

  10. Great article. I developed type 2 Diabetes after my son was born but my biggest problem was insulin resistance. I worked with a nutritionist to formulate a no-carb high protein (and saturated fat) diet. Between the exercising and the meat I have lost 65 pounds and am back at a healthy weight. Weight loss rate was pretty quick, 4-5 pounds a week. I do work very hard at the gym which is a big part of that.

    A new book on the topic is The Metabolism Miracle by Dianne Kress which basically uses these same principles. She is calling insulin resistance “Metabolism B” and suggest about 8 weeks of no carbs to give your body a detox from the over insulin delivery. She has basically repackaged atkins and renamed a few already known medical conditions to make her book seem like a brand new discovery which is slightly frustrating to read if you are educated on the subject. The recipes are good, and there is some good information about determining if you have insulin resistance and the effects it has on your health.

  11. @ Colleen K. Peltomaa.

    Hi colleen, quoting my husband here; you can age your meat at home if you have it vacuum packed and keep it refrigerated. However it is better to get your butcher to do it as hung it is ‘dry-aged’, keeping meat vacuum-packed by it’s nature keeps it wet, but it will tenderise by this method.

    Good luck! Lynda.

  12. I have just found this link that mentions the fact that omega-3 fatty acids are less prevalent in feed lot cattle. Just two days ago whilst chatting with someone I hope to buy some calfs from, he mentioned that the intramuscular fat (this is not the marbling that can be SEEN, but the one that cannot be seen but is there, is much greater in grass/naturally fed cattle. On the other side, the grain fed (hormone/antibiotic/etc fed too) cattle tend to deposit fat on the perifery of muscle and separated from the muscle. Fat is what gives the meat its flavour, but the conclusions I draw are that: 1) the fat deposited “artificially” in feedlots is not only less “tasty” but actively harmfull. 2) The less conspicuous fat of the naturally fed cattle is not only tastier, but actively not harmfull and in fact beneficial to humans.

    This seems to me just a repeat of the old commercial imperative that tends to turn a blind eye to the “collateral damage” in the pursuit of profit. I guess the old saying also applies in the end: “caveat emptor”

  13. If we all became vegetarian, what would happen to farmed animals? Health and safety would not permit them to run around wild – road traffic accidents, dangerous boars, bulls, rams, etc, protecting their herds. So would we like to see them disappear altogether or only see a few in wildlife parks or zoos? The important thing, surely, is to ensure that they have happy lives, even if they cannot reach old age. In my opinion, we should not feel guilty about eating meat from animals who have had good (even if short) lives – better that they are at least allowed to live.

  14. The book Eat Fat Lose Fat was co published with Mary Enig. This lady fought the FDA for many years and now is an advisor for them. She is a lipid expert and points out that the miss information about fats was started with miss interpretation of fat studies promulgated by the edible oil industry. Somehow they then got their lobbyist placed as head of the FDA. Other agencies, did not take the time and effort to hire experts to look carefully at the studies to determine if what the FDA was saying was backed by impartial double blind studies. All the major health organizations just jumped on the band wagon. It is so refreshing here to see so many people wanting to see the proof! The bottom line is there is profit in corn oil, and if you follow the money you will find the misinformation. She also points out that many vegetable based oils like corn oil make the cell membrane week. There are many, many references to studies that show there is no appreciable difference in fatalities due to cardiovascular disease between the two groups for example butter verses corn oil and low fat diets (references can be found in this book). But consistently the group using oils like corn oil had high cancer deaths. She says in one of her articles to eat coconut oil for cooking, but to use medium to low heat, use butter for spreading on food and olive oil for salads. You can also find information on many types of oils and the nutritional benefits of each by searching the net under her name.

    There is just so much information in the book, Eat Fat Lose Fat, that it will make your head pop. Those of you that are vegetarian and will eat milk and butter relax. You can benefit by reading this book. Vegans, she has suggestions for you too. One of the things that I found interesting is that eating a low fat diet throws off your omega oils and eating butter and other body friendly fats will correct this imbalance. Butter is also not processed by the liver and so can be used directly for energy. Pay attention to this if you have gallbladder issues. Fats reduce the glycemic index of other foods and are a great energy source. It will tell you how to modify your diet to gain weight, lose weight or just try and be healthy. She goes into great depth on the endocrine and organ systems and why good quality cholesterol is so important. I was someone mention increases in testosterone; it is just one of the hormones she mentions in the endocrine system. It covers chronic fatigue, AIDs, depression, and, and, and…you will think you are reading an old bark from a snake oil salesman! You just have to read the book. It’s all there, and some of the studies go way back. The information is not new.

    I just have one question. Local people from every town would jump up and give testimony for the snake oil man when he came through town. Maybe these salesmen had it right. Has anyone read any information on the benefits of snake oil?

  15. Tim…and to think I was such a big fan of yours. This is by far the weakest (and least cited) argument I have ever read on diet–especially increasing saturated fats. Half knowledge is a scary thing in the hands of influential people. Maybe it’s another genius marketing ploy (like the myth riddled protein Atkin’s diet)–people love to feel good about their personal yet poor decision making–and diet is very personal. Check out researchers that actually meant to study nutrition–like Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s The China Study comes to mind.

  16. I haven’t gone through all the comments, so I apologize if a view such as this one has already been posted. However, I think I can offer a perspective that hasn’t been seen here yet.

    I am a strength and conditioning coach (CrossFit, for those of you who have heard of it.) I worked as the head S&C coach at a mixed martial arts facility in Virginia, and now own a CrossFit facility in Monterey, CA. I follow and advocate a Paleo diet (Cordain) in Zone or Zone like proportions (40% carbs/30% protein/30% fat, though I eat slightly higher protein and fat and lower carbs.) Improvements seen in myself and my athletes include:

    -Better performances across broad time and modal domains (higher 1 rep max lifts, better times in all of our timed efforts, which include runs from 40y up to 10k, and multimodal efforts such as circuits of Olympic lifting, calisthentics, and running combined.)

    -Lower body fat

    -Increased muscle mass

    -Better sleep

    -Faster recovery from workouts both overnight and in between two sessions in one day

    -Less joint pain from pre existing injuries

    -Greater and more consistent energy throughout the day

    -Easier time getting up in the morning (no grogginess)

    Whenever I have convinced vegetarian or near vegetarian athletes to eat meat, they have seen similar results (with no issues digesting the meat.) My athletes who will not eat meat see good progress when they start training, but their athletic development always slows sooner than those who eat meat.

    A website worth reading is http://www.robbwolf.com . Robb is a former research biochemist who now works as a strength and conditioning coach. Interestingly, Robb is also a former vegan, and started eating a Paleo diet after experiencing some very serious health problems (which were completely eradicated when he started eating Paleo.)

  17. Great post Tim. I wonder if anyone citing the China study in the responses has been to China? The fact is, people in China eat meat, and more kinds of meat than we do in the U.S. As far as amounts, ratio of meat to vegetable matter etc. I have no data. A fact that a lot of people seem to overlook when preachin the vegetarian gospel is that when we eat only plant foods, we quickly become deficient in certain nutrients. Namely B vitamins. Also, for men, vegetarians have lower testosterone levels. Some might be alright with that, but not for me thanks.

  18. @Alcinda

    Aging your meat by vacuum packing is not difficult. Get your butcher to vacuum pack your meat in meal sized packs. Vacuum packing excludes all the air which prevents oxidation and will therefore slow down the deterioration of the meat. There are a lot of variables; the quality of the vacuum packing, the quality and age of the meat when it is packed and the temp. of your fridge; but generally speaking, the meat should keep refrigerated for up to 6 weeks by this method – aging and tenderising as time passes…Good luck..Lynda.

  19. Tim, I have a question about eating a lot of steak – I moved to Buenos Aires 4 weeks ago and have been getting fresh cut bife de lomo or bife de chorizo daily. I eat the steak with a variety of vegetables grilled on the parilla (thanks for the inspiration to move here). I was wondering if you think it is healthy to sustain this diet. I eat only twice a day and walk several kilometers a day, but I’ve never eaten this much meat! Can you provide any insight? Thanks. -Brian

  20. Look into the book “Queen of Fats” (or find audio interviews from the author on the web). The author digs up research about Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Interesting history and science.

    The most interesting part is that fish is high in Omega-3’s because its one of the few meats we eat that still eats its natural food – green stuff. And, it turns out, when chicken and cows are fed a grass diet (and in the case of chickens, grains and insects too) those animals produce eggs and meat that’s high in Omega-3’s… the ‘bad’ fat turns good… surprise surprise, nature knows best!

  21. “The China Study”

    When the FDA promulgated “research” for the food pyramid (heavy on grains) they selected only seven countries that not coincidentally also ate a grain based diet, however these specific countries also had low rate of arterial sclerosis and heart disease. At the time of the analysis those seven countries also including China had on average a per capita calorie deficit. More recent studies also show that when a person sustains a calorie deficit diet they live longer and have better health from many different perspectives. But the participants in the studies were totally miserable and the participants had a very high rate of dropping out of the study.

    If you look at the remaining countries in the original data, the countries that were not in a calorie defecate and ate grain based diets had a high incidence of arterial sclerosis. No surprise for people that raise cattle for beef; the industry standard for adding the finishing marbling (fat) that makes beef so tender is to add grain to the cow’s diet. One of the countries with the best health is France. For example they have low rates of both heart and cancer diseases. Their diet is based on small portions but they are not in calorie defecate. French food is famous for sauces lathered on food made from heavy cream, cheeses, and butter. They also eat considerable amounts of shell fish, organ meats and eggs. All of these have been made out to be the evil foods, very high in cholesterol. The French also eat small portions because fat fills you up and cuts hunger for long periods of time. It has nothing to do with self control. The best ever appetite suppressants are animal based fats, olive and coconut oils. Fat also slows down digestion of the rest of your food. These types of foods are also nutrient dense. The good health of the French is not just the wine they drink! The French do not have a problem with obesity, diabetes, etc. Their lifestyle is not that different from ours. How can the health spectrum between France and the USA be so radically different?

    Folks, we have all been duped by the grain industry; they want you to eat cereal for breakfast, food cooked in vegetable oils, and junkie grain based snacks. The more we push fat free diets, the fatter we get. The oils that are represented as the “best” are all wrong, with the exception of olive oil. Its value has always been irrefutable.

    Many of you think that all this is totally nuts. I hope that your curiosity is peaked enough to get information that is not funded by the food industry nor motivated by profit. Please Google Mary Enig and dive into the research.

    I just read a post by a Crossfit trainer. I have been doing Crossfit for the past five and a half years. Fantastic program, it’s free at Crossfit .com, and it is ranked as the No. 1 fitness program by Men’s Journal, and used by military, police and martial artists internationally. Just a warning, start slow and stay with it. It will change what you can do faster than any other program and it does not take fancy equipment.

  22. Thanks Dr. Eades for engaging in this discussion, you and Taubes are going to change the medical world. I think it will take a few decades but you have done important work to de-vampire the fat myths. I had a patient that was a PhD at the U of MN in the nutrition/diet department and his specialty was/is metabolism and fat metabolism and the like. I asked him about his thoughts on coconut oil and he scoffed “its saturated fat, its bad for you” or something to that effect. I just shook my head.

  23. Similarly to Jacob (above) I have convinced some of my ultra-distance running colleagues to ditch their vegetarian diets. As meat eating ultra-runners their power of recovery has improved, they are leaner, stronger and require less (or no) carbohydrates on multi-hour runs.

    I live in Kiwi-land so I eat NZ beef, lamb or seafood every day. My total cholesterol is 113 and my triglycerides are 38.

    Cheers, Paul

  24. @ Dr.Eades,

    Fruits are far sweeter than used to be ( apple v. crab apples ), natural v. man-made.

    @P, Charteris,

    A total cholesterol of 113 is dangerously low, so to is ultra-distance running ( see Dr. Sears)

    @Tom,

    N.Z. Anchor butter is full of chemicals that they use on the lands & cows. I live in N.Z. & I use raw milk (organic) to make butter.

  25. I’m loving this 30-days fast and the broth from lamb soup bones seems to be all I need, besides the prescribed herbs. I’m not sure though if I should skim off all the fat, or leave some on. Have not had a day of tiredness, etc., partly because of the preparations I did before I started. We can change ourselves and our environment, thank you Tim for being an agent of purposeful and intelligent change. You inspire me, thank you.

  26. @ Alcinda and Colleen

    Thanks for your concern. I got my fasting cholesterol etc. done at UC Davis as part of a research study last year. I was eating about 80% paleo and running quite a bit. Also taking fish oil every day. My updated figures were:

    Fasting total cholesterol: 119

    Fasting HDL: 43

    Fasting LDL: 73

    Fasting small dense LDL: 19

    Fasting triglycerides: 30

    I am not sure if those figures should be a concern or not.

    Cheers, PC

  27. Yesterday I read the book “BioBalance” and have a better awareness of acid/alkaline venous blood plasma. I see now why everyone has to carve their own path and listen to their body mostly, whilst avoiding overly processsed foods. One program does not and never will fit all is the bottom line. I’m now willing to admit that, yes, there are some people who should be happier as mostly veggie eaters. I seem to be more in tune with keeping the venous blood plasma slightly acid (just an internal hunch). Fasting seems to acidify the body so I can see why I feel GREAT! However, occasionally I adjust by taking raw lemon juice (which alkalanizes). I simply listen to the body and use the best ingredients possible — no processed sugars/carbs/meats/fats/oils. Right now, dynamically, I am moving faster than I can currently move this 56-years body and am working to narrow the performance gap.

    @Paul, you look great and I’m sure as long as you feel great you are also doing great 🙂

  28. Colleen,

    If you’re on a 30-day fast, you don’t feel great because you’re “healthy”. You feel great and have energy because it is an adaptive response to starvation. Starvation actually raises our metabolism and makes us moreactive — because our body wants us to take action to find food ASAP, and depressed, sluggish people can’t hunt.

    So yeah, you feel great, and have tons of energy…but don’t be surprised when all of your hair falls out a month after you start eating again.

    [Your hair is dying now, but it won’t actually fall out until it starts growing again (after your fast ends.) It won’t actually fall out of your head until the fresh hair starts pushing the dead strands out of the follicles.]

  29. @Jim

    EEEEEKKKKK!!! But, Jim, why didn’t my hair fall out the last time I did a 30-days fast? Also, why is it I don’t feel like I’m starving? If I felt like I was starving and felt hungry you can bet I’d be the first person to round up a good steak 🙂 Right now I drink water, homemade broths, and raw lemon juice mellowed out with a bit of olive oil. I’ve also just started the next phase of liver cleansing with an herbal tonic.

  30. What I find is that when one person wants to eat a particular food, they will find ways to justify eating it. See “benefits of dark chocolate”.

    The only problem is that it seems like its all those “full” people that seem to eat their healthy chocolate and saturated fats.

    Don’t kid yourself. At least say to yourself you are eating crap food and enjoy it if you are comfortable with it.

    And the all meat died and all the ketogenic is BS. Its calories in vs calories out. Yes, protein and fat are harder to process. Yes, your TMF will rise. Yes you will loose more calories that way. But is that really a healthy way to do it>? By feeling like c***?

    Cheers.

  31. This is revolutionary; its like turning the world upside down. Wonderful debate, however more research will be required to convince the Thomas’. The truth perhaps is that all the naturally occuring substances are useful in the right proportions, and because the beneficial proportion will vary from person to person, the main argument may end up mid way.

  32. Yes, Bamidele, this research Tim took the time to do and publish got me on the right track for my body type, and then helped me to refine a few things. It helped set me on the road to my new body and new consciousness of life.

    One refinement I am putting in is to eat fatty lamb, but less of it, because I realize on this type of diet I don’t need to eat as much fatty meat as I thought I did.

    Also for this body type it is more adjusted to feast and famine, so there will be times when I “gorge” and times when I eat very sparingly and as long as I keep the processed foods mostly off the menu that is a very good system for me.

    Also for this body type fasting is okay too and helps keep the body from building up acids. I am over 30 days now into my water-only fast and feel better than I have felt in years. My body will tell me when it is time to begin my new fatty meats diet. I am following the guidance on this webpage:

    http://www.falconblanco.com/health/fasting.htm

    Regarding acid buildup with this type of diet, having the juice of one raw lemon with a heavy fatty meat meal balances the acid intake from the meats because lemon juice alkalinizes in the body. I have not yet tried this but intuitively it indicates to me.

    If I eat a steak that has no fat on it and do that too often I find that it affects my calcium levels and uptake (and I get leg cramps at night as a result), so best to proportionally balance the meat tissue with the fat.

    I also occasionally take a good digestive enzyme that helps to break down meat proteins, and keep the red blood cells from agglomerating.

    My body fares better eating fatty meats that have not been fed a lot of corn to fatten them up which is why for now I stick with readily available New Zealand lamb.

    That’s all for now 🙂

  33. Paul Charteris, the reason I, personally would worry about your cholesterol is it might be a hint that your vitamin D is low. This is my personal theory. Cholesterol is the foremost helper in making sure that your body absorbs vitamin D. The more vitamin D you take in, the higher your vitamin D levels should be.

    Now, I have not had my vitmain D levels checked, I know bad me, but I have had my cholesterol levels checked which had great ratios 2 years ago. I had my levels re-checked and expected my cholesterol to rise for the shear reason that I had been supplementing with vitamin D. My levels are still exemplary with ideal ratios AND it it did rise several points. This was just speculating. Also vitamin D needs fats to be absorbed properly.

  34. I find it very funny that all those who view this info. on saturated fats as “wrong” have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.Let’s face it people, a lie told enough times becomes a truth. The demonization of fat was never justified, and as a result of imcompetence and bad dietary advice our society is now facing multiple illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Keep eating your low-fat factory made food, HFCS, and flour people…I see the bullshit began by Ancel Keys and still alive and well.

  35. Body Odour

    I’ve been experimenting with the paleo/caveman diet for a few months since I read this article and some of Dr. Eades’ other work and I like the idea of eating what I evolved to eat as a diet (science Vs ethical diet). It makes sense to me to eat this way, as does freeing my feet etc.

    BUT…….. I now stink. Seriously. My body odour is horrific. I’ve gone from eating almost no red meat (but lots of chicken and fish) for most of my life to eating red meat almost every day and I absolutely HUM!!! I did a bit of googling yesterday and found some supporting research that was referenced here: http://www.springerlink.com/content/u4833u1657g26111

    Immediately after I shower I can smell it and deodorant would need near constant application to totally negate the smell.

    I’ve got 2 lamb steaks and some bacon in the fridge if anyone wants it? and to quote Ludo from Labyrinth “smell baaAAAddd.”

  36. I would like to propose that you might be a candidate for a de-tox program if you have never done one. In fact you may be de-toxing right now and that could be a good thing. By not eating the foods your body did not like it now has a chance to throw off some toxins. That is your body’s way of thanking you 🙂

  37. RE: Body odor. I am the opposite. I hardly ever use deodorant now….but for many years used the strongest I could find.

    I wonder too if you might be detoxing. When I first started low carb/paleo my skin started breaking out everywhere….after a few weeks it slowly cleared up and is now clear with few blemishes.

  38. Chris, I will happily take the lamb and bacon. I will also take that butter and coconut oil you, no doubt,purchased. Ketosis tends to do that to people but it is temporary. Certainly you read about that before you began your experiment.. Have you experienced improve intestinal regularity. If not, you just might want to hang onto that lamb, bacon, butter and coocnut oil

  39. Thanks for the responses guys n gals

    Regarding detox: I dunno how I feel about this yet and I don’t really know much about it. Are there clinical tests that back up detox theories? I’m skeptical but have no knowledge on the subject. How long does it take to fully detox?

    @Alicinda. I’ve been on this for about three months not just a couple of weeks. I can’t stand smelling this bad for too much longer.

    I have given the whole BO thing a bit more thought and I can see why, from an evolutionary point of view it may work: “wow that guy stinks, he must be a really good hunter, I’ll go mate with him”. Clearly I’m no scientist but you get my drift.

    It may also be that my body didn’t evolve to eat this much meat or that I would normally be out actually hunting it down. I may be eating something similar to what my evolutionary ancestors ate but I’m sat at a desk for most of my waking life.

  40. @ Chris, sounds like you’ve got a lot of junk in there, mister! One way or another you’ve got to deal with it. Same with my 56-year old body, so I can relate. I hurried the process along by taking some gentle herbal laxatives, drinking loads and loads of pure water and washing with something that had tea tree oil in it. How much meat do you eat per day? I started out eating a lot of meat but now I find I do very well with one lamb steak, maybe two.

    The fact that you are going on for 3 months indicates that your former lifestyle and age really loaded your body down. Do you want to get the toxins out of your body? The sauna is also a great de-toxer. I propose that you educate yourself a bit more so that you work with your body with understanding. I’m really rooting for you. In the end it feels wonderful for my mind and emotions and body to have all those toxins out of there.

    best of luck!

  41. @Colleen. Well I’m 32 and I’ve been eating either mixed nuts or sliced ham for breakfast, mackeral or eggs n beans or cheese n ham for lunch and a mix of chicken or lamb or beef with streamed veg for dinner.

    Can I ask what your daily diet is like?

    Regarding the detox stuff – I’m not sure if I believe in this idea not. Is there any good basic(!) reading I can do. I don’t mean books but good summary blog posts on the subject.

    What are good detox methods? Just to continue what I’m doing?

    I’ve also made the observation that I think I stink more after eating bacon or ham. Anyone else back this up?

  42. Hi, Chris,

    Yes, pork products do not indicate for at least the “O” blood types and it looks like you already spotted that for yourself, but I do remember how yummy they all were when I was a kid like you 🙂 Why don’t you try laying off the fatty porks for now and report back to yourself any changes?

    Here is another reason for laying off heavy intake of carbs, especially grains:

    http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2008/04/leptin-and-lectins-part-ii.html

    Oh, I almost forget you asked about good de-toxes. Its an individual choice and I chose to do a series of fasts and here is the best writeup and instruction on it that I could find to date:

    http://www.falconblanco.com/health/fasting.htm

  43. Body Odor

    Fat is your culprit. When you switch to a diet high in quality fats such as coconut oil, butter and olive oil and cut the refined and starchy carbs, the body will start shedding belly fat. This is true because a diet high in glycemic index causes an over production of insulin. The fast digestion ruins the metabolism system. For example, an 8 oz. serving of apple juice will cause the body to produce enough insulin for 27 apples because it digests in 20 min. instead of the 6 to 8 hours of a fresh apple and our bodies don’t understand that there is a quick end to the surge in sugars. In self defense the body puts on belly fat (beer belly) because fat in this part of the body absorbs the insulin for later release when insulin levels normalize. If you start eating well, the body no longer needs this belly fat and so you will start to see body changes even thought you may not be losing weight. (Ref. In the book Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Mary Enig) If you have belly fat, and you pinch your fat and find out that most of your fat is behind the muscle wall (adipose fat), you are ripe for diabetes. With internal belly fat, when you ate a regular healthy meal, a normal amount of insulin is released, but then it’s absorbed by fat, and so now you don’t have enough insulin to react with blood sugar. This is why losing weight can have such a radical reduction in diabetes risk!

    In addition, fat also stores hormones and toxins. This is why obese people have a much higher rate of infertility. As your body uses these fats, your blood is loaded up with the byproducts which by the way need to be processed by the kidneys and liver. This is one of the many reasons why MDs will advise not to lose more than 2# per week unless under a medically supervised plan. You might have marginally functioning organs for 30 years and not know it, or you could push the body to organ failure by diet miss management. Think about this when you’re fasting. So if you are dropping fat along with the toxins you should have higher body odor.

    The main toxin storage in the body are our glands, and these toxins are released in the same areas noted here as odor areas. Exercise causes the glands to drain, and is the most effective and natural way to detoxify the body. My MD is a Naturopath and has advised that all of us should exercise vigorously (high intensity) with both aerobic and fast paced weight training (reduced weights and high reps) so we sweat an hour a day. I used to stink after exercise when I first started the Crossfit program, and after several months I smell only rarely. It is well established that people that exercise live longer on average and it makes sense that people that are constantly shedding their toxins would be healthier.

    Then there are odors caused by bacteria and fungus. These thrive in moist areas of the body, and can cause itchy jock, armpits, feet and anus. Shower directly after working out and use a hair dryer to blow all these areas dry. Get out of wet gym cloths including your shoes if you are driving home. Also eat and use coconut oil. For feet, never ware the same pair two days in a row. Get sox with wool (they wick dry while on the feet). If you have feet that will knock over a bull when you take off your shoes, rub your feet with Nisoral anti fungal shampoo, leave it on for 30 min. and use new shoes so as not to reinfect the feet. Rub your feet with coconut oil. Ware flip flops in the house so you don’t pick up the fungus again. They are also good for keeping the feet dry, so get those shoes off when you’re at home. Dry feet equals nice feet! I had stinky bottom no matter how many times I washed for 5 months and noting my old MD told me worked. Once I started eating and putting on the coconut oil (naturally anti fungal, anti bacterial and inti virus), it cleared up within a week. The other thing I noticed is my face broke out as predicted in Eat Fat, Lose Fat, and then the thick oil that builds up in the pores was replaced by thin sweet smelling oil that was very fluid and stopped plugging up my pours. It’s interesting that it also dissolves meat oils in stains like spaghetti sauce which in the second wash lets enzyme detergents remove the rest of the stain. Coconut oil is a solvent based oil which may explain why it is so right for arterial sclerosis.

    Make a note: Eat right, eat coconut oil, exercise and stay dry.

  44. @Bobbi

    Thanks for the info dude. Lots of interesting stuff in there.

    @Colleen

    The stuff on lectins looks interesting too. I think the fasting is a little extreme for me but maybe one day. I’ll do some reading on the blood type differences. Dunno what I am though.

  45. @Marcie

    Saturated fat = Palm Oil = Deforestation?

    Do you know that example in Malaysia, one of the largest producer of palm oil in the world has this so-called “permanent forest reserves” of approximately 55% of the country’s total land area? This law disallow any “labelled” permanent forest reserves areas to be use to grow oil palm or even for other agricultural crops. I’m 100% certain that the amount of forest lands would very much higher that any other developed countries in the world! If you are linking deforestation with palm oil, hence we all should seriously look into “reforesting” more than 50% of agricultural land of the UK and EU!

    In Malaysia for instance, there are 4.3 million hectares of oil palm being planted, which only reflects about 0.09% of the world agriculture land. One interesting fact I wish to point out is if these areas were previously forest, means only 0.09% of deforestation is linked to palm oil produced by Malaysia for the seek of its contribution towards the global food security!

  46. I’d say the problem with consumption of saturated fat is not the amount, but the rapidity of consumption, and the expenditure of calories in that same period of time.

    If you take in 3000 calories and expend 2500, you will become obese in time. That’s how our bodies work. Doesn’t matter if they are 3000 calories from pure cane sugar, pork rinds, or wheat grass. Calories are calories at the end of the day. The health benefits you mention are as questionable as all other scientific evidence out there.

    Somewhere along the line, people started thinking that scientific theory could ever be conclusively proven. Science is always a matter of “as far as we can prove”, meaning that evidence can always come forward at a later time that contradicts previous findings.

    Are you presenting evidence here that is the contradictor, or the soon-to-be-contradictee? Time will tell.

  47. Jason, I would wager against the validity of your statement simply because a diet that restricts unecessary poisons such as carbohydrates will enable the body to burn fat more efficiently and less likely to store the stuff. The body’s primary reason to store fat is caused uncontrolled insulin levels. I can attest to this because I increased my saturated fat levels, not lowered them. I must be very careful to avoid carbohydrates because I am pre-diabetic.I lost 33 lbs and I continue to lose. If I ate a slice of bread or some rice, my expectations for continued weightloss will change.

    Calories in do not equal calories out . Evidence has been presented over and over and over again. One day science will wake up and pay attention. The sad part is, a lot of science has already proven this theory to a bunch of people who have believed the opposite for so long it is next to impossible to see the truth that is staring them right in their eyes.

  48. Hi Jim,

    Finding this post is Godsend, especially after my doctor says I absolutely need to lower my LDL from the current 313. HDL is at 130.

    You wrote that eating saturated fats will raise HDL; will it also raise LDL? Is the high level of any concern?

    I am terribly sorry to be asking you this, but I just can’t find any research NOT biased towards saturated fats.

    I am a fan of Dr Atkins, and now you, of course. My favorite foods – pork plus the fats, heavy cream in my coffee, eggs, cheese. And ever since I somehow brainwashed myself into adhering to an “at least 70% calories from fat” diet, I have become leaner than ever,especially at the abdomen. I feel energetic and have not fell ill since then. I cannot imagine how miserable life will be if I am deprived of saturated fats!

    Happy New Year!

  49. Hmm, poisons? I don’t know if I’d go that far. I guess I should have been more clear.

    If you are eating foods that are rapidly absorbed, like refined carbs, then you definitely need to hit the gym shortly after consuming.

    The big benefit people are seeing from high-fat, low- or no-carb diets is the naturally slower absorption of calories that comes from eating fats, which break down slower. Also, you have an increase in vitamin absorption for those fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D, K), and I think that’s where a good amount of the increased immune function comes from.

    But, I can guarantee you, if you down 3000 fat calories, and only expend 2000 calories, you will gain weight over time. Calories are calories. The body just handles them differently.

  50. Calories are calories however how calories are digested and used dictates metabolism and how food is stored. Frequent meals with lower calories and low glycemic index results in a higher metabolism. If a person is digesting more calories than the body is using then the calories are converted to fat and stored in fat cells. In a calorie deficit state, the body then pulls fat from the cells to use for energy or for conversion for glycogen storage in the liver and muscles and the brain (which only uses this type of energy source). When in a calorie deficit state, metabolic rate drops which makes people sluggish and it is natural that they do less work.

    The Zone diet attempts to keep the body in a state where fat is not transported to the fat cells. I was following a calorie restricted diet, switched to the Zone and eliminated starch/sugary foods and started loosing weight at 2# per week as apposed to the ¼ # a week I was loosing prior. I had added 200 cal. a day to my diet. Since a calorie is a calorie, the difference must be an increased metabolic rate or I just felt better so was doing more and burning more calories.

    The trick, can you stay on a reduced calorie diet for an extended period? For a low fat high glycemic diet the answer is typically no. The huge swing in insulin and the reduced amount of time food is being digested triggers a hormone that causes hunger. I call this the eat and be hungry diet. I have read studies that showed that people at conventions that were given unlimited food ate more calories over the day when high starch and sugar, and low fat diets were offered. The California Polytechnic University in Pomona published a study that showed that the more food choices they offered, the more calories people ate. And, even when people ate all they wanted, when they were then offered sweets, they consumed even more calories. So the type of foods, pleasurable sensation and the timing of food offerings are factors in how many calories we eat.

    Consider that if a large amount of food is eaten that digests fast the arteries will contain a huge amount of fat loading. I can’t help but think that this might explain why plaques build up in the arteries faster with high glycemic diets then with high fat diets like Atkins. A recent study showed that people that get less sleep will eat extra calories in the time they are staying up late. It is not important how much sleep you are getting but how that reduced sleep impacts how much food you eat that causes weight gain.

    A calorie may be a calorie but the source of calorie, its timing, how many at a time, and what triggers you to eat all contributes to how many you eat and how much work you want to do. Calories in, minus calories burned, equal weight gain or loss. Since we don’t live in a laboratory where our food is limited by what is served up, what and how we eat its critical to long term weight management because it regulates appetite and hunger. In a world of unlimited food options, the only diets that work long term are those that keep our appetite and hunger under control.

    The ticket? A well balanced diet of fat, non refined non starch carbohydrate and protein consisting of nuts, seeds. avocado and coconut oil, olive oil and butter, non starch vegetables and fruits, and eggs, meat and dairy are good foods to choose. These should be eaten in at least five meals spread out through the day with one very small meal before bed.

    My mini experiment. My sons got two rabbits that were in a small cage and the owner was limiting the amount of food they were given and they still had developed huge double chins. These poor things were ravenous by the time feeding time rolled around and would about attack the owner trying to get at the food. I in turn put the rabbits in a much bigger cage and mixed a small amount of oats and sliced almonds into the rabbit food pellets as we had done with our prior rabbit that lived twice her expected age. We feed them with a feeder that provided food continuously. Even with the added food availability and the calorie dense foods added to the diet, in a short time they added muscle and completely lost the double chins. Happy and healthy, isn’t that what we are all wanting?

  51. Coconut oil is saturated but the molecule is too big to deposit in the arteries, making it an awesome form of fat. Because the tree is not removed, the oil is a totally renewable product that provides jobs and sustains the trees.

  52. For many years i kept on sending people the artices of Dr. Enig about “The healthiest Oil in the World” , coconut oil. I lived 27 years in the Philippines and met Dr. Conrado Dayrit few years before he passed away. He had written a scientifc work about virgin coconut oil, I was able to listen to Dr. Fife and Dr. Dayrit during a conference in Manila few years back.

    Dr. Dayrit has been successfully curing people from Aids and cancer with coconut oil. He reported how in the 30s people ate a lot of saturated fats, and there were almost no cases of coronary heart diseases. Only when the vegetable oils (highly heated) came up, people got those problems. But the publications say exactly the opposite.

    Coconut oil was downgraded to be dangerous for our health. I started to experiment with coconut in many ways, learned how to make coconut yoghurt, coconut cheese. I fed children with grated coconut and fruits together with the fiber from the juices I made daily. Their health improved tremendously, they did not have skin diseases or allergies anymore, they had no cough and fever, and their school performance and memory improved. My workers who then wanted the same food, became more active, a woman who had miscarriages was able to conceive, those who were too thin gained weight and others who were overweight lost pounds….

    I have now daily coconut in many forms, even if i live in Germany now

  53. I have been eating coconut products for about 3 years now…mostly coconut oil but I also use MCT oil. I too used these items every day and they keep me healthy. Do I look fat in my photo? I would wager that at least 50-80% of my caloric intake is in the form of fat especially coconut oil. I want to splurge some times and add palm oil to my diet as well. I have not had a sniffle except for the time that I was lax in consuming coconut oil about a month ago. When I began feeling symptoms of a cold, however, I took my co by adding it to my food and to my coffee. no more sniffles fter the first day of slurping coconut oil.

    I am sorry but yes, carbohydrates are glorified poisons considering that they contribute to so many avoidable diseases of modern civilization espeically the most obvious diseases. My son who has been diagnosed with ADHD says that his symptoms are most pronounced when he consumes too many carbohydrates and notices marked improvement in his ability to focus when he eats practically no sugars at all. But being, young he does not work as hard as his mom ( me ) to avoid them. However, he does love his saturated fats so there is hope for him yet 😉

  54. Thank you for the links on Oil. Chronic Fatigue has now been identified as a retro virus similar to Aids and Herpes Simplex all impacting the RNA (see referenceds on Mayo Clinci Web page). Since Coconut oil is anti viral it may be a treatment also for this debilitating disease. Many researchers also think that Fibromyalgia is just an advanced form of Chronic Fatigue, so for these conditions, coconut oil would be a low risk way for people to try and improve their health.

  55. Thank you Mary for sharing that. The only reason I’m induging in other fats and oils besides coconut oil is that I heard it is not highly advisable for people with “O” blood types. Never tested it out on myself though.

  56. http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org has a lot of information on coconut oil.

    Colleen, I have heard of dieting/eating in accord to your blood-type but at the same time, I know nothing about it enough to discuss the validity. It would be an interesting topic. I will be starting a healthy low carb support group at the Whole Foods Market and I will be presenting as much information as I can if it is accurate. If you can direct me to where I can get more infromation I would appreciate it. However, now that I think of it Dr. Mercola speaks of this a lot. Maybe I will check through his newsletter.

  57. Aaron, I don’t know where you get this information, or why you consider it “obvious.” The anthropological and archaeological record is overwhelming and completely conclusive on this point from any angle you care to consider it: humans evolved primarily as meat eaters, and continued in that vein even after the advent of farming.

    It is also scientifically off-base to attempt to deduce what we were “meant to” eat by looking at features like teeth and claws, as there are other primates with sharper claws and teeth who *don’t* eat meat. Each species evolves in a particular context, adapting traits gradually from its predecessor in a way that helps it compete for resources at a certain place and time. Early hominids began eating meat as scavengers, and over time shifted to hunting. By the time homo sapiens emerged, meat eating was a staple, and metabolic traits evolved to support that.

  58. Great stupidiy.

    If the author wants money, there better ways. If the reader wants to be healthier, there are great vegetables and exercises.

  59. In case anyone is interested in the body odour issues I was talking about I have something to report:

    Random bouts of bad smells were still occuring every now and then so I decided to cut out all red meat. Still no joy. Then it twigged that just before 2 days of smelling like death I’d necked half a bottle of whisky one night and half a bottle of dark rum the night before.

    That was about 2 weeks ago. Haven’t hard any of the hard stuff since then, I have eaten some red meat and still no bad body odour. All is good.

    Anyone else experience this?

  60. Great article. I’ve been trying to get my friends and family up to speed about fat and cholesterol. We have been brainwashed for too long. These (sat fat and cholesterol) are very important. We (humans) are omnivores based on our teeth and nutritional needs. This was for survival of the species. Wake up vegetarians, there are no good sources of Vit. B12 other than meat, eggs, fish, etc. We can survive without eating meat but for optimal health, we need it. Saturated fat was demonized by the seed/veggie oil suppliers when the paint and varnish industry turned to less expensive petroleum alternatives. Seed and vegetable oils suppress your immune system and your thyroid. If you cut cholesterol out of your diet, your liver will make it for you in the form of LDL and VLDL (considered bad). Eat cholesterol and you will get HDL (considered good). Also… the medical/big pharma industries do not want to cure disease, they want to “treat” it. Take control of your health people! Your children do not need statins. Eat more sat fat, more cholesterol, get some exercise, and get out in the sun (without sunscreen)and get your vitamin d levels up to where they should be.

  61. In response to Talya ???:

    As far as I understand, if your HDL is over 60 (and yours is, by far!), and your triglycerides are under 100 (you didn’t give that number, but if you are eating low carb, your trigs should be low), then the LDL number is irrelevant. It can be high, but it isn’t dangerous. That is because once the HDL is sufficently raised, the LDL is mostly the large, fluffy, innocuous type. If the HDL is low, and the trigs are high, then the opposite is true; the LDL will consist of small, sticky particles that are dangerous.

    Don’t try to lower your cholesterol!! Your lipid panel is excellent!!

  62. Paleo diet sounds logical…. for Paleo era. No way you can feed 6,5 billion people with this. For it to work one person should live on 10 sq.km, which means 500 mil people on earth. Where I live there is no such thing as grass-fed beef or pork (what should it be to be organic). Best thing is organic eggs, which are 3 times more expensive with no guarantee. Hell, 90% of salmon is farmed. I really find it hard to eat meat and not worry about all the toxins, 7 times more sat fat than game, completely different omega 3 to omega 6 ratio, etc. I resort to wild fish and eggs (free ranging, but only the name I guess), and chicken sometimes.

  63. Laurie, your response to Talya is correct. Talya, hope you listened to her.

    Riff, most of my meat is not organic at all. I deliberately buy my meat at the grocery store that keeps the most fat on their meats. It is frustrating to shop in meat departments where the fat has been slashed from the meat. My cholesterol remains optimal as expected.

    Primal doesn’t mean grass-fed. Paleo folks went after meat according to its availability. They didn’t ponder if the meat was grass or grain fed. They just wanted their bellies well-fed. They hunted what was available to them and hunted the fattest animals. Lean meats such as rabbits were consumed when the fattier game were slim pickens. We can shop in a similar manner. Sometimes we tend to “overthink” and completely miss the point.

  64. They hunted what was available. What the game ate was not taken into consideration. If a buffalo was corn-fed or grass fed it would not have mattered. It just so happened that the buffalo grazed on grass. If that buffalo had somehow consumed a grain based diet, that buffalo would have still been considered…food. So de facto, they ate what was available to eat.

  65. Perhaps because I am a heavy meat eater, I am also a very good “faster” — I can go for long periods not eating, just water. This is very cleansing and I like to do a 60-days fast twice a year. I am concerned about the synthetic estrogens added to beef, especially for males, and I believe in regularly detoxing any synthetic hormones from the body.

    Found some excellent thin-sliced beef and lamb at my local Korean market. It is so fresh and tender and I can eat it raw before I marinate it for Carpaccio 🙂

  66. I appreciate the 7 reasons to eat more saturated fat and oddly enough it matches up nearly perfectly with the diets of the bodybuilders or the 40’s and 50’s before steroid usage was common place. Steeve Reeves is one great example of how a diet high in saturated fat can provide some amazing benefits. I wanted to point out that saturated fats also improve the mobilization of nitrogen. Since all amino acids (the building blocks of muscle) have a nitrogen group NH3, the theory goes that having these fats in your diet improves your muscles’ ability to take in amino acids to use for energy and most importantly, repair. My one concern, and I am hoping someone replies to this (if not you, Tim) is the ketogenic effect of a diet consistingly mostly of meat. My understanding is that a diet that is high in protein and fat can produce ketoacidosis, the same condition diabetes patients or people going through starvation (since they are eating their own muscles and other tissues for sustenance) suffer from. Some people may already be aware of some of the apparent signs of ketoacidosis such as breath that smells somewhat sweet or almost like acetone nail polish remover. Any thoughts on if this should be a concern for this type of diet or if there are ways of avoiding this potentially serious complication?

  67. Kotoacidosis is a rare event that happens to type I diabetics. What is actually happening is due to the fact that T1 diabetics have little or no insulin that is needed to work with glucagon. Glucagon and insulin work together for glucose stability. Glucagon therefore is overproduced in a T1 diabetic causing the phenomenon ketoacidosis.

    Ketosis which is the process in which the body has so many ketones that they can be measured, is a natural body function. Once the body adapts to using the ketones for energy, instead of carbohydrates for fuel, ketones are not spilled to the extent where they can be measured.

    I am pre-diabetic and I manage my blood sugars exclusively through a ketogenic diet which includes intermittent fasting. I eat my fill in meat and fats and vegetables. No, my body isn’t eating itself.

  68. Hi Tim

    Yes it is very informative post. I’m happy that person like YOU is now on our side.

    What I mean by saying “our side” is that there is already huge amount of people who eat High Fat animal diet, including myself (raw meat diet as well).

    Diet loaded with SFA’s (saturated fatty acids) , low in carbohydrates and with moderate amounts of animal proteins is the best way to go.

    Diet like this was practised by your ancestors who were much healthier and stronger than you are these days hehe (I know you are good fighter but sorry mate 😉 ).

    And yes next good point is about brain function. Your brain is purely made from fat. To be exact it is not SFA’s but PUFA’s Omega-3 EPA and DHA.

    That is why you need Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.

    The best sources of these fats are bone marrow, brains, organ meats, krill and fish’s tissues.

    But the best part is (not for everyone) that according to new scientific study diet rich in Saturated Fats and vitamin B-12 (and probably all of vitamins form B group) has protecting and building brain properties.

    What we can suspect is that vegetarians may have smaller brains. To be exact they are more likely to get “brain shrinkage”!

    As long as they supplement all of vitamins B (vitamins work synergistically) they should be ok. But those of them who are not…they may have “brainy” problems…

    Of course it is only one or two studies but in my opinion it is enough to start thinking about proper diet.

    (Vogiatzoglou A, et al. Vitamin B12 status and rate of brain volume loss in community-dwelling elderly. Neurology 2008; 71(11):82632)(http://www.neurology.org/cgi/content/abstract/71/11/826)

    Brain shrinkage is caused by deficiency of animal fats, vitamins B and to high amount of vegetables. We are more carnivores than herbivores.

    Your small intestine is much longer than colon and is similar to those of predators.

    Herbivores have small intestine short and “colon” (I call this colon but it in fact it is kind of “reactor” where essential nutrients are made) designed to render grass into amino acids, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins.

    Did you ever thought about cows? Why they growth so big while they eat only grass (if they lucky enough to be in organic/ grass fed farm)?!

    In grass is no proteins and no fats, you can find there only microscopic amounts of carbohydrates.

    They growth so big on grass because their intestines are designed to turn grass into all essentials nutrients they may need.

    Anyway it is great to have you on board Tim

    All the best

    Andrew Karpinski (Food Technologist, Nutrition Advisor)

  69. Andrew K. I really enjoyed reading your post. I am going to see if you have a web site. If you don’t why don’t you get one.

  70. I am far beyond stock about the truth of saturated fats, I always thought they were very bad for you. As I heard from my sister, I knew she wasn’t a dietitian, but she out of everyone has a 4.0 GPA, so it was very hard one what to believe, I constantly beat up myself for eating a lot of fats in my dieting, believing it would stay. And I once was a vegetarian for a whole entire year, But I always constantly had the need to eat, and I never felt I was full. I don’t know how the vegans even stay alive without feeling like their starving. I always knew meat did make you feel full, and it gives you a lot of energy throughout the day, without stopping you having to snack on a doughnut or a very fatty breakfast food. But, if you eat a couple of sausage biscuits or turkey bacon (BLT’s) you’re less likely to feel guilty.

    Lynzi (Liz)

  71. Lynzi, This has been my observation. Our body’s do indeed tell us what we need to eat. We tend to over think that with our brains. Saturated fats exist in nature. It is very important to understand how they work in nature. After changing my dietary lifestyle I have discovered that vegetables cause more health problems for me. I have to really watch the veggies that I eat and I am more liberal with meat and fats. Surprise!

  72. I think a lot of people are looking at this article with the wrong eyes. This article isn’t saying that we should indulge on saturated fats, it’s saying that we shouldn’t exclude them from our diets because it is essential for a number of different things. The real problem is that they have a stigma that they are bad for you and a lot of people have excluded saturated fats completely from their diets, which is just as bad as eating a lot of it.

    One should just eat balanced and not exclude anything from their diet, but also not begin to eat an excess of anything either.

  73. I changed to a low carb diet 2 years ago and eat lots of meat, eggs and saturated fats. And I am feeling great. It’s shocking how little most people know about food. That is why I am so glad that a few enlighted people publish on the thruth of healthy foods, with the risk of being ridiculed by the unknowing. If people only knew how healthy ketosis is……

    Cancer needs sugar; don’t feed it.

  74. This is an awful excerpt.

    It’s true that saturated fat is required for use by the body; but what the article is leaving out is that in normal, healthy human beings, the body produces on it’s own all of the saturated fat it needs. There is absolutely no medical reason to eat more of it, but several good reasons to limit it’s intake as much as possible.

    If you never ate another gram of saturated fat, your body would faithfully make all that it needed for the 7 “reasons” the author quotes.

    The article is bad science, because it leaves out a significant and commonly known fact (at least, in the scientific & medical communities) in order to draw an incorrect conclusion.

    1. …phrases such as “commonly-known fact” cannot be trusted.

      What is “common knowledge” often is not true though it may be commonly believed, perhaps by majorities that have been spoon-fed such info by media and government agencies that are not scientists nor do they interpret “scientific data” correctly, especially if the data is fudged by leaving out studies that state opposing conclusions. Whoever pays gets the conclusions they want. Agribusiness, grain lobby, etc.

      Much of what passes today for scientific certainty relating to nutrition and diet is suspect because bought and paid for by special interests who lobby congress.

      For info, read GOOD CALORIES, BAD CALORIES by Gary Taubes.

    2. @stephen: Your analysis is very simplistic. It is far healthier to consume the saturated fat the body needs rather than make it itself. Why? Because to produce saturated fat the body needs to consume excessive amounts of carbs/sugar. High blood sugar and insulin have terrible effects on the body, including accelerated aging and heart disease.

  75. I do indulge in saturated fats. If my body made all the saturated fats that it needed, then all the added saturated fats that I consume would be stored as fat. All the saturated fat that I consume would be clogging my arteries and I would be a lot fatter than I am in my picture. Instead My tri’s are well under 100. As a matter of fact , they are well under 70. I lost weight after increasing my saturated fat consumption. There are many scientific approaches that support the importance for saturated fats. The information in this article is nothing new. But, if you need scientifi data… it would be very easy to link that here. Just let me know.

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  77. I guess it really shouldn’t be, but it is astonishing to me how badly people want to hold onto their misconceptions. Everyone “knows” that saturated fat is bad for you, after all, that’s what medical and nutritional pseudo-science has been telling us for decades. But, there is being misled, which can happen to anyone, and then there is willful ignorance, which to me is inexcusable.

    There is evidence aplenty that what we have been told regarding diet since the 1950s is wrong. One of them is, or should be, quite apparent to anyone with eyes. Since they started telling us that carbs were good, and fat was bad, more and more people have become obese. People promoting the low fat diets even point to this result, in the hope of somehow proving their position. “See,” they say, “you’re obviously not listening to us.” Why more people haven’t yet woken up and said “Hey, wait a minute…” is quite beyond me. It’s like someone who has been taken in by a con man, and lost their money, but in an effort to convince themselves that they couldn’t have been so foolish, they go to the bank, withdraw more money, and then give it to the con man again, in hope that the result will be better than last time.

    Regarding diet, and the con that has been going on there for so many years, when confronted by the truth, they do the mental equivalent of holding their hands over their ears, and saying “La la la, I can’t HEAR you, saturated fat is bad, bad, bad, la la la!” And then they go off with the intention of losing weight by following the old con, and “doing better” this time, convinced that the reason they’ve been unsuccessful so far is that they haven’t managed to eliminate enough fat and calories from their diets. So, they do things like eating a muffin and a soy latte for lunch, never realizing that despite the fact that there is little or no fat in these, this is precisely the sort of thing that is making them fat.

    We evolved eating protein and saturated fat. We were able to develop big brains and sentience because we ate protein and saturated fat. Of course, there were other factors involved, which I won’t go into here, but the key point is we could not have developed large brains and sentience if we had been vegetarians.

    If what medical and nutritional “science” has been telling us for the last 60 years or so were true, humans would be the only animals on earth for which the diet on which we evolved was no longer good for us. I challenge you naysayers to really think about that one for a bit. And no matter what anyone tells you, food animals were not somehow miraculously low in saturated fat in our formative years, nor did hunter-gatherers eat more vegetables than meat. I have read those arguments, and they are nothing but hogwash glibly spouted to support an agenda.

    Oh, and regarding the objections of the vegetarians here, we evolved to be predators. I don’t know why some people insist on making this into a moral issue. Are the other predators with which we share the planet morally reprehensible? No? Why not? They kill to live. And it’s easy to spout the rhetorical dogma about how much more eco-friendly vegetarianism is, until you actually research it and stop merely parroting what you’ve been told.

    I think one of the major problems is that many people, including what seems to be the majority of nutritionists, don’t understand how and why the body makes fat. I won’t go into it here, but if you are of a mind to judge the topic of this article objectively, you owe it to yourself to look into it. I will give you a hint, though. Dietary fat does not make you fat, and indeed it is quite impossible for it to do so. All the vegan propaganda aside, it is impossible to be a fat carnivore, but quite possible to be a fat vegetarian, even if you eat only 100% organic and unprocessed fruits and vegetables. I can already hear the screams of the people who are determined to hold onto their misconceptions, but I assure you, it is quite true. Go ahead, research it, and then prove me wrong. 🙂

    1. Cornelius, better yet, any doubters should try it for themselves. They should include saturated fats as a large part of their diets then make the attempt to prove you wrong. I find that I lose weight so much easier when I am amping the saturated fats, which tells me one thing. I am not really amping them up, I am making them the exact amount that my body needs.

      Thanks Cornelius