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.

###

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.

Leave a Reply to Cody McKibben Cancel reply

Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration.)

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

  1. The only unhealthy fats are man-made. My diet contains 80% of calories from fats (most are saturated “artery clogging” animal fats.) I am very healthy and feel 20 years younger than my chronological age of 61. I keep my carbs very low though, and all my health markers are all excellent. I have lost over 50 pounds in 6 years so that covers the “not healthy for the long term diet” and the “you just can’t stick to it” arguments. And please don’t bring up the “China Study” or Dean Ornish they are both bogus. Check out “Fat Head the movie.”

  2. Nice article Tim,

    there is also a lot proof living around us everyday to back this up…. take a look at some of the different ethnic populations around the world to see the amount of good, natural saturated fats that are fundamental in their diets yet don’t have issues with heart disease like any western civilization. Africans and Eskimos have a high percentage of natural saturated fats from animals / mammals that are fed their natural diets. I believe this is an important point, for example comparing the make up of fats from a cow being fed their natural grass fed diets as opposed to grain fed. It doesn’t take a scientist / researcher to work out what works and doesn’t. the law of the land / nature and local surroundings can tell you all you need to know about what is good and not good… when foods have been modified or processed thats when things begin to change. all in all, having a balanced diet of natural / local produce will always see you on the right side of life and even allowing a small bit of ‘junk’ (I believe the 80 – 20 rule can apply here too ) can keep you in good health..

    Warmest Regards

    Shay

  3. Just came across this article. I agree 100% with the contention that saturated fat has been subject to a 50-year character assassination by the medical world, based on faulty and inadequate data and the deliberate suppression of contradictory research. It doesn’t take a lot of intelligence to deduce that someone somewhere is benefiting from this deliberate public misinformation.

    I started to read Mary Enig back on 2003 and learnt about Trans Fats long before they were mainstream. At the time I thought, maybe the next thing will be that eating red meat is good for you. I have always loved steaks, lamb, good pork and chicken and eggs and can’t remember when I last – if ever – bought a tub of margarine. I adore butter and regard it is a health food, as I do whole milk. Cream I find I can have too much of very easily.

    The only other fat I use is good olive oil. I am 53 and now the healthiest I have ever been. My BM1 is 21.6 and I feel great despite having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1998. I never get colds or flu and run one kilometre every morning. We grow many of our own vegetables and eat only good quality local meat and virtually no processed food. It’s actually cheaper too than a diet of ready meals.

    I feel sad when I go to the local supermarket and see the piles and piles of gunk in plastic tubs being touted as ‘healthy options’. Do people realize that stuff would naturally be grey and stink to heaven? And I feel intensely angry when I read the ‘advice’ from Health ‘authorities’ like the NHS telling us to eat, and I quote, ”more pasta, less sauce”. There is little mention of trans fats and none of the benefits of fresh whole food as against processed.

    Of course refined carbs and sugars – and bad processed fats – are the real culprits in heart disease, cancers, obesity and many other ‘Western’ problems. The French Paradox is not a paradox, just common sense. Why does no-one do some research into goose fat? I am convinced it is the healthiest of all natural fats.

    The selling out of the medical establishment to the food industry is a national scandal.

    Thanks for this article Tim,

    Best,

    Andrew

  4. @ Andrew: I couldn’t agree more. One of the things that makes me angry is when cooking and nutritional “authorities” automatically equate “low fat” with “healthy,” because what they usually mean is low saturated fat, and the more so because nearly everyone just nods their heads and agrees.

    “Today I’m going to show you a healthy dish of pasta and a wonderful, low fat sauce…” It sets my teeth on edge. It would be much healthier for people to spoon up real Alfredo (cream and Parmesan) sauce by the quart, and forgo the pasta.

    But, “everyone knows” that saturated fat is bad for you. So much so, that whenever I have had the poor judgement to actually say anything to the contrary in polite company, most people have looked at me as though I had just said something about how they should all be wearing foil hats to prevent government mind control.

    But, here, I feel safe in saying that, while there is no electronic mind control going on, at least not directly, the public has been bamboozled for long enough that the effect is the same. The majority of people believe the exact opposite of the truth, regarding health and diet, even to the point of getting up on their high-horses on the issue of soy vs. meat. (which is another topic, I suppose, but just as valid)

    For now, though, let me conclude by saying that most of the people who advocate large amounts of grains and little protein and fat are sadly misinformed sheep. As is much of humanity, on a good deal of subjects, unfortunately. However, the people who inform them regarding diet are the very people who stand to profit from such lies, and these people should be taken out and shot. They are indirectly murdering thousands of people every day, and, trust me, most of them know better. It’s an undisclosed and largely ignored epidemic, caused by the almighty dollar, and kills many more than tobacco and alcohol combined.

    Cornelius

    P.S.

    Yeah, I know to many of you who “know” that saturated fat is bad for you, and grains are good, I sound like a paranoid alarmist who is about to start spouting off about Area 51, black helicopters, Bigfoot, and the like. Well, fine. Some people can’t be saved, even from themselves.

    But to those of you who actually think, and know how, do the research. Really take a look at the information. It is readily available. The Weston A. Price Foundation website will get you started, and provides links to studies that not only support my viewpoint, but yours as well. I really don’t care if 98% of the people who read my posts think of me as a fool, if the other 2% can be rescued.

  5. I agree with just about everything said, but adding sources can really help back you up. Granted there is plenty of information out there which people should be looking at.

    Anyone that does not agree with an increased fat diet needs to monitor their diet and count the sugar intake. Stop attacking fats and turn your hate to sugar. Then learn about how and why the body turns carbs into storage…. Then learn about how carbs work with your insulin and metabolism which will further explain why you snack more.

    After doing a little research you would be a fool to say America’s high sugar diet is better than a high fat diet.

  6. Hey Tim, I wasn’t sure where to post this, but I’m wondering when your new book will be published. I know The Gracie Diet will be coming out at the end of this year…

  7. Hi Tim,

    Long time 4HWW fan. First comment.

    This post & your “Geek to Freak” post launched me into reading Drs Eades books. I’ve lost 13 pounds in a little over a month (while increasing muscle mass through Pavel’s power lifting principles). Started on your “slow carb” diet and migrated to Eades’ low-carb diet recently.

    Please share your opinion on the two diet method’s for a mid 30’s male with 40 pounds of fat to loose (who also wants to gain muscle) — slow carb (w/legumes) vs. low carb as referenced in 6 Week Cure.

    Thanks!

    -Tim N

    1. Hi Tim,

      Congrats! Both work well. It’s just a matter of which you prefer. For gaining mass, you don’t need to eat “carbs” per se, but you will need to eat a lot.

      Let us know where you are in 4 weeks!

      Best of luck,

      Tim

  8. Cornelius, you sound just like me when I listen to “healthy low fat food programs”. I would wager that they don’t truly know or understand what fat ( saturated fat ) is and how it plays an important part in the health of any dieter.. I always roll my eyes when I hear the words healthy low fat anything.

  9. A most informative website… this information for me is going to be life changing… I am restructuring my diet to a healthy way of eating and this is the icng on the cake to helping create a balanced eating plan.

    I have always wondered about all saturated fats being BAD.. as i believe natures foods are always best… Now I know it’s true.. and i for the first time understand the difference betrween saturated and trans fats..

    thank you so much for your articles

  10. There is so much information here. I have been confused for years over what I should be eating and how much. It’s a nightmare. It seems like you have to just research everything yourself and read medical papers just to be sure that this isn’t wrong again in twenty years. The body is so complex and we haven’t worked it out yet. Good reading though. People have to be more conscious and take more responsiblity for their own lives and that means work.

  11. after I read this I was making something to eat. I was thinking that the whole problem is we forget the body is designed to keep us alive and kicking. anything that works against that it rebels if your genetic makeup for survival is intact. example you go on a low carb diet (like myself) for a few months and what happens? you start to crave carbs. okay you go lowfat (like myself) you start to crave milk, bacon and the like. then you go lower fat but incorporate coconut oil mostly, some monos like olive oil, almond milk, and heavy on supplements like vita min omega 3, lipoic acid, chromium gtf, and a sugar regulator herbs. (this last one didn’t come until about 2 months into the diet change) I did lose fat on this one by the way in the 2 and half months I followed and continue to follow, it compared to all other diets I have done over the years. I have lost hundreds of pounds on various diets, but not necessarily just fat alone. I am maintaining my strength and building muscles I never was able to do that dieting in times past includingweight watchers.

    then you start to crave some milk, bacon etc but it isn’t everyday. then you realize that whatever you reduce to much the body will crave, and if you fight it, you will still have days you crave and give in (called going off the diet or maybe a binge? then of course you go back on the diet)when you give in your body remembering the past restrictions will hoard it. not enough fat (I include all fats not just sat) not enough vita min it will hoard it, guess where? your fat cells. to have more room to hoard it you produce more fat cells.

    not enough proteins? guess what all caloire restricted diets suffer this and you will burn what you have stored already and your metabolism suffers. our bodies can’t store proteins it can only use it to repair and build then converts to glucose to make either glycogen or you guessed it fat. of course they may come back later and say we were wrong it can store it. who knows.

    not enough carbs you become hypoglycemic and hungrier than a bear after hybernation. lol. I think the problem amounts to malnutriton. it takes alot of energy to convert protein to glucose and a low carb diet(mostly meat) is very hard on the body especially if it is malnorished to begin with all the poor diets or all the calorie restricted diets people seem to be stuck on.

    maintaining a proper glucose load at all times seems to be the key to weight loss or vitality or both. if that glucose is always up and down because of quickly metabolised into the blood sugars you get serious problems and depletion of nutrients. because carbs that tend to do this also are generally very low in nutrients. lets not forget that I read the glucose is very oxidative (hence radicals producing) that the body has to encrust it with you guessed it fat called lipid rafts from teh surface of cell to the mitrochondria. other wise the cytoplasm of the cell becomes full of free radicals and we know what bad boys they are. this alone can deplete your antioxidant stores. (vita, minerals etc)

    the reason tim said eat more sat fat is because when you go low fat people tend to eat alot of carbs to make up for the lesser caloires. you tend to get hungrier too as fat is more satiating it triggors hormones in teh gut that help satiaty. this rise and fall of glucose to often leading to some degree of insulin resistance (the malnutriton that comes with makes insulin resistance worse) leads to the cells unable to use much glucose simply cause ti cant get to it, the sugar goes up the fat cells come to the rescue to soak up the glucose and covert to safe fats it also triggors the cells of body to use fat for fuel inrespective of amount of glucose in blood as cells cant access it and glucose in the blood is highly oxidative. if the load becomes to much (from dieting for weight loss and high glycemic carbs) the body needs to recruit more fat cells hence you get fatter, to help with the load.

    but this can lead to serious problems if the malnutriton lasts to long. that seems to be why middle age is so hard when it comes to weight, people are training their bodies over a long period to expect famines (quality or quantity, sometimes both) so it hoards, minerals (in fat so the body makes more fat cells over time to hoard more minerals and fat soluable vita) hoards fat also just so there is enough caloires to survive the next famine you go on. too. remember famines can be both not enough caloires period or quality, not enough vita and minerals not enough phytonutrients, not enough antioxidants not enough protein to make enzymes or both.

    it can only store about 1000 caloires of glycogen, so the rest fuel to prepare for famines (cause you keep famining)that inevitably will come. are you starting to the get the picture? if you don’t get enough caloires period even if diet is full of nutrients you will hoard fat in the long run (binging epidsodes provide the extra when you can’t stand the hunger anymore to help sustain you during the next diet attempt. understand? ti can go like that with not enough nutrients period even if your calories are adequate.

    I do have a question, if you need sat fat for linings in the lungs and to get liver to dump fat, doens’t body make sat fat from glucose and cant it use that sat fat for this role without having to take much dietary sat fat in?

    thanks.

  12. sorry I forgot to add what my diet consists of. lots of fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains when I do eat them, ezekiel for my bread when I have a taste for it, almond milk for my protein drinks and whole grain or low gi pasta when I make spegetti a couple of times a week. ground sirloin for my sauce about 1-2 ounces on average for me, more for hubby, ground sirloin for my hamburger patty when I carve hamburger once in a while, chicken, salmon, bacon at least once to 2 times a week (organic only) eggs several times a week, organic cage free, I also like italian sausage with my brown rice and tomatoes once or twice a month. some cheese occassionally. I get the skinless keilbasa with sauerkraut I do love that sauerkraut. about once a month.

    I find by the way I crave the protein sources like cheese and milk near that time of the month. otherwise I don’t crave as much as often. or it only takes a small amount to satify my craving. this is a diet I have actually enjoyed following after a 30 year history of trying to find a diet that not only I like but helps me to lose fat (without losing muscles or protein sources in my body) I am losing inches, not sure about weight I don’t weigh, scales are like entering into hades for me.

    my desire to exercise has increased dramatically after years of having to force myself to exercise. my sleep has improved beyond what I ever thought (I had sleep problems for years). I am more relaxed, more interested in life again, instead of just going through it cause I have to. I am still obese I am a long way from my goal, but if it keeps up like this I can stick to this diet for life.

    thanks

  13. I find it funny that people worry about how much water cows use to make meat. did it ever occur to anyone that they eat grass? that grass is going to grow whether a cow eats it or not. water recycles through the cow, when it pees and poos. some areas meat is all you will grow as the rainfall and ground doesn’t sustain crops but cattle (sheep, cows/ goats etc) eat wild grasses that grow very well with little water. they are quite capable of eating grasses that you and I can’t eat.

    grass can grow in areas with 10-15 inches of water per year some are very drought tolerant too. crops in these areas are irrigated. not very sustainable if you ask me. second there are other animals like horses that eat alot of grass hay too. are we saying now that we should reduce the number of horses as they are unsustainable because they eat alot of hay (which requires water) and do not provide any food to us at all? not unless you live in europe where horsemeat is a delicacy.

    no one would ever say that. but yet eating meat is demonized without any evidence that they cause any problems. in fact factory farming is the problem not having cattle for meat. it is just like activists for one thing or another to use emotional appeal rather than logic and reason to explain things and get people on the bandwagon with them to support some nonsense.

    I see a problem with only eating meat, we were designed for a omnivore diet otherwise we would probably throw up if we ate meat, or veggies or whatever if our bodies were not designed for it. try feeding horses meat and see how far you go. so if we can consume them without problems then what of it? I think we are trying to hard to use logic or reason to decide what we should or should not eat (tho this is logical in face of excess food processing and toxic food enviroment). animals do not analyze something to decide should I eat it? should I not?

    their bodies tell them via cravings, food appealing to them etc. I say if your hungry for a steak eat it, try to get the best quality possible, craving milk? drink it, hungry for a bowl of strawberries? or pineapple or peaches or veggies or nuts or whatever? eat it. I say only stay away from heavily processed and stripped foods, as they remove the benefits of that food, like white flour, or white sugar. if you do eat sugar use only a little and use it with some fat and protein to lower gi.

    use lower gi higher nutrient foods like 100 whole stoned ground grain, brown rice, add butter to lower gi, eat all the fruit you desire, eat all the veggies you desire even starchy veggies like corn on the cob. eat cheese if your hungry for it, eat a good hamburger if you hungry for it. listen to your body it will tell you if you listen what it wants.

    stop analyzing food as to good or bad. if it is minimally processed and organic (so they say organic is best)eat it if it appeals. one poster mentioned how after a while meat was gross to him he ate so much of it, that was your body telling you it had enough and wants other foods. phyto nutrients are important and you can only get them in plant foods like fruits veggie seed, nuts.

    all meat diet (be honest how much veggies can you eat to get all the phytonutrients you need?) depletes your body of nutrients. you need nutrients found in plants. so there is nothing wrong with a mixed varied diet based on food appeal and hunger cues. leave the rest to the nature of your system it will get it right if you listen.,

    rosa

  14. i agree with the reasons given in this article because studies are available that ghee (saturated fats used in india) has been used by the ayurvedic doctors to decrease LDL and increase HDL . it increase the omega 3 fatty acids also.

  15. I’m finding virgin coconut oil (a saturated fat) to be a true friend. I’d like to substantiate No. 4, the need for saturated fat in order to have healthy lungs. I picked up a virus 3 days ago. There’s a bad one going around. I drink LOTS of water to hydrate my body, and it helps me to keep the symptoms of the cold/flu virus at bay. I was doing fine for 2 days with the extra water, Vitamin C, and Airborne. The second night before retiring I didn’t drink as much water as I really didn’t want to get up as often to relieve my bladder. That 3rd morning I woke with a VERY stuffy head, sinuses feeling somewhat miserable . I remembered that coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, good for lung health and breathing difficulties. I took a rounded teaspoonful of coconut oil and simply ate it off the spoon. It tasted lovely, and felt so good melting in my mouth. I kid you not, in 15 minutes my head, sinuses, and bronchia felt blessed relief!!!! My cold is gone! I, myself am really amazed. Never have I gotten such quick relief from a cold. I’m a believer!

    1. Hello Lola,

      Funny you should bring that up …. because …. I’m right now turned on to Dr. Robert Cassar in the search for more pure, uncontaminated foods. Just moved to a small town and getting the pure red meats without all the fat trimmed off is very difficult.

      Am getting ready to order virgin coconut as a trial. That plus some blue green algae (Dr. Cassar ferments it before drinking it).

      So it looks like the “new fat/oil” is going to be virgin coconut and organic cultured butter. I understand olive oil is only good if it is purchased from a small operation that presses the olives when they are fully ripened.

      If they had not poisoned all the red meat with GMO feed (even my natural angus beef is fed grains for 120 days) I would not have made the move over to coconut oil.

      I hope I experience the benefits you have experienced.

  16. Tim, I just finished reading your book and love your work – you have done your research! A client of mine contacted me regarding strength training and nutrition coaching amongst some others, and was attracted to my site after having read your book as the concepts I already use are parallel to many of yours.. although perhaps not so obsessive! What am I kidding, we all have our own version of OCD don’t we 😉

    Keep writing, I will too 😉

    1. Spouting someone’s “research” is not always productive. Observing cultures that are healthy is more helpful. I think many who are so combative against Weston A Price misunderstand his findings. He observed cultures where people lived healthy lives to 130 years and beyond. Some healthy peoples ate vegetarian; other people groups (Inuit) in Alaska ate almost entirely blubber and meat. The common denominator that Dr. Price found was that the healthy cultures ate “natural” food, freshly prepared each day — not preserved, no bleached flours etc., no hydrogenated fats treated with chemicals, etc. The Philipine culture (before it was contaminated with the American SAD diet did not suffer from Alzheimers, diabetes and many other diseases of the Western world. Yet the mainstay of their diet has been the coconut…. which is a SATURATED fat! However, it is a very healthy saturated fat. Saturated fat is GOOD!!!!! The oils on our grocery shelves are mainly those which have been hydrogenated to give them a long shelf life.

      However, coconut oil will not spoil on the shelf. It is naturally solid at room temperature and very healthy. It’s wonderful! Never stop searching for the truth. Never stop learning. “Scientists” will often tell you wrong information for greedy purposes. I must say, Dr. Ornish was not a bad person, but he didn’t have the whole truth. We need more fat in our diets. A low-fat /no-fat diet is definitely a heart killer. I know from personal experience. Thank you.

    2. Joseph…I hope you’ve gotten the message:

      Virgin Coconut Oil is a SATURATED FAT.

      It’s a wonderfully healthy fat.

      We’ve been taught a lie for many years. Saturated fat is not unhealthy.

      Unadulterated saturated fats have positive health benefits.

      TRANS FATS, chemically and heat treated fats are deadly to our system.

      Saturated fats and trans fats are not the same.

      Canola oil, on the other hand, is made from rape seed and need to be treated to remove the stink and bad taste before marketing. It is NOT a good oil in spite of what we’ve been told.

      Please be open minded enough to learn the truth. Research it for yourself.

  17. I agree with what you are saying, but the high saturated fat diets based on available foods today are not the same as the foods we ate in ancient times. I define that as prior to 11,000 years ago when we started to farm and eat lots of grains. Grass fed animals are higher in omega 3 than commercially raised animals that are feed grain to fatten and marble the meat before the animal is butchered. Even ocean raised farmed salmon is high in omega 6 (corn feed) when native wild fish are high in omega 3. Fat in a mammal is also different based on what part of the animal the fat comes from. For example belly fat is a different from of fat then other parts of the body, especially if the mammal has been feed grains. As for vegetarians, plants contain no B 12. After five years of a vegan diet the body will be striped of B12 and the person will get pernicious anemia…. in other words we stop making blood cells. Without B 12 we die. A vegetarian friend of mine told me that we no longer need animal products because we have evolved. Well, last time I checked we have not evolved to the point where we don’t need blood. Primitive man ate a tremendous amount of leaves and meat. The body chemistry with this type of diet changes to promote health and there are 8 times more nutrients in this type of diet compared to the average American diet. To learn more, read the Paleo Diet.

    P. S. Cell membranes are mostly cholesterol, as are hormones. Studies have shown that people that eat synthetic butter and synthetic lard (margarine and shortening) have flabby cell walls, and also higher cancer rates.

  18. Coconut oil is one of the good LDL cholesterols and the molecule is too big to collect on artery walls, but it forms excellent cell membranes and has many other positive health benefits. Read the book, Eat Fat Lose Fat by Mary Enig. There is a great section in the book for health recovery and there is a section that goes into detail about how we have all been duped by the grain and edible oil industry. Did you know that they were able to manipulate their lobbyist to be placed as head of the FDA? It’s how we ended up with doctors and even the American Heart Association touting the benefits of trans fats and it was how the food pyramid was initiated and pushed in schools. I hate conspiracy stories, but I have finally come about and realized that money buys campaign advertising which places before us only candidates chosen by big business and the media is feed by studies paid for by big business. For example, there was a full half page article in my paper with the headline that calcium supplements did not decrease bone fractures. Basically it said that if you are 8 or 80 and you fall and rap your arm on the edge of a curb, the bone will break. In the last sentence it said that there was one exception and that was that there was a 50% reduction in hip fractures in the elderly. This was the only sentence that mattered since 50% of people in convalescent hospitals are there from a broken hip and half of those will die of complications and the other 50% will never get out and will die within three years. So if every person took calcium and vitamin D supplements, we would have 25% fewer people in convalescent homes. Since for the most part the only fractures that people die from are hip fractures the headlines should have read, 50% reduction in fatal fractures. Who would benefit from such misinformation?

  19. Actually, the whole idea that saturated fats are bad is pretty recent in the grand scheme of things. The documentary “Fat Heads” (it’s on Hulu and Netflix) is pretty enlightening. The filmmarker eats nothing but fast food for a month. He loses 12 pounds and feels great in the process. (Now, everyone knows that too much fast food is bad. But, he takes in a lot of saturated fats.)

    He does a lot of research into saturated fats, cholesterol, and carbohydrates. Carbs are the real thing to keep in moderation, as the body processes it as sugar, which it then stores in fat and tends not to burn as often or as easily as other fats. Grains (where we get the brunt of our carbs, vegetables are still good for you) are part of our diets now because of the development of agriculture, but these weren’t really consumed in mass quantities in hunter gatherer times. The grains used in making high carb foods are an agricultural product — a great source of revenue for the farming industry, so of course we have been told that they are very healthy for us. Of course, now people are catching on, but we are still being told to avoid saturated fats because they “clog arteries,” which actually isn’t true. Clog arteries are a symptom of another problem — the documentary makes it clear.

    Eh, but in today’s world, it’s really hard to avoid carbs and processed food. Everything is so full of chemicals — meat included. Organic seems to be the best way to go, but it is often more expensive. Processed foods are fast and cheap. Also, carbs are delicious. It’s a dilemma.

  20. Glad to see other people worrying about their health and adopting the Paleolithic Diet, I live on a diet of meats, organs, organic butter , coconut, leafy greens and vegetables and i feel better than ever, i’m at a low bodyfat whitouth much exercise, my inmune system works like a train, have good appettite etc etc, i just feel better overall, even my reflexes are sharper, the best source of fats nowadays is organic butter and coconut milk, followed by red muscular meat of grass fed beef, the most optimal would be to get them from the meat and organs of wild game, but it is very expensive and not everyone can afford them, so i recommed the above and also a good daily omega 3 source like cod liver oil.

    1. Yummy! Just moved to a small town in Connecticut and the best locally is 2lbs of certified organic ground Angus beef. Tastes great as a raw mixture of sea salt plus some herbs (parsley, for example) and has not made me sick at all.

      Sells at BJs for about $3.50 per pound..

      BTW, also makes a great meatloaf 🙂 I add parsley flakes to the mixture.

      Tastes awesome without cooking though — like cheating and eating cookie dough before baking 🙂

  21. Saturated fats are good and healthy, saturated fats are good and healthy, saturated fats are good and healthy healthy be saturated fats.

  22. Diet discussions are really interesting exercises in partial facts. I am 67 years old in perfect health and try to eat reasonably.

    That is: Lots of Much less

    vegetables wheat products

    fruits animal products

    nuts raw juices & vegetables

    fish / omega 3 fats & oils

    spices yogurt, etc.

    Including an occasional nice steak and as close to ZERO as possible of Salt, Sugar, Trans Fats, Fast Food, chips etc.

    And lots of water and physical movement – weights, cycling, walking and floor exercises.

    Understanding that this is probably not an ideal extreme diet, but compared to friends who are always searching for some magic diet – I seem to be in much better condition and health. Generally I have not eliminated any reasonably grown or prepared food – just tried to neither exaggerate on the carbs or eliminate properly raised and fed animal based products.

    Any consideration of diet cannot include much sitting on your duff, watching brain numbing tv. For a healthy body, it is “use it or lose it”

    Regards

  23. The 8th reason to eat foods with saturated fat is that they taste good. Chicken is so much better with the skin, non-fat milk is bland and watery, and I cannot even imagine eating eggs without the yolks. If these foods tasted better without fat, then our ancestors would have eaten them that way, but the truth is that our taste buds guide us to the most nutricious foods.

  24. Since my first post, after some aggressive clearing work re food compulsions I think my body and my mind is now ready to take it to the next level of Dr. Cassar’s Food Pyramid, here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgaB9sxNq0w

    Dr. Mercola now offers for free his Nutritional Typing chart and since I am a protein type and I want to raise my body vibrationally I am going to test out blue green algae (high protein content) with virgin coconut oil (fats/oils) and see if I can wean the body off of red meats marbled with fat.

    I am NOT a vegan nutritional type and do not know how this will go down….wish me the best 🙂

  25. This is unbelievable. So many ignorant comments in here. I’m actually a huge follower of Tim Ferris, but this article is getting misinterpreted. While yes, you should eat some saturated fats for the reasons Ferris listed above, eating them in excess is ridiculous and if you read his book “The 4-hour body” he does not recommend a high-fat diet, or an exclusive protein diet, or anything remotely close to those!

    Most recently this comment from Ronny, our body does not recognize healthy foods because they taste good!! I will not indulge into a discussion about taste buds, but fats and sugars are not the best components of our diets even though most Americans regard them as healthy… Even Ferris agrees that you should avoid fast carbs such as sugars and eat slow carbs such as whole grains and fiber. I have followed a lot of the nutrition Ferris recommends, and have gotten to 4% body fat and feel the best I’ve ever felt.

    Conclusion, don’t eat a ton of fats. Period. Now don’t take that statement ignorantly to imply avoid them, just simply focus on what your body does need, and you won’t eat excess fats. Focus on eating protein and slow carbs (I recommend beans) in the morning within an hour of waking up to boost your metabolism and keep you feeling full for a good bit of the day. Just read his book and not one unique article about a few researchers that gained results from excess fat, and then ignore the thousands of research articles that promote avoiding excess fats, sugars and other unhealthy chemicals (i.e. caffeine).

  26. Adding saturated fat only to the diet want be good enough. To get really good benefits from SFA we must switch to diet completely based on SFA’s. I’m not saying, eat only fat, no carbs and no proteins.

    However, perfect amount of fat in diet should be around 60-80%. That’s what Vilhjalmur Stefansson observed among native Eskimo, and he switched to this diet also (you can read about this diet in “Not by bread alone” by Vilhjalmur Stefansson).

    Now, what is important?

    To make sure that at least 50% of consumed meat and fat is in raw state. It may sounds a bit nasty but it’s easy to achieve (and tasty!). Another important factor is physical activity. The person who wants to get most of benefits from “Eskimo diet” should move everyday.

    That’s the way we are made, we move to eat, then sleep and again move to get some food and survive. Eating without moving is a recipe for illness.

    One more important factor, try to not overheat your fats. Use mainly animal saturated fats (they are chemically stable, unlike vegetable oils) and eventually a bit of coconut oil. Go for lard, suet and ghee.

    If you want to know more about Eskimo type diet you can type in Google “optimal diet Kwasniewski”. He is a Polish doctor who 30 years ago designed high fat diet, which is still very popular in Poland (polish former president Lech Walesa repaired his health and lost pounds while on this diet).

    Of course “Optimal diet” and other fat diets should be used under supervision of doctor. We have to remember that our bodies aren’t healthy (modern human is a very weak and sick specie). High fat diets are generally healthy but for older people may be dangerous.

    Anyway, SFAs are good for you so if you can try to switch to high fat diet.

    Thanks

  27. Splendid article. Nothing at all wrong with consuming animal fat. I came from a very impoverished background and, as a child, many of my meals consisted of beef dripping sandwiches. I never knew any really fat folks, then, and that was many, many years ago. I am now in my seventy-eighth year and fit as a fiddle, I still eat plenty of fat (but no vegetable oils except coconut) I consume about two pounds of butter a week, and just love lamb fat!

    I know lots of people who are paranoid about eating anything containing fat, and most of them have a serious weight problem. This low-fat myth is one of the biggest frauds ever perpetrated on the public.

  28. I completely agree with these viewpoints. I have personally lived on the low-fat high carb diet for almost 30 years and yet kept gaining weight and had a completely screwed up lipid profile. The Dr. almost put me on statins and thats when I decided to take matters in my own hands and started investigating exercise and good fats for heart health. I was of course shocked to not find a single piece of evidence that correlated dietary cholesterol to lipid cholesterol. I then started investigating saturated fats and still couldn’t find any evidence that saturated fat will cause heart attacks. I think when it comes to heart disease most of the medical community works off of hearsay where a doctor goes up on stage and announces, as-a-matter-of-factly, that cholesterol and saturated fats cause heart attacks and then the other doctors cite the previous doctor in their publications and so on and so forth. Its a vicious circle that’s been perpetuated for the last half a century and its time the medical community come clean. I highly doubt that’s ever going to happen given the fact that demonizing cholesterol has created a $26 billion industry of statin drugs that sponsors more research in this area. If you are a medical researcher serious about your career you better not say anything that will go against conventional wisdom of “cholesterol is evil” otherwise your grants will be cut and you will never publish any thing ever again. So from that standpoint I think the situation is abysmally bleak, but thanks to people like you there is some hope for people that are willing to take health matters in their own hands. Thanks for taking the initiative to educate the ordinary people about whats healthy and whats not!

    Regards,

    Yogesh Verma

  29. Hi Tim,

    I really enjoyed your post on saturated fat. I’d like to link to it on my blog, if that’s okay.

    And I got a lot out of your video on blogging. A few of the things were beyond my level of expertise, but I made some notes, and I’ll look them up.

    Thanks,

    Myra

  30. For years I have said you must eat to lose weight & removing saturated fat is wrong, When you remove saturated fat from your diet, you usually replace it with simple carbs,,,,,sugar. saturated fat, mainly dairy, is the best fat you can eat, for many reasons. just like everything else, not too much.

    People laughed at me when I said “eat to lose weight” they are not laughing now, mainly the people who went on these diets and got ill or fatter & weak and had no energy to exersize. I got laughed when I said and still say “eat fat to lose fat” now the experts are saying that too. increase your heart rate to 65-75% of your max rate for 20 minutes every day & you will benifit from the saturated fat you ate. you will also have the energy to do the exersize every day and you will probably increase that to 30 minutes or twice a day. It does not take much effort to get to 70% of your max rate,

  31. I can see your argument, and it’s a valid one too. I continue to eat meat because.. ok, yeah, it tastes good. 🙂 but I also think the body needs it. An all meat diet??? I don’t think I could hang. I think everyone is different, and some bodies do better with more saturated fat in their diet than others.

    1. Absolutely true. The body does need meat. Compare cultures whose diet is exclusively meat, such as the Inuits, and see that the have no incidences of obesity, diabetes or heart disease. They are of a sturdy stature and quite slim, muscular and strong bones.

  32. First it was the 4 hour work week, now its the 4 hour body. It was great seeing you at the launch party in NYC Tim!. I’m a big Fan of Volek, Eades, Taubes, Sission, etc. I’ve read a lot of the medical literature and scientific journals, but the comments and responses to this blog post are simply amazing! I’ve received so much information from Eades’ responses alone!

  33. I think coconut oil should really be emphasized here. The best saturated fat out there. There are whole books written on its benefits and how it speeds up the metabolism. You mentioned it, but I would like to emphasize it even more.

  34. Well, I would like to add something following my last post (Sept. 1st. 2011).

    I am now in my 79th year and have recently had a medical check-up. My cholesterol is normal, as is my blood pressure.

    Interestingly, I have researched my family history as far back as 1635, and longevity seems to have been the norm. My g.g.g.g grandfather, who was a butcher, and so probably consumed lots of meat, died in 1842 at the ripe old age of 84. Seems like saturated fat didn’t do him much harm. Two of his sons, my ggg.grandfather and g.g.g. granduncle, also lived to be 79 and 84 respectively despite the fact that they were also butchers.

    Compare the list of ingredients on a pat of real butter, milk and salt, to what is in a pack of this low-fat rubbish. More additives than you can throw a stick at. And the manufacturers have the gall to tell people that it is good for them.

    I am frankly amazed that apparently intelligent folk can be taken in by this quackery.

    Finally, as has been stated here in previous posts. a healthy daily dose of vitamin D is one of the finest aids to good health that there is. I take 10,000 IUs daily and never have a cold or flu. Cheap at only £27 a year. Also, I don’t have useless flu jabs.

  35. Fantastic article and so pleased to have this information to back up what I teach all my clients, that fat is does not make you fat! Unfortunately not all take on board what I say, but myself, I eat loads of eggs, cheese, full fat milk, lot of nuts, seeds and oils and have a good range of quality fats in my diet, love red meat and fish. Since I have eaten like this for 2 years, I feel great, my bodyfat is 9-11%(I also train a lot) and at 41 I have the metabolic rate of someone in their teenage years. My body and mind are in balance, my bones and teeth are healthy, and my nervous system works. I have had no colds/illnesses for 2 years and my immune system is bulletproof. In fact I know that the saturated fats in my diet keep my immune system functioning whilst training hard for triathlon. I will spread the word by letting all I know read this article. Keep up the great work.

    Many thanks

    Steve

  36. Wow, I bet a lot of nutritionists are shaking their heads or swallowing their pride. It’s a pretty big shocker.

    But does that mean that the average 2000 calorie consumer can eat a half stick of butter, provided that the calories are accounted for.

    In other words, what is the amount you’d recommend in the average 2000 diet. Also, are you saying were better off with 20g (the maximum recommended DRV) than 0g or 65g (The maximum DRV for total fat) than 0g?

    I have to say, I’m a little intimidated by butter, whole milk, and fatty ground beef, but I consume unsweetened chocolate and coconut oil sans worry

    1. Trayjayjay, don’t be intimidated by foods that you get along with. I consume butter, cream, I would wager that I do consume 1/2 stick of butter a day along with coconut oil, bacon fat and whatever fat I can inhale off a nice piece of steak. I am pre-diabetic and my numbers stay normal when I eat this way. If you can eat coconut oil then why can’t you eat butter? THe people that consume the highest amounts of healthy fats, including saturated fats, absorb the most nutrients from their diets.

      1. Mary, I’m so glad to “meet” others who need copious fats everyday. I’m eating about one stick of butter per day, don’t really care for coconut oil but in the past made do with tablespoons of high quality olive oil every hour or so when I began high-fat/low-carb. Are there more of “us”?

      2. This is one comment I have to make regarding coconut oil. About 25 years ago I began experiencing athletes food. It intensified over the years and spread into my toenails. My feet were very gross and I never wore sandals or show them off in any way. I didn’t want to take medication for it. After reading a really good article on coconut oil, I began using it. I began using it because it was good for me, according to the article and it just might help me to lose some weight. Well, I did lose a couple of pounds. I kept using it. I began also using it as a moisturizer and the skin on my feet began to clear. Eventually my toenails began clearing. I wish I had taken pictures because what I experienced is unbelieveable. I strongly suggest using coconut oil in your cooking. I made coconut bark the other day and it is better than any candy I have ever had. My face also is much clearer and prettier with coconut oil. Coconut oil is very unique and probably the healthiest of all the fats out there.

    1. UR so absolutely right Ron.Our metabolisms are made by nature (or whatever one wants to call it) to run on animal birds and fish fat and meat. If we didn’t have access to carbohydrate for energy, our bodies make it, along with ketones that are preferred for energy by our hearts and brains.

      An old tv commercial ended with this warning “you can’t fool Mother Nature”. And that too is absolutely right.

  37. Saturated fats and Unsaturated fats are one of those things I often get confused. Many times I find myself standing in the middle of the grocery isle staring at the nutrition label pondering, am I supposed to get more…or less of this one. Usually you can’t go wrong with Olive oil and nuts, and by staying away from processed food. The final tip on Rapeseed oil, and Canola oil was very helpful. While I recognize it, I often forget the significance of Rapeseed oil in the ingredients list.

    Thanks alot for this one.

  38. 2/3/13 Two and a half years ago, the doctor wanted me to be on meds to prevent heart attack and stroke. My blood test results were a mess, my cholesterol and triglycerides were high, hdl and ldl not good, and blood sugar was high. She didn’t mention the words insulin resistance (not much of a teacher to her patients). I felt terrible. Reluctantly (she didn’t explain the reason for this med) I went on an ACE inhibitor, developed complications and she tried to put me on another even more dangerous, so I stopped seeing her and began reading. One of the books I read (among many) was PROTEIN POWER LIFEPLAN. Felt better almost immediately and 27 months later 50 pounds of fat are gone and I feel like “a million bucks” at age 68. I also read Dr. Bernstein’s books, from which I understood that I should never go back to my former diet, which was not filled with fast food and sugary desserts but was quasi vegetarian and very low fat. On that I’m certain that I would have died, which was my former doctor’s probably reasonable and fair diagnosis, but she insisted that low-carb diets didn’t work and were dangerous. She also believed vegetables and fruits are not carbs — her exact words, not mine.

    From excellent articles in Well Being Journal, I’ve learned that I can have about 8 tablespoons of saturated fat per day, and also have learned that it suits my metabolism perfectly — and my blood tests confirm that it works for me. I don’t know if “once a diabetic, always a diabetic” is true but for me or if I simply have the true Paleo metabolism, but if I overeat carbs, which I do only once in a while, even if only a cup of green beans versus 1/2 cup, I feel terrible. It’s very uncomfortable for me to digest “too many” carbs. I have typical symptoms of indigestion, which are very uncomfortable.

    My body craves butter, cream, and fatty meat just as Dr. Donaldson prescribed for his patients, and only on that regimen do I feel better than I ever have even as a child. Sticking to PROTEIN POWER LIFEPLAN’s stricter phase is working for me, and I know from experience that I need to keep my carb grams per meal very low, so I’m doing what works for me, to keep me feeling good and maintianing my health.

    Anyone who is carrying a lot of body fat in the midsection as I was (I’m still losing but very slowly, so I had more than 50 pounds of excess b.f.) should read Eades, Bernstein, and Donaldson and get on the high-fat low-carb plan, on which they never have to skimp on food that will support not only weight loss but improved health while enjoying all the steaks/chops/poultry/fish/game that they like, and losing body fat, not muscle as happens low-fat high carb (heavy on veggies, fruits, and starches) diets.

    Low carb may not be for everyone (those who do not fatten on high-carb diets), but the evidence of my eyes walking everyday among the fattest people on earth suggests that most in the USA need to be on high-fat-low-carb, and quickly. The caveat, this will be the dietary plan for the rest of their lives if they want to maintain their health.

  39. LOSE BELLY FAT? I DECLARE BS!

    Almost every weight loss article published refers to belly fat. Some guru giving exercise’s that will reduce your belly. People are very conscious and concerned about belly fat. Perhaps so many insist on making false claims of spot reduction because they are attention grabbers. That’s a poor reason to give misleading or false information. The body just doesn’t work that way. When we burn fat it is metabolized from all of our stores. Not one particular spot. If spot reduction were possible a tennis players racket arm would logically have a lower percentage of fat. Yet when tested the fat percentage is the same. There is no miracle pill, food or exercise that will cause spot reduction. Where we store our fat is predetermined by body-type and genetics. Therefore as we lose fat the more heavily deposited areas will be the last to go. Consistent exercise, a healthy diet, time and patience are the way to a lean healthy body. Spot reduction, forget about it. It’s just not going to happen! A strong core will help you to hold your stomach in making it appear less fat. So will a girdle. Proper diet, exercise, and time will reduce it….God bless

  40. Hm…now I’m totally confused, I can see their point, but I also know that meat is acidic, and acidic environment is heaven for sickness. Is there any ways to get saturated fats from something that;’s not meat? I lost 28 pounds by eating eating well (eliminated sugar, diary , gluten and wheat, I got tested and was found to be allergic to them). I have about 10 more pounds to go for my

    perfect” body, and most of my stubborn fat is around my waist, I tried eating all meat for one day once, next day when I woke up I was noxious and felt awful, so I know this all meat style of diet will not work for me. Is there another miracle cure for belly fat?

  41. Well I appreciate your article. I am a high fat raw vegan. I eat principally fruits and a lot of veggies with PLENTY olive oil or walnuts oil everyday. My salad are always full of avocados and and as I say I dump a lot of olive oil. I consider high quality saturated fats as “healthy” like the ones on coconut oil , olive oil or walnut oil. However I do not eat animal fats and I do not consider them healthy unless you eat your meat & fish raw , but if you cook it , the level of toxicity raises. But that’s my opinion. By consuming a large amount of oil everyday people often are worried about the 20% saturated fats remaining in them, well I explain them what you just posted in your article. Good job! Thanks.

  42. It’s interesting how wrong conventional wisdom can be. I enjoy using coconut oil. I don’t know if its directly related but I’ve found my complexion improves with its use. And other than vegetarians, who wouldn’t love an excuse to eat bacon?

    1. I love coconut oil too. I use it daily and I would bet that it is the coconut oil that is improving your complexion as it has also helped mine. I have the worse complexion on the planet.

  43. The reason for saturated fat being good for bones is likely due to it’s association with vitamin K2, which is only found in animal fats, especially grass-fed sources of butter. Vitamin K2 is essential for bone formation. Just saying.

  44. Thank you for this posting! I have become allergic to EVERYTHING this past year and its because of leaky gut syndrome. I have started a low-residue diet and incorporated coconut oil as my main source of calories. I am satiated with 3 tbsp of coconut oil a day (two in water or tea and one taken as a spoonful). I do not know that I will lose weight but that is not my goal anyway. When I tell people I eat coconut oil the freak out!! Thats FAT!!, I remind them that I know this with a smile.

    I want to stop having food reactions and GI discomfort. Wish me luck, I have a game plan and hope to see some improvement soon.

  45. Hooray!!! Someone talking sense at last!!! the Masai have been living on a diet of full fat milk and meat and they have one of the lowest heart disease rates in the world – but guess what? they dont have a Cirspy Creme nearby and aren’t filling their bodies with white starchy carbs. I’d love some advice though – my 8 year old son has type 1 diabetes, I’d love him to be less dependant on insulin, but the docs keep telling us he has to have starchy carbs as part of his diet. What would you recommend? thanks!

    1. Steve Cooksey, better known as the Diabetes Warrior does a low carb / primal /ketogenic diet that he began adding a little resistant starch and he has had good results with it. I will post a link here.

  46. Hi – I find that Coconut Oil offers many benefits… helping metabolism, skin, hair, etc. I’m not sure what to think about the Alzheimer’s stories, though. Have you heard of CO having a real impact on that disease, as discussed in the below post? Thank you.

    Alzheimer’s Disease – Dr. Mary Newport, after failing to get treatment for her husband’s dementia, discovered that coconut oil contained natural medium-chain triglyceride (MCT). The same substance was used in a drug trial her husband failed to qualify for. So, she gave her husband 1 tbsp. of coconut oil twice a day for a month and a half and saw him almost completely recovered. (http://www.naturalnews.com)

  47. I like MODERATION…in all things. Never overdoing it on any food. Moderate intake of calories to maintain a healthy/comfortable weight. Limiting processed foods and exercising in a moderate fashion, as well.

  48. Some of this does sound somewhat beneficial but increasing the amount of saturated fats also increases the bad cholesterol in blood cells. Humans already produce enough cholesterol for their body on their own; so there’s no need to increase the amount of saturated fat intake. Especially since it increases the amount of bad cholesterol. This can lead to way to much cholesterol in the blood stream thus causing heart problems. In conclusion, everything has its benefits but in this case the bad outweighs the good. This is why you don’t see articles from sources like .edu or .gov saying to increase the amount of saturated fat intake. Really you should be eating a maximum of 10% or lower saturated fatty acids otherwise you may OD on cholesterol intake.

  49. It has been commonly believed that consumption of foods containing high amounts of saturated fatty acids (including meat fats, milk fat, butter, lard, coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil) is potentially less healthy than consuming fats with a lower proportion of saturated fatty acids. Sources of lower saturated fat but higher proportions of unsaturated fatty acids include olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, safflower, corn, sunflower, soy, and cottonseed oils.

  50. By fat the dumbest article iv ever read, not citing hundreds of scientific articles and journals supporting the fact that an all meat diet kills and is the probable cause of the number 1 killer heart disease in this world. Eskimoes are a population who lived soley off a meat based diet, highest rates of osteoporosis in the world, protein acidfies the body pulling calcium from the bones, meats are not what they use to be in the wild? Meats are high processed and more then 10 compounds in meat (carnitine, nitrogen, saturated fat, hormones etc) have been found to be carcinogenic in both mice and humans, I cant believe this claim you use that lions brains and our brains are made of fat so eat more fat, thats not how it workds buddy, yes fats are an essential healthy part of the diet but from clean animal sources and plant based fats like avocados, nuts, seeds. a nice crack cocain diet can help us lose weigh, anorexia can help us lose weight, fasting can help us lose weight, that doesnt mean its good for our body or optimal health? people before you listen to this blogger who has no idea what he is talking about do your own research period.

  51. The problem is that for the most of the population are not grass-fed organic beef, naturally raised lamb, organic raw dairy products and coconut oil their main sources of saturated fats. Today, are people in the rich countries overeating on corn raised animal products, chips, and cookies with saturated or trans fats, and all of this should be limited as much as possible.

  52. I Try to have natural juice drinks at least 3-4 times per week, as well as take omega 3 fish oil 2-3 times per day with meals. Before I satrted doing this I felt VERY sluggish throughout the day. When you start getting older its important to take a proactive role in your daily health.

    On a side note, until I read this article I never even heard of ” lung surfactant”. Wow that’s pretty scary that even a non-smoker has to worry about lung health just from what they eat.

  53. How about the fat content of grass fed vs grain/corn feed beef and omega 6 : omega 3 ratio differences between the two? How important is this ratio to cardiovascular in particular and health in general?

  54. Hi Tim,

    Thanks for the great article. Can you follow up wit either links or the books that contain their “suggested meal plans” from paragraph 11. I generally track a 50% protein, 30% carb and 20% fat diet of 1200 calories for weight loss and would be interested to see how this would change by following their recommendations.

  55. This diet seems very similar to The Atkins Diet. High protein, no carbs. Medical opinion is divided on the safety of this diet, but no question that it works. You feel full, since you can eat all you want of the approved foods. But with no carbs (which is processed by your body as sugar, just like eating candy) your body goes into ketosis and believes it is starving, so it starts using stored fat to convert to glucose. And the weight comes off fast. I lost 70 pounds in a year and was never hungry. Steak, bacon, shrimp, salmon, butter, real cream, nuts, berries, all permitted. Just no sauces which generally were made with ingredients containing sugar. And ZERO carbs. No pasta, potatoes, corn, bread, rice, legumes, beans, etc.

  56. Some of his recipes in the book allow Stevia, Fruit, heavy cream and other ingredients that SCD doesn’t recommend. Do we just leave those out?

  57. Are you familiar with Weston Price’s work? You should read his book ‘Nutrition and Physical Degeneration’. It’s so great you’re talking about the fat myth. People get it so wrong about nutrition when they follow their docs instructions. Thank you!

  58. Humans have been eating saturated fat for 2.6 million years. Ever since 1977 the government has told us otherwise. I’ll follow the steps of our ancestors rather than some government committee.

  59. Excellent article!

    In 2 months I will be running the Berlin marathon fully keto adapted (I ran Boston twice on Tim’s slow carb regime). My experience with an 80+% fat nutrition is fab. I don’t have any cravings and sleep well. The only, only downsides so far are dry eyes and challenges when eating out.

  60. I happen to disagree completely with this article. If your brain is composed naturally of cholesterol and fat, and if your lung cells have a saturated fat component, it is because your own body is elaborating these on its own. You don’t need to eat or supplement saturated fat to your body for any reason, unless you really want to suffer from coronary disease too soon in your life.

    1. Your body will make saturated fat if you eat enough carbohydrates but that comes with its own risks.

      The idea that our primary means of storing energy (saturated animal fat) is also heart poison defies logic. Saturated fat is a component of heart muscles.

      Eating any amount of carb or sugar over what you can immediately burn or store as glycogen is converted to saturated fat for storage.

      What is your mechanism in the direct digestion of fats vs conversion that is pathological?

  61. Most canola at least In Canada is roundup ready. Which means being sprayed with pesticides doesn’t kill it, just makes it more flavourful.

  62. This article is dangerously uninformed. Look at the China Study and the OMS study which has been running for 40 years (not a typo 40!). Sat fats DO NOT promote a healthy brain, they are directly linked to increased lesion count and risks of MS development. I am not sure which meat lobbying board is behind this but as others have noted, no citation and reads very advertising (little a!! Come on guys). Give me one University that put it’s name to a published study referenced here and I will re-read this with less cynicism.

    Yes cavemen did have a meat dominated diet but also had rickets, dreadful teeth and a life expectancy of 25 years. Nope not for me. Mediterranean diet rules.

  63. Interesting. There’s a lot of contradictory information about this subject. I was very underweight so I went onto a high calorie diet. When a substantial portion of my calorie intake was saturated fat, I began to get cramping in my chest, left shoulder/arm and angina type symptoms so I had to ditch all saturated fats from my diet. So, I am a bit confused as to what to make of this.

  64. You completely missed one of the more important aspects of saturated fats and that is that it is the basis for hormone creation. You need cholesterol to create hormones.

  65. Boom!

    I’ve been researching a lot of this lately and I’m glad to come across this article. It’s nice to hear the perspective of someone who would have much less corporate profit interest solely for the sale of certain harmful foods and myths.

    I like your point about how you probably haven’t seen this in your mainstream media… haha spot on!

    Saturated fats are important to get from a range of sources, along with more Omega 3s than 6s, like what comes in the forms of trans fatty vegetable oils and such. A hard lesson to learn but helpful!

    – Evan

  66. This article just plays into everyones bad habits. This way of eating will kill you. It is completely unsustainable, talk to any bodybuilder and they will tell you they get tired of eating high protein, and it makes them agro. But good luck with this thinking.

    1. I am 100% agreement with this comment. NFL players are turning vegan and reducing their chronic joint pain, numbness and tingling associated with chronic soft tissue injury. Not to mention reducing man’s total corruption of the planet and all its inhabitants. Let them eat this way though. They are young. Cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer hit men in their 50’s. It all catches up and seriously…. population control. Our obesity epidemic and the way the American diet it slowly ruining health in so many other countries these days (KFC, McDonalds) perhaps is Nature’s way of leveling out the playing field. Those HUGE food conglomerates who have the FDA in their back pockets want us addicted, dependent and our offspring addicted and dependent

  67. This is a very surprising article. I was diagnosed last January with fatty liver and the only fat that was in my diet that had saturated fat in it, was meat which I ate every day. I dropped the meat and grains and went vegetarian with no dietary or doctor advice. The reason was the vegetables and fruit was all I could eat without major pain. (The doctor told me to just reduce meat intake for a little while but it was nothing to worry about???) 12 months later I am 24kgs lighter and able to hiking for miles. I think one of the main problems with the chronic disease in the western diet is meat and the industrialised farming in horrific conditions. If you look back to my grandmother’s day, they ate meat once a month if they were lucky and they all lived long happy lives

  68. There are always different ways to reduce abdominal fat. One should look into certain things which can burn abdominal fat like avoiding junk food, irregular food habits, alcohol etc. You need to cut down on all these and take necessary precautions to reduce fat.

    1. Those people are not eating fat, they are eating junk food thus their body is not storing fat, rather than digesting it.

  69. Interesting footnote on rapeseed oil would like to know were the source study for that is. I was told it had a higher flash point so was better to fry with.

  70. Been doing the Ketogenic diet for 4 months and not tolerating the super high fat too well (though I’ve lost 25 lb!) so switched to 4 solid days of slow carb diet (still with lots of fat) and 3 consecutive days of strict fasting…feel great and my ketones are 1-2 on fasting days…

  71. Who to believe in this ocean of contradicting infos !?? Recently one doctor discovered that saturated fat cause metabolic syndrome and diabetes , not carbs ! I’m just saying , you should eat whole food diet and include everything

  72. Terrifying. If eating animal products and saturated fat was pivotal to great health then I am sure donkey’s do fly. This article and basis for it are proof that a guy who writes about a 4 hour work week is now a nutritionist. Show me verifiable proof by a physician with a nutritional background how he has reversed cardiovascular disease, diabetes, COPD and obesity through a diet high in meat and dairy. Its non-existent. Put the same folks on a high plant based diet with little to no added fat (broccoli, peas, oranges, have fat we don’t need to add empty fat calories through any sort of oils) and you are going to have people with unclogged coronaries, increased pulmonary function, non-inflamed joints, increased energy and stabilized blood sugar. Oh yeah, and the Earth itself won’t continue to erode-implode taking all of us with it.

  73. Eating more fats has greatly improved my life! Since I started eating more fat, I have significantly increased my energy and significantly decreased my appetite. But try telling your family and friends… they all think I’m crazy and just trying to trick them into getting a heart attack.

  74. I would love to see the data or EVIDENCE behind these claims. I’ve been trying to prove to people what you are claiming but they all want hard data to back it up.

    From one friend:

    “I happen to have blood results that refute this very assumption around Lipo A. So am I am outlier, a high responder? What about the study Don D’Agostino did that concluded that 1/3 of the population has hyper sensitivity to saturated fat? I’d love to review that study and its protocols.

    The human body is complicated and everyone reacts differently. I think there needs to be way more in the way of human clinical trials from reputable research institutions that prove these claims with statistically significant data. I’d love to see the studies that he is referencing currently even to make the Lipo A claim.”

  75. How do these doctors substantiate their claims? Can they present independent peer reviewed studies as evidence?

    There is a lot of evidence to suggest that a plant based diet low in animal fats is the best diet for optimal health. But, there a lot of dietary studies that suggest a spectrum of things, so I am never fully convinced of anything.

    However, independent organisations like NutritionFacts.org who constantly analyse and present scientific studies on their website advocate for a plant based diet.

    They have also critically analysed why some studies conclude that saturated fat is not unhealthy:

    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-saturated-fat-studies-set-up-to-fail/

    I am just curious because the article doesn’t reference any conclusive studies, but is just limited to statements like “there is a case”. Does the book perhaps rely on conclusive studies which have not be used here for reasons of brevity?

  76. Last year I did 4 months of keto. Good healthy fats in every meal and fat bombs as a snack. I have been looking for the role of healthy fats in this diet and have been surprised that non fatty meats are recommended. In keto non fatty meats are NOT recommended. Chicken breast was out and so was tuna… grass fed meats was all I had, butter, ghee, duck fat, olive oil, bacon and unlimited avocados….. so, whats the deal with healthy fat in the 4 hr body? yes or no? limited or unlimited? I have scanned the book again and again for the dietary fat chapter which seems to be MIA….. Thanks for some clarity!!!