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 over 400 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.

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

  1. Wow, great post. 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.

  2. Thank you! We also must be mindful of palm oils widely sourced from rain forests. Do we put the health of self before the health of our planet? Wrestling with this question…great post!

    1. Dear Marcie,

      Along time ago man ate nothing but mostly meat, nuts and wild friuts and berries. The planet was fine then and it will be fine now. Meat was meant to be consumed it was part of the grand design for the planet. You are also part of this grand design and as such should appreciate the fact that as long as it’s nature it should be respected and used for it’s intended purpose. Cows for example were not put on this planet for the purpose of keeping the grass down. In science we are taught the basic understanding of photosynthesis. Plants take in CO2 and produce O2 therefore eliminating the C = Carbon so as long as we have plants to feed the cows we have plenty of plants to take care of their poo.

      The planet is a far greater Eco system than you give it credit for.

      Scotty

      1. Actually, it looks like cows (and other animals) may have been put on this planet to keep stuff down! Permafrost for one: http://tinyurl.com/7f5rp5a

        I’m a huge meat eater but our over consumption of cows has led to mass production of them and 20% of the entire US methane output (greenhouse gases) is from cow farts! Here’s some statistics to show how much gas those roaming burger and steak beasts put out compared to others: http://tinyurl.com/4qtqknk

        Maybe it would be better to think less of cows and other meat we eat as ‘free meals’ and let them do their job of keeping things down. More power to ‘ground beef’! (not the kind you eat though).

      2. A long time ago there were only a handful of people roaming planet earth. now we have around 7 billion of them. to assume that every habit just scales fine from a handful to 7 billion is, pardon my french, bonkers.

        On another note: there is no “grand design”. there is also no intended purpose in nature. there is an evolution of life which invents itself as it goes along. the purpose of which is a mystery.

  3. Man, there’s some much contradictory health advice out there that it’s hard to figure out which to follow. It’s definitely interesting to hear a positive view of saturated fats though. Not that I need to lose weight (the opposite actually) but it’s interested to hear about their necessity for proper lung function and the improvements to immunity.

    1. @David- In my clinical experience, most people who need to gain weight are able to do so through a high fat diet with carefully calculated ratios, though this weight is through muscle.

      1. What ratios have you found to work the best for gaining muscle but little fat? From my research it is hard to figure out. Classic bodybuilding ratio is C/P/F 50/30/20 seems to work fairly well in keeping active athletes lean. I have personally gained substantial lean body weight (plus a little spill over) with a a 30/30/40 ratio but I’m experimenting with 33/33/33 and taking in my carbs only around my workouts. My goal is to maintain size and weight but lose a little fat. I don’t crave carbs or feel like they assist my performance in any way but I do feel like they fill my muscles well. When I’ve tried low carb days I tend to look very flat. For reference I’m 6’4″ 235 at about 10-12% BF and consume 4,300 cals daily.

    2. I know, it can be quite frustrating, what i’ve learned from seeing this is that all foods (that aren’t processed) should be eaten in reasonable amounts. It’s about having a varied diet so you can get all the necessary vitamins, minerals, carbs, proteins, and fats.

      1. I agree on this. Being too extremist in diets is very un-healthy it could lead to serious problems in long term. I got all the problems when in my teenage years I was keeping strict diets just to look fit. In couple of years I get serious chest pain and cannot sleep. It’s because of un-healthy diets and plans. Be carefull of what you are doing, don’t plan it for this year, plan it for your life – your body is not something you should mess with!

    1. Jason,

      I agree with you on that. The lack of sources makes it hard to verify claimis. We are basically taking Eades word on this. For a good take on saturated fat that does cite sources you might like “Good Calories, Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes.

    2. Good to site sources for sure. Just watched last night “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” and have been looking at Markus Rothkranz’s YouTubes. He is the most healthiest health teacher I have yet to see. Not that I would NEVER eat meats again, but considering the chemical additives, no, not for now. What to do then? Superfoods, juicer, blender, dark leafy greens juiced and fruits blended into smoothies seems to be the ticket for those who are still getting their energies from foods (i.e. not breatharians like Sunfire Genesis). Of course, one can still eat processed foods, including meats, and just be healthier for adding the juiced leafy greens, and fruit and veggie smoothies. Take a look on YouTube at the 71 year young woman who drinks her green smoothies every morning,

      But, first this old body has to be cleaned out and for me that is the start of my Autumn fast with good water, baking soda and molasses, until the body tells me it is back in balance. In the meantime plenty of meditation and contemplation on the cycle of “To Eat To Be Eaten” which is our biosphere system.

      I prefer subjective certainties lead to objective data I need to iimplement physical realities.

  4. Tim,

    This is a great article, and it’s interesting timing as well. I also subscribe to the Crossfit Journal and I recently watched the videos with Dr. Sears lecturing on the Zone Diet, and importance of fish oils. (found here: http://journal.crossfit.com/2009/09/diet-inflammation-and-disease-part-5.tpl#featureArticleTitle)

    I appreciate the idea of a diversity of fat intakes. My rule is to try limit my fats to those that are naturally occuring. I do this by eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, with lots of grilled meat. I try not to eat much pasta or bread, and if I eat bread or rice, I try to find varieties that still have the germ intact.

    Dr. Sears sees a huge problem in that there has been a dramatic increase in the usage of corn and other vegetable oils, and refined grains in the foods we consume. This is combined with a drastic decrease in intake of monounsaturated fats (fish oils). I think he’s on the right track, but I think the problem lies more in a lack of diversity of nutrient intake in the current mainstream American diet.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on the much needed evolution of the American diet.

    -Josh Groves

  5. Tim,

    As you are always experimenting and being yourself a guinea pig for good purposes, have you ever tried a vegetarian (not vegan) diet, and still have good physical performance?

    If so, are you publishing it on your next book (the superhuman one)?

    I’m as interested in those subjects as on your metrics/entrepreneurial posts.

    Cheers,

    Leo Kuba

    Sao Paulo/Brazil

  6. Interesting. I started working out and read a lot of articles on eating healthy…All of them said to avoid saturated fats. I suppose I should start adding them into my diet! Thanks Tim.

  7. Tim,

    I know you’re always investigating a lot of this stuff, and you’re quite thorough in your research. Gotta’ say though, this runs contrary to just about everything I’ve ever read on the topic of saturated fats, as well as what my own docs have suggested (not news to you, I’m sure). That said, though, I presume it’s why you’re bringing it up. I’ll have to take a look at the theories of your recommended authors, but as a consumer and someone always looking at healthy options when it comes to food, the idea that one should actually consume more saturated fat as part of a “healthy” diet seems to be quite a leap of faith, and one not worth pursuing without a substantial medical record to support the claims of it’s benefit.

    Perhaps that’s forthcoming?

    Cheers,

    Doc

    1. checkout the weston a. price foundation. plenty of documentation there. if you don’t want to eat sat fat then don’t. the point is avoiding processed foods.

      1. Dr Lundell has been banned from practicing medicine for malpractice. I wouldn’t use him as an authority nor would I believe this article without citations. There is not one responsible physician or researcher who believes this. The fact is eating excessive amounts of meat has been shown to cause all sorts of problems, not just to the human body but also to the planet. Go to nutritionfacts.org if you want the truth.

  8. This article was not convincing that we need to gorge on saturated fat for regular body functioning. One can easily argue that cholesterol is needed for proper cell membrane formation, but that doesn’t mean you need to seek out cholesterol-rich foods if you’re already eating a well-balanced diet.

    Until there is a double-blind study that tracks two group of individual, one on a saturated fat rich diet and the other on a “normal” diet, over a long period into middle age where people start dropping dead of heart attacks, it would be foolhardy to pack your diet with butter and cream in the hopes of getting a “strong immune system.”

    1. Those randomized double-blind studies have already been done and have existed for many decades.

      Avoid sugars, starches, carbohydrates and eat all the saturated fat you want (eating saturated fat curbs hunger, which makes it even easier to lose weight as well as burns stored fat as well as fat that is being consumed).

      The results are conclusive.

      Read Gary Taubes’ book, Good Calories, Bad Calories, published in 2007 (an exhaustive, 550 page book that covers the science — all of the controlled, randomized studies done on how a diet high in saturated fats and low in carbs and sugar results in higher HDL, lower LDL, and lower triglycerides).

      For a shorter version of that much longer book, read “Why We Get Fat:

      And What to Do About It.” This shorter version by Gary Taubes also documents the plethora of randomized, controlled studies you seem to think haven’t been done yet — as well as the science behind the health benefits of a high-fat, low-carb, low-sugar diet.

      Do not assume you are right until you have done the research, my all-knowing friend.

    2. The key is to drastically reduce consumption of carbs, starches, and sugars AT THE SAME TIME that you increase consumption of saturated fats. If you eat all the sugars, carbs, starches, AND saturated fats you want, you end up with the “standard American diet” (SAD), which results in heart attack, stroke, and cancer.

      Note that crucial difference. You MUST drastically reduce (even eliminate as much as possible) consumption of starches, sugars, and carbs AT THE SAME TIME that you increase consumption of saturated fats in order to get the health benefits of lower LDL cholesterol, higher HDL cholesterol, lower triglycerides, and lower blood sugar (glucose) levels that comes with the high-saturated-fat, low-carb, low-starch, low-sugar diet (actually, it’s a lifestyle, a permanent way of life, or you are wasting your time).

      I have lost 40 pounds in six months by drastically reducing my starch, sugar, and carb intake while increasing my saturated fat intake —

      AND, my triglycerides and bad cholesterol (LDL) and blood pressure numbers have all decreased to normal levels while my HDL (good cholesterol) level has increased.

      are way down

      1. Re jack: that’s a huge component to raising fat of any kinds to the diet is to lower/eliminate sugar,processed carbs (bread,flour,etc…) thanks for putting that info out there

      1. Jack, check this out from a very reputable medical website (nutritionfacts.org) – it notes that studies who seem to prove that saturated fat is good are a fail – http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-saturated-fat-studies-set-up-to-fail/

        “Randomized clinical trials, controlled interventional experiments, our most robust forms of evidence—no wonder there’s a scientific consensus to decrease saturated fat intake. ”

        Sorry, I just want to safe lives – people die from eating too much saturated fats!

    1. What a great read! Everything old is new again. Even to this excerpt:

      “One material point I should be glad to impress on my corpulent readers—it is, to get accurately weighed at starting upon the fresh system, and continue to do so weekly or monthly, for the change will be so truly palpable by this course of examination, that it will arm them with perfect confidence in the merit and ultimate success of the plan. I deeply regret not having secured a photographic portrait of my original figure in 1862, to place in juxta position with one of my present form. It might have amused some, but certainly would have been very convincing to others, and astonishing to all that such an effect should have been so readily and speedily produced by the simple natural cause of exchanging a meagre for a generous dietary under proper advice.”

      Everyone should read this little book all the way through. It is available as a free e-book on the same web page.

  9. Wow, this is a fantastic paradigm shift. Being a vegetarian, I’m not about to go buying beef steaks just to trim my belly, but I definitely plan on not counting out saturated fats anymore. I’ve always been scared to death of fat because, well, it seemed simple enough that eating fat makes me fat. But that’s why I love you, Tim. You make me question my beliefs.

    1. I have been on a body building firness diet for a year now and i have to admit, After reading this article I included a potion of saturated fat into my diet after I had gone through a whole year of very low close to Niel saturated fat diet, I noticed that not only do I have more energy but I can focus more at work which was something I was having an issue with for a long time.

      I’m 183cm tall and I was 68kg and was feeling continuously tired and forgetful, now I’m 73kg and I feel more energetic and great after adding saturated fat to my current diet.

      At the same time I’m beginning to get confused on what else out there of the unknown that should be known.

      Thanks anyways Doc, this was an awesome artical, I’ll buy the book.

  10. Caught wind of this book a few days ago- good to see you posting this up Tim. Admittedly though, I’m curious to see how your readers respond. I guess this post will be an interesting scale on which to weigh mainstream thinking at the moment (or better put, which way the scale is now tipping).

    Let’s hope it’s for the better =).

    Also, I have a post coming out tomorrow (Sept 7th) around noon on my blog that I modeled after your WordPress/blogging speech post (it’s a video from my convention).

    Coincidentally, I also talk about saturated fat and cholesterol at certain points of the presentation.

    Gonna go pound some saturated fat =)

    -Anthony

  11. @David Turnbull

    I’ve seen research showing increased levels of testosterone from upping your saturated fat intake. Surely helpful for bulking up a bit =). Also, foods high in saturated fat often contain other nutrients beneficial for building muscle (red meat, egg yolks, etc).

    @Jason

    I’m sure the authors have a good deal of citations in the book. I for one have been a guinea pig though- gorging on saturated fat for over a year now =D. Coconut oil in particular is a favorite.

    -Anthony

  12. Interesting however, some years ago I did the Atkins diet and lost 14 pounds, ate meat and salad and some cheese. turned out it sent my uric acid levels of the charts, I decided to cut red meat for a week to see what happened (had so much energy, and clarity…)and never went back to it, later became a vegetarian and been for the last 10 years. I tried the raw food diet and lost more weight easier, unbelievable energy levels, but the raw diet requires, imagination, preparation tools and patience, so I got bored after 5 months went back to grilled tofu, boca burguers, ñoquis, and wine and got the pounds back,

    I am eager to read your new book, and test

    1. @ Tatiana- Have you tried adding in high amounts of saturated fat from vegetarian sources like coconut, avocado, etc and and other healthy fats like olive oil, omega 3’s etc? Just curious if this might help weight loss and energy levels in a vegetarian diet.

  13. Thanks, Tim. I always look forward to your challenges to the conventional wisdom of the masses.

    Question: In your opinion, how does this vary from Atkins or any of the other low-carb diets? Is there something new that I’m missing?

    Having tried Atkins years ago, I can say I completely agree that if you are looking for a way to rid mid-section fat, this works! The challenge is sustaining this kind of diet for any length of time. I LOVE meat, but even I hit the point about six weeks into it where I couldn’t stand to look at another steak, chicken breast or piece of bacon. I had to go completely the opposite way for two weeks just to detox.

    Thoughts?

    1. You know, I’ve been on Atkins for ten years now, I’m at the outermost limits of the carbs allowed, and I don’t get this claim that all you eat is meat when you go Atkins.

      It’s simply not true.

      I was on the strictest carb diet for over 6 months, and I ate plenty of vegetables. In fact, it was the same amount of vegetables I ate before; I only ate better vegetables for me. It takes a lot of vegetables to get to 12-15g of carb, if you know what you’re doing!

      Most days for lunch, I had some kind of meat and a salad of romaine, spinach, bell pepper, celery, cucumbers, parsley and chives. The carb level for the entire meal was 3-4g, depending on the dressing. I’d eat the bulk of my remaining vegetable allowance at dinner, and it was a LOT of food.

      Because I worked a lot of different shifts at the time, a lot of people saw me dropping pounds like crazy, and were even more shocked when they saw me doing it with bacon and eggs for breakfast, a super-marbled steak and salad for lunch, and shrimp alfredo with creamed spinach and buttery zucchini for dinner (old family recipe). I couldn’t be losing weight that way.

      But I was.

  14. @John

    There is a book that recently came out titled “The Primal Blueprint”. It’s a good and balanced read (on nutrition, I’m into other exercise protocols)- including saturated fat intake. The author also discusses transitions from conventional diets to a more “primal diet”- for our purposes one that is relatively high in saturated fat.

    It’s definitely worth checking out and should provide some insight on how to vary your diet, and transitional hiccups (ditching a carbohydrate addiction, for example).

    -Anthony

  15. I am half-way through implementing (I’ve done about two weeks) your “How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise” instructions…”. I don’t want to undo the 13-pounds weight loss so far but this saturated fat post has me thinking that there might be a feasible way to work more variety without sacrificing results. Your thoughts?

  16. Great post, Tim. I remember about 6 years ago I was listening to Dr. Joel Wallach’s “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie” tape, and even though a lot of his “facts” were controversial, he had come to the same conclusions involving the nature of fat and cholesterol. I’m glad to see that there is more to this story! I’ve been wanting to eat nothing but meat for years now!

  17. I find this absolutely intriguing and in some extent completely desirable, I guess it must be an evolutionary trait since humans wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for incorporating animal meat into the diet and historically, bigger civilizations depended largely on meat and their animal fats.

    Very good article.

    1. There’s evidence that eating cooked meat is what made us evolve from a chimp-like ancestor into humans. It’s the cooked meat that made the calories and nutrients dense enough to enable us not to need to eat as often.

      I seem to recall that a primate would need to eat plants for nine continuous hours to get the same benefits to brain development as eating two pounds of cooked meat a day.

      1. We didn’t evolve…that is all made up to make money and to get people away from God. humans were always humans and monkeys monkeys. The earth I only about 6000 year old and yes we have always ate meat but also bread but not like the bread we have now…

  18. @Tim and avid readers:

    I am glad to see Mary Enig’s name. It’s been quite a long time that the Weston A. Price Foundation has been shouting some quite well-fundamented (IMHO) data supporting saturated fat, despising soy, and some other heresies to mainstream nutrition.

    I bet Tim have already digested this material; in any case, I strongly recommend you all have at least a quick read in those links:

    * Summary of recomendations *

    http://www.westonaprice.org/brochures/wapfbrochure.html

    * Fats *

    http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/index.html

    * Soy *

    http://www.westonaprice.org/soy/index.html (summary and links)

    http://www.westonaprice.org/mythstruths/mtsoy.html (truths and myths)

  19. Seriously?!?!? You have effing lost your mind Tim and are consumed with the tunnel vision prevalent in the medical profession.

    First, I want to know how much saturated fat I should be eating in proportion to other nutrients. Simply stating, “eat more saturated fat” is not sufficient, as there are a whole host of other nutrients, which work in harmony with other nutrients, that are necessary for a healthy body.

    Second, simply consuming more of a specific nutrient, with disregard to healthy proportions, just because it “increases”, “improves”, or “boosts” certain, specific functions in the body ignores the possible detriments to other bodily functions (in this case, for example, healthy digestion). So please enlighten us all to the possible side effects of eating “too much” saturated fat.

    Third, the medical profession is only concerned with fighting singular instances of disease, like how to prevent cancer, diabetes, obesity, etc. It ignores trying to define what optimal nutrient means; whole body nutrition and the avoidance of ALL disease. We were designed to eat a certain diet, which is foods that provide us with everything we need to thrive, not just survive. The cause of disease is a direct result of the foods we eat (and the quality of air we breathe and sunlight we receive).

    Humans weren’t made to kill other animals and eat them Regardless of what the medical profession believes or “proves”, they fail to recognize this fact as obvious. Every other animal on this planet, with the exception of humans, are born with all the tools they need to eat. We are not born with rod and reel in hand, or spears, powerful jaws, and claws as weapons for killing cows and chickens. Our appetite isn’t stirred when we see a pasture filled with cattle. In fact, you are probably repulsed at the thought. So what makes anyone believe that a diet rich in animal “protein” (which is essentially a high fat diet) is optimal? Sure we can survive on it, with all the side effects of disease, but it’s not how we are meant to live.

    I respect you Tim, but we obviously disagree when it comes to diet. I encourage you to read “The 80/10/10 Diet” by Dr. Douglas Graham, which has heavily influenced my beliefs about food, diet, and health. If nothing else, it’s a fascinating read.

    Thanks for reading my diatribe. I look forward to being flamed 🙂

    1. humans are omnivores. your g.i. tract is short like a carnivorous animal. you don’t have 4 stomachs to break down lots and lots of plant matter. you have canines like other meat eating animals. your stomach produces hydrochloric acid. the masai people of africa get 60% of their calories from animal fat. doesn’t mean you or i can do that but it’s possible for some. the original study that correlated fat intake with heart disease in rats was flawed. high sugar intake increases triglyceride levels. weston a. price foundation.

      1. P-

        The Masai also have an average life expectancy of 40 years old, don’t think I want to emulate what they are doing.

        1. Come on.

          The AVERAGE age was 40 years, but there were always older Maasai.

          The reason their AVERAGE age was so low wasn’t their diet, but because they didn’t have access to clean water and modern medicine. Those things meant that women were more likely to die in childbirth, and children were more likely to die before the age of 5. Those factors did far more to lower the AVERAGE age considerably.

      2. @Denise

        That is a little vague. What are all the reasons they only live 40 years? Could it be living conditions, lack of medicine…etc. Maybe they would only average 30 years, but because of thier diet they get the other 10. What I am trying to say is that P only gave one example of this. There are many more. Pick up Gary Taubes book ” Why we get fat”. Great read and I think you will come away with a much better understand about this subject.

  20. Interesting post. The way I see it, the whole nutritional approach to food is just wrong. As posted by David above, there is a ton of contradicting advice on nutrition out there and it seems to me that for every edible thing on the planet, there is at least one theory that says you should eat it because it’s great for you and at least one theroy that says you should avoid it at all costs, because it’s terrible for you.

    I think this often has to do with the fact that people are looking at vitamins, fats, carbohydrates, proteins etc. etc. but not at actual food. My favourite dietary advice is still:

    “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” (Michael Pollan)

    Having said that, any article that doesn’t join in with the “foods to be scared of” trend is already on the right track, in my opinion.

    Cheers,

    Shane

  21. I find this article worrying because there are no references and it suggests a diet that is contrary to almost all you hear elsewhere.

    I also find it concerning because the book referenced at the bottom has an affiliation link to Amazon, hence it is not an independent article but one with the intention of selling you the book.

    1. Hi Ambient Guy,

      I’ll ask Dr. Eades x 2 to add some references, which they do have in the book. Second, it doesn’t hurt anyone to add an affiliate link, so I do. Simple as that. Check the Amazon #s out. The small amount it could add is not a factor in choosing content. If it were, I’d limit writing posts to products that were $100+.

      All the best,

      Tim

  22. I’d love to see some examples of their suggested meal plans. Steak, bacon and eggs sounds fine to me! Living in Asia I think it’s easier to get this stuff unpackaged and/or without the preservatives, but how do you get around that back in the States?

  23. I’d stick with Michael Pollan and others. The problem with this advice is that most people won’t consider the quality of the meat they eat and the toxins. Our industrial food complex has changed quite a bit from the 70’s.

    Also, the body is complex and this gives just one side of the picture. How do you explain the amazing success of Dr. McDougall which is a low-lipid vegan diet? His patients have far more miraculous results than what is cited here.

    The number one study of diet and disease is the China Study. All other data points are slivers compared to the volume of data and statistical correlations that came from the China Study.

  24. Very controversial post, interesting though!

    In my opinion the whole idea of posting was skewed. Doctors Mrs and Mr Eadens promote low carb, high protein and high fat diets (Atkins diet) and then they say that it’s only saturated fats that are reason for good slimming results on such diets. I think it’s more to do with high protein content and and low carbohydrate content rather than high saturated fat content. Especially proteins are good in promoting satiety and their energy value seems to smaller than conventionally thought (perhaps 3,2 kcal/g instead of 4 kcal).

    The argued benefits of saturated fatty acids are medically unproven. What works in theory, mice or in lab tubes doesn’t necessarily work in man. Saturated fatty acids DO raise LDL-cholestrol which is extensively proven marker for cardiovascular disease (CAD) risk. They also tend to increase cancer forms of certain type. Both cancer and CAD are diseases that damage us most in western countries.

    I urge Tim and all the readers of this post to look deeper in to the subject and pay attention on what is published on Mediterranean diet. Its value has been demonstrated in numerous studies during the last two decades through wide spectrum of disease states.

    We do get saturated fats from normal food -no need for increase thus. In Finland where I come from, people get 25 grams saturated fat per day and in US the intake seems to be even more. We do not need more saturated fat.

    What we need is to decrease trans-fats and simple carbohydrates plus increase protein, fytochemicals, fiber and non-saturated fats -and keep saturated fat on current level. That’s better for weight, muscles, heart and even brains.

  25. Any major change in diet can have temporary effects, often beneficial in the short term. Long term, though, these benefits are often illusory. The Atkins diet, for example, is something of a disaster over the long term.

    In addition, solid, peer-reviewed research shows that animal fats in the bloodstream raise the insulin resistance of the cells. This can be critical for diabetics–type II diabetes, which is in epidemic proportions in the Western world, can truthfully be classed as chronic high insulin resistance. Thus, for diabetics, this is a dangerous dietary regimen.

    In the early 1980s, Dr. Dean Ornish published a landmark study showing an actual reversal of heart disease symptoms using a vegan diet coupled with moderate exercise and stress relief. Arterial plaque actually decreased in case after case. In addition, a program at the Weimar Institute in California has used this sort of regimen to reverse symptoms of heart disease, diabetes and diabetes complications, and obesity, to name just a few.

    As a diabetic with diabetic peripheral neuropathy, I have spent over 3,000 hours researching in a medical library to determine the most healthy nutritional choices for me.

    Unfortunately, you can find MDs who state all sorts of things–often, with only a small part of the picture. After all, most medical training only includes as little as a single three semester hour course on nutrition. Then, they hold themselves out as experts in the field.

    Personally, believe there is a huge factor of stress to be concerned with. The body can cope with many environmental stresses (including many poor dietary choices)–until the total stress level becomes too great, when physiological breakdowns begin to accumulate.

    I suggest that readers of this blog seriously look into the long-term results of diets like Atkins before they jump on board looking for a quick fix.

  26. I’m all for dumping canola oil. I happen to be a part of the population that possesses the genetic quirk that heated canola oil tastes like rancid fish. If I have french fries or fried chicken that was cooked in canola oil, I know it on the first bite.

    It’s the same kind of quirk that makes those paper strips taste bitter, or causes cilantro to taste like soap. Fortunately cilantro tastes fine for me, because I love Mexican food.

  27. Thanks, Anthony. I’ll be sure to check it out! As I said, my challenge was burnout more than anything else. After the first week of my body getting used to it, my energy, alertness and fat loss were completely and positively off the chart, with little change to my exercise routine.

    Have to agree, Cody. It would be quite easy to follow here in Asia, at least in terms of unpackaged/unprocessed meat, versus in the States, though I can assure you it is quite possible, as that’s where I was living when I tried Atkins. I would also like some meal examples, but one can assume that lack of structure is one of the benefits of such a diet. I know when I did it, I liked the fact that I could grill up a bunch of beef and chicken in one batched effort, refrigerate it and eat the entire week with little preparation in between.

    Charles, you’re probably right about weight loss, but as someone who has always been challenged with losing fat while maintaining muscle, I haven’t found a better fat burner in my 42 years.

  28. Tim,

    Nice post, I’m looking forwards to reading your book on the human body etc. I cannot think of a better name than “The all meat diet!” sounds like something I could stick to!

    @Marcie et al; Palm oils are mainly used for their cheapness (like you said extraction from the rain forest) and have limited health benefits. The only mention in the article is for proper nerve signaling, I am told that the disadvantages of palm oil outweigh its minimal benefits. Therefore I believe that we shouldn’t use nearly as much palm oil, especially if it is unethically sourced. Controversial issue!

    Cheers

  29. Better to be a vegan and drive a hummer the eat meat and drive a prius. Tim, there are so many ways to lose weight that have longer staying power. There are also many more ways to be healthy and not kick the crap out of the planet.

  30. A site worth looking at is: second-opinions.co.uk written by Barry Groves PhD. He’s put up a wealth of information about the myths about fat, food and vegetanarianism, with additional notes about Diabetes.

  31. Hi Tim

    Have you read Sally Fallon’s book ‘Eat Fat, Loose Fat’?

    http://www.eatfatlosefat.com/research.php

    Her work is inspired by Weston A. Price who went around the world in 1910 – 1920 and recorded the eating habits of indigenous people. He found that those people (at that time) were much healthier due to their traditional diets.

    A quote from his wikipedia page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weston_Price

    “In his studies he found that plagues of modern civilization (headaches, general muscle fatigue, dental caries or cavities, impacted molars, tooth crowding, allergies, heart disease, asthma, and degenerative diseases such as tuberculosis and cancer) were not present in those cultures sustained by indigenous diets. However, within a single generation these same cultures experienced all the above listed ailments with the inclusion of Western foods in their diet: refined sugars, refined flours, canned goods, etc.”

    best regards

    Sambodhi Prem

  32. If you’re looking for a plant-based source of saturated fat, go for palm oil.

    Ever noticed how “natural” peanut butter separates and the peanut oil floats to the to? Makers use partially hydrogenated oil to thicken the peanut butter and thereby avoid separation in traditional peanut butter. Of course, they can’t use that in the “all natural” product. When you see “All Natural, No Stir” version, it probably uses palm oil in place of partially hydrogenated.

    Partially hydrogenated *usually* oils are made from mixtures of saturated and unsaturated oils that are sent through a catalytic cracking process. This results in the unsaturated oils being incompletely hydrogenated, and introducing “saturation.” Palm oil is a naturally occurring plant source of the saturated variety.

  33. Nice post! I’m sure this might come as a surprise to many of your readers.

    @Reijo,

    Where is the evidence that saturated fat increased LDL? PUFAs may decrease LDL, but it seems that saturated fats have little effect on cholesterol. And where is the evidence that LDL alone is a marker for CVD risk? The ratio of LDL to HDL is a better indicator, and the number of triglycerides and the size of LDL particles if even better. It’s the small LDL that is worrisome, not LDL by itself.

    I’d be slightly wary of promoting fried chicken with the skin, since it has a ton of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) — see my blog for a list of AGEs in common foods. From a cholesterol viewpoint, it probably doesn’t matter, though.

    – JLL

  34. Not all saturated fat is created equal (18 carbons is better than 12, 14, or 16 – the most commonly made one). The body is capable of producing any saturated fat it needs in a similar manner than more amino acids can be made from a variety of building blocks.There are only 2 essential fatty acids (linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid) that we cannot make.

    Where is the evidence that a diet low in saturated fats leads to a too few saturated fats in the body? It is akin to saying a diet low in simple carbohydrates prevents the generation of glucose for immediate energy stores and synthesis of various other polysaccrides necessary for normal functioning.

    Theories are all fun and good until they are tested. Sure correlations are nice, but they aren’t cause and effect.

  35. Reijo

    Its good you are reading this post, and you highlight some of the pernicious untruths perpetuated by the nutritional/health establishment. Not your fault at all. I only discovered this by extensive research.

    “LDL-cholestrol which is extensively proven marker for cardiovascular disease (CAD) risk. They also tend to increase cancer forms of certain type. Both cancer and CAD are diseases that damage us most in western countries.”

    In fact it is not total LDL that’s associated with rogue plaques but one of its subspecies – VLDL. Saturated fat diets raise the large fluffy LDLs and reduce (especially with low carb) VLDL.

    This was demonstrated way back with the development of the ultracentrifuge by Prof Goffman. He was uniquely able to analyses in detail blood lipids in healthy and diseased humans. He identified low HDL, high VLDL, high triglycerides, and high glucose and insulin as a Pattern B association. Guess what, the high carb, polyunsaturated diet recommended by the health police, and the Western diet, are exactly what produce these associations. A low carb, high sat fat diet produces Pattern A – the healthy profile.

    You have been bamboozled by the health authorities, they neglect to mention the whole picture because, as you see from above, it would totally discredit their position over the last 30 odd years.

    “say that it’s only saturated fats that are reason for good slimming results on such diets”.

    No, they say sat fats are healthier than the others, especially polyunsaturated.

    The Mediterranean diet is a myth concocted by Ancel Keys – it’s a shorthand for the kind of diet the health police want us to use, but resembles no actual diet in the Med… which varies and is often very high in sat fats.

    “decrease trans-fats and simple carbohydrates plus increase protein”

    yes – but all carbs must be controlled as they all end up as blood sugar. A plate of rice (brown or white) is pretty much the same as a plate of sugar.

    “Fiber” has never been confirmed as a protectant (at least not insoluble grain fibre) – in fact bran fibre is high in antnutrients (toxins) that attack the gut lining and prevent mineral absorption, and many new studies suggest it is cancer promoting, quite apart from it’s role in autoimmune disease.

  36. Certainly a very intersting post. It’s most interesting the positive view of saturated fat- we often are bombarded with what many believe would be negative effects.

    There’s so much contradictory “facts” thrown out abut meat and other type of foods. Often times it is from someone, or organisations that have some bias based on their personal interested. Good to see an unbiased view of this and goes to show that where there may be darkness, there’s always light.

  37. Well, saturated fat from meat is going to be a luxury in this century. One kg of red meat is about your entire year of shower water and the amount of energy involved is significant. I’m not vegetarian, but if you look at the way all meat is produced it’s not exactly something most humans will be able to eat very often.

  38. Having almost effortlessly lost weight after decreasing carbohydrates and increasing the rest (vegetables, fruit, nuts, fats, etc) I’d warn anyone to be prepared for a wardrobe change if they do try this! At the same time, keep in mind that it is an excerpt/advert for a book and therefore subject to some conflict of interest. My concern is encouraging a knee-jerk reactionary swing from low-fat everything to high-fat everything when clearly the answer is ultimately going to be less exciting but more pragmatic; balance.

    There are a lot of sites including Mark Sisson’s (Primal Blueprint author, referred to in Anthony’s comment) discussing this and related topics but they do have a little more balance, which is I think what Reijo’s comment is suggesting. At the same time I don’t think it’s worth getting too hung up on it. Just find a few journal accounts of people trying all or heavy meat diets and you’ll realise that your natural inclination away from boredom is likely to kick in way before too many ill effects do.

    To expand a bit on point 2, stronger bones, I’d also suggest looking into the role of fat in the health of our teeth. For example, this article (excerpted)…

    “Dr. Price provides before and after X-rays showing re-calcification of cavity-ridden teeth on this program. … Both diets were high in minerals, rich in fat-soluble vitamins (including D), and low in phytic acid.”

    http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/03/reversing-tooth-decay.html

    …was probably what got me started properly questioning the logic of low fat eating (that and a tooth the dentist told me he’d be “watching”).

    There is definitely a need for more popular media balance in this area. One case in point is a series of public-service looking ads running at the moment in Australia with a “cardiologist” explaining how much bad saturated fat your kids would eat in a year (illustrated with the obligatory pile of butter) just from spreading butter on their toast daily. Cut past the recommendation to switch to a seed based margarine and don’t blink or you’ll miss the logo for “the largest supplier of edible fats and oils to Australian and New Zealand food manufacturers and wholesalers” at the end. Even better, wait for their margarine ads to appear in the next ad break. Now that’s clearly a conflict of interest!

  39. I’ve read books and arguments by Eades and others before. And there is a lot of evidence for their position. But it seems to me that if we are talking about the best diet for health, then we should look at the diets that have brought people the greatest health. The studies I’ve read on longevity, and the traditional diets that support longevity, go in the opposite direction, where meat is more of a garnish than a main course. What do you think about this divergent evidence? Anyone know how Eades explains away these studies?

  40. I was a vegetarian for 15 years & became weaker and weaker with increasing health problems. I tried eating fish & chicken which did absolutely nothing for me. I was so brainwashed by the vegan’s and other so-called experts’ myths about the dangers of eating meat, that it took me years to get over my fears and try it, even though deep down I knew that’s what was missing from my diet. Once I brought beef back into my diet, ALL my health problems totally vanished. I now eat it daily in order to feel well. always buy organic, and also stick to a whole foods diet without sugar, dairy and processed foods. I have perfect digestion (never did as a vegan), need very little sleep, never tired or sleeping during the day, high energy, never catch colds or the flu, low cholesterol, and lifelong asthma has vanished.

    It’s a very powerful way of eating, and it’s too bad that so many people have bought into the myths and lies by so many who claim eating meat is dangerous. What I believe is dangerous is the sugars, chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavors and colors that are going into processed foods, along with white flour products. This is lethal to the human body, and is the cause for illnesses and diseases, including all the heart problems they attribute to meat. A shame that so many are afraid to try and it and suffering needlessly!

  41. Interesting article. What I find most appealing is that this shows us how to “hack” the body just like we do computers. The process is the same. You spend time observing the system discerning how it works. Once you have a good idea of how it works, you start thinking about ways to use the built in systems in an unintended manner.

    However, just like computer hacking, I don’t think this is a long term solution. Nature likes balance and people are a part of nature. This is just the yin to veganism’s yang. Lean too far in one direction and you lose the other and that conflicts with nature’s tendency towards balance. Just make sure you consider the costs associated with your decision.

    Finally, the note at the end regarding canola oil surprised me. I know it has one of the higher smoke points and is used in stir fry quite often because of that property. Is this the context you’re using to describe “sensitive to heat”?

    1. Hi Matt,

      It just means that you don’t have to cut the fat off of your meat or avoid higher-fat content, as long — and this is important — that you source your meat from sources that won’t contaminate it. I encourage people to purchase locally grass-fed when possible, or organic at least. The grass-fed has as a different taste and can take some getting used to, but you’ll find that you don’t need to eat as much when the meat is nutritionally-dense, as grass-fed/grass-finished is (CLA, etc.).

      Happy eating!

      Tim

      1. Hey Tim,

        Curiosity question. From your travels, where would you recommend I go for the best beef? I remember from 4HB you mentioned eating a ton of steak in Nicaragua I think?

        I’d love to go somewhere that has massive amounts of delicious beef on the cheap. A month vacation where I can eat 1lb ribeyes for breakfast/lunch/dinner and 8 oz strips for snacks in between sounds sublime. But I’d prefer not to spend $15-20/meal as that takes away from the awesomeness.

        So where’s the best beef?

        1. You can buy grass fed beef in bulk and it can be quite reasonable. I recently ordered a 1/4 of a steer for $575. It should feed my family for at least six months or more.

  42. This article doesn’t really delve into the meat of the substance ( pun intended ), which is something called “all cause mortality”. Without citation, it is hard to judge this articles contentions. It should be clear , however that , although the human body has a wonderful capacity to adapt to a wide array of diets , all cause mortality for men ( for which most of the studies have been done ) is lower in a COMBINATION of a high fruit and vegetable intake and a low saturated fat intake. ( J. Nutr. 135:556-561, March 2005 ).

    Many factors affect all cause mortality. We shouldn’t minimize the importance of such things as ETOH intake ( can be positive or negative ) smoking ( invariable negative ), activity level , baseline weight as an independent risk factor, genetics, and perhaps even a psychological component and spiritual component that can affect the duration of one’s life. We should also recognize that all cause mortality is not an end all be all – the quality of one’s life is equally important. But my experience with over 100,000 patients under my belt has made it crystal clear to me that a typical diet rich in high fat, highly processed foods results in devastating blow to peoples health including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, general fatigue, and joint problems.

    Anyway, I think this a great discussion. Just look at this graph from the Center for disease control and you will see what I mean:

    http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html

  43. John:

    As far as hating all meat after few weeks – try Cyclical Ketogenic Diet developed for bodybuilders – you may eat carbs two days per week, which helps fat loss and muscle preservation and also refreshes you from all that meaty stuff. 😉

  44. @john

    Like some others have suggested, there are low-carb diets that allow for you to mix in carbs either at certain points in the day or at certain points in the week. Tim has a post along these lines that some work consider TKD(targeted ketogenic diet) where he eats carbs after working out. In it he also references and links to the outline of a CKD diet, where people eat carbs usually for 1.5 days out of the week to replenish glycogen, and the rest of the week they eat less than 20-30 carbs per day, and go into what’s known at ketosis to convert fat into energy rather than sugar.

    Here is the link to Tim’s post: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2007/04/06/how-to-lose-20-lbs-of-fat-in-30-days-without-doing-any-exercise/

    And here is a post I did that is a shopping guide for CKD, to aid people at the grocery store that are looking to stock up food for this kind of diet:

    http://perfectmike.com/2009/07/12/the-ultimate-ckd-shopping-guide/

    Hope this information helps you.

    Mike

  45. thanks tim, in addition to the primal blueprint (mentioned in the comments somewhere above) i highly recommend fats that heal, fats that kill by udo erasmus. also if you have the patience to deal with a truly moronic and repetitive writer, some similar thoughts to your post are discussed in death by diet by robert barefoot.

  46. Thanks for the surprising and eye-opening information. I think most foods are okay or beneficial, but our consumption amounts are what tend to lead us down paths of obesity.

    Thanks again…

    Dave

    LifeExcursion

  47. I works! I’m the living proof!

    Oddly enough, I read the Eades’ original book, ‘Protein Power’, just recently. As a result, I’ve been on a high protein diet (incorporating lots of green vegetables) for exactly two months.

    I’ve so far lost 2 stones (28lbs) and counting, and my previously bloated stomach has all but disappeared. I also possess infinitely more energy and am never hungry. In fact I enjoy my food more than ever before. And the best bit is I continue to drink as much wine as I like and still the weight drops off. This is my kind of diet!

  48. I applaud you for your risk-taking of advocating an all-meat diet… that’s about as socially faux paus as wearing fur. But I have to question your heart as to the killing of so many animals. It is simply not necessary to eat meat to have a strong and healthy body.

  49. @Charles is right. And Tim has said this before in a video somewhere – a food choice that is better for the planet is going to be better for you – (Jose do you have the link to that vid?)

    It’s important to eat foods/meats that were raised responsibly:

    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1917458,00.html

    or rent Food, Inc. from Netflix: http://digg.com/u3C8go

    And a good article on palm oil since I mentioned that above: http://digg.com/d312TKz

    Thanks!

  50. This would definitely explain why my dad, who hasn’t eaten a fruit or vegetable in over a decade, somehow passed his physical with flying colours last year.

    Some stuff to think about.

  51. The body has an incredible ability to take whatever you give it and use it to whatever goals it currently has (goals are based on inputs like e.g. the food itself, exercise, temperature, stress). If you believe it takes a long time to dramatically re-program our genes, and that our food supply HAS changed dramatically in the last 2 generations, then you only need to look at how man lived in the past to see what “diet” might work. All-meat probably qualifies. Mostly/all-meat plus lots of aerobic exercise probably turns on the “hi-ho hi-ho, off to hunt we go” body program which makes you lean and strong for persistence hunting (“Born to Run” – great book even if you hate running).

    There seem to be quite a few books out there these days about how our distant ancestors lived that have quite interesting perspectives on how to be healthy. Anyone have a favorite one to recommend?

  52. This post shouldn’t be accepted uncritically. Here are some challenges:

    First: The weight of evidence for a controversial hypothesis should be proportional to the controversy it stirs. If you do a PubMed search, you’ll easily find evidence published in peer-reviewed journals indicating that reductions in saturated fat intake correlate with an increase–not a decrease–in Lp(a). (I’ve provided an example below.) The American Heart Association still recommends that you limit (not eliminate) foods high in saturated fat from your diet (http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4582).

    These rules of thumb were not concocted from the armchair or from anecdotal evidence. They are the result of a lot of controlled experiments and epidemiological research. It would be nice if a diet high in saturated fat were good for you, but where’s the evidence?

    Second: Biological systems are highly nonlinear. A complete deficit of some nutrients might be catastrophic. But that doesn’t mean that there will be a linear increase in benefits from the intake of that substance. There are dose responses. More is not always better. There is an enormous literature on this phenomenon under the topic “hormesis”. The typical American diet is already rich in saturated fat. Telling people to eat more saturated fat might be similar to telling people who already drink a lot of alcohol that they should drink more because a glass of wine a day is good for you. Of course, if you go hard enough on the booze, you get brain damage (Korsakoff’s syndrome) and liver failure.

    Third: There is increasing evidence that biological effects are highly conditional. Differences in genotype affect the way that we process food, because those differences affect the expression of the digestive enzymes we carry. (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/10/science/10starch.html)

    Fourth: The typical American diet is loaded with processed sugar. The reduction in processed sugar intake is an obvious confounding factor to explain fat loss in people who switch to an all meat diet.

    Example of a recent paper showing that reductions in saturated fat intake correlate with an increase in Lp(a):

    Silaste et al (2004) Changes in dietary fat intake alter plasma levels of oxidized low-density lipoprotein and lipoprotein(a). Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 24(3):498-503.

    OBJECTIVE: To assess the effects of dietary modifications on oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL). METHODS AND RESULTS: Thirty-seven healthy women were fed two diets. Both diets contained a reduced amount of total and saturated fat. In addition, one diet was low in vegetables and the other was high in vegetables, berries, and fruit. The dietary intake of total fat was 70 g per day at baseline and decreased to 56 g (low-fat, low-vegetable diet) and to 59 g (low-fat, high-vegetable diet). The saturated fat intake decreased from 28 g to 20 g and to 19 g, and the amount of polyunsaturated fat intake increased from 11 g to 13 g and to 19 g (baseline; low-fat, low-vegetable; low-fat, high-vegetable; respectively). The amount of oxidized LDL in plasma was determined as the content of oxidized phospholipid per ApoB-100 using a monoclonal antibody EO6 (OxLDL-EO6). The median plasma OxLDL-EO6 increased by 27% (P<0.01) in response to the low-fat, low-vegetable diet and 19% (P<0.01) in response to the low-fat, high-vegetable diet. Also, the Lp(a) concentration was increased by 7% (P<0.01) and 9% (P=0.01), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Alterations in the dietary fat intake resulted in increased plasma concentrations of lipoprotein(a) and OxLDL-EO6.

  53. Good to know! We often forget the important role healthy fats can play in our diet due to all the negative media coverage of fats in different foods. It was good to see a list like this, which I think serves as a reminder that even things like saturated fat can be healthy in some form in moderation.

  54. Sorry, but I think the article is only market making (Buy the book! Buy the book!…)

    If you eat a lot of meat, you also eat a lot of sulfur which increases your bodies need for calcium.

    So most of the articles statements about the need of calcium is clueless.

    Informed vegetarians who do body building know that they have no need for extra quantities of calcium because their body generally needs _less_ calcium than the average carnivore.

    Osteoporosis is especially present in societies who eat a lot of (raw) meat (e.g. look for studies on Inuits or other mainly carnivore tribes).

    But I strongly agree that the fear of saturated fat intake is highly overrated.

    There is a reason why a lot of research on the positive effects of cholesterol never gets published (look for “increase risk of heart failure” in combination with “cholesterol medication” and you’ll know why…)

    Regards,

    occasionally body building vegetarian with very strong immune system since avoiding meat from medicated animal cadavers — lucky you, if you can hunt your meals yourself.

  55. @JLL

    Evidence for saturated fat (SFA) and LDL is well established. SFA also raises HDL. To keep it short:

    – Annu Rev Nutr. 1993;13:355-81

    -Am J Clin Nutr. 1994 Dec;60(6 Suppl):1017S-1022S. Review.

    Evidence for CAD and LDL is also well known.

    – abundant clinical evidence: See Am J Cardiol. 1998 Nov 5;82(9A):3Q-12Q or Am J Cardiol. 1986 Feb 12;57(5):18C-23C

    – statins lower LDL and do not affect extensively HDL -still dramatic results in CAD trials, cardiac outcomes have decreased

    – familiar hypercholestrolemia (extremely high LDL) patiens die young (due CAD) if their LDL is not treated down.

    LDL/HDL ratio is indeed a good risk marker.

  56. @Cody

    There is a video I made recently on youtube titled “The Dream Shake”. It’s not a perfect example, but it is a meal I have nearly daily (frequently changing the ingredients as well, often times adding more fat via grassfed butter, coconut, etc). If you search for it, it should pull right up.

    Beyond that the meals I eat are usually very simple, but people tend to drool over them none the less =). A recent favorite is canned tuna /w avocado and shredded carrots (/w spices on top). Another common item is a dozen whole scrambled eggs with hot sauce, salt/pepper, and a few veggies.

    Steaming vegetables (carrots, broc, cauli) and adding a bunch of coconut oil or grassfed butter is always delicious. Also, any food I fry is ALWAYS cooked in coconut oil- which is over 90% sat fat. It is by far the best oil to cook with.

    @Tisha

    There isn’t a whole lot of risk involved eating against the norm, no matter how it appears (or what our peers say).

    The fact is humans have eaten lots of meat for millions of years. Considering this, I believe it is not possible to live a healthy life (long term) not eating meat. Not only is vegetarianism impossible without modern civilization/agriculture- but we have been designed to eat animals, over the course of those 2.5 million years of evolution.

    At no point in time were our ancestors purely vegetarian- you simply could not extract enough energy/nutrients from plants at the time.

    Considering this, is it really so “bad” to eat in accordance with our evolution, and put your health first? Coming from a former vegan, I strongly encourage you to do more research at sites like beyondveg.com or even on blogs such as Mark Sisson’s (he has a few sections on veganism and has as much respect as anyone else for that kind of moral choice).

    -Anthony

  57. @Cody

    There is a video I made recently on youtube titled “The Dream Shake”. It’s not a perfect example, but it is a meal I have nearly daily (frequently changing the ingredients as well, often times adding more fat via grassfed butter, coconut, etc). If you search for it, it should pull right up.

    Beyond that the meals I eat are usually very simple, but people tend to drool over them none the less =). A recent favorite is canned tuna /w avocado and shredded carrots (/w spices on top). Another common item is a dozen whole scrambled eggs with hot sauce, salt/pepper, and a few veggies.

    Steaming vegetables (carrots, broc, cauli) and adding a bunch of coconut oil or grassfed butter is always delicious. Also, any food I fry is ALWAYS cooked in coconut oil- which is over 90% sat fat. It is by far the best oil to cook with.

    @Tisha

    There isn’t a whole lot of risk involved eating against the norm, no matter how it appears (or what our peers say).

    The fact is humans have eaten lots of meat for millions of years. Considering this, I believe it is not possible to live a healthy life (long term) not eating meat. Not only is vegetarianism impossible without modern civilization/agriculture- but we have been designed to eat animals, over the course of those 2.5 million years of evolution.

    At no point in time were our ancestors purely vegetarian- you simply could not extract enough energy/nutrients from plants at the time.

    Considering this, is it really so “bad” to eat in accordance with our evolution, and put your health first? Coming from a former vegan, I strongly encourage you to do more research at sites like beyondveg dot com or even on blogs such as Mark Sisson’s (he has a few sections on veganism and has as much respect as anyone else for that kind of moral choice).

    -Anthony

    ps- sorry if this was a double comment, I believe the first one got held for moderation

  58. There are a few problems with eating a lot of meat. First, meat in general is an expensive food when added up over the years, and can a burden to those of us who are more income challenged, or don’t like wasting money where we don’t have to. Eggs are a good way around this as they are one of the cheapest foods out there, and still have the protein and saturated fat content of meat.

    Secondly, commercial meat, particularly beef, is loaded with antibiotics and dangerous steroids. When eaten in large quantities, carcinogens add up, while consuming antibiotics on a regular basis likely has an overall negative effect on our immune systems, damaging the good bacteria we all have and need, while allowing strands of harmful bacteria to build resistance to our drugs.

    The quickest solution to both of these problems is consuming organic eggs. These eggs aren’t 1$ per dozen, like I saw non-organic eggs last night at my local Trader Joe’s were, but they are still quite a bargain compared to basically all other forms of meat at around $3 per dozen. Plus, you get the added benefit of knowing that the chickens were treated a good deal nicer than at an industrial agriculture facility. Investigate this if you dare, it isn’t a pretty story.

    Anyways, that’s my two cents. Hope you enjoyed the food for though (yeah… pun intended 🙂

  59. @Cody

    There is a video I made recently on youtube titled “The Dream Shake”. It’s not a perfect example, but it is a meal I have nearly daily (frequently changing the ingredients as well, often times adding more fat via grassfed butter, coconut, etc). If you search for it, it should pull right up.

    Beyond that the meals I eat are usually very simple, but people tend to drool over them none the less =). A recent favorite is canned tuna /w avocado and shredded carrots (/w spices on top). Another common item is a dozen whole scrambled eggs with hot sauce, salt/pepper, and a few veggies.

    Steaming vegetables (carrots, broc, cauli) and adding a bunch of coconut oil or grassfed butter is always delicious. Also, any food I fry is ALWAYS cooked in coconut oil- which is over 90% sat fat. It is by far the best oil to cook with.

    @Tisha

    There isn’t a whole lot of risk involved eating against the norm, no matter how it appears (or what our peers say).

    The fact is humans have eaten lots of meat for millions of years. Considering this, I believe it is not possible to live a healthy life (long term) not eating meat. Not only is vegetarianism impossible without modern civilization/agriculture- but we have been designed to eat animals, over the course of those 2.5 million years of evolution.

    At no point in time were our ancestors purely vegetarian- you simply could not extract enough energy/nutrients from plants at the time.

    Considering this, is it really so “bad” to eat in accordance with our evolution, and put your health first? Coming from a former vegan, I strongly encourage you to do more research at sites like beyondveg dot com or even on blogs such as Mark Sisson’s (he has a few sections on veganism and has as much respect as anyone else for that kind of moral choice).

    -Anthony

    ps- sorry if this was a (triple) comment, I believe the first one got held for moderation, and the second one I may have messed up with my browser.

  60. @tisha

    My favorite response to vegetarianism is from Maddox. Unless you grow all your own food, the number animals killed to provide your food can be much higher as a vegetarian. In growing vegetables many more animals are killed by farming equipment and loss of habitat (think mice, gophers, rabbits, insects, etc.) A single grass fed cow provides massive amounts of food with only a single death. Is the cow’s life more precious than the twenty moles?

  61. Interesting to see the comments fall into about three buckets:

    1) It sounds great, but it doesn’t do X and Y like my diet does.

    2) It may work, but doing it requires something that violates one of my heartfelt philosophies.

    3) Absolutely, now let me tell you my story.

    Responding, in reverse order…

    3) Hey dude, that’s great. What else, aside from a story, do you have to contribute? Any studies or science to back up your experiences?

    2) That’s interesting, but the point of the blog post was about a diet and its effectiveness. Philosophical discussions about the right to take an animals life, the rape of wetlands and rainforests, aren’t really relevant are they?

    1) Actually, it’s relatively unlikely that a single diet will ever produce the same results good or bad for everybody who tries it. The human body is simply too complex to reduce to a set of hard and fast rules that always apply. What structured comparisons (including double blind statistical analysis with control groups) between your diet and others have been attempted and reported on?

    I know this is meta-sniping, but almost everybody I know is worried about their health and diet and almost everything they think they know is based on press releases and half- or mis-information. Diets, supplements, and fitness aids are a multi-billion dollar business in just the United States. It’s time that some of that was subjected to objective scientific scrutiny.

    What works and what doesn’t? What can be replicated by different researches using meaningful samples from real world populations? Do men respond differently from women? Do different diets produce varying effects based on the age of the dieter?

    And those are just the questions off the top of my mind…

  62. Interesting post. I see where you are going with this.

    There is so much more to help others distinguish good fats from bad fats and am sure your book will outline that.

    I agree not all fats are equal. It’s important to have moderation. A balanced diet, cardio and weightlfiting will heavily weigh in to help increase bone density, stronger immune system, healthy lungs, etc. A mid-section fat loss solution takes more than “saturated fats and all meat diet” and am confident you know that. You’ve done a great job on hitting on those key points before.

    I’m a Vegan : -). Yet, I think this post is great opportunity for people to explore and learn more about the subject of Fats (trans, saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated).

    Hope your elbow is better. Take care.

  63. Tisha : Recommending an all-meat diet is hardly a faux paux, since we live in a predominantly meat-eating society. Also, you would be hard-pressed to find a vegetable equivalent for the nutrients of whole eggs, or even chicken. The fact is, that while we *can* live without meat, there is very little real evidence that we *should.*

    We raise the animals we eat – for food. It is a symbiotic relationship. We don’t raise ’em ’cause they are cute =)

    Tim : great post. If nothing else, it should instigate a fresh discussion about nutrition and what we “know” about it.

  64. Just from personal experience, I know the leanest I’ve ever been without trying really hard at it, was when I ate whatever meats I wanted and lots of vegetables. I didn’t eat many starches, like pasta, french fries, or sweets, simply because I’d never cared for them that much. When I got married, my wife who is a fitness professional and could eat whatever and stay thin due to the amount of calories she burned, would eat pasta and sweets and so did I since it was in the house. At that time, I also tried to watch what I ate in terms of meats as well. I gained 40 pounds. That extra weight is gone now, but I exercise a lot. I think I’ll experiment and go back to eating whatever meats I want and see how it affects me. Good info in the post to consider.

  65. I was a vegetarian for 15 years & became weaker and weaker with increasing health problems. I tried eating fish & chicken which did absolutely nothing for me. I was so brainwashed by the vegan’s and other so-called experts’ myths about the dangers of eating meat, that it took me years to get over my fears and try it, even though deep down I knew that’s what was missing from my diet. Combining grains, beans, tempeh, and seitan is does not make complete protein, contrary to vegan BS. There is also something lacking energetically in fish & chicken. Once I brought beef back into my diet, ALL my health problems totally vanished. I now eat it daily in order to feel well. always buy organic, and also stick to a whole foods diet without sugar, dairy and processed foods. I have perfect digestion (never did as a vegan), need very little sleep, never tired or sleeping during the day, high energy, never catch colds or the flu, low cholesterol, and lifelong asthma has vanished.

    It’s a very powerful way of eating, and it’s too bad that so many people have bought into the myths and lies by those who falsely claim eating meat is dangerous. What I believe is dangerous is the sugars, chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavors and colors that are going into processed foods, along with white flour products. This is lethal to the human body, and is the cause for most illnesses and diseases, including all the heart problems they attribute to meat. A shame that so many are afraid to try it, since many of their health problems would improve.

  66. there’s so many different opinions when it comes to healthy food, and studies that say this is bad are refuted years later with new studies saying it’s good. maybe there’s no good or bad food, as long as we eat in moderation and live an active lifestyle.

  67. Tim’s posting will generate a lot of controversy. I hold that the great majority of this “controversy” is based on an overarching problem. America has a neurotic “food-phobia”.

    Depending on whatever guru or diet plan to which you subscribe, you become neurotic over calories, fat, fiber, animal protein (or absence thereof), sugars, sodium, and the list goes on. We obsess over micro/macronutrients according to the study-du jour.

    The problem is that we don’t eat nutrients, we eat food.

    Foods contain necessary nutrients, but Americans need to grasp a holistic sense of our diets. There are more synergistic and unknown biochemical processes that occur between our bodies and our food. This primevil relationship between nature and our bodies goes beyond the laboratory.

    We get instinctual and cultural pleasures from our foods. Our level of scientific knowledge may have changed over time, but our physiology is as ancient as the natural world. Animals consume the food they are designed to eat. I doubt whether they sit there contemplating the fiber level of a piece of food.

    Humans need to use a common sense approach to our diet. Eat things that are real foods: foods that are recognizable as food. Many people wisely recommend moderation in food consumption. However with the manic oscillation of the food wars, how can any semblence of moderation exist? We pour more psychological guilt and worry than sodium all over our food. How can this be healthy?

    Tim does present sound data. The digestive tract is, anatomically, that of an omnivore. It is a biological fact. Anthropologically, humans have consumed meat for millenia. Your nervous system (including your brain) demands good portions of fat in order to function.

    Listen deeply to your body and what it truly needs. Seek out balance and moderation knowing full well that your incredible, biological machine is just as mysterious and complex as the natural world in which it exists.

  68. Having done Atkins before, I can say that a high protein, high saturated fat diet does indeed make you shed pounds, I dropped 30 in less than 6 months without doing any exercise really.

    The concern I believe is that high saturated fat leads to a heavy acidic diet, which possibly leads to other nastiness like cancer.

  69. This is a potentially dangerous message to send to the masses…especially in the US where looking good already trumps actually being healthy. I’ve been a vegetarian (except for cold water fish) for over 17 years and am very healthy with outstanding blood work. While I’m not necessarily touting a vegetarian lifestyle is for everyone, telling people to increase their intake of meat (which will naturally decrease their intake of fruits & vegetables) will only further expedite the decline in the quality of health of the people here. If Obama succeeds in socializing healthcare in the US be prepared to have your wallet emptied if more people buy into this advice.

  70. It’s a great post but I wouldn’t recommend an all-meat diet though.

    Red meat can take up to 4 days for the digestive system to totally do its work and there’s other great alternatives like nuts such as almonds which are rich in protein,efa and saturated fats,in fact early in the year,I went to see the doctor and I’ve never been

    in better health and I was eating a lot of nuts…lol

    Eggs are a great source of protein and fat so does legumes and I’m not advocating

    a vegetarian diet as I love meat but I eat it in moderation but I truely believe that eating more saturated fats can help in losing bodyfat and can be a great fuel for working out.

    And eating “good fats” makes me full quick and I do a great job to avoid high glycemic

    carbs and processed foods,but for butter,old cheese,full fat yogurt,it’s fair game!!

    1. Robert,

      There is absolutely no truth that it takes 4 days for meat to digest. A healthy body processes and eliminates within 24 hours. Of course if you are a glutton and overburden your system it may take longer.

  71. @Reijo

    You claim that saturated fat has been linked to higher risk of cancer. I also urge you to look a bit deeper into the scientific nuances..

    Find me a non-retrospective study that sufficiently isolates the variable of saturated fat intake from trans-fat intake and nitrate/nitrites and tell me if it still shows a positive correlation to cancer risk.

    Find that for me, then we’ll talk.

  72. @Anthony

    Great reference to the Primal Diet. Mark’s Daily Apple is always an interesting read! It’s similar to Tim’s “no white food” diet (I do eat the legumes for caloric density–too expensive for my fiance and I to eat only meats, veggies, fruits right now). He wrote a “Definitive Guide to Saturated Fat” that was incredibly informative.

    ———–

    Another important use for saturated fats: To repair tissue damage or to grow, you’ll need to produce lipids for lipid bilayers, which make up a cell’s semipermeable membrane. And to make lipids, your body needs…Saturated fats! Kind of a Bio 101 explanation, but relevant.

    BTW, cashews are a good “snack” source of myristic and lauric acid. I know, snacks are bad, but when I’m teaching all day, I can’t eat a bunch of small meals :).

  73. Great post, Tim. Humans are omnivores. We can eat so many different foods, meats and veggies alike. With all the debates of what to eat and what not to eat, doesn’t come down to how you feel about yourselves. If you look at different tribes around the world, they all have different diets. Some meat, some veggy. But the overall consensus is that the tribes that are content with life are the ones that live longer, no matter their diet.

  74. Tim,

    So someone has “MD” at the end of their names. This really doesn’t mean much in today’s free information world.

    “Good saturated fats” are more prevalent in things like avocados, nuts and coconut oil.

    Meat is a very bad source for these fats – in more ways than one.

    Meat does not support overall health in the body.

    Do some looking and you’ll find that there are far better things you could fill your stomach with. Especially if you are interested in losing weight.

    Want better neural signaling, liver health, and immunity while losing weight and feeling full of energy? Try Vegetables.

    Not too mention, meat production in the U.S. creates more earth warming emissions than every car and truck on the road.

  75. I have personally followed an all-meat diet for just over a year now. In that time I have lost about 90 lbs and feel better than I ever have in my adult life (I’m 35). Don’t take my word for it.. research “Zero Carb” and you’ll find some interesting, paradigm challenging information.

  76. Good post. I agree that there is a lot of good fats out there. Eat that avocado! I have found that different people seem to do well on different types of eating plans. I have veggie friends that eat an all raw diet and look fantastic-young and skinny with glowing skin. They have also healed themselves from various health issues. I also have friends that stay very fit and energtic on an atkins style high-protein diet. While everyone’s metabolism and chemical makeup is different, I think a common dominator is leaving out all the flour, wheat and processed sugar. Packaged food doesn’t seem to make anyone feel or look good. Being skinny is great, but if you age your face and colon in the process (all meat)-maybe you need a little more balance. Fruit makes me feel good, so I am not ready to pass on it for bacon.

  77. @Jay Marrs … right on.

    No matter how hard the medical profession tries to convince us that eating meat is good, it is a huge fail when it comes to optimal health. Sure you can survive on meat, but what are the side effects? Fruits and veggies provide us everything we need to thrive, not just survive.

    Good luck to those on the all meat diet.

  78. Hello,

    Population data studies paint the picture: higher saturated fat intake = less heart disease (it’s a large photo)

    http://freetheanimal.com/images/old/6a00d8341d0fcc53ef01156f35e74d970b-pi.png

    What’s an interesting visual is the confidence interval:

    http://freetheanimal.com/images/old/6a00d8341d0fcc53ef01156e9dc1f4970c-pi.png

    Since it is Ferriss the data geek’s blog, the confidence interval commentary:

    ” All statistics done in MATLAB. I found that if I define

    SF = % saturated fat intake

    CHD = # heart deaths per year per 100,000 men

    then

    CHD = (-4.734 +/- 2.003)*SF + (144.5 +/- 21.4)

    +/- errors are standard deviations (i.e. one sigma) with an R^2 = 0.13 (terrible) between the fit data and experimental data.

    The plot I provided shows the baseline along with a top and bottom curve which are the 95 % confidence interval lines (~1.96 sigmas).

    Although the statistics appear fairly poor, we can make one statement of interest. A positive slope is equivalent to a positive correlation between CHD and saturated fat (i.e. saturated fat bad!) and a negative slope is a negative correlation (i.e. saturated fat good!). Evaluating that statement using confidence intervals we have a 0.9 % chance of a positive slope and a 99.1 % chance that the slope is negative.

    In other words, increased saturated fat intake is 99 % likely to be correlated with decreased incidence of death from heart disease.

    As it’s understood now inflammation, specifically high levels of C reactive protein, is a better indicator of heart disease risk. The work of Dr. Paul Ridker (and others) can be thanked for bringing this to the forefront:

    “Dr. Ridker wrote:These data suggest that the C-reactive protein level is a stronger predictor of cardiovascular events than the LDL cholesterol level and that it adds prognostic information to that conveyed by the Framingham risk score. ”

    Which isn’t to say LDL shouldn’t be watched, but the tiny oxidized LDL is the “bad” lipoprotein while the big fluffy LDL are just doing their job: taking cholesterol to the cells that need it. Unfortunately a simple blood panel doesn’t show us which is which.

    Indigenous populations being introduced to a western diet see rates of heart disease (and just about every other disease) increase. However, a western diet, specifically our diet, isn’t just high in sat fats. It is high in junk: Omega 6 fatty acids and high GI carbs in abundance. Both have been demonstrated to dramatically increase systemic inflammation. Couple that with chronic stress that many westerners have and you have a recipe for chronic inflammation soup…the perfect environment for heart disease. We try to reduce it to just diet when of course it’s not that simple. We’re also the nation of the magic bullet, so asking a person to change their diet and reduce their stress and get more exercise…doc, just give me a pill!

    I do, however, feel most people would be served moving to a Paleo diet if only for one thing: real food. Nothing processed, nothing boxed, just shopping the outer rim of the grocery store. Real food. The romanticism is inaccurate at best; the only thing in common is the real food aspect.

    One more thing about indigenous populations: they often consume high levels of saturated fats. In fact the the Masai consume massive amounts (~33% of their calories come from saturated fat) and the Tokelau consume even more (Tokelauans traditionally obtained 40-50% of their calories from saturated fat, in the form of coconut meat.) Rather than try to condense, you can read all about it here:

    http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/01/tokelau-island-migrant-study-background.html

    That’s not to say that all indigenous populations eat high fat: Okinawans and Kitavans come to mind, but again their diet is fresh, their carbs are real and they do eat fat. In fact, the Kitavans typically get 21% of their calories from fat (hardly low fat!) and Okinawans eat pork and use lard for cooking. Hardly the soy and veggies one hears about!

    The take home message? Eat real food that doesn’t come from a box 90% of the time and you can stop worrying about getting mired in minutia when it comes to health.

    Best,

    Skyler

  79. Great post. Whatever one chooses to eat, the idea that a grain-based diet is health-promoting is rapidly falling apart. Mark Sisson (www.marksdailyapple.com) is great source for information about eating a more “paleolithic” diet.

  80. In Reason #1, it was said saturated fats increase HDL content. However, according to http://heartdisease.about.com/od/reducingcardiacrisk/a/fatHDL.htm, “Saturated fats blocks beneficial effects of HDL”. Where’s the benefit then?

    Furthermore, it stands to reason that lipoprotein (HDL and LDL) levels are increased when saturated fats are eaten, because saturated fats, being saturated, are much more viscous than unsaturated fats, and need cholesterol (transported across the body in lipoproteins) between the fatty acids to make the fat less viscous. This is just a hypothesis, but if it’s correct, then the “beneficial” effect of HDL would be beneficial only because of the increased saturated fat intake. If no saturated fat was eaten, no HDL would be needed to make it less solid.

  81. Not all Canola Oil contains transfats. it all has to do with how oil it is processed. Watch out for the word “hydrogenated”. That is done to allow Canola oil to turn into margarine. Not all margarine has transfats either. Lots do not so read the label. Also the extraction method of crushing the oil from the seed can vary so if your are concerned about the solvents used to extract canola oil purchase something called “cold pressed” or virgin oil. The same goes for oliver oil. Never trust just a single piece of information on the internet (including this one) and remember despite the criticism’s you hear about our medical professionals we are all living longer and heather lives. Most of our problems with health come from over consumption of food and alcohol and exposure to tobacco products either first hand or second hand. Keep exercising and having a positive attitude and you will enjoy Tim’s blog for a long time. ..

  82. Tim,

    Have you read Ray Peat? http://raypeat.com/articles/

    He’s a biologist, endocrinologist, and thyroid specialist. He argues that saturated fats are the only safe fats to consume. Unsaturated fats inhibit thyroid production. I’ve been following his advice with good results.

    In an interview, Ray Peat makes the interesting point that some animals (cows, sheep) are capable of turning their soy/grain feed into saturated fats, while other animals (pigs, chickens) store dangerous levels of unsaturated fats in their tissue. While lard should be a health food, it is likely that due to the pigs’ feed it is now dangerously unsaturated.

    As someone who is about to move to a country famous for the tourist request of ice cubes and bottled water, I was interested in your pre-departure fat intake mentioned in your last China video. I’ve slowly resolved my U.S.-side digestive issues with raw milk and saturated fat. I’m hoping it will carry over to my new destination.

    Andrew

  83. I can’t deny that this type of diet gets results for people. I had a friend lose 50lbs on the Atkins.

    Do I think it’s healthy? My gut says “no”. I guess if you’re morbidly obese, this would be the lesser of two evils.

    I was able to drop my bad cholesterol by 55 pts in 6 months cutting out red meat and doing atleast 30-60 minutes of cardio 5 days a week.

    If you really want to look at losing weight, I saw this program on TLC named “The 650 lb virgin”. It’s a guy, named David Smith, who went from 650lbs to 225lbs. If anyone deserves credit, it’s his trainer – Chris Powell.

    http://www.reshapethenation.com/blog/comments/how_it_works

  84. Nice work Tim, about time you posted some controversial views on here 🙂 it’s a nice reminder that the snickers I just ate isn’t nearly as bad as I feared.

    1. Except for the GMO’s and all the chemicals in your Snickers bar. It’s weird how people can easily take things out of context and think highly processed crap is real food and then rationalize their bad habits as well.

  85. Nice to see you post the truth about fats. Most people’s knowledge of fats stems for mainstream media and “popular” diet books. It was a nice reference to Dr. Enig in the article as well. If every doctor read her book “Know your Fats” and Dr. Weston Price’s epic work “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” you would see a radical improvement in the health of the population. Oh wait, that might interfere with drug sales, sorry. The human body is not designed to run on only fruits and veggies. I even have 2 landmark works written about 50 years ago on how to prevent heart attacks with protein and fat consumption. More good stuff to make your head spin.

    While I eat as much fat and protein as I can get in a day, I do ask patients to buy it organic if they are going to increase their consumption. I think this is a valid point for vegetarians. Most animals are feed-lot or confinement raised. The animals themselves are poorly treated and poorly fed, which means you will be poorly fed. Most are treated with hormones and antibiotics and those nasty additives will be found in the fat.

    Organic, naturally raised or caught animals are a vital source of nutrition that humans were meant to eat. The single worst diet advice to come out in the last 50 years was a Low-Fat Diet. Healthy good fats make your skin nice, your brain happy and allows your body to make hormones. No fat, no hormones. A low-fat diet will make you less of a man and less of a woman. I’ll happily eat my eggs in the morning instead of bran muffins and Viagra.

    1. Hi Dr….I find that eating animal products have increased my weight very quickly. I stopped eating animal products and my weight immediately drops and I have had ZERO weight issues and I am in the top 2% in fitness for any age group. I eat a plant based diet, eat lots of carbs, and healthy plant based fats. High animal product consumption will kill people, as it has here in America. This isn’t a scientific theory, this is real world info, that is practiced every day.

  86. Our bodies were designed to thrive on meat. There is a reason the peoples who were native to the lands we now lived on didn’t hunt vegetables and berries. They hunted meat.

    You can see the results for over a thousand people who are following the basics of what Stefansson discovered at http://www.zeroinginonhealth.com .

    There is absolutley no need for carnivorous humans to consume anything else but meat. It has everything needed and is as simple as it gets.

  87. humans were built to eat meat… ignorant vegans and vegetarians, we shouldn’t have to take supplement because we’re cutting essential foods out of our diet… much like you are, you’re the ones hurting your bodies, and you look like you have jaundice.

    and yes, when I see a field of cows, I’m thinking of how delicious some meat would be…

  88. Great article! Also very timely as I just started a new diet a week ago, not to lose weight but to try and fix my GI problems. It’s called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, you should check it out.

    Very similar to the atkins except that pretty much all processed foods are out. No starches or complex carbs or sugars are allowed. You can eat fruit and veggies once you’ve been on the diet for a little while and your symptoms are improving.

    The book that goes with the diet is called “Breaking the Viscious Cycle” and explains in great detail what’s going on in our stomachs, why this diet works etc. It has also been proven to help people with autism. I would recommend checking it out, very interesting stuff!

    So far my experience on the diet has been very good. I have to cook a lot more but if it fixes my stomach it’s worth it. I’ve also lost a little weight as well as an added bonus 🙂

  89. Tim nice post.

    It is always good for people to think outside of the box and to not be misled by marketing schemes by governernment run corporations.

    The problem I have with this post is that you are just throwing a ‘healthy label’ on saturated fats without giving the full story. Yes, quality saturated fats have an important place in our health, but there are things people should know along with that. By ‘quality’, I mean well-raised and well-treated animals producing healthy flesh and milk.

    What people don’t understand is almost all meats these days are pumped up with antibiotics and raised in there own fecal matter which affects our body in a very negative way.

    All I am saying is what scares me is people reading this post and going out to the nearest fast food joints and eating the meat from corn-fed cattle which has been very unnaturally raised on either American feedlots or feedlots on land which has been cut down in the Amazon Rainforest.

    So to sum it up – get your food from a local farm and enjoy moderation. That spells a healthy and long life.

    Here is a cool and related article from my favorite unbiased news source.

    Thanks Tim. I would love to speak more with you on this subject. http://www.naturalnews.com/025857_saturated_fat_health_butter.html

  90. @Skyler Tanner: All of the nations listed at the high intake end of the curve are nations with high quality of life rankings, including accessibility to medical treatment. Wouldn’t that undermine any inference to saturated fat being the relevant causal factor? Wouldn’t it be better to look at a random sample of people tested for CV conditions and the proportion of negative to positive diagnoses within those samples, controlling for socioeconomic status, and of course saturated fat intake?

  91. so if your are concerned about the solvents used to extract canola oil purchase something called “cold pressed” or virgin oil

    No such thing as virgin canola oil, because rapeseed oil is poisonous without chemical processing.

  92. YES Yes yes…Let us not forget Cocoa Butter (& Chocolate!) or Sesame Seeds (& Oil). Also would add Clarified Butter (AKA Ghee)…preferably from Grass Fed source (CLA!)

  93. I’ve been following Eades’ diet for over 10 years and feel great. At age 40 I feel better than I did at 30, and my health is excellent says my doctor. I know a couple of surgeons who follow the same diet and we have had some interesting discussions over the years. Thanks Tim.

  94. Something I forgot to mention – I had bad asthma problems before going on Eades’ diet a decade ago. About a month after starting the diet, my asthma vanished. I’ve used a Ventolin inhaler less than once a year since then, only due to a nasty allergy to cats which flares things up if I encounter too many of the creatures in a confined area. The benefits to lung health are amazing.

  95. This post was interesting to me. I’m a vegetarian and a pre-med student, so hearing that saturated fat might be good for you is contradictory to what I’ve generally held to be true.

    Even if there are health benefits to eating saturated fat, I don’t it’s good advice to tell people they should consume a bunch of saturated fat if they want to lose weight. As a vegetarian, I actually have to seek out foods that are higher in carbohydrates, protein, and fat. If I don’t I can’t get enough calories and I start losing weight.

    If you want to lose weight go jogging. Humans are built for running. Few things burn as much fat as a morning jog, and running on a routine basis will help you live longer and healthier. I run three miles every morning, and I have noticed that I look and feel healthier than I was before I started running. Americans over-consume and under-exercise. If you want to lose weight you shouldn’t do it by adding in a steak at dinner.

    That said, their does seem to be a misconception that eating saturated fat causes weight gain. Carbohydrates cause weight gain. In particular, sugar causes weight gain because it is metabolized really fast and raises your blood sugar. Then your body has to lower your blood sugar by using insulin to store it as fat.

    Anyway, I think you should have written the post about how it’s a misconception that consuming fat causes weight gain. Instead, you wrote a post that makes it sound like it’s a good idea to only eat fatty meat. An all meat diet would be horrible for you. Think scurvy.

  96. @Rod Smith – I had a similar experience. I suffered from lifelong asthma and was on daily drugs and inhalers. However, after switching to a whole foods diet that is now composed of basically organic beef, no sugar or processed foods, my asthma has vanished. Also other health problems, including all allergies and eczema. I also eat very little dairy products. My energy has never been better, and haven’t had the need to see a doctor in over 12 years now, since I switched my diet.

  97. 112 comments? Holy crap. This post is taking off like a space shuttle. Just tweeted/stumbled it to help out.

    However…

    “Fruits and veggies provide us everything we need to thrive, not just survive.”

    This is one of the more troubling comments, and is simply not true. While I was certainly aware many vegetarians believed this to be true, to actually read it is a bit of a wake up call.

    Again, take it from a former vegan- if you are a vegetarian to any degree and also believe it to be optimal for your health, you are sorely mistaken.

    You have every right not to eat animals…but you are undermining your health in the process, and should be well aware of that fact if you choose to not eat animal products. There are many websites, blogs, articles, and books detailing why- just let go emotionally and take a rational look at nutrition.

  98. A not-so-new analysis of this topic, coming to remarkably similar conclusions, is available in Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon. This is from 1999, and is full of useful recipes. Check it out!

  99. @Anthony

    “You have every right not to eat animals…but you are undermining your health in the process, and should be well aware of that fact if you choose to not eat animal products. There are many websites, blogs, articles, and books detailing why- just let go emotionally and take a rational look at nutrition.”

    Point me in the right direction. Where is a study that shows you are less healthy if you don’t meat? I don’t mean a blog article, I mean a real study. There are large, peer reviewed studies that show vegetarians actually have a slightly longer average lifespan. Do vegetarians live longer because they don’t eat meat? Probably not. It’s probably because the average vegetarian pays more attention to eating healthy and so is more likely to consume less crap and maintain a healthy weight. But these studies do prove that you can be healthy without eating meat. You do need to pay attention to your diet, but you can be a healthy long-lived person without eating any meat.

  100. Tim, when someone says a negative comment, most of the time you sign off by saying “All the best”. That’s pretty cool to keep things positive =)

  101. The more I read about recommendations from health experts, the more it seems like politics to me. Person A says, X will kill you, Person B says it’ll save your life. Same goes for Republicans and Democrats.

    I think the most helpful advice one could possibly offer isn’t really whether or not X is good for you or not, but how, as consumers/humans we can best analyze what is the truth from theory. . .essentially we need a BS “fact checker” like they have around election time. After all, statistics are so easy to skew in any singular direction if one tries hard enough, the difficulty as readers is to get beyond the promotional hype.

    Or, perhaps as one commenter said, avoid the boxes and you’ll be in pretty good shape from there. As my grandfather always said. . .everything in moderation.

    Thanks again, Tim.

    D

  102. I was glad to see mention of the fats researcher Mary Enig, Ph.D. in the post. You can find a wealth of fascinating work from her at the following website: http://www.westonaprice.org/tour/index.html – this is a non-profit foundation so no product promotions there that I’ve seen, just a wealth of information.

    Her prescription for health is similar to the Paleo Diet, but the differences are interesting – more saturated fats and organ meats, raw milk/butter, less muscle meat, plus fermented and sprouted grains. It’s not high protein/low carb like Atkins. Also, she makes a pretty good case against the politically correct nutritional “group think” she believes our society is mired in today, which includes the idea that saturated fats *cause* heart disease.

    I stumbled across her work on the health benefits of more fatty traditional diets (pre-industrial) about a year ago. I was already eating organic everything, including meat, but I tried incorporating raw milk/butter, cod liver oil, organ meats (liver), and saturated fats (coconut/palm oils, fatty meats). I noticed a pretty dramatic improvement in my general health and energy levels, and most remarkable was an apparent gain in muscle mass/strength without any exercise increase. I was a bit surprised because the incorporation of fatty meats into my diet had actually decreased my overall protein intake (you feel full faster). The change struck me as hormonal in nature, like a small steroid injection. More likely though is the idea that my hormonal system wasn’t 100% without these foods. Most of these foods have either a direct or indirect hormonal support effect (read about the bio-available forms of vitamin A & D in cod liver oil and how deficient most Americans probably are).

    BTW, if you haven’t read the Weston Price research on the developmental benefits of pre-industrial diets, please do – it’s fascinating and not a little scary. It doesn’t live up to modern scientific standards, but can be viewed as an interesting starting point for further research.

  103. For anyone who gets this far into the comments, I’d like point out that there is a website dedicated to the all meat diet called zeroinginonhealth.com created by Charles Washington. It contains a wealth of scientifically backed discussion about the health benefits, the history and more, as well as a forum for those following this diet.

  104. @Jason

    I’m with you. I hate to see controversial statement made (especially scientific ones) with no citation support. When you write a book for the layman – as we did this one – the publisher makes the call as to whether citations will be included and, if so, how. Space constraints limited us to a bibliography in the back rather than the chapter by chapter format we would have preferred. Having said that, however, I can give you a few sources here to check out.

    Read Gary Taubes’ “Good Calories, Bad Calories,” a book describing in great detail how we came to look upon saturated fat as bad in the first place. Gary is the most decorated – in terms of awards for scientific writing – scientific writer working today. If you don’t want to read his book – which is huge – try Googling ‘The Soft Science of Dietary Fat’ to get an article he wrote for “Science,” the most prestigious scientific journal in the US.

    You can also take a look here at an article written in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism discussing saturated fat intake and low-carbohydrate diets:

    http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/2/1/21

    For more info, you can take a look at the Weston A. Price Foundation site for a number of different discussions of saturated fat.

    Finally, there is a terrific article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discussing the bad rap saturated fat has gotten. I would provide a link, but for some reason the AJCN site is down. I’ll check back later and get it for you.

    @Roosh

    There are many such studies that show the benefits of saturated fat intake for cardiovascular health as well, which isn’t covered in the 7 Reasons that Tim excerpted from the whole book. Stearic acid, for instance, a saturated fat found richly in meat, has been shown to lower cholesterol levels in study after study. (See ‘The Soft Science of Dietary Fat’ mentioned above.) You are correct in saying that we can’t possibly know whether saturated fat (or any other kind of fat) is either good or bad for us without long-term, randomized studies. Problem is, those studies will never take place because you can really randomize those kinds of studies for the long periods of time needed for definitive data. But that didn’t stop the nutritional authorities from recommending low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets based on virtually no evidence that they are efficacious for anything to the entire nation. We’ve all been unwitting subjects in a long-term experiment the hypothesis of which is that a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet is good for us. And we’ve reaped the rewards, such as they are. Obesity and type II diabetes are at epidemic levels. Clearly such a diet isn’t the way to go.

    @Rrpf

    Indeed it does, which is why Banting’s book is both carried as a download on our website and why he and his letter figure prominently in this book (in the section of the book immediately before the one Tim began his excerpt) and several of our previous books.

  105. I’d like to see a discussion of this concept with Tony Robbins and Tim. Tony teaches that ultimate health depends on an alkaline diet and to eliminate food that creates acid in the body (ie. saturated fat). Since learning about the science behind the acid-alkaline balance, I have turned to a vegetarian/green smoothie lifestyle. And I now have more energy than ever before.

    While I do not completely agree, it was a great and interesting read Tim, thanks!

  106. @A-ron

    No reason to flame anyone for a misperception of the historic record. Granted lions and tigers and bears have the sharp teeth and claws that allow them to be effective hunters. Those are their ‘innate tools’ endowed by nature. Likewise, humans developed a large brain and an opposable thumb that we could use to make tools, and that allowed us from move from having to scavenge to being able to hunt. Australopithicus used tools to scavenge and butcher animals; modern chimpanzees, likewise, use tools to ‘fish’ for grubs and maggots and hunt cooperatively. The paleonutritional record is quite unequivocal about what early humans ate, prior to the invention of agriculture, and it was mainly the meat of large animals. Sometimes the historical record and a person’s particular beliefs may collide, but it doesn’t change the record. It took Paleolithic man about a thousand years to travel from the Bering Strait to the bottom of South America completely wiping our most of the large animals along the way. Primitive man hunted the Cave Bear to extinction. Cave Bears are monstrous animals with huge jaws, yet they were no match for man and a sharpened stick, especially when man had his heart set on fat.

    @Cody McKibben

    Natural steak and bacon (organic pasture, raised without hormones or antibiotics, minimally processed without preservatives, additives, nitrites, etc) and cage free organic eggs are available at all natural food groceries, many online purveyors, and now even at many big chain grocery stores.

    @Yusuf

    The China Study is not what it appears. What you’ve read, if you’ve read it, is an abbreviated, cherry-picked, popular press reporting of the real study. Read Chris Masterjohn’s review of it to get the real story.

    http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/China-Study.html

    @Reijo

    You have to remember that this post represents just a couple of paragraph excerpted from an entire book, which has much more in it that just the recommendation for eating more saturated fat, the medical benefits of which have been proven again and again and for which we cite numerous medical articles from peer reviewed journals in the bibliography for the book. However much one might believe it, there is no proof that LDL cholesterol is a marker for heart disease (also abundantly researched in the medical literature and citations provided in the book) except in having an abundance of the small-dense type of particle, which usually increases on a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet, so the studies show.

  107. @Anthony Landreth

    This is why I included a little data on indigenous populations for comparison. Stephen over at whole health source (the last link in my post) has huge amounts of data on the health and well being of these individuals with zero (or near zero if you count the medicine man 😉 ) health care options.

    Best,

    Skyler

  108. I also want to recommend The 80/10/10 Diet book to you. Humans are frugivores, meaning that our species appropriate diet is one predominated by fruits.

    I’ve been eating a raw food diet of mostly sweet fruit, along with greens and non-sweet fruits and minimal fats for almost 2 years now. I’ve never felt better. 🙂

    Take care,

    Swayze

  109. Tim.

    I am 5’7″ and used to weigh 88kg (I think around 200 lbs).

    Over the course of 2 years, I lost 27kg to 61kg – around 135lbs.

    By cutting out bread, sugary carbs. No carbs except porridge and wild race (and alcohol whenever I drank).

    Rest of the time, tuna, fish, chicken, vegies, salad, loads of cheese, avocado etc.

    So, I agree. Great way to lose weight. I’m an elite hill climbing ninja on my road bike (pushie now) and wreck big heavy sprint cats.

    Anyone wanting to lose weight, forget everything you’ve learned. Toss weights around, run, ride, surf, swim and eat fats meats and vegies.

    Cool

    tim m

  110. @ Charles

    I would refer you to Lierre Keith’s new book “The Vegetarian Myth” for a tightly-reasoned refutation of all three. Ms. Keith was a vegan for 20 years before she saw the light. Her book is a terrific read for the prose style alone.

    @ David Neeley

    I would very much appreciate it if you could show me the studies demonstrating that the Atkins or any other low-carb diet has been harmful over the long run. I would be willing to bet you can’t do it. If for no other reason than that there haven’t been any long-term studies. In the longest-term studies done to date, the low-carb diet at best significantly outperforms the low-fat diet and at worst is equal to the low-fat diet. If you can show me contrary data, I would love to see them.

    @Stu Saunders

    Again, I recommend “The Vegetarian Myth.”

    @Matt

    You are right that different saturated fats behave differently in the body. But I would be curious to hear your ideas on where saturated fats come from in the first place. We can make 16-carbon saturated fats from excess carbohydrate consumption, but where else do they come from? We have desaturase enzymes that can make saturated fats into unsaturated fats, and we have elongase enzymes that allow us to make longer carbon-chained fatty acids, but where are the saturases that would allow us to make saturated fats from unsaturated fats? And where are the ‘shortases’ (for lack of a better term) that allow us to make longer chains into shorter ones. We don’t have these enzymes, and, as a consequence, in order to get the saturated fats we need, we have to consume them or eat a whole lot of carbs and pay the consequences.

  111. We have a huge problem!

    About 80% of the rain forest that has disappeared have done so because of the meat industry. Whatever your view is on weigh loss, getting people to eat more meat is clearly not the answer. I hope you see that Tim is suggesting locally grass fed animals.

    I have studied and experimented with healthy eating (not dieting) with an open mind (I hope) for many years. I see these camps of believers on theory a or b or c. where this post could represent one such camp. They all have lots of scientific data backing their beliefs.

    Remember, Tim is, a young free cool guy experimenting and having fun with life. Give Tim 1 more year, and he will, like most of us, have a different view on most things, like food. Give him 5 years and he will possibly laugh at this post. Give him 10, 20, 40 more years..? Isnt it so Tim? Was your view on food 5 years ago, the same as today?

    For ultimate health, (and ultimate unsocial life), google “Instinctive Nutrition”. They probably have come close to finding an optimal way of eating for animal human health. (ps. they eat raw meat). Tim, if you want to experiment, this is the ultimate diet.

    Good luck everybody! Life is beautiful!

    Some food for thought from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

    “It’s not worth living in this planet — walking, talking, eating, drinking, doing anything — if the heart is not opened. And 95% of the population, I could even say 99% of the population, dies without the heart being opened.”

    “You eat, and after eating you should not think about eating. Same thing, sex. You have sex — finished; afterwards you should not carry sex in the head all the 24 hours.”

  112. Hi Tim,

    This is an interesting one. Being a scientist, I feel the need to ask for citations? Any chance you can reference the research regarding cardiovascular risk factors, specifically your claim that saturated fat increases HDL and causes women to lose weight?

    I’ve just read your post to my father (a doctor for the past 25 years) and he says it’s not true.

  113. In response to @Anthony…. I completely agree that we could not have survived for the last 2 million years and that vegetarianism is impossible without modern civilization/agriculture. But that doesn’t mean that we should continue doing what we’ve been doing. Because of our modern technology, we are evolving to where killing animals for food isn’t AS necessary. Ultimately, eating consciously is the key…. conscious of other living beings as well as what your own body needs.

    Just as for some a vegetarian diet isn’t healthy, for others a high meat diet isn’t healthy. And, I realize that my protein intake is much lower than a 250 lb. man. I also know that if I were to eat a predominantly meat diet I would physically feel awful and heighten my genetic risk for heart disease, among other things.

  114. Can I preface my comment with the plea, “Please don’t shoot me”?

    That requested, I would like to say that I would never follow business advice from someone who is poor. So, why follow nutritional advice from a group of people, doctors, who are notorious for having bad health and dying at a younger age than the rest of us.

    Whenever I’m asked what to do in a situation, I usually respond by telling the inquirer that they would do good to find someone who has succeeded in that area. How do you find them? You will know them by their fruits, their actions speak volumes above their words.

    My personal observation is that there is an epidemic in America. It is called Lifestyle Disease and is caused by following the SAD (Standard American Diet). Eating a diet rich in animal products leads to many illnesses to which the medical establishment either charges you to cut out parts of your body or prescribes pharmaceutic medications to cover the symptoms. Hmmm… I think I’ll pass.

  115. Thanks for the data. Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s research into food preferences among the blood types strongly favors an all meat diet for the “O” blood group. Being of that group, I have found subjectively that this is very very true for myself. Hubby is a “B” blood type and he favors the fats in dairy products and olive oils and eggs (otherwise being a vegetarian — no meats).

    Training myself to eat only meats was the trick because my body had become unbalanced and developed some unnatural cravings, and I had to tame some “critters” in the body before I could get back to that nice ketogenic state where my blood sugar stays very level even in a fasting state. I have to eat very little or no carbs to maintain this nice state. As a total meat eater I find that downing some organic apple cider vinegar or raw lemon juice (as indicates) mixed with olive oil helps to keep the body’s Ph level tuned.

    Also one has to now go organic regarding most sources of fats or suffer the side effects of synthetic estrogens, antiobiotics, etc.

    Me, I purchase “medium” ground beef from a butcher and then have my local shaman come over and bless it — It’s all good once it’s been given the right spin, lol.

    Oh, just to fill out the picture, I do eat dark green leafy vegetables such as dandelion greens, swiss chard, beet greens, some romaine lettuce, preferably cooked in butter or drowned in olive oil, yummy!

    Oh, one last thing (I promise!), stick with the expensive celtic sea salt — a little bit goes a long way, and you won’t be sorry either.

  116. “Natural steak and bacon (organic pasture, raised without hormones or antibiotics, minimally processed without preservatives, additives, nitrites, etc) and cage free organic eggs are available at all natural food groceries, many online purveyors, and now even at many big chain grocery stores.”

    Would it be possible to add this to the “footnotes” above? The way it stands now organic is only mentioned in reference to lard. I am afraid a ton of people will go out and get on an all-meat diet from conventional sources and the thought just pains me!

    Thanks.

  117. When someone is against eating meats I first ask them what their blood type is. Most vegetarians are “A” or “B” blood group and they might not fare as well on a red meat/all meat diet as the “O” blood group.

    My mother-in-law is an “O” blood type that comes from a group that historically ate a lot of fish and so she thinks everyone should eat only fish fats and oils and she can’t stand the saturated fats from red meats, so even among the “O” blood group there are some differences. My genetic “O” background definitely favors the beef and mutton, and please do not trim the fat!! 🙂 As long as I stay away from the carbs and the desert tray I stay slender and happy.

    When I was a kid the only reason I ate breads, pasta, potatoes and my Cream of Wheat was because it was a receptacle for the butter and fatty gravy. 🙂

    If I do occassionally decide to eat some pasta, I make sure it is spelt pasta.

  118. @ Elizabeth,

    It’s not the animal products…it’s the carbs. Any study you might cite *proving* the ills of red meat and saturated fats ALL include carbs in the menu…which is why these studies are irrevocably flawed and utterly discredited.

    If you wish to see the *fruits* of a zero carb diet (i.e. a diet of fatty meat and water), go to Charles Washington’s website (already mentioned in an earlier comment). I just returned from the Virginia Beach Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon where I watched (and videoed) Charles run it in 1:40, fueled only by meat and water.

  119. After a quick literature search I came across a systematic review which found:

    “There is convincing evidence that a higher protein intake increases thermogenesis and satiety compared to diets of lower protein content. The weight of evidence also suggests that high protein meals lead to a reduced subsequent energy intake. Some evidence suggests that diets higher in protein result in an increased weight loss and fat loss as compared to diets lower in protein, but findings have not been consistent. In dietary practice, it may be beneficial to partially replace refined carbohydrate with protein sources that are low in saturated fat. Although recent evidence supports potential benefit, rigorous longer-term studies are needed to investigate the effects of high protein diets on weight loss and weight maintenance. ” Halton & Frank (2004) The Effects of High Protein Diets on Thermogenesis, Satiety and Weight Loss: A Critical Review – Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 23, No. 5, 373-385

    What this says, is that high protein (which are often also high sat fat) diets achieve is not getting hungry afterward. This is consistent with the other finding that I consistently found: that obesity is caused by an energy intake/output imbalance (ie consuming more energy than you expend leads to fat gain and obesity).

    The studies I found appeared to have no significant difference in weight loss between diet composition, when the energy intake was equal.

    It looks like high saturated fat diets are equated with RAPID weight loss over the short term, however they are also associated with increases in negative blood indicators. High protein, reduced saturated fat diets are associated with a healthier but slightly less rapid weight loss.

    The take home measage for me (I think) is Meat + 3 veg still better than fast food + soft drink.

  120. Great post Tim! I read this just as I was finishing a plate of beef mixed with peppers and mushrooms soaked with butter.

    For anybody who doubts, since I switched to a cyclical ketogenic diet (extremely low carb until the weekends) my terrible chronic childhood alllergies went away, I lost my excess fat, and was able to put on about 10 lbs of good muscle in less than a year. Not to mention the greatly boosted energy levels and alertness… so yes, what Tim is talking about works for humans too, not animals.

    Now, there’s the possibility that this doesn’t work for everybody, since we’re all pretty different, but it’s worth a shot. And for the naysayers, there’s quite a bit of evidence out there to back up Tim (as usual).

    Also, I’m not trying to make an ad or anything, but if you’re interested in fitness/low-carb/meat diet, check out http://musclehack.com. The guy who runs it has a good (free) eBook that’s a good crash course on this stuff.

  121. I think that Dr Eades to the 2004 ACJN article ) he references (interestingly done at the Nestle Institute ) summarizes it best:

    “the influence of varying saturated fatty acid intakes against a background of different individual lifestyles and genetic backgrounds should also be considered.”

    Does decreasing saturated fats and replacing them with highly processed ,sugar dense ” non fat ” foods worsen your health? Probably. Do we need, and will we generally do better physically with some saturated fat in our diet? Certainly. But that is a far cry from advocating increasing saturated fat ( organic or otherwise ) across the board in people’s diets without carefully considering where they are as unique individuals.

    There is a certain type of truth contained in science, and it can be a useful tool, but I would suggest that a more intuitive, Eastern approach to diet and lifestyle will go much further to improving a unique person’s health overall than joining the latest Herd mentality diet approach that Americans are so fond of.

  122. @Tim

    I don’t think it is true either. But would be willing to put my doubts aside if someone could point to a study. It’s a big world and you can find two doctors that think just about anything.

  123. Comment was in reply to adam’s post.

    “Hi Tim,

    This is an interesting one. Being a scientist, I feel the need to ask for citations? Any chance you can reference the research regarding cardiovascular risk factors, specifically your claim that saturated fat increases HDL and causes women to lose weight?

    I’ve just read your post to my father (a doctor for the past 25 years) and he says it’s not true.”

    I don’t think it is true either. But would be willing to put my doubts aside if someone could point to a study. It’s a big world and you can find two doctors that think just about anything.

  124. great info. I eat quite a bit of buffalo here in Colorado. It’s purported to be more nutrient dense than others, but not much fat..you inspired me to uncover these facts:

    “Buffalo meat contains only 2.4 grams of fat per 3.5 oz. (100 grams), while beef contains a whoppingly higher count, at 9.2 grams.

  125. @Mike Sehmaoul

    There are a lot of ‘ifs’ implied in your comment. If global warming (or climate change as it’s called now) exists, if it poses a problem, if it’s man made – all these ifs are far from settled. Those who believe in the above have managed to demonized those who don’t as deniers in a way that puts them on par with those who deny the holocaust. But let me assure you, there are countless scientists who don’t buy into it.

    Having said that, let’s walk through where the carbon from beef comes from. It comes from plants that pull CO2 from the air. The carbon of plants that isn’t exhaled as CO2 by the cattle becomes the carbon of beef. When we eat that beef, the beef carbon becomes part of our carbon if we’re growing or repairing tissue; the rest we exhale as CO2. There is no CO2 increase because we eat beef or any other animal.

    @Ron

    You show me the studies, I’ll comment on them. It’s easy to say – as people often do – that traditional diets bring about the greatest health benefits and longevity, but these statements need to be backed up with actual studies, and none I’ve seen have been forthcoming. Many people have bought into the ideas promoted in the China Study. See above for my comments on that one.

    @Aaron Schaub

    You wrote “This is just the yin to veganism’s yang. Lean too far in one direction and you lose the other and that conflicts with nature’s tendency towards balance.” These kinds of things sound nice to say, but I think they are kind of meaningless. Where does it say anywhere that nature’s tendency is towards balance? Lions savage warthogs and gazelles, and lions don’t eat plants. That’s certainly nature. Where is the balance there? Probably the statement I’ve heard most often in my career is the old ‘all things in moderation.’ Has it been proven that all things in moderation are best? When lions kill a warthog or other large animal, they eat gorge until nothing is left but the bones. Is that moderation?

    In my view canola oil has a couple of problems. If you get the real stuff – and most people don’t because it’s kind of nasty – you have a problem with the PUFA in it if you’re using it to cook. If you get the processed kind (most that’s available), you get a stabilized version in which most of the PUFA has been converted to trans fat, which is why it doesn’t smoke. Canola oil, i.e., rapeseed oil, has a bad smell as it comes off the seen, so it must be deodorized to make it palatable. This deodorization process – at least as it existed a few years ago – results in the production of trans fatty acids. The labels may say that it contains no partially hydrogenated fats (meaning the oil didn’t go through the hydrogenation process specifically), but if it’s deodorized it does. And I can’t imagine anyone using the non-deodorized variety.

  126. A Matthew Rehrl

    This is just a short excerpt from the book. We deal with the issues you mention in the rest of the book.

    @Tisha Morris

    For some, it clearly is necessary. Recommend that you read two books: ‘Covenant with the Wild’ and ‘The Vegetarian Myth.’

    @Anthony Landreth

    I would think it is beyond the scope of the comments section to argue these issues in detail. I would encourage you to read the material by Gary Taubes listed in my comments above.

    There is some evidence that saturated fat raises LDL somewhat. But there is no conclusive evidence that elevated LDL (or any other lipid parameter, for that matter) causes heart disease. That’s why even the so-called experts still refer to it as the lipid hypothesis: because it has never been proven.

    Evidence that is still not conclusive but still stronger than the notion that elevated LDL causes heart disease rests more with the size of the LDL particles. Small, dense LDL particles, the type B phenotype, are much more highly correlated with the development of coronary artery disease than are the larger, fluffier type A particles. Fewer carbohydrates in the diet along with more saturated fat drive LDL particles from the dangerous type Bs to the non-dangerous type As.

    @Stephan Max

    A study in the advance online issue of this month’s American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that vegetarians, vegans especially, have lower bone densities than omnivores. The Rancho Bernardo Study showed that elderly that got protein from animal sources had greater bone density than those who got equivalent amounts of protein from non-animal sources. Both of the above studies are observational studies, which means they can’t be used to prove causality. Only randomized, controlled trials can do that. I would love to see a RCT showing what you purport to be the case with vegetarians and bone mineral density. I know you didn’t mention it specifically, but that was the implication vis a vis calcium needs.

  127. Tim,

    I’m afraid you’ve fallen in lockstep with the rest of the reductionist allopathic industry.

    Sloganistic flag-waving about saturated vs. unsaturated, protein vs. carbohydrates, and meat vs. vegetables only feeds into the magic pill thinking that has turned the West into the most obsessive and confused eaters in the world.

    The Chinese, and to some extent the Indians, are thousands of years ahead of us. Foods are warming, cooling, drying, dampening, and so on. Their thermal nature is influenced by a variety of factors, including preparation, environment, the mental and emotional states of the one cooking the food and eating it, and so on.

    Please read “Healing With Whole Foods” by Paul Pitchford, highly regarded as the magnum opus on the topic.

  128. @Max Ernst

    The book doesn’t advocate eating only meat. This is just an excerpt of a tiny part of the book. We cover pretty much everything in your comment.

    @Jay Marrs

    All of which we recommend in the book itself. This is just a tiny excerpt of a complete book.

    See my comment above about meat consumption and global warming. BTW if you have the data to prove that “meat production in the U.S. creates more earth warming emissions than every car and truck on the road,” I would love to see it. Please don’t provide press reports, editorials, TV blurbs or other secondary sources – critical thinkers look beyond those. I want to see the primary sources.

    @Ville–

    This is the Dean Ornish argument and it doesn’t hold water. Cholesterol is cholesterol. LDL and HDL are proteins. Cholesterol is not soluble in water and therefor can’t cross the travel in the blood to where it needs to get to without being attached to a protein (LDL, HDL or others). LDL is the protein that takes cholesterol from the liver where most is made to the rest of the body; HDL is the protein that scavenges excess cholesterol, brings it back and dumps it in the liver where it can be recycled, i.e., attached to another LDL to start the process again. Has little, if anything, to do with saturated fat.

  129. @Tim Ferris

    Timmy! I just finished my personal trainer certification and am FASCINATED by your “geek to FREAK” blog post! I’m thinking about doing it (I’d be my own perfect advertising!) , but am slightly worried about getting a bunch of stretch marks from the quick growth. Did that happen to you?

    No new aches and pains after it?

    Also, are/were you able to dunk a basketball after it? You didn’t test your vertical?! tsk tsk tsk!

    This subject means a lot to me and I’d be “pumped” to get a response. Thank you.

    @ ever’buddy

    I LOVES me some saturated fat! I take a tablespoon of “herbs of light coconut oil” everyday! yurm yurmmm!

    yurm.

    Yuuuuurrrrrmmmm!!!!!

    1. @Hayward,

      Thanks for the comment. I didn’t experience any stretch marks, but I honestly don’t know what to attribute this to. Most stretch marks I’ve seen on males are in the chest area, and I didn’t grow as much there as elsewhere. Agreed on the vertical. I wish I’d tested it.

      Good luck with gaining! The eating is the key.

      Best,

      Tim

  130. Although I believe the population sample was small in both studies, didn’t the Dean Ornish LifeStyle Heart Study and the Heidelberg Heart Study show a reduction in coronary artery stenosis with vegetarian and low fat diets respectively ? We are not talking about blood tests here, but actual measured blockages in coronary arteries. lesions. More importantly, ( if I recall correctly from a talk he gave ), didn’ t these people feel better?

    Are there any controlled studies which have measured either

    a) reduction in coronary blockage diameters , or

    b) decreased mortality

    with increased saturated fat content ?

  131. @Dr. Eades – I implore you to watch Food, Inc. (if you have not already) which Tim found important enough to say : “Every American should watch the new Food, Inc.: http://su.pr/8hvQ00 Think Omnivore’s Dilemma from @michaelpollan in film.” (on Twitter)

    Meat production in the US is absolutely a huge polluter, among other things, global warming (even) aside, not to mention the health detriment. Which is why I ask again to add the message about eating meat from organic/grass fed sources in the above footnotes…case in point a troubling comment just posted here:

    ——————–

    #

    Nick

    September 7th, 2009

    5:07 pm

    I just had a Baconator from Wendy’s….thank Tim! I feel much better about myself after having read your post.

    ———————

    Thanks & thanks also for your important work.

  132. It doesn’t matter how many times you point out that blood lipid levels improve on a low carb diet, everyone knows meat can’t be good for you. How dare your doctors challenge our orthodoxy? Facts don’t count.

  133. I”m a long-time fan of (both) Dr Eades work, and have been sold for about 5 years on the notion that protein and saturated fat is where ideal health lies. It took me a good 18 months to get my head around it, but in the end I couldn’t ignore the remarkable changes I saw take place in a friend who was eating that way.

    Since then I’ve had increasingly less trouble managing my own health and weight and have been able to very successfully share my approach with clients and readers. The proof, as they say, really is in the pudding, and anyone has tried eating this way will soon become intrinsically convinced that it’s right.

    Having said all that, I too would LOVE some more references. I really struggle to find them to use in my own blogging/writing. I have loads of references in my library, but am trying to build a good online resource center as well. Any suggestions for the best starting points would be greatly appreciated; I’m still not as savvy as I’d like to be when it comes to finding and dissecting data online.

  134. IT’S ABOUT F***ING TIME someone made this known to the world (please pardon the caps, just a bit excited).

    For so long I’ve been hearing about more and more people preaching the low meat, low fat lifestyle which is 95% bogus due to the nutritional needs of the human physiology (the extra 5% is for people who actually have medical dietary restrictions). It is so refreshing and reinvigorating to hear/read about the definite benefits of meat and fats. Of course, one must always practice moderation, common sense people!

    Fats are not only good for you (in rational quantities) but they add tons of flavor to the meat when cooking.

  135. I jumped on the sat fat wagon a few years ago, after discovering the Weston Price site.

    Now I eat between 1/2 and 1 pound of butter and half a dozen to a dozen eggs a week. I also weaned myself off refined carbs, for the most part. No exercise program.

    The results are higher mental sharpness, more stable mood (no more mood swings), and incredibly low body fat (I have a six pack and veins popping out of my arms, with zero workouts). My doctor tells me that my cholesterol numbers are ‘excellent.’

    Ask any rural, man’s-man type farmer or butcher and they will agree that eating fatty meat is essential to good health and energy.

    If you want to see what eating good fat does to your body, look up Sally Fallon on google video. She is over 60 years old and has been eating lard-sauteed veggies and whole milk and raw butter for 30-ish years. She looks less than 45 by today’s standards. And all four of her kids had naturally straight teeth, even though Sally and her husband required orthodontics. (not due owing to saturated fat, but likely also to fat-soluble vitamins A,D,E and K that come packaged with high-quality saturated animal fats)

    But that doesn’t mean I eat at Mcdonald’s. QUALITY is everything.

  136. @J. Alden Page

    “Think scurvy.” That’s exactly what Viljhalmar Stefansson thought when he set out to live with and analyze the diets of the Inuit in northern Canada. (Stefansson achieved fame back in the early 1920s for going on an all-meat diet for two years under a physicians supervision at Bellevue Hospital in NYC. Stefansson and another explorer (two men were the subjects) emerged from the study healthier and lighter than they went in. Neither got scurvy.) Stefansson found in his years with the Inuit that something in fresh or lightly cooked meat – but not overcooked meat – prevents scurvy. It’s either the vitamin C in the meat that has the antiscorbutic effect or another as of yet discovered substance.

    @Doc Kane

    There it is at last: all things in moderation. I would like to see the studies showing that eating meat (or anything else) in moderation accomplishes anything.

    I do agree that most health recommendations have the same odor as politics and for much the same reason. Most people take politics on faith just as they do diet. And anything accepted on faith is argued all that much harder. Take the current health care bill, for instance. How many people do you know who have actually read it? Now, how many people do you know who have an opinion about it? My case in point. Those who do have an opinion (almost everyone) will come down on the side of the party they belong to. And none of them know what the health bill (the primary source material) says. They all know what the secondary sources (media commentators, editorialists) they believe say, but that’s different than knowing what the thing actually says. People form opinions on politics, nutrition, health, whatever, then begin to seek information and data that confirms this opinion while ignoring data that refutes it. It’s such a common occurrence that it has a name: the confirmation bias.

    @Bradley Gauthier

    Saturated fat isn’t alkaline nor is it acidic. And there is no science behind the acid-alkaline balance notion, at least not that pertains to fat. There are foods that theoretically create a little more acid in the blood and those that make the blood more alkaline. Foods belonging to the former group are grains, meat and hard cheeses; foods belonging to the latter are certain fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy and colorful vegetables. It seems like it should work this way in theory, but the reality is a little different. As I mentioned in a comment above, most studies have shown those who eat more animal protein to have greater bone mineral density. Paleolithic man, who most certainly ate a meat-heavy diet most of the time, had cortical bone thickness that was 8-11% greater than modern humans of the same height.

  137. I agree that fats are good for us but how on earth are cooked animal fats possibly healthy for the human body?

    I believe that raw plant fats are the way to go. At the same time, consuming ridiculous amounts of animal flesh is highly acidic for the body. Not a great thing if you’re interested in long term health and vitality.

    Yuri

  138. @Swayze

    You wrote: “Humans are frugivores, meaning that our species appropriate diet is one predominated by fruits.” This is such a categorical statement that I assume you have proof for it from primary sources, right? Please post because I would love to see it. Thanks in advance.

    @Kai

    You wrote: “About 80% of the rain forest that has disappeared have done so because of the meat industry.” I would love to see proof of this from primary sources. Until I do, though, I’m going to continue to seriously doubt it.

    Having said that, I do recommend and prefer grass-fed beef for many reasons besides saving the rain forest.

    @Adam

    I’ve got your dad trumped. I’ve been a doctor for over 30 years. So, if years in the medical profession equal truth, then I win. 🙂 I’m not surprised, however, that your father disagrees. Once doctors finish their training, most of them get their info from drug reps or other secondary sources who have a bias to push. Ask your dad when was the last time he read a real, live, honest-to-God scientific paper instead of having one summarized for him by a drug rep. For the first 6 or 7 years I was in practice, I didn’t read a scientific paper – it was only after I converted to a nutritional practice that I started. And then realized that most practicing docs don’t keep up with the scientific literature.

  139. @ Skyler Tanner

    Hi- Respectfully I think your comment that

    “Population data studies paint the picture: higher saturated fat intake = less heart disease”

    isn’t at all supported by your argument. Although the correlation graphically seems accurate, the selection of the X axis ( % fat energy ) is arbitrary, and can’t be used to imply cause and effect.

    Look carefully at the data points on the graph. At the upper left you have the countries such as Azerbaijan, Georgia, and the Russian Federation. At the lower right you have Belgium, France, and Switzerland. It is very unlikely that the only difference between these populations is % fat energy. This graph could have been generated by lots of other selections for x axis ( stress level, smoking, alcohol intake,hair length, percent voting for the green party etc ). Just because someone decided to choice fat energy for the x axis doesn’t imply that CHD is CAUSED by % fat energy – Its more likely that someone who chose the x axis has a specific agenda to sell.

    Its what I consider a hubble telescope error – lots of localized precision mathematically , but possibly pointing in entirely in the wrong direction. ( I will qualify this with a ” possibly” because there actually may be a cause and effect relationship – but this graph certainly doesn’t prove it ).

    By the way, I think you are 100% on about the stay away as much as possible from boxes theory.

  140. @Elizabeth

    You wrote: “why follow nutritional advice from a group of people, doctors, who are notorious for having bad health and dying at a younger age than the rest of us.” I would be curious to know how you came by this knowledge. Most of the medical and scientific journals I read contain obituaries, and I’ve noticed that most doctors seem to live to pretty ripe old ages, at least as compared to the obituaries I read in the newspaper of the population at large. This little observational study I’ve done is absolutely meaningless (as are all observational studies) other than to establish an hypothesis that can be tested. My hypothesis would be that doctors live longer on average than non-doctors. I would love to see your data that negates my hypothesis. I really don’t know the answer, so if you’ve got data that substantiates your statement, I would love to see it.

    @Colleen K. Peltomaa

    All of the serious scientific data that I’ve read (and I’ve read a lot on this particular subject) indicates that the different blood types arose through natural selection as a function of particular endemic infectious diseases and have nothing to do with diet. If you have data proving otherwise, I would love to see it.

    @Ed

    There are a number of studies showing that higher protein intake increases thermogenesis. Researchers publishing in this month’s American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explore this issue and conclude that most of the extra calories burned come from gluconeogenesis. In other words, the conversion of protein to glucose. Which would indicate that if you ate a lot of protein and a lot of carb, you wouldn’t necessarily drive gluconeogenesis because you wouldn’t need the sugar.

    @Marcie

    I intend to watch Food, Inc at some point, but I haven’t yet. When I do it will be with my antennae of suspicion waving because I know what I’ll be seeing is what the producers of the film want me to see, not necessarily what the situation really is.

    Here is a link to a different perspective and one you don’t see very often:

    http://www.american.com/archive/2009/july/the-omnivore2019s-delusion-against-the-agri-intellectuals

  141. The only time I ever get a high cholesterol count is when I am not taking enough of my thyroid medication because I had a thyroidectomy when I was young. It has nothing to do with how much saturated fat I am getting in my diet, but everything to do with my thyroid. For me, low thyroid = high cholesterol.

    As a spiritual being and being higher informed, I often ask myself why am I eating at all, but as Carlos Castaneda aptly put it, one must practice “controlled folly” as long as one wishes to engage as a spiritual being with physical bodies and body cultures.

    Just as with the spirit, the body also knows its own truth and one gets along best if they perceive the needs of their own particular body. Throw it out of whack though with enough processed sugars and it won’t even know itself what it needs and wants.

    My particular body type has been telling me from childhood that its in the meats and in the fats, and I was always very thin until I changed my environment and started eating what the others around me were eating. Thanks, Tim, for helping me to resolve to stick to my meats even though my hubby, a vegetarian, puts a downer on it.

    Tonight I checked the grocery stores and so many of the meats are processed with nitrites and nitrates and sugars, and so much of it is pork or chicken. The red meats that have the right proportion of fats to meat tissue are not cheap, especially if organic, but I’d rather eat well and eat less. I tend to stick to the New Zealand lamb and angus beef if I can’t get the organic beef..

    About fruit eaters — yes i sometimes think I could live off mangoes and wild blueberries, with an occasional grub or plump grasshopper thrown in. i refuse though to pick through my mate’s hair and eat his lice 🙁

    Just joking!!!!

  142. Some research articles that are available to anyone (i.e., non-subscribers) are listed at http://www.lowcarbage.com/?page_id=8 There are excerpts of the abstract so you can see if the journal article pertains to the issue you are wondering about.

    On March 11 I started the Drs. Eades’ Protein Power diet due to a high triglyceride level that did not respond to a year of fish oil and niacin. I had an allergic reaction to a prescription drug (Tricor) to lower TGL levels, so my doctor was reaching into non-traditional methods. After that year, with TGL still at 344, my doctor suggested reducing all carbs. By April 29, just a few weeks later, my TGL was 106. It has remained at that low level, and my other blood factors (HDL, LDL) are improving.

    The issue of satiety (being satisfied with a meal and avoiding in-between meal hunger) is a huge one, and a low carb diet is the only diet I have ever been on that addresses this issue. I simply don’t get hungry between meals. It works as more than a diet, but as a “way of eating” that I will modify, but never leave.

    I have had other health benefits from reducing carbs, including one very common ones: I’m free of GERD and no longer take Prilosec (I was on acid reducers for over ten years, including the period when I was on a low fat diet regime).

    I am eagerly awaiting my copy of the newest book; Amazon tells me it has shipped already!

  143. Excellent post. I am very curious to try this approach. However, I see a naturopathic doctor and he has removed pork from my diet as he says it introduces/promotes parasites. Other than that, there’s a lot of similar information here. I would also add that people might want to look into the benefits of alkaline water/ionizers. Excellent resource for weight loss.

  144. I love this post. The month before I got married and moved in with my wife I ate steak for supper ever night. I usually had a side order of chips. It was my own secret all meat diet…. not for any dietary concerns but to just live the bachelor life to it’s fullest for the last month. Maybe with this new found information I can bring back “The Summer of Steak”

  145. @Marcie – concerned about enviro impact of Coconut oil? what about MEAT!?

    eating all that meat is really the worst thing you can do for the planet. Why do you think we need to grow so much corn and soy in this country? not to feed us.

    I definitely eat my share of butter and chocolate (every day) never had a weight problem, now 42, eat whatever I like. However, I’ve cut down drastically on meat over the last year – and seem to be able to eat more than ever without gaining a pound but the trick is a completely balanced diet – whole grains, taking the time to cook good food, veggies, and very low sugar diet – no crap like soft drinks/diet or not. Meat consumption has very little to do with it as far as I’m concerned and all that protein can really be damaging over time. If you really want to be thin and healthy, it’s essential that you learn how to cook fast. You have to make your own food pretty much every day. Get the cheat sheet from Mark Bittman. Do yourselves a favor and read this book – exactly how I eat – and I love to eat well. http://www.amazon.com/Food-Matters-Conscious-Eating-Recipes/dp/1416575642

  146. @ M.E. Baz

    As long as pork is cooked there should be no concern about parasites. The U.S. pork supply has been free of trichina for years now. Virtually all the cases diagnosed in this country come from undercooked wild game.

    @Kathryn

    You wrote “…all that protein can really be damaging over time.” Could you please explain to me exactly how the protein is going to damage me over time? Do you have primary sources or are you relying on media reports and hearsay (secondary sources) for this information? The truth is that there is no evidence that protein causes any problems over the long term. I refer to these notions (protein is bad, meat is bad, etc.) as vampire myths because they refuse to die no matter how much light of scientific inquiry is thrown on them. They just continue to live on like, well, vampires. Probably the most common of these vampire myths is the one that posits that protein damages the kidneys. A number of scientific studies have shown this not to be the case, but let’s look at a different example, a little less scientific, but more illustrative. The group of people who no doubt consume the most protein of any subset of the population are hard core body builders. It’s not uncommon for these folks to throw back 200-500 grams of protein per day for years. Are lines of body builders a common site outside dialysis centers? Nope. Nor have they proven to be a medical problem that has gained any notice. I can tell you that if body builders were croaking their kidneys, it would be big medical news. And it hasn’t happened.

  147. Dr Eades

    a clarification of inuit/eskimo ad Vitamin C

    nomal shop-bought liver contains at least as much vitamin C as apples.

    blood glucose, being apparantly similar in structure to ascorbic acid (Vit C), competes for absorbtion when in high quantities – ie on a high carb diet.

    so on low carb, vit c needs are theoretically substantially reduced.

    as eskimos ate liver, and no carbs, both their needs for it were relativley low and their sources adequate.

    Markus

  148. An interesting take with some good points. As with everything there is always divided opinion and counter arguments but i think that it is certainly worth having an open mind and trying new things, particularly if you aren’t where you want to be and a change will make a positive difference.

  149. I’ve been reading a lot of about fats over the last year, so the premise of this book comes as no surprise. I remember feeling disbelief initially, just as so many of the posters above are feeling now. In fact there have already been so many changes in attitudes to specific types of fats over the past 50 years:

    –first the idea that all fats are bad;

    — then that some fats are OK, such as sunflower and safflower oils and polyunsaturated (Omega 6) oils and the rise of margarine;

    –then we had the rise of olive oil and the recognition that the Mediterranean diet confers some protection against heart disease (albeit, ignoring the fact that most Mediterranean cuisines also use a lot of dairy products, high in saturated fats); –then we had the canola revolution, after Canada oil managed to work out a way of processing rapeseed so that the toxic components were rendered edible by hydrogenation;

    –then back to polyunsaturated fats with the debate between omega 3, 6 and 9 oils, the rise of fish oil, and correct proportions of these

    –and recently the recognition of trans fats as the bad guys of the fat world–hydrogenated fats found in margarines, and used for cooking pastries etc.

    –that carbohydrates, especially fructose, play a large part in heart health and lots of fruit (or high fructose corn syrup) are more damaging to our systems than most fats.

    And now, evidence (old and new) is being dug out, suggesting that fats are not baddies at all, and even saturated fats are fine!

    There are people still believe each of these conflicting viewpoints, all of which were thrown at the general public as the absolute ‘truth’. And each probably holds a grain of truth. The trick is to get to the big picture!

    Much of the work I’ve read recently suggests that some saturated fats are better than others (perhaps this book also says that–I look forward to reading it to find out). In particular, i have read that:

    –coconut oil (unprocessed)–a saturated fat but with a lot of *medium chain fatty acids*– is generally good, improves heart condition, increases energy, kills bacteria and fungal infections (it contains lauric acid) and has many other positive benefits.

    –palm oil, another saturated vegetable oil, is not as good as coconut oil

    –fats in meats are of different (better) quality if the meat is grass fed, or, better still, game meat.

    –full fat milk and other dairy products are better for us than low fat dairy products since the latter are processed in various ways that reduce their value to us as food, and make them harder to digest. (often with a lot of added sugar, milk solids, thickeners etc, but also the processing involved in removing the fat).

    Following a significant amount of reading, my philosophies about food have gelled into two main starting points:

    1/ Given that humans evolved over a long period of time, that the period from 100,000 to 1,000,000 years ago is when our systems become adapted to our ‘modern’ diet and way of life, and therefore the foods we ate then and the way we ate them are most likely to be the best for us now… i.e. game meats, fish. lots of vegetables especially bitter/wild greens, some fruits, no grains, mostly raw foods, unprocessed foods, foods in season…

    2/ That we are all unique, physiologically. in my family we have two who do well on a diet higher in protein, especially animal protein, with less carbs, especially sugars; and two who need less protein and can even tolerate grains (note that humans have only 2 enzymes to break down grains, while animals that live predominantly on grains have 10 or more).

    @ Dr Eades, your participation in this discussion is most welcome.

  150. Heya Tim!

    Interesting post, I’ve never heard of an all meat diet.

    Although I’m not overly concerned with the fat causing heart disease of eating so much meat, one thing about meat that I really do think is bad is all the hormones used to feed the cattle. All the antibiotics to keep them from being sick, the gorwth hormones to help them get fat faster, when the animal dies, all those hormones and antibiotics stay in the meat and get passed onto us who eat it.

    That is why personally I try and not eat a lot of red meat, and try and eat organic fed meat where possible.

    Cheers for the post!

    1. Dr. Newport’s husband had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s and was watching her husband quickly deteriorate. After using drugs that slowed down the effects of Alzheimer’s, she looked into clinical drug trials and found one based on MCTs that not only slowed the progression of Alzheimer’s, but offered improvement. Not being able to get her husband into one of these trials, she began to give him Virgin Coconut Oil, and saw incredible improvement in his condition.

      The coconut oil he’d ingested seemed to “lift the fog.” He began taking coconut oil every day, and by the fifth day, there was a tremendous improvement. “He would face the day bubbly, more like his old self,” his wife said. More than five months later, his tremors subsided, the visual disturbances that prevented him from reading disappeared, and he became more social and interested in those around him.

      http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/healthscience/2012/January/Coconut-Oil-Touted-as-Alzheimers-Remedy/?WT.mc_id=EmbedNewsPlayer

  151. I have eaten nothing but meat for over a year, I have eaten no liver, and I have not gotten scurvy. I eat most of my meat rare to medium rare. There is plenty of evidence that refined carbohydrates may leech vitamins and minerals from your body, and by eliminating these foods you may also reduce your need for intake of vitamins.

  152. @Matthew Rehrl M.D.

    Thank you for the response and for being quite respectful in doing so! I do not believe correlation = causation; I had hoped that my explanation later regarding inflammation and lifestyle would have clarified that there is much more to the equation than merely saturated fat intake (so often blamed as the absolute devil in the heart disease equation). I’ll make sure to further clarify this in future posts.

    Also note my response to Anthony Landreth regarding my inclusion of links to data on indigenous populations. He made a similar point regarding wealthy EU nations vs. poorer EU nations.

    Best,

    Skyler

  153. Hey Tim, I’ve been had this information for years. I found it in Sally Fallon’s Book. “Nourishing Traditions” on top of dispelling all the myths surrounding saturated fats. She great examples of myths surrounding whole grains too, specifically, how to prepare them and how they can be bad for you if they are not prepared properly. I have proven all of this with my own daily consumptions. She mentioned how before the advent of corn oil heart attacks was almost non-existent, despite the fact that americans far more butter and milk than they do now. I get a good laugh out of seeing some of the dietary recommendations from on tv and in books sometimes.

    Sally mentioned an experiment that was done on rats in the 60s, where a group of rats ate corn flakes and another group at the box, the rats that ate the cornflakes died two weeks on average before the ones that ate the corn flakes box.

  154. @ Eades

    Thank you for being so responsive to everyones comments.

    In the broader context of obesity and following diet or exercise programs do you have any thoughts on habit formation? In other words, even if we are able to define an individuals perfect regime over time, how does he/she make the daily individual choices to follow it? ( I am most interested in some of the new insights regarding neuroplasticity, and was wondering if there is any research being done in this area ).

    Both personally and professionally, I have seen that if someone does something daily for 30-40 days, then it becomes a new habit, but I haven’t seen much to back that up. Thoughts on this? How do you change a habit?

  155. @Kathryn – palm oil, not coconut oil. And please see my other comments here, I am quite aware of the impact (commercial) meat production is having…and thanks for the book recommendation, I think that had come across my radar before 🙂

    @Dr. Eades, thanks also for the article, I shall also read it with my antennae up 🙂 And regarding the comment that said meat production produces more emissions than cars, the data is in this very long report:

    http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.HTM

    but this article summarizes it:

    http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/index.html

    I realize it’s a few years old, I would guess the numbers probably scale up nicely with population growth.

    The earth is overpopulated. I just don’t see a “clean” solution to that problem on either side of the debate, other than a lot of birth control…sigh. Thanks again!

  156. Another great book on the topic of meat and heart disease is The Heart Doctor’s Cure by Dr. Al Sears. One of his key points is that eating high meat is good for your heart as long as it is grass-fed, and he uses data to show that it is actually grains that cause health problems. When cows/chickens are fed a diet of grains the meat from them is not healthy to eat – grains are not naturally part of their diets.

  157. I’ve been doing loads of research for my diabetes and eating meat is important also because you get filled up and not on carbs (grains, etc) which is the source of middle weight. You should also read the Rosedale Diet.

    The real anti-Christ for fat is fast food, as they add sugar to just about everything. If you want to really learn about diseases, read more about sugar and the destruction of blood cells. Also, so many people remove fats, but what they use to make food taste good are artificial sweeteners and fats, and they are so destructive to the body. Read up on interstititial Cystitis.

    The secret is eating whole foods (meat, vegetables, berries) and using natural fats (like those found in butter, olive oil). Because the goal shouldn’t be being thin, it should be getting healthy. If you focus on getting healthy getting thin will naturally follow.

  158. Wow, thank you for this post! I too have researched and advocated a high-meat diet, much to the consternation of vegetarians around me.

    What is your opinion on the health properties of consuming RAW MEAT? It is wildly supported by some.

  159. @Tim Ferris

    It was mentioned earlier, but I haven’t seen you address it. Have you read the China Study? Dr. Campbell points out repeatedly that non of the weight loss studies such as Atkins or South Beach diet follow any type of peer reviewed scientific method.

    Curious what your thoughts are on that.

    – Chris

  160. Today I hopped over to the local market and picked up a leg of lamb (“halal”) and we chopped it down until the cost was under $20Canadian. The butcher kept not hearing me when I asked for the one with the most fat, and finally he heard me and gave me the one with the most fat.

    I also can purchase meats from a local farmer, but I don’t like freezing meats.

    I agree about not overcooking the meat. I either briefly grill both sides of the steak, or slow cook a roast at not more than 250degrees, and finish when it is still red. Steak tartare tastes great by the way.

    Also, I notice that if I eat too much lean meat I get leg cramps at night — too much protein in proportion to the fat?

    Another question, what is the best way to de-tox the liver of the accumulated synthetic estrogen? Hubby has been meatless for over 20 years and he still has synthetic estrogen in his liver.

  161. Try Dr Schulze’s Liver Detox. His detoxes are the best I have experienced. Gentle yet effective. I recommend everyone to do them yearly – he has bowel, liver and kidney. Everyone definitely needs to do these cleanses with our western diets… The AMA is now estimating that almost 100% of the population will eventually get a colon disease in life because of our diets??? Gotta cleanse the bowels! Cleansing the liver is quite important too 🙂 Enjoy!

  162. Hello all,

    I know there’s always a lot of people put off by the ever-changing dietary advice one hears in the media. My rule of thumb to wading through all of this is to ask this simple question “Doe this make sense in the light of evolution?” An honest, unbiased, apolitical, amoral look at nutrition makes it clear that the paleo/low carb/animal fat crowd have science and reason on their side – every claim they make can be explained in evolutionary terms. Proponents of all other diets (vegetarians, fruitarians, high grain diets, low fat diets) make sense in the light of evolution. As any zookeeper would tell you, matching an animal’s diet as closely as possible to its diet from the wild is ideal, and the same logic should apply to the human animal.

    For those concerned about the environmental impact of animal consumption, it should be noted that grassfed/pastured livestock is actually good for the environment. Eating grassfed beef is like driving a Prius, but better! Grassfed/pastured animals require virtually no outside inputs other than sunshine – the same can not be said for industrial vegetable/fruit farming, which relies heavily on petroleum based fertilizer (guess what the best source of organic fertilizer is? Grassfed/pastured animals! See how its a win-win situation?)

  163. Some doctors recommend consuming less saturated fats and give reasons. Other doctors recommend consuming more and give other reasons.

    Who are you going to believe? I am seeing people here getting excited quickly. I bet because fatty foods taste better and want to give themselves an excuse.

    Once a doctor recommends eating lots of ice cream, people will be ecstatic!

    People need to eat less food and move their asses more like cutting down the drive-thru life style. The amount of food in American restaurants compared with European is huge. That’s why I usually eat half and bag the rest.

  164. In Spain, canola oil was removed from every store because its modification for making it like olive oil created a very serious illness(look aceite de colza illnes).

    The human being is carnivore, so it’s normal that we need saturated fats, the bad fats are the trans ones, that here in Spain you can find in a lot of industrial food.

  165. Why do us humans always try to get the ‘magic pill’ to lose weight?

    It doesn’t take rocket science to know that we should be eating macro-nutrients (proteins, carbs, fats) on almost every meal. The whole dieting industry is fuelled by new research and diets that stimulate the whole Yo-Yo effect. My guess would be that the 2 doctors are over-weight themselves.

    Guys the most difficult part of losing weight is making the ‘decision’ internally.

    Don’t hope that the latest research will miraculously cut your body fat. You need to be applying the bigger issues before spending time on the miniscule …are consciously and consistently following a workout plan?

    Are you eating smaller, more frequent meals?

    Are you eating the right proportion and amount of calories?

    These are the macro issues you need to ask yourself.

  166. @A.M Read Sally Fallon :”Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats”

    She says that the people that lived in small villages knew that they couldn’t eat only raw meat, without fat it made them weak to illness. This new thing: Fat is the enemy is new.

  167. There are some elements of this that also agree with many other approaches that don’t necessarily advocate as much consumption of meat. People who limit their range of food choices tend to lose weight. People who eat organic tend to lose weight. People who decrease simple carbs tend to lose weight. Fat tends to fill people up. It seems that one route to this is via high-meat intake. Another could involve less protein if it observes these other principles. With all of the “diet” choices available, the biggest challenge is usually sticking to it.

  168. @Diggy

    You wrote: “All the antibiotics to keep them from being sick, the gorwth hormones to help them get fat faster, when the animal dies, all those hormones and antibiotics stay in the meat and get passed onto us who eat it.” While not entirely true, I semi-sort of agree with you. The growth hormones – if given – are metabolized quickly while the antibiotics are cleared by the liver and/or the kidneys so they don’t cause much of a problem. Pretty much anything bad in the meat is going to be in the fat because that’s where that kind of stuff is stored, so if you trim the fat, you avoid most of it. Or you can do what I do and eat mainly grassfed beef, which eliminates the problem.

    @Andrew

    You linked to a press report, which is a secondary source at best. If you go to the real medical literature and read the actual papers, you will find a much stronger correlation with elevated blood sugar and Alzheimer’s than with any kind of fat. But, having said that, it is well to remember that correlation is not causation.

    @Dave Osofsky

    I haven’t read Stefansson for a couple of years now, but as I recall, he didn’t much care for liver either. I doubt the Inuit ate it because polar bear liver and the livers of other northern mammals can contain toxic levels of vitamin A. Stefansson got his antiscorbutic from raw and lightly cooked meat.

  169. This article makes some good points. However everyone is always looking for a quick fix solution to health and that is never the case. There are way too many variables that one has to consider with regards to living a healthier lifestyle. Could increased SAT fat intake improve health? Possibly, but considering most sources that are high in SAT fats tend to be loaded with trans fats as well, you probably will do more harm than good. If you already eat a fairly complete diet with lots of vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, nuts, legumes, and have totally cut off SAT fat intake, then this information could be helpful. But if you are eating hormone enhanced, corn fed protein, with refined carbs, lots of sugars and high fructose corn syrup, no fibre, your only fruit is in a form of candy, and then loading your diet with saturated fat will make matters worse. I think North Americans are eating fairly high levels of SAT fats already and already too much meat, but one of the real culprits is probably sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Everything seems to be about moderation, if you totally remove a nutrient from your diet there will be problems associated with it. Finally as some other people have alluded too already, is it the meat that is the problem or what the meat is eating?? Meat that is stuck in a factory farm all day with no exercise, sunlight or grass is not only cruel but extremely unhealthy. I dunno if everyone is aware of factory farming, but its sick and happening. I would do some more research before you jump on the organic bandwagon and find out what exactly their definition of organic is before you splurge on “organic products”.

  170. Nutrition is very complicated. And while it is wonderful to dispel some of the myths about saturated fat, some of these points really oversimplify the facts and (based on the comments here) have led to a lot of confusion.

    For instance, just because the brain contains saturated fats doesn’t mean it helps your brain if you eat saturated fats. Also, saturated fat may aid in bone development, but the excess protein in meat can leach calcium from bones as well.

    Surely it isn’t necessary to worry about saturated fat as much as we do, but do you really think people need to eat more of it? I’m not convinced. Our livers make saturated fat if we need it.

  171. There is one medication that lowers Lp(a) – niacin, but not the flush-less kind. I’ve been on niacin for 7 years and it did increase my HDL. However, eating a diet high in polyunsaturated fats and lots of fruit kept my HDL for getting much above 40. Reducing my carbs did increase it a bit more. However, an NMR lipoprotein analysis showed a predominance of small, dense-LDL, even with very low triglycerides. I was stumped until I replace the polyunsaturated fats with saturated fats and added coconut oil to my diet. My HDL shot up to 70!

    As an aside, I recently dined at a very exclusive restaurant in Denver and ordered a rib-eye. It was the leanest rib-eye I has ever seen- downright disappointing! I later learned from a butcher to order a “fatty” rib-eye.

  172. Weight is not really a function of biology. It is more accurately a function of self belief. Look up epigenetics. Plus I love bacon! Organic, no hormones, etc. 🙂

  173. @Mike

    “Are you eating smaller, more frequent meals?”

    This has not been proven to be more effective (for anything) than spacing your meals out.

    Mainstream thinking might say so, but guys like Art Devany and Mark Sission don’t believe so. And in the face of evolution, it certainly doesn’t make sense to eat half a dozen times per day (which, was impossible for 2.5 million years).

    -Anthony

  174. @Mike

    “Are you eating the right proportion and amount of calories?”

    An equally important question to ask is the source of calories. Fat doesn’t spike insulin- carbohydrates do.

    So, considering the amount of calories a “bigger” more important issue (than the source), may not be the wisest idea.

    Also “and consistently following a workout plan?”

    This can mean a lot of things. Unfortunately for most people, this means working out more frequently than their body can handle with the aspiration to “burn calories”- when in fact this type of activity usually does little more than eat up your time.

    Again, figuring out what works (what’s important) trumps rushing in head first like a maniac and burning yourself out. Quality first =)

    -Anthony

  175. Reading these comments is like watching a Chuck Norris Movie. A crowd of ‘don’t knows’ each grabs a stick or a block and charges up the hill to get Chuck and he just knocks them back down, one by one.

    Thanks for being civil Dr. Mike. Politics could learn from you.

  176. Seems counter to what I heard said about diets, specially from Andrew Weil, who is supposed to be this big diet guru. It would be interesting to hear about long term effects of a diet heavy on fats from red meat. I have to keep investigating, this post is very interesting.

    RL

  177. Saturated fats can be bad for you if eaten in excess, and a diet rich in saturated fat can contribute to metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and atherosclerosis. They cause red blood cells to stick together, inhibiting their ability to carry oxygen to the cells. Also, saturated fats can cause blood platelets to stick together and form blood clots that can cause a heart attack or stroke.

    I’d be very careful posting information I didn’t fully understand to my personal blog, and I hope you would have the same when dealing with topics that can affect people’s lives this drastically, especially when you have sucha large audience.

    For all who are confused about contradictory messages regarding one’s health: I highly recommend “Transcend” by Kurzweil and Grossman. It’s really the only health book you’ll ever need.

  178. Thanks for the post Tim! I’m glad to see this information getting around to bigger audiences…….

    I’d echo the sentiments of other in that Dr. Weston Price seems to have the most bomber research on the subject.

    Have you read Vilhalmur Stefansson’s book; The Fat of The Land?

    All the good stuff is rare and out of print!

  179. I’m a vegetarian, but I think there might be something to the idea that saturated fats are good. I’ll have to do some experiments.

    Mixing a tablespoon of coconut oil into any rice dish makes me need to eat less of it, compared with using either margarine or no extra oil. It’s still basically a lump of white starch, but the saturated fat makes a noticeable difference in flavor and ability to satisfy.

    I’ve done veggie-Atkins before (lots of eggs, cheese, vegetables, and veggie burger patties) with good results. At least until the big food companies came up with highly processed “food” items that technically followed the rules but really amounted to moderately addictive candy bars. And then we had kids and filled the kitchen with the usual kid-friendly snacks…

  180. This is awesome! I think we should all start an olympics pitting the vegetarians/vegans against the meat eaters. I smell an opportunity here.

    I would like to ask Dr. Eades, and Tim, and everyone else what y’alls definition of health is. It seems that everyone, in my opinion, view health simply as an absence of disease and then plug that into some arbitrary equation with variables like life span, blood lipid levels, and other medical mumbo jumbo specific measurements. I’d also like to know what other toxins I might be ingesting by eating a huge amount of burnt animal flesh??

    And for the record, not all vegans and vegetarians are tree hugging, card carrying “save the animals” PETA supporting hippies (although that stereotype is fairly accurate). I could care less about some stupid cow or chicken in a field that only exists to be eaten. There’ s just so much conflicting evidence when it comes to nutrition and all of it seems to focus on specific benefits to the body, like reducing heart disease, which is a big one no doubt. I can’t help feeling “connected” to eating fruits and veggies exclusively, and repulsed at the thought of slaughtering a cow to eat. It’s hard to prove this scientifically.

    You’d think we would instinctually know what to eat, and we probably do, it just gets warped in modern society.

    One last thing, why is there so much research needed to prove animal flesh is an appropriate source for nutrition?

  181. For those of you citing The China Study, know that one thing that is not highly publicized as a part of those statistics is that the consumption of WHEAT over RICE had the same impact on health & weight as did the consumption of animal products. Statistics lie…

  182. If you haven’t seen it, Food Inc. will make you think twice about the food you eat. Seems to me that a joyful meal, absent chemicals, gmo’s, bgh, etc. with an active lifestyle and meditation are just the trick. Stress, meds, money chasing…not good for the human system. http://www.foodincmovie.com/

  183. @Michael R. Eades, MD

    Thanks for the reply.

    I understand what you are saying but I’m not sure the lion analogy is a good one. Generally speaking, lions are carnivores and humans are omnivores so different diet models apply. Furthermore, modern humans’ opportunity to gorge is much more frequent than the lions’ opportunity to gorge.

    As I consider your comment regarding moderation, it makes me think the terms “balance” and “moderation” are not necessarily synonymous. Moderation means avoiding excess and balance means a system has a state of equilibrium. Balance can come in the form of a ratio that is not necessarily equal, which I suppose leads to things like herbivores and carnivores.

    Your comment on moderation made me stop and think but I still stand by my balance theory. I might have been clearer had I said “equilibrium” instead of “balance”. Look at the way physics and chemistry look for equilibrium in systems. Look at the way our environment evolved to maintain equilibrium among the different ecosystems. As a part of nature, human beings share in that tendency towards equilibrium. Based on these observations, the fact that we are omnivores suggest to me that we function optimally when we maintain equilibrium in our intake of meat and vegetation. I’m not sure what that ratio is. My personal experience suggests the ratio is heavier on the vegetation side of the equation. I tend to feel better when I eat a 75/25 veggie to meat combination. YMMV

    Thanks for calling me out on that and making me think it through more thoroughly.

    Finally, thanks for the background on canola oil. The more I learn about processed foods the less appealing they sound.

  184. @Anthony

    “Are you eating smaller, more frequent meals?”

    This has not been proven to be more effective (for anything) than spacing your meals out.

    >>> I’m not sure where you claim its not proven, I can show you 1000’s of examples of people getting results by this and I’ve never heard of 1 person where they kept weight off long term with 3 big meals a day.

    For 1, the body is only capable of utilizing so many nutrients at a time. 2ndly, your body will be constantly cycling nutrients and therefore increasing your metabolism. 3rdly, the thermal effect of food digestion will burn calories. 4thly You’ll maintain peak energy levels and you won’t go through huge insulin spikes.

    I don’t know who Art Devany and Mark Sission are. My guess is there trying to get publicity by creating more confusion in the nutritional field.

    Losing weight is easy, the knowledge is out there, but people look for the latest quick short cut. The dieting industry survives off the naive people. A diet after all just puts your body into starvation mode, and gives the false hopes of weight loss just to find out that when you eat again your body stores even more fat because it doesn’t know when it will probably be fed again. That’s the yo-yo effect.

    Its classic how people buy the “hollywood diet” or whatever the acai berry diet. Plain and simple most people want short-term gratification.

  185. When I’m faithful to my all meat/fats diet my blood sugar is very stable, does not spike and my eating style becomes more like fasting and feasting.

    The body does not require much to keep the blood sugar stable and once every two weeks or once a month I gobble up the par-grilled New York strip steaks served at the buffet in Toronto.

    Okay, today was the Tuesday special at Popeye’s — not exactly my item, but sufficient for the price (no biscuit or fries, just chicken). Tomorrow, slow roasted lamb body part 🙂

  186. @Matthew Rehrl

    The question of habit formation is one that I think about a lot, but haven’t come to any dramatic conclusions other than just what you’ve discovered yourself. It seems that repetition forges habits, and the more repetition, the stronger the nascent habit. I’ve also noticed, though, that even if a habit is formed, it can go south in a hurry if some sort of repetition isn’t maintained. For me, the most difficult part of trying to get started on any regimen, whether it is dieting, working out, writing a book, or even writing a new post on my blog is the getting started. I have great approach avoidance – even for tasks that I know will be fun once I get going. I wish I had an easy, quick solution to the developing-good-habits problem because if I did, my own life would be much, much easier.

    @Marcie

    Thanks for providing the links. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to open them. If you could recheck and put them up again, I would appreciate it.

    @Kay–

    You wrote: “Because the goal shouldn’t be being thin, it should be getting healthy. If you focus on getting healthy getting thin will naturally follow.”

    I pretty much agree with you, but not entirely. It depends, I suppose, on how one defines health. Believe it or not, there are healthy obese people. They are healthy as horses and live forever, but they are not thin. You can become healthy but not thin. Thin takes a little more work. People often lose the distinction between fitness and health. These are two situations that usually go together but not always. One can be fit but not healthy and vice verse. No one would have ever accused Winston Churchill of being fit, but he was healthy enough to live well into his nineties in pretty good fettle. The guy who kicked off the running craze, Jim Fixx, was definitely fit. He ran for many miles every week and was slender and trim. But he wasn’t healthy. He died of a heart attack at age 52. Obviously it would be ideal to be both fit and healthy, and often the two go hand in hand. But not always.

    @A.M.

    By raw meat, if you steak tartare, count me in. I love it.

    But I don’t see any great advantage to eating raw meat versus eating lightly cooked meat, i.e., rare or medium rare. A number of studies have shown that raw meat is a little more difficult to digest than cooked meat. Steak tartare solves this problem by being cut up into little pieces, which makes it easier to digest than it would be if it were just a hunk of meat of the same weight.

    I’ve eaten raw meat and I think cooked meat tastes better. And is a lot easier on the jaws unless it’s cut up into small pieces. Raw meat carries the risk of infection, so my preference is to sear it to kill the bugs on the surface and make it a little more tender.

  187. @Hugh

    I agree across the board. Except I assume you left out the word ‘no’ between the words ‘make’ and ‘sense’ in the following sentence you wrote, “Proponents of all other diets (vegetarians, fruitarians, high grain diets, low fat diets) make sense in the light of evolution.”

  188. @Aaron

    Cool comment. We are one of the few mammals that cannot produce our own vitamin C. So if you want to look at this from the standpoint of where evolution has steered our dietery needs, that’s very strong evidence that the ancestors we evolved from weren’t carnivores. They were eating meat too, but the fact that we’ve lost the ability to make our own vitamin C means we have a long history of eating lots of fruits and veggies.

  189. @Abdu

    You wrote, “People need to eat less food and move their asses more like cutting down the drive-thru life style. The amount of food in American restaurants compared with European is huge. That’s why I usually eat half and bag the rest.” Which is partly true. Americans are served (and have come to expect) enormous amounts of food in restaurants, which, I believe, is a big part of the obesity problem. But the failure to “move their asses” is not so much a part of the problem.

    At the risk of stirring up another controversy (as if recommending saturated fats weren’t controversial enough), I can tell you that the scientific literature is clear on the fact that exercise doesn’t make you lose weight. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it is borne out by the data. If you increase your exercise, you increase your food intake. Simple as that. The thing most people don’t realize is how few calories pretty strenuous exercise burns off and how little extra food it takes to replace them. When we were kids, our parents told us to go out and play to work up an appetite, and that’s exactly what happens. The only way to lose weight is to assiduously work to diet, which means that dieting is what brings about weight loss, not exercise.

    Gary Taubes wrote a great article on this a few years ago. Here is the link.

    http://nymag.com/news/sports/38001/

    The same notion was the cover story of Time magazine a couple of weeks ago.

    @Mike

    You wrote: “It doesn’t take rocket science to know that we should be eating macro-nutrients (proteins, carbs, fats) on almost every meal.” Pray tell what else would you eat in a meal if not macronutrients?

    You also wrote: ” … are [you] consciously and consistently following a workout plan?” See my comment above. It doesn’t matter whether you are or not.

    And you wrote, “My guess would be that the 2 doctors are over-weight themselves.” Your guess would be wrong.

  190. @Jonathan

    You wrote. “considering most sources that are high in SAT fats tend to be loaded with trans fats as well, you probably will do more harm than good.”

    Really? Is coconut oil loaded with trans fats? How about palm oil? How about butter? How about steak, ham, pork chops, lamb, etc? Are those loaded with trans fats as well?

    I think what you really mean are that processed foods are loaded with trans fats. Saturated fats are what the trans fats replace. Saturated fats have many properties making them excellent to cook with. If you can’t use saturated fats because of the hew and cry from all the lipophobes, then you’ve got to replace them with something having the same cooking properties. Enter the trans fats. Same cooking properties as the saturated fats, but made from vegetable oils. So when products contain a lot of trans fats, they usually don’t have a lot of saturated fats in them. And products rich in saturated fats don’t need the addition of trans fats.

    @darya

    You wrote, “…the excess protein in meat can leach calcium from bones…” Really? Do you have a citation for this? I fear that the old protein-leaches-calcium-from-the-bones notion is another one of the vampire myths that refuse to die. It’s simply not true.

    And you wrote, “Our livers make saturated fat if we need it.” The liver does make saturated fat, but not necessarily if we need it. It makes it when we overconsume carbs, probably because the overconsumption of carbs indicates that we aren’t getting enough saturated fat in the diet. But despite our liver’s making saturated fat in the face of carb excess, it doesn’t make enough. We have all the biochemical machinery to make unsaturated fats out of saturated ones, but we don’t have the ability to go the other way.

  191. @Michael R.

    I had never even thought about where ancient eskimos got thre vitamin C prior to reading your comments. Although looking into it more it doesn’t look like anyone has a concrete answer to this day. Stefansson, who was a big pusher for the all meat diet and popularized that it worked for the inuits really didn’t do that much experimenting on the subject. He and a friend tried an all meat diet for a year and they didn’t get scurzy– that’s really the extent that he proved it’s okay.

    So as far as the inuits go, they probably have evolved both physically and socially to get more vitamin C out of their food. Apparrently whale skin is as high in vitamin C as oranges, and some organs contain vitamin C. Also, no one really knows to what extent they were getting berries and non-meat food.

  192. @Ramiro

    You wrote, “Seems counter to what I heard said about diets, specially from Andrew Weil, who is supposed to be this big diet guru.” You are on the money. Have you ever seen him? He is indeed a big diet guru.

    @Aaron Schaub

    Thanks for the reply. I would argue that we are not really omnivores but are carnivores who have adapted to an omnivorous diet, and probably not for the best.

    Take gorillas, for instance. They have huge canine teeth, yet are total vegetarians. They have the same GI tract as a carnivore yet they have adapted to a vegetarian existence. Is it the best thing for them? Probably not. Their entire day is taken up with eating, they constantly burp and fart, and they don’t live all that long in the wild. When they are put in zoos, they are fed animal products and do fine. So animals that are designed for one specific diet don’t always follow that diet even in nature. It’s the same with humans. Our GI tracts are similar to that of a dogs. We require vitamin B12, which comes only from foods of animal origin. Unlike animals that are true vegetarians, we can live without our stomachs, but can’t live without our small intestines. True vegetarian animals, sheep, for example, can’t live without their stomachs, but can do fine without their small intestines. So basing opinions on the fact that we’re omnivores misses the point a little. It’s not so much what we are as what we are designed to perform optimally on. If you are one who does well on a 75/25 plant to meat ratio, if you are normal weight and don’t have any metabolic problems, I would say go for it. But if you don’t fit that profile, or you discover that you fit it less and less as you age, then you might consider a change.

  193. @Michael R.

    As a doc, would you reccomend an all meat diet for a patient?

    From my perspective, there just doesn’t seem to be evidence for it. A few people a couple decades ago who only ate meat for short time periods. And the inuits, a group of people who we really don’t know that much about.

    On the other hand, there are numerous studies based on data from thousands of people who were vegetrians for most or all of their lives. These people do fine. There just isn’t anything close to the equivalent for an all-meat diet. And scurvy actually serves as counter-evidence.

  194. I recommend organic canola seed oil. It’s missing all the negativ taste attributes. One source I now is and a German company. You can order it here http://shop.rapskernoel.info , if your are having in address in Germany. For other contries you should drop them an e-mail (kugel at rapskernoel.info). It’s worth! I use it for many years and my heath improved a lot.

  195. Great Post!

    For some reason a lot of these foods make my gf vomit if she eats more than a small amount of them. So its gunna be hard to get more of these items on the shopping list!

    Its a shame lots of great, life changing books sound like scams .

  196. @Michael R. Eades, MD

    As a medical student having studied biochemistry and human metabolism, a slow-carb or low-carb diet makes a lot of sense to me. I’ve been battling the bulge in my mid-section for a few years now, and I think I’m finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel. I am concerned about my health and longevity, but I’d also like to take advantage of your six week plan as I’m getting married soon.

    I’m very excited about reading your new book. Though, judging from its title, the book is targeted at a middle aged audience. Would you say that the information in the book could also help younger people (I’m 26)? What additional advice do you have for us young folk?

    It’s been very interesting following this thread of comments along with your responses. I have to say. You’ve definitely sparked my interest in bariatrics as a possible career choice.

  197. Pseudo-science like this post and pseudo-history like Intelligent Design are taking over schools and minds globally. I’m very disappointed that you would sprout such nonsense Tim!

    Posts like this are counter to what most intelligent scientists believe and as someone whose opinion many people trust and look up to, you should know better or take better care with what you advocate. Enough harm has already been done by the spreading of bullshit in the US and the rest of the world.

    You should retract this, apologize, and then perhaps I’ll be able to recommend your blog to friends again.

  198. Good post tim. Pitty not many seem interested in the macronutrient debate! Something tells me youre next books gonna do pretty well

  199. I suffer from pulmonary fibrosis, and I have discovered that eating simple carbs such as bread, pasta , rice etc makes my breathing worse.

    When I eat high protein and saturated fats I feel better and I breath better.

    I was informed ny a nutritionist that simple carbs cause the body to create carbon dioxide in the body.

  200. I am the manifestation of someone who indulges in saturated fats. I use cream, butter, coconut oil every day. I cook my greens in pork fat. I won’t buy anything lowfat. I am not fat, my glucose and blood lipids are at ideal levels. Just had xrays for a knee injury and was informed that my bone density was exemplary. Except for allergies, I have not even had a cold in 7 years. It was 7 years ago when I removed sugars from my diet and began adding fats.In the beginning I was “careful” about how much and which fats and oils I included meaning I was careful with my saturated fat intake. However, I eventually began increasing my saturated fats and eat less of the olive and nut oils. Not that there was anything wrong with them, I just have the taste for butter, coconut oil, fattier cuts of meat. When I increased my fats, I lost 35 lbs. Hmmm, imagine that .

  201. @Skyler Tanner: Population data studies paint the picture: higher saturated fat intake = less heart disease

    Carefull there. Correlation does not imply causation!

  202. I have been eating large amounts of beef and fish all my life(68 years). Six years ago I switched to all grass-fed beef (starting with a one-third lb burger for breakfast) and cut out all cereal and wheat bread. My diet basically centers around red meat with vegetables, berries and nuts thrown in. (I have a hard time totally eliminating ice cream and beer.) I have lost 20 lbs and can lose more at any time by eliminating the ice cream and beer. According to tests my heart is good, my veins are clean, and I have no diabetes. I am still actively ranching raising my own grass-fed beef and have no intension of slowing down.

    In my opinion the USDA recemmended diet is a disaster. Of course, I do not believe that one diet fits all people.

  203. @ Eames

    The word diet derives from L. diaeta “prescribed way of life,” from Gk. diaita, originally “way of life, regimen, dwelling,” and since this is a lifestyle blog, I think it is appropriate to ask whether an increased of meat in a diet leads to a good and noble way of life?

    For now, lets just assume that increasing saturated fat leads to improvement in an individuals health. Eating one pound of beef more a week is approximately the same as one extra cow a year ( roughly 500lbs of retail beef per cow ). So, to eek out a small health benefit, each year we are going to be killing a sentient living, trapped creature. ( Unlike in times past when there was a struggle, an effort to capture a wild animal which could fight back ).

    A scientist as a scientist deals strictly with facts and has no say in moral debates such as this ( the old fact /value distinction ). But I am curious – as a man do you think that slaughtering a defenseless animal leads to a good and noble life ?

    I would suggest that there was a time when eating meat was associated with an active, manly way of life. There was an element of nobility and courage associated with it. Far beyond benefits to ones lipid profile , there was a benefit to ones character. Those times have changed. For the majority of people, feeding on organic meat means putting on your Eddie Bauer clothes, driving your SUV to Whole Foods , and going up to the counter, and getting some good old grass fed cow. Then off to the checkout counter – paper, not plastic, please.

    Does a diaeta of more meat lead to a good and noble life? This is a moral question, not a scientific question. And I would suggest that if you aren’t willing to go out and get it yourself with bow in hand, the answer is a resounding no.

  204. So Matthew, are you saying that eating meat is immoral? Also, I don’t get the association of meat eating as being manly. Not that I mind but I have always associated meat eating as being feminine. Especially since I lost 4 inches from my waist giving me a more girly figure. And of course, you understand the health implications of a slimmer waist line, right? Besides, if you eat the way I do, you allow a greater amount of animals to indeed live, since I practice intermittent fasting daily.Another q, do they kill cows for their butter? Hmmm,

  205. I’ve been a diligent participant of the life extension community for 10+ years, and I use all scientifically reasonable methods to increase my healthy lifespan, such as diet, supplements, hormone supplements, weight lifting, etc. At 48, I have the body of a 28-yr-old, supremely fit–most people guess my age at 33-ish. I also have my blood work checked by my “longevity” doctor twice a year, as well as going through seriously thorough physicals. Every health marker I monitor is outstanding. I also had a full body imaging procedure late last year to check for an sign of arterial plaque, and none was detected.

    My diet is approximately 70 percent fat, and I guess that at least half of that is saturated fat.

    In short, my diet is:

    o High-fat (but very little polyunsaturated fat — the inflammatory fat)

    o Moderate protein (mostly animal based, lots of meat, dairy and eggs)

    o Low-carb (almost zero grains and very low in starchy vegs–high in salad-type, high-water-volume carbs)

    This is often called a “paleo diet,” though my version is modified to include dairy (I show no allergic reaction to casein or lactose, so dairy is safe for me).

    A few bullets:

    o Our ancestors ate a predominantly meat-based diet for over 2 million years. This allowed us to develop a small stomach, because we consumed nutrient-rich, high-caloric-density food (fat-rich-meat).

    o We are NOT adapted to eat much fruit, and fructose is absolutely harmful to humans (and all mammals). Fructose is extremely pro-aging thru a process called advanced glycation end-products (look up in wikipedia).

    o Centenarians all have a single health marker in common, which appears to be the most important in terms of living a long life: low insulin levels. This is achieved primarily via eating a low-carb diet. The best way to prolong life appears to be maintaining low blood sugar (within a healthy range).

    o Saturated fat is the most stable fat, which is why it does not need to be stored in the fridge. It is also super stable within our body, and is not prone to oxidize–it is when fats oxidize that they because harmful and inflammatory. Saturated fat is also a preferred energy source for the body, especially medium length saturated fats, like coconut and palm oil. (I eat 3-5 ounces of raw coconut oil every day, on top of 75% dark chocolate–an amazingly delicious, healthy snack.)

    Cancer and heart disease are, for most people, self-infected diseases, the result of poor diet and other toxic habits, like smoking. I have no fear of these killers. (And my inflammatory markers, like C-reactive protein, show that my body has an absolute minimum of inflammation.)

    I could go on and on. But, the bottom-line is that saturated fat is not only healthy, it’s essential to our health. The low-fat craze is the least healthy of all diets in the long term, and unfortunately a vegetarian diet, for most practitioners, is effectively a low-fat diet. Every cell in our body requires fat–a lipid membrane–as well as hormones and many other chemical chains.

  206. @Dr. Eades

    I believe some groups of Inuit ate liver, others didn’t with no health problems. I know people who eat an all meat diet who eat nothing but Wal-Mart muscle meat and have done so for 2+ years, and no scurvy there either.

    Like I said earlier I take no Vitamin C, but I do take 2 supplements – I’m not sure I need them but don’t see the harm.

    1. Cod liver oil – I take this very occasionally (maybe a tablespoon a day for a week, every few months) in case I am not getting enough Vit A in my diet without eating organ meats.

    2. B Complex – I take this because some of the B Vitamins are low in muscle meat though higher in organ meats, and I understand you want a good balance to avoid high homocystine levels.

    Other than that I basically eat Costco fatty meat. Occasionally I eat pemmican, and when I do, I make it from grass fed beef fat, again to add a little balance. I would prefer to eat all grass-fed beef but the only way I can easily acquire it is by having it shipped, which is expansive and it comes frozen – I prefer meat that has never been frozen.

    So after a year, I have had no negative effects to eating this way (other than the occasional odd look and needing to explain the way I eat before going somewhere social so I don’t appear rude by not eating). Here are the positives:

    – I have lost over 90 lbs

    – I have gained muscle mass without exercise other than the occasional hike

    – Severe acid reflux and digestive problems I won’t detail here went away never to return.

    -I function well on 7 hours sleep where before I needed 9

    -Mental clarity and concentration has improved

    -Irritability and mood swings I had before disappeared

    -I no longer obsess about food. When I ate carbs all I could ever think about was when/where/what my next meal would be.

  207. @mary

    Thanks for your comments. Let me qualify mine. What I was trying to point out is that a diet, any diet, from a broader perspective isn’t about science, it is about a way of life, and although science and scientists ( including myself ) may have facts to offer people, the choice of a way of life is a moral decision, not a scientific one.

    If the primary driver of someone’s life is safety and health then they may choice one way of life ( or diet ) . If the primary driver of one’s life is seeking goodness and nobility then they may choice another way of life ( or diet ).

    The point I am trying to get to is although most of the preceeding conversations have been about science and fact, particularly questions about regarding scientific studies etc , diet selection is really about seeking the “good life” and that is a philosophical question, not ameniable to scientific analysis.

    In refernece to the term “manly” – I am using it in the context used by a political philosopher Harvey Mansfield (author of the books Manliness, Tocquevilles Democracy in America, Machiavelli’s The Prince ), and I would suppose based on that I would say that there is certainly an effeminate way that Western Society – including myself – eats – whole food meat included.

    In summary, I think any discussion of diet should really address a way of life, not strictly things as blood tests, lipid levels , coronary artery disease, etc.

  208. @Michael R. Eades, MD

    “At the risk of stirring up another controversy (as if recommending saturated fats weren’t controversial enough), I can tell you that the scientific literature is clear on the fact that exercise doesn’t make you lose weight. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it is borne out by the data. If you increase your exercise, you increase your food intake. Simple as that. The thing most people don’t realize is how few calories pretty strenuous exercise burns off and how little extra food it takes to replace them. When we were kids, our parents told us to go out and play to work up an appetite, and that’s exactly what happens. The only way to lose weight is to assiduously work to diet, which means that dieting is what brings about weight loss, not exercise.”

    I’m having trouble wording this, but you are both correct, and incorrect here. The problem lies with the conventional view (and seemingly your definition) of exercise- “cardio”, or better put, any sort of random physical activity.

    That type of “activity” will make you hungry, and will NOT help you lose fat. However strength training plays an important role in fat loss and improving your body composition- and not by burning calories (which, is generally a waste of time and should never be the focus of your exercise).

    In short, “exercise”= strength training. Everything else is either recreational activity or specific skill training- both of which can have exercise “effects”, but are almost never effective exercise.

    I strongly encourage you to read Body by Science by Doug Mcguff (MD) and John Little. There is also an Article written by Drew Baye here worth reading

    http://baye.com/something-is-not-always-better-than-nothing/

  209. @Matthew

    Thanks for bringing in that facet of this subject. It is an issue for me as a spirit being also and an issue of not getting too hung up in my hang-ups whilst working out my own clearing of my personal hang-ups as a spiritual being. Whew, that was a long sentence! 🙂

    So, yes, eating also evokes philosophy, ethics, nostalgia, as well as using food as medicine.

  210. From the cover of Michael Pollan’s most recent book “In Defense of Food”:

    “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

    I am not a vegetarian by any means, but I believe this quote is both simple and accurate. I think most other diets only work in the short-term, or are forced/designed to fit a pre-existing lifestyle.

    Thanks as always Tim for the fascinating, thought-provoking posts!

  211. Now I understand where you are coming from. I am not a scientist yut I have had to explain my dietary lifestyle from a scientific angle…I don’t know why but it seems that when it comes to diet, everyone is a scientist. I am told why, scientifically, my diet is unhealthy. So I have to respond scientifically as to why the opposite is true.

    Now, if you remove all of the science, and just go exclusively as how much better I feel on my lifestyle, then no explanation is needed. I feel healthier, stronger, more energetic and even younger. My joint pain and migraines have vanished since I began a lifestyle that is rich in fat, protein and vegetables.I wish that I had eaten this way when I was pregnant instead of listening to the “science” of diet.

  212. Tim,

    Will you just give us one small sample of the new book??

    Great Post!

    Oh yeah, and I got a pair of the 5 finger shoes….Awesome!

  213. Looking forward to reading the book. I like to read as much about nutrition as possible.

    I have problems with The China Study and would love to see some well-researched critiques of it that don’t originate from The Weston Price Foundation which has a solid anti-vegan agenda and seems to have questionable research and theories of its own.

    Following a vegan diet* for a year has improved my short term health dramatically. Weight loss, though I didn’t need to lose much. And I no longer suffer from allergies (dairy related, wish I’d known sooner) and have a lot more energy than before. Depression symptoms also went away, probably due to the allergies.

    I’ll probably become an ovo-vegetarian soon but it’s been a great experience. It has also tought me a lot about how people can become very hostile to people who don’t follow their same life patterns. (One of the reasons I don’t trust the Weston Price Foundation, given some aggressive comments I’ve seen from a few of its members online.)

    * I don’t eat a low-fat diet and I monitor my b12 levels.

  214. Sorry to be dense but can someone illuminate how this is substantially different from Adkins? And why putting your kidneys into ketosis is worth it? Don’t we need living enzymes that get killed in an all cooked meat diet or is there provision for raw meat?

    Thanks!

    ps. 10 weeks in the Army’s basic training where I ate 5000 plus calories per day including carbs and I saw a flat stomach where one had never existed before. Hmmmm.

  215. @Michael R. Eades

    You don’t have to go far to find “research” on why meat is bad for you, just look at what they feed animals these days/how they live. If that’s not enough, read Mark Bittman’s book, Food Matters. Plenty of research, not to mention Bittman himself who lost over 20 lbs after cutting most meat.

  216. Why have the fiber needs of the body been absent from this discussion? Meat = 0 fiber. Good luck to all of those who eat little or no vegetables.

    @Matthew

    Thank you for injecting one of the most important components to any discussion…values. There is a growing number of people who believe that less violence is a good thing.

  217. More food for thought: maybe we should eat whatever we want and research for a study that supports our diet. If there isn’t any, then we can consider ourselves ahead of the science and feel confident that a future study will vindicate us…

  218. RE Exercise, isn’t it a factoid that certain types of intense exercise will stimulate HgH (Human Growth Hormone)? This is what I have been hearing in weight lifting circles. Also lifting weights burns calories long after the session is over.

    When I was a skinny kid I certainly did not lift weights, nor did I overeat (not as many buffets in those days) and I was certainly not athletic (more a bookworm). Was it the HgH that kept me skinny?

    Today my exercise level is the same but I eat a lot more processed junk foods and desserts (making up for that deprived childhood, lol), and when we go to the local buffet it is very hard to pass up the carbs and desserts.

    The last time I was on an all meat/fats diet I lost about 4 pounds per week and felt GREAT!

    RE Joint pain (@ Mary) my naturopath sent an email to all her clients asking them to abstain from potatoes for 30 days. Voila! No more joint pains — and I’m not going back no matter how good those potato chips look 🙂

    Okay, gotta rig the barbecue so I can roast this leg of lamb.

  219. I was born in Argentina and have always had a healthy appetite for red meat. When a child I had a steak every day practically. I moved to UK20 years ago and began having high blood pressure, possibly because of a change in diet. I don’t know. Anyway now I am back in Argentina enjoying red meat ad libitum and quite happy with it too. I have a cousin that has eaten most of his life ONLY red meat. No salad. No fruit. NOTHING else, and is very slim and healthy except for the smoking he does. There are many more people that also have meat as a complete staple in every day meals. I believe that at some point after WWII USA and UK mostly fabricated theories to take people off meat as it was expensive and politically it would be not good to have people think that they were not able to eat a proper meat diet and so social engineering made it easy for scientists to prove that meat was a bad, bad thing. Furthermore grains were not only good, good but also cheaper to produce. Cattle production was demonized to some extent. Except for the ones that could afford it and not moved by the popular media. I produce cattle for meat and on alfalfa grass NOT in feed lots with grains, etc. The meat tastes different and is fantastic. NO steroids or funny chemicals or antibiotics. It takes a wee longer to produce the animal but the results are there to enjoy. Furthermore for those that advocate grain only productions, it is a fact that a balanced ecosystem will only be balanced if it includes rotations with pastures and animals that fertilize the land for eventual grain crops. Sadly we live in a world where even supposedly intelligent scientists pursue their own little agenda according to who pays them and for purposes that ofter do not seek the truth and the big picture. I do endorse too the moderate drinking of red wine with red meat!

  220. @ Dr. Eades

    Dr. Eades, I would love to hear you speak a little about a couple of your colleagues in Colorado, namely Drs. Rosedale and Cordain. Let’s start with Loren Cordain. His excellent book _The Paleo Diet_, while rightly recommending a diet in concordance with the diet our ancestors ate for millennia, amazingly demonizes saturated fats. How have your discussions with him on the subject gone?

    And Dr. Rosedale recommends a *limited* intake of protein, arguing that excess protein intake is simply converted to glucose via gluconeogenesis. Can you speak to that as well?

    Thanks in advance.

  221. Hello, it seems as if the two doctors who you have referenced have come to the same conclusion as Dr. Weston A. Price (a Dentist) did in his world wide studies some time a go as well. The organization dedicated to his work today is the Weston A. Price Foundation (see: http://www.westonaprice.org .) I have read and studied Dr. Weston A. Price’s work and I have followed it as well. I have been able to keep a good normal body weight and good health as well. I am a firm believer in eating good, grass-fed meats, not meats that has been feed wrong (on a diet of something other than grass.) I am also a big advocate of doing internal cleansing as well on a regular basis, as we have forgotten this practice which helps us to maintain good health. And, to boot, this is how my grandparents and parents eat, and most of them were in good health for a long period of time into their older ages. Good, high quality fats are totally essential for good health long term.

  222. To the vegetarians here. Just please just tell me where do you get your vitamins, and minerals. Where do you get your DHA. Men don’t make enough from ALA. Where do you get your Zinc and B12?

    Also this post is about Saturated Fat. You can only get one type of Saturated fat from carbs and that is Palmitic acid. It is a good fuel, but do you think that is all that your body is made up of.

    When you grow a four compartment digestive system then you can begin to handle the vegetation around us. Till then we have to work with what our body can handle.

    Do you know why our Parents talk about how healthy their grand parents were? They used to eat a lot of Animal fats. At least mine do. Even in India a vegetarian country, Cow ghee/milk/butter was the main way we got our vitamins and minerals. Now our cows don’t eat grass, and we don’t eat much of ghee/milk/butter. You can find out how well that has worked for us. We are a nation of people with heart disease, 4 times higher than the rest of the world. Don’t think that it is due to genetics. It is because of vegetarianism sans ghee.

  223. Just one more thing about vegetarianism.

    India had perfected the art of living with Vegetarian food. We know exactly what to eat that will give us all the nutrition, without using meat. But that doesn’t mean anybody else can do it. It takes ages to perfect it through experimentation. You think your doctors know what food you need, but they have shown till now an abject lack of comprehension of anything to do with food.

    We did not have wheat. We mixed our grains with our legumes. We fermented them. We added huge quantities of ghee/butter. We made our children drink milk, even when they did not like it. It is no wonder that Indians count amongst the most milk tolerant people. It was a requirement to survive on a vegetarian diet. Lactose intolerant need not try becoming a vegetarian, they will not survive.

    If you think veganism is healthy talk to people who have been on a strict vegan diet for at least 15 years. You will find something wrong with them. You may also try to read The Vegetarian Myth by a former vegan, who lived on a vegan diet for 20years. Its a very emotionally charged book and gets almost everything right.

    Hell I am finding that everybody around me is getting sick, with diabetes and hypertension. This is with us knowing what to eat and what not to eat. My grandmother is still alive at 80 and still very active. She does not have any ailments. Except for my father, the other two uncles have died, one from heart attack and the other from diabetes. Even my father is having heart trouble. My mother has diabetes. Luckily, I learnt about refined oil and sugar. I have got them off the two. My father’s hypertension is much better now, and now my mother has a good fasting glucose.

  224. Well, I don’t know what to say, I’m confused by this and by some of the comments. I’m following a diet similar to what Tim suggests in some other posts like egg whites, beans, peas, veggies, but I’m leaving out almost all of the meat. I eat also some nuts and that for unsaturated fats. So what you suggest now is that I should eat more meat and saturated fats, and leave out the grains and beans? I like to experiment with diet, and I have no problem with flavor (I can eat liver, or an all-plant based diet), just some things like organic meat aren’t easy (or cheap) to get where I live. Anyway, I see so many contradictory ideas here, all of them supported by studies, that I’d like to know, to you people what would be like ‘the perfect diet’ in terms of short and long-term health (read: meat associated to some cancers and disseases?).

  225. I want you to adopt my life and design it. I have had the principles of the four hour work week since I was 8 when I decided I wanted to be a writer I am from jamaica where and grew up poor …at 9 I was sending my “stuff” to vogue and cosmospolitan and they responded!!!!It was then I realised I can do anything I have lived my life to that value system ever since I am a maverick — very in the category of the “unreasonable” that shaw ctes at revolutionary in fact I have done many firsts here in Jamaica but I want to be global help me.

  226. Yes, this is the way I do Atkins, at least.As you know, ketosis exists primarily, during the induction phase of Atkins which is the level that I prefer to keep my ketones so it is the level that I do. Actually I often go lower than the recommended 20 grams a day. Regarding ketosis, it is the best thing for our organs since Ketones help to maintain our organs without the stress of carbohydrates. Ketones, for some reason, have become a bad word when in reality, ketosis is just as natural as menstruation. My diet is more ketogenic than Atkins, realistically. I just had a CBC and urinalysis and there were no ketones in my urine, meaning that my organ and muscle tissues are using the ketones for energy instead of spitting them out. Ketones are nothing more than spent fats that have mighty benefits including improoved nutrient absorption. Ketones also helps the body to absorb and burn calories. Once you’ve broken the addiction of carbohydrates,using this alternative energy source, you will realize how powerful your body is.

  227. @ David

    I believe the “perfect diet” really boils down to what are the perfect foods for you for your given lifestyle. If you are Dean Karnazes ( ultramarathonman.com, 50 marathons in 50 days ) then it is a pizza on your running days, eat light on off days.

  228. I’ve been studying Chinese approaches to longevity for 30 years, with particular emphasis on Taoist methods. The most important ingredient in your diet is the quality of Chi (a.k.a. Qi), or subtle breath. So the first item in a healthy diet is Qigong (chi kung), not what you buy at the grocery store. The more chi you feel in your body from this type of superior exercise, the less hungry you are for food. And the smarter you become at choosing exactly what your body needs to eat.

    The diet that is prescribed is known as Five Elements Diet, i.e. eating a balance of different colors and tastes that satisfy all the major organ spirits (heart, liver, spleen, kidneys, lungs are each considered to have their own consciousness and appetite, which is the “taste foundation” of all Chinese herbology).

    This gives you a way to combine your need for body movement (but without stressing it) and your dietary choices. I have been testing this hypothesis on myself and many western students under the guise of Healing Tao USA for dozens of years with great success. Time to get off thinking that what you eat physically is more important than the quality of what you “breathe” in from the Life Force. Food is just a secondary source of Chi – the most important thing in your diet is to get it as Primary, i.e.direct from Qigong.

    Michael Winn

  229. @ David: Hi, David, what “feels” right for your body, after you eliminate all the processed foods of course? I am aware that Dr. Eades discounts food preferences among blood types, and I can only go off my own casual interviews and observations and having lived with various blood types and therefore the data about diet being linked to blood groups is true for myself.

    Basic stable datum that I extract from TIm’s article and the responses is: don’t eat processed carbs and sugars and sugary drinks, and increase protein/saturated fat uptake to compensate for the lack of “fun carbs”, and always have a vegetable or salad side dish.

    If you decide to eat grains, flours and pastas, etc., then learn to eat them correctly: Authentic sprouted grains breads, spelt grains instead of wheat or corn (makes a great pasta), brown rice (they also sell it ‘pre-sprouted’).

    Eat these grains sparingly, not as cheap fillers the way we have been programmed. That’s where people, imho, have to change the program.

    I only eat the cheap filler grains, pastas, breads, etc. when I’m hungry and there is nothing else to eat.

  230. @Michael R. Eades

    When I said “move their asses” I didn’t mean to exercise. I meant to have a more active lifestyle like stop circling the parking lot to find a parking spot closer to the entrance. What’s wrong with parking a little further away and walking the extra steps.

    If I am behind that person and parked further away, I would have reached the entrance faster the the person who is still squeezing their car in between two cars!

    We have become the laziest society on earth. The drive-thru services (fast food, pharmacy, banking, dry cleaning… etc), the remote controlled appliances, the elevator, the escalator.. etc. These all contribute to obesity and poor health. I used to work at a two floor company and there were so many people taking the elevator down from second to first floor and the open lobby stairs was right there. People make choices to move the least. They deserve the poor health they accumulate!

    Chicken farmers want the chicken to build fat quickly by limiting their movements. A lot of people are doing the same to themselves.

    Exercising can be boring but walking a little more is very doable and costs nothing. Take the stairs, take breaks at work and walk. Enjoy the fresh? air, scenary and outdoor.

  231. Hey Tim,

    Have you ever heard of Arthur De Vany? If not, I would suggest you check him out. Not only concerning this current post, but also for your upcoming book on the human body.

    He advocates what he calls evolutionary fitness and diet. He believes that we should exercise and eat like our hunter and gatherer ancestors. First heard about him through an interview with Nassim Taleb. To me, his recommendations seem far more logical than any other diet or exercise craze.

    A few links:

    http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/diet_and_fitness/article4523487.ece

    http://www.arthurdevany.com/webstuff/images/RevisedEssay.pdf

    Best,

    Mike R.

    1. Hi Mike,

      Thanks. I’m quite familiar with Arthur. He is very articulate and intelligent, and although I don’t agree with all of his conclusions, I agree with most of them.

      Cheers,

      Tim

      1. Hey Tim,

        I’m finding the conclusions from Arthur De Vany to be quite interesting. If you have the time can you give me your opinions on what you dont agree with regarding his views?

        BR,

        Larry

  232. Humm that explains why I lost weight while I was in Argentina. A transportation strike was in session while we were vacationing there and veggies were in short supply. So it was Ham, eggs and bacon in the morning, lomo (steak) in the afternoon and lomo (steak) in the evening 🙂 We were there for a month..

    I love the way posts on nutrition get so much attention and how the nutrition and fitness industry thrives on the chaos that exists in this area. Many experiments seem to produce positive results in the short run but fail to report the after effects of diets.

    For now, I am happy munching on Halal food in the afternoon and burning it off while biking to my office and back every day of the summer.

  233. I want to send you a sneak preview of a magazine that I am launching soon. The topic of it is is surviving & thriving in the modern world. Any chance I can get it to you? 🙂

  234. Yeah, people tend to jump from one magic pill diet to the next, forgetting that exercise and balance are critical to sustained results.

    Never having followed a diet in his life, my father’s beachball stomach caught up with him . . . at 70 . . . with diabedes. With that motivation in mind, he dropped over 15 pounds with this miraculous diet – called smaller portions. He spent a lifetime without diets, relatively free of disease or injury.

    I like trying diets now just to see what works . . . for me. Aryuvedic has been interesting.

  235. First time I am disapointed by an article on this site.

    While I completely agree that there is an hypocritical scaredness of red meat (some people actually believe that meat (but only red meat, not chicken meat) accumulates in the intestines and cannot be digested), the VAST majority in our societies eat way to much and way too wrong.

    When eating a balanced diet of fruits, grains, vegetables and integral foods, meats are an excellent source of protein and HEALTHY+NECESSARY, while the amount of saturated fats are buffered by a high intake of omega 3 fatty acids from nuts, that lowers the bad effects of the saturated fats.

    Because Tim, you have to recognize that saturated fats are devastating to the cardio-vascular system in the way they are consumed today. I largely believe that the results obtained in the aforementioned studies are a fruit of the lower intake of carbohydrates and the higher intake of proteins.

    Also, the lung argument simply sounds like bullsh*t to me. Please include a link that actually shows a comparative study between to populations, one that eats a lot of saturated fat and one that doesn’t and show me a difference in lung health. I don’t believe it one bit since these fats are not essential.

    ¡CUIDADO! Muchas personas estan salindo ahora para los restaurantes de fast food por causa de sus consejos!

    Oh and while we are at it, I saw your “breakfast in five minutes” or whatever it was at youtube and wasn’t impressed by that either.

    Try Danish breakfast:

    Skimmed milk with oats and anything you have in the kitchen on top (such as fruits, nuts). It can be prepared in the same amount of time, has the best GI properties and nutritional profile and doesn’t taste like shit as your proposal appears to.

    Oh and remember, a real friend is one that contributes real critizism!

    Saludos de Ecuador

  236. Tim

    Since Mike Anderson’s “Healing Cancer from Inside Out” seems to be at least indirectly related to the content of this article, curious to know your thoughts about the content of the DVD?

    Thanks

    J

  237. Hands down, I had a Melbec on you tonight. 🙂

    FYI: Johnny Colt of the the Black Crowes has a show on the Travel Channel. He went to Thailand for Muay Thai Boxing.

    Since I haven’t heard about you from History Channel. Figured you catch your own thunder for a show on the Travel Channel.

    Keep up the great work. A million thanks for your contributions.

    Very, very proud. Take care.

  238. After my tons of reading and own rsearch into the topic i have no doubt in my mind that lots of animal fat and meat is not only extremely healthy but optimal.

    I found it amusing reading through the comments and seeing all those by vegans/vegetarians or people who cannot fathom the idea as it is so against conventional wisdom (which I can forgive as the scientists/doctors/nutritionists/food companies have completely brainwashed everyone in the last couple of decades).

    fiber is indigestable and is actually an irritant, human anatomy shows we are designed to eat meat, archeological evidence shows that paleolithic humans ate ALOT of meat, studies on modern hunter gatherers shows they thrive and are extremely healthy eating large amounts of meat, amd there is no conclusive evidence that saturated fat does ANY harm whatsoever.

    I eat plenty of meat, fat and organs and practically zero carbs, and feel pretty damn amazing.

    but in a way i’m glad there are still plenty of vegans/vegetarians/people who think sat.fat is bad….means all the more for me! 🙂

  239. Nice look..and saturated fat is part of the solution. But the important missing piece here is how to use saturated fat to get the results that you want. ie: the hormonal/adaptive response that brings all of the benefits that you mentioned. Eating saturated fat haphazardly will not accomplish this in any significant way, especially once health is diminished/damaged.

    When mixed with too many carbs/too much sugar, saturated fat actually is dangerous. This is because the subsequent catabolic/stress response from eating sugar alone is amplified due to the increased calorie content with the sugar containing meal. Saturated fat truly is the double edged sword of the food world.

    Also, its not the “nutrition” thats important, its the hormonal reaction to macronutrient intake. Tweak this in a targeted and precise way, and you can recover from anything. To accomplish this in a safe and maximally effective manner, takes a extremely precise regimen that limits catabolic hormone release during waking hours, while maximizing anabolic hormone release during sleep.

    Health, recovery, and performance are deep issues that the world hasn’t quite gained the proper perspective on, imo.

  240. Thanks for this great post! I’ve had a bunch of emails extolling the benefits of this herb and that food to help boost my immune system during the onslaught of the flu season. This article is tops, though.

    Explains why when I succumb to my cravings for a steak or hamburger or slathered up buttery toast and jam, I always feel better rather than worse and why my intake of MEAT does not negatively impact my weight loss but carbs do!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve passed this on to my FB account to share with all who care to read…

  241. Tim,

    Great contrarian post.

    Saturated fats are clearly important for nutritional health, but it’s their excessive intake that is problematic, promoting elevated cholesterol and immune and inflammatory dysregulation.

    Thanks, S

  242. Interesting and thought provoking article.

    One thing that is contradictory for me is that book is about losing fat especially from waist, but then I googled for photos of Michael Eades and his wife and they are not lean, they are a little overweight. Michael even looks not 100% healthy.

    Somebody mentioned here Sally Fallon and I googled for some of her photos… and she is also overweight (nothing dramatic but she is no lean for sure).

    And, there are people like Jack Lalane and Arthur De Vany also mentioned here and they are in excellent condition for their age. I don’t know for others, but I’ll always listen persons that talk the talk, but then walk the walk.

    I don’t try to flame here, their theory might be correct, but these are my first impressions.

  243. Great post Tim! Thanks for the excerpt.

    To the Michael Pollan fans – I would suggest a quick read of Matt Stone’s blog post(s) titled FUMP conclusions. The last two initials stand for Michael Pollan. With a little imagination you can figure out what the first two represent. 🙂

    FUMP

    He over the course of a month writes about his experience as a FUMPkteer. The subsequent posts (and comments!) are quiet interesting, to say the least.

    Dr. Eades comments about the benefits of saturated fat are quite welcome. Of course he writes about saturated fat within the framework of a low carb diet. But the benefits are just as noteworthy on a high or moderate carb diet as well. The Masai, while eating all animal foods were not low carbers by any stretch of the imagination. They were moderate carbers. And the Kitavans, as mentioned by an earlier poster, were and still are most definitely high carbers.

    This is one of the differences between the work of Weston Price and the low-carb movement. Dr. Price noted that great health can be achieved with nearly any macro-nutrient profile. The problems with carbs is not carbs per se, but the specific types of carbs. That is obvious when you read about Price’s African tribes and/or the modern day Pacific Islanders like the Kitavans. The low carbers would have you think low carb is the diet. Dr. Price said there was no one ideal diet or food, as his work amply demonstrates.

    [link removed per comment rules — one can slide, but this is an important rule to prevent a link fest.]

    Again the Kitavans, who eat a high carb low total fat diet, nonetheless eat a diet very high in saturated fat. That is because at least 80% of their fat intake is in the form of saturated fat and yet heart disease in Kitava is non-existent. But note, as a percentage of their diet, that is one of the highest consumption of saturated fat in the world, definitely higher than what we consume in the west.

    [same as above]

    By the way David, if you base your judgement on a particular diet due to some “hostile” folks who adhere to that diet, then you wouldn’t be eating anything. Just visit a few vegetarian and vegan boards and mention the name Lierre Keith and watch the reaction.

    Bottom line is you always judge a position by the best it has to offer. I think you will find Chris Masterjohn, for example, quite gracious in dealing with seekers and those who disagree with him.

  244. Great post, not that I agree with the information submitted, but to the extent that it has promoted the discussion of health, which is one topic I love to talk about!! Regarding Dr. Michael Eades’ post “Vegetarians Age Faster” located on his own blog, I wanted to suggest a link to an article about author Dan Buettner’s research and to the specific topic of Adventist’s eating habits:

    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/In+search+of+secrets:+an+interview+with+Dan+Buettner,+author+of…-a0203027104

    Being actively involved in this group for the last 10 years, I can understand the reason that they were included in the top three. Although there is critism attempting to debunk his research, stating that the Adventists, as a whole, are just as unhealthy as the rest of us, a group that numbers 25 million cannot be stereotyped into one mindset and eating type.

    Within the large group, there are those who only eat out of a can or consume only foods that are white and orange (speaking of macaroni and cheese, and grilled cheese sandwiches on white bread). On the other side of the spectrum, where I reside, there are many who grow their own food, sprout seeds and grains, refrain from meat and diary products, and are actively involved in researching and promoting a healthy lifestyle.

    Thanks for starting an interesting discussion and I look forward to reading all of the numerous comments. Tim, great way to get people interested in your next book, which I’m sure will be a success.

  245. Hi, Tony, that’s funny, you’re right — I had to look hard for it up here in Toronto.

    Lamb leg finally finished slow roasting at 250degrees and has a nice blend of meat/fats and I have been off carbs for 3 days and feel GREAT! If I get a junk food craving I mix almond butter with olive oil and have a few spoonfuls, yummy!

    Hey, I just discovered that organic calf liver is so much sweeter and better textured than “industrial” calf liver. It does not even compare!

  246. The reason that I wanted to jump in on this post is that diets that are high in saturated fats have been shunned and deemed as unhealthy. But how closely has this diet been researched? I know that more people benefit from better health and improved weight management than the those who supposdedly acquire the expected coronary heart disease. Having this as my lifestyle for 7 years and others in similar situations…I know what is the norm and what is fallacy.

  247. Sorry about the links. I saw a comment or two that had a couple of links and didn’t even think about it. Again my apologies. I would have written my comment a little differently. The FUMP stuff and vegetarian stuff was just an aside. 🙂

  248. @ J. Alden Page

    Not only would I recommend an all-meat diet for a patient, I have recommended such diets.

    You have grossly mischaracterized the state of the scientific literature. Just to give you an example of how off your characterization really is, there is an enormous amount of literature from India comparing the health of vegetarians (of which there are millions) to that of non-vegetarians . In virtually every study the non-vegetarians win out, and that includes studies on heart disease and longevity.

    @Florian Komm

    You canola oil may be organic, but it’s still deodorized, and that’s where the trans fat come from.

    @ Anand

    The book is primarily aimed at a more middle-aged market because people store fat differently in middle age. In youth, fat storage is mainly under the skin, i.e., subcutaneous fat, whereas with a little more age, people begin to store fat in their abdomens and around the organs. This type of fat, called visceral fat, is the more dangerous variety. The good news is that it’s a little easier to lose than the other variety. But now that kids as young as 8 and 10 are coming down with what used to be called adult-onset diabetes, it stands to reason that visceral fat may be showing up in younger and younger people as well.

    Good luck in your medical studies.

    @Monk

    You need to get out more. I fear that the diet you believe is the one “most intelligent scientists believe” has been bloodied pretty badly not just once but numerous times when compared to the diet we recommend in our books and practice. Sorry, but that’s what the data show.

    @Bob Fustero

    The low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet is the diet of choice for people who have pulmonary (lung) problems for the very reason you state. Carbohydrate digestion produces much more carbon dioxide, which has to be gotten rid of through the lungs than does a higher fat diet. Most pulmonologists put their patients on low-carb diets.

  249. @Mary Titus

    Hi Mary. It’s good to see an old friend over here.

    @Scott Miller

    I agree with you right down the line except for one small issue. Fructose is deadly in the doses that the average American gets, but in a tiny dose – a couple of grams – it actually helps the body deal with glucose better. Which all makes sense when you think about it because the only time Paleo man would get fructose (other than by stumbling into a beehive full of honey) would be in fruits (which he only got when in season and not year round). The small amount of fructose would then help deal with the rest of the sugar load in the fruit. But we’re talking a few grams per day, not the 40 grams per one 12 ounce soft drink. And imagine how much fructose is in a Supersized soft drink? When you realize that some kids drink two or three of these at a setting, it’s easy to see why we’ve got a childhood obesity problem.

    @Dave Osofsky

    One of the improvements you describe on your low-carb diet is the eradication of acid reflux and GERD. In my experience, I’ve never had a patient who didn’t get rid of this problem with a low-carb diet. Eradication of heart burn, reflux and GERD is one of the unheralded advantages of such a diet.

    @Anthony

    You and I are on the same page about exercise. Jeff Volek at UConn has shown dramatic fat losses when combining resistance training with a low-carb diet. But usually the fat loss is associated with a muscle gain, so there isn’t a lot of weight loss. I co-wrote a book (with trainer Fred Hahn) on strength training titled Slow Burn that goes into this in some detail. I’ve read all of Doug McGuff’s material and agree with it.

  250. Tim, I am loving this post. But to be quite candid I am confused with the influx of data/info. How does one sort the “correct” data from the “incorrect” data? So much info is slammed at society it is difficult to know what is “true” Furthermore, how much would your own genetic pre-disposition influence certain diets?

    Pura Vida Hermano,

    Jose A Castro-Frenzel Jr. Sept 12-2009

  251. @Alex

    My mantra is a little different.

    “Eat food. As much as you want if it’s mainly meat”

    Pollan’s quote is simple, but it’s not accurate.

    @David

    Check out Chris Masterjohn’s review of The China Study.

    http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/China-Study.html

    At this link you can find Dr. Campbell’s rebuttal of Chris’s critique and Chris’s response to Campbell’s rebuttal. I’ve appeared on the same podium a time or two with Dr. Campbell at various nutritional symposia, and I’ve heard him give his presentation a couple of times, so I’m pretty well grounded in what it’ all about. Without getting into the technical issues of what makes one kind of study better than another, I can tell you that the China study is an observational study. Any decent scientists will confirm that observational studies don’t prove causality. These kinds of studies serve only do develop hypotheses that can then be tested in randomized controlled studies.

    @Eric

    You don’t put your kidneys into ketosis in this diet nor in Atkins. And if you did, what would be the problem?

    Question: how do those living enzymes in raw meat make it unchanged through the stomach acid that has a pH of 2?

    @Kathryn

    You wrote, “You don’t have to go far to find “research” on why meat is bad for you, just look at what they feed animals these days/how they live.” What exactly are you saying here? What do they feed animals these days? How about if you eat grass fed beef? What’s the problem there?

    Last I heard Mark Bittman was a chef, not a scientist. I’ll be happy to let him tell me how to cook, but not determine my diet.

    @David Jehlen

    Are there fiber needs of the body? Obviously you think so, but does the scientific research show that the human body needs fiber? The answer is, No, it doesn’t.

  252. @Jim Swayze

    Both Drs. Rosedale and Cordain are friends of mine. In fact, I was in partnership with Ron Rosedale in practice in Boulder, CO for a few years.

    I would say we all agree on a lot more than we disagree on. Loren Cordain and I have had (and continue to have) many discussions on the saturated fat issue. We have decided to agree to disagree on it.

    Same with Ron Rosedale. I haven’t been in communication with him as much as I have Loren over the past few years, but we spoke one after another at a medical meeting a couple of years ago. That was the first time I knew of his changed views on protein. We sort of debated the issue in the Q & A after the talk as the audience asked us questions, but we haven’t really explored it since.

    @David Rojas

    I don’t know what the perfect diet is. That’s more or less what I’ve spent my career trying to figure out. At this point, based on the scientific medical literature, the anthropological literature and my experience with many thousands of patients, I would say that a high-fat, low-carb, adequate protein diet would be pretty close.

    You wrote, “read: meat associated to some cancers and diseases?” Meat isn’t really associated with any cancers nor diseases. And if it is associated, which is another way of saying correlated, it means nothing. Correlation does not equal causation. There are as many studies showing meat doesn’t cause a problem as there are showing it does, but the point is, these are all observational studies and are meaningless in proving that meat does or doesn’t cause anything.

    @Abdu

    I agree with you that exercise is beneficial, and I recommend it to all my patients and I get plenty myself. But it has been shown that moving one’s ass doesn’t lead to weight loss, which was the context into which you put it in your previous comment. Exercise has a multitude of benefits, but weight loss isn’t one of them.

    You can “take the stairs, take breaks at work and walk. Enjoy the fresh? air, scenary and outdoor,” and you may feel better, become a little healthier, but you won’t lose an ounce. That’s my point.

  253. @Chris: you sound like you might be into the weight lifting culture and I would like you to write further about the idea you started to introduce about anabolic and catabolic hormones. Any links? Thank you.

    About fiber: Every morn I drink at least a liter of good water and that cleans me out. If someone thinks they need fiber for regularity they have not tried drinking a liter of water an hour before breakfast 🙂

  254. The underlying assumption of the comment posts is that there is one diet from which every human organism will benefit.

    I disagree. When I attempted vegetarianism I became quite sick and unable to attend to my usual daily routine. Despite repeated efforts and carefully following recommendations for switching. The diet was simply the wrong one for my body.

    Other people have had the opposite experience.

    Instead of focusing on finding the right diet we need to learn to distinguish the right diet for a given population or sub-group.

  255. Tim,

    I like your non-mainstream thinking and lifestyle experimentation, but I thought you were trying to benefit peoples lives. This article is very misleading for those people who don’t have the proper physiology background. Encouraging fat people to eat more fat ??? Our healthcare costs are already out of control because of the high percentage of obese people in our society. I hope this is not a preview of the type of information coming in your next book ! Yes, fatty acids are essential to optimal health, but there is only a very small percentage of the population that could benefit from adding more to their diet. This article is great for your readers who are looking for more reasons to avoid really doing what they need to do to be healthy.

    Mark (Exercise Physiologist)

  256. Of course they lost weight…they weren’t eating any carbs! If you aren’t eating any carbs, your body will burn fat. The Atkins diet did this a long time ago. That being said, they also weren’t getting the proper nutrition they needed, so they were probably less healthy on this diet than they were before. “Fix one problem, break something else” philosophy for weight loss is just ignorant and not even worth exploring.

  257. Dr. Eades and Tim,

    What is fascinating about this is how patients on two completely opposing diets see the same results. Let’s look at the McDougall versus Eades. Patients report miraculous healing through nutrition on both methods, although I am less familiar with Dr Eades, I trust Tim and will stipulate you are the real deal.

    How can both diets work so well? McDougall is right here in the area Tim if you want to visit his clinic and verify that. The only thing in common is that both eliminate sugar and refined starches which tells me that is where I will start when I advise my clients. Also, there must be positive health effects from cutting out the toxic dairy and meat and choosing to either eliminate them or stick to clean sources. Dr. Eades, are your patients strict about getting clean sources of meat or do you find the same results with regular meat from the super market?

  258. I loved their first book and got this one on my kindle after reading this post. Excellent!

    As a trainer and performance coach, I have the hardest time convincing people that fat isn’t the enemy and that sat. fat is actually helpful if you’re an athlete!

    Chris said: “When mixed with too many carbs/too much sugar, saturated fat actually is dangerous. This is because the subsequent catabolic/stress response from eating sugar alone is amplified due to the increased calorie content with the sugar containing meal. Saturated fat truly is the double edged sword of the food world.”

    Right on! That’s why doing the lowcarb/mostly meat approach works. Sat fat + carbs (think most deserts) will send your hormones on a roller-coaster ride that will leave you tired and fat.

    Chris, you made a great point. People are NEVER really taught what hormonal response they will have from everyday food. It’s just not taught in school.

    Foods are either good or bad. It’s very childish.

    Now, as an athlete/trainer/lifter, I know that when I eat meat/eggs/cheese and green vegs, I’m stronger and my joints are stronger. I know that after I eat eggs, cheese, coffee and vegs for breakfast, my body responds with a more testosterone.

    To learn more about this stuff read the Eades’ books and anything by Dr. Mauro DiPasquale.

    -Steve

  259. “I’ve seen research showing increased levels of testosterone from upping your saturated fat intake. Surely helpful for bulking up a bit =). Also, foods high in saturated fat often contain other nutrients beneficial for building muscle (red meat, egg yolks, etc).”

    Exaclty, they contain sat fat, cholesterol (a building block of test), zinc (shown to increase test long term + improve sexual function in males).

  260. @Bojan That kind of bothers me too, how some of these diet gurus are a overweight themselves. Reminds me of one time I went to an introductory meditation class and the teacher looked really unhealthy and overweight. Never went back.

    That’s why I’m waiting for what Tim has to say (here in the blog or in his new book), obviously what he’s doing is working for him pretty well.

    By the way Tim, this is offtopic but I would suggest you to serve a mobile version of your blog (l’ve heard mobifyme is great for that), some of us like to read it on the go (me: ipod touch) 🙂

  261. @Michael R. Eades

    Thanks for the reply! It’s nice that you have been so proactive at responding to all of our comments.

    I do see your point and somewhat agree with your overall philosophy. I plan on researching a little further into this. As for the science behind an alkaline rich, green smoothie lifestyle however, it may not have been proven in a lab but it has definitely shaped up my health. And anyone interested in taking a (non-scientific) look into alkalinity and green smoothies, the book Green for Life is a nice read.

    Thanks Michael and Tim for the article!

  262. Hi Tim,

    Great timing on this one. I have had trouble moving off 280 pounds for the last 10 years. My wife is vegetarian and she balances the home diet well but my weight hasn’t moved in a decade.

    With my Dr.s approval I added some meat to the diet and made sure I had protein first before the carbs (I swear a 12 step program for potatoes should happen). Execise is 3 miles vigorous walk daily (I’m 53 with disc issues)

    Net result in 4 months is 27 pounds off and a great checkup with the doctor. No restrictions, lots of common sense. There is a lot of merit in this, keep this dialogue going.

    all my best,

    Bill

  263. @Jose – “Furthermore, how much would your own genetic pre-disposition influence certain diets?” excellent question. Given that from an evolutionary standpoint, men were mostly hunters (of meat) and women mostly gatherers (of plants, berries, nuts etc.) I would say it’s entire possible to postulate that — (drumroll) we are all different.

    Which is why I don’t like a blanket statement like “Pollan’s quote is simple, but it’s not accurate.” (re: Pollen’s statement on eating mostly plants)

    I never liked meat as a child, in fact, I would pick the beef out of beef stew, much to my parents shagrin. The culture I grew up in and still live in pushes a meat-(and carb) based diet with a few overcooked veggies on the side. Having come to this realization later in life, I now find it extremely difficult to find food choices for me, esp. while travelling, without having to go way off the beaten path.

    And not to mention cultural differences, some cultures prefer bugs as a protein source, some dogs. We all form our food preferences at a very young age.

    But as I have said before, I appreciate this post for it’s main message – saturated fats are a good thing (and my footnote: when they come from non-processed sources – the way mother nature makes them – including grass-fed beef, not the mainstream crap being fed to us). I am putting the coconut oil, nuts, and avocado on high priority now 🙂

  264. @ Marcie, I can just see myself as a female North American Indian cooking up dinner for my “Brave” and making sure I got some of that meat too 🙂 I think it all went into the shared pot 🙂

    I hear that nuts should be sprouted before eaten, but I have not yet been able to sprout my raw pumpkin seeds successfully. I do purchase sprouted brown rice which looks and cooks up just like regular rice.

  265. @ Coleen – you are right, my understanding is that men often were gone for weeks or more sustaining themselves on small catches until they returned home with enough to feed the tribe (or not) while the women were at home also sustaining themselves on nuts & berries & plants – which also would be what was mostly eaten by all over the winter before the advent of salt-curing meats, etc. – sorry for no source, probably “Nourishing Traditions” which someone else also mentioned here somewhere 🙂

  266. Tim,

    You must be absolutely thrilled with the debate that this post has caused – it seems food is the new ‘politics or religion’ when it comes to topics that spark an argument -everyone has an absolutely well researched, deeply held belief and they are all totally contrary to one another! I can only think that this is a great thing – the sooner more of us care about what we are putting into our mouths the less likely the industrialised food supply will continue to dominate our mouths and stomachs and therefore our health. I totally love this type of post from you. Thanks.

  267. @reamz

    I don’t think most scientists are trying to brainwash the populace. Most of them are trying to do their best by themselves, their families, and all of us. They want to eat an optimal diet, too. Just because they may be wrong doesn’t make them bad people with some secret agenda. For every single one that has an agenda, there are plenty who don’t and who mean well.

    I can find studies that support just about any kind of diet you want. It’s not as clear cut as you like to make it sound. You really have to sift through the data and analyze, trying to figure out what the studies actually say, whether they’re good studies, and so forth. It’s time consuming, and sometimes data is contradictory or just plain strange. Like the study where vegetarians don’t live longer than the regular eaters studied yet all the studied participants were better off than the regular populace!

    Now, you can certainly blame the media. Again, I don’t think it’s a conspiracy, just ignorance on the part of the writers. Your average journalist knows as much about diet as your average person off the street and they are told to write these things up in a certain way.

    Corporations. Well, blame away. They exist to make money, and that’s it. They’ll mislead people willingly.

    The government is just confused and conflicted and lobbied, nothing else new there.

    People are confused, sure. But let’s be honest. Most people want to eat burgers, fries, milkshakes, and twinkies regardless of whether you tell them it’s healthy or ideal. We worry about ideal and debate it here but most folks just don’t care, which is the tragedy. You could vastly improve most people’s health by making them follow a whole foods diet of any type: vegan, paleo, low-carb, whatever.

    And we’ve all got anecdotal evidence. I’ve feel great, having been a vegan for a year. I didn’t know when I started that I had dairy allergies. I didn’t know that years as a semi-vegetarian had depleted my B12 reserves. My daily sinus headaches are gone and I think I may be pooping rose petals.

  268. @ Michael

    I didn’t mean to suggest that The Price Foundation is bad people, but some members rubbed me the wrong way and then when I went to the website it seemed almost like I had stumbled into the mirror world of PETA. This was an unfair opinion, having looked at the site today, but I have little tolerance for extremism and will jump to conclusions like the flawed human I am.

    For the record, while I am a vegan, I don’t take PETA’s dietary advice either. And I’m not crazy enough to go to vegan message boards! I learned the crazy that goes on with some of them on the same day Price folks rubbed me the wrong way. (Probably why I was so irritated.) What constitutes health advice on some vegan boards makes me want to cry tears of blood.

    I don’t want to bad mouth PETA too much. It’s a big organization that does some good works along with some questionable things. A bit like the government, I guess. They have my support in preventing animal cruelty and such.

    I trust a few select vegan sources, but that’s about it. I started it for me, not the animals, and that separates me from most of them.

    It’s the nature of the beast that critiques are often made by opposing sides and not neutral third parties. What I really wanted was a look at the China Study by a more neutral group. Pipe dreams, I know.

  269. @Dr Eades

    Thanks for the link. Your blog is great by the way. I’m not going to say I agree with you on everything without investigating what you have to say. I think we both understand how foolish that is (though we all do it from time to time), but I have enjoyed it. Food for thought, I guess.

    I know the dangers of observational studies but that’s not easy to explain to most people. And even then, it’s nice to have a look and try to figure it out.

    If you should ever have the desire, I think some of your posts on how to read and understand studies and media articles about them would make an excellent ebook if retooled for that purpose. Something that could help everyone. Not a guideline that promoted low-carb or vegan or paleo or anything but a simple guideline on how to analyze all this health information that washes through our bustling lives.

  270. Dr. Eades,

    Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my comment, as well as the questions and comments of others. I really appreciate it.

    Do you advocate humane, ethical means of raising and killing meat, or do you strictly focus on the nutritional/scientific aspect of your work?

    Thanks again to you and Tim.

  271. @Alex

    My pleasure. It’s been a fun and interesting experience.

    I am an absolute advocated of the humane and ethical treatment of animals that provide my food. Which is why I buy grass fed beef and pay the little extra for meat from organically-raised animals. The nice thing about grass fed beef is that it’s often less expensive than non-grass fed because it can be a little tough and tricky to cook therefore reducing demand for it.

  272. This is completely off-topic, but I wasn’t sure where else to post it. So I apologize in advance. Anyway,

    Are you aware (approving) a facebook ad using your name and book to promote someone else’s product? When I saw your book on the ad I clicked the link and the only seeming connection between you and them is “inspired by.” The ad is at:

    [link seen]

    Just wanted you to know.

  273. This article makes sense. When I’m confused about which foods to eat, or not to eat, or when a new fad diet comes out and sounds convincing (How to eat like a yogi and live for 400 years) I ask myself what we would have been eating 7000 years ago as hunter gatherers before the advent of farming. Humans evolved on a hunter gatherer diet and are still designed to be eating those same foods now as very little, if any (maybe even backwards), evolutionary change will have taken place since then. A lot of food allergies and other problems come from foods which have been introduced to our diet since the introduction of farming such as grains, sugar, refined foods etc.

    A northern European hunter gathers diet would have included plenty of meat, especially in the winter months and also any edible plants that where available. The only sugar that would have passed our lips would have been summer fruits i.e. berries etc (very low glycemic index). Our diet would have been high in fat and protein in the form of animal meat (the kind of quality not available in supermarkets today unless you go out and hunt wild animals yourself).

    Tim – Looking forward to your new book coming out. I try to eat most fruit and veges raw and get good ideas on food preparation from the raw food community, however I would like more insight on the best way to prepare meat – what is the effect of high temperature cooking on meats – does it denature the proteins and fats making them unavailable for use by the body or even toxic? Is it best to cook meat at low temperatures or not at all (i.e. sushi)? How do you think our hunter gatherers ancestors prepared and consumed meat?

  274. Thank you Marcie and Anthony for your replies. I’ve already started to lose weight since getting off the carbs totally except for dark leafy greens. My blood sugar is level — no wild swings.

    There was a French Bistro in Washington DC that served up the tastiest steak tartare (seasoned raw beef). Koreans like it too with a raw egg on top and Korean markets will sell the type of beef that is specially prepared for raw chopped steak. The only time I ever had digestive problems from eating raw beef was when I lived in Nairobi, but some good strong fresh Kenyan tea cured it 🙂

  275. @ Dr. Eades, I do believe that historically beef was “aged” before eaten. Also I find that using a good slow cooker with hardwood charcoal tenderizes.

    When I lived in France the beef was tougher than US beef. The best beef steak I ever had was in Venezuela.

    My mom used to buy a cheap cut of beef and pound it and pound flour into it and cook what she called a “Swiss Steak”. That was in the good old days when the butcher did not trim all the fat off.

    Unless I am quick grilling a thin fatty steak, I never roast or otherwise cook beef at over 250degrees temperature.

    @Anthony: Did you know that grocery store beef has synthetic estrogens? I am wondering how to rid my liver of stored up synthetic estrogens.

  276. Great Article! I am loving the arguments!

    Dr. Eades your the man, I follow your blog and many others ( Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson etc) daily.

    This stuff just makes sense, I don’t know how people can’t wrap their heads around it. Carbohydrates are the only food you could never overconsume in nature because trees/plants only fruit in one season and flower in the next. You can’t pick berries all year round! When snow flys do you know what is in season? MEAT! How do any of you think we survived the Ice Age? Or any other winter for that matter?

    @ all fatphobes

    If cholesterol was so bad for you why would your body produce it? And why would breast milk be loaded with it?? hmmm. All this talk about LDL and HDL cholesterol is bogus too. Yes saturated fat raises LDL…and HDL! And the formation of LDL is “large and fluffy” not small and dense which are the dangerous kind promoted by a high carb diet. LDL (low density lipo-protein, not actually cholesterol) play a vitally important job by sending cholesterol (a major structural building block for cell membranes and sex hormones) to tissues. They don’t just look for the nearest place to stick and kill you!

    Have any of you heard of the essential carbohydrates? Me neither! Last time I checked there were only essential amino acids and essential fatty acids!

    Too think you can substitute real food (meat) with “food products” (soy dogs, and other vegetarian garbage) that come in a box is borderline insane.

    Please tell me you guys don’t eat the “heathly choice” margarine too?

    The only person that is going to benefit from good health is YOU! These great studys that you fall back on are usually paid for by big drug companys and other organizations. They get the scientists to find what they want and it makes them money. Its all about the money. Food Guides? Money.

    margarine+high carb diet+birth control= Cancer

  277. @Michael R. Eades

    “You wrote: “About 80% of the rain forest that has disappeared have done so because of the meat industry.” I would love to see proof of this from primary sources. Until I do, though, I’m going to continue to seriously doubt it.

    Having said that, I do recommend and prefer grass-fed beef for many reasons besides saving the rain forest.”

    Its not very hard to find “proof” that the rain forests are being cut down mainly because of meat production. It is ranching and feed production, soy. Just google around, its not a secret. I think we dont want to admit that our eating habits are one of a handful of main reasons we are destroying the planet. Unless your cow is gracing local grass, we are pretty much eating the rainforest every time we take a bite of beef.

    Here is the first report google showed me: http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/international/press/reports/amazon-cattle-footprint-mato.pdf

    Now you give me “proof” that they are burning down the rainforest for other reasons. Yes logging for wood, but they would not put the forest on fire to do that would they.

  278. @ Kai, Dr. Eades has repeatedly specified grass-fed beef. I know personally that there is a lot of grassfed beef in South America, and I can purchase grassfed beef at my upscale grocery store or at a local butcher.

    You are right they have no business growing soy in the rainforest lands. Soy is overrated as a food item in my humble opinion.

  279. @ Jeanie, yes, Enova oil is made from soy and canola and I would not trust it for that reason. Besides it is becoming ecologically and politically incorrect to keep supporting the soy and canola industries for the same reason Kai mentioned earlier.

    I just discovered at my grocer an oil that contains virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil and flaxseed oil, and it seems pretty good, and the price is comparable to olive oil. Although a really good, fresh harvested, Spanish extra virgin olive oil cannot be beat for flavor 🙂

  280. It is great to see this info on your blog. It gives me an even better reason to trust your other info in other areas. I too have read the body building books that say, “no fat” or only olive and canola. It makes be have less trust for their other advice, when I read that.

    Yay! I have been telling this to my friends and family and they just think I am nuts. It is truly sad that people are dying of degenerative diseases because this info is not being allowed in the mainstream or taught in the medical schools.

    Have you looked into the benefits of Raw Milk (http://www.realmilk.com/), heard of the Weston A. Price Foundation (http://www.westonaprice.org/) or read Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (http://www.amazon.com/Nourishing-Traditions-Challenges-Politically-Dictocrats/dp/0967089735)?

    Weston A. Price wrote “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” in 1939 and he talks about saturated fats and more.

    Another good one is “Eat Fat, Lose Fat” (http://www.amazon.com/Eat-Fat-Lose-Healthy-Alternative/dp/0452285666/ref=pd_sim_b_3) which is based on the research of Price and the WAP Foundation.

  281. @Colleen

    “Did you know that grocery store beef has synthetic estrogens?”

    >>>Conventional meat fed corn, soy, other grains/beans, antibiotics, and growth hormones- has all sorts of fun surprises. It’s kind of like those “wonder balls” I had as a kid, you never know what’s gonna be inside! =)

    ” I am wondering how to rid my liver of stored up synthetic estrogens.”

    A. Stop eating foods that don’t belong in your diet (grains, beans, animals fed grains and beans if possible, processed foods…etc).

    B. Start eating foods that do belong in your diet

    C. Strength train once or twice a week

    While a bit over simplistic, your options beyond this are pretty limited imo. However, this should take you a long way.

    -Anthony

  282. The Inuit can go months without eating anything but meat and animal fat. Stefansson, the Arctic explorer, went nine years in total with nothing else during his explorations.

    When he came back, he replicated his experiments and ate only meat and fat for a year under medical supervision. And he lived to tell about it.

  283. @ Dr. Eades

    Your comments here on Tim’s blog inspired me to buy your latest book, which looks great, and I’m anxious to implement. However, one question has come up: I just watched a lecture by Doug McGuff (author of Body By Science) in which he suggested people avoid protein powders because they’re typically high in the types of amino acids that are readily converted to glucose by the liver via glucogensis. The first two weeks of your program involves the heavy use of whey protein powder, so I’m guessing you don’t see this as a problem … why is that?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rz8guULurEw&feature=related

  284. Oh God, these people are funny. I’m just going to address the ecological argument since Dr. Eades can handle the medical stuff. Have any of you ever lived for five minutes outside the city? Do you understand what it takes to live on an entirely plant-based diet, in terms of agricultural techniques and inputs? You have to (1) clear a forest, (2) plow the ground, (3) and keep weeding and killing bugs and other animals until harvest.

    Deforestation is one of the biggest contributing factors to global warming (and yes, I do believe that’s caused by human beings and I just read an article in my relatively conservative local paper indicating that more evidence for that has surfaced), grain agriculture has contributed to some of the biggest desert and near-desert regions in existence and it’s made Iraq into the arid wasteland that most of it is today. You know the cedars of Lebanon? They used to grow in Iraq, so thick the sunlight never reached the forest floor. No more. All gone. Thank you, Fertile Crescent.

    Then there’s the animal-killing thing. If I eat a burger, I’ve killed one cow. If you eat a soy burger, you’ve killed at least an acre of forest along with all its resident fauna.

    Then there’s the arable-land thing. You don’t need cropland to raise food animals; you can raise sheep on rocks and scrubbrush. You can even raise cattle under light tree cover; it’s called silvopasture. But you can’t raise wheat, corn, or soy without the above-mentioned deforestation. They are plants that thrive on disturbed soil and MUST have full sunlight.

    And then there’s my own experience. On a nearly all-meat diet, high in fat, I lose weight (I’m obese), I think better, I’m calmer and more sane. On a grain-based diet, even with the veggies, and even when I tried vegetarian and then vegan eating, I get fatter and I get crazy.

    No contest as far as I’m concerned. If you want to know the score, put your money where your mouth is and become your own guinea pig.

    The worst part of all the dietary comparisons is people compare veganism to the Standard American Diet and present the SAD as “a meat-based diet.” It’s not. It’s a grain-based diet. Go back and take out all the grain and just eat the meat and see what happens. You’ll be in for a shock once your body finishes the metabolic switchover. (That’s the “foggy brain” researchers were talking about when they tried to “prove” Atkins is bad for you. It’s temporary, not permanent.)

  285. The comments have been great and thought-provoking, thank you everyone.

    I buy into eating a paleo diet for the obvious reasons. Most of the readily available information focuses on WHAT hunter-gatherers ate, less so on WHEN they ate it, i.e. what did a typical day/week/month/season/year look like? The season for fruits and vegetables can be quite short, and meat quality/quantity changes across the 4 seasons. Did they eat once a day? Did they fast periodically? etc.

    I’d love to see any comments/references people have.

    Thanks

  286. Just a couple of things noted in going through the massive comments.

    – Someone brought up Seventh Day Adventists. Because they are health conscious (avoid alcohol, tobacco, caffein, etc.) they live longer than average people. You can’t compare them. But, you can compare them to Mormons, who have the same prohibitions, eat meat, and enjoy longer longevity.

    – How ab out take a look at the highest saturated fat consumers on the planet, fully 50% of their energy not just from fat, but sat fat:

    http://freetheanimal.com/2009/01/saturated-fat.html

    (and make sure to follow the links to the source).

    – Finally, here’s mine and my wife’s progress in photos following a high-fat, low-carb diet for some time, now.

    http://freetheanimal.com/2009/09/interim-progress-update.html

    http://freetheanimal.com/2009/09/my-beutiful-wife-progresses.html

    Finally, if you wonder what all the saturated fat (lots of meat, and coconut fat too, and butter, and lard…) has done to my bloodwork:

    LDL: 66

    HDL: 134 (yes, you read that right)

    TRG: 47

  287. @Peter

    “Did they eat once a day? Did they fast periodically?”

    Starvation was a major threat for most of our existence (and indeed, many people today are still starving to death). Considering this, I think the common wisdom of “eat frequently to boost your metabolism” is pretty silly. We ate randomly, and whenever we could. Food was never abundant enough to eat 6 times per day.

    Also, eating frequently keeps your insulin levels chronically spiked- something to think about.

    Finally, I’m sure we “fasted” plenty- probably without much of a say in the matter.

    Personally, I eat once or twice a day, on rare occasions 3.

  288. @Michael R.

    Me “From my perspective, there just doesn’t seem to be evidence for it. A few people a couple decades ago who only ate meat for short time periods. And the inuits, a group of people who we really don’t know that much about.

    On the other hand, there are numerous studies based on data from thousands of people who were vegetrians for most or all of their lives. These people do fine. There just isn’t anything close to the equivalent for an all-meat diet. And scurvy actually serves as counter-evidence.”

    Doc “You have grossly mischaracterized the state of the scientific literature. Just to give you an example of how off your characterization really is, there is an enormous amount of literature from India comparing the health of vegetarians (of which there are millions) to that of non-vegetarians . In virtually every study the non-vegetarians win out, and that includes studies on heart disease and longevity.”

    Could you give an example? I am not convinced these studies exist. Also, the supposed studies you are talking about don’t back up your argument. They are comparing vegetarians with non-vegetarians. An all meat diet isn’t the same as a non-vegetarian diet.

    Here is a study of Seventh-Day-Adventists. Taking confounding factors into consideration like that vegetarians are less likely to smoke, it concludes that vegetarians live 1.5 to 2 years longer. Without taking confounding factors into account, it found the life expectancy of this group was 7.28 years longer for men(83.3) and 4.42 years longer for women(85.7). Read the study: http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/70/3/516S#T2

    And if you would like to look at another study, this paper was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It combines work from five major studies to take a look into the longevity of vegetarians vs. non-vegetarians. With a sample size of 76,172, it concludes that vegetarians have a significantly lower mortality rate and vegans have the same mortality rate as non-vegetarians.

    Read the study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11434797

  289. @Dana I believe they grow all the soy to feed animals for meat production. Not to feed humans. The problem is that we are soooo many people, and instead of growing plants and eating it we grow plants, feed it to animals, then eat the animals. This is about a 10 to 1 extra expense on the (rainforest) land.

  290. There’s this fallacy I keep seeing here that I’d like to comment on: Being a vegan is not necessarily like being a low-carb dieter or following a paleo-diet where you are trying to be as healthy as possible.

    When you study a large group of vegetarians or vegans you’re going to get some who pay a lot of attention to diet and eating healthy. Others just eat however, not caring so long as there are no animal products in what they consume. There are more of the latter group.

    Some people are dietary vegetarians, some are just in it for the animals. The two groups may have different health profiles. Maybe neither group has an optimal or even healthy diet, but it’s going to be different.

    I’ve been a vegan for a year and I’m very health with great vital statistics, but I pay careful attention to my dietary needs. (And to some extent, this is a self-experiment so I’m monitoring things.) But I also know some other vegans whom I refer to as salad and potato chip vegans. Their diets are terrible.

  291. I accidentally switched those links when I was copying and pasting. The second one is about seventh day adventists and the first one is from the American Journal of Medical Nutrition.

    Oh… and good points David T. These studies aren’t comparing vegetarians who are eating right to the general population, they are just comparing people who don’t eat meat to the general population. Despite this, vegs still come out even or ahead.

  292. @ Marcie

    Here is a bit from John Lennon on overpopulation that I have always enjoyed:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yRh5NNiFG0

    I hear about overpopulation occasionally from colleagues and it is really disconcerting. In medieval times such arguments were used to justify more hunting lands for the nobility, and I doubt much has changed (these hunting lands now referred to as national parks or wildlife preserves).

    I recently took a trip through Indiana and Illinois…not recommended for a low-carb/primal advocate! The endless cornfields are highly upsetting. Thankfully, I can fall back on descriptions of the prairie by the likes of Washington Irving and George Catlin.

    I think about this quote from Crazy Horse whenever anyone comes down on me for being an unabashed meat lover: “You tell us to work for a living but the Great Spirit did not make us to work but to live by hunting. You white men can work if you want to. We do not interfere with you, and again you say, why do you not become civilized? We do not want your civilization”

  293. @ Anthony, I have to agree with you because since I started disciplining myself on a meat/fat/greens diet with no other carbs I never feel hungry in the same way I did when I ate more carbs, sugars. My blood sugar never spikes. Can’t say I never feel hungry, but, how can I explain? It’s a “good” feeling, not a real uncomfortable one. I do take chromium picolinate so maybe that helps curb the cravings. I also drink plenty of water. I have not deliberately changed by exercise routine but I do find myself wanting to get out more and take longer walks. But I am also on a path of clearing out the subconscious mind and I think wholistically it’s all coming together for me.

  294. @ Rick, it seems to me that the biggest worry is that the aging US population will find out that there is not enough social security for them and that might be an inducement to hurry them to their graves. I believe there are other stupid thinks about “overpopulation” too, but people like this have a tendency to fall into the graves they think they are digging for others. I think there should be more people on this planet along with some really cool technology that already exists. We now have every technnology that is needed to create a green AND “overpopulated” planet 🙂

  295. Tim,

    Glory! Glory! Halleluiah! Thanks so much for this post and for introducing me to the Eades’ work. I grabbed the book and am on day one today.

    I’m in the holistic health field and go mildly insane with how misinformed many people in the field are regarding diet. Vegetarianism and Veganism are always waved around as wise health choices. As a long time fan of Weston A. Price’s work (and those who are inspired by him, like Nina Planck), I always want to see more in the media regarding the saturated-fat-is-bad myth. Many thanks for this piece.

  296. @A-ron: “Every other animal on this planet, with the exception of humans, are born with all the tools they need to eat.”

    Every other animal on the planet also shits in the woods, runs around naked, and avoids the use of the Internet.

    So what are you doing commenting on an online forum?

    “Our appetite isn’t stirred when we see a pasture filled with cattle.”

    Mine is. Although to be fair, it is also stirred when I see pigs, fish, chicken, ducks, oysters, etc. etc.

  297. I reckon it would be really useful if all posters provided details of their age, height and weight.

    I have been folowing a paleo regime for 3 years. No sugar, no grains, no potatoes. No processed food. Lost 50 pounds, looking to gain 7+ pounds of muscle.

    Age:55 Height:6 feet 0 inches Weight: 140 pounds

  298. Funny personal anecdote: I was on a golf trip with some friends, and one evening they all chipped in $10 if I would eat a baby fist-sized piece of *pure fat* from the prime rib we were eating. I ate it just for the stories.

    But the next day I played the golf round of my life. I had never – and have never since – experienced such mental clarity and muscle control before. I couldn’t help but think that it had something to do with the chunk of fat that I had eaten. I don’t know – maybe the fat was full of a cocktail of steroids and antibiotics that the cow had eaten – or maybe it was just the saturated fat?

  299. This is hardly scientific…far from actually, but during my years as a teenager and young adult, I would watch my grandmother eat the most fat filled pieces of meat and tell me they were the best part as I watched in near disgust, trimming my fat while attempting to only eat the lean cuts.

    My grandmother spent a good part of her life smoking and drinking socially, (she owned a bar), survived cancer, and never feared scientific trends.

    In two weeks she will turn 87 and, as my girlfriend who just met her for the first time on Sunday said, “she REALLY doesn’t look or act 87. She’s amazing.” She handles the accounting for the apartment she lives in and volunteers daily for two organizations.

    I’m not saying that saturated fats are a miracle cure. What I am saying, and I do believe, is that their is value in every foodsource we are capable of acquiring.

  300. One study says this, one study says that, throw in another that says something else…obviously we don’t have the answers yet. It seems the only safe bet for losing weight is keeping calories in check and exercising as much as possible.

  301. Beware Sugar…..

    Put simply, refined sugar overstimulates the hormone insulin, which in turn stimulates HMG-CoA reductase (an enzyme responsible for cholesterol synthesis inside each cell). As insulin speeds up the enzyme activity within the cholesterol manufacturing pipeline, it leads to a build up and surplus within each cell. At this point there is no need for the cell to retrieve any from the bloodstream and cholesterol begins to build up in the blood. Reduce insulin and immediately the signal that causes an increase in cholesterol synthesis is silenced and the cells begin to harvest the necessary cholesterol directly from the blood, causing blood levels to drop. Excess insulin also inhibits the release of glucagon. Glucagon’s job is to restore blood sugar levels for optimal brain function. Glucagon inhibits the activity of HMG-CoA reductase. So by increasing the hormone glucagon you decrease the cholesterol producing machinery inside the cells, forcing LDL receptors to rush to the cell surface in an effort to pull cholesterol from the blood and restore the appropriate balance.

  302. i cant believe this post has gotten this much attention…

    you cant argue i dont understand the fuss…

    saturated fat is healthy for you from grassfed beef and sources like raw butter, ghee and tallow, dont argue you can prove it otherwise…so shhhh

    vegetarians are simply confused and hopefully will stay that way because it leave more meat for this girl…so go on being deficien in who knows how many vitamins & minerals

    and one thing about the vegan studies… they compare vegetarians to your average joe… your average joe is like 10 times more likely to drink/smoke and not exercise whatsoever and eat processed food. OF COURSE there will not be convincing evidence somewhere in there for vegetarians

  303. Awesome post. Thanks for putting some attention to this topic. It needs to go mainstream-hopefully will soon. Guess what has been helping me lose my baby weight? (I just gave birth to twins) Coconut milk and steak! No saturated fat deprivation here. Thanks Tim.

  304. Even though majority seem to opose I dare to say: Do not increase your saturated fat intake considerably. There is no controlled, prospective, long term, large scale data on saturated fat that would show any major benefit on HUMAN health. In contrast, there is wealth of data on trans fats (negative effects on health) and unsaturated fat (mainly positive) in long term clinical settings.

    Look what rather liberal Linus Paulig Institute state on SFA at Oregon Uni:

    http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/lpirx2.html

  305. I’m glad to see this topic covered. I came across the Weston A. Price website a while back, and they blew me away with their arguments in favor of saturated fat consumption. Their point is that people have always lived healthily on the traditional western diet despite its saturated fat (butter, animal fats, dairy, meat,…). They also mention the generally accepted idea that cancer and heart problems were scarce before the 1920s. Now, the popular explanation is that people simply didn’t live long enough to be affected. However, if you look into it (just google it), you’ll find that life expectancy at the time was almost the same as today if you survived childhood.

  306. This morning I ate (lamb with dandelion greens) and then again right now close to 4pm (sole filet with zucchini and a big dose of olive oil). Sugar level very stable the whole time. A slight urge, left over from the ole days to eat some sweet pastry, but it was controllable.

    Okay, now that I am nicely ketogenic on a meat lover’s diet I am focusing attention on my vegan hubby. Since he is a “B” blood type he has tolerance for dairy products, including whey powders.

    Now he is going to tweak his diet to attempt to go ketogenic. That will mean a no-meat, ovo-lacto vegan diet, eggs and cheeses allowed. He’s cutting the sugars and processed carbs. Ever notice how even adults can go a little “mental” when they over indulge in the processed sugars? I’m adding sublingual B-12 to his stash of vitamins/minerals.

  307. @ Reijo, It is really not difficult to control saturated fats — my body tells me when I’ve had enough, believe me! One can eat a lot more carbs and sugars before the body gets the “I’ve had enough” signal through.

    Once a body is ketogenic it will up the demand for oils and fats to keep itself fueled, but, remember one is cutting the carbs to almost nil. That sickening feeling that one gets when they’ve eaten too much oil or fat is a natural stopping point. The body knows!! 🙂

  308. The first time I lived in Caracas, Venezuela, the diet consisted of black beans and chicken and some corn. When years later I went back to Caracas I noticed that people were getting fatter and I noticed that they had started putting a lot of pasta on the plate too. Just an observation.

  309. Well, I have done this diet, and it is great. My blood sugars got more in line so I didn’t have to use so much insulen. My cholestrol normalized within a few months, and so did my sky high triglycerides. I have more energy, have lost weight.

    This is much the story of anyone I have talked to who actually tried the diet. I figure, if you are healthier, and your numbers are correcting themselves, you are the study. What other scientific proof do you need.

  310. @ Doc, who raised the question about research supporting the idea that saturated fats are actually healthy: there’s at least one current researcher doing a lot of work in this area – Dr. Jeffrey Volek at the University of Connecticut. I’m sure there are others.

    Part of the issue is that, with any scientific theory, it takes quite a while before the established, widely-held theory (in this case, that following a low-fat, high-carb, moderate protein diet is the healthiest) can be overturned. Scientists are still people, and it is not easy for any us to just give up on long-held beliefs even when the contrary evidence is compelling. Read Thomas Kuhn’s “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” for much more on this topic.

    The truth is that high-fat and even high-saturated fat eating is nothing new. Think of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Their diets were mostly made up of the animals, fish, and birds they could catch and whatever edible leafy vegetation, fibrous tubers, and fruit/nuts they happened upon. Some native peoples like the Arctic Inuit and the Masai of Africa still followed exactly this kind of diet well into the last century without suffering cardiovascular disease.

    The whole concept of planting a field of wheat or corn, harvesting it, and then milling and cooking the grain to make it digestible is only roughly 10,000 years old.

    I think the worst thing is that our modern, Western, over-processed, chemical-laden diets (including eating meat from ruminant animals who are fed processed grain instead of the grass they would eat in the wild) is leading to whole body inflammation which in turn leads to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disorders, etc.

    Remember, all those blood test indicators such as LDL cholesterol, Lp(a), homocysteine, etc are really just markers of inflammation. They keep coming up with drugs to diminish the SIGNS of inflammation instead of treating the inflammation itself. If once a week someone punched your arm really hard and it caused an ugly bruise, would you just apply makeup to keep the bruise invisible until the next punch caused a fresh bruise, or would you try to avoid getting punched again?

  311. Hi Tim,

    I REally like this article. It really also explains the benefits and importance of eating.

    I, having a loss of appetite thing going on, due to my disease, have to force myself to eat. And fats… really are important to some people. Some people don’t realize how many dangerously medically underweight people out there, compared to obese or “medically obese”.

    Brandon

  312. Tyson: Yes. Separating out egg whites is a waste of time and money. All the good stuff is in the yolk, and I don’t just mean saturated fats and protein. The yolk contains Choline, Lutein, Omega-3, pretty much the only food source of Vitamin D, and so forth.

    Eggs are good for you, and the free-range, organic, humanely treated varieties aren’t that expensive when compared to say, grass-fed, organic beef.

    I say this as a vegan who may soon become ovo-vegetarian.

  313. The reason a high protein – high fat diet causes weightloss is because meats high in fat provide energy and mobilize stored fat in the body (glucogon at work) At the same time, with fewer meals coming from high glycemic foods, your insulin levels stay low (insulin tells the body to store fat). If you want to get really fat, add a ton of meat and fat to your dinner but combine it with a fat bowl of pasta or a lot of potatos. Or just have pasta and potatoes for every meal and wash it down with a soda.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that only a percentage of the fat in a steak is sataurated. The rest of it is polyunsturated and monounsaturated.

    It’s true that the fatty meats you get at the grocery store are hard on the planet and that’s nothing to scoff at. But grass-fed meats are healthier for you because they contain higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. Corn fed CAFO meat has almost no omega 3 fatty acid.

    Omega 3 fatty acid is very important. High ratios of Omega 6 to Omega 3 have been linked to several ailments. Google that. Ideally we should be 1:1 and studies have shown that many americans are above 10:1 (omega 6 : omega 3). Any high protein, high fat diet should be supplemented with a good (seriously, just spend the extra few bucks) fish oil. Actually all diets should be supplemented with good fish oil to get that ratio closer to 1:1. It helps with pain from inflammation as well.

  314. @ Peter, RE the practice of planting and eating grains. IMHO it is a practice that is always associated with some type of feudal system: Corn is more economical and keeps the workers docile. As long as a master/slave based mindset/economy exists people will continue to be educated that grains are wonderful. The “Lords of the Manor” never lacked for meat (i.e. “game”). Ahhhh, I guess they did not know about the “Great God, Karma” 🙂 Looks to me like the movers and shakers on this planet are trying to solve a problem (for themselves) and simply creating more problems (for themselves).

    A lot of the “necessary items” we purchase are made by factory workers in China and I’m probably right to guess that the mainstay of their diet is white rice. I hope they get a lot of good fish foods in their diet, but what’s your guess that they really do?

    It beats me why the “Lords of the Manor” wanted the Irish to grow potatoes??? Potatoes are nightshade family and when I stopped eating them all my joint pains disappeared.

    I’m loving the new and energetic me on this ketogenic diet 🙂 Corresponding to this higher increase in proteins I’m also increasing my uptake of available calcium.

  315. RE vegans and meat eaters, to each his own truths.

    I think the COMMON GROUND = KETOGENIC. Both Vegans and Meat Eaters can go ketogenic.

    Hubby is an ovo/lacto vegetarian and he is going to start training his body onto a ketogenic pathway. It simply means that he will have to up his intake of oils and butters and dairy fats and egg yolks and nut butters.

  316. You know, the only medical study I’ve ever been able to find stating that trans-fats (poly unsaturated fats) were unhealthy was a single study about 6 years ago with a total group of 12 people. Split into four groups – that’s 3 people per test group.

    With such a small test group, the study had results that were pure nonsense – their confidence intervals included negative values of cholesterol in the statistics. That’s right, some people could have anti-cholesterol according to the study.

    However, because of the direction the mean went, the study broadly proclaimed that a diet high in trans-fats caused 50% higher cholesterol in subjects.

    I take most dietary things with a grain of salt these days.

  317. I’ve been following this for a while. I’ve been low carb for a couple of years and recently started the 6 week “cure” diet. I’m on day11 and feeling great! Tonight’s dinner was a nice thick pork chop with a small salad.

    RE: saturated fat, I urge all to check out Tom Naughton’s movie Fathead (http://fathead-movie.com/) it’s funny and informative and does a great job of explaining how the whole fat-phobia got started.

    RE: eggs. What you often hear is that all the protein is in the whites and only fat in the yolks. This is not true! Gram per gram there is almost as much protein in the yolk as the white! And almost all of the other nutrients are in the yolk! http://www.examiner.com/x-15820-Raleigh-Low-Carb-Examiner~y2009m7d23-Consider-the-egg

    Low carb and paleo is the way to go!

  318. @Kadavy

    Seth Roberts, a blogger who participates in the Bay Area’s Quantified Self meetup group, has detailed self-experimentation records showing radically improved balance & reflexes correlating with increased intake of healthy fats.

  319. Some what you say is true. You should take a gander at PCRM.org. The physicians committee for resposible medicine.I think the short term an all meat diet gives desires results but not long term. You don’t even use the bathroom as much as you should that let’s you know this diet will make you full of…well it.

  320. Ok I am going to do it. I stepped on the scale today and I am at my heaviest weight ever. I need to try something so I might as well try this and see how fast I can loose 20-30 pounds. If I can get down to 180 then I will be very happy.

  321. Personally, I like your bean-city diet … cause I feel full longer and beans are freakin cheap. Meat diets are nice , but you have to be a best-selling author to afford to eat grass fed beef for every meal .

    So. Eat some meat… Tim eats meat , I am gonna eat meat.

    OR… look at Oprah. She eats no meat. And she eats so-called healthy food cause she has Dr Phil and that fitness dude and about ten or twelve personal trainers. And she still looks like a cow. As a matter of fact, Dr Phil has a health book out .. and he looks like a cow too.

    So… go figure. Eat tims meat.

  322. If you were to come across a well-conducted study that contradicted this theory, would you change your mind, or are you committed to this idea?

  323. RE Constipation on an all-meat diet. Yes, I acknowledge it can be an issue. I make sure to drink plenty of water in the morn about one hour before I eat and that seems to take care of that. But, there are always dried prunes….. 🙂

    My girlfriend is on an all meat diet, but she also does Yoga exercises that get her to move the body in such a way as to assist the perstaltic action of the gut and she never has any constipation issues.

    Thirdly, one should be eating some leafy greens too, but I found that lettuces grown in a chemical laden environment actually CONTRIBUTE to constipation! Go figure!

    Happy meat eating (lamb is best!) 🙂

  324. Tim

    A while back you promised a post on everything you knew about cooking steak. Still hungering for it.

    Rafael