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Is saturated fat really bad for you? by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by *GG*, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

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    (NaturalNews) New research presented at the 100th annual meeting of the American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS) in Orlando, Fla., suggests that saturated fat may not be the health villain that mainstream medicine has insisted it is for the past several decades. On the contrary, saturated fat from the proper sources is actually a vital nutrient required by the body for maintaining good health.

    Published in the October issue of the journal Lipids, the research calls on the medical industry to reevaluate its position on saturated fats based on actual science rather than popular superstition.
    Researchers say that the negative view of saturated fats is rooted in an oversimplified, pseudo-scientific understanding of the way fats work in the body.

    "The relationship between dietary intake of fats and health is intricate, and variations in factors such as human genetics, life stage and lifestyles can lead to different responses to saturated fat intake," explained J. Bruce German, Ph.D., professor and chemist at the University of California at Davis . "Although diets inordinately high in fat and saturated fat are associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk in some individuals, assuming that saturated fat at any intake level is harmful is an over-simplification and not supported by scientific evidence."

    Faulty thinking about saturated fats has caused many supposed health experts to redirect people towards other types of fats, including mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats. While these other fats are not inherently bad, replacing necessary saturated fats entirely with these leads to other health problems, including a heightened risk of cardiovascular illness.

    "In times of stress, the heart actually draws upon the reserve of saturated fat surrounding it for energy," explains Pat Sullivan in his book Wellness Piece by Piece: How a Successful Entrepreneur Discovered the Pieces to His Chronic Health Puzzle. "Sixty percent of the brain is made up of saturated fat. And saturated fats actually lend a hand with the development and structure of every cell in the body as each cell's membrane is comprised entirely of fat."

    Some excellent sources of healthy saturated fat include nuts, coconut oil, wild fish and grass-fed meats.

    Sources for this story include:

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_relea...
     
  2. liverock

    liverock Senior Member

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    The trouble is most saturated fats in the standard diet are the inflammation producing omega 6 grain fed dairy fats found in cheesburgers, bacon products and other processed foods and they do cause heart disease. How many people in the population use coconut oil and eat grass fed meat?
     
  3. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Nothing in this article is new. Its all old old old, at least to us biochemists. Sure, there might be some bells and whistles to the research, updated discoveries - I don't have time to keep up to date. Saturated fats are not essential fatty acids. This is because the body can make them. However, if the dietary intake is too low the body will have emergency reactions - such as really severe headaches. For me this is triggered at about 2% dietary saturated fat (measured by energy, not by weight). I advocate eating meat. All meat contains some saturated fat. Vegetarians can choose coconut oil. Some tropical fish with also have lots of inflammatory omega-6 as liverock alluded to. Beef fat also contains these omega-6s. Deep sea fish is high omega-3, not omega-6, but it also has little saturated fats. This is all about balance - any extreme diet, any at all, is likely to produce problems eventually.

    Saturated fat promotes brain health, and cholesterol. To a heart attack victim the cholesterol sounds bad. To someone with CFS, Cheney has been saying for years that it is a good thing - it has antioxidant properties. It is oxidized cholesterol that is dangerous after all; but we will oxidize it in large quantity, so I am wondering if Cheney is correct on this, or if I am misunderstanding him.

    Some patients swear by coconut oil. I swear by extra virgin olive oil, which is a monounsaturated fat with antioxidant properties. I think replacing a lot of the dietary fat intake with extra virgin olive oil (locally made, be very sure of your source) can make a huge difference over time, and there lots of evidence in the research to back this up, just not a lot on CFS. As extra virgin olive oil contains some omega-6 fats, it prevents omega-6 deficiency. Add a little fish oil, and meat, and all the fat bases are covered. As I said before, if you don't eat any meat products, not even dairy, fish or eggs, then coconut is probably a good thing - but I would eat coconut before I would use the oil, unless I was cooking an Asian dish that benefits from coconut oil. Quality of coconut oil is another story, and not one I have well researched.

    Some of the problems from monounsaturated fats may be from eating too much canola oil and cheap peanut oil, particular the kinds that come in plastic bottles. Not all monounsaturated fats have equal value. Cheap is usually nasty in this area. A good second choice to extra virgin olive oil is cold pressed macadamia or avocado oil. Both are expensive.

    Whenever thinking about diet, there is one word that should be kept in mind: balance. This is why I have worries about people with severe MCS. Anybody who has to drastically alter their diet to eat is going to have major problems eventually, and I wish I had a good solution but I don't know enough about MCS to even advise properly on this issue.

    Bye
    Alex
     
  4. guest

    guest Guest

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    Is there a problem with peanut creme that contains no hydrogenated oil? Is a normal burger bad if it contains no cheese?
     
  5. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi Diesel,

    The real answer is a question: to whom and in what context? The direct answer can be yes or no to your question, depending on circumstances. I realize your question is a little rhetorical, but I thought it worth commenting on.

    Peanuts products often have very low levels of neurotoxin contaminatino: its inherent to peanuts. It would take a lifetime of eating peanuts in high quantities to have a real problem however, unless there is some additional reasons. If the peanut product is heated, then it is likely that it contains some trans fats, but not a lot. Since the fat is mainly monounsturated, I would say that mostly it is neutral to your health rather than good or bad. If you are living on peanut butter, however, I would say you have a problem, or will eventually. I would also know what is done to it to turn it from peanut to peanut creme.

    Burgers can be good or bad, depending. If you make it yourself, to your own needs, with good ingredients, I would say usually good. If it is made commercially, they use nasty oils and flavour additive, and so on, usually bad. In between is a huge range. However, if you have a rare genetic disorder that requires 5000 calories a day just to survive, then eating ten burgers a day might be a good thing. If it contains lots of salad, and hence lots of antioxidants, its probably a good thing. It all depends on the details.

    Losing the cheese could be bad if yo need calcium. I think the point of the saturated fat article was less that sats are bad, than that if something has a problem every guru suggests avoiding that food, rather than taking a moderation approach. If its worse for you, eat less. If its better, eat more. Avoid extremes.

    Which is why I emphasize balance, and balance can only be determined when you take the individual into account.

    In the last ten minutes I read a thread promoting a high carb diet, and another promoting a low carb diet. Both could work in the right circumstances. I am more interested in understanding the circumstances.

    Bye, Alex

     
  6. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    the famous dr atkins, founder of the atkins diet which is low carb and can be high in saturated fat said that his diet lowers cholesterol but said it wasnt bad for us and we should be worried about triglcyerides which are blood fats. if u ever go on a low carb diet, u will find that it greatly decreases triglcyeride levels. My hdl has always been good and ldl have always been questionable and worse on a conventional type diet with carbs, but low carb has always kept my triglycerol levels low. My wife had high cholesterol and trigl and went on low carb diet and all her numbers improved to normal, but as most females struggle to eat meat all the time and go for the chocolates, she didnt last long on the diet and is now on cholesterol meds.
     
  7. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    i agree we are all different especially with the help of cfs, but all we can do is throw our own experiences out there for others to learn from. THats interesting diesel, how your triglyerides were low on a high carb diet. I know lipids are used for cell membranes and to make hormones, i wonder if having cfs that there is a demand for these lipids to replace hormones and cells etc and some of us end up with low cholestrol and others over produce it to help repair these things.

    cheers!!!
     
  8. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

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    I'm a great supporter of a balanced diet (ie the right diet for you as an individual).

    We all need a little fat - preferable healthy fats.

    Alex has said it all & very well well indeed.

    We are all individuals, with different needs, but overall a little of everything is better than too much of the wrong thing. But exercise helps too.

    Despite my less than optimum diet since stopping work, my recent test results for cholesterol & blood sugar were the same or better than when I was working.

    My blood sugar is in the normal range for the first time in 4 years! And my HDL & triglycerides are not too bad either. My good to bad cholesterol ratio has improved.

    My Dr puts it down to reduced stress. I put it down to walking more regularly (& reduced stress). I still eat plenty of fish, walnuts & some red meat. I have also added a few brazil nuts to boost my selenium intake. I have tried some organic sausages & minced beef to try & lower to food budget $$$, but I'm afraid they didn't go down too well. I only really eat fried food 2-3 times a year when I eat fish & chips when out. I NEVER fry food at home & haven't for over 25 years. We rarely (if ever) ate fried food as children, so I guess healthy habits started when we were young in our family.
     

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