which fats should i be eating?

Posted on October 16th, 2012

Heaps of you have asked me to do a post that spells out what fats to eat, and when and how. So here we go.

coconut butter: a recipe from my I Quit Sugar Cookbook

First, let’s acknowledge the information out there is conflicted. More and more the scientists and chefs and wellness nuts are agreeing: the fats we’ve been told to eat for the past 50 years – the poly-unsaturated, so-called “vegetable” ones – are, in fact, the worst stuff we can put in our bodies. And the fats we’ve been told to never touch – the saturated ones – are actually the healthiest, safest and, in fact, are the least “fattening” (if you’re not eating a sugar and carb-heavy diet while also eating fat).

Learn more by reading my post on how the science now shows saturated fat is good for us.

I’ve been following the debates for a bit, weighing up what’s right. Here are some of the issues explained and a rundown on how I eat my fat:

some science to get started

Whether a fat is safe to eat is based on two things:

  1. it’s smoke point (higher the better)
  2. it’s stability (the more stable the better), which is determined by what kind of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen bonds it has.

Smoke points explained:

All fats are made up of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon but arranged in different orders. Each carbon atom is bonded to two other carbon atoms, and the more carbon atoms in a fatty acid, the longer it will be. Ergo short and long chains.

Longchain fatty acids = higher melting/smoke point

The more refined the oil, the higher the higher melt or smoke point, which means the oil is much better for you. A fat is no longer good for consumption after exceeding it’s smoke point, as it begins to break down, and releases toxic fumes and free radicals. The longer it takes the oil to smoke, the better.

Stability explained:

Chains with carbon atom bonded to two hydrogen atoms = a saturated fat (each carbon molecule is “saturated” with hydrogen) = more stable = solid at room temperature.

Chains with has carbon bonded to only one hydrogen and double bonded to another carbon = monounsaturated fat = not so stable = liquid at room temperature.

Chains with has carbon bonded to only one hydrogen but with several double bonds = a polyunsaturated fat = very unstable = liquid at room temperature.

I mostly eat saturated fat

We are mostly made up of saturated fat. This is what we’re meant to eat. Saturated fats are crucial for absorbing vitamins, calcium uptake, immune function, and cell membrane structure. Eating the right saturated fats lead to increased tolerance to the sun, skin issues like acne or eczema clear up, drastically increased energy, absence of food cravings, and peaceful sleep. And they can make you lose weight. Yes. That’s been my experience since I’ve upped my saturated fat levels.

I eat meat fat (chicken skin and pork crackling) and lots of coconut products.

I cook with bacon lard (left over from frying bacon), coconut oil and ghee

I eat a little monounsaturated fats

These should never be heated to high temperatures as this can cause breakdown and free radicals. Check out my chat with David Gillespie on this here.

I eat (cold/unheated) olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil.

I cook olive oil at medium temperatures only (not frying).

However, I do cook with macadamia oil (which has a very high smoke point).

I avoid polyunsaturated fats

These are the so-called vegetable oils, though they’re actually from grains and beans. They go rancid easily and break down into free radicals when heated.

Worse, most of these oils go through a hydrogenation process to make them last as long as the saturated fats,  but this very process makes them basically unusable to the body, causing all kinds of health problems.

I don’t add omega oils

We should be eating the omegas – Omega 6 (found in grains, corn, and animals fed grains and corn, corn and soybean oil) and Omega 3 (found in fish, nuts etc) in a 3:1 ratio. Sadly, most people today consume a ratio of 35:1. The fix to this issue? We’re told to eat Omega 3 supplements. As I discuss with David Gillespie here, this is madness. It doesn’t work. Far better to cut our Omega 6 intake instead.

Also, Omega 3 oils we’re told to eat, like flaxseed, are very unstable and turn rancid fast. Although there does seem to be some worth to the argument that Krill oil is a good way to go.

I personally don’t take these supplements – I eat more fish and nuts and cut out the processed grains.

I don’t touch transfats

These are unsaturated fats that have been turned into much more dangerous fats by changing the placement of the hydrogen atoms in the molecule. These fats are able to be absorbed by individual cells and mess up the function of the cell.

I will eat sugar before I eat transfats…which says a lot.

For some extra reading, you might like to check out this great interview with the authors of a new book “Why Women Need Fat,”  Steven J.C. Gaulin, an evolutionary biologist, and William D. Lassek, a retired doctor of public health at the University of Pittsburgh. It gives a cheery take on fat and the differences between the ways women and men gain weight.

Some bits I liked:

Why women put on weight after a few kids:

“Interestingly, human brain size plays a big role in why women need fat and why they tend to gain weight after having children. Humans have ridiculously big brains, which makes it more difficult to give birth to our infants. While chimps, orangutans and gorillas can literally sleep through a birth, human births, especially first births, are typically more than a day of very difficult labor. Women tend to weigh less before they have had their first baby because with a first infant, evolutionarily, it pays not to grow a baby that is too large. They can get stuck in the birth canal. It’s not so much of a problem for us in 21st-century North America because most women have fairly ready access to cesarean section. But for 99.99 percent of human evolution, it was a really big problem. The result of natural selection is that women tend to be lighter before they have a child because they need their first infant to be smaller in order to survive childbirth. Each infant that a woman has remodels the pelvis so that each subsequent infant can grow somewhat bigger. There is a positive correlation between birth order and birth weight. So the way to grow a bigger infant is for the mother to have more fat on her body.”

On the “polyunsaturated explosion”:

“Two people (exerted) a very big influence on our national diet. One was coming from an economic perspective and the other was coming from (what he believed) was a nutritional perspective. After Dwight Eisenhower had a major heart attack, when the American public became much more focused on heart health and nutrition, a popular nutritionist by the name of Ansel Keys made a lot of impact. He was committed to the notion that saturated fat was the culprit in the heart disease epidemic in the U.S. He advised Americans to replace saturated fat with polyunsaturated fats, in particular corn and soybean oils. Meanwhile Earl Butz, Nixon’s secretary of agriculture, had been tasked to get food prices lower. He decided to heavily subsidize and commoditize corn and soybeans in order to make them really cheap. So corn and soybeans became the basis of our entire food production system. And it continues today. The amount of these oils in the American diet increases significantly every year.

Why omega-6 is to blame for unnatural fat gain

It’s not bad to eat grains, it’s not bad to eat corn, and it’s not bad to eat soybeans. What is bad is that food processors extract and concentrate these oils from plants. In an ear of corn there isn’t that much corn oil, but when you subject it to industrial processing and extract everything but the oil, now you’ve got a lot of omega-6. It’s this heavy industrial processing of seed crops that makes our diet so unnatural. Omega-6s make us fat in a variety of ways. They promote fat storage. Omega-6 is also the precursor for certain signaling molecules called endocannabinoids. Will likes to call them the body’s home-grown version of marijuana. Endocannabinoids give you the munchies just like cannabis does. So the omega-6s are telling the body, “Store the fat you have.” And they are also telling the body, “Eat more, I’m hungry!

How to eat to not put on weight:

Start eating the kind of diet that drastically reduces the amount of polyunsaturated omega-6s in the diet. The best way to do that is to stop eating processed food and to avoid commercially fried foods because they are always fried in these omega-6 fats. Potato and corn chips, for example, are a huge contributor of omega-6s in the diet. There is more than a gram of omega-6 in every single potato chip that a person eats.

And if you’d like to get hold of my I Quit Sugar Cookbook, simply click on the button below.

Over and out…feel free to add your fatty thoughts below.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • Vee

    What would be the best oil to cook steak in? Butter? For some reason coconut oil and steak just doesn’t do it for me…

    [Reply]

    Kristin Reply:

    I would totally cook a steak in butter (if I had to cook it “in” something that is- I definitely prefer charcoal grilled steaks though!) what more than garlic butter salt & pepper does a good steak need? :D

    [Reply]

    Amy E Reply:

    steak is good cooked in ghee :-)

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    Dwight Reply:

    You might want to also pay attention to the source of your meat if you want to reduce the omega 6′s you are consuming. Most beef in the US is from CAFO (Confined Animal Feedlot Operations) which feed the cattle grains -thereby increasing tremendously the omega 6′s in the meat. Much better (more expensive however) is eating grass-fed beef, which is healthier in other ways also (fewer anti-biotics needed to deal with the sicknesses inherent in eating grains which are unnatural for cattle as well as the stresses of crowding in the CAFO’s which increases disease)…

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    mamagringa Reply:

    I never cook steak in any fat. If the pan or grill is hot enough, you won’t need it. :)

    [Reply]

  • http://www.pagesoflostness.wordpress.com Bonnie

    Thanks for this very helpful post! I have been working hard on trying to incorporate healthy oils/ fats into my diet…haven’t gone as far as cutting sugar yet but we will see. I was wondering: I do a lot of baking, and, if the the recipe calls for oil instead of butter, then which oil would you recommend? I usually use rice bran oil but I see now that it is on the no-go list!

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    Naz Reply:

    Bonnie for baking I usually use coconut oil.

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  • Laura

    I am also wondering about the rice bran oil as it does have a high smoking point… but still not a good one?

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  • Emily Peck

    This is great, thanks Sarah. But everyone please don’t use palm oil! Stick to coconut!! Palm oil is causing the extinction of the Orangutan!

    http://www.orangutans.com.au/Orangutans-Survival-Information/About-Palm-Oil.aspx

    Please check all products you buy and boycott palm oil to save this beautiful creature!

    Sorry about that, just an issue I am very passionate about!!

    Love your blog Sarah :)

    [Reply]

    Mia Bluegirl Reply:

    Agree!

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    Elizabeth Reply:

    Double agree!!!

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    Angie Reply:

    Agree agree and again agree.

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  • http://feedthedogwhoblogs.blogspot.com carmel

    “The more refined the oil, the higher melt or smoke point, which means the oil is much better for you.” Is this a typo? Surely it is unrefined oil that is better. And just wondering, if you had to choose between two evils – overheating olive oil OR heating an unsaturated oil – which would you go for?

    [Reply]

    jenna Reply:

    Lots of typos in this article. I’m finding it hard to take her seriously.

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  • http://Www.thesweetestrayofsunshine.blogspot.com Alana

    Brilliant article Sarah. Super helpful and the cheat sheet from balanced bites is great!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.twomoderncavewomen.com.au Two Modern Cavewomen

    I’m going to give this a much more thorough read later on, but I thought I’d pop a quick comment in now. I absolutely LOVE chicken skin, it’s one of life’s simple pleasures, and pork crackling too. I have omitted it from my diet for quite a while now, I may have to slip a little back in.

    I’m going to take a much closer look at Rice Bran Oil. For me, it’s a light flavoured ‘ go to’ oil if something tastes wrong with Olive Oil (and that one is a sometimes food for me) or Coconut Oil (same too). I can tolerate fat at certain levels, and if I have too much, I have digestive issues (but mine’s useless, so it’s to be expected).

    There are some things I just can’t do coconut oil with, baking sweet potato & pumpkin – YUM. White potato – ICK. And Kale Chips too, when they were cold, they made me feel ill, so I used Rice Bran & Olive Oil in 2 batches.

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  • http://www.thekindcleaner.com.au/blog Paul – The Kind Little Blogger

    I just started reading Michael Pollan’s “In Defence of Food”. In this book, Pollan criticises “nutritionism”, an ideology that the value of food is to be determined by the sum of its nutrients. This article reeks of nutritionism. I shall wait until I finish the book to comment further…

    [Reply]

    Two Modern Cavewomen Reply:

    Hi Paul, I haven’t read the book, but I”d be genuinely interested to know why it’s a bad thing to think about the value of the nutrition of food that you eat.

    I’m a big fan of the Teresa Cutter 80/20 approach. You should eat for nutrition 6 days a week and on day 7, 20% should be whatever you want it to be as a treat.

    For people with health issues, which a lot of people on here have, nutrition is VITAL to mending all manner of issues and I’m probably one of hundreds of people on here who can say thigns have improved with better nutrition.

    The human body is an amazing thing and while some people can treat theirs like trash and get away with it, we’re not all built that way.

    [Reply]

    Kate Reply:

    Hi Paul, I’ve read that book and what Pollan means by ‘nutritionism’ is very different to what Sarah is doing above. Pollan criticizes the extent to which common sense has been over-ruled by big food companies trying to tell us that a protein bar is better than eating an egg because it’s high in protein and amino acids but low in cholesterol. That’s what he has a problem with. This stuff in Sarah’s article here is just common sense – it’s just trying to sort out the truth from the marketing mumbo jumbo big food companies try to spew out (for example, that highly refined margarine is safer than pure butter).

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  • http://www.pathtowellness.coma.u Melissa Ambrosini @Path To Wellness

    Awesome post Sarah!

    I also eat a lot of fat and have lost loads of weight from it. Shame there is such a misunderstanding about fats.

    Thanks for doing your part and helping spread the word.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.180nutrition.com.au/blog Guy

    Great post Sarah & a great resource for everyone…

    Simply put, trans fats are hideous! The way I see it is they simply have no place in the human diet with zero health benefits…

    Can you tell I’m not a fan of processed fats? :)

    [Reply]

  • Michelle

    I have followed the IQS 8 week program (I’m now 11 weeks off sugar). I am eating more fat than ever and lost 3 kgs without even trying When I tell people that I lost weight by increasing my saturated fat intake they look at me skeptically. I have never felt more satisfied after eating.

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  • Rachael

    Sarah I do eat this way and have seen this chart before. I have also questioned the author of it on what seems contradictory and that is, coconut oil and butter do not have higher smoke points than the polyunsaturated oils we are supposed to avoid. Can you speak to this contradiction?

    Also curiious as to what bread is pictured above :-).

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  • http://www.healthstartsinthekitchen.com Hayley

    Awesome posting! I shared it on my facebook!! Thanks!

    [Reply]

  • Mia Bluegirl

    Coconut oil has begun to make me quite sick in large quantities. Or even reasonable quantities. Especially on an empty stomach. I have read heaps of anecdotal evidence across the web of people suffering the same symptoms – spike in body temperature, extreme nausea and stomach upset. But no explanation. I would be really curious to know if anyone has experienced similar!

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    Two Modern Cavewomen Reply:

    I have trouble eating it cold, I quite often bake thin sweet potato & pumpkin crisps with it, but I did it with kale once and when they were cold, I felt a little queazy. I’m not sure about the body temp thing though, but the stomach upset I can understand in the wrong person (like me). I’m Cavewoman Jo, but Cavewoman Pru LOVES coconut oil and eats it all the time. Both just become addicted to a relatively unknown brand called Raw Superfoods. We tasted LOADS of them and we both thought this one was nicest. Other brands can make me feel ill, but I can tolerate this one.

    http://www.shopnaturally.com.au/raw-superfoods-coconut-oil.html (that’s my shop, honesty in the plugs here).

    I’ve heard the Loving Earth one is awesome too, as is the Spiral Foods one, but I haven’t had the chance to try those yet. Has anyone else? Everything Loving Earth does is absolutely AWESOME, especially their Luvju chocolate with no sweeteners in them. No sugar, no agave. Loving Earth is everywhere.

    [Reply]

    toni Reply:

    Hi Mia,

    Here is a link to an interesting article written about coconut oil esp in regards to metabolism.

    http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/coconut-oil.shtml

    [Reply]

    Mia Bluegirl Reply:

    Thanks Toni, that is really interesting. With my thyroid disease & gut issues, I am probably a bad candidate for coconut oil!

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    Rose Reply:

    Mia, i can relate. i thought i was the only one with coconut oil issues. people automatically think i feel nauseas when i first take it. in fact i start to feel sick a coupleof hoyrs afterwards like maybe its a blood sugar thing?? also with my ibs i dont tolerate big amounts of fat whether good or bad i get abdominal cramps or spasms. i have to be quite careful with what i eat and not focus too much on the various diet tips out there. sorry for typo’s my phones being difficult :-)

    Mia Bluegirl Reply:

    Rose, that’s exactly how I feel – fine, then a few hours later, all hell breaks loose. Ack! Dont know if it has to do with being celiac at all, which is the same deal – I can eat gluten just fine. But once it gets to my lower intenstine (which takes a few hours) that’s when the chaos starts.

    I can actually handle large amounts of olive oil and butter just fine. But for some reason, the coconut oil gets me. Even just a teaspoon or two, if it’s on an empty stomach, can be enough!

    Rose Reply:

    Thats really interesting Mia. i also am ok with butter and olive oil. maybe if i just stick to those i may be able to tolerate more? sometimes i think its just best stiking to what our ancestors ate as in sticking to the foods our families grew up with and we can tolerate providing it’s clean and wholesome.

    Mia Bluegirl Reply:

    Plausible! As I am of mixed Greek & convict stock I can say for certain, none of my ancestors consumed coconut oil. It’s enough for me to just avoid it for now.

    Coconut oil is REALLY good for your hair at any rate, if you cant eat it!

    Rose Reply:

    Hmm… i’m outta coconut oil now and haven’t re-stocked. i could alwayz try olive oil in my hair; I always have that in the cupboard.. I’m of italian background!

    Jane Reply:

    hi Mia – I had difficulty at the beginning with coconut oil too. Due to the benefits I read about, I was trying to take it off the spoon (ewww!), and also in hot bone broth (quite OK). But I would always feel nauseous after.

    Two things I discovered:

    1. DON’T TAKE TOO MUCH TOO SOON
    if you’re new to coconut oil you need to ease into it as your body is probably not accustomed to so much fat. Start with a small quantity and build it up over a couple of weeks

    2. TAKE IT WITH FOOD
    After much trial & error I discovered this was only if I had the oil without food. If I had the oil with food it was fine. So now I manage to get my quota in by including it in my morning porridge, and also in a hot drink, provided I eat something with it.

    Also don’t discount coconut oil on account of your thyroid and gut issues. It will actually help these things, but you do need to get past the nausea first. Try what I’ve suggested and see how you go.

    [Reply]

    Mia Bluegirl Reply:

    Tried that. I actually became MORE sensitized to coconut oil as I went on, not less – as in, a smaller & smaller amount each time would cause a reaction.

    I am uncomfortable with the idea that nobody knows why coconut oil is making a lot of people sick, but the advice is still to keep eating it. If someone had a reaction to anything other than the latest food fad – eggs, dairy, fish – would you advise them to keep eating it, without knowing what caused the reaction in the first place?

    I am not worried enough about a possible coconut oil deficiency to ignore thousands of years of evolution telling me not to eat things that make me want to barf. It would be cool to be able to eat it, but there is nothing in coconut oil I cannot find in other abundantly available foods.

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  • Naz

    Great post Sarah! I love that you’ve used Diane Sanfilippo’s work as references. I’m currently going through her book ‘Practical Paleo’ and it is such a great resource, filled with loads of information on why we should be eating this way. I really recommend the book to anyone interested in learning more.

    Re the fats I use mainly ghee for cooking, sometimes coconut oil and occasionally olive oil for lower cooking temps. I use avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil in dressings.

    As for eating the skin and fat on meat, well here in the U.S things I’ve read through different blogs, as well as in Diane’s book that unless you’re eating grass-fed pasture raised meat then you should be getting rid of the fat and skin on meat.

    [Reply]

    seeker Reply:

    at the very least we could all be making the effort to eat grass fed pasture raised meat … and making others (who aren’t already) aware of the importance of it … not only would i not eat the skin – i’d be wary in the first place of eating the meat of animals not raised this way! good point to bring that up Naz! thank you! :)

    i use butter mostly in baking, sometimes coconut oil but it can be a little too cloying and dense …. i swapped grapeseed oil for macadamia oil in some of my breads and cakes but guess that’s not that much better according to the info above …

    sometimes i get tired of trying to find what’s best/healthiest … there’s so much info out there … still, it’s a great recap sarah, thanks a mill … :)

    [Reply]

    seeker Reply:

    ps. this is dreadful about what’s happening to the orang-utans due to palm oil – i was loving that woolies had potato crisps made with it!! :(

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    No worries Seeker. Of course this type of meat is often more expensive than regular grain-fed meat but I always try to make the point of buying extra when it goes on sale. I think the best thing to do is to buy your meat directly from a farm but sometimes this can’t be done.

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    Two Modern Cavewomen Reply:

    I was reading a book recently called Food Shock – http://www.foodshock.com.au (no vested interest here, was just given a preview copy and I’m a fan – LOL!) and they said if you just eat LESS meat but ensure it’s good quality, the price difference isn’t that much. ie: a 200g steak from the supermarket vs 100g of steak from an organic butcher.

    I’m super lucky here on the Central Coast and I go in to Strictly Organic direct (www.strictlyorganic.net.au – again, no financial interest in this one, just a fan) and I buy a whole pile if stuff and bring it home and freeze it. They supply lots of restaurants in Sydney and also quite a lot of organic supermarkets and health food stores. It’s 30 minutes up the road for me, so I take the trip once every few weeks and fill the freezer. They do bacon without the nasties and realy divine sausages with natural skins and no preservatives.

    If you can find an organic butcher, or someone who stocks organic meat, or at the very least, only grass fed, just stock up and go the ‘quality and not quantity’ option – if you can afford it. I’m a DINK with a useless digestive system, it’s super high up the totem pole for spending for me.

    Two Modern Cavewomen Reply:

    Oh and Naz, I’m not having a go at you at all, but it’s really sad that ‘regular grain fed meat’ is something in today’s vocab, don’t you think? Regular beef SHOULD be grass fed. I love how the term ‘grain fed’ is thrown around like it’s meant to be special, when it’s totally the opposite.

    Just like we have to call organic food ‘organic food’. 100 years ago, it was just food, and beef was just beef.

    It’s sad that the good & pure stuff is the food with the special names now :(

    Naz Reply:

    I agree it is sad and yes regular beef should be grass-fed. I didn’t mean to suggest there was anything special about grain-fed beef was just making a distinction.

    Two Modern Cavewomen Reply:

    I think a lot of people think the grain fed is superior or fancy some how. I have seen it on menus “grain fed steak” like it’s fancy. What they don’t realise is that it’s been fattened up quickly at the end to get it on sale quicker. Cows naturally want to eat grass and they take longer to mature that way, like nature intended :)

    And Wagyu beef, I refuse to eat that once I found out how they produce it. The poor cows don’t get to move around much and they’re quite literally FATTENED for flavour. It’s cruel.

  • Margaret

    Sarah so you used to take the Bioceuticals fish oil capsules but you don’t anymore? Did you not find them beneficial for your immune system?

    [Reply]

  • toni

    I was told by a nutritionist whom I greatly respect, that PUFA’s and grain make for a very unhealthy combo. I think that steering clear of polyunsaturated fat is THE most important nutrition message out there. It is very hard to avoid this kind of fat if you eat most takeaway food and processed food. The huge link between PUFA’s and cancer is enough to keep me well away from them.

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  • Sandy

    Can I ask a question about eating fats and sugars? i.e. can you eat avocado and fruit toegther and would that cause you to put on weight, as you’ve suggested eating carbs and fat are the culprit, and I’d consider fruit to be a carb.
    Also, how much avocado per day is ok?

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  • Pippa

    I cook with avocado oil and my research found that it had a high smoke point of 520 degrees farenheit. Why is avocado oil only recommended for cold use? Every website I found on the subject states that avocado oil has the highest smoke point of all cooking oils. Are you able to clarify? Thanks – I’d love to know if I’m causing myself harm by cooking with it. pip xx

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    seeker Reply:

    Oooh if thats the case I’d love to know this too …

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    Cecily Reply:

    My thought exactly. I’ve researched a while ago on avocado oil and found that it has a highs smoking point. It is around the same as macadamia and coconut oil. I use it everyday to stir fry and to lightly coat my meat/home made potato chips in the phillips air fryer.
    I am also confused why Sarah only uses it for pouring and not for hot use.

    Please let us know Sarah.

    Thanks :)

    [Reply]

  • laineyms

    Sarah is spot on with this post. I’m a biochemist and the science is now pretty overwhelming, that fats, saturated, not vegetable, especially animal fat like butter and other saturated fats like coconut oil are not only essential for good nutrition and metabolism, they are necessary to prevent metabolic derangemeny and maintain weight. Think of it this way, what do we use to store energy? We have A teeny bit of sugar and stored versions of this called glycogen, which add up to a few tablespoons of sugar in our whole body…not really going to get us very far if we are in a famine. We store fat as the preferred form of storage of energy. Our bodies are evolved to store and access readily fat for energy. If we deprive our bodies of it in a low fat diet, its no wonder our bodies store it abnormally. The biggest dietary error is to overcompensate for our energy needs with carbohydrates that are refined, non complex and have little nutritional value. The insulin resistance that results from continued dietary insults from this are the real enemy in modern diets. I personally eat a diet of 75 percent fat, moderate protein and low carbs (all vegetables, all colours) and have been the healthiest, leanest and most functional I have ever been in my entire life. It’s been an intellectual, emotional and physical journey (and experiment) but I am thoroughly convinced. It’s also a pretty yummy way to live :-)

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    Tess Reply:

    Hi there,
    When you say 75%, do you mean 75 % of your daily calorie intake or 75% of the food you eat? Does that make sense? I’m just trying to picture what it might look like. Thanks.

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    Laineyms Reply:

    Hi there, yes 75% of my caloric intake comes from fat mostly saturated. As fat has 9 calories per gram rather than 4 for say protein it’s a little over half my macronutrients intake

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    Tess Reply:

    Thanks! Yes, because fat has so many cals per gram, and because I eat some grains and sugar I have to be a bit more moderate with it. But even in smaller doses, the addition of fats makes a meal more satisfying and tasty, and, it appears, better for you.

    Mia Bluegirl Reply:

    Nigella Lawson refers to eating fat as “moisturizing from the inside” and considering her skin for a lady in her 50s, I cannot disagree! I am glad science is backing up what feels intuitively right.

    Not to mention, laineyms, our brains are made out of mostly saturated fat, not carbs or sugars. Feed that brain the good stuff!

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  • http://www.twomoderncavewomen.com.au Two Modern Cavewomen

    I had a really hard time wrapping my head around not eating starchy carbs like pasta, rice, breads & potatoes. The longer I stay off them, the less i crave them. Sugar is a sometimes food,and if I do, it’s organic and only for a treat.

    I started out on the “i need gluten free pasta” thing, but I just don’t miss it. I eat rice once in a blue moon, and it’s low GI organic basmati if I do. And even then, only a small quantity. I’ll go through 1 loaf of spelt bread in about 6 weeks, just once in a while I want a piece of toast, but that’s about it. Signing up to an organic fruit & veg co-op was the best thing I ever did. That and my trips to the organic butcher, I don’t spend a lot of time at the supermarket these days.

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  • jenna

    Curious as to how you know all this yet keep typing “it’s” instead of “its” throughout your article.

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    Are you serious? I don’t know what portion of the article you’re referring to particularly but since you say throughout I’ve copied a part of it…..

    “It’s not bad to eat grains, it’s not bad to eat corn, and it’s not bad to eat soybeans. What is bad is that food processors extract and concentrate these oils from plants. In an ear of corn there isn’t that much corn oil, but when you subject it to industrial processing and extract everything but the oil, now you’ve got a lot of omega-6.”

    You say she keeps typing it’s instead of its… well actually it’s is the CORRECT way here.

    It’s = It is
    Its = ownership

    Grammar people…. grammar!

    [Reply]

    seeker Reply:

    jenna, thanks so much for pointing this out. i need to go back and re-read the post – i’ve obviously missed the whole point.
    gosh it’s so good to have such clever, educated people sharing their wealth of intelligence with us all …. and their time …. hmmmmm …. yes, certainly does make one wonder how anybody could know anything at all if they make typing errors ….

    hahahahaha, crack me up!

    [Reply]

    N Reply:

    Really?

    Two minor typos that don’t actually interfere (at all) with the message of fats – healthy and unhealthy, and you are prepared to dismiss the entire post?

    And are you really that curious? Or do you just enjoy the sense of (false) superiority that comes from pointing out such a minor, minor flaw in the post?

    I had really enjoyed the discussion that this post encouraged – especially on coconut oil and avocado oil. It has all been really enlightening and informative.
    Thanks for bringing so much to the table jenna. So to speak.

    This quote by Robert Benchley seems apt: “Drawing on my fine command of the English lanuage, I said nothing.”

    [Reply]

    Alicia Reply:

    I really want to write this comment full of misspelt words and incorrect grammar just to annoy you. I love reading Sarah’s posts and get so absorbed by the content of what she is saying that I don’t pay attention to ridiculous MINOR errors.

    ‘Grammar nazi’s’ and negative people really taint my experience of reading Sarah’s blog. I so often find a wealth of helpful information and inspirational words in the comments section, sometimes just as much as the article itself. When I scroll down to see people who have missed the point, offer no helpful, wise or nice words I just wonder WHY DO YOU EVEN BOTHER TO COMMENT?! Rant over, please stop, it’s really annoying.

    [Reply]

    Jules Reply:

    Argumentum ad hominem Jenna… it makes you look like the stupid one by the way.

    [Reply]

  • Kate

    Naz, points 1 and 2 right at the start both have it’s instead of its. So yeah, grammar.

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    The way Jenna said it above it’s as if the whole article was wrong. Seriously one or two typos is not such a big deal!

    [Reply]

    Rose Reply:

    yeah seriously! They are just a couple of typo’s. actually have you tried replying by phone? It is not (it’s not) that easy to correct mistakes so i (without capital) choose to let it go…

    [Reply]

    Kate Reply:

    I don’t care (but I notice). That’s why I didn’t comment about it. I just replied to Naz to say, well actually…

    Naz Reply:

    Thank you Kate, but it’s not really necessary to point something so trivial out to me. I come to this blog to read Sarah’s work not to sit there and nitpick over exactly how many spelling or grammar mistakes she’s made.

    I feel sorry for Sarah for having to deal with comments like this.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.plantstronghappy.com Pamela

    Oil has basically no nutritional value at all. What do you all think about this article? http://engine2diet.com/the-daily-beet/the-big-oil-post-plus-a-giveaway/

    It really isn’t a necessary part of our diet! 100% fat calories and no nutritional value?

    Sugar is the epitome of a junk food. And a close second? Oil… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbALgjmZUek

    We’ve completely cut oils out of our diet and feel amazing. Seems to work for us!

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    The Engine 2 Diet is plant based… and from what Sarah writes on this blog she eats meat so I doubt this really applies to her! As for no nutritional value in oil let’s look at coconut oil for e.g. It’s full of nutritional value… seriously do a google search!

    So is olive oil, butter and ghee!

    Plus vegetables contain fat soluble vitamins which means you should be eating them with some kind of fat to properly absorb these vitamins.

    [Reply]

  • Steph

    Mmm..I’m going to stick to my butter! :) Sarah, I don’t mean this as a “mean” criticism, but you might want to correct the usage of it’s in place of its. I wouldn’t mention it, but having read your blog for a long time it’s an error that you make repeatedly. I know you’ve said before that the error results from auto-correct software, but perhaps a proofreader would help? It’s always means “it is.” For example, you’ve got two here:
    1.it’s smoke point (higher the better)
    2.it’s stability (the more stable the better), which is determined by what kind of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen bonds it has.

    There’s also another one further down.

    Take care!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.twomoderncavewomen.com.au Two Modern Cavewomen

    Sarah, as Freddie Mercury once said about his giant buck teeth – ‘If I fixed my teeth, then I’d be perfect, and no-one wants me to be perfect’ (or something along those lines).

    I have my own words that I constantly spell wrong – seperate, separate, repellent, repellant. And being a web designer, having to use color in my coding and then forgetting we spell it colour.

    :)

    This isn’t a published book, it’s a blog. (see, I used it right!). In the grand scheme of things, if bloggers need to get their posts proof-read, things are going a little bit crazy.

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    Seriously I want to know what goes on in people’s minds when they make these types of comments. I’m quite certain Sarah knows the difference between it’s and its!

    Nitpicking at it’s finest!

    Thanks for your comment :)

    [Reply]

  • http://www.carlacoulson.com Carla Coulson

    Some great information Sarah lots of reading to be done! Just makes sense to take it back to basics and include as much raw fruit and veg and nuts juices as possible in our diets fo optimum health it is the processed long life that is causing an unhealthy society. Great post
    Carla

    [Reply]

  • K.

    I’d love for you to write a post about how you navigate eating out. Particularly when it comes to sugar. I found this article really informative. I thought I was educated about food but clearly I was not. Thanks Sarah.

    [Reply]

  • Jess

    We’re very lucky in Austealia as most of our beef is grass fed. Ask your butcher, but now that grain prices have increased it is actually very rare (except in central and northern aust) for our cattle even to be finished off in a feed lot. You’ll find that grain fed is often sold as superior, and thus more expensive (due to greater and more even marbling).

    [Reply]

    Chris Reply:

    According to my local butcher, most of coles and woolies beef are grain fed. In Qld, he gets his beef from Tasmania as its not sourced by a supermarket giant and its grass-fed. Is this just competitive talk from the butcher? Not sure.

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    I’ve been living in the U.S for almost 18 months now and unless it specifically says ‘grass-fed pasture raised’ then you have to assume the meat is grain-fed.

    [Reply]

    Mel Reply:

    America has a very stuffed up system compared to Australia, until we follow them that is. America has had long term corn subsidies that have changed the way beef is raised.

    Naz Reply:

    This is very true Mel, which is why as I mentioned above unless it specifically says pasture raised grass fed then the meat is grain-fed here.

    [Reply]

  • Dani

    Hi I was just wondering if the new Pro-Chef Coconut Oil was good to use?
    As in does it have to be organic coconut to be good? Or is this spray perfectly good to use as well?
    Here’s a link to it
    http://prochefaustralia.com.au/range/coconut-oil/

    Feedback would be awesome thanks!

    ps. Sarah i absolutley ADORE you.

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    I can’t speak for Sarah but I would rather use unrefined organic coconut oil in standard form rather than a spray.

    [Reply]

    Jane Reply:

    Hi Dani

    This product is a bit of a silly one I think. The whole thing about spray oils is to reduce fat intake, as per Weight Watchers etc. As we know, you don’t need to restrict fat at all, provided it’s the right fat. And we know coconut oil is amongst the best available. In addition to this are the hexanes etc in it which propel the spray – who knows if they actually end up in the oil. I’d personally rather not take the chance.

    As there’s no need to restrict coconut oil intake by using a spray product like this, the most sensible thing to do is to just use a good quality coconut oil as it naturally comes.

    [Reply]

  • http://Nutritionbynature.com.au Kate @ Nutrition by Nature

    Agree, agree, agree. Although the only thing is… how on earth can you promote eating so many nuts which are essentially just ‘PUFA bombs’?!! I think they should be on the avoid list, at least in significant quantities (especially in this day and age when our diets are so incredibly PUFA-laden).

    [Reply]

  • http://naturopathfionahogan.blogspot.com/ fiona hogan @naturoapthichealth

    YES – great read Sarah, well written. Naturopaths having been saying this for years. Eat FAT ladies and gentlemen and be healthy and the right weight. Enjoy it too.

    [Reply]

  • harry

    This article is so awesome! I was so impressed with the amount of science backing it up too . I’m currently munching into cakes , biscuits and chicken skin! For the extra saturated fat cause its so healthy, this is much healthier than evil avocado and fish I can’t wait to lose my 17 kg.

    [Reply]

    April Reply:

    I don’t quite understand this comment? Care to please explain?

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    No where in this blog does Sarah advocate eating cakes and biscuits for extra saturated fat…. so I’m really not sure what the point of your comment is.

    [Reply]

    harry Reply:

    The cakes have the oil with the better boiling point? so im going to lose weight right? because those foods have the good fats.

    Naz Reply:

    Having fun trolling?

    Harry Reply:

    does grizzly adams have a beard?

  • brian

    Yeah you guys should stop worrying so much about the spelling and start worrying about all the horrifyingly incorrect and unsubstantiated information in this blog

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    What exactly is incorrect and unsubstantiated?

    [Reply]

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  • Dani

    Okay so I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion (and so is Sarah then) but seriously if you don’t like what Sarah has written on HER blog, well you are not being forced to read it, so move on.

    Didn’t your mothers teach you ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say it at all’?

    [Reply]

    brian Reply:

    If you don’t like the comments you’re not being forced to read them either. And When it comes to blogs that are meant to inform it no longer becomes opinion, this is incorrect information that has the very real potential to harm people.

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    Sarah is not the only person out there giving out this information. So are you saying all these people are wrong? And exactly what information on this blog are you referring to?

    [Reply]

    Brian Reply:

    If people are advocating for saturated fats over poly, then yes they are all wrong. I get where the misconception is, because saturated fats have actually yet to be conclusively proven as a cause of heart disease. HOWEVER, evidence has proven without any doubt whatsoever that replacing saturated fats with poly will lower risk of disease (ie this article is recommending the exact opposite of what has been proven), there have been multiple meta-analysis studies on this, it cannot be argued.
    Also its contradictory to say trans fats are bad but not saturated, they are functionally extremely similar.

    Naz Reply:

    Brian can you please link to some articles that show this evidence.

    Also if you don’t like what is being said here then I suggest you go comment on a blog that is more in line with your own way of thinking.

    seeker Reply:

    “there have been multiple meta-analysis studies on this, it cannot be argued” ….

    my dear brian, whether one likes it or not, there is absolutely nothing in this world that cannot be argued (as is clear from this page of comments and arguments!).

    sorry to be the breaker of bad news to you!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.twomoderncavewomen.com.au Two Modern Cavewomen

    What a lot of people fail to realise is that diet is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Sarah, from personal experience, research and training, is sharing her views about what works for her.

    I can guarantee you that both Sarah, myself and many others on the list have books and links that will contradict everything she’s saying. Atkins says one thing, Paleo says another. There’s no need to be rude if you sit on a different side of the fence.

    I’ve tried the fat thing, and if I’m craving it, awesome, but I can’t tolerate fat every day. I can’t tolerate lots of things every day. But it’s working for Sarah, so great.

    Debate is great, but needs to be done respectfully.

    [Reply]

    Dani Reply:

    Totally agree! Very nicely put

    [Reply]

    brian Reply:

    Saturated fat over poly is a ‘no size fits all’ category. It has no foundation in legitimate science, and it has no basis in common sense

    [Reply]

    Em Reply:

    I’m sorry, all her “research and training”? What research and training? The only evidence in this blog of ‘research’ is really really POOR research. As for training … nope … nothing there either.

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    Em how do you know what kind of research and training Sarah has done? In this article for e.g. she has images linked to Diane Sanfilippo’s website Balanced Bites. Diane is a Certified Nutritionist in the U.S and part of the Nutrition and Metabolism Society.

    You can go to her website if you want to check for yourself.

    Also this is Sarah’s blog and she is writing about things that work for her. These things may work for others and they may not. Maybe Sarah’s body does well with eating a certain amount of fat whereas for other people they need to reduce it or maybe Sarah can eat a whole bunch of nuts but other’s can’t.

    Don’t make assumptions on how Sarah does her research and training.

    [Reply]

  • aimee

    Sarah, please stop picking resources that support only your argument and take a look around the countless SCIENTIFIC research articles (not NATUROPATH or “credible” IIN staff) which have proven that saturated fat is not good fat us – do you really think that atherosclerosis is going to be reduced by a person eating huge amounts of saturated fat? Saturated fat contributes to increased cholesterol which leads to atherosclerosis that causes many other health problems. Personally, I’d rather lower serum cholesterol in my body. And don’t get me started on Gillespe – he’s a lawyer, not a dietetic expert (he nit-picks he’s articles too – I was even warned on a post-it note on a library book not to read his rubbish from another person when I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I didn’t even read past page 1, didn’t want to my time!

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    Aimee it has been proven over and over that saturated fat does not lead to high cholesterol. Please do your research!

    As for David Gillespie… he is not the only one saying that sugar is harmful for us. Again do your research.

    [Reply]

    seeker Reply:

    oh well if you read it on a post it note – nuff said! obviously you’re into thoroughly researching things yourself, and getting all sides to the argument! haha!!

    you could look up the post-it encyclopedia (an excellent resource) on the research that’s available which says increased cholesterol does NOT necessarily “lead to atherosclerosis or other health problems”, give it a go …. you’d be amazed at what you might learn!

    naz – you’re a champ! aren’t some people just funny??!!! xo :)

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    They sure are! Cheers Seeker :)

    [Reply]

  • April

    Hi everyone,

    I have been pretty much sugar free for 8 months now and have been feeling much better. However, I’d like to take it the next step and address the fat issue. and the oil issue.

    For the oils – which one is best to use at higher heats when sauteeing vegetables? Is butter healthy?

    I don’t really understand the grain concept – what does this mean in terms of common foods? This might sound silly, but are products like arnotts vita weets ‘grain food’ and are they found in many breads?

    Any help would be appreciated :)

    April

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    Hi April,

    I used coconut oil or ghee for cooking. I’d use ghee for higher heat when cooking veggies.

    Grain foods are pretty much bread, pasta, cereal, cookies, crackers, pastries etc. Unless it says grain free, gluten free.

    [Reply]

    April Reply:

    Thanks for the reply,

    How can I make a grain free muelsi? I was thinking using quinoa flakes but I’m not sure how they go eating them raw (unsoaked?)

    Any ideas?

    [Reply]

    seeker Reply:

    hi april – sarah has a recipe for one in her iqs cookbook … also check out superchargedfoods.com – lee has one on her blog …

  • Em

    Sarah I hope you soon realise that the information you are feeding people about saturated fat is completely and utterly wrong. You couldn’t be further from giving people accurate information if you tried, and the worrying thing is that if people follow your ridiculous suggestions then they are putting their long-term health at risk. Do everyone a favour and either (a) stop writing about things you are not qualified to give advice on, or (b) pick up a nutrition textbook and take heed of what is written by the experts.

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    Em as I mentioned to someone else above it has been proven over and over again that saturated fat does not lead to the health problems that it has been said to in the past (e.g. high cholesterol).

    Sarah is not the only person saying these things, there are plenty of experts who are saying the same thing.

    [Reply]

  • Jenny

    Thank you Em! As a Clinical Nutritionist I can tell you that Sarah is absolutely and unequivocally wrong about so many things on so many levels related to nutrition and health. It just goes to show, that anyone can create their own website and preach their misinformation and the lay public who don’t know any better, believe them! Please people, if you have questions about health and nutrition, go and see a qualified professional that has a degree behind them and can actually call themselves ‘an expert’ in this field. We are all different and just because this diet/lifestyle has worked for Sarah doesn’t mean its applicable to everyone, plus just because she looks good on the outside does not means she’s healthy on the inside.

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    Oh well I guess people like Sarah and I and the myriad of others who follow this lifestyle are going to die and early death and be riddled with a whole list of illness.

    I suppose you think cooking with canola/vegetable oil is the way to go and spread margarine on your toast.

    [Reply]

    K Reply:

    Jenny – In fairness, Sarah does have a disclaimer on her site ( http://www.sarahwilson.com.au/social-media-disclaimer/ )

    Also, there are Australian Practicing Dieticians, like Arabella Forge who are qualified professionals that do support this way of eating (Arabella is the Melbourne chapter leader for the Weston a Price foundation).

    [Reply]

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  • Dwight

    I believe the science of nutrition is 30% mythology, 30% politics, 30% rumor, and 10% factual….the trick is finding that deeply hidden 10% factual information. I don’t have a high opinion, I’m sorry to say, for many of the “professionals” we are supposed to rely on for our dietary information. Check out what some clinical nutritionists are serving hospital patients and the kids in our schools. There are some clinical folks who are rebels and suggesting better foods, but they are going against the doctrines of nutrition as taught in our colleges and universities.
    I started a second bachelor degree program in college and dropped out because I was so outraged at what was passing for “science” in the program. I had just finished a bachelor degree program in zoology (with a minor in biochemistry) and the criteria for what passed as “science” in that program was much more rigorous.
    Part of the problem with nutritional science as with medical science as it is practiced today is the long latency period between research discoveries and their implementation in practice. With the use of the internet we can hope that this period will shorten.
    So how does one find that 10% factual information in nutrition? First I have to admit that for me, I throw out the use of “logic” as a reliable tool because what is logical to a person depends to a large degree on their knowledge base. Aristotle was the great champion in the use of logic in science until he was shown to be in error by a simple experiment by Galileo.
    I think scientific research is our best source for factual information but it too has its (correct use) limitations. Research as it is practiced today is often goal oriented (proving that a particular feature is beneficial or detrimental) and tied to the financial backers of the research. Scientists lose their objectivity when trying to gain or maintain their status among their peers. There are many more problems with the research that’s being done and the interpretation of the results of scientific research. But it is our best tool, although it must be used with caution.
    So what’s the truth about fats and oils? That requires a long answer, and I’ve probably used up too much space for a post so I will have to delay my opinion, based on what I’ve read and experienced for another time. For those of you genuinely interested in the fats and oils question and the history of the science behind our current opinions, I recommend Gary Taubes’ book, “Good Calories, Bad Calories.” Also good reading is Mary Enig’s (Ph.D in Nutritional Sciences – one of the rebels!), “Know Your Fats.”

    [Reply]

    Dwight Reply:

    Can’t figure out how to edit my previous post. One additional piece of information I’d like to add: The second bachelor degree program that I started and was disappointed in was in nutrition.

    [Reply]

    Lainey Reply:

    I would like to +1 dwights comment. I am appalled at some of the vitriol of the posters here. I understand this is a issue that people care alot about, but there is no need to not be respectful and calm. People, do your research and make an informed choice. I too do not agree with must of the conventional wisdom that is offered by experts. As more information becomes availble, science and medicine evolves to take this new information into account and so conventional wisdom changes and evolves over time. Some experts are quick to lap this new information up, some not so quick. I AM a scientist and I have read a lot on this topic, balanced the views of each ‘side and self experimented.My personal view is that a diet of grass fed meat, fish, vegetables, nuts, dairy, fats (including saturates, animal, dairy cocount/olive oil)and limited/no grains or sugar works best for me. This has given me the best health of my life as measured by several objective and subjective measures. My GP is totally supportive and agrees with my approach. I do not try to convince anyone of my nutrition choices and only discuss when asked and never try to impose them on others. I do , however, get asked ALOT so my health must be obvious. I think the readers here are intelligent enough to make an informed choice – they understand that not everything they read on the internet is true and that experts need to constantly recalibrate their views to take into account new and evolving infomration – science and medicine is dynamic, its not static. But, please everyone please be respectful of peoples views and their right to express them – debate is good, antagonising and unsubstantiated argument is not.

    [Reply]

    Two Modern Cavewomen Reply:

    That’s my food philosophy!!!!!

    [Reply]

    seeker Reply:

    thank you dwight … i’m so grateful for your comments … and your patience to deal with the ignorance of some of these comments … :)
    guess some people can only see black or white …. such a shame …
    keep up the good fight!

    [Reply]

  • Rachael

    Interesting discussion.

    For me, at the heart of the matter is where does my food come from? Is it a food grandma would recognize or is it manufactured and comes out of a cardboard box or plastic container?

    I find it hard to trust the so called ‘experts’ still pushing canola oil, margarine and low fat or no fat everything. It doesn’t make sense. These are what I call ‘faux’ foods and I think they are contributing to poor health and weight issues in our community. So whilst I don’t have a degree in nutrition I use my common sense and stick to whole foods, mostly fruit and vegetables along with moderate amounts of protein and fat in the form of meats, fish, organic eggs and organic dairy (butter, milk and yoghurt). For a family of five 250g of butter would last our family over a month so I don’t see it as a large amount of saturated fat.

    The thing is to say this or that food is bad, rather than looking at it as part of the diet as a whole is short sighted. Most if not all people’s health will improve if the majority of their food is whole, unprocessed food. If at least half your intake comes from vegetables then cooking your meat in saturated fat is not going to be a problem. Perspective peoples.

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    Rachael I really love your comment! Well put!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.twomoderncavewomen.com.au Two Modern Cavewomen

    Nigella Lawson once said (and I think the quote is someone elses) = “Everything in moderation, including moderation”

    I’m with you Rachel, it’s all about where the food comes from and how natural it is. I personally eat almost no sugar, but I will allow myself some organic chocolate once every few days. Unless you have allergies or bad intolerances, I’m not sure I like the idea of removing something from my diet completely, just for the sake of it. I like to just pop a little bit in once in a while (like – oh my, I just have to have a cupcake once every 2-3 months).

    I have also removed wheat from my diet and eat spelt or kamut once in a blue moon. That’s had a big impact on my digestive system’s ability to start to heal.

    I eat organic meat, eggs, and a pretty low fat diet, but I do eat some oils. I was reading Forks Over Knives last night (my review here – http://www.twomoderncavewomen.com.au/forks-over-knives-review/) and they say olive oil is bad, even just on a salad. I personally found the book preachy and wasn’t a fan of the message.

    There are so many different views out there, and they all contradict each other. Different diets work for different people. Knowing who to trust and which one is right for you is the million dollar question, which is why the industry is so huge.

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    I agree that it’s not a one-size fits all approach. Even people who follow Paleo know that there is no one all or nothing set of rules for following a ‘Paleo’ lifestyle.

    You need to know what works for you. For e.g. I can’t do bread or pasta, it makes me feel so bloated and yucky! But I can do small amounts of rice every now and then not everyday! I can’t do dark chocolate, even though I still eat it occasionally, usually 85% or higher but I literally have to run to the bathroom as soon as I eat it!

    [Reply]

  • http://DavidGillespiesBigFatLies.com David Driscoll

    What you represent here as science is far from it! Easy to quote a few books and then cherry-pick a few studies – much harder to view the research in its entirety (or at least an honest cross-section of it) and reach these conclusions!

    > avoid polyunsaturated fats, These are the so-called vegetable oils,We are mostly made up of saturated fat. This is what we’re meant to eat.Saturated fats are crucial for absorbing vitamins, calcium uptake, immune function, and cell membrane structure.< also demonstrate the false dichotomy that you create with nutrients – the lesson is that (like so many things) the dose creates the poison. Who is saying to totally eliminate saturated fats or that they are bad in any quantity? Setting up this false dichotomy may win cheap debating points but doesn't represent an honest discussion of the real facts!

    Your misrepresentation of history with statements such as "The gist is this: in the 1950s, a random scientist called Ancel Keys published a dodgy study that told us saturated fats were bad." shows that you can merely repeat what you have read in popular books and I will guarantee that you haven't gone to the source to verify these statements?

    Quoting a discussion with David Gillespie on free radicals is laughable. He also demonises polyunsaturates with his over-simplification (not unlike yours) suggesting that more reactive instantly means bad – again, still doesn't explain positive research on health effects on polyunsaturated omega 3's. David has also made ridiculous statements suggesting that inflammation and oxidation are the same thing (amongst a laundry list of basic biochem he gets wrong!

    It is one thing to promote your thoughts and experience – it is another to misrepresent the science and makes claims that don't reflect an honest appraisal of it!

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    I wrote a comment but doesn’t look like it showed up so I’ll try again.

    David can you please provide some research that shows exactly why you think what Sarah has said above is wrong? If Sarah is wrong so are plenty of other people…. she’s not the only one saying these things.

    [Reply]

    David Driscoll Reply:

    Sure. but how about we take a step back and look at how to find the research.

    Many pseudo-scientists like to look for research to support their theories, which is backwards because you should look at the research to find your theories. It would be like walking into a room, finding the people that agree with your position and then trying to represent that the room all agreed with you because they are the only people that you spoke to.

    So, go to pubmed, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/ then type in saturated fat and heart disease (or atherosclerosis or whatever you are looking for)> Then select review articles. This is important so that you get a cross-section of the evidence and a better representation of the bulk of the evidence ( as well as a critique of the strength and weaknesses of various theories/streams of evidence). Going off and looking in the ‘related’ column will also help.

    So here is what I came up with on a random search (you’ll see that there is still a lot of uncertainty with recommendations, especially re refined carbs – so any representation of research that says the evidence is ‘clear’ also isn;t being totally honest!)

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22658146/?i=15&from=saturated%20fat%20heart%20disease&filter=review

    The role of reducing intakes of saturated fat in the prevention of cardiovascular disease: where does the evidence stand in 2010?
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/21270379/?i=5&from=/22658146/related

    Major types of dietary fat and risk of coronary heart disease: a pooled analysis of 11 cohort studies.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19211817/?i=2&from=/21270379/related

    Saturated fatty acids and risk of coronary heart disease: modulation by replacement nutrients.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/20711693/?i=6&from=/21270379/related

    Dietary fats and coronary heart disease.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22583051/?i=22&from=saturated%20fat%20heart%20disease&filter=review

    With regards to ‘plenty of other people being wrong’ the logical fallacy of argumentum ad populum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum) doesn’t really cut it in science (confirmation bias being such a major factor, especially for casual observers!), opinions should be based on the quality and quantity of the evidence.

    Also as suggested above, look closely at some of the studies David Gillespie references above and see what they say about saturated fats.

    [Reply]

    David Driscoll Reply:

    My reply is awaiting moderation – will try to post again without clickable links (guessing that is what flagged this one??)

    Sure. but how about we take a step back and look at how to find the research.

    Many pseudo-scientists like to look for research to support their theories, which is backwards because you should look at the research to find your theories. It would be like walking into a room, finding the people that agree with your position and then trying to represent that the room all agreed with you because they are the only people that you spoke to.

    So, go to pubmed, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/ then type in saturated fat and heart disease (or atherosclerosis or whatever you are looking for)> Then select review articles. This is important so that you get a cross-section of the evidence and a better representation of the bulk of the evidence ( as well as a critique of the strength and weaknesses of various theories/streams of evidence). Going off and looking in the ‘related’ column will also help.

    So here is what I came up with on a random search (you’ll see that there is still a lot of uncertainty with recommendations, especially re refined carbs – so any representation of research that says the evidence is ‘clear’ also isn;t being totally honest!)

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22658146/?i=15&from=saturated%20fat%20heart%20disease&filter=review

    The role of reducing intakes of saturated fat in the prevention of cardiovascular disease: where does the evidence stand in 2010?
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/21270379/?i=5&from=/22658146/related

    Major types of dietary fat and risk of coronary heart disease: a pooled analysis of 11 cohort studies.
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19211817/?i=2&from=/21270379/related

    Saturated fatty acids and risk of coronary heart disease: modulation by replacement nutrients.
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/20711693/?i=6&from=/21270379/related

    Dietary fats and coronary heart disease.
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22583051/?i=22&from=saturated%20fat%20heart%20disease&filter=review

    With regards to ‘plenty of other people being wrong’ the logical fallacy of argumentum ad populum (wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum) doesn’t really cut it in science (confirmation bias being such a major factor, especially for casual observers!), opinions should be based on the quality and quantity of the evidence.

    Also as suggested above, look closely at some of the studies David Gillespie references above and see what they say about saturated fats.

    [Reply]

    David Driscoll Reply:

    My reply is awaiting moderation since this morning – tried to post again without clickable links just now – that one waiting too

    [Reply]

    Dwight Reply:

    David, you sound pretty upset. I think some of the comments by Sarah were not meant to be full-blown scientific proofs of what kinds of fats are the best for consumption. Such an article would have been too lengthy and detailed for most general readers. I would have liked to see more references supporting her statements also.
    However, when she remarks, “The gist is this: in the 1950s, a random scientist called Ancel Keys published a dodgy study that told us saturated fats were bad,” you complain this is a misrepresentation of history. It would have been nice for this discussion if you had corrected this “misrepresentation” so we could understand what you meant.This statement is historically accurate and also very important! Ancel Keys (inventor of K rations for the military) was a key figure in the demonization of saturated fats as the cause of heart disease in the 1950′s and 1960′s.
    Your statement, “Who is saying to totally eliminate saturated fats or that they are bad in any quantity?” seems somewhat confusing to me. Did you want Sarah to support that statement with names and organizations who are saying that saturated fats are bad for health? This seems to show very little awareness of the past and current thinking on the dangers of saturated fats (and cholesterol), as this has been the predominant view of the cause of heart disease for the last 50 years!
    Finally your remark about the benefits of the omega 3′s in polyunsaturated oils shows only part of the truth. The balance between omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids has been estimated to be approximately 3:1 in paleolithic times, today the heavy consumption of polyunsaturated oils pushes that ratio to at least 15:1. Although the polyunsaturated oils have omega 3′s, the excess of omega 6′s renders the oils harmful. Omega 6′s are inflammatory in excess.

    [Reply]

    David Driscoll Reply:

    > I think some of the comments by Sarah were not meant to be full-blown scientific proofs of what kinds of fats are the best for consumption. was a key figure in the demonization of saturated fats as the cause of heart disease in the 1950′s and 1960′sDid you want Sarah to support that statement with names and organizations who are saying that saturated fats are bad for health? The balance between omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids has been estimated to be approximately 3:1 in paleolithic times, today the heavy consumption of polyunsaturated oils pushes that ratio to at least 15:1. Although the polyunsaturated oils have omega 3′s, the excess of omega 6′s renders the oils harmful. <

    The harmful part still isn't well proven but the Israeli Paradox is interesting.

    [Reply]

    David Driscoll Reply:

    Don’t know what happened there ;-)

    ” I think some of the comments by Sarah were not meant to be full-blown scientific proofs of what kinds of fats are the best for consumption. ”

    It doesn’t have to be full blown but a few review studies would be good, especially considering this statement “Learn more by reading my post on how the science now shows saturated fat is good for us.”
    I also think anyone would struggle to find studies to support this “some science to get started – Whether a fat is safe to eat is based on two things:

    it’s smoke point (higher the better)
    it’s stability (the more stable the better), which is determined by what kind of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen bonds it has.”

    Re Ancel Keys “was a key figure in the demonization of saturated fats as the cause of heart disease in the 1950′s and 1960′s”

    I simply ask have you read the original papers of what he actually said? Let alone acknowledging the research that has come since then?

    “Did you want Sarah to support that statement with names and organizations who are saying that saturated fats are bad for health? ”

    Do they it should be eliminated, has no role in the body or is it like most things, the dose is the poison, we could make a list of nutrients starting with sodium – hence my statement about false dichotomy.

    The balance between omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids has been estimated to be approximately 3:1 in paleolithic times, today the heavy consumption of polyunsaturated oils pushes that ratio to at least 15:1. Although the polyunsaturated oils have omega 3′s, the excess of omega 6′s renders the oils harmful. <

    The harmful part still isn't well proven but the Israeli Paradox is interesting.

  • Naz

    Sarah can I just say I seriously don’t know how you do it with these people accusing you of giving false evidence and what not. I can only assume these people are here to troll around but still it must be quiet annoying to write a post and have these types of comments come up.

    Luckily it seems that the majority of the comments are positive, not everyone has to agree word for word on what you write. As I mentioned some where above what works for you may not work for others but to claim that everything you’ve discussed here is misrepresentation of the facts is, in my opinion silly! I think we all need to wake up and realise saturated fats are not the enemy we’ve been taught they are.

    No one said we have to gorge ourselves silly on these fats either. I’m sure all of us eating saturated fats know how much works for us.

    Anyway just wanted to say thanks for writing these posts, I love reading them and also reading the POSITIVE comments people write, but seriously sometimes my head hurts reading some of the other comments!

    [Reply]

    David Driscoll Reply:

    >As I mentioned some where above what works for you may not work for others but to claim that everything you’ve discussed here is misrepresentation of the facts is, in my opinion silly!<

    My comments only referred to people misrepresenting what the science says – not what people have tried or think works for them!

    Have you read the evidence Naz or are you getting it second hand via other authors?

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    I don’t just rely on Sarah’s blog as my source of information. Also I don’t understand what you mean about ‘other author’ are you referring to other bloggers? There are plenty of people with qualifications in nutrition and science (e.g. people like Chris Kresser, robb wolf, Diane Sanfilippo) just to name a few who are saying what this article is that saturated fats are not the enemy.

    At the end of the day I would rather be using a 1-2 tablespoons of ghee or coconut oil to cook my food rather than canola or vegetable oil.

    [Reply]

    Em Reply:

    See Naz you have commented on almost every single post that disagrees with your/Sarah’s opinion, telling people to ‘provide some research’. Why don’t you go out and find some peer-reviewed research telling people about saturated fats and CHD? Best of luck, I’m positive you’ll need it.

    Naz Reply:

    See Em what I don’t understand is why people like you comment on this blog. I mean it doesn’t make sense to me that you would want to comment on or follow a blog where you don’t agree with what the person writing it is saying.

    I mean isn’t there some kind of anti saturated fat blog you could be commenting on instead?

    Also I don’t need to do any research thank you but since you asked here you go:

    http://chriskresser.com/heartdisease

    You’re welcome!

    Oh and by the way I don’t need any luck thanks!

    David Driscoll Reply:

    Em, I have posted a bunch of research above (not cherry-picked and all review articles) as well as a method that Naz can use to find the information she seeks. Now we will see if it was a genuine request or a bluff that has now been called ;-)

    David Driscoll Reply:

    “Also I don’t need to do any research thank you but since you asked here you go: http://chriskresser.com/heartdisease

    Naz, the link goes to a bunch of articles someone has written by a guy with questionable qualifications. So back to my original question to you – Have you read the evidence Naz or are you getting it second hand via other authors?

    Have you looked at the articles linked to above, tried your own research and if not do you intend to?

    Naz Reply:

    Questionable qualifications? what a joke! How about you read those yourself, you wanted articles I provided them for you.

    Better yet go and join an anti-saturated fat blog and post your comments there.

    Naz Reply:

    Trollin with the homieeessss

    David Driscoll Reply:

    I read them Nas, not many relevant to this conversation – did you read the studies?

    I read the articles – one good meta-analysis (epidemiology is always tricky) but as I said must be read in context with other papers.

    It seems that you just read articles and think that you have acquired the research behind it? Have you read or researched beyond this? Please reread, did I ask for lay articles?

    Was your request for information genuine – seems not.

    Keep up the ad hominem attacks, it’s all you have left when your ‘research’ bluff is called!

    Naz Reply:

    David you can throw all the articles and studies you want at me but you won’t convince me that where I stand on this topic is wrong, so save your breath.

    David Driscoll Reply:

    And now your dishonesty is fully exposed – why did you bother asking for the research then?

    You don’t read science, you read ABOUT it and then disingenuously represent yourself as knowing the evidence. You are looking for evidence to support your views, not be informed!

    Since the topic I’ve brought up is the science of saturated fat, I acknowledge that no one will convince you that you are wrong, which doesn’t distract from the fact that you are and are also uninformed! The fact that no one will convince you should be a warning sign!

    I think the quote below is for you ““The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”
    -Bertrand Russell

    Naz Reply:

    Here you go David:

    http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.full.pdf+html

    if you want more you can find them yourself, there are plenty more out there.

    Naz Reply:

    Dishonesty? I’m not doubting that there is research that supports your claims but there is also research that shows over and over that saturated fat is not linked to heart disease.

    ‘looking for evidence to support your views’ – isn’t that what you’ve been doing with the links you’ve been putting up?

    As for the quote no I’m pretty sure it’s for you… Seeker correct me if I’m wrong.

    Naz Reply:

    http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract

    Abstract to the link above.

    David Driscoll Reply:

    >I’m not doubting that there is research that supports your claims but there is also research that shows over and over that saturated fat is not linked to heart disease.<

    And now it becomes a science debate on what evidence is strongest and why. Since you are out of your depth in finding and reading the science, I'm guessing you are weaker at critiquing it?

    If you cared to read my original response, I showed you how to do the research and then I randomly selected review studies, so your cherry picking claim is as invalid as most other statements here!

    Congratulations for actually quoting your first journal article on this topic! Your next step will be to evaluate the critiques of the article which appeared in subsequent issues and then related to the wealth of information that disagrees! Welcome to the world of being an actual scientist and not just playing one on the internet!

    I'm sure you enjoy the

    David Driscoll Reply:

    Maybe your much regarded ‘Intergrative Medicine Doctor” could answer some of the critiques?

    Questions 1 – ajcn.nutrition.org/content/92/2/458.long
    1. The recent article by Siri-Tarino et al (1), which reported on a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) observed that “there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD.” This finding has generated some interest in the media (2, 3). However, we believe that the interpretations of the results presented in this article are overstated and could be a result of flaws in the methodologic design of the study.

    The meta-analysis involves data from 16 studies that evaluate the effect of saturated fat intake on CHD incidence or mortality and from 8 studies that evaluate the effect of saturated fat intake on stroke incidence or mortality. The results for CVD include any events for either CHD or stroke. The authors state that “wherever possible, risk estimates from the most fully adjusted models were used in the estimation of the pooled [relative risks].” It is well established that saturated fat intake is associated with increased concentration of serum cholesterol (4), and that serum cholesterol concentrations are associated with CHD and CVD (5). Therefore, serum cholesterol concentrations lie on the causal chain between saturated fat intake and CHD and CVD and to adjust for serum cholesterol concentrations in a meta-analysis will obscure the effect of saturated fat intake on these health outcomes. Yet 7 of the 16 studies included in the meta-analysis of CHD events, and 4 of the 8 studies included in the meta-analysis of stroke events, were adjusted for serum cholesterol concentrations. These studies accounted for nearly half of all CHD and CVD events included in the meta-analyses (see Table 1). Adjustment for serum cholesterol concentrations will inevitably bias the estimates of effect of saturated fat intake toward the null hypothesis. A meta-analysis of nonadjusted data would have produced different (and more informative) results.

    Studies included in the meta-analysis that adjusted for serum cholesterol concentrations1

    Siri-Tarino et al (1) do not mention this as a potential limitation of their study, nor do they calculate estimates of the effect of saturated fat intake on CHD and CVD using unadjusted data from the identified cohort studies. Without this further analysis, the conclusion that, “our meta-analysis showed that there is insufficient evidence from prospective epidemiologic studies to conclude that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD” is unsupported.

    Questions 2 – ajcn.nutrition.org/content/91/3/497.long
    2. The diet-heart revisit in this issue of the Journal (1, 2), concerning saturated fatty acids (SFAs) and coronary heart disease (CHD), is problematic in its thrust; it relates to numerous questions as follows, none of which are explicitly spelled out:

    1) In univariate analyses of population-based observational data, are there direct relations of dietary SFAs to CHD?

    2) In multivariate analyses controlled for possible confounders, are there independent direct relations of dietary SFAs to CHD?

    3) Is the SFA-CHD relation similar for “hard” fatal CHD and “soft” total CHD?

    4) Do limitations in quality of dietary data in epidemiologic studies on SFA-CHD influence results?

    5) What are the findings from randomized controlled trials on SFA-CHD?

    6) Is the SFA-CHD relation mainly attributable to adverse SFA influence on serum cholesterol (total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol)?

    7) What about possible effects of dietary cholesterol?

    8) With lower dietary SFA, which macronutrients are preferable to replace SFA?

    9) Are dietary influences on serum lipoprotein particles clear or relevant? Do particle measurements enhance CHD risk assessment independent of serum lipids?

    10) Do dietary SFAs or other macronutrients influence metabolic traits other than LDL cholesterol, particularly HDL cholesterol and triglycerides, independent of caloric balance (obesity)? Do these traits predict CHD risk independently of established major metabolic risk factors such as adverse total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, blood pressure (BP), body mass, and hyperglycemia/diabetes?

    11) Do these dietary traits influence BP?

    12) On the basis of all of the evidence, what are optimal dietary recommendations to reduce CHD risk?

    Regarding item 1 above, the issue of whether SFA relates to CHD in univariate analyses is relevant. If findings on this subject are positive but the association is markedly reduced or ceases in multivariate analyses, this may be due to confounding (eg, by dietary cholesterol) and/or overadjustment (eg, by inclusion in analyses of serum total or LDL cholesterol, a major CHD risk factor influenced by SFA intake). Assessment of such possibilities enlightens understanding of SFA-CHD relations, but the 2 current articles (1, 2) do not address these issues.

    Limited information on these issues is extractable from tables in the meta-analysis (2). Of 15 studies that unequivocally concern the SFA-CHD relation, 4 did not include other dietary lipids or serum lipids among covariates. Their CHD relative risks (RRs) ranged from 1.22 to 2.77—ie, >1.07, which was the estimated CHD RR in the meta-analysis (2). Do these larger RRs reflect freedom from confounding and overadjustment? Analyses are needed to clarify this; the 2 current articles (1, 2) give no such data.

    The meta-analysis (2) states briefly that the Ni-Hon-San Study and the Seven Countries Study found significant cross-population relations between SFA and CHD, as have multiple ecological analyses (3). The authors ignore these findings in their assessments and conclusions.

    Regarding item 2, in multivariate analyses the question is: Does SFA relate to CHD independently of multiple covariates (including dietary and serum lipids)? The 2 articles (1, 2) never make this clear. Thus, the Abstract in the meta-analysis simply states, “Intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of CHD” (2). A precise characterization is as follows: There was a statistically nonsignificant relation of SFA to CHD (RR: 1.07) independent of other dietary lipids, serum lipids, and other covariates.

    As to item 3, the meta-analysis did not compare SFA–fatal CHD and SFA–total CHD outcomes (total CHD is undefined). This merits exploration. My calculations, from data for 16 CHD studies (meta-analysis tables), with RRs weighted by person-years of exposure, yielded contrasting CHD risks: for “hard” fatal CHD (11 studies), the RR was 1.32; for “soft” total CHD (5 studies), the RR was 0.99; and for all 16 studies, the RR was 1.09 (compared with the meta-analysis RR estimate of 1.07).

    Regarding item 4, the meta-analysis (2) reported its findings as independent of a quality score including diet assessment. Of the 16 CHD studies, 4 relied on one 24-h dietary recall; the SFA-CHD RR was >1.00 for only one of these studies. Seven used a food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ); the RR was >1.00 in 3 of these studies. Five used dietary history or multiday food record; the RR was >1.00 in all 5 studies, even though 3 were adjusted for serum or dietary lipids (2). These facts, which were unnoted in the meta-analysis (2), prompt the question: Did low-level reliability (reproducibility) of dietary SFA data drive RR values toward 1.00 (the regression-dilution bias problem)? No data on SFA reliability are given.

    As shown in Table 1 of the meta-analysis (2), whether a study “validated” dietary data (a misnomer) is noted; the procedure was a comparison of 2 methods, the study’s and another method (eg, FFQ and 7-d record), which is an assessment of reliability, not validity (concordance of data with external objective reality). The ability to evaluate the validity of dietary data on free-living people is limited (4); validity was not assessed in the meta-analysis. Also, the meta-analysis says nothing about the problem for the 16 studies of possible bias in SFA-CHD findings due to dietary change (eg, reduced SFA intake) in people with higher serum total cholesterol seeking to lower total cholesterol/CHD risk (as occurred for the earliest of the 16 studies).

    Regarding item 5 above, the Clinical Trials section in the Opinion article (1) is almost entirely uncritical, noting only in regard to 2 trials that “these studies may have been limited by a small sample size and/or a limited duration of follow-up.” This section discusses the Women’s Health Initiative Trial uncritically, without attention to key aspects or implications of design and findings. That trial primarily explored the effects of low total fat on breast and colon cancer, not the effects of improved dietary lipid composition on CHD; reported improvements in dietary lipid composition by the intervention group were small; improvements in total and LDL cholesterol, BP, and so forth were miniscule or nil, yielding nonsignificant effects on CHD (predictably)—eg, for a combined “hard” CHD endpoint [in women without baseline cardiovascular disease (CVD) history], the hazard ratio for the intervention group was 0.94 (95% CI: 0.86–1.02). As Howard et al (5) have noted, “Trends toward greater reductions in CHD risk were observed in those with lower intakes of saturated fat or trans fat or higher intakes of vegetables/fruits.” The investigators concluded that “more focused diet and lifestyle interventions may be needed to improve risk factors and reduce CVD risk” (5). This inference is concordant with extensive data that show CHD rates lower by 90% and life expectancy years longer for the small minority of adult Americans with favorable levels of the 4 readily measured diet-dependent major CHD risk factors [total cholesterol, BP, body mass index (BMI), glycemia/diabetes] and nonsmoking status (6).

    There is a 50-y history on diet-heart trials involving multiple studies, including the National Diet-Heart Study and the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial, with extensive findings, conclusions, and recommendations that are not mentioned in the current 2 articles (1, 2). Suffice it to note here that no definitive diet-heart trial has been done, and it is unlikely that one will ever be done. Enhancement of public policy for CHD/CVD prevention has to proceed on the basis of all of the other evidence, as it has successfully since 1960, a key matter only touched on one-sidedly in the 2 current articles (1, 2).

    Regarding item 6, the current articles (1, 2) contain formulations that imply skepticism regarding the importance of the influence of SFA on serum total and LDL cholesterol (eg, reference 1, first sentence of Introduction). The authors’ precise intent is unclear: Do they doubt the validity of the equations of Keys et al (University of Minnesota) and Hegsted et al (Harvard), which are based on dozens of metabolic ward–type feeding experiments, showing independent relations of dietary SFA and cholesterol (direct) and polyunsaturated acid (PUFA) (inverse) to total cholesterol (see Bibliography in reference 6: articles by Clarke et al, Hegsted et al, Keys et al), findings that are repeatedly confirmed in observational and interventional studies in free-living people? (The 2 current articles do not cite these references.) Are the briefly described (1) interactive influences on total and LDL cholesterol among the dietary lipids validly established? Do they bring into question the classical findings?

    As to item 7, the current articles (1, 2) barely touch on influences of dietary cholesterol. The meta-analysis mentions the 1933 Anitschkow chapter, stating (inaccurately) that early animal studies showed high SFA and cholesterol intakes induced hypercholesterolemia/atherosclerosis. In fact, the decisive dietary modification for experimental atherogenesis, the sine qua non or materia peccans (Anitschkow’s term), is cholesterol ingestion. This has been the prerequisite since the 1908–1912 breakthrough by Anitschkow et al (a centennial anniversary meriting celebration and discussion) in thousands of experiments in mammalian and avian species—herbivorous, carnivorous, and omnivorous—including nonhuman primates. To neglect this fact in a review about humans is to imply that the Darwinian foundation of biomedical research is invalid and/or that there is a body of substantial contrary evidence in humans. Neither is the case. Dietary cholesterol (as well as SFA) adversely influences human serum lipid concentrations, per cited equations. And several prospective epidemiologic studies found direct relations of dietary cholesterol to CHD independent of serum total cholesterol (6). The SFA-CHD relation can be soundly elucidated only with concurrent consideration of dietary cholesterol (as well as PUFA, carbohydrate, etc). The quality of the current 2 articles (1, 2) is impaired by inadequate attention to dietary cholesterol.

    Regarding item 8 on macronutrient alternatives to SFA, the current articles (1, 2) express concern about possible unfavorable metabolic influences of carbohydrate—eg, on triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and small LDL particles. No mention is made of the fact that international epidemiologic data cast doubt as to the generalizability of “carbohydrate-induced dyslipidemia”: eg, Seven Countries Study baseline data (1960s) on Italy and Japan, the latter with dietary total fat of ≈10% of kcal (≈3% SFA, 3% MUFA, 3% PUFA); high, mostly complex, total carbohydrate; favorable serum lipid concentrations; and low CHD rates. Similarly, in the late 1990s (4), macronutrient intakes in Japan and China compared with the United States were higher in total available carbohydrate (54%, 65%, and 49% of kcal, respectively), starch, vegetable protein, alcohol (men); lower (Japan, China compared with the United States) in total fat and SFA (6% and 5% of kcal, respectively), trans fatty acids, cholesterol (China), Keys dietary lipid score, sugars; also lower in BMI (4). Note the amount of SFA (5–6% of kcal), which was an observed finding for the Chinese/Japanese population samples (4); the authors (1) are incorrect in describing recommendations for this amount of SFA as an “extrapolation” without a database. Serum total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, glycated hemoglobin, uric acid, and fibrinogen were lower in Japanese in Japan than in Japanese Americans in Hawaii, and HDL cholesterol was higher (in men) or as high (in women)—ie, with no evidence of carbohydrate-induced dyslipidemia/metabolic syndrome. Other studies have reported corresponding data from China (7) and from Italy. The current articles (1, 2) also neglect the 3 DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)/OmniHeart feeding trials (8, 9) in regard to the likely benefit of replacing SFA with complex carbohydrate. The authors are inaccurate in concluding (Abstract; 1) that “there are few epidemiologic or clinical trial data to support a benefit of replacing saturated fat with carbohydrate.”

    Regarding item 9, concern is expressed (1) about differential effects of dietary SFA and carbohydrate on amounts of larger and smaller LDL particles. Limited data exist on these effects and on whether lipoprotein particle measurement enhances CHD risk assessment independent of serum lipids. Initial findings do not warrant proposals to overturn recommendations—which were developed and refined over decades on the basis of massive concordant evidence—on population-wide improved nutrition to prevent CHD. They pose questions, but they do not give solid answers; more research is essential.

    As to item 10, the concern (1) about influences of dietary composition on triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, glycemia/diabetes, and “metabolic dyslipidemia” is also one-sided. The evidence is overwhelming that the main “driver” of these traits is caloric imbalance producing overweight/obesity (10). These metabolic traits all respond favorably to even modest weight reduction with diets of varied nutrient composition, including heart-healthy fare (see below) (11, 12). Data are limited or inconsistent on influences of dietary composition (SFA compared with carbohydrates, etc) (see item 8 above) and on “metabolic dyslipidemia”/metabolic syndrome as an independent predictor of CHD risk. Current findings do not warrant modification of recommendations for improved nutrition, beyond intensified emphasis on prevention and control of obesity (ie, on caloric balance as well as on nutrient composition).

    Regarding item 11, recent epidemiologic and feeding trial findings (8, 9, 13) indicate that multiple macro-/micronutrients independently influence BP in addition to the established adverse effects of high salt, excess alcohol, and caloric imbalance/obesity and the favorable effects of potassium. These include vegetable protein, glutamic acid, ω-3/ω-6 PUFAs, oleic acid/monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA), and minerals (calcium, nonheme iron, magnesium, phosphorus) inversely and red meat, glycine, cholesterol, and sugars in sweetened beverages directly. Combined effects—estimated from epidemiologic data and shown by feeding trials—are sizable and important for medical care and public health. The authors’ paragraphs on BP mention only a few macronutrients (1).

    Finally, as to item 12 recommendations the authors offer only the following: “dietary efforts to improve the increasing burden of CVD risk associated with atherogenic dyslipidemia should primarily emphasize the limitation of refined carbohydrate intakes and a reduction in excess adiposity” (1; Abstract and Conclusions). Coupled with the statement in the Abstract and Conclusions in the meta-analysis (2), “there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD,” the authors seem to be dissociating themselves from prevailing national and international dietary recommendations to the general population for primordial, primary, and secondary prevention of CHD/CVD and the established major metabolic risk factors. But they are not explicit. Is that their intent? Specifically, do they disagree with the merits of heart-healthy fare on the basis of DASH-, OmniHeart-, Mediterranean-, East Asian–type eating patterns, which emphasize vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes/seeds/nuts, fat-free/low-fat dairy products, fish/shellfish, lean poultry, egg whites, seed oils in moderation, alcohol (if desired) in moderation, and portion size/calorie controlled and deemphasize red and processed meats, cheeses, ice cream, egg yolks, cookies/pastries/pies/cakes/other sweets/sweetened beverages, snacks, and salt/commercial foods with added salt. Estimated nutrient composition of this fare is as follows: total fat ≈20–25% of kcal, SFA 6–7%, MUFA 7–9%, PUFA 7–9%, cholesterol <100 mg/1000 kcal, total protein 18–25%, vegetable protein 9–12%, carbohydrate 55–60% (mostly complex), fiber 30–35 g/d, 50–65 mmol Na/d (2900–3770 mg NaCl/d), mineral/vitamin intake high (6). A vast array of concordant multidisciplinary research evidence is the sound foundation for these recommendations.

    Naz Reply:

    I have a better idea, how about you ask him yourself seeing as though you’re the one who has an issue with this topic.

    Naz Reply:

    ‘Since you are out of your depth in finding and reading the science, I’m guessing you are weaker at critiquing it?’

    Wow that’s funny, you don’t even know my qualifications and you’re throwing out judgements like that.

    This will be my last reply to you. Obviously you have an issue with this topic so how about you either don’t read Sarah’s work or go and write your own piece about why you don’t agree with what has been written here.

    David Driscoll Reply:

    “Wow that’s funny, you don’t even know my qualifications and you’re throwing out judgements like that.”

    I’m betting you have no relevant qualifications based on the scientific illiteracy that you have shown here! You ask for research, you ignore it, try to pass off web-based articles as evidence and then eventually quote a single study – unaware of the criticisms raised about it. You are out of your depth, best you go back to the shallow end where it is safe!

    “This will be my last reply to you. ”

    Bail out while you can. good call!

    “Obviously you have an issue with this topic so how about you either don’t read Sarah’s work or go and write your own piece about why you don’t agree with what has been written here.”

    Wrote why I don’t agree above – did you miss it? Typical!

    Jen Reply:

    Thank you for the amazing debate David Driscoll! For the time and energy and being able to back up your argument with validated scientific resources was even better!
    To Naz and all the followers… my view of why people like me and David and Em comment on blogs like this that we don’t agree with is because there’s so much misinformation about health and nutrition out there and unless you have been taught otherwise through institutions like universities who’s purpose is to teach the most up to date, scientificall accurate and credible information on a particular topic or profession, its hard to know what’s right and whats wrong. Everybody has an opinion on what’s good for you and what’s bad for you these days…
    I have an obese Naturopath coming to me to lose weight, meanwhile he’s advising his patients on how they should best lose weight, who would want to take weight loss advice from a person with a waist circumference of 143cm? with BP of 169/115? yet they do… He’s also Indian so all he does is cook with Ghee… his visceral fat level is 19! Sometimes as health professionals its our responsibility to speak up and offer up our knowledge, especially on blogs or forums like this where there’s only one side of the story presented and many people following one persons beliefs.
    When you have morbidly obese patients coming to see you everyday telling you that they read online that chocolate was nutritionally equivalent to a banana so they ate a whole block, its proves that there’s a lot of bad food, diet and nutrition information on the web!

    [Reply]

    Jo @ Shop Naturally Reply:

    I have a shelf full of books, all written by doctors and health professionals, all claiming to have the answers and they all contradict each other. Dairy causes cancer, meat is important, meat isn’t easily digested in the body. I could go on and on and on.

    I can tell you now that I wouldn’t be seeing an obese naturopath about weight loss, nor would I read online that a block of chocolate is the same as a banana and eat a whole block.

    I take Sarah’s posts as a thought starter and I do my own research and speak to my own naturopath and doctor. I don’t think a giant pile of lemmings are reading this blog. What works for one person doens’t work for another. We’re all different, have different intolerances, allergies, metabolisms, diseases, values etc. For some, good quality animal fat IS a better option than sugar. For others, it may not be.

    I think respectful debate is great, espeically on here, but it wasn’t always done in that way. If you’re a medical professional and you disagree, I think it’s great that you take the time to put your point of view across. It doesn’t mean your way is right for everyone, nor is Sarah’s. One persons cure is another person’s poison, sadly. Traditional medicine may have saved lives on this list, for others, it has failed them. There’s two sides to every story.

    Naz Reply:

    Hi Jen

    You say that ” have an obese Naturopath coming to me to lose weight, meanwhile he’s advising his patients on how they should best lose weight, who would want to take weight loss advice from a person with a waist circumference of 143cm? with BP of 169/115? yet they do… He’s also Indian so all he does is cook with Ghee… his visceral fat level is 19!”

    So just to clarify are you saying that he is fat because he cooks with ghee? I know a lot of people who cook with ghee (myself included) and we are certainly not fat….

    I think there must be more to his story:

    1 – What kind of ghee is he cooking with? Not all ghee is the same, I only cook with ghee that is made from grass-fed cows, and if I make my own I use only grass-fed butter.

    2 – What else is he eating? What is he cooking in the ghee?

    3 – What are his other lifestyle factors like? Does he exercise? Does he get enough sleep? Is he stressed out?

    Etc etc etc….

    Also you say “When you have morbidly obese patients coming to see you everyday telling you that they read online that chocolate was nutritionally equivalent to a banana so they ate a whole block, its proves that there’s a lot of bad food, diet and nutrition information on the web!”

    I think common sense should prevail here and anyone reading something like that should realise how silly that is! I don’t know anyone who would advocate eating a whole block of chocolate over a banana! I follow a Paleo lifestyle and there is NO where that says you should do something like that! And I’m pretty sure Sarah wouldn’t condone that either.

    I do agree with you in that there is bad food, diet and nutrition information out there but I think it’s up to us to, as I said before, use our common sense.

    seeker Reply:

    “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”
    -Bertrand Russell

    [Reply]

    wally Reply:

    Excellent choice of quote seeker- it rings true to me for more than just the above comments but also of things going on in my own life!

    [Reply]

  • Sam

    Hi All,

    I am wondering why you can drink wine on a no sugar diet? Isn’t there sugar in alcohol? Can someone explain the process in the body that makes sugar from wine react differently? I’m really concerned that I can’t answer this question!

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

  • Amanda

    Hi Sarah – thought of you when I read this article – in Stockholm they have banned butter in schools and replaced it with margarine (as butter is unhealthy)! http://www.ausfoodnews.com.au/2012/10/22/butter-ban-by-some-stockholm-schools-a-disconcerting-precedent.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AustralianFoodNews+%28Australian+Food+News%29

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    nooooo! that’s terrible!

    [Reply]

  • Karla@confused.com

    Hi everyone

    I am totally confused now. So saturated fat does or does not contribute or cause high cholesterol?

    Scenario…. My boyfriend and I have recently each had a medical. We both got our cholesterol results back and mine was 6.3 (up from 4.1) and his was 3 (down from 5.2 the pervious year).

    Naturally the doctor has told me to cut down on all the saturated fat in our diet and so the results of this have lead to a lot of questions and discussion about diet and cholesterol (because we love butter).

    We have been living together for the past 18 months and in this time we have had a very similar diet full of fresh vegetables (50% of the plate), red meat, chicken – with skin! And … Glorious butter! I cook fresh for both of us 13 nights a fortnight. Before we lived together we both ate a lot of convenient food which included take away pizza, KFC (oh the shame) and fairly irregularly as neither of us would bother cooking for 1.

    We are both fairly active (but he, a fair bit more so, 2 hours a day 4 days a week).

    Ok, so our diet “improves” (we think?) for both of us, our saturated fat intake is higher than it was before, our level of exercise is the same as it was before, but my cholesterol is up and his is down. What is happening? :0/

    [Reply]

    lainey Reply:

    Hi Karla,

    Check out these blog posts from Mark Sisson about saturated fat and cholesterol, this may help you a little.

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/high-fat-diet-healthy-safe/#axzz2ALXUCjxI

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/saturated-fat-healthy/#axzz2ALXw7eX3

    He also does a fabulous two part posting (which you can search for on his site) which discusses cholesterol and the tests that measure it. Essentially, its not the total cholesterol levels (altho keeping LDL low is good!) that are as important as the lipoprotein number and particle size – that seems to be a better predictor of cardiovascular disease…these are the carriers of cholesterol, and correlate more with disease than the cholesterol itself. Cholesterol is necessary for life, its when its paired with inflammation that we start to get atherosclerosis etc.

    Personally, my diet does contain saturated fats, I am not scared of them, but it doesn’t represent my entire fat intake, I eat poly unsaturated too, but try and minimise the omega six ratio. So I eat dairy fat, meat fat, coconut oil, olive oil and nuts (but stick to macadamias which have a better omega 3/6 ratio).

    [Reply]

    Karla@confused.com Reply:

    Thanks for this info lianey! It’s hard to know where to start; there is so much information out there….. I’ll start here :0)

    [Reply]

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  • Donsie

    I find if I show people this sort of information, they ask me – “but what about your bad cholestrol level, won’t it go up? Do you have any information on this?

    [Reply]

    Anne Reply:

    I refer to the “Framingham Heart Study” which started in 1948 which is now in its 3rd generation of participants. The study illustrates the more your cholesterol falls the greater the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Cholesterol is not the big bad wolf it’s made out to be. Everybody needs cholesterol – what you have to do is get your ratio between your HDL & LDL right. Increase your HDL by eating things like coconut oil. Research the Framingham Heart Study on the internet or buy the book Cholesterol & Saturted Fat Prevent Heart Disease by David Evans & you will get all the information you need on cholesterol.

    [Reply]

    David Driscoll Reply:

    It always amazes me that people can read a book containing scientific references and then think by reading the book, they have just absorbed (and mastered) all of the science associated with it! Better yet, they can then argue with people who have done the reading, done extensive study and research, and tell them that they are wrong!

    Anne, reading about science isn’t the same as actually reading the science, so can I suggest that you follow your own advice and actually look at Framingham – and can I suggest going to the source and not someone else’s interpretation.

    Cardiovascular Disease – 30 year risk
    framinghamheartstudy.org/risk/cardiovascular30.html

    Coronary Heart Disease Risk 10 Years
    framinghamheartstudy.org/risk/coronary.html

    Or try a calculator?

    hp2010.nhlbihin.net/atpiii/calculator.asp

    The confidence of amateurs is the envy of professionals!

    [Reply]

    Anne Reply:

    What are your credentials – who are you? Why does your research differ from the findings that are in the research anyone else does. Do you think you are 100% correct in your “research”? Tell us more about yourself so we can decide for ourselves how your point of view is better than ours

    David Driscoll Reply:

    I have Masters degrees in Dietetic and Exercise Science. But why do you want to talk about me and not the evidence – especially your error re cholesterol levels???

  • Anne

    For all the doubters here is a good bit of research with evidence from 101 scientific papers to back it up. The book is called Cholesterol & Saturated Fat Prevent Heart Disease by David Evans. For every bit of scientific evidence against there is just as much if not more evidence in the positive. Doctors are only reactive in their treatment not pro-active – they treat the symptom after it’s happened instead of telling people how to prevent the disease in the first place. Most doctors rely on other people’s research & don’t have time to research themselves so if the research has been done by a drug company or multi-national corporation then we know what advice the doctor will be given. Each person needs to take control of their own health & well being because nobody else is more interested in your own health than yourself. I have been reading & researching this topic for months & for me the evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of bringing saturated fats back into our diet. For me if you don’t agree that’s fine but don’t foist your views on me.

    [Reply]

    David M Driscoll Reply:

    It always amazes me that people can read a book containing scientific references and then think by reading the book, they have just absorbed (and mastered) all of the science associated with it! Better yet, they can then argue with people who have done the reading, done extensive study and research, and tell them that they are wrong!

    Anne, reading about science isn’t the same as actually reading the science, so can I suggest that you follow your own advice and actually look at Framingham – and can I suggest going to the source and not someone else’s interpretation.

    Cardiovascular Disease – 30 year risk
    http://www.framinghamheartstudy.org/risk/cardiovascular30.html
    Predictors
    Male Sex
    Age
    Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP)
    Use of Antihypertensive treatment (yes/ no)
    Smoking
    Diabetes mellitus
    Total cholesterol
    HDL cholesterol
    BMI replacing lipids in a simpler model

    Coronary Heart Disease Risk 10 Years
    http://www.framinghamheartstudy.org/risk/coronary.html
    Predictors
    Age
    Diabetes
    Smoking
    JNC-V blood pressure categories
    NCEP total cholesterol categories
    LDL cholesterol categories

    Or try a calculator?

    http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/atpiii/calculator.asp
    (Total cholesterol – Total cholesterol is the sum of all the cholesterol in your blood. The higher your total cholesterol, the greater your risk for heart disease. Here are the total values that matter to you:)

    The confidence of amateurs is the envy of professionals!

    [Reply]

    David Driscoll Reply:

    “For all the doubters here is a good bit of research with evidence from 101 scientific papers to back it up. ”

    Have you read any of the papers?

    “For every bit of scientific evidence against there is just as much if not more evidence in the positive. ”

    And how do you weigh up the evidence and decide which is the better quality research (or if they do in fact contradict?)

    “Doctors are only reactive in their treatment not pro-active – they treat the symptom after it’s happened instead of telling people how to prevent the disease in the first place. ”

    Doctors never tell people to eat better, exercise etc – a tired old myth!

    “Most doctors rely on other people’s research & don’t have time to research themselves ”

    That’s how research works!

    “I have been reading & researching this topic for months”

    And people who have been doing it for decades, actually reading studies and not popular books are wrong?

    “the evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of bringing saturated fats back into our diet. ”

    At what point were they eliminated? Telling epople to reduce their intake isn’t the same thing!

    >For me if you don’t agree that’s fine but don’t foist your views on me.<

    Can we ask you to justify them and clarify what you mean by research though?

    [Reply]

    lainey Reply:

    David,

    You are obviously well read and educated in this area and no doubt many people could benefit for your knowledge, but the aggressive way that you are putting your point of view and well substantiated opinions across and arguing people’s comments here makes it very difficult . Perhaps you don’t mean it that way, but it comes across as aggressive, confrontational and patronising. Please remember that not everyone has the same education as you and they are coming to these sites to become more informed. Is is a good thing and should be encouraged, So instead of taking the approach you have, please try to be more understanding of people’s learning curve. if you cant be then perhaps these types of forums are not for you.

    [Reply]

    David Driscoll Reply:

    Thanks for the feedback and I probably should tone it down a bit, but when responding to people who have already made accusations and haven’t started with a civil tone eg”medical profession is corrupt, just want people coming back, not interested in prevention, blinded by corporate sponsorship, not up with latest research etc etc I find it hard to give people the benefit of the doubt.

    When someone is asking a question, I am generally more civil, but when i have to start by defending colleagues or my profession – or responding to people telling me what the facts are vs asking, I tend to ‘arc up’. Maybe I’m too jaded with my millionth response to a “I read a book and now know more than the medical establishment” statement or maybe people don’t liked to be questioned directly ;-)

    Anne Reply:

    I am happy for you to continue your low fat diet. I will continue my way of eating quite happily. Have you actually read the book I mentioned as they are actual scientific papers on the subject. Who is to say which scientist or researcher is right? This is the same as climate change – there are just as many scientists who subscribe to the theory as there are denIers. So I guess it depends on which scientist & researchers you personally believe. I have read articles by cardiologists, medical doctors & nutritionists who have done the research & subscribe to eating low carb, saturated fat, protein way of eating. Ancel Keys was not even a medical professional & yet his advice was taken about saturated fat intake being the cause of heart disease. If low fat is the right way to go then how come there are more obese people since it was decided that saturated fat became the enemy? What are your thoughts about fructose then?

    [Reply]

    David Driscoll Reply:

    “Have you actually read the book I mentioned as they are actual scientific papers on the subject. ”

    No, I tend to read the papers, thus don’t get the results spun or misrepresented.

    “Who is to say which scientist or researcher is right?”

    Other scientists, that ‘s how the process works, debates in journals (letters to editor and responses, discussions and debates at conferences etc), alterations and reviews based on latest evidence.

    “This is the same as climate change – there are just as many scientists who subscribe to the theory as there are denIers.”

    No, once again you are making up statistics – there are not just as many, but if you have a resource that suggests otherwise I would be happy to read it.

    >So I guess it depends on which scientist & researchers you personally believe.What are your thoughts about fructose then?<

    I follow the science, no evidence that it is poison in normal dosages – most people eat too much, no need to eliminate.

    Will you be answering any questions or just asking them? You have totally gotten the Framingham study wrong and haven;t taken a backward step since, now arguing other points vs trying to either show me where I have gotten it wrong, or you admitting you have.

  • Jen

    I don’t think David has been aggressive at all, all he’s done is put up a sound rebuttal to the misinformation that has been posted. The fact that he is well read and educated and an expert in Nurtition Sciences should further cement his arguements against saturated fats. As you say, people are coming to these forums to be informed and all david is doing is ensureing that they aren’t misinformed. If people take offense or get frustrated its only because he’s so thoroughly impugned the so called ‘evidence’ people have thrown up supporting their side of the arguement.

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Spell check! *Nutrition and *ensuring…

    [Reply]

    Laineyms Reply:

    Good on you David. I think everyone is just here to learn and hopefully the discourse is helpful.

    [Reply]

    David Driscoll Reply:

    I think some people here already know everything and thus are just here for reassurance!

  • Anne

    David, I refer you to these articles on the website you have been quoting.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9635993
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3299312/ – in particular items 6,7,8,9,10.
    One of the items reads as follows:
    (7. Sidestep: Transfatty Acids
    A widely neglected, but still very important aspect, is the problem of transfatty acids (TFAs) in fast food, bakery fats, and especially in snack foods [33, 34]. Transfatty acids in human nutrition mainly stem from partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. They raise LDL cholesterol, lower HDL-cholesterol, promote systemic inflammation, and deteriorate insulin sensitivity [35–37]. Unlike Denmark (since 2002), New York (2007), Switzerland (2008), and recently California, there is no ban on the use of TFA nor any obligation to declare its content in foods in Germany or in the European Union. Considering the importance of TFA with strong evidence for a causal link with CVD, there is an urgent need for political action towards a Europeanwide ban.)

    The only thing I would disagree with is the recommendation to eat canola oil whip hitch is a hydrogenated oil.
    If you take a look at the book I mentioned previously you will see that it is a book full of scientific references. As I am not learned in the “medical” & “scientific” terms I have to rely on reading books such as this. I would urge everyone to read these articles – if you can understand some of the lingo. So whilst I may not be an expert in the field I can still manage to glean that high carb low fat diets are not good.

    [Reply]

    David Driscoll Reply:

    Anne, will you be responding to any/all of the points raised so far or just continue to move the goal posts each time something you say is shown tombe incorrect?

    Who got the cholesterol bit wrong? You or the book author?

    I understand that you are impressed by a book with a hundred references, but if you read some of the summary papers i listed above – they have many hundred!

    Have you read any papers/books which disagree with your hypothesis and if so on wht basis do you choose which one is more factual?

    [Reply]

    David Driscoll Reply:

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22658146/?i=15&from=saturated%20fat%20heart%20disease&filter=review

    The role of reducing intakes of saturated fat in the prevention of cardiovascular disease: where does the evidence stand in 2010?
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/21270379/?i=5&from=/22658146/related

    Major types of dietary fat and risk of coronary heart disease: a pooled analysis of 11 cohort studies.
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19211817/?i=2&from=/21270379/related

    Saturated fatty acids and risk of coronary heart disease: modulation by replacement nutrients.
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/20711693/?i=6&from=/21270379/related

    Dietary fats and coronary heart disease.
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22583051/?i=22&from=saturated%20fat%20heart%20disease&filter=review

    [Reply]

    David M Driscoll Reply:

    Anne, just like Naz your bluff has been called – you don’t know the science, you haven’t read it but like to posture that you have!

    Just tell people about your experience and stop being so dishonest!

    [Reply]

    Naz Reply:

    Hey mate no need to involve me in an exchange you’re having with another person!

    [Reply]

    David M Driscoll Reply:

    You’re right, even though both of you had your bluff called on presenting ‘the science’ (and in context of others suggesting that everyone is here to learn!), you were more dishonest in the fact that you actually asked for the evidence and then ignored it when you got it!

  • Anne

    Sorry -stupid auto correct – which not whip hitch!

    [Reply]

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  • Debbie

    Sarah,

    I have just bought your I Quit Sugar book and you mention above to ditch certain oils and one of them is Grapeseed oil but in your book, you actually recommend grapeseed oil in one of your recipes.

    Can you please explain why since you have said to ditch it because its no good.

    Thanks

    Debbie.

    [Reply]

  • Gabi

    I don’t quite agree with the grapeseed oil being unhealthy. If you buy organic cold pressed grapeseed oil it has tremendous health benefits. While it is not as stable as other fats, it’s more plant based oils that work better for me. Also grapeseed oil protects against free radicals and cancer also! I’ve had really bad acne since I was 5 so years of experimenting with food taught me so; if I eat pork, the next day I’m breaking out really bad, while grapeseed oil doesn’t effect me. Others may argue that it also has a high smoke point and that it is healthy to cook with. In the end, anyone can say anything about any food, good or bad, but in the end no one knows everything for sure because people have biases and motives to bend and change the facts. It think it’s important to listen to your body and avoid the processed stuff as much as possible, getting a variety of different fats in your diet, and avoiding cooking fats as much as possible. In the end a raw diet is the healthiest diet possible, and for most diseases it’s recommended. Great for cancer patients, people with autoimmune diseases, and much more !

    [Reply]

  • Kiley

    I’d also be interested in a post elaborating on grapeseed oil! I’ve read (and been told) that it has health benefits and is even a healthier alternative to EVOO. Could you explain the reasoning as to why it should be avoided?

    I appreciate this post!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.frecklestotoes.blogspot.com Charlotte D

    Sarah, when do you use each different oil? Is coconut oil, ghee or bacon grease better depending on how high the heat is?

    [Reply]

  • Kristina Cook

    Hi Sarah, in this article you say that Omega 3 oils like flaxseed are unstable and turn rancid quickly, and that you don’t take these supplements, and in your book I Quit Sugar you say to never use seed oils but then in another part of the book you say that you use flaxseed oil on salads? So do you use flaxseed oil or don’t you? Is flaxseed oil OK if you use it within a short time? I like the Melrose flaxseed products and they always stipulate on the packaging that the oil must be used within a month, must be stored in the fridge away from heat and light and not to be used for frying. This sounds to me a responsible way to eat these products. By the way, I love, love, love your book – it’s awesome and good to see some vegan recipes in there that actually sound appetising!

    [Reply]

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