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Thursday, February 15, 2007

More Saturated Fat Nonsense

An article that looked so promising, yet still throws in politically correct tripe: Nutrition Researchers Provide The Skinny On Trans Fats. This article is a brief rundown of what a trans fat is, why it's bad, and the alternatives. Unfortunately, in the section about alternatives, they state the following:

To replace trans fats, many food producers are reaching for saturated fats, such as palm oil, coconut oil and cocoa butter. Unfortunately, saturated fats don't offer much of a health benefit over trans fats, if any. The USDA lumps trans fats and saturated fats together; both types raise LDL and are considered unhealthful.
More promising alternatives to trans fats are at various stages of development.[emphasis added]

So saturated fats are as bad as trans fats, according to the USDA. Note that this is the same USDA that has given us a Food Pyramid based on processed grains rather than on natural foods such as fruits and vegetables. But instead of an ad hominem on the USDA, I am going to throw out some logic. The premise that saturated fats are nearly as bad as trans fats is based on the bunk cholesterol hypothesis. If that theory is bunk, as the preponderance of evidence - along with logical analysis - shows it to be, then it follows that any argument based on that theory must also be bunk. The pharmaceutical companies won't give you the full story. They also aren't giving doctors the full story, so you have to look to your own research. Read Anthony Colpo's The Great Cholesterol Con and you will be amazed at the truth.

Anyway, moving along, the very saturated fats that the USDA claims are so bad, namely palm and coconut oils, are the very fats that tropical hunter-gatherer tribes consume with abandon. In fact, if you remove the US from the equation (where soybean oil is the main oil), palm oil is THE #1 most widely consumed oil in the world. And somehow people living a traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle aren't dropping dead from heart disease. Butter, lard, full-fat meat from grass-fed animals, coconut oil, and palm oil have all been consumed for generations upon generations, yet only in the past half-century has the incidence of heart disease shot through the roof. Perhaps it's the high intake of polyunsaturated oils which are highly prone to rancidity (and also powerfully immunosuppressive). There is evidence that a high carb consumption is the cause of high cholesterol. Whatever it is, it isn't the saturated fats.

Notice that I highlighted the word "development" in the quote above. Those saturated fats that I listed aren't "developed". They aren't synthesized, hydrogenated, or mixed. They are pure and natural fats, put here by Mother Nature (or your deity of choice), to be consumed by the animals of the planet. Food scientists have been trying for ages to top Mother Nature and have yet to succeed. Here is a short list of questionable developments: Olestra, aspartame, MSG, saccharin, hydrogenated vegetable oils. I'm sure there are more that haven't popped into my head at this moment. The point is that natural foods that require no processing are healthful additions to your nutrition plan. Foods that require processing are not and that includes any unnatural, man-made fats. Polyunsaturated vegetable oils require processing to be shelf-stable; saturated oils do not, having all of their stability naturally built-in. Mother Nature didn't provide mass sources of polyunsaturated oils. It takes loads of corn to make a single bottle of corn oil. Give the saturates a try and see if you don't have more energy. My intake of coconut and palm oils has improved my previously dry skin and even improved my ability to tolerate the sun without burning. As a red-headed German-Irish boy, that's never a bad thing.