Fabulously Fatty Foods

*** This is only a brief snapshot of the saturated fat issue.  I urge you to do your own research and make up your own mind.  My intention is to simply get you thinking that maybe, bacon is a food from the heavens.***

Fatty, fatty, two by four, can’t fit through the kitchen door.

Your momma’s so fat that when she sits down, Japan declares an earthquake warning.

For years and years, fat has been the enemy.  In the pitch black of night, we’ve armed ourselves with pitchforks and, shouting murderous cries, chased Fats through the ether of the night sky.

But this madness has to stop.

I have a dream that saturated fats and monounsaturated fats (but not polyunsaturated fats, because those things are EVIL) will one day reside in pantries and fridges, where they will not be judged by societies misconceptions and the mass media’s scare mongering but by the nutritional benefits they provide.

But first, let’s examine why we’ve put saturated fats on the same pedestal as Hitler, Satan and Jar Jar Binks.

Between 1958 and 1970, Ancel Keys conducted his ‘Seven Countries Study’.  He distributed a total of 12,763 surveys to men between the ages of 40-59 in Finland, Netherlands, Italy, Croatia, Serbia, Greece, Japan and the USA.

What he found was a very tenuous link, thanks to some informational cherry picking, between saturated fats and cardiovascular disease.

And before we knew it, we were swapping butter for margarine and animal fat for pasta and rice, less we keel over and die of a heart attack from the evil artery clogging LDL cholesterol in our diets!

But in order to be scared of LDL cholesterol, we need to know a little bit more about it.  After all, even though Oprah’s confidant, Dr. Oz, says “animal fat has a high-saturated fat content that can get stored in your thighs,” doesn’t mean that we need to immediately believe it.

It’s not like the mass media have ever erroneously reported on a nutritional story before.

Everybody knows that LDL cholesterol is the ‘devil’ cholesterol, and, because it’s sleeping with Satan and making margaritas with Hitler by the pool, it will inevitably cause you to drop dead of a heart attack.

But, did you know that there happens to be more than one type of LDL cholesterol particle?  In fact, there are four: large, medium, small and very small.

Small LDL particles are the ones we don’t want.  More of these small, dense, LDL cholesterol particles increase your risk of coronary heart disease threefold[1].  And a diet high in carbohydrates, simple sugars and starches create these little tiny Jar Jar Binks loving particles in your blood stream[2].

However, saturated fats create large, fluffy, cloud-like LDL particles that are benign and float harmlessly through your arteries.

So, when Ancel Keys advocated for a low fat, high carbohydrate diet to cut the risk of cardiovascular disease, he may have just been in cahoots with Ronald McDonald, the Colonel, Captain Crunch and the Coco the Monkey[3].

Damn that hyperactive, ADD monkey!

Unfortunately if, before reading this, you burned your animal fat around a campfire whilst chanting ancient incantations, no amount of clinical research or cited examples will convince you that saturated animal fat is not the real enemy.

Trust me, I’ve had this conversation with my Italian Mother-In-Law.  That did not end well for me.

I politely informed her that half of the cell membranes in our bodies are saturated fats that come from animal fats, butter, or organ meats and that these fat-rich sources are filled with vitamin K2, D and A and that our bodies naturally produce cholesterol, so therefore, why would it be bad for us.

Also, according to Sally Fallon Morell, President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a non-profit nutritional educational foundation, by slipping your fatty scraps to your dog when your Mom isn’t watching, you’re depriving yourself of the following benefits of saturated fats, including:

– calcium for your bones,
– lower Lp(a) levels: a marker for heart disease,
– protection for your liver from alcohol and poisons,
– assistance for your lung and kidney functioning,
– an enhanced immune system,
– detoxification for the body, and
– readily available energy for exercising.

Of course, whilst there are many health benefits to eating more saturated fats they need to be worked into a balanced diet, after all, too much of anything is bad for you…

… even something as healthy as carrots.

Next week, the dangers of carrots and risks of carotenodermia.

[1] Lamarche, B. et al. The small, dense LDL phenotype and the risk of coronary heart disease: epidemiology, patho-physiology, and therapeutic aspects. 1999. Diabetes Metab. 1999 Sep;25 (3):199-211

[2] Siri, PW. Et al. Influence of dietary carbohydrate and fat on LDL and HDL particle distributions. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2005 Nov;7 (6):455-9.

[3] Katan MB, Zock PL, Mensink RP. Dietary oils, serum lipoproteins, and coronary heart disease.Am J Clin Nutr. 1995;61:1368S–1373S.

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2 Responses to Fabulously Fatty Foods

  1. zen city says:

    yay for effectively explaining that. nice job!!

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