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    Let’s talk cholesterol and the lipid theory and anything related! While I am not a Weston A. Price fan, it did give me an education about that. I’m an RN for 21 years, and I shudder to think of the harm that has been done with statins and low fat diets.

    Matt Stone

    I don’t think low fat diets are a problem outright unless it is frequently making a person binge on fatty junk foods or is triggering spontaneous calorie restriction (boring diets often do).

    Plus, I know very few people who actually eat a low-fat diet. The diet in Western nations is much higher in fat than diets in Asia, Africa, and equatorial regions. Just because Americans were told to eat a low-fat diet doesn’t mean they did. Still plenty of cheeseburgers, pizza, doughnuts, and ice cream being consumed.


    Back before I knew better, I’d try eating as little fat as possible in an attempt to lose weight (I’ve always been “too big” even at 5 foot 7 and 145, why???). I would always be STARVING. And not just hungry all the time but a really uncomfortable, hollow-feeling type of hungry. I started adding more fat to my diet about a year ago and I noticed that I felt a lot better… now since Eating The Food I’m eating a LOT more and I just continue to feel better and better physically.

    It is true, I can be very satiated on a meal of sushi – very little fat in that although I tend to choose fattier fish. This also makes me wonder how much our heritage plays in the amount of macronutrients we do the best with. My family comes from about 100 miles south of the Arctic circle so I wonder if it’s just in my genetics to feel better in general on a higher fat diet.

    When I said I felt it was harmful, should have clarified that – diets cannot be one size fits all and going on a low fat diet is what started the 30 year crash in my metabolism. :(


    After all I’ve read in the last 20 years, I really see no value to a low-fat diet, and in fact could easily be harmful. Although literal Paleo eating isn’t a good idea, the fact that humans and animals both have evolved eating fat as an essential part of the diet, I say absolutely eat it, but make sure it’s not vegetable oils and more coconut (oil), butter, olive oil, etc.
    Our bodies need fat and cholesterol for soooo many things, it just doesn’t make sense to limit that. In one book I read, they said the body will produce about 4 times the amount of cholesterol most people would get in the “typical” diet, so trying to decrease ingested cholesterol would make an insignificant difference. Also more and more evidence that high cholesterol is directly related to hypothyroidism; so much so, in fact, that some doctors now say it is a hallmark of hypothyroidism.
    Well, not sure you wanted to hear all that, but there you go =P


    I’m with you Jman99!

    And, just to clarify “cholesterol” is a NECESSARY piece of your bodily functions. Your brain NEEDS it! Your body makes it, because it does GOOD work, too!

    I am so much happier since I stopped avoiding fats, too. Most of my fat comes from coconut oil, olive oil, salmon, grass-fed beef, butter and whole milk yogurt.


    I strongly ‘third’ Jman99’s statement.

    If we want to trust Weston Price and look at fat intake through an anthropological lens (which I would tend to promote), we see that most traditional, non-industrial and non-broke cultures eat 20% to 50% of their calories from fats. The one exception would be Inuit, but I think it is fair to say their diet was/is far from ideal.

    At the high-end of the spectrum (~50%) are the Tokelau (Pac. Islands; mostly coconut) and Medieval Icelanders (mostly dairy fat). At the bottom of the spectrum are Kitavans (Pac. Islands; mostly coconut) and many cultures within pre-European Americas (fat mostly from game meat).

    I am an armchair student of Medieval Europe, and I have had many laughs reading the dream visions and various poems and tales of France and England describing fantasies for lard and butter. We’re talking dream visions of houses made of cheese, with the banisters made of bacon, and the floors waxed with lard. That kind of thing. Medieval peasants would often subsist on bread, lentils, and ale, and be lustful toward fat. Cheese, eggs, milk, meats and so on were not often available for manorial servants. Fortunately, it was customary for the manorial lords to offer rather large banquets on all the major Christian Feast Days, which totaled several dozen per year. I wasn’t laughing so much because I thought their plight was funny, but because I put myself through unnecessary restriction in the modern day by being a stupid fool.

    In the modern day (in post-industrial cultures), where food availability is mostly unlimited with respect to macronutrients, cultures tend to migrate toward about 30-40% fat, 40-60% carbs, and 10-20% protein. I would not think these more-or-less instinctual ranges inappropriate. I would only encourage better selection of food quality.


    The book “Death by Food Pyramid” outlines a study done a few decades ago which looked at healthy ‘native’ cultures to see how they ate… they all had good sources of saturated fat. From whale and seal fat, to coconut and palm oils, to fatty fish, olive oil, and my favorite – Swiss grass-fed cow butter. :)

    The book pokes holes in a number of other studies which promote low-fat living as ‘heart healthy’. I thought it was a good read. I’m sure it left a lot out – but it did help to fill in some holes in the picture in my own mind.


    Hey TinaT,

    I have not read the book, and I’ll check it out. But I wonder how biased the author was if he/she was including fish, seal, and whale on the list of ‘high saturated fat’ sources.

    But surely low PUFA sources of fat would include dairy, coconut, palm, and most olive oils. I am with you on dairy fat being the the most enjoyable on the lsit! :)


    I could have mis-quoted – I’ve been known to do that on occasion due to a poor memory on some things (and I apologize for not taking time to research my statement before posting that… I assumed whale blubber would be a saturated fat, bad me). Remove the word “saturated” from my sentence above, and you should have a better statement from the book…

    Thanks for posting the links and correcting me!

    Another thing that came out of that population-variety study, was how different groups of people evolved different digestive specialties. I.e. people who traditionally ate lots of starch, developed more amylase production genes.

    Backup info here:

    So… some people can eat that potato and not have a problem, others can eat the same potato, but have high blood sugar for hours. It’s not the potato’s fault – blame your parents! :)


    Hey, TinaT. No worries! I just have a history of guzzling fish oil, and I wouldn’t want more people to fall into that trap than already will!

    I think the salivary amylase copy number thing and starch digestion are interesting. I would have loved to see 23andme or whoever offer this as part of their genome test. The other question that I’m looking forward to researchers looking into is pancreatic/intestinal amylase activity level. Some say pancreatic amylase is sufficient for starch digestion, independent of any salivary amylase, and that it is less variable among populations. I’m not so sure, so I’d love to see it studied for real. I don’t think salivary amylase copy number would have increased for no reason, and its connection with starch eating among populations seems potentially strong enough to be causal.

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