Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Saturated Fat - Eat More To Have Less

From Volek and Phinney's excellent "The Art and Science of Low Carb Performance":
"You might be thinking "these guys are inappropriately encouraging consumption of saturated fats, given all the hype about it being related to heart disease".  On careful inspection of the scientific literature, however, the widespread belief that dietary saturated fat is harmful turns out to be an out-dated paradigm based upon flawed reasoning.
"Yes, we know that this looks like an outrageous statement.  Se here is a brief summary of the details.  Current evidence shows no association between dietary saturated fat intake and cardiovascular disease (CVD)[50,51].  There is, however, a consistent pattern of increased risk for CVD [52-55] and diabetes [56-68] associated with increased amounts of saturated fat circulating in the blood.  It is a common mistake for people to assume that your intake of saturates is what determines your blood level of this much maligned nutrient, but this is incorrect.  Particularly in the keto-adapted state, fat is being burned at a much higher rate, and this is particularly true for saturated fat.  in two recently published studies we showed that a low carbohydrate, high fat diet significantly decreased circulating levels of saturated fat [23, 59].  It's hard to imagine how dietary saturated fat can be problematic when it is promptly burned to carbon dioxide and water."

This is true for several reasons, all of which are counter intuitive.  First, when the body is given a sugar disposal emergency - which it often is when one is eating the SAD - all of the body biases towards sugar burning.  Second, a sugar disposal emergency drives an insulin response.  High insulin levels trigger the liver to turn blood sugar into saturated fat (measured as triglycerides).  In other words, if you want lots o fat floating around in your blood, eat a lot of carbs, and preferably several times per day with fructose to boot so that you can accelerate insulin resistance.  After enjoying this state for a while, you can look forward to fatty liver disease, meaning the whole cycle will be reinforced as liver function declines.

They mention the correlation between high blood fats and diabetes, but the relationship appears to me to be causal - high carbs and fructose leads to diabetes which is a known correlate for all the bad things we'd like not be die from after living a debilitating, pill popping, mobility limited, sick 10-15 years.

So yes, eat more fat and less carbohydrate to have lower triglycerides.

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