Military Family, Food, & Fitness Fenestrations

Raising the Bar on Personal Expectation

Eating Fat and DISMANTLING the lipid hypothesis

(the lipid hypothesis asserts that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease)
Guess what? There is no compelling scientific evidence demonstrating that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease. I’d like to try to get you comfortable with the concept that saturated fats can be prudently integrated into your diet.
Mary Enig, Ph.D. is one of the foremost scientific researchers in dietary fat and health. She asserts that medical research strongly supports the health of diets in which incoming fat is composed of up to 50% saturated fat. From her Principles of Healthy Diets:

Saturated fats, such as butter, meat fats, coconut oil and palm oil… according to conventional nutritional dogma…are to blame for most of our modern diseases–heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, malfunction of cell membranes and even nervous disorders like multiple sclerosis. However, many scientific studies indicate that it is processed liquid vegetable oil–which is laden with free radicals formed during processing–and artificially hardened vegetable oil–called trans fat–that are the culprits in these modern conditions, not natural saturated fats.
Saturated fats do not clog arteries or cause heart disease. In fact, the preferred food for the heart is saturated fat; and saturated fats lower a substance called Lp(a), which is a very accurate marker for proneness to heart disease.

Dr. Eades in The 6-Week Cure adds:

Currently there are no medications to lower Lp(a); the only dietary means of lowering this substance is eating saturated fat.

Dr. Enig in Principles of Healthy Diets continues:

Saturated fats play many important roles in the body chemistry. They strengthen the immune system and are involved in inter-cellular communication, which means they protect us against cancer. They help the receptors on our cell membranes work properly, including receptors for insulin, thereby protecting us against diabetes. The lungs cannot function without saturated fats, which is why children given butter and full-fat milk have much less asthma than children given reduced-fat milk and margarine. Saturated fats are also involved in kidney function and hormone production.
Saturated fats are required for the nervous system to function properly, and over half the fat in the brain is saturated. Saturated fats also help suppress inflammation. Finally, saturated animal fats carry the vital fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K2, which we need in large amounts to be healthy.

From The 6-Week Cure

Eating saturated (and other) fats…raises the level of HDL, the so-called good cholesterol.
In middle age, as bone mass begins to decline, an important goal (particularly for women) is to build strong bones. You can’t turn on the television without being told you need calcium for your bones, but do you recall ever hearing that saturated fat is required for calcium to be effectively incorporated into bone?
…Research has shown that when women diet, those eating the greatest percentage of the total fat in their diets as saturated fat lose the most weight.

Dr. Enig in Principles of Healthy Diets closes:

Human beings have been consuming saturated fats from animals products, milk products and the tropical oils for thousands of years; it is the advent of modern processed vegetable oil that is associated with the epidemic of modern degenerative disease, not the consumption of saturated fats.

Please take time to read some of the comments that Tim Ferris (of The 4-Hour Workweek fame) receives, after providing a snippet from The 6-Week Cure on his blog. Dr. Eades answers the first few hundred questions, and their questions may help answer some of yours. Tim’s entry is titled very non-provocatively:
7 Reasons to Eat More Saturated FatDr. Eades is currently working on creating a blogsite specifically for the purpose of answering questions generated by his 6-Week Cure book

Other supporting articles/bloggers/books…there are MANY MORE than these presented below:

• Dr. Uffe Ravnskov The Cholesterol Myths, and other articles written by Dr. Ravnskov:

High cholesterol may protect against infections and atherosclerosis
The benefits of high cholesterol
Questionable role of saturated and polyunsaturated fats in cardio disease
Saturated fat is good for you
Retreat of diet-heart hypothesis
Is atherosclerosis caused by high cholesterol?
Cholesterol lowering trials in CHD: frequency of citation and outcome
Diet-heart idea kept alive by selective citation
Cholesterol references

• My personal favourite overview by Dr. Enig and Sally Fallon

The Tokelau Island Migrant Study: The Final Word Dr. Stephan Guyenet, but for a great this-is-what-this-guy-is-saying review of Dr. Guyenet’s information, please visit Free the Animal

• Dr. BG’s totally fascinating rundown on cholesterol particle sizes and what they mean to you – this is a must-read

Fats and Oils, Dr. Kurt G. Harris

• low-cholesterol-certainly-not-healthy by O Primitivo

Dr. William Davis Heart Scan Blog –not all meats are equal

• “Are Saturated Fats Really All That Bad? 6 July 2009, Dr. Steve Parker,

• Gary Taubes and extensively throughout his book Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health if you have the time to read it. Gary Taubes is an award-winning research scientist, and this book is the result of seven years of research in every science connected with the impact of nutrition on health

The Case for not restricting saturated fat on a low carbohydrate diet, Professors Jeff S. Volek and Cassandra E Forsythe, Human Performance Lab, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut

• Dr. Mary Enig & Sally Fallen Morell Eat Fat Lose Fat

Dr. Mark Hyman exposes uselessness of statins as well as common cholesterol myths and provides list of factors which contribute to your overall cardiovascular risk

Saturated Fats, what dietary intake?, J Bruce German, Cora J Dillard, University of California for the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

• “Saturated Fat – The misunderstood ingredient“, 4 June 2007, Vreni Gurd, BPHE, HLC 2, CHEK 3, CSEP-CEP, NSCA, ACSM

• This guy could be a little extreme with his personal diet, but he is an amazing researcher & thoroughly picks apart & reanalyzes results from nutritional studies – very interesting reading. Check out some of his posts from August

• And from elite primal athlete Mark Sisson who also believes saturated fat is healthy

Where did we go wrong?

• Men’s Health is one of many sites that researched the history of saturated-fat-fear

• A more extensive read: “The Oiling of America” by Dr. Mary Enig, and Sally Fallon

• Plus, I recommend again Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Healthby Gary Taubes for 447 pages of enlightenment, and The Cholesterol Myths by Dr. Uffe Ravnskov.

Finally, as “sss” mentions in this post’s comments below, don’t forget that it’s not just “saturated fat isn’t bad”, it is that “carbs are the crux” of the health/obesity crisis. Please read my “Real Food” and “Limit or Avoid” posts for more information and references.



  sss wrote @

very nice – taubes, enig, eades. you are so right to discuss them together. but it’s not just “saturated fat isn’t the problem.” it’s that carbs as starches and sugars ARE the problem. that’s the message of taubes and eades. read dr. wolfgang lutz’s life w/o bread. you’ll enjoy it. he is pro saturated fat and anti carb. and his book is something of a synopsis of taubes’s gc,bc. thanks for the great post.

  ginin09 wrote @

Wonderful point, that carbs are the crux! I did try to capture that in my “Real Food” and “Limit or Avoid” posts. Not the first time I’ve seen a recommendation for Dr. Lutz’s book – thank you so much for taking the time to respond!!

  sss wrote @

there is no substitute for avoiding starches and sugars as a concept or approach. potatoes, legumes, beans, bananas, etc can be eaten whole and they’re all still starchy or sugary globs of crap. whole grains are very little better than white/polished/refined. it’s all too much starch.

  ginin09 wrote @

The impact on health from chronic elevated blood insulin levels aggravated by the typical American’s high carb low fat diet concerns me the most and was one of the primary motivators for starting this blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: