I find it interesting that most paleo and LC advocates vigorously maintain the position that high saturated fat consumption is harmless. In spite of the fact that lots of people continually pop up on this forum with high cholesterol levels, apparently brought about by their high sat-fat intake.
Of course the usual reply to this fact is that it's the benign large-fluffy LDL which is rising, so no harm done, even if your high LDL numbers freak out your lipophobic doctor.
It is my understanding that most of the HG's studied have had LOW LDL levels? Perhaps why Cordain and Wolf do NOT agree with high sat-fat intake. In fact, Cordain references two separate "autopsies" done on ancient Intuit "mummies" which showed they had seriously clogged up arteries. (Though their high intake of POLY-fats may also have played a role in that?)
Another disturbing trend I notice among LC/Paleo folks is high fasting blood sugar levels. Some even being diagnosed as "pre-diabetic" while on the very diet that is supposed to CURE high blood sugar!
I'm aware of the 'physiological insulin resistance" theory which is supposedly the body's way of ensuring the brain gets enough glucose while on LC diet. But I truly wonder if perhaps high sat-fat intake is causing insulin resistance in folks?
So all in all, I'm currently a bit wary of a high sat-fat version of LC/Paleo. As is Cordain, Devaney, and Wolf, so I'm in good company.
I'd love to be proved wrong on this, as I LOVE fatty meats and cream in my coffee. (<:
But I'm curious if any of you follow a lower sat-fat version of paleo for any of the reason I've cited above, or for other reasons?
Ahhh I tried the high fat/high protein LC paleo thing ... went to the doctor and had really high cholesterol levels, and also put on like 10kg .... this did not improve my previous state at all... I have now reduced my fat consumption of sat-fats and actually increased my carbs, but still high protein and have lost 4kg in a month, my cholesterol is back to perfect too!
I don't think we can lump all saturated fat in the same category because different saturated fats have different effects on the body.
The trend with a spike in cholesterol numbers and blood sugar I've noticed around here has been with people using dairy-based saturated fat to make up a large portion of their calories, which is insulin spiking (and could speak for the difference in its own right), and unless consumed only raw and collected during times of natural calf feeding is filled with hormones that could be detrimental to lipid profiles. Drinking pints of cream does seem to have gotten a few people into weird lipid territory and high fasting blood sugar, whereas cooking with tallow and lard hasn't from what I've observed here.
Several people I've seen on here, to improve their numbers have experimented with swapping out the cream for tallow and other animal body fats, and their numbers have returned to normal 200's, down from 350+ in some cases.
Cordain's interpretation of the mummy autopsies doesn't tell the whole story either. There are many reasons for clogged arteries, and until recently in our history (and still in many 3rd world kitchens) smoke exposure from cooking without good ventilation was a prime candidate. Viral infections can also be a culprit.
Personally, my numbers only seem to keep improving with a diet that leans more towards a ratio of 60+% animal and coconut fat, with modest amounts of butter, and a spoonful of cream here and there, moderate protein and carbs, and eating to satiety. When I was on a calorie restricted supposedly health conscious doctor prescribed diet, my cholesterol numbers were in the high 300's (with hdl in the 40's), and now are in the low 200's (with hdl in the 60's).
There was a thread a while back on how butter caused some people's TC to spike. I don't remember if it was specifically butter, or all saturated fats, though.
The solution? If you're worried about TC and you are one of those people, don't eat as much of what makes your TC spike. I'm not one of those people, and a large portion of my fat intake (which is a large portion of my food intake) is saturated, and my cholesterol levels are perfect, even by outdated risk markers (such as TC).
saturated fat is a long term energy source and stored as body fat. YOu can either eat saturated fat from food directly, or if you eat excess carbohydrates your liver will convert them to saturated fat for storage as adipose tissue. There likely is no famine coming any time soon, so I prefer to eat enough calories from carbohydrates to fuel my daily activities because muscle glycogen stores are depleted rapidly and serve as short term energy storage. I don't hibernate and have daily access to an abundance of fresh produce in the form of fruits, roots, and greens. I like to take advantage of these facts of life.
I use butter and ice cream sometimes when I go out, and I use a little bit of coconut oil here and there too, but for the most part it's lower fat, but the majority of the fat I do eat is probably saturated. Everyone is different and to each his/her own.
I know I read somewhere that many of the HGs that had lower cholesterol numbers also had parasites and thus the ideal we are supposed to reach may be skewed since we modern folk have fewer parasites. Also if my memory serves, HGs with fewer parasites have TC levels in the 200s like modern folk.
I've done the high sat-fat paleo version before, and I cut that back because I didn't lose any weight on it. If anything, I gained a few pounds. I also just felt crappy and heavy. I feel better when I get my protein from leaner sources. I'd say that I currently eat a moderate sat-fat diet, moreso than a low sat-fat. Most of my fat comes from olive oil, eggs, almonds, 90/10 beef and lean cuts of pork. I don't eat butter or fry anything, so there's no lard in my diet. I do eat more bacon than I should, but still far less than the average bacon fan. Like bachcole, I don't avoid saturated fats per say, I just don't care for most of them.
Heavy duty fat just doesn't appeal much to me, except perhaps butter, which I use as a dip for my celery "dessert". I have to eat avocados just to make sure I get enough fat. I eat raw salmon, well-cultured kefir for my fat. So, I guess I don't qualify as a test subject for high saturated fat. I don't avoid it. I just don't eat it much because it does not appeal to me.
I do the high fat, medium protein thing most of the time my cholesterol numbers are perfect!
I eat lashings of coconut oil, chorizo, broth, bacon and sausage...
Check out Taubes blog where he actually posted his cholesterol numbers and also check out
It's not one size fits all..