Is it worse to have increased saturated fats if you are still consuming grains? Lets say for example you are eating good sources eggs and meat, but still eating pasta and bread? My family is still eating the carbs...trying for less!
My mom has embraced my ideas about paleo eating, but since we don't live in the same house I don't know much about her "cheats."
So, this is not a question about how to incorporate less eating of grains, but the effect grains have on our body in combination of good fats. I imagine we could gain weight easily for one.
No, its still better to use butter/lard/etc than Crisco/canola/soybean oil.
And if you also reduce fructose/sugar/processed foods you are likely going back to the health status pre-1920 - which is much better than today.
Optimal? Nope. But still much healthier. Remember, saturated fat raises HDL, which is associated with less cardiovascular risk.
Wheat, however, is pretty nasty stuff. See if you can't push to non-wheat/non-gluten pastas/breads and such. Even rice and potatoes are better than wheat (far better).
On the topic of whether saturated fat is healthy in the presence of inflammation - the only one who said that it might be bad (that I know of) is Dr. Art Ayers of Cooling Inflammation. But in a recent exchange of comments...
Hi Dr. Ayers,
You mention that saturated fats are ok in the absence of imflammation, but what happen when there IS some sort of inflammatory disease? in that case, What kind of diet is the most recommended?
Great blog BTW!
Dr. Art Ayers said...
I wrote this article almost exactly two years ago. My views on saturated fats have changed substantially. The biomedical data show that saturated fats are safer to eat than vegetable oils (O6s). This goes along with the studies that show that low serum lipids are more associated with disease than high serum cholesterol, and that statins and lowering serum lipid had no beneficial impact on heart disease.
I learned a lot in two years and all of it reinforced the idea that getting most calories from saturated fats rather than grain carbs is the foundation for health.
Thanks for the question.
September 4, 2010 6:52 PM
I don't think there is a clear cut answer. Saturated fats become dangerous when mixed with inflammation from grains/sugars. As far as paleo eating, it's really all or none as far as health (IMO). You can go all the way, have a "cheat" periodically, but inflammation won't deteriorate until grains and sugar are given up completely.
Wondering about this I poked around with google some and found a very interesting interview of Dr Cordain: interview.
This interview is linked from this page which also has interesting information (links to some of the studies he mentions).
In short, high saturated fat diets will cause a buildup of arterial plaque. This isn't necessarily dangerous on it's own. Where it does become dangerous is when food such as grains are introduced as this can greatly weaken the plaque.
Here's my take:
Regardless of the other foods that are still in the diet, I'd pretty much always choose whichever fats and oils are more naturally occurring than not. That said, I'd ALWAYS choose butter over vegetable oil, lard over canola, and coconut oil over corn oil. Those tend to all be saturated but the idea that saturated fats are "bad" or unhealthy is really a misnomer. They're actually quite a bit healthier than unsaturated fats (when they're good sources, this doesn't mean trans-fats) since they don't oxidize as easily and have a better chance of being properly utilized in your body and not cause oxidative damage within. Remember, even saturated fats are not 100% saturated- they're going to be possibly 50% saturated and the rest are a mix of UNsaturated fats.
Check out my post on fats & oils here: http://www.balancedbites.com/2010/07/fats-which-to-eat-and-which-to-ditch.html
If your family is at a point where ADDING good foods is easier than removing the bad ones, getting them to supplement with fish oil will help some of the negative omega 6 fat intake from the grains, though it won't help heal their guts. This can be a sticking point for most people- maybe getting them to move to gluten-free grains can be step 1, then so on.
If you want/need more help, I'm always around :)
Someone with a better grasp on the science could be really helpful for this question. My personal curiosity is about how long the inflammation lasts after the occassional wheat meal.
From a practical standpoint, if you are forced to eat carbs in a meal (like with your family), I avoid eating saturated fats with that meal. If I'm eating pasta or rice, I'l end up eating lean ground beef or chicken breasts or fish. If there is no extra carbs, I won't shy away from eating fattier cuts of beef or chicken thighs. While there may be no science backing up this strategy, it keeps you mindful of your eating habits. I started eating Primally around the start of the year and it was over the last few months that I slipped off the wagon. I was still primarily primal but my schedule and fatigue and lack of funds pushed me to more of a 65/70 percent ratio of primal eating. I was eating, and especially drinking, a lot more carbs and, for me, the biggest reason for that slip was being less mindful of my eating habits. "I'm hungry, let's eat!" and then you make a bad decision because everyone wants to go to Panera. If you keep thinking about, "Can I eat saturated fats today or am I looking at pasta for dinner tonight?" then you're going to make better decisions more often than not.
I suspect fat plus carb can easily lead to weight gain. If it doesn't, then it may not be a big deal. I'd just try to eat the more healthy fats and limit the less healthy carbs. Like you could ditch wheat and gluten and have the family eat the safer carbs like tubers and rice. Rice noodles are quite yummy and might serve as a good substitute for wheat noodles. They are easy to find as they are quite popular in asian dishes. Then just have them cut back in general on the carbs and cut out the really crap carbs like chips, cake, candy, etc.
I would think that increasing fat would decrease grains. That is assuming that the average caloric intake stays the same. Europeans are known for taking bread or toast and completely slathering it with butter or lard.
One of the groups Weston A. Price studied in nutrition and physical degeneration ate rye bread as well as many fatty dairy products. They still had pretty good health I believe. I would add fat even if you are still eating grains. You'll get fat soluble nutrients and you can gradually start replacing some of the calories from grains.
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