Category Archives: Nutritional information

Media Continues The Saturated Fat Myth

Media Continues The Saturated Fat Myth

While I sat at the table this morning, I saw a headline in The Daily Mail (pictured) stating coconuts are not ‘good for you’.  Knowing what I know about nutrition and health, my curiosity was engaged.  (Granted, The Daily Mail has a lot of false nutrition “advice”.)  As I flipped to the section, I was dumbfounded at the continued myth the media continues to push, even with all of the mounting evidence and retractions made against natural saturated fats.  These fallacies continue the spread of ignorance.

When most people thing about ‘fatty foods’ (I’m using that term only as a way to convey most people’s mentality.), they think about things like hamburgers, pizzas, doughnuts, french fries, icecream, etc.  The issue lies in what the main ingredients are in these foods.  I’ll give you a hint, it’s actually not fat!  The main ingredient in a plain hamburger is the bun; in pizza, it’s the crust; in doughnuts, it’s the bread; in fries, it’s the potato; in icecream, it’s the sugar added!  These foods aren’t ‘fatty’ but more ‘carby’.  I’m not saying carbs are all bad.  I want to make people think about what they’ve been led to believe and question it.

Natural saturated fats are actually healthy for people.  Saturated fats assist with hormone creation and balance.  Cholesterol, from fatty acids, is needed for cells to even function (as previously stated).  When the “research” (using that term loosely for this instance) came out and bits and pieces were used, that’s when ‘fat is evil’ came to be.

A scientist, named Ancel Keys, researched 22 countries, but only a handful of countries were used for this hypothesis.  His study did not take into account lifestyle, such as smoking, processed food products, and other inflammatory causes.

At the time, plenty of scientists were skeptical of Keys’s assertions. One such critic was Jacob Yerushalmy, Ph.D., founder of the biostatistics graduate program at the University of California at Berkeley. In a 1957 paper, Yerushalmy pointed out that while data from the six countries Keys examined seemed to support the diet-heart hypothesis, statistics were actually available for 22 countries. And when all 22 were analyzed, the apparent link between fat consumption and heart disease disappeared.

…We’ve spent billions of our tax dollars trying to prove the diet-heart hypothesis. Yet study after study has failed to provide definitive evidence that saturated-fat intake leads to heart disease. The most recent example is the Women’s Health Initiative, the government’s largest and most expensive ($725 million) diet study yet. The results, published last year, show that a diet low in total fat and saturated fat had no impact in reducing heart-disease and stroke rates in some 20,000 women who had adhered to the regimen for an average of 8 years. (MensHealth – Saturated Fat)

In addition to this study, there was a previous study, done by a scientist named Anitschkow, involving a rabbit and cholesterol.  A rabbit, being a herbivore, not an omnivore or carnivore, was fed cholesterol.  This caused inflammation and the rabbit developed plaque in it’s arteries.  Of course it would, a rabbit is not meant to eat anything other than plant based food!  This flawed science created the notion that cholesterol was bad for everyone.

A spin-off from these flawed science ‘studies’ was man-made fats, in the form of vegetable oils and man-made trans-fats, and a turn towards carbohydrates.  Again, carbohydrates are not ‘bad’.  The problem lies with processed foods and using man-made fats in the food products.  We’ve gone away from eating real foods, such as animal fats, coconut, avocados, etc, but switched to what was ‘claimed’ to be ‘healthy’ because it was ‘low in fat’.  These are things such as vegetable spread/margarine instead of butter, low-fat skimmed/semi-skimmed milk instead of whole milk, low-fat non-dairy creamer instead of whole cream, low-fat yogurt laden with sugar and fructose… the list goes on.  Has low-fat actually helped us as society or hurt us?  Looking at the data, low-fat actually causes cholesterol to be created by the body.  Then, we’re given statins to ‘fix’ the issue, which is a horrible thought!  It can be fixed through diet!

Fat is also more satiating.  That means, it keeps you from feeling hungry for longer periods of time.  As a society, we’ve completely done away with listening to our bodies and instead, went with ‘everybody knows’ advice.  We should go back to paying attention to our bodies.  If you’re hungry, eat!  If you’re not hungry, don’t eat!  We don’t have to follow set ‘rules’.  We were all meant to self-regulate our food intake, not allow other people to decide how our own bodies feel.  Only we know the answer to that.  The key is learning to listen again to your own body and question ‘advice’ given that we ignorantly follow.

When I was on the low-fat craze, my cholesterol was the high end of ‘normal’.  After switching to whole foods with a lot of fat, my cholesterol is in perfect range.  I feel my best when I eat high fat/moderate to low carb.  It stresses my body less and also gives me health benefits.  I am living proof that the ‘science’ we’ve been brainwashed to believe is false.  Everyone is different, but at least take the time to question what you’re being told is right.  Saturated fats are not bad, even for people with gallstones.

In regards to coconut flour being ‘unhealthy’ because it contains fat (*gasp*), I’m grain-free due to allergies and, as this entire post mentions, natural fat is not ‘bad’!  Coconut flour is a low carb substitute for the occasional grain recipe.  If you do choose to use coconut flour, be aware it is not a 1:1 substitution.  It absorbs a lot of moisture.  It also doesn’t work in all recipes.

If you’re interested in more about using fats for cooking, look up “paleo”, “primal”, “keto”, or check out the OurTwistedHealth Food Boards on Pinterest.

References:

AuthorityNutrition – Saturated Fat Good Or Bad
ChrisKresser – TheDiet Heart MythCholesterol And Saturated Fat Are Not The Enemy
EmpoweredSustenance – Low Fat Diet Bad
FatHeadMovie – No Bologna Facts
Greatist.com – Saturated Fat Healthy
HealthImpactNews – We Were Wrong About Saturated Fats
Independent.co.uk – The Science Of Saturated Fat A Big Fat Surprise About Nutrition
MarksDailyApple – Saturated Fat Healthy
MensHealth – Saturated Fat
MensJournal – Why Experts Now Think You Should Eat More Fat
Mercola – Debunking The Science Behind Lowering Cholesterol Levels
Mercola – Enjoy Saturated Fats They’re Good For You
Mercola – Saturated Fat Cholesterol
NY Times – What If It’s All Been A Big Fat Lie
NY Times – Why Is The Federal Government Afraid Of Fat
Time – 6 Facts About Saturated Fat That Will Astound You
T-nation – Truth About Saturated Fat
Telegraph.co.uk – Saturated Fat Is Not Bad For Health
WellnessMama – Reverse Tooth Decay

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Lies About Salt

Lies About SaltSalts, like natural fats, have gotten a bad reputation.  It’s blamed for things like high blood pressure.  While it may slightly elevate blood pressure momentarily, it is not the cause of chronic high blood pressure.

Salt has sodium, but sodium is not salt.  Think of it like geometry; a square is a rectangle but a rectangle isn’t a square.

We need to look more in-depth with salt.  In the form of natural salt, an unrefined form, there are many trace minerals, different hues, as well as varied size grains, and no additives.

Table salt, including refined sea salt, does not contain trace minerals, is bleached white, uniformed size, and usually contains anti-caking agents like dextrose (a corn or wheat derived sugar).

Natural, unrefined salt can be taken to help your body detoxify.  It also can help your adrenals, if they’re fatigued, by keeping aldosterone in balance, in turn giving you more energy.  Salt also assists with digestion!

Salts (refined and unrefined) do up blood pressure temporarily, but as I said earlier, does not lead to chronic elevated blood pressure.  That’s what sugars do.

When I say sugars, I’m mean in the form of refined carbohydrates that break down into sugars (Not all forms of carbs turn into sugars.  There’s also fiber and starches from carbs.)  This is why the DASH ‘diet’ works temporarily for alievating high blood pressure.  It removes the processed carbohydrates.

It’s also been shown that decreasing salt intake raises blood glucose and insulin resistance.  This means that if you decrease your salt intake you can become diabetic.  Insulin resistance is when your body doesn’t work as efficiently as it should.  Why are people being told to eat less salt?  Is it so they can be treated later for other health issues, caused by the misguided information, which won’t resolve those issues either?

In conclusion, eat real foods, not processed food products.  This includes unrefined salts.

 

References:
Chris Kresser – Salt Myth – The Dangers of Salt Restriction
Diet Doctor – Blood Pressure
Empowered Sustenance – Adrenal Fatigue Recovery
Mercola – Dangers of Salt Restriction
Mercola – Sugar Blood Pressure
Metabolism Journal – Low-salt diet increases insulin resistance
Natural Family Today – Is Salt Really Bad For You
Natural News – Salt/Sodium Health
NCBI – Low-Salt Diet Increases Insulin Resistance In Healthy Subjects
Oh Lardy – Salt
Open Heart Medical Journal – The Wrong White Crystals
Real Salt – Is High Blood Pressure Linked to Salt or Sugar
Wellness Mama – Is Salt Healthy
Weston A Price – The Salt Of The Earth

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Cooking Oils

In the health community, we’re told we should use certain oils to cook with over others.  Not many people explain why some oils are better than others.  Instead of taking the ‘everybody knows’ approach such as, processed rapeseed/canola oil is better than real butter? Um, no.

There are many types of cooking oils/fats and their smoke points vary (see image below from BalancedBites).  The smoke point of oils is the temperature when fats begin to breakdown.  Mary Enig, Ph. D., author of Know Your Fats states, “If the collection is liquid at ambient temperature, it’s called an oil; if it is solid, it’s called a fat.” Oils/Fats have a fatty acid composition in the form of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA), Monounsaturated Fats (MUFA), Saturated Fatty Acids (SFA), and other (usually insignificant amounts).Guide to Cooking Fats/Oils
Even though some of these look like great choices for high temperatures based on smoke point, that’s not always the case.  The processing of how these oils are created are a huge factor, as are their stability.

Most of the oils in the infograph, under the red heading, are created by an unnatural chemical process.  The majority seed oils are extracted using a solvent, commonly hexane, after being crushed.  Then they are degummed, neutralized, dewaxed, bleached, filtered, and deodorized.  It’s a very unnatural process.

One of my favorite oils for medium to no heat is cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.  It has a high smoke point, which is good for medium heat (explaining why only medium in next paragraph)… when it’s 100% pure.  Most olive oils are actually cut with lower grade oils (extra source) and reduce their smoke point.  Not only that, but they also can be rancid, which is the taste most Americans are used to.  You should buy olive oil brands that are highly reputable and in a dark glass container.  This makes sure you get a real, non-rancid olive oil.

Rancidity is mostly based on oxidative stability, which shows how resistant the fats are when reacting to oxygen.  Polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats oxidize easier than saturated fats; PUFAs are the most prone to oxidation, followed by MUFAsIn other words, the chemical structure of unsaturated fats are delicate; saturated fats are less delicate and more stable (source).  This is the reason why olive oil should only be used for medium to no heat applications, as olive oil is high MUFAs (see infograph above).

My favorite oil to use for high heat is coconut oil.  As coconut oil is mainly saturated fat, it takes a lot more effort for it to go rancid.

When oils go rancid, they create inflammation in the body.  Inflammation leads to many, many, many health problems (including being easier to sunburn).

Note:  There is varying information about the exact fatty acid makeup of all the oils/fats.  There are all within a few percentages though.

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Butter or Margarine

When I was in 7th grade, my home eco teacher asked us what the difference was between butter and margarine.  Honestly, I didn’t know at the time.  My family used margarine and called it butter (as sadly a lot of people do).  The teacher ended up saying margarine is healthier because it had fewer calories and less fat.  Seriously.  This is one of the issues with teaching children about health.

People still want to ‘teach’ counting calories and limiting fat (even if it was proven false) instead of teaching about real food and listening to your body.  People are too concerned with eating the ‘wrong’ food, told to us by the media and government, that they turn to chemical laden food products to ‘save them’ from these ‘wrong’ foods.  There are still fights over this.

Compare the labels of margarine and butter…

Margarine Ingredients:  Water, Vegetable Oil Blend (Soybean Oil, Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil), Tricalcium Phosphate, Salt, Whey (Milk), Mono and Diglycerides, Lactic Acid, Polyglycerol Esters of Fatty Acids, (Potassium Sorbate, Calcium Disodium EDTA) Used to Protect Quality, Soy Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Vitamin E Acetate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Beta Carotene (Color), Natural and Artificial Flavor, Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3)

country crock margarine ingredients

Butter Ingredients: Cultured pasteurized cream

kerrygold butter ingredients

Yes, butter does have more fat and calories, but is also more satiating and is a real food.  You can make butter in your own home by using heavy whipping cream (avoid carrageenan if you go this route).  To make margarine, you need a lab and multiple ingredients, as shown with all the links in the margarine ingredient section.

Trans fats are created by a process that uses hydrogen to turn liquid oils (usually cheap ones – corn and soy, e.g., that are already rancid) into a solid.  Yet the people that live in fear of natural saturated fats because of heart issues are actually causing more damage than they realize.

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USDA Revamp on Fats and Cholesterol

The government is starting to make a change in a better direction.  Though, it still isn’t fully accurate. Natural fats (like that from animal sources, avocados, olives, coconuts) saturated fats (extra source) – not trans fats/seed oils that must be chemically altered, natural cholesterol, and unrefined salt are good foods.

The body needs natural fats and cholesterol.  Fat is used for building hormones, and cholesterol is needed for cells to even function!

My ‘typical’ health markers are excellent since I changed my diet to high fat/low carb. This just shows the government should not be in charge of saying what someone should or shouldn’t eat (think of how bad the food pyramid was).

The food pyramid from 1992-2005 stated a person should have 6-11 services of carbs and only 2-3 servings of protein.

USDA_Food_Pyramid

Health is very individual, but eating REAL food is always key, not food ‘products’.

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