Saturday, September 25, 2010

“In this corner, weighing…” Eating Saturated Fat versus Prevailing Conventional Wisdom

Journal Entry, Sept. 24, 2010: Weight = 172.6 lbs.; Coinage = $1.40, 30 pennies, 1 dime, 4 quarters (one supper find of two quarters in a telephone stand); 2 glass bottles; one ground score.

Journal Entry, Sept. 25, 2010: Weight = 172.0 lbs; Coinage $1.42, 42 pennies, 7 nickels, 4 dimes, 1 quarter: 4 glass bottles, 2 ground scores including a recyclable patch work quilt (even as I type it is the washer soaking after being carefully treated with a generous amount of Ms. MoneyWalker’s stain removal. She won’t be happy.)

Feature Entry: “In this corner, weighing…” Eating Saturated Fat versus Prevailing Conventional Wisdom

It is undoubtedly true that America has an obesity problem and that overeating and low exercise are the leading contributing factors. As for diet much has been written about the dangers of fat, especially saturated fat. Yet, all nutritionist agree that some fat in the diet is necessary for good health.

The MoneyWalker is often in counterpoint with those that provide conventional wisdom concerning so-called exercise and nutrition “best practices.” For the next few paragraphs, conventional experts will duke it out with a controversial bariatric expert, Michael R. Eades, MD.

Conventional Wisdom (CW): From Spark:”Our bodies expect us to eat balanced meals containing complex carbohydrates, protein, fruit and vegetables, healthy fat, and goodies every now and then.” Unhealthy fat is defined as saturated fat and trans fat.

Eades: You have no doubt heard the drumbeat of current medical thinking on fats: some fats are now good for you—olive oil and canola oil*—but others are bad for you—trans fats and all saturated fats. That’s an improvement from the old cry, but far from the truth.

CW: From the editors of EHow: Decrease your intake of saturated and trans fats, as these modified products can increase your risk of heart disease.

Eades: [I am not worried] that these foods will increase your risk of heart disease and raise your cholesterol. In fact, we encourage you to make these important fats a regular part of your healthy diet. Why? Because humans need them and [later I will provide a few reasons why.]

CW: Food Pyramid - Using the food pyramid, Food groups">From Science Encyclopedia, we recommend that individuals should be “eating foods low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.”
Eades: [I have no fear of] “fatty cuts of meat, chicken with the skin, bacon, eggs, butter, coconut oil, organic lard, and heavy cream in the plan.”

CW: From Science Encyclopedia: Some fats are worse than others. The intake of saturated fats should be limited because they raise blood cholesterol levels which increases the risk of heart disease. Saturated fats are primarily found in animal and dairy products, and coconut, palm, and palm kernel oils. Saturated fats should not contribute more than 10% of the daily calories.

Eades: Though you may not have heard of it on the front pages of your local newspaper, online news source, or local television or radio news program, saturated fat plays a couple of key roles in cardiovascular health. The addition of saturated fat to the diet reduces the levels of a substance called lipoprotein (a)—pronounced “lipoprotein little a” and abbreviated Lp(a)—that correlates strongly with risk for heart disease. Currently there are no medications to lower this substance and the only dietary means of lowering Lp(a) is eating saturated fat. Moreover, eating saturated (and other) fats also raises the level of HDL, the so-called good cholesterol. Lastly, 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.

CW: Science Encyclopedia: Unsaturated fats are a healthier choice and include olive, peanut, canola, safflower, corn, sunflower, cottonseed, and soybean oils.

Eades: saturated fat is required for calcium to be effectively incorporated into bone? According to one of the foremost research experts in dietary fats and human health, Mary Enig, Ph.D., there’s a case to be made for having as much as 50 percent of the fats in your diet as saturated fats for this reason. That’s a far cry from the 7 to 10 percent suggested by mainstream institutions.

…To be continued.


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