Monday, September 27, 2010

Saturated Fat Part II

Journal Entry Sept. 27, 2010: Weight = 172.8 lbs (weight up and Saints down, a bad combination); Coinage = $3.01, 81 pennies, 3 nickels, 8 dimes, 5 quarters; one glass bottle; two ground scores including a working toaster (it will need a few scrubs.)

Journal Entry Sept. 26, 2010: Weight = 172.0 lbs; Coinage = $1.33, 43 pennies, 1 nickel, six dimes, 1 quarter; 6 glass bottles; 2 ground scores.

Feature Entry: Saturated Fat Part II

The MoneyWalker is doing a series of posts concerning the role of fat within the diet of a person that is losing weight, maintaining weight, and/or seeking to prevent diseases. The last post featured one of the current counterpoint bariatric MDs that advocate diets low in carbohydrates and liberal with saturated fats allowed. In juxtaposition to his position were views that are more conventional. We continue the sparring in this entry.

Conventional Wisdom (CW): Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. of Mayo Clinic: Unquestionably, an excess intake of saturated fat is linked to weight gain. This is because a fat gram contains more than twice the amount of calories as a protein gram – 9 calories versus 4 calories.

Michael R. Eades, MD (Eades): Improved Liver: “Adding saturated fat to the diet has been shown in medical research to encourage the liver cells to dump their fat content. Clearing fat from the liver is the critical first step to calling a halt to middle-body fat storage.”

CW: Zeratsky of Mayo Clinic: The world of nutrition has long since known the link between dietary fat and weight gain. Unsaturated fat can be a trusted ally in the fight against weight loss. Understanding how it differs from saturated fat helps demystify the stigma of unsaturated fats – a stigma that should be reserved for its unhealthy cousin, saturated fats.

Eades: Saturated Fat facilitates healthy lungs: “For proper function, the airspaces of the lungs have to be coated with a thin layer of what’s called lung surfactant. The fat content of lung surfactant is 100 percent saturated fatty acids.”

CW: Center for Disease Control and the Food Pyramid: Of the seven guidelines from the food pyramid for healthy living is the admonition for “eating foods low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

Eades: Eliminating or severely limiting saturated fats impair Proper nerve signaling: “Certain saturated fats, particularly those found in butter, lard, coconut oil, and palm oil, function directly as signaling messengers that influence the metabolism, including such critical jobs as the appropriate release of insulin.”

CW: American Institute for Cancer Research: “When AICR's expert international panel reviewed all the scientific findings relating to fat and cancer, they found a pattern suggesting that diets high in animal fat and/or saturated fat possibly increase the risk of lung, colorectal, breast, uterine and prostate cancers. We also know that saturated fat contributes to cardiovascular disease risk.”

Eades: ” Strong immune system: Saturated fats found in butter and coconut oil (myristic acid and lauric acid) play key roles in immune health. Loss of sufficient saturated fatty acids in the white blood cells hampers their ability to recognize and destroy foreign invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Human breast milk is quite rich in myristic and lauric acid, which have potent germ-killing ability. But the importance of the fats lives on beyond infancy; we need dietary replenishment of them throughout adulthood, middle age, and into seniority to keep the immune system vigilant against the development of cancerous cells as well as infectious invaders.
So how should we build our meals, with or without saturated fats. As one news network likes to brag, “Fair and balanced, you decide.” The MoneyWalker will weigh-in on the issue in a future blog.


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