|Is There Really Any Such Thing As Low-Fat Eating?|
December 11th, 2009 · 43 Comments · Fat & Weight Loss, Fat and Cholesterol, Heroes & Villains, Science Good & Bad
Low-fatters are fooling themselves -- especially vegans, vegetarians, and high-fiber advocates
This should be fun.
Ok, I'm going to call stupid right off the bat. No; just ignorant, and this includes some top names. Why? I figure it like this: if Dean Ornish, Joel Fuhrman, John McDougall, T. Collin Campbell and others are ignorant about this when little ole' layman-me can find this info 'cause I look, then what? Do they prefer pricks & crooks?
This shouldn't take long. I'm going to give you a single word: Butyrate. The highest source of it in the diet is butter, particularly rancid butter. And guess what else? It's a short-chain saturated fatty acid. It's saturated fat (OMG!). ...Whew, the vegans, veggies & high-fiber priests can take a breather. Is that all? Finished now? Was it just a disjointed, out-of context rant, or what? Well, no; but I'll get to that later.
First, let's realize that much of the veggie, vegan, high-fiber (there's your BIG CLUE) catechism is designed to appeal to those who want to loose weight. How many commenters here have you read who tried the veg / vegan approach to fat loss before they went paleo? Lots. Experiences ranges from added weight gain to weight loss -- but with diminished well being. (I realize those who get good results don't typically comment here; so, yea, selection bias.)
Alright, so on that score, let's address fat loss first -- in keeping with the title & theme. I have previously blogged that for fat loss, there's no such thing as a "low-fat" diet, and this is irrefutable. It's simple math. My previous posts.
All Diets Are High-Fat Diets Losing Weight is Pretty Much Like Eating LardIn the first post, I show how that if you want to lose 50 pounds in six months, then 1,000 calories per day is going to come in the form of your own released fat stores and that if you're following a "low-fat" diet to the tune of 20% kcal from fat, then your total fat metabolized is going to be 50% of your total energy metabolized. Watch out: you'll clog your arteries just by the process of losing weight!
...Uhhhh...too many ignoramuses, to little time...
The second post serves to tell you that it's even worse; because, your own body is trying to kill you: 35% of those 1,000 kcals per day are arterycloggingsaturatedfat, and that's added to the saturated fat you're eating via diet.
So now what? What about those many human skeletons following a high-fiber vegetarian or vegan diet? They consume almost no arterycloggingsaturatedfat, so what's my point? Ignorance and an unwillingness to research reality vis-a-vis humans as wild animals who evolved eating copious saturated fat -- just as all other carnivorous and omnivorous animals do -- that's my point.
Let's return to the topic of butyric acid, and for those of you who like, you can jump ahead, because it's Dr. Stephan Guyenet who came up with this monumental find.
Turns out that fiber in the diet gets digested by gut bacteria into butyrate, i.e., saturated fat.
In most animals, the highest concentration of butyrate is found in the gut. That's because it's produced by intestinal bacteria from carbohydrate that the host cannot digest, such as cellulose and pectin. Indigestible carbohydrate is the main form of dietary fiber.
...Excuse me while I effin laugh right out loud...
...Ok, continuing on -- and there's really not a lot to add because Stephan has all the goods and you should read his post.
But first, one more thing:
In industrialized countries, fiber may contribute 5 to 10 percent of total calorie intake, due to its conversion to short-chain fatty acids like butyrate in the large intestine (free full text). This figure is probably at least twice as high in cultures consuming high-fiber diets. It's interesting to think that "high-carbohydrate" cultures may be getting easily 15 percent of their calories from short-chain fats. Since that isn't recorded in dietary surveys, they may appear more dependent on carbohydrate than they actually are. The Kitavans may be getting more than 30 percent of their total calories from fat, despite the fact that their food is only 21 percent fat when it passes their lips. Their calorie intake may be underestimated as well.
Would that also include the high-carb, high-fiber veggies & vegans? OK, now you get to laugh your asses off!