Go Ahead and Enjoy Eating Fat: It’s Better than Carbs, Major New Study Says

Load up on butter, and throw away your calorie counter. A major new study has reversed the commonly accepted, decades-long nutritional wisdom that fat is bad for you—even the dreaded saturated fat. “People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades,” the New York Times reported today.

The report is based on a major new study paid for by the National Institutes of Health and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. It monitored a racially diverse group of 150 men and women who followed different assigned diets for a year. The diets either limited carbs or fats, but placed no limits on calories, which set it apart from other studies of its kind. “To my knowledge, this is one of the first long-term trials that’s given these diets without calorie restrictions,” Dariush Mozaffarian, the dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University told the Times. “It shows that in a free-living setting, cutting your carbs helps you lose weight without focusing on calories. And that’s really important because someone can change what they eat more easily than trying to cut down on their calories.”


Dieters who follow the trends may recognize echoes of the infamous Atkins diet, which featured lots of protein and fat and few carbs as the ticket to weight loss. But critics said it increased heart disease risks by ignoring the supposed dangers of cholesterol.

“It’s been thought that your saturated fat is, of course, going to increase, and then your cholesterol is going to go up,” the lead author of the new study, Dr. Lydia A. Bazzano of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, told the Times. “And then bad things will happen in general.”

Not so, the new study says. According to the Times:

By the end of the yearlong trial, people in the low-carbohydrate group had lost about eight pounds more on average than those in the low-fat group. They had significantly greater reductions in body fat than the low-fat group, and improvements in lean muscle mass — even though neither group changed their levels of physical activity.
While the low-fat group did lose weight, they appeared to lose more muscle than fat.

“They actually lost lean muscle mass, which is a bad thing,” Dr. Mozaffarian said. “Your balance of lean mass versus fat mass is much more important than weight. And that’s a very important finding that shows why the low-carb, high-fat group did so metabolically well.”

The high-fat group, low carbohydrate group also saw large drops in their markers for inflammation and triglycerides. Their HDL, the so-called good cholesterol, rose more sharply than it did for people in the low-fat group.

In fact, the Times reports the high-fat group lowered its risk of heart attack in the next 10 years, a huge reversal of common wisdom. The low-fat group’s risk was unchanged.

Long story short? Don’t worry so much about fat, and avoid processed foods. Kids should drink whole milk, not sugary low-fat chocolate milk. Processed carbohydrates are the worst for you. Avoid them like the plague.

Source : Alternet

The post Go Ahead and Enjoy Eating Fat: It’s Better than Carbs, Major New Study Says appeared first on NewsSum.




  • There’s a lot of confusion about what things are, such as “fats”, cholesterol, “proteins”, “carbohydrates” and the like.

    Most people don’t even know what the word “vitamins” means in reality.

    Let’s do a tutorial.
    “Fats” are any molecule made up from glycerol and two or more “fatty acids” or “carboxylic acids”. The latter (carboxylic acids) have the general formula _C(n)H(2n+1)COOH if they are “saturated” which is to say: all C-C bonds are single. The number “n” in animals varies from 12 to 17, and in plants from about 6-to-8, to 16. This is the form in which animal cells most use them. The “fatty acids” may sometimes be “unsaturated”, which is to say that “2n+1” may be “2n-1” (one double bond), “2n-3” (two double bonds) and so on: you find this mostly in plants, whose cell membranes have to remain “plastic” (pliable) at temperatures much lower than 37 deg Centigrade – or their cells would rupture in the cold and die. Having “carbon-carbon-double-bonds” in a fatty acid chain means that it may often not be straight but kinked, which makes the cell membrane more plastic at lower temperatures if it uses them in its “phospholipids” (see below…)

    ALL cell membranes are made of “phospholipids”. Usually with other gear attached, that does stuff to do with cell-to-cell-recognition, ability to be suspended in water and so on, but we can leave all that for the minute or we’d be here all day. (All “fats” are lipids, but not all lipids are “fats”.) “Fats” are specifically stored by animal cells in “adipose tissue” as a supply of energy for your biochemistry – which runs all the time whether “experts” or “celebrities” tell you it does or not.

    If you ingest “fats” that are “unsaturated” too much, then your cellular biochemistry has to spend time, energy and money making saturated fats out of them, as you are an animal. Animals’ cells have to have membranes that can’t remain “plastic” at often sub-zero external temperatures but are maintianed in their integrity where the animal’s thermodynamics necessarily operates at about 35-37 deg centigrade internally at all times. The need for this is so that the fats can be either (a) properly stored in nice fat cells, to make you look like a successful breeding animal (such as a curvy female) and pad you against the cold (fats are a very poor heat conductor) or heat (if you’re a camel) or (b) used as energy sources to drive the normal processes to make the right phospholipids for your OWN cell membranes. Therefore, there is some truth in the hypothesis that if you ingest “unsaturated (ie: vegetable type) oils and fats, you will “get slim”…You are using more energy than your biochemistry needs to, in converting the (functionally-worthless to you as an animal) unsaturated fatty acids into proper animal saturated ones, which your cells can actually recognize, seize upon, and use for building.

    The catabolism of “1 mole”of “fat” molecules (as in the classical fats – “triglycerides”) yields about twice the energy output of ” 1 mole” (exactly 180 grams) of glucose. Completely converting 180 grams of glucose to CO2 and water, using oxygen, produces 2,880 KiloJoules of energy, of which about 45% goes direct to biochemistry and movement etc, the rest going up in heat. “Fats” give about double this figure per mole – but of course a mole of fat molecules is heavier by some margin than a mole of glucose although it doesn’t take up twice the volume since “fats” in this form are “denser”.

    Cholesterol is a “sterol”. this is a kind of molecule that lives at once in both worlds: the ionic waterworld, and the hydrocarbon-loving fatty world. It has an ionicy-thing on one end, and the rest is hydrocarbony – water-hating. It is one of the most essential molecules for the stabilising and plasticising (while conferring strength) of animal cell membranes. IF YOU HAVE NO CHOLESTEROL, YOU WILL DIE.

    Your biochemistry can make some, a little, all the time. It’s one of the jobs of your liver, the largest, most active and hottest organ in your body, 24/7. But it can’t make enough. You NEED cholesterol in your diet. PLANTS don’t “do” cholesterol, or at least not very much. Some seeds do, for they live in hash conditions after the death of the motherplant, so they need to maintain cell-membrane-integrity inside their embryos perhaps for long times.
    You get cholesterol, in the amounts that you need, so as not to overstress your liver too much, by eating ANIMALS. And by consuming especially their dairy products…like CREAM…and CHEESE. and BUTTER (very good indeed.) “Milk” is _WASTE OF GUTSPACE_ since it is functionally- water, for an adult animal. Provided that you take no cognizance of “milk” whatsoever, and merely use it as a condiment or cooking aid (it’s good for that at least) It does not matter a stuff what animal’s dairy products you consume. Welsh hand-reared organic mountain goat’s cheese – “from the man who really understands his goats so desperately well” that the BBC televizes him and his goats together with self-regarding music and moody shots of him looking off-stage-upwards-off-camera. His goats’-cheese, at £145.23 a gram, is exactly, biochemically, as good as supermarket cheddar at 2p a kilo from a factory in the Upper-Jipoopoo-Land Region of Byelorussia, in biochemical terms. Really.

    “Protein” is a very generalised substance made from “animo-acids”. There are 20 (more or less) of these that occur naturally and are coded for by the sequences of “nucleotides” in messenger-RNA, which in turn is transcribed from the deoxyribonucleotides of DNA in the specific order they occur inside a Gene. you can think of amino-acids as “LEGO-bricks” that come in 20 different types, capable of being stuck together in a line, to give you an infinite (almost, really!) variety of different structures, that do things like – holding animals together – being an elastic muscle fibre (not quite exact but i want to make a point), carrying an oxygen molecule form a lung to a cell (heamoglobin), carrying two electrons to an Oxygen molecule (Mitochondrial Cytochrome A3) and so on.

    Proteins form the following structures and systems:-
    (1) Collagen (about 35% of your dry body weight and it holds animals’ bodies together.
    (2) Bone (mostly collagen)
    (3) Muscle (almost all of it.)
    (4) Enzymes (pretty much every one)
    (5) Haemoglobin (a protein)
    (6) Almost all “membrane transport channels” – possibly the most crucial structures in a cell, if not the most common.

    As amino-Acids are “ions”, you cannot store them. Ions in=ions out; your kidneys dictate that equation. they cannot operate without throwing out a certain mass of ions every day, whether the Daily Mail likes that or not. So you -HAVE TO- eat protein.

    WORSE….you have to eats certain types. Humans, because we became omnivorous before vegetario-vegans were dreamed up by the FabiaNazis to hurt us, started to eat animals in a big way about 4 or 5 million years ago. some time after that – we don’t exactly yet know when in each case – we LOST THE ABILITY (which pigs/goats/sheep/cows etc (that we eat for food) still have or they would be extinct) to make 9 (nine) of the 20 amino-acids in our own biochemistry. The genes for critical parts of the metabolic paths that would have made these for us, er, umm, broke. This is quite recent – under 4 million years at the very most – and would invariably have assured our extinction if we were entirely herbivorous, but it didn’t matter for we already were eating other organisms whose tissues gave us this stuff.

    So, you MUST eat animal protein daily. if you do not, and are a vegan, then you MUST creep down to the fridge every might when your “partner” sleeps, and make _bacon sarnies_ . And eat them. Buying “supplements” does not work. Trust me on that one.

    This is basically chemical-energy-storage-stuff. Mainly what we call “hexose sugars” like glucose, galactose, and the like. “Sugar” as described by the foodNazis as in “hidden sugar added by firms” is either “sucrose” (a double molecule of glucose and fructose) or else just “fructose” (we used in the old-world to call it “fruit-sugar”) which is like a glucose molecule but a different shape. “Fructose” is made by plants as a cheap way of offering a sugar-bribe to polinating insects like bees etc, by making a molecule that only costs the plant half as much as sucrose and is much sweeter, and gives the insect the same energy-hit as a molecule of glucose, more or less. Plants make sucrose – seemingly expensive for them, because then in their sap they can transport double the energy per molecule from A to B, say from a leaf to a root, for the same cost, effectively: it’s like sending two containers on a lorry instead of just one.

    Proto-animals, about 600-800 million years ago, evolved accidentally a way of “predating” plant cells or photosynthesizing-bacteria, such that they could then use the harboured sugars in the prey as fuel for their own biochemical pathways. Proto-animals then probably lost the ability to photosynthesise sugars from CO2 and water, thus releasing oxygen as a waste product, because they no longer needed to, since chemical potential energy in the form of “hexose sugars” was freely available in the photosynthesising prey cells. so they become then “true animals” – free-living creatures initially one-celled but quickly bigger, “eating” other creatures, indeed, even other “animals” later on.

    If you do not eat carbohydrates, in sufficient quantity, then you must eat fats instead. If you don’t also eat fats, then your biochemistry _will burn_ protein – which is to say: muscle, collagen, cellular transport gates, and the like. Then you will die like the poor wretched people photographed at Belsen, living and dying and dead skeletons, functionally.

    There is much confusion about “vitamins”. these are interesting molecules, of mainly animal cellular origin, except for a few, which the good Victorian Chemists shortened a name for, from VITAL AMINES. Most of them are “amines” of one sort or another.

    Why they are today called “VITTA—MINNZ” baffles me, frankly. They are “vital amines” – so their name should be “VITA–MINZ”.

    Actually, what vitamins almost all do (with the possible exception of Vitamin-C) is act as important and essential “co-factors” – many are called in fact “co-enzymes” – for enzyme-driven processes. Some important enzymes cannot indeed work properly or at all without a specific vitamin being present in the cell and available to the enzyme pathway. The “B” group vitamins are especially important in this regard.

    Other sorts are precursors for important molecules that do other things. Vitamin A is an essential reactant in the production of retinal, a molecule without which light-sensitive cells in the animal retina wouldn’t be able to register photons as nerve-impulses. It may possibly even be a very very little bit better than an “urban myth”, that eating lots of carrots helps you to see in the dark…(I’m not convinced of that, but there you go.)

    The are called thus – that is to say: “VITAL” because your own biochemistry requires them for essential processes, and also – cannot make them – …Not even your poor overworked liver, the saviour of your biochemistry, can make them. Again, you have lost the ability through mutations in hominid genes – probably again quite recently, like 3-4 million years ago or even less (sort of this morning) because you could get them from _eating other animals_ .

    If you don’t eat enough _red meat_ regularly (most vitamins are ionic and are lost in urine or metabolised if in excess) then you will end up looking like an African flyblown child on the BBC-telly, and you will die badly.
    Veganarians secretly buy vitamin supplements, mostly (as is correct) made chemically, for it would cost far far far too much to “source them naturally”. the then consume the mixtures in the dead of night, while their partners are snoring. it must be a terrible life…. Even veganarian bankers couldn’t afford what it would cost to use “naturally-sourced-vitamins”.

    There is also a lot of confusion and “urban legend” associated with “vitamin C”. Ascorbic acid is important, and also man has lost the genes somewhere along the line, for the enzyme pathway that could make it in your cells.
    Lack of it does cause nasty wasting skin complaints and stuff like scurvy, which is inconvenient. However, if you have enough red meat – or failing that, fruits like oranges, lemons, limes and the like – and you only need less than 0.1 gram a day of the gear – you’d be OK. You can take by all means the silly Boots pills of 1gram or more, but then you will have expensive urine, for the stuff (again) is ionic.

    I’m very tired now: I will rest. Let me be woken by a slave when there shall be a comment.

    • I am very sorry, that I find this machine’s shift key does not work reliably or properly. there must be biscuit crumbs under it or something.

    • Should this not be a main post?

      • Not till I’ve polished it up a little. I rather sort of rattled it off literally from the seat of my pants. But I’ve no objection to refining and then elevating it if you like. Perhaps with a link back to what it comments on, so people can make sense of the thread. All “The Science” is correct entirely, as you would hope….

  • Julie near Chicago

    This is absolutely the cat’s pajamas and the bee’s knees! Also the bow on the birdcage!

    Thank you very, very much for this crash course, Dr. Davis. I am happy to report — with a certain self-righteous smugness — that although the latter 2/3 or so of my youth was spent trying to pretend that margarine (or “oleo”) was edible, since that’s what we had, prices being what they were, as soon as I left home I left the oleo behind and never looked back. It’s been butter all the way for me, folks.

    AND, in Health class in every grade in the ’50’s, we were taught that “eggs are Nature’s perfect food.” I love eggs and eat plenty of them, although the whites don’t always agree with me.

    I do have one question. I’ve read that only about 4% of our cholesterol comes from food, with the rest being made by our very own bodies. (I’ve also seen the factory located in the brain, the pancreas, and now the liver.) If you wrote what I read (if you see what I mean), it’s just the opposite. ??

    In all seriousness, this is a wonderful article even for people like me who never got around to taking Organic. I shall have to pass it on.

    • Julie, sorry I didn’t see your comment earlier.

      Yep, although I have simplified a lot of stuff, what’s there is more or less how it is. And it’s the liver that makes cholesterol. And you need quite a bit. And animal stuff gives it to you. Of course, it’s possible to eat too much, but well then, you just get bigger!

  • Julie near Chicago

    Thanks very much, David. I will say that my last set of bloodwork showed “excellent cholesterol levels.” Of course, I’m taking Vytorin anti-cholesterol med, but I don’t hold back on the butter! My problem is that I no longer have the cargo capacity to indulge my tastes in such no-no’s as red meats, eggs, liver, etc., to the degree I’d prefer. But, one does all one can with what one has!

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