From a recent exchange a few posts back:
R, D & MJ
I would like to start by saying that this blog must be a joke.
I would also like to mention that fat is actually one of the healthiest things you can eat, as long as it is the right fat from the right food source.
If this blog is not a joke then you are an idiot.
To which I said:
Although I use humor a lot, I’m afraid it’s not a joke.
I welcome you to elaborate on what kinds of fat you believe are beneficial. I am quite aware of them, but you seem to think that I believe that all fat is bad, when I have never said such a thing.
I also welcome you to elaborate on why you think that I am an idiot. Let’s hear it.
Fat is an energy source, like carbohydrates and protein. One major difference, however, is that fat contains 9 calories per gram, vs 4 calories/g for both carbs and protein. This causes a diet of general overeating that is high in fatty foods to be easier to achieve an excess in calories… which are stored as fat when our glucose storage is filled up.
Of course we need some fat in our diets. No one has said that we don’t.
R, D & MJ
Actually we need a diet of mostly fat. Fat from grassfed animals or milk/dairy products from said animals is probably the best basis for a healthy diet.
But I am not going to get into a long discussion about it. I find the whole concept of your blog to be ofensive and won’t be reading it again.
Oh well, there goes another.
For those of you who I don’t scare off, perhaps you wouldn’t mind reading my response…
The one valid point you made is that grass-fed cow products are better than (I assume you meant) grain-fed cow products.
First, a little knowledge about fat:
All fats from food are generally made up of some combination of the following.
- Saturated Fats
- Monounsaturated Fats
- Polyunsaturated Fats (omega 6, omega 3)
The only fats that are essential fatty acids (meaning that it must be obtained from the diet, and cannot be made by the body), are omega-6 and omega-3. These fats are involved in specific biological processes, and not just used as an energy source.
What is considered to be a healthy ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is roughly between 1:1 to 3:1, respectively. The typical western diet consists of a profile that can be as high as 30:1, which has been shown to be highly associated with various inflammatory diseases as well as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, even strokes. Grain fed cows produce products with a fat ratio that is anywhere from 6:1 to 20:1, while grass fed cows produce ratios of fat around 3:1, which is ideal. So, in that respect you are correct.
Given this information it may seem that lean grass fed beef and milk seem like pretty good sources of fat. However, the information about omega fatty acid ratios should not overshadow the rest of the lipid (fat) profile which tells us that obtaining most of our dietary fat from animal sources is a sure way to end up with high cholesterol due to generally higher levels of:
- Saturated Fat
- Trans Fats (only obtained through animals or processed foods)
Both have been shown to similarly raise LDL (bad) cholesterol, and lower HDL (good) cholesterol, which can then lead to several cardiovascular diseases, and it is well known that heart disease is the number one cause of health related death in the U.S. Neither of them are essential fats, therefore the best sources of fat in one’s diet would be those that are as low as possible in these two fats that are associated with health risks.
Some foods that are great sources of fat in our diets are:
- Avocado (mostly monounsaturated fat)
- Flax seeds (mostly polyunsaturated omega 3’s, some 6’s, and monounsaturated)
- Olive oil (a small amount of saturated, but over 70% monounsaturated, and some poly)
- Nuts and seeds (mostly comparable amounts of mono and poly, with a small amount of saturated)
If you must insist that there is a good source of fat other than plants, then I would suggest that some types of fish in one’s diet can be very beneficial. But only if those fish are proven to not contain high levels of mercury and other fat-soluble pollutants.
As you can see, one would be hard pressed to find a non-plant source of fat that does not have many problems associated with it’s particular lipid profile or other contaminants.
Let’s look at Top Sirloin
, which is considered to be one of the leanest cuts of beef. Around 40% of it’s fat profile is from saturated. Does this look like a typical serving? It’s actually probably about 4 servings. What would you be consuming if you ate the whole thing, you ask? My estimates put it at around 30 grams of fat, and 13 grams of saturated, along with almost an entire days allowance of cholesterol.
has 5 grams of fat in one cup. Three of those 5 grams are saturated fat. That’s 60%
So, my point is that while your assertion that grass fed animal products are better than other amimal products is valid, I do not agree with your claim that a diet in which we get most of our fat from animals is “the best basis for a healthy diet”. I don’t mind telling you that vegetarians are 24% less
likely to die of heart disease.