I'm going to revisit a post from a few months ago; but first, I'm going to highlight a post by Tom Naughton, creator of the documentary film Fat Head, which I mini-reviewed here. Let me just mention that this is probably the best tool available for introducing friends and family to the notion of an evolutionary basis for diet. I have screened it with a number of both and the enthusiasm has been uniformly resounding. It's a Big Fat Deal.
Alright, so here's Tom's clever post on his blog (notice that this blog is featured on his short blogroll amongst very good company; thanks, Tom).
See, Tom figured something out, and I'll give you a clue:
It’s easy to find the breakdown of lard on the internet. It’s mostly oleic acid, palmitic acid and stearic acid, with several others making up the balance. Add them up, and it turns out that lard is about 38 percent saturated, 11 percent polyunsaturated, and 45 percent monosaturated. (The numbers don’t add up to 100 because some of the trace fats were unclassified.)
...I finally found a paper in which the researchers stated that they extracted human body fat from the subjects’ buttocks. Since research subjects are often college sophomores, I’m guessing this took place at a fraternity initiation.
In any case, I saw pretty much the same list of fatty acids. Add them up, and it turns out that human body fat is about 35 percent saturated, 51 percent monosaturated, and the rest polyunsaturated. In other words, it’s similar to lard.
This reminded me of the post of mine I'll now revisit.
Just as Tom did, I showed how if losing fat is part of your weight loss goal, which unless you're crazy it is, then you're going to be burning through your own fat, making your diet, if successful, a high fat diet.
Let's say you have 50 pounds of excess fat you'd like to lose in order to get down to around 15% body fat or thereabouts. Assuming you'll be successful, what does that imply? It means, necessarily, that you're going to metabolize 50 pounds of your own fat in order to accomplish your objective. So, even if you do this by means of a "low-fat" diet, it's still high-fat, as you've got 50 pounds or 175,000 calories worth of fat to burn through. If you do it in six months, that's almost 1,000 calories of fat per day. Presuming a basal metabolism of 2,500 calories, and what you do eat is 20% fat (a "low-fat diet"), then you'd be eating 300 calories of fat and 1,200 calories of protein and carbs combined, for a total consumption of 1,500 calories. The remaining 1,000 would be coming from your own fat, released into your bloodstream and metabolized. Out of the total 2,500, 1,300, or about 50%, are calories from fat.
But Tom actually went a step further and got the breakdown of fat composition, as shown above. It makes the irony of the whole thing only that much sweeter, or ought I to say: fattier.
So let's tie it together: if one is attempting to lose weight, presumably mostly from fat and not lean tissue, then they will of necessity be on a high fat diet, 35% of which, minimum, will be saturated fat from their own body (plus whatever saturated fat they eat). At 1 pound of weight loss per week, that's 3,500 fat calories, 1,225 from saturated fat, which is 135 grams of "artery clogging saturated fat" (so called).
As I concluded in the former post: "When finally you've explained, and they've understood, you can then ask them how come they're not afraid of clogging their own arteries with all the fat they intend to be releasing into their own bloodstream."