I'll bet some of you already know where I'm going. There's so much nonsense out there virtually every day that it would be tough for you not to know.
So, alright, I've seen a barrage of emails and other communique over the last couple of days. What should I begin with, how saturated fat stimulates hunger and makes us eat more, how 85% of type 2 diabetics are eating too much saturated fat, or that saturated fats clog your arteries just like your plumbing?
Well, it doesn't matter where I begin, because they're all pretty stupid.
Here's some examples.
Those are just a few. They all read pretty much the same. The essentials:
When we eat, hormones such as leptin and insulin send out signals telling the body it has had enough.
But palmitic acid –a fatty acid present in saturated fats – goes straight to the brain and tells it to ignore these signals.
The research, published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, was carried out by Dr Deborah Clegg of UT Southwestern Medical Centre, Dallas.
That would be right here, and Deborah Clegg isn't the only grant whore. We also have: Stephen C. Benoit, Christopher J. Kemp, Carol F. Elias, William Abplanalp, James P. Herman, Stephanie Migrenne, Anne-Laure Lefevre, Céline Cruciani-Guglielmacci, Christophe Magnan, Fang Yu4, Kevin Niswender, Boman G. Irani, and William L. Holland. Grant Whores.
I mean, what else could such useless research mean? I'll leave the scientific debunking to the real experts out there. This is just a typical hit & run, for me. But let's cover the basics. Yes, there's some evidence I've seen to suggest that saturated fat might induce temporary mild insulin resistance. And leptin resistance too? I dunno, never heard that one, but perhaps it's plausible. Can you think of an evolutionary reason for that?
What's being ignored is saturated fats have been with us forever, and grains only a brief time. Processed foods packed with sugar, grain derivatives, and processed vegetable oils, only a short time. So, naturally, it's the bit of saturated fat (typically less than 50% of total fat, even in junk food) in the tiny little frankenmeat stuck between two massive buns, alongside the fries done up in industrial oil, and the soda packed with sugar.
In other words, hunter-gatherers and other non-industrial populations who existed on lots of meat & fat must have been really obese, because, as we can see now that the American diet is about 60-70% carbcrap, people are now lean and trim everywhere.
So, one might presume that the best nutrient there is, meat with it's saturated fat (our own body fat is highly saturated, and our bodies can and do manufacture saturated fats), might be so important that we evolved a "gorging mechanism" for when we had it around. That's speculation, of course. But one thing we didn't have built into our genes is how to handle a sugar load such as the average person consumes today.
The mind boggles. Grant Whores. Here:
"With respect to applying to humans, I can only make an educated guess, but I believe that when humans eat diets high in saturated fat, and palmitic acid in particular, hormones such as leptin, which normally regulate food intake and body weight will be less effective," says researcher Debbie Clegg. This helps explain why you wake up ravenous the morning after Thanksgiving -- all that butter and cheese is literally toying with your brain.
Now Clegg, you stupid cow, I think you probably know damn good & well that the reason people are ravenous the next morning (just like after an enormous pasta dinner), is that they have dumped hundreds of grams of carbohydrate (sugar & grain) over the space of a few hours into a body whose total amount of blood glucose is about 4 grams at any one time. That's less than a teaspoon in an entire body, and you idiots mean to tell us that the 5 grams of palmitic acid in that burger is what's causing the problem, and not the 200 grams of carbohydrate in the bun, fries, and soda and perhaps dessert -- 50 times more sugar than a normal person has in circulation?
You want to know what really causes insulin and leptin resistance? Over carbing (grains & sugar) drives insulin secretion, drives leptin resistance and fat storage, drives insulin resistance and more fat storage. This is the causal chain, everyone knows it; but, they're Grant Whores.
Or, Frauds; take your pick. Want to have a real education about leptin and resistance? See here, and note the links to Stephan's posts on leptin toward the bottom. Also, see how fat improves memory. Can you think of an evolutionary reason? Don Matesz speculates.
Far and away the most common benefit experienced by the paleo dieter -- most of whom are in the 50-60% range of energy from fat, and depending on how much coconut fat they use, probably 25-50% total energy from saturated fats -- is getting back to normal hunger regulation. It is nearly universal: "I'm never really hungry." That has certainly been my experience in losing 60 pounds while eating very high fat and saturated fat including palmitic acid. It has also been the experience of every single friend and family member.
These Grant Whores are despicable in every possible way. They should be immediately pelted about the head & shoulders with rotten vegetables.
Now to the next set of Grant Whores: Mara Z. Vitolins, DrPH, RD, Andrea M. Anderson, MS, Linda Delahanty, MS, RD, Hollie Raynor, PhD, Gary D. Miller, PhD, RD, Connie Mobley, PhD, RD, Rebecca Reeves, PhD, RD, Monica Yamamoto, PhD, RD, Catherine Champagne, PhD, RD, Rena R. Wing, PhD, Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, PhD, RD.
Most diabetics falling short on healthy eating. Well it's kind of obvious, isn't it? It's tautological: "Diet induced health problems are the result of unhealthy eating."
...researchers found that of nearly 2,800 middle- aged and older U.S. adults with type 2 diabetes, nearly all were exceeding the daily recommended fat intake. When it came to artery-clogging saturated fat, 85 percent were consuming too much.
The "most important thing" in managing type 2 diabetes, Vitolins noted, is balancing calories in and calories out to help shed pounds or at least avoid weight gain. The choice of foods is also vital in getting enough beneficial nutrients...
Here's the abstract. No mention anywhere of whether they considered the role of SUGAR in...DIABETES.
Finally, I'll leave the sarcasm to Tom Naughton, who has scientifically, rigorously proven that EVERYTHING clogs your arteries.
Update 5/11/2010: I was contacted by one of the researchers, Dr. Stephen Benoit, from the fist of those studies cited and in the end have decided that I targeted the wrong folks and that the science is good and valid, just reported wrong by the media. "Is Eating Crow Paleo?" Check it out.