Saturated fat

Here’s a slide that I present during some presentations e.g. here 10 mins in. It makes a few points:

1) All foods that contain fat contain all three fats – saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated – there are no exceptions.

2) The only food group that contains more saturated than unsaturated fat is dairy. Not that saturated is better or worse than unsaturated – but just to state a fact.

3) The only food on this slide with more saturated than unsaturated fat, therefore, is the low fat milk. Red meat, eggs, even lard ho ho, all have more unsaturated than saturated fat – again – not that saturated is better or worse than unsaturated…

4) The mackerel shown has twice the total fat and 1.5 times the saturated fat of the sirloin steak shown, yet public health advisors tell us to eat oily fish and avoid red meat in the name of the dietary fat guidelines: total and saturated.

5) Olive oil has 7 times the saturated fat as the sirloin steak shown. “But we wouldn’t consume 100g of olive oil” people say. “No – but 1 tablespoon of olive oil can have more saturated fat than a 100g pork chop.” (Sources at end).

6) When you know a few facts about food, you can make a mockery of our dietary advice.

 

 

Sources:

Sirloin steak; EggsMackerelLardAlmonds; : Olive oil: 1% fat milk and a Pork chop.

 

10 thoughts on “Saturated fat

  • avatar
    March 1, 2018 at 1:56 pm
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    Always enjoyed your talk with Bill Padley on TRE. Thank you very much for putting the record straight and so succinctly; Statins and now Fats. Butter and Lard is now very much on my agenda. May I ask is taking a tablespoonful of first pressed olive oil every morning beneficial? Thank you and look forward to your next talk.

    Reply
  • avatar
    January 28, 2018 at 11:44 am
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    I have embarked on a shake daily at between 11am- 12 it consists of banana strawberries apple oranges ginger grapes mixed fruits and I use for tablespoons natural yoghurt, I have a regular tea eg salmon salad and rice, or steak mushrooms and rice, or tuna pasta bake, what is your advice on my eating habits, I want to lose weight,

    Reply
    • avatar
      January 28, 2018 at 1:07 pm
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      Hi Mark
      I can’t give you advice – I can give you opinions/facts.

      In my opinion you seem to be avoiding processed food and eating natural food, which is a very good start. Your shake is very high in sugar (http://www.zoeharcombe.com/2015/12/sugar-in-fruit/) and fruit is not that nutritious. You’d be better off having scrambled eggs/an omelette/a tin of fish and some salad/or even just more natural yoghurt and less fruit – an option with more nutritious/less sugary stuff. Tea sounds good. The salmon/salad/steak/mushrooms/tuna etc are the nutritious bits – rice is generally better than pasta, but neither bring as much nutritionally as meat/fish/eggs/dairy/veg.

      Bottom line though – if you’re losing weight, you’re doing something right. If not – rethink.

      Good luck with your goals.
      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
  • avatar
    January 21, 2018 at 11:07 pm
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    The only natural food that has 100% saturated fat would be coconut oil.
    Ironocently of vegetable origin!

    Reply
    • avatar
      January 22, 2018 at 7:57 am
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      Hi Pedro
      Alas – when I said there are no exceptions I meant it! I’ve seen coconut oil as high as 93% saturated, but the rest is still mono and poly. The USDA database standard details for coconut oil are here: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fats-and-oils/508/2
      87% saturated, 6% mono and 2% poly. (Things rarely add to 100 on this database – measuring foods if not an exact science).
      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
  • avatar
    January 21, 2018 at 5:25 pm
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    So what’s the point behind this post. I mean other than making a mockery of the facts along with the standard dietary recommendations. As you know, not all unsaturated FAs are created the same. You have MUFAs, PUFAs, long-chain PUFAs, & very long-chain PUFAs, omega-3, omega-6, etc. Also, saturated FAs come in different sizes, short-chain, medium-chain, & long-chain with different metabolic & regulatory profiles (compare butyric, lauric, & stearic). Also various combinations of saturated & unsaturated may have distinct metabolic effects.

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    • avatar
      January 22, 2018 at 7:59 am
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      Hi Nasr
      As you say, I know all of this – is it not enough to make a mockery of dietary recommendations?! If they were sound, one would not be able to do so!
      Best wishes – Zoe

      Reply
      • avatar
        January 28, 2018 at 10:25 pm
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        Excellent point!

        Perhaps They should be honest about their motivations, they want us to stop eating what they call “saturated fat” because animals.

        A “plant based” diet does NOT exclude industrial plants.

        (Fish are honorary plants because they have beady eyes)

        Reply
      • avatar
        March 28, 2018 at 12:46 am
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        Zoe,

        Excellent post! I have seen this material from you before in print and video. I have actually found this information most useful in my daily practice. I see patients every day who are suffering under a long history of horrific dietary advice. You, my friend, are the 800lb gorilla of the dietary debate. When I use your information conventional practitioners are immediately silent, and patients immediately perk up and listen. I use your “mockery” daily to change lives.

        Much appreciated!

        Roger

        Reply

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