7 thoughts on “Saturated fat vs unsaturated fat

  • Thanks you Zoe. This is the first time I have grasped cholesterol mechanics and clearly understood the folly of the diet heart hypothesis.

  • Zoe,

    I attempted downloading your fact sheet and am not able to do so. I am a Dietitian that agrees with you and wanted to use this fact sheet as part of a lesson. Can you let me know how I can get a hold of it?

    • Hi Otoniel
      There seems to be a problem – many thanks for letting us know – we’ll sort it asap so please check back (site expert is currently watching the rugby!)
      Bye for now – Zoe
      p.s. update – it’s fixed now – it dates back to 2009 so some of the content from the gov sites may have changed (details) – the sentiments are still the same (and wrong!)
      You may enjoy this too – my PhD summarised in 30 mins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqkAJmXt9RE

  • All round your theories and diet advice make a lot of sense.
    Unfortunately I think comparing Olive Oil to Pork in terms of fat discredits you.
    No one is going to consume 100gr of Olive Oil or any significant amount as a ‘full’ food. How can you compare it to a pork steak? How can you say that as there is no protein in oil it is not a s good a food as pork?
    Unless your point of view is that people are simple enough to look at a recommended food list by the NHS (or any other institution) and decide to replace ‘fatty’ meat for a glass of olive oil.
    I am a toxicologist and a lot of your vie wpoints make a lot of sense, but really…

    • Hi Rigas – how about one tablespoon of olive oil has more saturated fat than 100g of pork? You can do the maths as easily as I can on 100g vs100g and what someone would more realistically eat. And why are told to eat one and avoid the other? And the oil comes with no minerals and a couple of vitamins, while here’s the nutrition in that pork. It’s the total lack of evidence base and illogicality and nonsense in government dietary advice that I speak against.
      Best wishes – Zoe

  • Hi,
    Interesting stuff, as a qualified sports nutritionist and master butcher I agree with what you’re saying:-) however, some of the figures on the percentage of sat’ fat in a pork chop may need clarifying. The lean meat of a pork chop is (on average) 22% fat. I know this because we tested this in the lab when I was at Tech College. The problems arise when people don’t eat a “balanced” diet. E.g. the pork chop has an inch of fat around it. This can then greatly increase the amount of fat in the chop and can upset the fat to protein ratio. Also it could be cooked in more fat…usually fried thus increasing the free radicals AND just the process of cooking alters the enzymes within the food. This all hampers ones ability to process the food correctly and hinders our internal chemistry in processing the nutrients effectively.
    Saying all that, it’s about time some one spoke up about all this nonsense the NHS tells us about fat and how it’s the “baddie” out to get us all when in reality it’s our lifestyle choices and over consumption of “The white menace” (white flour, sugar, pasta etc) and unbalanced processed foods. I’m gonna get your book on pay day!
    PS Extra virgin olive oil still offers more health benefits that animal fat

    • Hi Dan! I get my data from the USA Dietary Association database (nutritiondata.com). It’s invaluable. We can solve this apparent discrepancy really easily. There are 82 options in the database for pork raw alone. (Adding ‘raw’ cuts out pork scratchings and all pork manufactured products). I chose a couple to compare:

      – “Pork, fresh, enhanced, loin, top loin (chops), boneless, separable lean and fat, raw“. In 100g of this (makes the % easier) there are 21g of protein and 4g of fat. The rest is virtually all water. OF THE BIT THAT IS NOT WATER, yes 69% is protein and 31% fat (the analysis allows for the different calorific values for protein and fat). So this example is actually ‘fattier’ than the 22% one that you analysed.

      – The example I used for the video was “Pork, fresh, loin, top loin (chops), boneless, separable lean and fat, raw [America’s cut chops, Pork top loin chops, Strip loin chops, URMIS #3369]”. The USDA or URMIS product references are for standard government comparator products, so I like to use these. (These are generally seen as good ‘average’ examples to use). This one has (per 100g again) 22g of protein and 7g of fat and 2.4g of the 7g of fat is saturated (just 34%). The main fat in pork is monounsaturated – (which is also the main fat in olive oil), but I have never met someone who knows that about pork, because we are not being told things that don’t fit with the avoid fat/eat carbs message. The main fat in every part of the pig is monounsaturated – yes – even lard! (I particularly like that one). When people ask me if we cut fat off pork in our household I say yes – because we grill it separately to turn it into crackling! Do you think cavemen trimmed the fat?! It’s not fat making us fat – it’s processed carbohydrates!

      – Back to the numbers – then we can say – 100g of olive oil is 100% fat (one of the very rare foods with no protein whatsoever). 14% of this fat is saturated (not many people know that) and therefore, gram for gram, olive oil has 6x the saturated fat of pork. Fact.

      – I agree with your cautions about cooking – especially when people cook with, or use, man made transfats, vegetable oils unnaturally made solid at room temperature etc. Also processed meats, when manufacturers cook them ‘for us’ and add sugar and white flour etc – are best left on the shelves until the profiteers stop making them!

      – On the p.s. I think both pork and olive oil are great substances – because they are ‘nature’s foods’. However, I think 100g of pork is better than 100g of olive oil, so I have to conclude that, gram for gram, pork is healthier. Olive oil has no protein for starters. For the ‘official’ opinion, the USDA analysis gives two numerical scores to rate the ‘healthiness’ of a product: 1) is a measure of nutritional content (out of 100) and 2) is a measure of protein quality (an indicator of amino acid completeness). On the second number, any score above 100 indicates a complete protein (i.e. all the amino acids we need are in this food). On these two measures, olive oil scores 5 for nutritional content and our pork example (the one in the video) scores 36. On the protein quality, olive oil obviously scores 0, as it has none, and the pork scores 150.

      – Keep talking about the white menace! We’ve got some big companies to counteract
      Very best wishes – Zoe

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.