And now for one of our most controversial topics ever: are unsaturated fats actually essential or essentially toxic? There is a ton of scientific research on both sides of the issue and each side claims it’s right and the other is wrong. For decades national dietary guidelines have promoted and supported the thinking that unsaturated fats from plants are healthier than saturated fats from animals. For decades, industrial influences and nationally funded health advisory agencies have fed us reports that unsaturated fats are nutritionally essential and that saturated fats should be avoided because saturated fats will give you high cholesterol, high blood pressure and a fat, sad, early death. More modern research (and a more accurate interpretation of past research studies) show that actually the very opposite may be true. Progressive nations with their eye on modern research, and even Time Magazine is now back stepping and even formally apologizing for bashing saturated fats and cholesterol rich foods. Turns out there is actually zero correlation between heart disease and consumption of cholesterol rich foods. Suprised? We were too. Listen in as Tony, Will and Kinna flush out this confusing history of the big, fat lie.
In this Episode You’ll Learn
- That unsaturated fats are not actually nutritionally essential.
- Unsaturated fats actually have many potentially harmful effects on the human body if consumed regularly.
- A diet rich in natural sources of cholesterol (egg yolks, organic animal products, etc.) is actually healthful for most people (provided digestion is working effectively.
- The research that proved unsaturated fats are “essential” (George and Mildred Burr, 1029) misunderstood the evidence they were interpreting. It turns out that the rats in the study were deficient in vitamin B-6, not unsaturated fats. When the rats’ diets were supplemented with vitamin B-6 the symptoms of “fatty acid deficiencies” disappeared. The rats who were fed a diet free of fats were much healthier, lived longer and had faster metabolisms, greater intelligence and zero cancer, in contrast to the rats feed unsaturated fats who were much more prone to cancer, obesity, shortened life span and a variety of other health problems.
- Theoretically the main reason unsaturated fats cause so many health problems is due to the way unsaturated fats destabilize cell water in mammals. Water in mammal cells is organized (structured) in a very particular, significant ways that allow for cells to maintain normal structure and function. When unsaturated fats are present in mammalian cells cell water organization is altered, and with it cell structure is altered and cell function is impaired.
- The way in which cells organize water is described in great detail in Dr. Gerald Pollack’s book: Cells, Gels & the Engines of Life.
- The way in which unsaturated fats interfere with cell water organization is detailed at length in the writings of Dr. Ray Peat. Specifically in his article “Unsaturated fatty acids: Nutritionally essential, or toxic?” (warning: Dr. Peat’s writings are often confusing to the average reader who has no background in life sciences. We mention it here as a reference and resource for those of you with special interest in the scientific principles mentioned in this episode.)
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