Which Fat is Good For Us?
In continuing my education about understanding fats and which is bad or good–because everything points against all of what dietitians or nutritionists tell us and the USDA recommends–I decided to hit all books and articles. It is not that I want to prove the USDA or the schools that teach nutritionists wrong (well.. yeah.. a little) but I actually want to know what I should eat!
I already know that saturated fat (animal saturated in particular) really helps migraines by my experience (even if nutritionists tell me it is bad for me) but I now wanted to understand the difference between fats in general for my regular health and not for migraines in particular.
We know that we have one fat type that is believed to be super good: monounsaturated fat. The chemistry is complicated so I leave that for another day but monounsaturated fats lower what we call the bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase what we call the good cholesterol (HDL) so that is #1 we need in our fat. This assumes, of course, that lowering LDL and increasing HDL is always a good thing, which is not true, but let’s make that assumption for now. This assumption is necessary because I know that 99.9999999% of the doctors reading this sentence are already lost. Why? Because we have particles in LDL (current blood tests for cholesterol do not test for particles!). The large particles are fluff and good so lowering LDL may mean we remove the good particles and leave all the small dense kind that are really the bad guys… yeah… ask for an NMR lipid test next time when you are at your doctor instead of a lipid panel for cholesterol.
Next we know that polyunsaturated fats are bad for us so we want fats that have as little as possible. Polyunsaturated fats are unstable and are the topic of the article I wrote on how the bonds break, how they become goo from heat, settle in your arteries, etc.
In reading Gary Taubes’ book “Good Calories, Bad Calories; Fats, Carbs, and The Controversial Science of Diet and Health” I found this section in the book very interesting and worthy to investigate:
I looked up in the USDA database the full nutrition information in order to compare the following fats:
Total saturated fat (a.k.a bad fat), Monounsaturated fat (a.k.a. good fat) and polyunsaturated fat (a.k.a. really bad fat) in the following food items: (100 gr = 3.5 oz) 100 gr porterhouse steak cooked, 1/8 inch fat; 100 gr avocado; 100 gr wild caught coho salmon cooked; 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Fat Type Amount
total saturated fat 4.026
total saturated fat: 2.125
total saturated fat: 1.595
1 tablespoon olive oil
total saturated fat: 1.864
Note that a tablespoon olive oil has more polyunsaturated fat (the really bad one) than a 100 gr porterhouse steak!
So what do you think I will be eating? Steak of course! Dumping my olive oil! I recommend you reconsider what food you enjoy!
Comments, as always, are welcome.