Paleo/Primal Diet is a High Fat, High Cholesterol Diet. And That’s a Good Thing.

Dietary fats are necessary for life. Cholesterol is necessary for life.

People often ask me how I look so good and emanate such heath, even though I eat tons of “arterycloggigsatruatedfat”. Probably the most vilified nutrient in the world of conventional wisdom, saturated fat always gets a bad rap. But is it really as unhealthy as the “officials” tell you? It’s been pounded into your brain from birth, so it’s obviously very difficult to fathom saturated fat as actually being HEALTHY. Lets try.

  • Everything you’ve learned about saturated fat is wrong.

Saturated fat (saturated fatty acids) are resistant to heat damage, shelf spoilage, and are essential to many bodily functions. The best parts of the animal, like organ meats and liver, contain SFA’s along with necessary fat soluble vitamins A D and K2.

Saturated fats are called “saturated” because all the available carbon bonds of the SFA are tied up with a hydrogen atom. This means there are no “openings” for rancidity or oxidation. That’s a good thing.

Hmmmmm. “So Dan, you’re trying to tell me that SFA’s are RESISTANT to oxidation? AND their high in essential nutrients?” BINGO! Compared to polyunsaturated fats which contain two or more double bonds without hydrogen, which are WIDE OPEN to oxidation, saturated fats are like, super awesome! Keep oxidation in mind, because this comes up later…

Saturated fat is your body’s primary energy source. By design, we store all excess calories as saturated fat for later use. We evolved this way to store energy for later, because as hunter-gatherers, food was not always available. When you exercise, or when you are fasting, you are literally consuming large amounts of saturated (and monounsaturated) fat, as your body begins to release it from adipose tissue for energy. Keep in mind, this would have been crucial for survival during lean times in the paleolithic era.

So, stored fat is your energy reserve, and dietary fat is used for immediate energy. So to say saturated fat is bad, is to say that evolution “got it wrong” and our bodies somehow over hundreds of thousands of years, developed this highly dangerous and unhealthy method of energy storage and consumption. YAH-fucking-right. How stupid do these “officials” think we are, anyway? Ever heard of Darwin and natural selection? All the traits that made us successful, healthy human beings have been carefully selected for across those 100,000 years of evolution. I think the “officials” have got it all wrong.

  • Everything you’ve learned about cholesterol is wrong

Cholesterol is created in your body, and is completely regulated by your body. This means that as dietary cholesterol goes up, your body down-regulates its own production. Also, as dietary cholesterol drops, your body up-regulates its production of cholesterol to keep everything within an optimal range. This means that dietary cholesterol has no effect on serum cholesterol. This also should tell you that cholesterol is A NECESSARY SUBSTANCE IN YOUR BODY! You need it to create vitamin D from sunlight. Your body also needs it in order to produce vital nutrients like Co Q-10 and testosterone.

It’s hard to believe that something so important as cholesterol has so easily been vilified in “conventional wisdom”, especially when most quality statistical analyses show that cholesterol ISN’T EVEN WEAKLY CORRELATED WITH HEART DISEASE!

cholesterol cardiovasc men

The observational data that attempts to link cholesterol with heart disease really never adds up from a proper statistical standpoint. What about the physiological process by which cholesterol causes disease? The “officials” can never come up with one (I’ll tell you a secret, that’s because there ISN’T one!).

What it comes down to, is that every study that finds any link (no matter how weak) between disease and fat/cholesterol/protein/whatever is purely an observational study. These aren’t controlled studies. These are often studies in which dietary information is acquired from questionnaires asking people about their dietary habits for the last five years. These are average, everyday populations. Busy people like you and me, and they’re expected to remember their exact dietary habits for the past five years? Fucking-puh-lease! Also, many developing countries’ data comes from medical directories wrought with classification error, because they have not developed the same standards of documentation and review that we have in the United States. Low medical standards allow some practitioners to file unexplained deaths in an arbitrary category. They might just as well label someone as dead from “heart failure”, when they really had no idea what caused the death, or it could have been some other cardiovascular problem not really related to heart failure, but it was “close enough”. This throws huge inaccuracies into the data when we look at certain countries used in an epidemiological study. “The China Study” is a really good example of this.

One more thing. CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION. I can correlate murder rates with ice cream sales, but that does not mean ice cream causes murders! It means that something else is related, like the fact that more crimes happen in the summer! OMFG!

  • Everything you’ve learned about heart disease is wrong

Ever wonder how your arteries get swollen and clogged? What’s the actual process that causes heart attacks and stroke, and makes us fear saturated fat and cholesterol? Why is the statin industry making so much god-damned money? Why do we have to take so many pills just to stay healthy? Why can’t we just eat the food we love? Why do we have to avoid fats and cholesterol and count calories and and and……

IT’S ALL BEEN A BIG FAT LIE. [Check out this post for more info: How bad is saturated fat and cholesterol? The final word.]

Here’s how your arteries actually get clogged. I’ll give you a hint. OXIDATION! Finally, the biological process by which our arteries harden and get restricted, explained in scientific clarity. Here, I’ll leave it up to Mark Sisson to explain this one:

In my recent post on blood lipids, I briefly summarized Chris Masterjohn’s ideas about heart disease. Namely, that heart disease is a problem of macrophages (cells that like to gobble up lipids and other things) in the endothelium (arterial wall) receiving oxidized (damaged) LDL and forming atherosclerotic plaque, which is then vulnerable to rupture. Regular LDL is not the issue; only oxidized LDL gets taken up and turned into plaque. Okay, sounds good (or bad), but how does inflammation figure into all this?

The inflammatory response and subsequent oxidative stress load is ultimately responsible for the oxidation of the LDL, while inflammatory cytokines produced at the atherosclerotic site can weaken and loosen the plaque, thus setting the stage for (and even causing) a rupture. In fact, inflammation is intimately involved in nearly every aspect of heart disease.

Read more: 

Wow, that’s good stuff! So it looks like inflammation causes oxidation causes inflammation causes plaque causes rupture, causes more plaque, causes hardening and swelling of arteries, causes eventual constriction of arteries. Well DUH! After all, it wasn’t just a bunch of fat floating around in your “tubes” clogging things up like those doctors wanted you to believe! That’s a pretty laughable explanation, considering that fat doesn’t just float around in your arteries!

  • So, to summarize

 The conventional wisdom sucks, so we should all start eating like animals! yay.

  • Saturated fat is strongly resistant to oxidation and is a vital source of nutrients and energy.
  • Cholesterol does not cause heart disease, and is a vital and necessary precursor in many bodily functions and nutrients.
  • Epidemiological studies are really bad at predicting cause and effect. In fact they are downright USELESS.
  • Oxidation causes Inflammation causes heart disease.

Cool! Now I can stop worrying about all that cholesterol and saturated fat. But what do I worry about now???


Read my next installment about PUFA’s and how they cause inflammation…

This post summarizes the method of PUFA oxidation as it relates to atherosclerosis…

This post describes inflammation and oxidation as it relates to health…


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