Posts Tagged ‘saturated fat’

MORE TRUTH ABOUT SATURATED FAT

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

A bit more awesome knowledge about saturated fats from Mike Geary, the author of The Truth About Six Pack Abs. I never get tired of reading his stuff… I learn something new every time. Read on and you’ll see what I mean.



Why you Have Been Deceived About Saturated Fat

I’ve written many times in the last couple years about the mistaken beliefs in society about saturated fat and the false perception in the media AND with MOST health professionals that saturated fat is bad for you.

If you’ve seen in some of my articles, I’ve even showed you why saturated fat can even be GOOD for you in some cases, despite every health/fitness professional in the world just accepting the false belief that it’s bad for you.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised to FINALLY see a big name publisher have some guts to publish an article about why everyone in the world may be wrong about their beliefs about saturated fat.

I received my new issue of Men’s Health magazine over the weekend, and they have a huge 6-page article in there about the faulty research in the past about saturated fat, and some new emerging research that is showing why it may actually be more good for you than you would believe.

I’ve got to give them credit… the article was VERY well researched and put together beautifully to summarize where the studies in the past have gone wrong, and why recent studies are showing that everyone may have been wrong for the last 5 decades about saturated fat.

I’d highly suggest you read the entire article if you can. If not, I’m going to try to give you a quick summary of the findings here since it was a long article…

First of all, did you realize that although doctors, nutritionists, fitness professionals, and the media all have told you that it’s a FACT that saturated fats are bad for you, this “FACT” has actually never been proven!

It’s actually not a “fact” at all. It was a hypothesis! This goes all the way back to a flawed research study from the 1950’s where a guy named Ancel Keys published a paper that laid the blame on dietary fat intake for the increasing heart disease phenomenon.

However, there were major flaws to his study. For one, in his conclusions he only used data from a small portion of the countries where data was available on fat consumption vs heart disease death rate. When researches have gone back in and looked at the data from all of the countries, there actually was no link between fat consumption and heart disease deaths. So his conclusions were actually false.

Second, his blaming of fat intake for heart disease was only one factor that was considered. There was no consideration of other factors such as smoking rates, stress factors, sugar intake, exercise frequency, or other lifestyle factors.

Basically, his conclusions which blamed heart disease deaths on fat intake were really just a shot in the dark about what a possible cause may have been, even though all of those other factors I just mentioned, plus many others, may be the bigger cause.

Unfortunately, Keys study has been cited for over 5 decades now as “fact” that saturated fat is bad for you. As you can see, there certainly is nothing factual about it.

Since that time, numerous other studies have been conducted trying to link saturated fat intake to heart disease. The majority of these studies have failed to correlate ANY risk at all from saturated fat. A couple of them made feeble attempts at linking saturated fat to heart disease, however, it was later shown that in those studies, the data was flawed as well.

Do we actually have evidence that saturated fat may actually be good for you instead?

Well, let’s consider a few examples…

Did you know that there are several well known tribes in Africa… the Masai, Samburu, and Fulani tribes… where their diet consists mostly of raw whole milk, tons of red meat, and cows blood? Despite their very high saturated fat intake, they display extremely low body fat levels, and heart disease to natives of the tribe is virtually non-existent.

Now most critics of this example will say that it must be related to superior genetics… however this is false, as when they studied tribesman who had moved out of their native lands and started eating more modern day diets, their blood chemistry skyrocketed with heart disease risk factors.

This is true of certain pacific island countries inhabitants as well. Several studies have shown that certain pacific island nations had VERY high intakes of total fat as well as saturated fat from tropical fats such as palm, coconut, and cocoa. Despite super-high intakes of saturated fat, these island natives were typically very lean and heart disease was virtually non-existant.

However, when researchers followed up with islanders that had moved away from their native island and adopted a typical western diet, the heart disease factors were through the roof.

In fact, did you know that although saturated fat intake does increase your LDL bad cholesterol, it actually increases your HDL good cholesterol even further, hence improving your overall cholesterol ratio, which has been proven to be more important that just total cholesterol level (actually total cholesterol is an almost useless number… inflammation is the REAL problem, but that’s a whole different topic).

Another fact worth noting in favor of saturated fat…

Saturated fat is comprised of various different types… the 3 most common types are stearic acid, palmitic acid, and lauric acid.

Stearic acid is found in animal fat and cocoa in higher levels. Research continues to show that stearic acid has no negative impacts on heart disease risks. If anything, it’s either neutral or beneficial. In fact, your liver breaks down stearic acid into a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which is the same type of fat that makes up most of heart-healthy olive oil. Bet you didn’t know that!

Lauric acid is beneficial as well. Not only has it been shown to increase your HDL good cholesterol levels significantly, but it is also lacking in most Americans diet and has even been shown to have some powerful immune-boosting effects potentially. It is even being studied currently in HIV/AIDS research to help improve immune function in patients.

Tropical oils such as coconut and palm are the best sources of lauric acid.

Palmitic acid is the other main component of saturated fat and has also been shown to increase HDL good cholesterol to the same, if not greater extent than LDL bad cholesterol, thereby making it either neutral or beneficial, but certainly not bad for you.

So, if all of these researchers have tried so hard over the years to point the finger at saturated fat, but have continued to fail to show a correlation between saturated fat and heart disease risk, what are the REAL culprits for heart disease?

Well, here are the REAL causes of heart disease risk:

*Trans fats (artificially hydrogenated oils)

*Heavily refined vegetable oils such as soy, cottonseed, corn oil, etc. (inflammatory inside the body, and typically throw the omega-6/omega-3 balance out of whack)

*Too much refined sugar in the diet (including high fructose corn syrup)

*Too much refined starches such as white bread, low fiber cereals, etc

*Smoking

*Stressful lifestyle

*Lack of exercise

*Other lifestyle factors

So why does it seem that so many attempts over the years have tried to lay the blame on saturated fat… do you think it might have anything to do with the muli-billion dollar vegetable oil industry, which has taken over for cooking oils for what used to be mostly animal fats and tropical oils in decades past…

Hmm… do multi-billion dollar industries really have an influence on the way data is portrayed to the public? I think you know the answer to that! And don’t even get me started on the cholesterol meds industry! Again, I digress.

I hope this article has opened your eyes about the truth about saturated fat and how you’ve been misled over the years.

The true FACT is that saturated fat is a neutral substance in your body, and even beneficial at times, not a deadly risk factor for disease. The REAL risk factors are what I listed above.

Keep in mind that this does NOT mean that eating 5 pounds of bacon for breakfast every morning is good for you, and you should only eat foods high in saturated fats. Rather, you still need a to strike a balance for optimal health… this means fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, healthy meats, eggs, and small amounts of whole or sprouted grains.

Again, animals raised in an unhealthy manner are not good for you… this is the case with most commercially raised meat and grain fed meat. On the other hand, wild game meats, grass fed meats, free range chickens and eggs (preferably organic) are healthy animals, and therefore the meat is generally healthy for us with better omega-3 to omega-6 ratios than standard meats.


I have also written a review for Truth About Abs (just because I think it’s an awesome book), and I have a special bonus offer going out to anyone who purchases the book there. If you are interested in the offer, definitely check me out here Truth About Abs Truth.



THE TRUTH ABOUT ABS AND THE TRUTH ABOUT CHOLESTEROL

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Hi again!! I keep telling you that Mike Geary writes a lot of really great and helpful articles as well as having written the awesome book The Truth About Six Pack Abs. I also keep telling you that what I’m doing here is creating a one-stop shop for all things Mike Geary and Truth About Abs, by reprinting many (maybe all) of his articles so you don’t have to go searching them out yourself on his many articling sites. So, without further ado, shall we?? HaHa!!:

Ok, we’re kind of back on the subject of food. Guess why? Because you SERIOUSLY cannot out-train a bad diet. More than half the battle of seeing your abs is in getting your diet right, trust me. So, anyway, Mike gives us the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing BUT the Truth… this time about CHOLESTEROL!! It’s not the evil dietary element that you think it is… You really have to check this out!!


The Hidden Truth About “Reducing Your Cholesterol”

You may be surprised at the REAL causes of heart disease — and it’s NOT saturated fat or cholesterol

by Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer

We all know that heart disease is one of the leading killers of people around the world, particularly highest in countries such as the US and Australia.

However, did you know that there are several medical studies worldwide that clearly show that higher cholesterol levels in the body actually increases longevity instead of decreasing it? Yes, you heard that right! People with high cholesterol have been statistically shown to live longer and healthier than people with low cholesterol in several studies. There are multiple references for this phenomenon in Shane Ellison’s controversial book, The Hidden Truth about Cholesterol Lowering Drugs, Dr. Uffe Ravnskov’s (MD, PhD) book entitled The Cholesterol Myths, as well as Sally Fallon and Mary Enig’s book, Nourishing Traditions.

So why in the world are the pharmaceutical and medical industry pushing for practically everyone on the planet to “lower their cholesterol”? Well, the first, and more innocent answer, is flawed medical studies from decades ago that have been accepted as fact and never fully analyzed for their validity. Another answer is that this practice of recommending that half of the damn planet takes a cholesterol lowering medication (currently, statins), regardless of whether they truly have any real risk for heart disease, creates insane multi-squillion dollar profits for the drug companies!

As a perfectly absurd example of how doctors have been wrongly influenced by the drug companies… a couple years ago, I was a perfectly healthy 28 yr old, in great shape, exercising daily, eating a balanced healthy diet full of antioxidants and quality nutrition, no smoking, and with no real risk factors for heart disease, and just because my cholesterol level has been consistently measured over 200 for my entire life, my doctor recommended I consider using a cholesterol lowering statin drug.


Consider how outlandish this scenario is! The drug companies have hypnotized doctors into prescribing unnecessary prescription drugs to healthy young people with perfectly normal cholesterol levels that just happen to be over this arbitrary number of 200 that they’ve come up with. Luckily, I refused to be a guinea pig and fork over my hard earned duckets for potentially dangerous drugs, and decided to start researching this whole cholesterol and heart disease connection myself. Consider also that my father, who is now 60 years old, has had cholesterol levels slightly over 200 his entire life also (just like me), yet he is perfectly healthy at his ripe age of 60.

High Cholesterol is NOT the Villain!

As time goes on and scientists continue to learn more about heart disease, it has become quite clear over the recent years that inflammation within the body (NOT cholesterol levels) is what causes plaque build up in the arteries and eventual heart disease. Inflammation can be caused by many personal factors such as stress, smoking, viruses, consumption of refined and/or hydrogenated fats (man-made trans fats), an imbalance of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats to omega-3 polyunsaturated fats in the diet, excess refined sugars in the diet, etc.

Here’s a quick and dirty of how it works in general. Cholesterol is a healing substance within the body (among many other important functions), and responds to arterial inflammation by getting deposited in combination with other substances, forming “plaque” as a healing agent on the artery lining.

Levels of inflammation in your body can be measured with what’s called a CRP test (c-reactive protein). The accuracy of this test still has room for improvement, as it can vary depending on the time of day and other factors, but it is a much better indication of heart disease risk than a cholesterol test (which is practically useless for determining heart disease risk).

Another more important test than cholesterol levels for heart disease risk is a test for serum homocysteine levels. The next time your doctor wants you to get blood cholesterol tests, request CRP and homocysteine tests instead. He/she should be well aware of the validity of these tests if they are up to date.

Basically, if you have significant internal inflammation, this plaque will be deposited as a healing agent regardless of whether you have high or low cholesterol. On the other hand, if you don’t have inflammation, high cholesterol levels just keep circulating without getting deposited on the artery linings. Therefore, it is more important to control inflammation rather than trying to lower your cholesterol.

Lowering your cholesterol doesn’t attack the root of the problem (what is actually causing the inflammation in you). Lowering your cholesterol does nothing except to make the drug companies rich, and possibly leave you with a whole assortment of possible negative side-effects.

The good news is that preventing heart disease is about living a healthy lifestyle, not about throwing down a drug pill everyday. Controlling your inflammation to prevent heart disease is as easy as reducing the stress in your life (try deep breathing exercises, Qigong, yoga, etc.), maintaining a healthy weight, eating a high-antioxidant, highly nutritious unprocessed diet (as recommended in my Truth about Six Pack Abs program), and avoiding smoking and other causes of heavy free radical production in the body.

I hope this article has given you some helpful info about the real causes of heart disease and not the propaganda that has been shoved down your throat for years, based on flawed medical studies from 40-50 years ago, making drug companies filthy rich.

On a related topic, were you aware that there is also quite a controversy these days in the health industry over the fact that saturated fat is not necessarily bad for you, and can actually be downright good for you in some cases? I posted this article a few months ago, but thought I would mention this article again – The Truth about Saturated Fats

Til next newsletter,
Don’t be lazy… be lean.

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
Founder – TruthAboutAbs.com


I have also written a review for Truth About Abs (just because I think it’s an awesome book), and I have a special bonus offer going out to anyone who purchases the book there. If you are interested in the offer, definitely check me out here Truth About Abs Truth.



A TRIP FOR GROCERIES WITH MIKE GEARY

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Mike Geary writes a lot of really great and helpful articles as well as having written the awesome book The Truth About Six Pack Abs. I’m going to reprint a few of them for you in a few posts here on the blog.

In this article Mike Geary takes us on a little shopping trip to the grocery store and clears things up for us about some mistruths we’re literally being fed. Check it out before you hit the supermarket and check out with all the wrong items!!!


How to avoid food marketing deception and make healthy choices at the grocery store

by Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer

I was at the grocery store yesterday and had to shake my head at all of the deceptive labels with everything claiming all sorts of things that are supposedly “healthy”, but aren’t really.

One of the things that really disturbed me was that I saw several examples of healthy foods in their natural state, but I saw counterfeit versions of these foods claiming that they were healthier than the original…

Yet in reality, all of these counterfeit versions were actually MUCH worse for you than the original… and they still have the balls to claim that their overly processed “junkified” versions are better.

This is food marketing deception at it’s worst!

Example #1:  Product claiming “Better than peanut butter”

This product is ludicrous! I can’t believe anyone would ever believe that this junk is better for them than natural peanut butter.

First of all, if you buy a good simple peanut butter (organic is best), it is usually nothing but 2 ingredients… peanuts and salt. And they don’t add much salt so it’s not high in sodium.


However, this counterfeit peanut butter which claimed it was “better than peanut butter” (trying to seem healthier than peanut butter based on it’s label claims) had a list of junk in it you wouldn’t believe. First of all, they strip all of the healthy fats out of the peanuts so that it is a “low fat” product. Ok, now you’ve just taken away one of the healthiest parts of the product…the appetite satisfying healthy fats that you need to control cravings and manage more stable blood sugar levels.

To make things worse, the healthy fats were replaced with 2 different types of sugary syrups as well as additional dehydrated cane juice (aka SUGAR), in addition to added refined starches.

This product has taken something as simple and natural as peanut butter, and turned it into what should really be called some sort of processed candy. Yet, they claim that it’s healthier than peanut butter. And somehow they get away with deceiving people like this. Don’t be their fool!

Example #2: Product claiming to be “better than eggs”.

I won’t get as detailed on this one because I recently talked about this entire topic in another newsletter.

But basically, this product was just egg whites with a bunch of added chemical colorings, flavorings, and other nonsense, including fake added vitamins.

Again, this product has essentially ruined a good thing by removing the healthiest part… the YOLKS! And yes, the yolks ARE the healthiest part of the egg. Anybody that tells you different doesn’t understand much about true nutrition.  The important thing to look for in quality whole eggs are cage-free and organic.

Example #3:  A product claiming to be “better than butter”.

This was essentially crappy margarine loaded with highly processed and deadly trans fats, yet it had the nerve to claim it was “better than butter”.

Heck NO!

Even low quality butter is healthier than ANY margarine. One problem with butter is pesticides and hormones from improperly raised cows.

For this reason, you always want to choose organic butter, and if you can find “grass-fed” butter, then I would even say it can be healthy for you.  In fact, adding a little butter to your steamed vegetables helps your body to absorb more of the vitamins and minerals in the veggies.

Also, due to the content of stable saturated fats in butter, this makes butter one of the best oils to cook with. Oils high in polyunsaturated oils are the worst to cook with due to their highly unstable nature.

And no, the saturated fat in butter is NOT bad for you. I hope we’ve already beaten a dead horse with that topic. If not, you can go back to this page to see why…

Evidence that saturated fat is NOT evil

If you found the topics in today’s newsletter interesting, do your friends, family, and co-workers a favor and copy the link to this page and send it to them.

Til next time… Don’t be lazy… be lean.

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
Founder – TruthAboutAbs.com


I have also written a review for Truth About Abs (just because I think it’s an awesome book), and I have a special bonus offer going out to anyone who purchases the book there. If you are interested in the offer, definitely check me out here Truth About Abs Truth.



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