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Kitchen Notes: Saturated Fats, Cholesterol, and Heart Diseas
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Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, you are right man! Sad
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farmer joe

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 3:30 am    Post subject: read the lipitor label Reply with quote

It is interesting to note that the fine print on Lipitor labels and ads says something like "has not been shown to reduce risk of heart disease" or something like that.

Check out to find out much more about the cholesterol myth.
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PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 7:05 pm    Post subject: interesting article Reply with quote

Time and again lot of things have been said regarding the blood pressure and th ways by which a check can be put to it, whatever the ways maybe fact is the number of people dealing in this problem is rising, now I encountered a rather interesting blog related to the cause of high blood pressure I am sure all of you will find it rather interesting.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got a bit lost in the long and informative article.
Which types of fat are not bad to consume, saturated or unsaturated -OR- are they both ok, and it is mainly the trans-fats that are harmful.
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Michael Chu

Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1654
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
I got a bit lost in the long and informative article.
Which types of fat are not bad to consume, saturated or unsaturated -OR- are they both ok, and it is mainly the trans-fats that are harmful.

This is still a much debated topic. It is widely believed that saturated fats are bad for you because they are thought to be a contributor to heightened cholesterol levels. The research this is based on has recently (during the last decade) been brought into question because many of the studies didn't differentiate between saturated fats and those solidified through hydrogenation. In addition, there are scientists who believe that increased cholesterol may not actually be a cause for heart disease but merely a symptom of a stressed body. You'll notice that cholesterol is usually referred to as an indicator of increased risk of heart disease. Reducing an indicator could work, or it may be simply turning back the odometer of a car - the engine itself hasn't changed.

Another aspect to consider is that even if you avoid saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats are inherently less stable and might contribute to some forms of cancer and heart disease.

However, not consuming fats at all cuts out a lot of vital amino acids that we cannot make ourselves. So, we can't stop eating fats and fats may kill us.

So, everyone needs to make a decision for themselves how much this fat thing is going to keep us from enjoying our lives. We make similar decisions everyday when we get in our cars and drive to work - but we do it anyway because the risk isn't worth the inconvenience of not being able to go to work (or the risk of taking the bus or walking may be higher depending on where you live). In the same way, we should consider the amount and types of fat that we consume and make an informed decision as to whether or not we are willing to put it into our mouths.

That's not quite the answer you're looking for, so I'll provide what I've currently decided for myself (and my wife agrees, for now). I try to avoid foods with trans fatty acids whenever it makes sense to. (If I'm at a friend's house and the food has trans fats, then I'll go ahead and eat, but I don't eat trans fats on a regular basis.) I eat saturated fats regularly (but in small quantities - probably an ounce or two a day) as well as oils high in monounsaturated (olive oil, canola oil). Because generally the American diet is high in n-6 but not in n-3, I'll occassionally seek out sources of n-3 polyunsaturates but usually I try to get it through foods that I'd consume anyway (use of canola oil, eating wild salmon every few weeks). That's it. I don't actually think about it too much - it's one thing to know, be aware, and make conscious choices, it's another thing to worry and stress. In the long run, worry and stress is probably a bigger contributor to poor health than the types of food you consume.
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Joined: 15 Feb 2006
Posts: 2
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:57 pm    Post subject: Butter from Grass-fed cows Reply with quote

conjugated linoleic acid (strong anti-cancer properties and helps prevent weight gain; found only in butter and milk from grass-fed cows)

Do you know of a national brand of butter that is from grass-fed cows? Maybe a Trader Joe's brand? I will keep an eye out for this - great article!
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Joined: 27 Jun 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Charlottesville, VA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:38 am    Post subject: HD and Dietary Fats Reply with quote

I only recently stumbled on this site and the thread on fats. Great tutorial !

The fat wars have always seemed a bit like trying to forecast the lifecycle cost of a car by focusing on the replacement cost of the sparkplugs - it's at best a second order effect. What seems to be lost in these discussions is that the biggest change in our diet over the past few decades is not the ingredients but the quantity of food that we eat. When coupled with a simultaneous decrease in exercise, the number of excess calories consumed has exploded (along with our waistlines).

My parents ran a restaurant in the 50s and 60s. A typical lunch back then was a 2 oz hamburger, 1 oz fries and a 6.5oz Coke. Today our expectation is 4 to 6 oz hamburgers, 3 to 4 oz fries and 24 to 32 oz Coke. Does anyone really believe that the effect of which type of fat is used in the fryer has a bigger impact on health than the sheer volume of food consumed?

My guess is that any health impact (positive or negative) of consuming various types of fats is lost in the noise compared to the impact of excess calories. Put another way, I suspect that even a small reduction in calories will have a greater health benefit than optimizing the balance of fats consumed (even if we knew how to do that).

Just my $0.02
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don’t post much, but since some of those dissenting the idea that saturated fats, and butter might actually be more healthful than commonly believed were using scientific studies and some very good evidence, I thought I would add a slightly different slant:

Scientific studies are wonderful things, but they can also be a irritating nuisance after being mulled over, verified, then debunked, then re-introduced, then used by the media…It makes me want to pull out my hair by the roots. Which side is the right side? At what point does begin thinking for themselves and doing a little personal dietary experimentation?

Now about fats: I suffer from any number of ailments, eczema, asthma, and hypoglycemia. Yada, yada…I could go on and on. I’m not overweight. I have always had a good diet. I avoid sugar, refined carbs, eat a ton of veggies, a modest amount of meat, and whole grains. No Soda! And I have always avoided too much fat on the advice of my doctor, which is common.

Now my father, who suffers from heart disease and unfortunately narrow arteries which prohibits any possible surgery, is a doctor himself. No, not MD…he’s an oral surgeon. Still, he needs a bit of knowledge to practice, and as such is very familiar with medicine. After struggling with the statin drugs, he began fooling around with adding copious amounts of flax seed and olive oil with a few other thisis and thats to his diet. Lots of fish and eggs (literally, he goes fishing up at Big Lake every weekend…trout and bagpipe playing enough to distress anyone who knows him... Big smile ) His cholesterol dropped nicely at the same time. By the way, an ex marine and retired officer, my father also, is not overweight, has never been, and has always exercised properly. (I come from a nutritionally gung-ho family. My mother was even an amateur body builder…heh, heh..)

Because I suffered from a variety of medical ailments, my dad sat me down one visit and heartily suggested that if nothing else, I add coconut oil, olive oil and butter to my diet with each meal, and drop all other fats. Also in addition to take the omega 3’s and 6’s.

Why not? Couldn’t hurt…at least not much. So I did. It’s been awhile since then, and I am eczema free, my inhaler is sitting idle in the cupboard, and even after adding what would be considered a gruesome amount of fat to my diet, I haven’t gained any weight despite not changing my very mild excersise regimen. Last time I checked, my cholesterol was fine.

I’ve gone back and forth with the whole fat/no fat/cholesterol thing for awhile now. The debate rages on….and I know that a single anecdotal story about fats doesn’t count for much, but hey, I feel good. And my gp has declared me healthy, even though I went against his advice…

Go figure...
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2006 4:35 pm    Post subject: cholesterol Reply with quote

First of all - I must say this is one of the best websites on the Internet for me. I've always, ALWAYS dreamt of figuring out how cooking *works* - understanding what's happening, instead of "just boiling the egg for 3 minutes". Add the great atmosphere of the website, no nags/banners and really nice web design - and you have a winner.

This article (and subsequent posts) have given me some interesting insight to the whole butter/margarine "war" waged since I ever remember.

I talked about this article with my mother - with the impression that cholesterol is in fact good, not bad. My mom is a caretaker of older people. She brought up an example of an older lady which she was taking care of lately - the lady had two of the arteries supplying blood to brain completely clogged up with cholesterol.

Let's suppose cholesterol is not bad and it's good. This "bad" behaviour is then caused not by cholesterol itself, but by some abnormal reactions or functioning of the body. What to do to prevent such an ill mechanism from activating? I'm not saying cholesterol is bad - but lowering cholesterol is the only way I know of right now to prevent such problems.

P.S. sorry about the lack of real medical descriptions and wording - English isn't my first language.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:59 am    Post subject: my thoughts Reply with quote

Hi there, just a few thoughts and comments.

Back when I was 25-30, I started gaining weight and went to the quack doctor for diet pills. He ran some bloodwork and my cholesterol was around 175. At that time I was running rampant thru the dairy aisle, usually 3 meals a day included butter and cheese. Grilled cheese sandwich anyone? I would eat them for breakfast lunch and dinner if I could. Unfortunately the diet pills ended up just making me eat faster.. Sad

Fast forward 15-20 years. Never did lose the weight. Actually put more on. I started donating blood last year, and as a perk, they give you your cholesterol readings - after 4 donations you get the complete breakdown. Dec - 165 April - 188 June - 231...

June freaked me out. I started eating yogurt,mini wheats and fruit for breakfast, salad or subway for lunch, regular dinner usually. I also re-started taking supplements that I used to take - green tea, grapeseed extract, multivitamin with a gazillion ingredients, and gugulipid. Granted, it wasn't always subway or salad for lunch, and more often than not the dinner was...not...low calorie in any shape or form.

So, next donation in August... 195. Don't know what lowered it. But it did. Next donation is beginning of November with the breakdown.

But. I try to eat less processed food, and I consider butter to be a LOT more natural than whatever and however they actually make margerine. Just as I'd rather bake a cake from scratch than a mix, and once I figure out cream-of-*.* soups, that will be a plus. Hah...guess I should be drinking red wine and green tea instead of supplements. But, I *do* try!! lol

Gugulipid is made by Natrol, for those interested. Natrol also does the green tea and grapeseed stuff. All are at and no, I'm not affiliated with them in any way. Just want to pass on probably a cheaper way to those that are taking expensive prescription drugs.

Oh, and I also took Milk Thistle, which is for liver support, and if liver processes or makes cholesterol, maybe that had something to do with it??

Anyhoo, I guess that's my 2 cents... my vote is FOR butter and olive oil.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:39 pm    Post subject: "Arthersclerosis" Reply with quote

I noticed in the original post, you mentioned "arthersclerosis". This is not a word but, rather, a jumble of two actual words: arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis. The former refers to the hardening and thickening of the arteries, and the latter is a type of arteriosclerosis that involves atheromas--fatty deposits on the inner walls of the arteries. These fatty deposits are actually beneath the inner lining of cells (the endothelium), so they result from transport of lipoproteins across the endothelium.

I'm not so sure about your ideas on saturated fat. I've seen data comparing unsaturated, cis-unsaturated, and trans fat with trans fat coming out the worst, sat. fat being bad--but not nearly as bad at trans--and natural unsaturated fats actually being beneficial to health. There's just too much data collected over decades implicating high saturated fat diets in cardiovascular disease. It would be nice if I didn't have to watch my sat. fat consumption. I could eat all the butter, lard, and cheese I wanted. But I have to go with the facts rather than what I want to believe.

I think this is a really great blog; I just don't agree with you on this point.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cook with Coconut Oil, its loaded with medium chain fatty acids and won't break down like Olive Oil.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gr8 suggestions dude
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, in my recent blood test I have found high level of cholesterol. My friend told me that Lipitor is a well known medicine for reducing cholesterol level in blood. Before I went to buy Lipitor I want to know all about it. If you have any personal experience about this drug then plz share it with me.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:23 pm    Post subject: Statin Studies and Heart Disease Reply with quote

I agree with the original article. I have read every available study on drugs used to lower cholesterol. My meta-analysis found that while statins like Lipitor lower cholesterol, there is no reduction in death rate for patients using statins. Statins stop your liver from producing lots of things (not just cholesterol.) One of the things not produced in statin users is Coenzyme Q10, which is required for transfer of energy to the heart (and other muscles.) Patients on statins still die; they die at about the same age, but they die from heart failure instead of heart attack.

If you are taking a statin, please read all of the available studies. You'll be shocked.

I also agree with using natural oils. I'm a big fan of ghee and olive oil.
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