Is fat your friend?


I read this very interesting article, and I think it merits a discussion here:

Very curious about high fat diet, anecdotes welcome.

Log what's wanted in v1.5 here please

Yep. I discovered Paleo a few years ago, and the Paleo people have been saying this for a long time. Nice to see the mainstream starting to come around. :wink:

My favorite is the Perfect Health Diet, which is surprisingly scientific despite the hyperbolic title:


“Eating kale doesn’t guarantee weight loss.”

Good, because I ain’t eatin’ it.

But in all seriousness, this is one study. I realize headlines sell ad space, but a meta analysis of multiple studies would be much better. I’m not saying they’re wrong, and we probably do eat too many carbs, but this might be going too far in the other direction. Still, it’s one point of data that sounds promising.


Fat is definitely my friend. Supplemental fat with my Soylent makes me feel great physically and mentally (other life factors notwithstanding).


Too bad really. Kale is very tasty, especially in soup.


I was skeptical of the dramatic headline, and it leaves me with a lot of unanswered questions. They talk plenty about saturated fat, but what about unsaturated fat? The soybean oil commonly used in DIY recipes (and in my own) is very low in saturated fat, so what are the down sides to using it as a primary energy source? I can eliminate 3/4 of the maltodextrin by doubling the oil, which is a very attractive idea to me.

Atkins horror stories have made me shy from keto anything, but I’m keeping an open mind here.


The general consensus from a Paleo perspective is that polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) are bad and dangerous, while saturated fats are safe. Seed oils like soybean oil are viewed with fear and disgust.

For example:


Interesting piece, but I don’t have the expertise to really scrutinize it and for me the paleo thing got written off as crackpottery long ago with the fallacious “we evolved to eat this way” mantra. Like I said, I’m keeping an open mind, but that one’s a tough sell after the huge fad of people in those silly toe-shoes proclaiming that the generation that lived half as long as we do somehow ate healthier than us. On the other hand, I haven’t heard of any paleo dieters keeling over.

As much as I would love to replace soybean oil with cream, saturated fat still scares the hell out of me.


@AgentSpiff, I will ignore the jab at those silly toe-shoes. I happen to like them. :wink:

My current favorite nutritional advice is from the Perfect Health Diet, which happens to be Paleo, but derives the diet from a bottom-up scientific perspective rather than appealing to (pre)historical precedent. As it turns out, it happens to align closely with Paleo and almost exactly with a Pacific Islander diet.

I recommend the book, especially if you can get a copy at a library nearby:

Life expectancy is not the same as life span. If you ignore infant mortality and violent deaths, paleolithic life spans are comparable to those of modern humans.


Saturated fats are considered unsafe because of the purported greater cholesterol raising ability of them compared to other fats. They get a bad rap because of the cholesterol. Poly unsaturated fats however are considered unsafe because of transfats when they are partially hydrogenated. Also poly unsaturated fats have a greater tendency to get oxidised (i dont know how they get oxidised, i think when they are exposed to air or during cooking i am guessing) which is again bad for heart it is said. If they dont become trans or oxidised then i guess unsaturated fats are okay. Ofcourse all these fats have good health promoting qualities too, but these unhealthy effects are when they exceed their safe limit i suppose.


I think that early homo sapiens sapiens would have appreciated a good steel toe. :wink:

It is definitely all making sense, and what they said in the article is true: the dangers of saturated fat have become folklore - everyone can cite the dangerous effects it has, yet you don’t really see solid evidence for it at all. You’ll read about how terrible it is for your arteries without seeing any hard data and not really challenge it because that is just what everyone “knows”.


I think it all depends on the situation. Sometimes agility is what you need, and sometimes the ability to accidentally drop a big rock on your toe without injury. :stuck_out_tongue:


Gotta love this convo. I just had the mental picture of a caveman in furs but wearing steel-toe boots just karate kicking a velociraptor right in it’s dumb face. So many things wrong yet so awesome.

Anyway, I’ve tried Paleo and a similar diet, Ketogenic. My girlfriend can’t handle carbs, as the insulin gives her headaches. So she’s basically just eating meat and fat. I gotta tell ya, a steak cooked in butter is AWESOME. She’s even lost about 20lbs just eating keto.

To help out with the keto diet, we’ve also purchased DIY from @axcho in the past, I’ve even dabbled in making it myself to what I can only describe as a culinary disaster. After being on keto DIY for a couple days it’s… very odd. Don’t feel sick or anything. Surprising considering all the oil added to the mix!


How’s everyone’s experience on paleo compare to soylent?

also, I’ve looked into paleo, but i hate the taste and feel of fats, sooooo theres that. the science behind some of the principals of paleo seems solid


There are easy ways to get fat, such as nuts (though they are high in calories too). Another way is to get something like coffee and blend in butter or coconut oil or both even (google: bullet proof coffee).

Other things like sausage, bacon, prosciutto (which my girlfriend loves) are frequently high in fat. I think.


separate comment from the above one.
I do think that paleo mixes the science with a sort of gospel (trying to tie it into how ancestors dined).
For example, the science says that MCTs and various saturated fats and Omega 3’s are good for you/ not nearly what the perception of them was 10 years ago. Paleo takes that extra step and says meat has that and so its the best for you. However if you stick with just the science proven principles, you can match that diet similarly with a mostly vegetarian diet.

I also don’t like how convenient it seems that what only upper middle class in the united states and europe can afford is the answer to diet issues.

If we look at hunter gatherers of yore, we can, i think reasonably, make a couple of assumptions:

Humans hunted actively (rocks and spears) rather than passively (trapping) for a longer time, as the intelligence and technology barrier for active hunting is lower, and it provides food more reliably.

animals being hunted weren’t bred and raised for that purpose (see agriculture) so they would have to have been surviving in the wild prior to the initial hunt. This is important because an animal thats fit for survival in the wild is much leaner than what we see in animals we raise for food now. it would be closer to a dear, even though we currently hunted all the deers predators away so they too are fatter now than before. Bears, a fattier food source would have been hunted less, because they are fewer, being an apex predator, they would require a greater hunting party and therefore smaller portions and the risks of hunting a bear were greater.

once an animal was hunted, it would need to be skinned, prepared and what not, this was not a quick process, and likely could not have been completed several times a day.

once an animal was prepared and cooked, there was no way to store it for later use, it had to be eaten within 24 hours or discarded, as again, curing techniques were more advanced and were present for a smaller portion of our evolution.

Humans cannot get all their nutritional needs from meat alone. (as far as i know, never researched this specifically)

Given these assumptions, we can conclude that when humans decided to hunt animals, they expended lots of energy in chasing the animal and attacking it. the animals being eaten were not very high in fat. Hunting could not have happened every day as they needed time to skin and cook it, but also required nutrients from the gathered plants.

Also, on purely primitive instinct, the risk of hunting is much greater than eating plants, assuming a knowledge of edible plants had been conferred.


Also, for anyone interested here is a link to the break down of oils into their fatty acids, you can compare more accurately, if thats your things. This is just one company’s production, I would imagine its similar across the board.


While I agree with most of what you said, I don’t agree that cavemen had to cook their food. One of the tenements of Paleo diet is that if you have to cook it or process it, you shouldn’t eat it. Grains? Can’t digest. Raw meat you can digest fine (think a rare steak or even sushi). Now, the parasites in said meat are a different story, but that’s besides the point.

Yes, you didn’t specifically say “had,” but I wouldn’t agree to that assumption. I also wouldn’t agree that humans just up and “decided” to hunt animals; that would mean they did something else before. What? Order pizza? One theory is that they hunted and when they did so, they picked berries, nuts, fruits, etc that was readily available without cooking, and when they killed that animal, they gorged themselves. Rinse and repeat until some guy got lazy and decided to invent agriculture.

I mean, you can live a couple days without water, but food? Weeks.

Edit: this is all off topic… Probably should just stick to thoughts about Oil consumption, and not just our cars.


Off topic it is. I expected someone to mention the cooking part. I love sushi. I don’t disagree that cooking may not have occurred. I do still believe skinning needed to be done as, as far as I’ve seen, our teeth weren’t quite as up to the job as a sharp rock and fingers.

I also see that theory as plausible.

The greater point I was trying to argue, also off topic, is that animals weren’t as fatty back then as many people may think.

Thanks for the input!


Not necessarily, check out this very interesting article on the last hunter/gatherer society around today. The Hadza of East Africa. They use hunting blinds near water sources and when the dry seasons starts all the animals come to them. They just have to sit and wait. The animals may not be as lean as we might think either because as the dry season approaches food supplies dwindle so they need to store up some reserves.

During the rainy season the Hadza eat less meat and more sugar (honey/berries) and greens.

Regardless of the season their diet it very high in dietary fiber.

Note thought that the author believes the microbiome of the Hadza plays an important roll in how their diet affects their health. (something that modern humans have lost)

during the dry season, as water holes dry up, the Hadza kill a lot more animals as dwindling water sources make the animals more predictable and easier to shoot with their poison arrows from hunting blinds (aka ambush hunting). An increase in protein and fat from animals means a drop off in other caloric resources, mainly plants, as the Hadza will often binge on meat when possible (note they have no storage so everything is eaten in a short period of time). During the wet season when Hadza Land is awash in greenery and flowers, the Hadza enjoy an abundance of wild honey (fat of the larvae included) and massive stands of sugary berries. With the coming of the rains larger animals are more scattered and thus harder to kill, so make up less of the daily calories (though its highly variable from day-to-day and week-to-week and from camp-to-camp). No matter the season, fibrous baobab fruit and subsurface tubers are a daily constant for the Hadza. Yes, they consume lots and lots of dietary fiber!

The Hadza are particularly (microbially) interesting over, say, remote groups in South America, as they still live in a part of Africa that purportedly gave rise to our genus Homo. However, Lee Berger and his colleagues working new fossil sites in South Africa are giving East Africa a run for its money for the prize for which part of Africa holds the honor to the geographical cradle of humanity. Regardless, being only a stones throw from famous paleontological sites like Olduvai Gorge of Leakey fame, the Hadza literally hunt and gather many of the same animals and plants that humans and our ilk have subsisted on for millions of years – not too mention they are covered in the same dirt, drink the same water (save the occasional cow turd floating about), and practice the same central-based foraging that has brought people together in microbial-sharing camps/communities for the better part of the Pleistocene.