View Full Version : The good and bad news about Saturated Fat

11-30-2001, 11:40 AM
The bad news:

Numerous studies in peer reviewed journals have demonstrated that an increase in dietary saturated fat is associated with an increase in coronary risk factors.

For example : New England Journal of Medicine Volume 337:1491-1499 November 20, 1997 Number 21

The good news:

According to this link provided by tryska (thx tryska):


The culprit isn't saturated fat in general but Palmetic Acid. Thus if we can find foods with saturated fat that are high in Stearic acid and low in Palmetic acid, then they may not be as damaging.

So I went to the the USDA nutrional database


to investigate

Foods with bad percentage of saturated fat as Palmetic acid( ie. 16:0)

Butter : 42% palmetic, 19% stearic
Whole Milk : 43% palmetic, 20% stearic
Lard : 61% palmetic, 35% stearic
Ground Beef : 57% palmetic, 29% stearic
Egg : 69% palmetic, 25% stearic

Foods with good saturated fat (ie. Stearic, ie. 18:0)

I haven't found any :rolleyes:

Note: Eggs have very little saturated fat to begin with so it doesn't mean they are bad, it just means that the saturated fat in eggs is not the good kind.

11-30-2001, 11:49 AM
well thanks hemant.....

i found this particular editor's note interesting as well....

[Editors Note: Guess which fat the body produces from excess carbohydrates? If you guessed palmitate, you go to the head of the class! The reason why the high carb low fat studies above found negative blood lipid changes from higher carb intakes as opposed to lower carb moderate fat intakes?]

i still have issues with the other studies, mostly because they don't mention what else people are eating along with the saturated fat. If they are eating a diet high in sat fat, and simple carbs....then perhaps they would be more believable....but even Framingham hasn't proved the hypothesis yet...

11-30-2001, 11:52 AM
oh and i found a food high in stearic acid. *lol*

Chocolate!! (http://www.uoguelph.ca/nhptc/Jessica1.html)

found this too heman, which you might be interested in...


so basically...food high in stearic acid come down to chocolate and lard. *lmao*

11-30-2001, 11:53 AM
Yes I think we can both agree that high carb low fat diets aren't a panacea.

Most people have already decided how much fat/protein/carbs they are going to take.

The practical conclusion that I would draw from the information thus far is that all else being equal, one should take unsaturated fats as opposed to saturated and trans fatty acids.

Oh, and that beef study doesn't list percentages of palmetic acid, gee wonder why -> the saturated fat in Beef is 57% palmetic acid ie. bad Saturated Fat.

LOL I can see it now, "GNC's new patented Stearic Toblerone extract"

11-30-2001, 11:59 AM
agreed....kinda. I think it depends on how you eat, whether you should really worry about it or not.

ie: if oyu diet is rich in carbs, and refined carbs in particular, then you prolly should be stressing the fat content....

but if your diet isn't high in those types of carbs, you have a little more leeway, although i do agree, you should be getting most of your fat intake from monos and efas, but stressing over sat fat, is just added neuroses.

11-30-2001, 12:10 PM
"stressing over sat fat, is just added neuroses"

True but I have a friend who is a Cardiologist and much to my disbelief, he has a patient who is a bodybuilder over 200lb and less than 7% bodyfat with blocked arteries. Now THAT would be more stressful than changing a few eating habits ;)

11-30-2001, 12:10 PM
Very good info hemants

11-30-2001, 12:12 PM
right...but what type of diet got him there?

at 200lbs and 7%, i'm presuming he paid close attention to his diet, right?

11-30-2001, 12:27 PM
right...but what type of diet got him there?

I asked my friend that and he said that it was likely due to high saturated fat and cholesterol intake. But then of course, he's a Cardiologist not a nutritonist :)

11-30-2001, 12:29 PM
yeah...so i'm guessing he's making assumptions....

with those stats, i'm presuming the guy takes care what he puts in his mouth.....however..does he sway towards keto? or does he sway towards low-fat, high carb?

i'm guessing low-fat high carb, since that's more typical....but we don't know all the facts to use ol' boy as an example one way or the other....;)

11-30-2001, 12:33 PM
High carb diets are effective in terms of weight loss only under a very hypocaloric diet.(but you loose much muscle mass along with the fat)
In moderate carb diets you can eat some more but loose some more as well due to the hormonal balance that is achieved through the consumption of fats.(the good ones of course)

12-01-2001, 01:28 AM
My God! This post almost made me drop my butter stick!


12-01-2001, 01:45 AM
Originally posted by Budiak
My God! This post almost made me drop my butter stick!


man, you need to switch to margarine. *lol* those dang things are so slippery, no wonder why you almost dropped it.....try keeping it in the wrapper.... ;)

12-01-2001, 05:56 AM
do NOT swap the butter for margarine. tuttut

12-03-2001, 07:24 AM
Well that's half true.

Switching from butter to stick margarine is a bad idea.

However, soft margarine or semi-liquid margarine are better than butter in terms of LDL/Cholesterol ratio.

Oil is still the best.

the doc
12-03-2001, 12:15 PM
butter is better than any margarine in my opinion

dont all margarines contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (ie trans fat)?

i wont eat them at all

with regard to satd fat...
My grand mother and many other grand mothers regularly used beef tallow (lard) for years. Their grandmothers and mothers used it. Many of them lived to a ripe old age. The key is that they were usually very active people, being consumed in daily chores that did not leave time to sit in front of the TV after eating. There was always physical work needing to be done.

Not today.

12-03-2001, 12:27 PM
that and the fact that they didn't eat a whole lot of processed foods either....

12-03-2001, 12:32 PM
1. Not all margarines are hydrogenated.

2. From the New England Journal of medicine Volume 340:1933-1940 June 24, 1999 Number 25

Reduction in LDL Cholesterol from switching from butter (higher is better, all are better than butter)

Stick margarine : 5%
Shortening : 7%
Soft Margarine : 9%
Semiliquid Margarine : 11%
Soybean Oil : 12%

Change in Cholesterol : HDL ratio resulting from switching from butter (lower is better)

Stick Margarine : +4% (bad)
Shortening : -1%
Soft Margarine : -2%
Semiliquid Margarine : -5%
Soybean Oil : -6%