“Dietary Fats Explained: Saturated Fats, Unsaturated Fats, & Trans Fats Plus Eating Right: Biology Versus Popular Opinion ”
Trans Fats are damaged forms of Unsaturated fats, (Polyunsaturated). There are many forms of adulterated fats; Trans Fats comprise only a portion of them.
Unsaturated Fats are:
• Olive Oil (monounsaturated omega-9)
• Seed (vegetable) Oils (canola, soy, sunflower, safflower, etc.)
These unsaturated fats are very delicate. They do not tolerate high heat (over about 250º F for extended duration), so even if you use any of these oils in their natural, unprocessed form to fry with or cook on high heats or use them for long cooking times, you are creating dangerous adulterated fats.
There are 3 ways to create Adulterated Fats:
1. Chemical processing by food processors.
2. Excessively high heat as in frying, food processing and oil processing, intense cooking.
3. Long cooking times like baking and other extended heat exposure. It is important to know that boxed and processed foods which state “No Trans Fats” are actually likely NOT Trans Fat free.
There are two reasons for this:
1. Food labeling laws state that as long as there is less than 0.5 grams per serving of Trans Fats in the food, it can legally be labeled as “No Trans Fats.” The problem with this is even tiny amounts of Trans Fats are extremely unhealthy and even dangerous—causing damaged cell structure that can lead to Cancer and other diseases. 0.5 grams cause very significant cellular damage.
2. There is no law preventing food manufacturers from counting the pre-processed, raw ingredients of their foods as “Trans Fat free” so that they can state on the label, “No Trans Fats.” But once the oils contained in these ingredients have been processed, they being non-functional, making the statement on the labels false.
Therefore you may still be getting unwanted Trans Fats in foods that state “No Trans Fats.” Interestified fats are man-made and have replaces many Trans Fats. These fats are just as hazardous, if not WORSE, causing elevated blood glucose levels, etc. This is why it is best to avoid processed, boxed foods. Instead stick to natural, fresh, and organic foods as much as you can.
Please understand that food manufacturers know consumers are addicted to sugar and carbs, so they will utilize targeted “food engineering” to load their processed foods with specific ingredients, to make foods irresistible, and even make them easier to chew so they go down faster -- so you eat more. Even something like a boxed chicken breast may be injected with sugars and Trans Fats to make it more palatable, which will fool even the most careful shopper. They do whatever it takes to feed consumers habits, regardless of any damage that these foods might cause to your health.
I have been warning against Trans Fats and adulterated fats and oils for more than a decade. This was long before the term was even commonly used in the mainstream media.
In contrast to the fragile nature of Unsaturated Fats, Saturated Fats (significantly contained in coconut oil, peanut oil, palm oil, etc.) are resilient and withstand high heats very well without being altered into Trans Fats or otherwise damaged. These are the best fats to use from high temperature frying/cooking.
Saturated Fats include:
• Animal Fats (meat fats, dairy, etc.)
• Peanut Oil
• Coconut Oil
The fear of and misguided advice regarding dietary fats initially came about as a result of a very badly done study using rabbits. Yes, that’s right. Rabbits are vegetarian and never eat meat. Therefore, their outcomes are often not indicative of human outcomes whatsoever.
Tests performed on Herbivores were used to create the dietary recommendations for an Omnivore (humans) and thus began the overblown and completely wrong recommendations regarding the “dangers” of Saturated Fats for human consumption. Fact is, the digestive system of an Herbivore is vastly different from the digestive system of an Omnivore. If you doubt this, please see the following chart outlining in detail the digestive systems of Omnivores, Carnivores, and Herbivores side by side. There is no mistaking that Omnivores and Carnivores are closely identical, while Herbivores are so vastly different as to be almost alien by comparison. .
Did you know that despite popular opinion, there is no biological mechanism in the human body for dietary fat to store as excess body fat? So, what is the only substance you eat that stores as excess body fat? Sugar (carbohydrate)! Your body has one mechanism to store body fat, and that is Insulin. Insulin is "the fat storage hormone." Insulin does NOT store dietary fat as excess body fat; it only converts excess glucose in your bloodstream to that excess fat on your stomach, hips, thighs, etc.
Back when everyone regularly consumed Saturated Fats like real butter and full-fat dairy the maladies of Heart Disease, Diabetes, Cancer, and Obesity were in the single digit percentages. For instance, in the 1950’s these diseases afflicted only between 3% to 5% of the population. Now, Heart Disease, Diabetes, Cancer, and Obesity rates have skyrocketed! So what happened?
In order to cut down on Saturated Fats (because the Food Police once again got it wrong – never using any medical science of human physiology), food processors began to use Unsaturated Fats in their place. But as you can see above, Unsaturated Fats are very delicate and therefore do not stand up to the chemicals, irradiation, high heat, and other processing done to our foods before they eventually find their way into our meals.
One of the first appearances of these altered fats was Crisco®. Then came margarine (classified scientifically not only as containing damaged fats, but also as a low-grade plastic). Margarine is so far from being a real food that not even insects will eat it.
It is also important to note, when the low-fat food craze became all the rage, sugar content in these “diet” foods was increased to try to make up for their lack of flavor.
Sugar consumption has increased from 4 pounds per person per year in 1750 to more than 160 pounds per person per year today!
There have also been other forms of “fat” used by food processors, which turned out to be so dangerous they are now entirely off the market. These are artificial fats, such as the fat substitute Olean™, which an associate brilliantly terms “Lab Fats.” You could also include margarine, trans-fats and hydrogenated oils in the “Lab Fats” category because they are so vastly altered from their natural form that they should never have been considered food in the first place.
Biology Versus Popular Opinion:
Your body stores excess body fat to protect you from high blood sugar levels. When you “live on” carbs and don’t get enough healthy proteins and fats in your diet, you are essentially starving yourself into obesity. Dense carbohydrate foods (grains and starches) contain very low levels of nutrition so you eat and eat to try to stay satisfied, but don’t benefit nutritionally, thereby starving yourself.
This is precisely the reason I do not advocate low-calorie dieting without regard to what you are eating, because all calories are not created equal. High-calorie protein and natural fats do not store excess body fat, while low-calorie foods do not contain sufficient nutritional value. Low-calorie dieting deprives you of vital nutrition.
The process works like this:
1. Low-calorie diets are lacking in healthy natural fats, sufficient protein, and other vital nutrients.
2. You begin your low-calorie diet and your body drops weight. But, when it doesn’t get the nutrition it needs, it thinks it’s starving. You are hungry constantly so you simply can’t continue eating that way long term.
3. You revert back to regular eating after losing weight and then you gain it all back again plus more excess fat than you were originally trying to lose.
4. You turn back to your low-calorie diet for the second time, lose weight again, though it might seem more difficult to do so the second time around.
5. Again, after fighting constant hunger and killer cravings, you turn back to regular eating and yet again gain even more weight than you did the first time you ended your diet.
6. A vicious dieting cycle has begun. Your body has been trained to gain weight and hold onto it. With each subsequent dieting session it becomes harder and harder to lose weight, but easier and easier to gain.
Let’s take a look at your pancreas. It’s the pancreas that secretes Insulin to deal with the sugar/carbs that you ingest. But it is also designed to handle the proteins and fast you eat.
• Only 1% of your pancreas is designed to deal with sugars/carbs.
• While 99% of your pancreas is designed to deal with the protein and fats you consume.(5)
Understanding this, what should these simple facts tell you about what percentage of your diet should be composed of sugars/carbs, and what percentage should consist of protein and natural fats? Yep, that’s right! Human biology dictates that the foundation of your meals should be based on proteins and natural fats while sugars/carbs should be kept to a minimum.
This does not mean that you should avoid non-protein foods. Vegetables and fruits are wonderful for variety and provide some health benefits. To avoid storing excess body fat, it’s best to minimize dense starchy or sugary fruits and vegetables.
Here are a few examples:
• Green, leafy vegetables
• Fruit Juices
Furthermore, your pancreas is only meant to secrete insulin no more than twice a day, so consuming sugars/carbs more than that can tax this delicate organ and could lead to Diabetes. And if you’re looking to lose weight it is important to note that when your pancreas secretes insulin, your body will not burn body fat for the following 2-3 hours, thus hindering any weight loss you may be trying to achieve.
Breads consist of starch and fiber. The starch will convert to sugar, while the fiber (cellulose) is not digestible by humans, so it will only serve to irritate the colon. This is why I do not recommended eating much fiber, like the ads are constantly imploring us to do. It is best to keep rough, high-fiber foods to a minimum both to keep excess body fat down and to prevent irritation to the delicate colon. High fiber eaters contract the most colon cancer. This fact has been reported in the world’s leading medical journals but never in the popular press, so we all keep getting misled.
In summery, when planning your meals, it is best to make proteins and healthy natural fats the foundation, while including reasonable servings of vegetables and or fruits. And keep your (glycemic – turning into blood glucose) carbohydrate servings down to no more than twice daily to protect your delicate pancreas.
Eating in this way will keep you thin, healthy, and energized. Proteins and natural fats, both the saturated variety and the healthy Essential Oils (especially PEOs) will help keep you satisfied so that cravings will be little to none, and will also provide healthy cellular structure as well as nutritional support for your bones, muscles, brain, and organs, that vegetables and fruits alone cannot provide.
For more about my health recommendations, including detailed reports and articles with full medical and scientific references, please visit BrianPeskin.com.
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Here's a great low-carb recipe: Roasted Pepper Chicken
1 whole chicken, apx 3lbs, cut into pieces
3 Tablespoons organic coconut oil
1 ½ Tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped or 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 ¼ teaspoon salt ¾ teaspoon black pepper
3 bell bell peppers, (varied colors is best)
1 medium onion
Fresh olive oil for seasoning after cooking
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
2. Rinse chicken well in cold water, pat dry with paper towels and place in shallow roasting pan.
3. Combine coconut oil, rosemary, and lemon juice then brush over chicken. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes.
4. Slice online into thin wedges and cut bell peppers into strips lengthwise. Toss these vegetables into remaining coconut oil with some salt and pepper. Spoon vegetables and oil mixture over chicken then roast until vegetables are tender and the pink tone has cooked out of the center of the chicken, apx 40 minutes.
5. Remove chicken and sprinkle with olive oil. Serve with vegetables and pan juices.
1. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/3041426/ns/today-today_health Video: “Are Engineered Foods Making Us Fatter?
2. ” Peak Performance, Radiant Health: Moving Beyond The Zone, Brian S. Peskin, B.S.E.E., Dynamic Pub, April 1998, ISBN-10: 0965155137, ISBN-13: 978-0965155137 (out of print)
3. Ho CY, Clifford AJ. Bovine milk xanthine oxidase, blood lipids and coronary plaques in rabbits. Journal of Nutrition. 1977:107;758-766.
4. Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill, Udo Erasmus, Alive Books, pages 103, 105.
5. Scientific Foundations of Biochemistry in Clinical Practice, David L. Williams, Vincent Marks, Butterworth-Heinemann, September 1994, ISBN: 0750601671.
6. Textbook of Medical Physiology, pg. 936, Arthur C. Guyton, John E. Hall, W B Saunders Co., January 15, 1996, ISBN: 0721659446.
7. The New England Journal of Medicine, January 1999.
8. Am J Clin Nutr, 2004;80:550-9.
The views expressed on this web site represent the personal opinion of Brian Peskin based on his years of research, and some conclusions may be contrary to popular opinion.
Brian Peskin earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in 1979. He received an appointment as an Adjunct Professor at Texas Southern University in the Department of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (1998-1999). The former president of the University said of Brian's discoveries: "...His nutritional discoveries and practical applications through Life-Systems Engineering are unprecedented." Brian founded the field of Life-Systems Engineering Science in 1995. This field is defined as The New Science of Maximizing Desired Results by Working Cooperatively with the Natural Processes of Living Systems.