Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Health Benefits of a Fat Rich Diet

"Saturated fats and the lipid hypothesis

In the early 1980s, the lipid hypothesis came to the forefront of public medicine. Based on research done by Ancel Keys, saturated fat and cholesterol were implicated as the leading cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD) . In 1992, the US government implemented changes to the food pyramid in an attempt to drastically curb the saturated fat intake of its citizens. Was this, in fact, a positive change? Subsequent investigations have shown that the researched conclusion may not be as accurate as assumed, stemming from the fact that all saturated fats are not created equal. I will attempt to break down saturated acids categorically, and based upon my recommendations in the summary, you can decide for yourself whether some saturated fatty acids may be lacking in your own diet and how they could possibly positively affect your health.

Classification of saturated fats

Saturated fats can be broken down into three categories: short, medium, and long chain fatty acids. The names refer to the length of the tail of the particular molecule.

Short chain fatty acids

The most common short chain fatty acids are butyric and caproic acids, which are found in grass-fed dairy products.

Short chain fatty acids aid in "gut health" by providing energy for colonic epithelial cells and promoting the growth of healthy colonic epithelium. An unhealthy digestive tract has been linked to depression, anxiety, and a lowered immune system response. Short chain fatty acids have also shown to have anti-inflammatory properties in patients with ulcerative colitis and inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells.

Medium chain fatty acids

There are three medium chain fatty acids: caprylic, capric and lauric acids which can be found in coconut oil and palm oil. When olive oil was replaced with MCT oil, subjects who consumed MCT oil lost more weight. MCT oil, which is known to induce a ketogenic state, has been studied as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease with promising results.

On a personal note, I add grass-fed butter and MCT oil to my morning coffee (as per the 'bulletproof coffee' protocol) and have found it to be highly effective for increasing my overall productivity and cognition."

Read more: The Huffington Post
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