What’s Happening: Saturated Fat

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“New study shows that saturated fat isn’t bad for you – but limit saturated fat; it’s bad for you!”

That’s the message you’ll see in the media about the latest study on saturated fat: it would be entertaining if it weren’t so silly. So what does the study actually say, underneath the media hype? It’s hard to pin down any one type of fat as the cause of anything. As Stephan Guyenet puts it, the results have “something to upset just about everyone:” saturated fat isn’t a devil, and Omega-3s aren’t a panacea.

The take-home: we all need to stop looking for heroes and villains, and focus a little more on eating nourishing whole foods without worrying too much about their individual nutrients. But then again, this is pretty old news to most of us in the Paleo world: it’s just nice to see it in print.

Curious about the other goings-on in the Paleo world in the last few weeks?

      • SuppVersity covers the benefits of coconut oil for arthritis (among many other things). The catch: it only refers to virgin coconut oil: once you refine all the interesting stuff out of it, the benefits don’t appear to be there.
      • A helpful perspective on carb reloading from someone who always thought she “didn’t tolerate starch.” Remember: the goal Happy coconutshould be to heal your body until you can eat a wide variety of foods, not to stay on a therapeutic diet forever!
      • Here’s a readable, just-the-facts guide to resistant starch from Mark’s Daily Apple. If you’ve ever wondered about its supposedly magical gut-healing properties, but you’re still a little skeptical about the idea of eating raw potato starch, check it out.
      • Can’t do almonds? Paleo Plan has some suggestions for substituting coconut flour: you can’t just plug it in as a one-to-one replacement, but there are ways of making this particular switch work just fine.
      • Michelle Tam (of Nom Nom Paleo) has a very balanced take on the basic idea of Paleo at Michael Ruhlman’s blog. This is a good piece to send to that Paleo-skeptic relative who doesn’t have a lot of time for science.
      • You know dark chocolate gets the stamp of health approval. But now you can also read a defense of white chocolate at the Perfect Health Diet blog: cocoa butter is a very healthy fat, and if you’re not chowing down on a bunch of sugar in addition to your chocolate, there’s nothing wrong with either color.
      • Every now and then someone posts something that really helps you understand what made traditional cultures so healthy, and here’s one of them: a really fascinating post on animal fiber from Calories Proper. Eating the whole animal, as it turns out, is a lot better for your gut flora than eating just the steak. This might be one of the reasons why traditional cultures can thrive on animal-based diets with very little fruit or vegetable consumption – and also yet another reason to eat the odd bits.

When you “overeat” (whatever that means to you), what would you say is responsible: is it emotions, hunger, social cues, or something else? Let us know on Facebook or Google+!

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