Richard Feinman on Saturated Fat

Dr Richard Feinman has posted a commentary on the important work done by Jeff Volek’s group at UConn in which the respective roles of dietary saturated fats and carbohydrates has been elucidated. If you are harbouring any doubts about the safety of eating saturated fats while restricting carbs I encourage you to read his discussion of this important research:

10 thoughts on “Richard Feinman on Saturated Fat

  1. Lactose Intolerance Study – By Tom Bunnell

    Lactose Intolerance

    I have been looking at lactose intolerance for quite some time now.

    Ever since I first heard about it some 30 years ago.

    It seemed odd to me, especially since the first person I knew or had had experience with, that had this condition, was a paranoid schizophrenic.

    He also drank coffee by the gallons, and smoked cigarettes by the carton.

    Ton’s of both constantly.

    I’ve known a lot of non-schizophrenic people who do the same thing.

    Or at least, nearly so.

    So lactose intolerance, or the inability to drink milk without getting vomiting sick, intrigued me from the beginning all those years ago.

    I never looked into it.

    It just seemed strange that something as natural as milk, to be unmanageable by those with this condition without getting deathly sick.

    Fast forward to last night.

    February 22, 2012

    I decide to google it.

    Low and behold after a few hours of reading I come upon the simple fact that what we call “lactose intolerance” is what is natural to our lives and digestive systems and that to “not be” lactose intolerant, “unnatural”.

    In other words we are “supposed to be” lactose intolerant, after about two years of age.

    About the time we stop breast feeding.

    “Imagine” my amazement.

    “What’s going on here”.

    It’s “unnatural” to ingest milk after weaning.

    We “Northern Europeans” had developed a tolerance for milk over the centuries and millenniums.

    Native people had not.

    Lactose is sugar.

    How this “lactose tolerance” has effected our “other”, sugar/alcohol addictions and in turn our “psyche” as the “addictive stimulant drugs” that they are, is where the real “study” should be.

    Our love of “sweet” being pretty universally accepted as that of our mothers first milk.

    And then, “no more” after development and “weaning”.

    It makes us sick.

    Did we open the “pandora’s box” of stimulants, inadvertently with “dairying”.

    “Unbeknownst” to ourselves.

    Our cravings for grains and alcohols and other sugars and starches and carbohydrates.

    “Great Minds” like yourselves, can answer this.

    This I bring to you, and Gary Taubes.

    I realize that the both of you have known about this for quite some time.

    It’s how this correlates to our addictions and psyche’s that intrigues me,
    that and our quest to cure, same.

    Thank You
    Tom Bunnell

  2. As a footnote to Tom’s post – how do so many people digest milk *at all*, when most people cannot produce the enzyme to break lactose? My understanding is that gut bacteria do it for us, so it is possible that some people can “tolerate” milk once they have acquired the correct gut fauna. Maybe unpasteurized milk is superior for encouraging this situation – it would explain quite a bit if so. Personally, I can’t stand milk – but once cultured – nice!

    Dr Jay’s Reply:

    I think the lactase enzyme can persist if one continues to drink milk into adulthood although I am not an expert in this area. I agree that cultured milk products are great. I feel the same about cultured grape products, too!

  3. There seems to be a schism developing in the paleo low-carbosphere about the degree to which carbs are acceptable in the diet. For instance, although everyone knows carbs are not essential, some (eg Kurt Harris) think that permanent ketosis is not ideal, and possibly stressful to the body. I have no ability to sort through the biochemistry, but it does seem reasonable (to me) from an anthropological view that some tubers have long been assimilated into our species diet. So we have Mark Sisson being OK with moderate caloric intake from sweet potato, etc. (Maybe this talk is just plain dangerous for diabetics or met syndromers – for them I can understand counselling total abstinence). But I’m curious to know where Dr. Jay is on this ?

    Dr Jay’s Reply:

    I have read some of the online debates on these issues and some of it is interesting and informative. I am still a bit agnostic about it all, however. It occurs to me that since the liver will provide a steady supply of glucose for those tissues that must have it, why could you not also obtain that from your diet? The problems arise, of course, if your dietary source of glucose causes blood sugar and insulin to spike. It would also be a problem once you have developed insulin resistance. I am of the opinion that once you have IR you must restrict carbs and go as low as you can.

    In the end, it all kind of reminds me of living in a student ghetto in my youth when, at every Saturday night party, there would be a smoke-filled basement room where the Maoists and the Marxist-Leninists and the Trotskyites would all have heated arguments about how the world should be run. Where did that get them?

    One thing is very clear to me, however. If you have metabolic syndrome of type 2 diabetes you need to severely cut carbs. If you are obese and have any signs of IR, ditto. The rest makes for interesting conjecture.

  4. I wonder if anyone can comment on this conundrum.
    Someone (hubby) with CAD on very low-carb diet. Insulin good, HbA1C – 5.4, HDL-38, LDL-102, Tri-319. Blood pressure great. Apparently, he is APO E2/E4. This is somewhatoif an oddity, as only 1 or 2 percent have this combination. Also, mostly small, dense LDL. So, here is a case where a low-carb diet has not improved atherogenic profile. jApparently, his body is sluggish in clearing dietary fat from bloodstream. So, is the solution to start eating more carbs, (grains, etc.)?

    Dr Jay’s Reply:

    As I understand it, the APO E2/E4 variant is very uncommon and is associated with hypertriglyceridemia and hyperlipoproteinemia III. There is an increased risk of CHD, as well. Although I don’t claim any expertise in this area, I doubt that increasing carb consumption is going to help. Increasing carbs will pretty reliably increases triglycerides. I also think they promote inflammation. Both of these are undesirable and especially so if you already have increased risk of CHD. Although your husband’s numbers are problematic, I suspect they might be worse on a higher carb intake. Take this with a grain of salt since, as I say, I don’t claim any particular expertise in APO abnormalities. I suspect the dietary advice your providers will give is to eat a very low-fat diet rather than LCHF. You may wish to try both to see which gives the best result. I would be a little surprised if LCHF was not the best choice but I could be wrong.

  5. I have fussed with dairy for some time now. Indeed, much of my interest in nutrition and metabolism was driven by my taking a cheese appreciation course with my wife and being concerned about the health effects of becoming a casiophile.

    Concerning lactose, apparently there has been a genetic adaptation on chromosome 2 in some people of Indo-European descent and, independently, among certain African tribesman, that enables production of the lactase enzyme into adulthood. Of course, not all people have this genetic adaptation and so lactose intolerance is prevalent, but not universal. Dairy must have been a significant health advantage, as Spencer Wells (Pandora’s Seed) cites research indicating this has been the most strongly selected human genetic adaptation over the past 10,000 years.

    Also interesting is evidence that the first Europeans to consume dairy consumed only yoghurt for some time before the genetic adaptation for lactase production into adulthood arose. That suggests you are right about the consumption of fermented dairy as mitigating effects of lactose intolerance for those that lack the adaptation on chromosome 2.

    I avoid unfermented milk as well (to reduce sugar and reduce consumption of un-denatured casein protein), although I do on occasion have 35% cream or uncultured whey butter. The sugar lactose is one half glucose and one-half galactose. I am not sure of how galactose is digested and metabolized, but glucose is familiar to our metabolism. As Tom observes, it can be abused and be devilsh on our metabolism.

    Dr Jay’s Reply:

    I agree – both milk and grapes are much better after they have been cultured.

  6. Braithwaite – with respect, Wikipedia spells it caseophile. I believe a casiophile is someone with an inordinate attraction to small, cheap electronics.

    Dr Jay’s Reply:

    Too funny!

  7. That whole drug crazed, hippy era, unfortunately still going on today, is crazy and filled with lost and floundering, spaced out, souls.

    Driven crazy with drugs.

    Drug crazies, on top of a crazy world makes for total insanity.

    There are more drugs in our culture today than ever before.

    The same thing, with new faces.

    They profile a little differently in this era, is all.

    A sad reality.

    They are still trying to sail that dead end ship.

    Never once knowing.

    There will be no chink in their armor.

    They hold fast and absolute in their beliefs.

    The only thing that equals, is peoples beliefs in God.

    That said, the corporate, wealth minded ruling class of people that have been, and are, destroying our children’s earth, needs to be stopped.

    Production minded, wealth spreading people, is not the answer.

    Nor is marxism or any of its counter parts.

    I have been saying forever that it is man’s stimulated greed that has caused this, but nobody believes me.

    Tribes the world over were perfect before white mans greed.

    White man was perfect too, before the stimulants turned him into a greedy, warring, monster, as those before him.

    All the kings horses and all the kings men.

    Stimulated they attacked and fought.

    Pure insanity.

    This knowledge sounds crazy but it’s not.

    It’s the truth.

    This is award winning, Nobel Prize winning work.

    Too large to be true, no it isn’t.

    It just seems that way.

    I’s hard to believe at first, that sugars and hybrid carbohydrates could do all this.

    The man “Can’t see the forest, for the trees”.

    Or, The man “Can’t see the trees, for the forest”.

    It’s one or the other, probably both.

  8. Casio developed and made and mass produced and marketed the worlds first digital cameras for consumers and computing. — The Casio QV10 and later the QV11, exceptional cameras that still work great today. Contrary to their “cheap” reputation. They do a lot of cheap stuff too.

  9. Yes, I am a caseophile, not a casiophile. Casio-agnostic maybe. Nice catch.

    Tom, I have a hypothesis that excess high glycemic carbs artificially elevate free testosterone levels. In the natural seasons, sugar consumption would be high in summer, when trees are laden with ripe fruit. This fuels mating aggression (human rutting) for offspring in the spring, and the sugar adds fat to endure the winter of gestation. The daily bread of “civilization” inadvertently fuelled seasonal aggression continuously through the year, necessitating the internalization of severe social controls, with attendant psychological and social distortions, as the aggression is sublimated into competition for social hierachy.

  10. Murry — There is some merit to this potential as having effects and the twelve month cycle you refer too as the potential culprit.

    I think it is that, but much larger and ongoing.

    The summer carbohydrates probably did do what your saying and the continued consumption throughout the year the same.

    Head off into those woods or plains or oceanside or wherever one might live, with nothing but two hands and two feet and a like group of people young to old around you, and see what happens.

    Hunger and thirst and the elements and other creatures and plant life and terrain and protection and rest become paramount.

    All that “summer” sugar you are talking about probably doesn’t exist in that much abundance.

    More than any other time of year but with rare exceptions as abundant.

    Your going to start eating bugs and worms and leaves and roots, anything you can see, feel or touch.

    Something like a small baby does.

    It won’t be long and you will have rocks and sticks in your hands and start looking at wildlife.

    Probably stinky bone picked carcasses, at first.

    You will see what everything else is eating the hungrier you get, and attempt the same things yourself.

    You might see an eagle catch a fish and a squirrel loading it’s nest and other likenesses.

    You will eat and you will drink and with a little luck you will be satisfied and move on to a place to sleep and rest.

    This is the hunter-gatherer of course and goes on forever.

    My hypothesis is that carbohydrate consumption, although no doubt higher in the summer and along with other things probably stimulating our sex drive and less in the winter, I think you will find to be at a very low and flexible threshold.

    Those carbohydrates you do find will be packed with all the good stuff nature puts into it, like enzymes and fiber and nutrients and vitamins etc etc etc.

    Your ratio of carbs to fat and protein I believe will be hundreds of times less than it is in our modern today and (thousands of years modern, except for native populations )diet.

    High breeding and farming and animal husbandry being the reason.

    So “fueled aggression”, with a certainty.

    Speed and cocaine and alcohol are famous for aggression.

    Also totally unnatural.

    Caffeine is a bandit here too.

    As is nicotine, the way it’s used.

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