The Verdict on Saturated Fat — Good or Bad??

February 10, 2009

T-Nation is good for mroe than just quality nutritional information!

T-Nation is good for mroe than just quality nutritional information!

Today’s article on T-Nation (a website I regularly read for training info these days) was an installment of Dr. Johnny Bowden’s Question of Nutrition series. First of, I really enjoy his writing style since most of the time I can’t sit and read much nutrition stuff without dozing off.

(Link here for the full article: Johnny Bowden’s Question of Nutrition Vol. 6 )

Anyways in today’s article, he spent the first page addressing saturated fat and the facts and fallacies of the relationship between it and heart disease.

This was one of those “ah-ha” moments for me when I started reading T-Nation and began my internship with SST a couple of years ago: nutrition info from the “training community” compared to that which is spread through the media is like 2 separate nutritional worlds. This is why I’ve come to despise discussing nutrition with people who don’t train hard in the gym towards some goal (whether it be weight gain, improved sport performance, weight loss, etc).

Back to the saturated fat. Saturated fat is just generalized as a “bad fat”, the funny here is that no one really knows why that is though. Its kind of like the eggs are bad thing too (An earlier Bowden article looked at this). Naturally those that study this nutrition stuff for a living have their speculations, and since I’m commenting on Dr. Bowden’s article, I’ll let him speculate:

One reason that saturated fat has been demonized, in my opinion, is that much of the research on diet and disease has lumped saturated fat together with trans-fats. Trans-fats weren’t even a health issue until relatively recently, and for decades researchers didn’t distinguish between the two when doing studies of diet patterns.

Reason numero dos according to Dr. Bowden:

Another reason saturated fat has such a bad reputation is that much of the saturated fat people consume comes from really crummy sources. Fried foods are not a great way to get fat in your diet. Neither is processed deli meats nor hormone-treated beef. But the saturated fat from healthy animals — like grass-fed beef or lamb — or the saturated fat in organic butter or in egg yolks is a whole different story.

If you haven’t read Dr. Bowden’s article and you are curious about nutrition, giving his articles and those by Dr. John Berardi a read will be very educational. Both of these guys’ stuff can be found on T-Nation under “Authors” if you want to do a little more reading.


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