The Harmful Effects of Saturated Fat (In Excess)

First, I would like to start out by saying you should follow whatever diet you feel best from.   I think people are built differently and benefit from different approaches.  Many do great on consuming lots of saturated fat, while others don’t.   Personally, it’s very bad for me.

Second, see my article on getting into ketosis.

Saturated Fat Leads To Inflammation and Insulin Resistance


Saturated fats like Palmitic acid (R), Myristic acid (R), Lauric acid (R) and Stearic acid (R) all cause insulin resistance.  These are found in oils that some people view as beneficial such as coconut oil.

Different fatty acids affect insulin and glucose in different ways. (R)

Palmitic acid has the most negative research behind it, but the others aren’t spared.

Excess Lauric acid, the main fat in coconut oil, increases inflammation. (R)

A high-fat diet rich in saturated fatty acids (SFA) increased the number and inflammatory activity of macrophages in fat cells. (R)

Saturated fat increased inflammatory gene expression by TLR4 and NFκB.

“Taken together, these data show that SFA are particularly potent in recruiting and activating immune cells in fat tissue, thereby increasing inflammation.” (R)

Saturated fat, especially palmitate, increased TNF levels and lowered adiponectin, whereas unsaturated fat had no effect. (R)

Palmitate can also induce insulin resistance decreasing mitochondrial function and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake via decreasing PGC-1a, the master mitochondrial regulator. (R)

By decreasing mitochondrial function in muscle tissue, SFA consumption would lead to decreased oxidation of fat and glucose, thereby increasing their accumulation in tissues and blood (R).

In a study that tried to mimic the effects of low carb diets in rats concluded the following:

“Taken together, these data show that lack of dietary carbohydrates leads to glucose intolerance and insulin resistance in rats despite causing a reduction in fasting glucose and insulin concentrations. Our results argue against beneficial effects of LC-HFDs on glucose and insulin metabolism, at least under physiological conditions. Therefore, use of LC-HFDs for weight loss or other therapeutic purposes should be balanced against potentially harmful metabolic side effects” (R).

The Harms of Saturated Fats (In Excess)

I don’t believe consuming saturated fat in moderate amounts will hurt, but consuming excess amounts can potentially raise your risk for disease.

According to the World Health Organization, the evidence is “convincing” that consumption of palmitic acid increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, placing it in the same evidence category as trans fat.  (R)  The WHO has some of the best and brightest scientists working for them and they aren’t influenced by industry.

A misconception that some people have is that most of the studies use hydrogenated saturated fat and in some way, the fats from the oils they consume are magically different.  This is a fallacy.

One can argue that the research even downplays the harms of saturated fat because most of the epidemiological studies done looking at the changes in saturated fat intake don’t also account for the negative health effects of an increase in refined carbohydrates when saturated fat is reduced.  Refined carbs in excess can be worse than saturated fat in excess.

Excess saturated fat:

  • Increases heart disease risk.  A 2012 systematic review from The Cochrane Library analyzed 48 studies conducted between 1965 and 2009 and included 65,508 participants. All studies reduced or modified participants’ dietary fat or cholesterol for at least six months by at least 30 percent. It was found that reducing saturated fat by reducing and/or modifying dietary fat reduced the risk of having a cardiovascular event, such as heart attack, stroke, and unplanned heart surgery, by 14 percent (R).  There’re conflicting studies on this but a Cochrane review is always the most reliable.
  • Causes inflammation and insulin resistance (R).  (Experienced this)
  • Deteriorates physical performance and cognitive function in animals (R). (Experienced this)
  • Causes hypothalamic inflammation. (R)
  • Is associated with lower sperm quality.  There was an association with reduced semen quality among 701 young Danish men from the general population.  A significant dose-response association was found, and men in the highest quartile of saturated fat intake had a 38% (95% CI: 0.1%, 61%) lower sperm concentration and a 41% (95% CI: 4%, 64%) lower total sperm count than did men in the lowest quartile. No association between semen quality and intake of other types of fat was found. (R)
  • Reduces brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and therefore aggravates the outcome of traumatic brain injury on hippocampal plasticity and cognitive function by  (R).
  • Causes a leaky brain by damaging the brain barrier (R) (Experienced this)
  • Impairs memory by impairing hippocampal energy metabolism (R) (Experienced this)
  • Causes inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) in people with a genetic predisposition. (R)
  • Induces weight gain. (R) (Experienced this)
  • Causes gut permeability. (R) (Experienced this)
  •  A high saturated fat and low starch and fiber are associated with hyperinsulinemia in a non-diabetic population (R) (Experienced this)
  • Increases risk of breast cancer. (R)
  • Increases risk of ovarian cancer. (R)
  • Increase risk of prostate cancer -myristic acid (R) and palmitic acid (R). Dairy products may be associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer as well (R).
  • Decreases bone density in humans (R).
  • Worsens mood. Substituting dietary monounsaturated fat for saturated fat is associated with increased daily physical activity and resting energy expenditure and with changes in mood (R). (Experienced this)
  • Blunts HPA function in pigs. (R)
  • Worsens the gut microbiota composition and increases its intestinal permeability through the induction of TLR4. (R) (Experienced this)
  • Increases LDL cholesterol …..Substituting polyunsaturated fat for saturated fat reduces LDL cholesterol and the total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio (R). 
  • Increases aortic calcification by cause oxidative stress, leading to arterial stiffness (R).
  • Causes a fatty liver (R).
  • High-fat consumption causes atherosclerosis, independent of the fatty acid type consumed or of being lean or obese (R).
  • Induces inflammation, atherosclerosis, and ectopic fat deposition, whereas an equally high dietary unsaturated fat load, does not induce these abnormalities and shows beneficial effects in diabetic pigs (R).
  • May lead to depression, cognitive dysfunction, dementia, and neurodegenerative diseases by altering the Histamine 1 Receptor binding densities in various brain regions…..many of these changes can be prevented by adding DHA, GOS or RS to the diet (R).

What’s My Position?

First, it’s important to keep in mind that most of these studies are dealing with excess consumption of saturated fat.

I don’t advocate a low-fat diet since it’s not either optimal.  I find no harm to myself when I eat under 30g of saturated fat a day (recommendations by mainstream health organizations is to get under 15g a day).

The fat I get from foods is from whole food sources or from healthy oils like extra virgin olive oil and Black Cumin Seed Oil (these also have palmitic acid in them).   The only fat that I consume that is mostly saturated is Ghee, and I try to not consume more than a tablespoon a day.

But again, there’s scientific evidence and your own personal experiments.  As always, listen to your own body and ignore all other evidence.  If you feel better consuming copious amounts of coconut oil then do it and ignore this post.

Coconut oil can be very beneficial for some conditions like candida.  I also think Caprylic acid and Capric acid are very healthy, both of which are found in coconut oil.

Concluding Remarks

While reading this article, it may seem like I believe saturated fats are “bad.”  I think the story is more complex than that.  It all depends on what you replace it with, genetics, and other factors like a number of calories you consume.  When you consume fewer calories than you need, saturated fats won’t cause much insulin resistance.

Also, if you’re overweight, your muscle insulin receptors are probably already insensitive, so eating saturated fat probably won’t make much of a difference and could maybe even transiently be beneficial if it curbs appetite and helps you lose weight.

I did notice on the diet that it curbed my appetite, so I can see the appeal in that regard (a starch based diet also curbs hunger and limits caloric intake).

Experiment for yourself and don’t listen to gurus.  See what works for you.

I welcome dissenting opinions and studies that counter the points I make.  Please post studies and not links to bloggers.

How Cholesterol Causes Heart Disease

Saturated fat increases LDL cholesterol, which is implicated in heart disease.


  1. Jacob D.

    Hey Joseph.

    You’re not wrong that saturated fat induces insulin resistance. But you view it as a bad thing, which is understandable.

    Saturated fatty acid induced insulin resistance is actually desirable when on a high fat diet.

    First I’ll link this post:

    So basically, saturated fat and carbs don’t play nice with each other, they generate massive amounts of superoxide. MUFA and PUFA work well with carbs, which is probably why you like olive oil and black cumin seed oil, because you eat (from what I’ve seen) a primarily carbohydrate/sugary diet. You see to keep your fat low, so you might actually be in “carbosis” as well, which is great.

    Here’s another couple of articles from Hyperlipid, about why insulin resistance caused by saturated fat is completely normal and desirable when on a high fat diet:

    Insulin also inhibits fat loss:

    Saturated fatty acids are mitochondrial uncouplers (or they induce UCP, I can’t tell, I think both), which I happen to like a lot:

    I think you mentioned it to Dr. Pollack in your interview, about mitochondrial uncouplers releasing IR light. I had the same idea. I think mitochondrial uncouplers are the key to extraordinary metabolism.

    Many studies are extremely flawed. Bathing cells in pure saturated fat, and when the cell dies, claiming that that is indicative of that harms of saturated fat. So many studies are so detached from the reality of biology. Palmitic acid by itself in super high concentrations kills cells, but combined with a measly amount of Oleic acid, it actually enhances the cells ability to produce ATP and reduces oxidative stress, moreso than oleic acid alone:

    Also, epidemiological studies and correlation are garbage. They are an indicator of something, a clue, and should never be used as justification. Using epidemiology is how we get things like cholesterol is bad, sugar is bad, fat is bad, alcohol is good, ect. Like isolationist studies, it’s completely detached from reality and the many variables that can subtly make a difference.

    I hope this helps people.

    • Jacob D.

      Also Joseph, what did you eat when on a high fat diet? How much sugar/carbs? What kinds of fat? Hopefully not olive oil and avocados.

  2. smudge

    Hi, I realise this article is old, but I can’t find any posts on animal fats such as tallow. I would like to know what you think of that, and lard, and how healthy they are. Grass-fed I assume would be healthier.

  3. Marco

    You just read 3-4 studies on fats and pretending to know them. Plus your logic is “they make me weak, they give me energy” LOL, seriously ..

      • Marco

        How can you talk about evidence if you judge things from the effects they do to just YOU?
        There are plenty of pro-sfas studies

        • Joe

          Not true. My experience with lectins are negative, yet I don’t think these experiences apply to most of the population. My experience with a high fat diet fits with the research I’ve seen, so concluding otherwise would be dishonest.

          Gather them up, post them in the comments section and I’ll incorporate them in this post or another post. There’s contradictory studies all of the time and I have no problem posting them.

  4. Qlue

    Are you cherry picking studies?

    Also from the WHO

    “Second, a diet high in total fat that is low in saturated fat and does not lead to weight gain (or promotes weight loss in the setting of a caloric deficit) does not appear to contribute to the development of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, or certain forms of cancer. Although early epidemiologic studies have linked high-fat diets to insulin resistance (61, 62) and cancer, these correlations were confounded by obesity (63), a lack of physical activity (64), and other dietary factors. MUFAs do not appear to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes (65), and, when substituted for high-glycemic index foods, high-MUFA foods improve the postprandial glucose and insulin response (66). An inverse association between MUFA (67) or olive oil (68) intake and breast cancer has been shown in several studies; others showed no increased risk with increasing MUFA consumption (69). Similar results were found for diets high in MUFA-rich vegetable oils and prostate cancer (70, 71). These findings suggest that the benefits of a high MUFA intake as part of an Omni-Unsat diet or a Mediterranean dietary pattern may outweigh concerns related to a higher total fat intake.”

    • Joe

      I’m not against mufas. I mention around the blog that as long as your within your caloric expenditures it’s not very relevant what fat you’re eating with regard to health. However, mufas give me energy and SFA make me weak.

  5. anon

    A discussion on low carb diets with no mention of sodium and potassium balance is inherently incomplete. Please inform yourself*, and try again with the appropriate knowledge.

    Anecdotal evidence? Children in the womb are in a ketogenic state, as are those being breastfed, as have been the majority of generations of Europeans, American Indians, Eskimos, …

    * “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living” by Jeff S. Volek PhD RD and Stephen D. Phinney MD PhD

    • Selfhacked

      I experimented with sodium and potassium, with no change. If I eat too much fat I get neuroinflammation and my poops start to smell.

      • anon

        You mean it smelled fouler than usual or something? Healthy people can usually digest a LOT of fat without issues, so you might be a special case. Have you done a fecal fat test?
        If you do have fat malabsorption, this might have negatively affected your gut flora in the long term; in fact, with foul smelling poo, bad gut flora is a sure thing.

        You frequently mention saturated fat. A few thoughts about that:
        – coconut oil isn’t the most natural fat, from an evolutionary standpoint
        – MCT fats in coconut oil are known to cause gastric issues
        – coconut oil can be very high in salicylates, which many people are sensitive to
        – coconut oil and butter fats are higher in SAFA than animal fats like lard and tallow
        – the optimal SAFA to MUFA ratio is about equal, and that ratio is found in animal fats as well as human fat, but not in coconut and butter fats
        – olive oil can also be high in salicylates
        – SAFA does NOT “clog” anything
        – inflammation could be explained from intolerances and/or too much total PUFA
        – inflammation due to SAFA is highly unlikely

        • anon

          Oh, and if someone suffers from dysbiosis, followed by other issues like inflammation, there really is no need to look any further than fixing the dysbiosis. If that means lowering fat intake, that makes you an exception and not the rule. There are much more people who can fix their dysbiosis by lowering their carbohydrate and FODMAP intake, while increasing their fat intake, relieving IBS and even IBD in the process.

  6. and finally….(sorry, a foggy soul here!)

    Would you be able to help me with yeast/bacterial overgrowth, leaky gut, suspected adrenal problems and multiple chemical sensitivity?

    Btw your blog is fantastic. Seriously, just well done sir.

    Many thanks

  7. I have read through countless health guru blogs. Done many different diets which all emphasise the need to eat high fat. I have been trying to improve my leaky gut and bacterial and yeast dysbiosis and got absolutely nowhere, if not worse than I was 2 years ago.

    Could this diet work for someone with intestinal dysbiosis?


      Yes, interesting. I bet we will start seeing more cases like his since the BP diet is relatively new. I bet his initial ideal diet wasn’t actually ideal and there was lots of room for improvement. Instead he chose the BP diet which seems to have worsened his physical health. I think a high fat diet is bad for optimal health and performance for the vast majority of people.


      As I continue to read some other comments I’ve noticed some people recommend that he continue for another 6 months. This strikes me as dogmatic retardation. I only expect people to try my diet for a month or at most two.

  8. John

    Ah, from my other computer, your reply shows, but not my first post. Looks like you forgot to check some moderation box off.

  9. John

    I find Peter Attia much more convincing the Asprey,
    Art De Vany is a good example of an old paleo dieter,
    And the buttermind experiment is an anecdote on the other side of the butter-performance fence, (though no improvement was found for coconut oil),
    I don’t believe everyone needs the same diet, but I believe the proportion of people who improve on a low carb diet is higher than you seem to believe. Starches in particular can go very wrong for people with a spondyloarthropathy. One theory is that starch feed certain bacteria which some immune systems can’t handle. Anecdotally, I’ve read a lot of people with ankylosing spondylitis saying they do much better after eliminating starch from their diet. My Aunt has psoriatic arthritis, and my 23andme test says psoriasis is one of my more likely health concerns. Potatoes have a weird addictive, stimulating, and often anger inducing quality for me. For years, my weight was stable with a 3300 kcal diet, incl 7 sodas/day. I didn’t gain weight unless I ate potatoes, my only starch, which would’ve been swapping in for fat calories.


      This is the problem- “7 sodas a day”. Did you ever try a whole food starch based diet with the potatoes being cooled? And on this diet did you stay away from food allergens? I’m not convinced people have tried this diet. 7 sodas a day and also eating uncooled white potatoes(for 24 hrs) is not trying the diet at all. I’m not claiming there’s a one size fits all. My contention is that most people would do better who are on paleo with a balanced starch based diet. I get a skin from eggs, yet I recommend people consume them. It’s theoretically possible that you have a strange reaction to one type of starch.

      • John

        Yes, it’s possible the combination of soda + potatoes was a problem, that potatoes have something specific in them that set them apart, or that substituting soda’s helped due to allergen avoidance. There are so many variables. D’Adamo, the blood type doctor, recommends against potatoes as containing some metabolic inhibitor but has no problem with starches in general. On the occasion I eat other starches, rice seems to make me a bit sluggish, but doesn’t seem to have the same stimulating effect. Wheat does have a mental effect, but in a different way. I suspect this led to significant aspy tendencies when I was younger which lessened after I started experimenting with diet. I’ve also wondered if this could be exploited(say for math/pattern heavy coding projects), but I haven’t really tried. That said, I did well for extended periods when 30% of my calories(and 70+% of my carbs) came from soda, which might not be expected to start with, though I was in my 20’s and very early 30’s for most of this stretch, so it’s possible youth played a part. My diet was around 40% carbs, and I was also also intermittent fasting. I would eat a large meal (range fed beef, veggies, w3 eggs, pint Ben-N-Jerry’s), drink most of the soda within several hrs afterward, and have a small snack of 2 oscar meyer wieners later in the day. I was playing a lot of online poker and looking to maximize mental performance and not health, but I felt fine while doing it, performed well, and didn’t gain weight. When I would get a bit stressed out, I would crave potatoes, substituting potatoes+fat for BenNJerrys. When I gave in, it was hard to stop and I would start gaining weight, especially around the mid-section. I drifted away from that diet, my weight crept up and more importantly, my blood pressure did as well, so I decided to revisit my diet. Now I’m eating about 2200 kcal, p/c/f = 20/20/60, w/ IF, no milk proteins/sugars(for now), primary supplements incl caffeine(200×2), multi-mineral. Most of the carbs are 2 soda’s I have with meal 1. It’s working well so far(about 2.5 months). I feel better. My mental performance seems to be about the same, but my exercise tolerance is as high as it’s been since I was a teenager(I’m 35). Maybe it will give out and I’ll have to try something else, but for now I’m going to carry this out for a while. Given the psoriasis connection, I’m pretty slow to try a starch heavy diet. Huh, I just noticed my previous comment still has “awaiting moderation”, so I guess I’ll stop there. I’m probably rambling too much anyway.

        • SELFHACKED

          Steaming fresh potatoes and then letting them cool for 24 hours and eating it with meals is the way to eat potatoes. There’s many variables of the diet you mentioned that isn’t compatible with a whole food starch-based diet that I advocate. Soda’s and ice cream are a big no no. All processed and refined carbs are a big no no. Healthy preparation like steaming is a must. My clients that have tried the diet have had good results. I haven’t seen others give this diet a decent shot. Even the anecdotes brought forth here weren’t a true whole food starch based diet. When you try the diet in its entirety for a month – not just one food that wasn’t prepared properly- then let me know.

      • John

        Fair enough. I’ll keep the diet in mind, and maybe give it a try at some point if what I’m doing goes south. Thanks, John

  10. Alex

    What were your (approximate) macro ratios carbs/protein/fat which you considered high fat? Were vegetables/variety of veg a big part of your diet, and did you test to see about nutritional deficiencies? Thanks.

    (And have you read the Perfect Health Diet?)


      I consumed plenty of vegetables and extra virgin coconut oil, in addition to MCT oil, grass fed ghee and grass fed liver. During other periods I experimented with extra virgin olive oil and this was better, but still not great. The reason was because I was consuming more calories than I needed. I find the best diet is consuming fats in the form of whole foods, since it’s hard to go overboard with calories.

        • SELFHACKED

          Nope. Deficiencies wouldn’t explain it anyway. I am constantly experimenting and I notice when I include more saturated fat I have less energy. I probably was deficient in zinc, chromium and inositol then but even when I experiment now with sat fat it starts having the same effect, though obviously it takes a couple months to start affecting brain function. Have you tried the diet I have described above? I don’t say that everyone will feel like crap on a high fat diet, but I do think that they can obtain peak performance on a starch based diet like the one described above. Try the diet. Give it a few months and see how you feel. Stay away from gluten, soy, corn or whatever else I’d you’re sensitive.

      • Alex

        I might (try your diet), but I’m currently experimenting with a different thing (which has given me good results in the short term) and I would feel that swapping it out or tweaking too much in the short term means (IMO) that I wouldn’t be confident about what’s the result of recent changes vs what’s correlating more with what I’ve been doing every day for the previous weeks/months/longer term. YMMV.

  11. Richard

    So, you ate a high fat diet and didn’t feel good, so you then launch into an explanation about how too much fat is bad for you. The underlying premise of the high-fat/low carb diet is not based on mouse models. Indeed, if anything, people are the anti-mouse. The basis of the high fat/low carb diet is not a scientific study of the mechanisms of energy conversion and human metabolism, but rather the concept of how “people” evolved, and how they differ from and are similar to various other animals. Similarly, the question arises about the foods available to people during that evolution and what foods they might have eaten. Fat people tend to lose weight, and diabetics do better after switching to the HF/LC diet. Why? That seems to be a good question, and one not yet entirely resolved. But one thing we do know is that people did not evolve with factories to crush and grind grass grains (seeds) for food. Mice do fine on grains, as do birds. People are not (generally) mouse-like. Nor are they birds.

    So as much as your experience is helpful to you, it is not particularly helpful to anyone else.

    And some people are truly more adapted to eating and tolerating certain grains, some of which, like wheat, are simply not good for most people, even if tolerated. White rice is certainly the well known example of a not-particularly difficult or problematic grain for people to eat. Beyond that, there is not much argument, aside from those made by wheat and grain producers, for human consumption of grass-based carbs. Or grass based oils and fats.

    So I’m not sure exactly what you are trying to say with your painfully long and misguided post.



      1) There were also human trials and epidemiological studies that accorded with the mouse studies. What do you make of the cochrane meta analysis (first study)?
      2) So then I assume you don’t believe any mouse studies at all.
      3) Human’s can evolve quite well over a period of 10,000 years and definitely over a 40,000 year period. And you don’t know what humans ate a million years ago. The latest studies seem to say we ate a mostly vegetarian diet. I don’t think science has a firm answer to that question. Also, look at the last video to see what a true paleo diet is like.
      4) Seems like we place value on different kinds of evidence. I don’t appreciate your theoretical guessing and you don’t appreciate the evidence I brought forth. That’s fine.

      “Diabetics do better after switching to the HF/LC diet”
      Do better coming from a SAD diet? No argument if that’s what you mean.

  12. Interesting. I found when reading this I got a little defense, because I eat somewhat of a hight fat diet 😉

    But did you go no-carb all the way? I don’t think Asprey or Sisson are promoting this. I heard Asprey even talking about going in ketosis for a longer period of time and he felt awful.

    What is your opinion about timing your carbs? For example eat high fat / protein (most based on coconut oil, mct, and eggs with some greens) in the morning and afternoon, and eat carbs in the evening (mostly from white rice and potatoes).

    A little offtopic, I hope you don’t mind 😉
    Your claim about brown rice healthier than white rice, are you sure about this? I think there is still a debate going on, and brown rice has (supposedly) anti nutrients especially phytic acid.

    ( Some more info: )


      Dave talks about going on ketosis for an extended period, which I didn’t do. I didn’t go on a no carb diet. I went on a low carb, high fat diet. I did have some carbs, just not a lot. I have a very hard time getting into ketosis, but most low carbers aren’t getting into ketosis, either. Ketosis makes a low carb diet less unhealthy, but it’s still not optimal.

      Phytic acid or anti nutrients are the biggest scam of the century. Phytic acid is healthy. I’ll write a post on it.


      The evidence Chris brings is this:

      “Despite a higher nutrient content of brown rice compared to white rice, the anti-nutrients present in brown rice reduce the bioavailability of any vitamins and minerals present. (9) Plus, brown rice also reduces dietary protein and fat digestibility compared to white rice. (10)”

      I haven’t seen phytic acid reduce vitamins, only minerals. I will soon post why that’s not a bad thing.

      I can only see how reducing protein and fat digestibility is a good thing in today’s day where we have excess protein and fat.

      As far as arsenic, all of our food and water is contaminated. That should be a completely separate argument. You’re probably more likely to get more arsenic from your water the brown rice.

      I will post a more detailed counter argument.

  13. Kevin

    I appreciate the initiative to put together an argument to support your case. But, with so many of those studies using mice/rats as test subjects, how can the research be accurately related to human dietary adaptations/needs?


      Mouse studies are important for elucidating mechanisms of action. In addition, there were some human studies and countless epidemiological studies. I added some more studies. This is in addition to my own experience and other people’s experience. This is in addition to my theory that we are most adapted to a starch based diet. I think the evidence is pretty decent from the science alone, though I leave room for a portion of the population with genetic differences that are capable of handling these high fat diets better (the Nordics, maybe).

      Now even if you will say that the evidence isn’t strong, it’s comparatively much stronger than the evidence for a low carb diet being healthy. So if one must choose – and we must choose what to eat, we should choose the option with the most supporting evidence. You can’t know which horse will win the race, but you can sure bet.

      • Kevin

        Elegantly put, though the issue remains to get everybody in there respective optimums via some sort of genetic testing.

      • Kevin

        Thank you for adding human-based trials. I randomly selected the following: Makes me wonder how many of these ‘high fat’ diets are just increasing total calories from fat to 15% vs 4%. The high fat diets generally recommended tend to be upwards of 40-60% calories from fat. I wish I had more time to dig deeper, but the author seems cautious saying anything definitive about the interventions summarized by the 8 selected (out of over 380 iirc) studies, saying that there is no evidence there to recommend replacement of SFAs with any other macronutrient in particular*.

        *”dietary guidelines often recommend reduction in SFA consumption, such guidelines often do not highlight any specific nutrient as preferable for replacing SFA in the diet [12]–[14], implying that any macronutrient replacement (unsaturated fats, carbohydrate, or protein) will produce similar effects.”

        So why high starch? And if there is a genetic selection bias for one way or the other, is there testing available to check that?

        • SELFHACKED

          You just pasted the reason why the study was conducted- so that we can know why to replace sat fats with. So I’m not sure what point you are trying to make.


          These findings provide evidence that consuming PUFA in place of SFA reduces CHD events in RCTs. This suggests that rather than trying to lower PUFA consumption, a shift toward greater population PUFA consumption in place of SFA would significantly reduce rates of CHD.”

  14. I’m in my early 20’s and a high-fat/all-fat diet was making me more tired than I should have been. I switched to having a modest amount of carbs since I found your page and followed some of your suggestions, often low GI, and everything seems to be dandy now. I stopped drinking coffee as well. I’m only now adding nootropics back into my daily life for my studies and have not experienced anything negative from those (yet).

    The study with the high Omega-9 and Omega-6 was particularly eye-catching. Do high-protein paleo dieters get a lot more of those than they bargained for?

    And a curious part of me wonders, what if this high-fat/high-protein diet was high in quality seafood? Would we see the same effects as we do with the land-based foods?


      Good news.

      No, the result will be different because seafood is mostly omega 3’s, which have demonstrated health benefits. Any kind of fat will cause insulin resistance if you have enough of it, but sat fat is more likely given the same dose.

      As an aside, Denise Minger, who claims to be a low carber is anything but a low carber. If you look at her diet, she eats lots of fruit, vegetables andseafood, with some eggs. I wouldn’t say it’s ideal, but it’s not a high sat-fat diet OR low carb diet.

Leave a Reply