Anon, here’s what I wrote in reply to you, before Indi answered brilliantly quicker than I did:
I’ll answer this in more detail later but because we’re sharing an inbox right now and I’m scared somebody will answer this before I can and I really want to do this one so this answer will be short -
Your body needs saturated fat, because it needs saturated fat.
- People have been eating it for hundreds of years and, well, not dying of heart attacks or whatever health concern is attached to saturated fat these days.
- If you don’t eat any saturated fat, your cholesterol goes through the roof just like it would, in theory, with a person who eats only saturated fat.
- About that: do you know where the ‘more butter = more heart attacks’ theory came from? Ancel Keys in the 1900s was doing studies on war nutrition (which, incidentally, was how he came to do the Minnesota starvation experiment). He hypothesised that eating more saturated fat / cholesterol would make your cholesterol levels higher and give you a heart attack, basically. He then collected data from 7 countries which supported his hypothesis and published his paper. Given that he had masses of respect already, the theory caught on.
- Until somebody collected even more data - I think it went up to 23 countries, I’m not sure, it’s too early for me to think straight - and the connection completely disappeared.
- I’ll write more about this later today because I haven’t, in a while, but to be honest I’m trying my hardest to not laugh at the ‘my dietician is registered so she must be right / you don’t have a degree so you’re wrong’ logic.
- Okay, so the ‘my dietician is flawless because degree’ logic:
- If I listed the number of stupid things my ‘registered dietician’ has said to me in the last year, I’d be here for about an hour. I’ve had a friend of mine be told by a ‘registered dietician’ that 1500 calories is ‘more than enough’ to grow and develop, at age 16. (Just off the top of my head.)
- I have, sadly, even more stories about ‘professionals’ saying stupid / illogical things, if you want to hear them… Moral of the story?
- A lot of these people are very fatphobic (of both the dietary kind and the body kind). A fair few of these people are in it for the wrong reasons (I don’t have the links bookmarked, but there’s a much higher coincidence of restrictive eating disordered behaviours in nutrition-science students than in the general population) - just to put it out there, I don’t know if it matters. A lot of these people are just parroting the ‘government advice’ about trying as hard as you can to never eat butter again in your life ‘because heart disease’.
- Here’s a nice little graph I found within 30 seconds on Google. These tribes live ridiculously long lives.
- I wonder what the US/UK governments would have to say about that saturated fat percentage. Aren’t we supposed to be getting 10% as the absolute maximum?! ….perhaps not.
- As for the ‘all food is not the same’ statement - did you even read this post?
- Just in case you haven’t, and don’t want to, I quote myself: "Foods are different. Not ‘better’ or ‘worse’. Just different.”
- Yes, of course a stick of deep-fried butter is different to a piece of lettuce, but morally all the foods are the same. Obviously, they’re nutritionally different - but putting some foods on a pedestal and declaring some foods as ‘unhealthy’, ‘bad’, ‘forbidden’ even, is very counterproductive.
- The assumption we’ve grown to have that less calories = better is very, very sad. A little sister of one of my friends went up to her the other day and asked, “what are calories? I mean, I know they’re bad, but what are they?”
- Ditto for ‘less fat = better’.
- I’m seriously tired, so I can’t venture out into Google right now, but here’s a study.
- In a nutshell:
- I don’t have a degree, no. I’m not exactly planning on getting a nutrition degree either. That doesn’t magically render everything I say as ‘wrong’.
- You ‘NEED’ saturated fat because if you don’t eat it, your cholesterol levels will rise past normality. (Learnt this the hard way, I’m not the only one. And, yes, even my ‘registered dietician’ agreed with this - she was the one who told me it in the first place.)
- I’m not saying eat deep fried butter all day. I’m saying, please try to chill about food and its ‘nutritional superiority’ (i.e. nuts > meat, etc.), it will only do good.
- Please read the post where I said all food is equal again, I’m 99% sure you missed the point.
- Saying that the things I say are ‘just wrong’ is a bit of a blanket statement, no? What else do you disagree with?
- Oh, here’s another study about the ‘saturated fat = heart attack’ myth.
I’m honestly exhausted, so I’m sorry if this was incoherent.
I just had to answer because this question (please hear me out) is a little bit…typical, if you get what I mean. It’s the sort of eating-disordered-anxiety-driven things I get thrown at me sometimes saying that “3000 calories would make everybody obese/die of obesity” or “but nobody normal eats 3000 calories a day”, etc., etc.
Feel free to ask more.
I’m sorry, but I can’t help but laugh at the ‘Please, show me your degree.’ part.
I feel like it should have this gif next to it:
I’ll write in more detail later but here’s a very very short summary:
There is 0 actual connection between saturated fat and heart disease. (oh!! that reminds me. Here’s another study. It puts the biased ‘Super size me’ thing to shame.) Heart disease is complex and is caused by many things, and flat-out saying that cheese makes you ‘get’ one is just too simplistic. ‘Registered dieticians’ have been known to say a fair amount of bs, I really should keep a record of all the stories I’ve heard, for future reference - basically, the title doesn’t make them magically correct in all cases. Ditto for anybody with a degree. Please read the ‘all food is equal’ post because I’m 99% sure you didn’t understand it.
And send in anything else you disagree with and I’ll respond to it at a time when I’m actually awake and functioning. (This question was just an emergency one.)
Somebody somewhere said once: “All food has nutrients. Nutrients are good for you. THE END” which I thought was wonderful.