Hammer Nutrition’s second part on “Demystifying Fat, Part 2” just hit, and I have to say I am really impressed with Dr. French’s articles. In Part 2 he not only does a great job of describing the various different fats but also each one’s role in the diet. As importantly, he debunks the commonly held notion that saturated fats are bad fats. I encourage anyone who wants to have a deeper understanding of fats to read both of these articles because it represents a shift in conventional sports nutrition company.
Like the previous vlog related to “Demystifying Fat, Part 1” I’m going to flesh out aspects of this article because context matters. Most importantly this is critically important to YOU to understand and get right so you can achieve higher health AND peak performance!
Saturated Fats - Good or Bad?
Dr. French did not mince words and came out of the chute debunking the most demonized fat of all, Saturated Fat. Yes, Saturated fat is not the evil artery clogging demon it has been made out to be! ….so why is it clogging arteries then?
Here’s where I can add context to literally bridge that knowledge gap between what we’ve been led to believe for decades and the emerging truth about Saturated Fat.
Saturated Fats are the most stable and energy dense of the 3 fats. This means they are much less prone to oxidize thus go bad and produce free radicals. What this means is they are given metabolic priority for storage and are the last to be used for energy, when there are excess calories. Thus, in the context of a conventional high carb diet, Glucose from carbs, Polyunsaturated (PUFA’s) and Monounsaturated (MUFA’s) all cut to the front of the metabolic line.
The Link Between Glucose and Heart Disease
Now, stick with me because here is where glucose throws a knockout “Sucker punch”, the kind that leads to a heart disease and death but with cholesterol and saturated fats getting the blame for all these decades for clogging the arteries that lead to heart attacks and death.
Glucose, in particular, has to be either metabolized by the cells for energy, converted to fat by the liver, or glycated to a molecule, often cholesterol. Free Glucose can’t accumulate in the bloodstream or you will die. It is that simple. Just ask any Type 1 Diabetic.
This is why it cuts to the front of the metabolic line and here, in an oversimplified description, is what happens.
- Regular consumption of meals where there are two critical factors in play.
- Too many concentrated carbohydrates
- Too many calories (yes, calories in/out do matter but are not the only factor)
- When this occurs glucose is disposed of in three distinct ways
- Given priority for energy production in the body’s cells
- Converted to fat for storage
- Glycated….Hint: glycation is one of the main heart disease triggers
- Consuming a lot of carbohydrates on a chronic basis sets in motion a metabolic “Cascading Effect”. Depending on variables like activity level, hormonal balance, metabolic capacity, stress and genetic predispositions - there are a host of outcomes from this “cascade”. What is more, this is highly dynamic which can be both good and bad.
So, under this scenario of too many carbohydrates and energy on a chronic basis too much sugar is being burned, too much saturated fat is being created and NOT being burned thus accumulating somewhere in the body.
Now here is where you really need to pay attention
Meanwhile glycation is occurring in the bloodstream. Fact of the matter is glycation is always occurring, but it’s the amount of glycation and the type of molecules glucose attaches to that are important. When you have a high carbohydrate meal, especially when it combines with polyunsaturated oils or even somewhat oxidized monounsaturated oils, this makes for a cascade of Glycation-oxidation-free radical formation leading to a LOT of endothelial inflammation and damage, particularly where there is a lot of blood flow like the heart.
This is where cholesterol and saturated fat get “Sucker punched” by coming to the rescue to protect and repair the endothelial damage and build a “protective” layer, but then that layer gets damaged or glycated requiring another protective layer, and on and on until the artery is occluded by the saturated fat and cholesterol.
It is akin to accusing the firemen and firetrucks clogging a residential street where a house has been set on fire for the crime when the reality is the fire was set by an arsonist, in this case a toxic level of glucose, who has long fled the scene and disappeared.
How Saturated Fats Help You
Hopefully this oversimplified analogy provides the necessary insight you need to truly understand why saturated fats are NOT the problem they have been made out to be. Our mitochondria actually prefer to burn saturated fats via beta oxidation because:
- They provide the most energy due to their saturation of hydrogen atoms
- Saturated fats are so stable they are the cleanest and most efficient to metabolize for energy
- Once the body is ramped up hormonally and enzymatically to burn fat, saturated fats provide a stable, bonk free source of energy for hours or even days.
Debunking saturated fat is a figurative ‘fat bomb’ to mentally digest but hopefully I’ve filled in the gaps and provided context on Saturated Fat to support and augment Dr. French’s blog post.
I am going to leave the Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated for a Part 3 as there is some important nuance and minor correction that will leverage the information for your benefit.
In the meantime, no matter where you are there is no better time than NOW to shift your physiology and metabolism back to the one Nature meant us to have….we are here to help with the products and experience to help guide you to higher health & peak performance.
As I mentioned in the previous vlog, the challenge for most of Hammer’s audience is these two articles fly in the face of conventional science and provided me with the perfect opportunity to further inform both people like many of you who know of my work but also reach a much larger audience who will benefit from that hearing the Truth about fat.