T Nation

Disadvantages to Very High Fat Intake?


#1

I like fat. I have a very fast metabolism, and eating lots of fat makes my life easier because I can only fit so much food in my stomach. Also, fat just tastes damn good.

I usually get between 200 and 250 grams of fat daily. I try to get it from a good mix of sources, including meat, dairy, nuts, fish oil, olive oil, and coconut oil when I can find the virgin kind. I probably get around 80 grams of saturated fat (at least) daily. I also eat very few carbohydrates; mostly because my body just does not crave them. I personally feel like a high fat intake is healthy and keeps my insulin sensitivy very high. However, I was curious if anyone had any actual data relevant to someone who eats healthy and trains hard about any potential effects, negative or otherwise, of a high fat intake.

I let myself get very paranoid when uneducated people babble about the "dangers" of dietary fat. I have no reason to believe that the way I'm eating is unhealthy, but I'm sure bullshit organizations such as the USDA would tell me that I'm at "severe risk of disease and sickness" because of my "unhealthy dietary habits." I guess the problem is that I have no evidence supporting my ideas either. I see things like Christian Thibedeau suggesting that EVERYONE should get 90g of dietary fat daily. Thsee things cause me to wonder whether that's a bad recommendation due to the fact that physiological processes vary by person and thus the optimal fat intake also varies, or I'm just simply wrong. I'd be the first to admit that I know MUCH less than CT, so things like that get me tripped up.

Any advice?


#2

There's no hard and fast answers about nutrition because it is complex, there are interactions, and there are individual differences. However, I believe that there are disadvantages to every diet, especially extreme ones. For example, diets high in saturated fat induce insulin resistance. Researchers use saturated fat to get lab animals into a state of insulin resistance so that they can then study it further. It may be that eliminating carbs mitigates that effect, but without directly testing that, you can't know. Also, very low carb diets tend to be deficient in certain nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, etc., so you may have to supplement.

That said, I've put people on low-carb diets and seen their BP, cholesterol, and triglycerides all improve dramatically. However, the diets I design are MUCH lower in saturated fat than yours.

My advice would be to get checkups and tests of your own health, track your micronutrient intake, do your research, then adjust your diet if need be.


#3

as long as you keep your carbs low (not sure why) and ditch the crap fats (partially hydrogenated, trans) i'm sure you'll see your blood profile improve drastically just as all other people following similar diets achieve.

then tell your doctor your diet and watch him tell you you are unhealthy :slightly_smiling:


#4

The only disadvantages I can recall people pinning on dietary fat is it's interaction with serum cholesterol and, due to it's caloric content, body fat.

If you monitor those two things and they stay in the desirable range, I personally see no downside.


#5

I was particularly worried with the blood triglycerides and arterial health. I realize that I could probably just have blood work done more often...

I guess the general concensus is that dietary issues are very complex and it seems to be best to just start at a given point and then use both biofeedback and tests to track where things are going, and correct if need be. This seems like a very sensible viewpoint.

Speaking of seeing a doctor's reaction, I would LOVE to see how a dietician would respond to me saying that I get 250 grams of fat a day.


#6

From what I've seen in my university courses (Dietetics) You would first have a stone-cold gaze, followed by refusal to listen to your side of the argument, topped of with a chant of "70% carbohydrates, evil saturated fat" repeated endlessly.


#7

But "carbohydrates are the perfect and preferred source of energy of the body" - so naturally we should be eating about 70% of our calories from carbohydrates from "healthy" and "complete" sources like bread and pasta.
The best and healthiest foods are typically processed by lots and lots of machines...

Do they honestly teach USDA doctrine in college classes? That's horrifying. I was under the impression that the 70% carbohydrates garbage was simply a result of powerful corn and wheat monoculture growers working in tandem with governments to try to create doctrine to preach to mindless people in order to fulfill the best interest of all of them; combined with social factors of cultures that have been fed on grain since the neolithic revolution, and don't realize or openly admit all of the negative effects of having a grain-based diet. I guess universities are somehow involved in my conspiracy theory as well... Probably something to do with John Wilkes Booth, the moon landing, and a surprisingly impressionable train conductor who at the age of 22 was convinced that God was speaking to him every time he urinated...


#8

they do, because even they do not know any better.

and if they try to change, they have to deal with all the students/staff calling them out on potential misinformation. i'm sure a lot of people will not accept that fat is not bad.


#9

I'd figure if a school has a dietics branch, they'd at least be doing some reasearch into macronutrients. It seems like probably the most basic aspect of nutrition...


#10

I would just keep getting blood work done. You never know from a long term perspective. Doctors are useless. I would think seriously about trying to find addition fiber sources.


#11

First off doctors and dietitians don't know DICK about nutrition.

I second the recommendation to get additional fiber sources.

How did you land at the number 250 for your daily fat intake? It is most likely in your best interest to track your macronutrients and make sure you're getting adequate protein.


#12

High carb diets affect triglyceride levels more than your diet, your diet sounds pretty healthy, just make sure you get some veggies and eat fish more often and stay away from proccessed stuff.


#13

It's weird, the profs that I have had all taught basically the RDI's (with some exceptions, being Omega-3 and Vitamin D coming to mind), but when I talked to them personally, they seemed a lot more reasonable than what they preached, which leads me to believe it's some administrative bullshit.

But a few of my profs still hate on saturated fats


#14

I personally don't like high fat diets at all, but that's just me.