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Help Me Phrase This Correctly


Bit of a background: I'm almost done with grad school and about to obtain my DPT. However, I'm in a basic dietetics course, and have to give a presentation on Omega-3's and how they compare to other fats and influence diabetes. My nutrition professor wants me and my group to go into detail. This women also is a huge fan of "Evidence Based Practice", and that "All saturated fat can be eliminated from the diet completely with no harmful effects", "saturated fat is directly responsible for increase in CVD and LDL cholesterol", "fat should be drastically lowered in those wanting weight loss", etc.

I'm putting together a presentation, and thought about including about 20 studies from pubmed outlining benefits to adding saturated fat and drawbacks to complete abstinence. Any suggestions on how to phrase this appropriately so I don't look like some uptight lifter attempting to prove her wrong?


Talk about the negative saturated fat position and why it came about and then say something like "... Since then evidence has emerged demonstrating the necessary functions of saturated fats in the human body... blah blah blah..."


Thanks for the response! Was the origin of the whole thing the "Seven Country study" or something? I thought T-Nation featured an article several months back about it...trying currently to dig through the archives


Oh god...and I now will have to provide information contrary to this, without sounding like a jerk: "There is no reason to have any sort of dietary cholesterol in the body, as our body synthesizes it's own. While it is an important precursor to hormones, there's no need for dietary cholesterol".


Here's the thing, a lot of folks educating in dietetics are very much stuck on what they believe. There are, of course, the outliers who may differ from the norm, but most will be very tough to convince that the truth is different from what they "learned" in school.

I have a friend who is a sports nutritionist, and I had a discussion with her regarding Vitamin D and such not long ago. She was opposed initially, but I presented research and eventually convinced her to look it up herself. She did, and is now using said vitamin.

All that to say, I had an arguement with a PT professor regarding nutrition as well. No matter how eloquently I put it, or what studies I had to prove my point, or what in the trenches experience I could offer, I was wrong, because the textbook printed years ago said so. My undergraduate in Biochem does not trump her husband being a neurologist I suppose.

I would phrase your initial statement along the lines of something like "While mainstream knowledge has often pointed to the villifying of saturated fats and their supposed negative effects on the human body, more current research has found that, in fact, the opposite is more likely to be true, and that these fats may actually be an essential part of our daily diet..."

Commence referencing studies, and boom.


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Have you approached your instructor and had a conversation about it? I am in the same boat in a Performance Based Nutrition class, and my prof was very receptive once I supplied a list of peer reviewed studies.

He still didn't agree, but because I had put some work in and brought some evidence to the table it worked out, that and with his criticisms in mind, my paper ended up being stronger for it. You could also go the route of physical activities effect on plasma triglycerides and cholesterol, which indirectly suggests that Dietary intake may not be as big of a factor as once though in the "old textbooks" .


"Though saturated fats and cholesterol are classed distinctly, they have shared the same dietary stigma, this is despite new evidence demonstrating the physiological necessity of dietary saturated fats and cholesterol."

People love progress but they hate change. This is true of your professor as well. Rather than a matter of rational decision this is actually an emotional security issue. As long as you don't make her feel stupid or ignorant for not having the reading then you could swing her around.

Just quote Richard Feynman: "Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts."

There was a study done on the ignorance of experts. When quizzed about unrelated fields with answers yes, no, and not sure, they would answer "not sure" more often, whereas when quizzed about their own fields they used definite answers and got more questions wrong. The authority delusion not only affects those who believe certainly that the authorities are right, but the authorities themselves. I would even say that the real delusion is that there ever is such a thing as "right" in the first place. Right is not a position someone can take.