T Nation

Will Saturated Fat Lead to Heart Disease?



John Berardi advocates eating a 1:1:1 ratio of SFAs to PUFAs to MFA?s. That makes perfect sense to me since it boosts T, etc. But I am struggling with something: everywhere I read, I am barraged with the evils of saturated fat. Saturated fat is now the Great Satan of the nutritional world. I guess that its chief sin is raising LDL, the bad cholesterol.

And a lot of T-Nation folk have added to my confusion. Why is it that even they so often say that a greasy hamburger is bad for you? They advocate buying lean cuts of red meat. Well, either saturated fat is good for you or not, right? If it?s good for you, then why not have one or two greasy burgers a day?

Anyway, I can't get the nutritional communities voices out of my head. I?ve been eating my coconut oil and Whoppers, but these questions keep nagging me:

  1. Will 20-30 g of Saturated fat really lead to heart disease?
  2. Do you need to protect yourself against 20-30 g of Saturated fat?
  3. If you do need to ?protect? yourself against saturated fat, then how do you recommend doing it?

I?m a relative newbie and I know a lot of you have been at this a lot longer than me. Any info would be much appreciated.

And keep in mind, I eat pretty doggone healthy: quite a few veggies and supplements and little processed stuff.


Nevermind, I found several great links on the subject.


would love to check out those links, whenever you get a chance.


Just google up 'saturated fat body role'
Your body does need a minimum amount of saturated fat to perform certain functions. Stay away from whoppers - as they have other evils like excessive amounts of sodium.


I think there's a lot more to it than that. Here's just a couple of things to chew on:

  1. There's some (imo) decent evidence that polys are actually bad for you (in the quantities of the typical american). If saturated fat is also bad for you, what are you supposed to do - chug olive oil?
  2. The ratio of SFA/PUFA has a very significant impact on your T-levels. I realize that if you're genetically blessed (or less than 35), you don't really have to worry about this. Otherwise, though, why give up your T?

There's much more to it than that, but that's a start...


Really the balance may be more important then avoiding saturated fat.

Interestingly a recent study indicates that a low carb, high protein diet is more effective then a low fat diet at reducing blood pressure and cholesterol.

Pretty much it is getting the ratios to normal as opposed to the excess most people eat nowadays. Also trans fats and triglicerides are important in the equation also. Margarine may be worse for you then butter. Also there seems to be a strong link between insulin sensitivity and heart disease.


In my opinion,saturated fat isn't that bad for you.Infact,we need a little bit.Coconut oil is the healthiest fat in my opinion.Trans fat is what we should watch out for,not really saturated fat.Most people who have heart disease usually consume lots of those transfat filled junk food treats,not really that much animal fat.


Trans fat actually lowers your good Cholesterol and raises your bad Cholesterol.


I absolutely agree with you taht margarine is worse than butter. If you ever read what they do to get you margarine, I doubt you'd ever eat the crap again. It's absolutely unbelievable. Trust me - it's much worse than the crap they pour out of antifreeze containers in the movie theatres...

If you know where the study is about the low carb, high protein diet regarding blood pressure, I'd really like to know where to find it! Did you read that in a magazine? A study? A link?

(Note: I think almost any diet will lower blood pressure though, won't it?)


I agree with everything you said except the part about "we just need a little saturated fat". I think we need at a minimum 20-30 g/day (and I think there's actually good arguments for even more than that)...


I've read several studies that show low-carb diets lower cholesterol/blood pressure. But, really, if you look at the quality of the carbs we as a society eat cutting those out will go a long way in improving health.

But to lump potatoes and brown rice for example into the same category is essentially throwing the baby out with the bath water.


But why this limit? Seven years ago the main author of the new guidelines, Professor Scott Grundy, suggested an upper limit of only seven per cent, because, as he argued, an excess of polyunsaturated fat is toxic to the immune system and stimulates cancer growth in experimental animals and may also provoke gall stones in human beings. These warnings have never reached the public.

Furthermore, the panel ignores that a recent systematic review of all studies concerning the link between dietary fat and heart disease found no evidence that a manipulation of dietary fat has any effect on the development of atherosclerosis or cardiovascular disease (read summary of the paper -this paper won the Skrabanek Award 1998).

this is off this link i think you guys should give it a read. plus some of his other pages.


I actually read about is in this thread posed by ZEB:


And I believe this is the study: